Why your police department needs a brand

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lieutenant W. Michael Phibbs, P1 Contributor

Every organization has a brand. Great organizations understand and strategically control and shape their brands to enhance their value proposition. Branding defines their core mission to both employees and the public. The importance of effective branding cannot be overstated.

A good brand is all encompassing, creating a desirable emotional image and physical response when you think of that brand. For instance, mention Nike and the “swoosh” logo or “Just Do It” tag line come to mind. Likewise, think Starbucks and you see the image of a mermaid with Starbucks Coffee around the edges.

Private sector companies understand the power of differentiation as a necessity for their own survival. To create greater community engagement, increase retention and improve recruitment, every law enforcement agency should understand how to develop and capitalize on their own brand.

Public safety brands

Law enforcement’s business is safety and our product is providing protection to the citizens we serve.

“To Protect and to Serve” became the LAPD’s motto in 1955 and, since then, has become a tagline adopted by police departments around the country. But a tagline is different from a brand. It is your agency’s brand that differentiates you from any one of the other 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States. In these trying times, it is imperative agencies develop and own their brands.

For simple examples of branding think about the visceral response you have when summoning up the image of the Texas Ranger of the Old West. A desired image is a key consideration in developing an organization’s brand. Consider how the United States military has effectively branded organizations for decades. The use of slogans such as “Be All You Can Be” and “The Few. The Proud,” and symbols like Green Berets or images of Navy SEALS, are interwoven with stories from veterans to create a sense of pride and value in one’s mind. Such branding is also a call to action – to join and become a member of the team.

Brands have internal and external impacts

Your brand has an impact internally, as well as externally. A well-developed brand helps engage current employees and assists in recruiting individuals who embrace the agency’s mission, vision and values. It helps in turning away applicants who are not a good fit or who may even harm a forward-thinking agency.

When the agency and its frontline people internalize the promises inferred by the brand it helps create positive relationships within the communities and businesses.

Who will control your messaging?

Brands have their own momentum; once moving they are difficult to alter in direction. Will you control your messaging, or will you allow outsiders to control what people think and feel about your agency? An agency either owns or shapes its brand, or it allows others and events to create the brand and layer it upon an agency. Agencies that ignore their brand do so at their peril.

Agency administrators must shape their call to action. What do they want citizens to know or do? Your credibility is on the line and eventually you will have to show concrete examples supporting your statements.

What is your agency’s value proposition?

As part of any public safety branding initiative, consider your agency’s value proposition. Does it raise the level of safety people feel when looking to relocate to the community, or as a place to start a small business or expand a current one, or does it persuade them to look elsewhere or move away? Do the residents of your communities feel pride or anxiety when they see your officers?

If possible, get help when your agency begins a branding campaign. To save time and reduce cost, begin with a deep dig into your organization to determine what really differentiates it from others. Begin by asking simple questions:

Why does our department exist? How does it fulfil the promise set out in the rationale for its existence? What makes us different from other departments in the area? What would happen if our agency did not exist? How does our agency improve lives? What are our core values and how are they incorporated into our brand? What mechanisms will we use to help officers internalize the brand? How is our agency perceived by the citizens? Are they pleased or apprehensive when they see officers on patrol, and does it change depending on location within your jurisdiction? Are we more focused on enforcement of law or community support, or a combination of the two?

Once your agency determines the nature of the brand that works best, how do you reach out and communicate with different community groups? Perception matters. The landing page of your website or social media can have a significant impact on the perception of your agency from outsiders.

If citizens are already apprehensive of the police it is best not to feature a SWAT truck on your website’s landing page. A photo showing officers in a relaxed stance in class B uniforms or a bike team wearing shorts on bicycles presents a different message than an armored vehicle. A landing page with officers and citizens pictured working together on a project shows commitment to community. Each of the above creates a different emotional impact.

Communication strategies must evolve

With the advent of social media, messaging to current officers, potential recruits, citizens and businesses requires forethought. Everything you say may be taken down and used against you. Communication strategies must evolve as changing demographics occur in your communities. Agencies not only have to tailor their messages differently, but research how citizens communicate. Questions to ask include:

Does word of mouth work? Do pamphlets need to be written in English and Spanish? Should most communication happen through social media? If so, which platform and style?

The impact and use of color and fonts should also be considered in your messaging and micro-messaging efforts.

To create trust, be meaningful to communities and avoid the perception of being an occupying force, law enforcement agencies must understand the impact of branding. Like it or not, all agencies carry a brand. For it to be a positive one and work as a force multiplier, it needs to have a strategy for implementation. Agencies that control and strategically shape their brands successfully enhance their value proposition for the betterment of employees, businesses and communities they serve.


About the author Lieutenant W. Michael Phibbs has 24 years’ experience in law enforcement. He holds a Master’s degree and PHR certification in Human Resources. He has conducted research and published articles on topics that include performance management, employee engagement and organizational branding. He is a member of the Central Virginia Type Three All Hazards Incident Management Team and holds certifications in Operations and Air Operations.


Cop pulls over woman for no brake lights, attempts to fix them

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HENRICO, Va. — When Chy-Niece Thacker was pulled over while on her way to an interview, she thought she was going to receive a ticket. Instead, the officer that stopped her went above and beyond the call of duty.

Officer Jenkins stopped Thacker Friday for no brake lights, WWBT reported. But when she reached for ID and insurance, Jenkins stopped her.

Thacker wrote on Facebook that the officer said, “Don't worry about pulling anything out. I just want you to know that your brake lights are out."

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Thank you Chy-Niece Thacker for sharing this about one of our officers. We are so proud of our officers, especially when...

Posted by Henrico County Police on Saturday, September 2, 2017

Thacker explained she replaced the brake lights last month and Firestone wanted her to pay $600 to do a test wiring of her car. Jenkins told her to pop her trunk and spent 30 minutes attempting to fix the problem.

“He checked the lights in the trunk and tapped them, but they didn't come on,” she wrote. “So he told me to pop the hood to check the relay box then asked me to get out to check the other one.”

While Jenkins wasn’t able to fix the brake lights, he left an impression on Thacker.

"He said, 'I care more about your safety than giving you a ticket. I thought, 'He's an angel, he's a blessing,’” she told WWBT. “We've seen so many stories where a traffic stop has turned into the death [of an officer], and it's given people a bad taste in their mouth. I think this one officer helping can set a trend.”

After the officer wasn’t able to fix the lights, he told Thacker to turn on her hazards and he escorted her to the closest mechanic.

Thacker said she hopes to one day cross paths with the officer again, just to thank him one more time for his kindness.


Fleeing felon hides in dumpster, gets dumped by trash collector

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

APPLETON, Wis. — A felon hiding from police was captured after a trash collector unknowingly dumped the man into his recycling truck.

Police witnessed a disturbance in a parking lot Tuesday, NBC 26 reported. A man fled from the scene after an officer drove into the lot to investigate. Later, officers learned the man had a warrant out for his arrest.

Officers said the man seemed to disappear, until it was time to collect the trash. According to WBAY, the suspect hid in a recycling bin and was picked up and dumped into the truck by the trash collector. The trash collector was activating the blade that packs the recycled material when he heard shouting.

Nate Loper, Deputy Director of Appleton's Department of Public Works said it “would have been a very bad situation had the driver not caught this in time and hit the stop button.”

The suspect escaped again until he collapsed with a serious head injury after a short foot pursuit.

"He was still conscious," Sgt. Dave Lund said. "He could talk to them, provide them with some information but it was clear to the officers that were there that the injury was pretty significant and that he needed to get medical care for that."

The suspect is expected to recover and is under police watch at the hospital. An officer also suffered minor injuries during the pursuit. Police expect additional charges.


Off-duty Ind. K-9 fatally struck by vehicle

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LEBANON, Ind. — A K-9 was killed by a vehicle near his home over the weekend.

CBS 4 Indy reported that K-9 Nico got out of his outdoor kennel while his handler, Officer Tommy Nash, was away Saturday.

When Nash arrived back home and noticed Nico was gone, he launched a search. He later found Nico’s body near a roadway.

Nico was a dual-purpose narcotics K-9 who served with the Lebanon Police Department for two years.

“When Nico was not chasing after suspects and sniffing out drugs, he was at home with his handler and family,” the department wrote on Facebook. “Nico was social, caring, and even seemed to be able to sense when someone needed some extra attention. He will be missed.

Police said Nico was cremated and they are working on establishing a memorial for him.

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It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to LPD K-9, Nico, who passed after a tragic accident this past weekend....

Posted by Lebanon Police Department on Wednesday, September 6, 2017


7 ways police leaders can prioritize transparency with their staff

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Guillermo Fuentes, P1 Contributor

Leaders and organizations often fall victim to an urge to keep information hidden, only informing the fewest people possible. While transparency may seem risky, it is almost always the better choice.

Transparency improves relationships with employees and other stakeholders, encourages accountability and prevents uncomfortable situations that arise when people discover that they were kept in the dark.

The meaning of the word “transparent” itself is sometimes clouded by the vantage point of the speaker. Organizational leaders often feel being transparent means revealing the limited information they feel is necessary to share. Outsiders sometimes demand the release of any and all information as the only way to demonstrate transparency.

What is clear is that some version of openness must exist, in the areas of data and information exchange as well as policy and regulations. Information that is not released officially will likely be leaked or replaced with rumor and innuendo, adding another reason to embrace organizational transparency.

So how do you take the steps required to make your organization transparent?

In “Straight A Leadership: Alignment, Action, Accountability," Quint Studer outlines seven steps to creating a more transparent organization.

1. Align senior leadership

This is the most difficult step for all paramilitary emergency services. They tend to have operational structures that are designed around command and control, not open dialogue. Studer states that leaders need to ask themselves three questions:

Does everyone see the external environment the same way? Does everyone understand organizational goals and plans? Does everyone agree on what success looks like?

Honestly look at your last leadership meeting you had and ask yourself if you can answer yes to all three questions. If you fail here as a leadership team, the next six steps will likely fail as well.

2. Close the perception gap between senior leadership and middle managers

Senior leaders who face external pressures daily (media, legal, etc.) understand the financial constraints and the political environment. The supervisory level is dealing with staff issues every day with little knowledge of what the organizational environment is. This perception gap builds mistrust and often creates an “us-versus-them” mentality.

3. Ensure employees understand the financial impact of decisions

Employees on the frontlines of public safety organizations tend to have little or no knowledge of the true costs and return on investment of certain decisions, such as using overtime staffing or purchasing new equipment. Often, senior management’s knee-jerk reaction to these requests is to reject them outright. A better solution, according to Studer, is to spend the time educating frontline managers about the costs of doing business.

4. Communicate vital issues to frontline employees

Contrary to popular belief, an email or a memo does not communicate more than the most elementary information. Real communication still occurs verbally, so organizations must have communication rituals, such as scheduled meetings, where senior leaders and middle managers carry the same message to the frontline staff.

5. Prepare managers to answer tough questions

Chiefs make difficult decisions every day. They choose to spend resources in one area, and not another. But often the managers who are forced to explain these choices to the staff don’t have input on the decisions and often don’t know the reasons they were made. This forces them to make up answers or side with staff on the latest rumor. A pillar of a transparent organization is that the frontline supervisor provides the same answer as the chief of the service when questioned about organizational decisions.

6. When delivering bad news, treat employees like adults

Unpopular decisions create fear and apprehension, which is where rumors are born. If you as a leader know that a decision is going to affect people negatively, it is important to communicate the decision—and the “why”—or people will fill in the blanks, often with something much worse.

7. Keep people posted

When something changes, communicate the change and keep people abreast of what is to come. As leaders, we often feel that this is burdensome. We say to ourselves that things are always changing, and we don’t have the time to keep everyone up to date. Yet this step of keeping people up to date builds trust with the frontline and keeps people within the fold of the organization.

Organizational transparency is not easy; it is a purposeful act of building trust. It represents the moment when an organization reaches the maturity to deal with employees as adults and trusts them to be ambassadors within the organization and the community at large. This is particularly important in public safety agencies, whose frontline employees are often trusted and respected by the community.


About the author Guillermo Fuentes, MBA, is a partner at Fitch & Associates. He supervises statistical and operational analysis, computer modeling and the development of deployment plans as well as major technology purchases and communications center installations for clients. He previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Niagara Regional Police Agency, in Ontario, Canada, and Associate Director of EMS for the Niagara Region.

For more than three decades, the Fitch & Associates team of consultants has provided customized solutions to the complex challenges faced by public safety organizations of all types and sizes. From system design and competitive procurements to technology upgrades and comprehensive consulting services, Fitch & Associates helps communities ensure their emergency services are both effective and sustainable. For ideas to help your agency improve performance in the face of rising costs, call 888-431-2600 or visit www.fitchassoc.com.


Calif. deputy died on anniversary of parents’ death

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Nashelly Chavez The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy who was killed in a hotel shootout last week died exactly a decade after his parents perished in a plane crash in El Dorado County, his children said.

Robert French, 52, was shot during a gunbattle at the Ramada Inn hotel on Auburn Boulevard on Aug. 30. French was a 21-year veteran of the department and worked as a patrol officer for the North Division.

He was responding to reports of shots fired at the hotel when the Sheriff’s Department said he was fatally wounded by an armed, fleeing gunman. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones would later say a bullet passed through French’s shoulder and hit his heart.

French kept firing at the suspect, identified as 32-year-old Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, even after he was hit, Jones said. Littlecloud later died as well.

Since French’s death, his family has been mourning in private.

“It’s been horrendous,” said Nicholas French, 30, one of the deputy’s sons. “Nobody wants to hear what we all had to hear.”

A public memorial for French is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Adventure Christian Church in Roseville. Law enforcement officers will follow the service with a procession to the Bayside Church in Granite Bay.

Nicholas French, along with his older sister Kaylen Bynoe, 32, and their stepbrother, Kosai French, 28, received news of their father’s death exactly 10 years after a fatal plane crash at the Cameron Airpark killed their grandparents on August 30, 2007.

Robert and Patricia French were on their way to a scuba diving trip in Ensenada, Mexico, when their six-seater plane crashed on takeoff. Aviation officials blamed the high heat and weight of the aircraft, Bynoe said.

“(My dad) called me and I knew there was something wrong because he was crying,” said Nicholas French, recalling his grandparents’ death.

The three siblings remembered their father as a devoted street cop, with an affinity for country music (his favorite singer was George Strait) and the Dallas Cowboys. He spent much of his time outdoors, enjoying hikes at Mount Shasta and skiing.

French grew up exploring the country, and different parts of the world, because his family always moved with their father during his career in the U.S. Air Force. French was born in Shreveport, La., and spent his early years there, but would live in Florida, Kentucky, North Dakota and the island of Guam during his life. His younger sister, Lori Mitchell, currently lives in Folsom.

He attended high school in Washington state, where he met his first wife, Christine Grace. Bynoe was a few days old during her mother’s graduation from high school, she said.

French, Grace and their daughter would move to the Sacramento area in 1986, following French’s father when he was relocated to the area for good. The couple had their second child, though they later split in 1992.

Bynoe said French raised her and her brother in a cream-colored house with a big yard near Watt Avenue and La Riviera Drive, just a few houses away from where their grandparents lived.

She and her older brother spent much of their time with their grandparents in the mid-1990s, after French decided to become a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy, she said. “He wanted to serve and wanted to be there and help,” she said.

It was sometime after French earned his badge that he met his second wife, Kosai French’s mother. The two married within a year of meeting and moved their families in together, Bynoe said.

Kosai French said he was close to his stepfather, whose name he adopted as his own.

“We all grew up and blended together,” French said. “We had a great childhood.”

The couple would divorce after about 13 years, though their three children remain close. “We have each other’s back,” Bynoe said. “We are intertwined.”

Bynoe said they welcomed her father’s girlfriend, Kara Merino, and her two children, about four years ago. The four lived in El Dorado Hills.

“He just loved her so much,” Bynoe said. “He looked like a different person when he was with her.”

In addition to his children, French leaves behind two granddaughters, Evelyn and Marley, and a grandson named Dallas.

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©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Public safety couple accused of using charity to scam responders’ families

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A firefighter and police officer couple allegedly stole $12,000 of fundraiser money after hosting an event to support the families of fallen responders, according to officials.

Tallahassee Democrat reported that Tallahassee police officer Jennifer Amison and her husband, firefighter Joseph Amison, held a fundraiser to support the families of two fallen firefighters, the daughter of another and two Texas State Troopers who had terminal cancer.

The fundraiser sold 900 raffle tickets, 600 dinner tickets, decals and shirts to help the families.

Three months after the event, no payments were made to anyone involved.

The couple is facing charges of organized scheme to defraud, failure to apply contributions in a manner substantially consistent with solicitation and grand theft.

Investigators said the couple “demonstrated a pattern of taking advantage of the tragedies of other first responders by selling items under the guise of benefiting the families."


New video shows incident involving Seattle Seahawks player, Vegas police

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAS VEGAS — Police released body camera footage Wednesday of the incident involving NFL player Michael Bennett.

The officers were responding to reports of a potential active shooter at a nightclub last month when Bennett was placed in handcuffs.

Bennett claimed he was seeking safety after he and hundreds of others heard what sounded like gunshots on Aug. 26, NPR reported. Bennett has alleged that police ordered him to the ground, where he complied with commands, and an officer placed a gun to his head and threatened to “blow his head off.” Bennett also alleges that race played a factor in the encounter.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said in a news conference that he believes race was not a factor in the incident, according to CBS Sports.

"I can tell you as I stand here today, I see no evidence of that," McMahill said. "I see no evidence that race played any role in this incident."

Body camera footage shows officers running to the scene and the chaos inside and outside of Drai’s nightclub. After clearing the scene in the casino the nightclub is located in, the officers headed toward the nightclub. As this was happening, McMahill said Bennett was seen “crouched down behind a gaming machine as the officers approached.”

"Once Bennett was in the officer's view, he quickly ran out the south doors, jumped over a wall onto Flamingo Road East of Las Vegas Boulevard into traffic," McMahill said. “Due to Bennett's actions, and the information the officers had at the time, they believed that Bennett may have been involved in the shooting and they gave chase. Bennett was placed in handcuffs and detained while officers determined whether or not he was involved in the incident."

McMahill said Bennett was detained for 10 minutes and released. After police explained the situation to Bennett, he told officers he “understood” why the situation occurred. He did mention having an issue with one officer who allegedly put the gun to his head.

McMahill said they are investigating the allegation, but the arresting officer did not have his body camera on. He said part of the investigation is gathering all relevant video footage from the casino and elsewhere.

“As of today, we know there are at least 126 videos associated with those cameras that we have to review,” McMahill said. “As you can imagine, it takes a significant amount of effort and time to review all the video and available evidence. If the investigation reveals that any policies or training was violated, those officers will be held accountable."

In a press release, the department asked anyone with video that could help the investigation to contact the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Internal Affairs Bureau. Bennett has hired civil rights attorney John Burris and is exploring legal options, NPR reported.

"We think there was an unlawful detention and the use of excessive force, with a gun put to his head," Burris told the Associated Press. "He was just in the crowd. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He wasn't in a fight. He wasn't resisting. He did nothing more or less than anyone in the crowd."

According to the AP, police are investigating the incident and couldn’t comment on Bennett’s account of the encounter.


Police: Taco Bell employees fatally shoot armed robber

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Police say three employees of a Cleveland Taco Bell opened fire on two armed robbers, killing one.

Police have said two masked robbers entered the restaurant early Wednesday and ordered three employees to lie on the floor. Police say three other employees pulled out handguns and opened fire, shooting one of the suspects six times. The other suspect ran off.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office on Thursday said the man killed was 24-year-old De'Carlo Jackson.

Investigators say Jackson was found with a loaded gun in his hand. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

No one has been arrested. The employees who opened fire are said to be two 19-year-old men and a 23-year-old man.

A Taco Bell spokeswoman told Cleveland.com the company is "shocked" by the shooting and is offering counseling to employees.

Employees at Cleveland Taco Bell shoot suspect during attempted robbery https://t.co/WNBidx1KRc pic.twitter.com/1cDrs83GRh

— fox8news (@fox8news) September 7, 2017


Video shows Ohio deputy shoot news photographer

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cliff Pinckard Advance Ohio Media

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio — A body cam video released Wednesday shows a Clark County deputy shoot a newspaper photographer after mistaking his camera and tripod for a gun, and the deputy can be heard repeatedly apologizing and assuring the man he'll be OK.

"Stay strong with me brother, I love you," Deputy Jake Shaw tells New Carlisle News photographer Andy Grimm after calling for paramedics. "I'm sorry, brother. Listen, Andy ... I'm sorry, dude ... you pulled (the camera and tripod) out like a gun, dude. ... Dude, I thought that was a freakin' gun, Andy."

Grimm is understanding with Shaw and actually takes responsibility for the shooting, telling him, "It's all right, dude ... it's my fault. I got ya." He also tells the deputy that he waved at him and had flashed the lights of his Jeep.

The shooting occurred Monday night. Grimm had gone out to try and get photos of lightning during a thunderstorm. Shaw was in the middle of a traffic stop and Grimm stopped nearby to take photos.

Without warning, Shaw fired two shots at Grimm, one grazing Grimm's left arm but the other hitting him in the side, WLWT Channel 5 reports.

Grimm was taken to a hospital for surgery and is expected to fully recover.

Meanwhile, Shaw has been placed on administrative leave, and the shooting is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Shaw, 25, has been with the Clark County Sheriff's Department since 2012, reports say. He became a full-time deputy in 2015.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Calif. man fatally shot after simulating gun with can in bag

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A man who simulated having a gun with a can inside a paper bag followed an employee into a state office building in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, took "an aggressive shooting stance" and ordered workers to the ground before an officer fatally shot him, police said.

The Ronald Reagan State Office Building, which houses a California appeals court, a regional office for Gov. Jerry Brown, the state insurance department, and several other state offices, was not open to the public when the shooting happened around 6 a.m.

The man, whose name hasn't been released, was able to enter the building by following an employee who used their identification card to swipe into the building, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Saul Gomez said. The man "initially began yelling at the employees, stood in an aggressive shooting form, and he demanded people get down," Gomez said.

The employees began to get on the ground when a CHP officer, who was guarding the building, confronted the suspect and at least three shots were fired, Gomez said. The suspect, who police say is in his 40s, was shot and killed at the scene. Police said Wednesday afternoon that after processing the crime scene they determined the man had simulated having a handgun with an aluminum can that was concealed inside a paper bag.

The man briefly exchanged words with some of the employees in the lobby, the sergeant said, but police would not provide details about the conversation.

Authorities said the man was carrying out-of-state identification, but they do not believe he traveled to California to target the building, Gomez said. Police said he was not a current or former employee.

Investigators are still trying to pin down a possible motive and will probe the suspect's background to determine if he had "a gripe with anyone in the building," Gomez said.

California Highway Patrol officers stood guard outside the building Wednesday afternoon as investigators continued to comb for evidence. A throng of police vehicles lined the street outside, and part of the building was cordoned off with crime scene tape.

The CHP is responsible for security in the building. But Gomez said it was too early to say whether the agency would review or reevaluate any security procedures.


Cop delivers his own baby in parking lot

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Chris Green Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD, Ill. — The initial year or two for any police officer is full of firsts: being on patrol for the first time without a field training officer, making your first arrest, testifying in court, delivering your first baby.

Yup. The last was the case early Sunday for Rockford police officer James Nachampassack.

The one-year veteran, assigned to the police department's squadrol, or transport van, spent much of his night and early morning transporting arrested individuals to the Winnebago County Jail. What had all the makings of another routine shift changed about 5 a.m. when he got a call from his girlfriend, Phenh Thammavong.

"She said nonchalantly, 'I think I'm going to give birth today.'"

Nachampassack informed his sergeant who picked him up at the jail and drove him to the District 3 New Towne Drive headquarters to pick up his personal vehicle. Nachampassack said he drove home quickly and before he could open the door, he heard Thammavong screaming.

"I thought I was going to walk in and see a baby dangling by the umbilical cord," he said. "Thankfully, it wasn't like that. She was just kind of hanging out at the table, and I said, 'Are you okay?' And I saw the water underneath her, and she said, 'I think I'm going into labor right now.'"

Nachampassack loaded up his girlfriend and her belongings into his car and while en route to the hospital, he called dispatch on his cellphone. "I said, 'Can you make sure the emergency room is ready because this baby is coming in hot. We're going to pop right when we get there.''

Nachampassack said it is about a 20-minute drive from their home to SwedishAmerican Hospital. They didn't quite make it.

"We're heading down Alpine, and we finally hit East State Street, and she looks over at me and says, 'This is happening now.'

Still in uniform and in possession of his police radio, Nachampassack informed dispatch his girlfriend was giving birth and requested an ambulance be sent to the parking lot of the Alpine Inn.

Nachampassack parked the car and ran over to the passenger side. "I put my hands out to catch him and as soon as I did that, she did all the work, and pushed him right on out."

Holding a baby still attached to the umbilical cord Nachampassack said, "The first thing that popped into my head was skin-to-skin. Keep the baby warm. I'm still in uniform, so there's really not too much skin exposed. So I put him up to my face."

Shortly thereafter, Nachampassack heard sirens approaching.

"I'm like, 'Thank God. The EMTs, fire is here."

No.

Nachampassack said, "It's five or six police cars. It's everybody I work with. I mean I was happy they were there, but I was really hoping for the EMTs. They were great though. They just kind of walked me through everything. Told me I was doing good. They were like, 'What can we do for you?'"

The officers retrieved some blankets from Thammavong's bag that she had prepared, and Nachampassack wrapped the baby in them.

What seemed like an eternity was a only a matter of minutes before the ambulance arrived.

Thammavong, according to Nachampassack's dashboard clock, gave birth at 5:42 a.m. to a healthy 7-pound, 12-ounce boy, whom they named, Leo.

He was born two weeks before his Sept. 17 due date. Mother and baby are expected to be released today from the hospital.

Although this was the couple's second child together — they also have a 2-year-old son named, Wyatt — Thammavong said, "I don't think anything could have prepared me for this."

Nachampassack, who is also an Army reservist, said neither police officers nor soldiers are trained to deliver babies. But they are trained to perform under pressure no matter the task, he said.

"I stayed as calm as I could, but I don't ever want to listen to the dispatch (recording) because I'm sure I was a wreck."

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Congratulations Officer Nachampassack and family - what a beautiful addition...and great story!

Posted by Rockford Illinois Police Department on Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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©2017 Rockford Register Star, Ill.


NY to get $26M to pay for securing Trump tower

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York state is getting nearly $26 million in federal funds to reimburse law enforcement agencies for costs associated with guarding President Donald Trump, his family and their Manhattan residence.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced the grants Wednesday. She says the money covers costs incurred during the 2 1/2 months between Election Day and the Republican president's Inauguration Day.

Lowey is a Democrat and a ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee.

The New York Police Department is getting $18.9 million. The Suffolk County Police Department is getting $7 million.

NYPD commissioner James O'Neill had written to New York's congressional delegation seeking the reimbursement. The original estimate had been lowered from $35 million to $24 million.

Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says his city's taxpayers are getting back part of what they're owed.


Sacramento moves forward on controversial $1.5M approach to prevent gun violence

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a deadly shooting related to gang-supported rappers, Sacramento has voted to move forward on a controversial gun-violence prevention program targeting those who are suspected of committing most of the violence in the city.

The city council unanimously approved a three-year, $1.5 million contract for Advance Peace on Aug. 29, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The controversial program would target nearly 50 young men, who police and city officials believe are responsible for the gun violence in the city, .

In the program, mentors help recruit “fellows” to the 18-month program. They use one-on-one behavioral therapy, life coaching and a monthly stipend of up to $1000 for nine months to help move the fellows away from violence.

The program is credited with significantly reducing gun crime in Richmond, where the program began, but has been criticized for giving stipends to those who reach goals. But Sacramento police and city officials told the publication there’s no better time to implement the program. Police are currently investigating five homicides this year that may be gang related. Thirteen people total have died in 2017 from gunshot wounds in the city.

“We don’t have a moment to wait here,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “It’s another shooting on Sunday in Meadowview involving this feud over who gets credit for writing music. On the one hand it’s baffling, but on the other hand it’s real.”

Councilwoman Angelique Ashby said the proposal was lacking in details and “in my opinion leaves the city of Sacramento completely vulnerable to being taken advantage of.” She said there is nothing that requires Advance Peace to work directly with police departments, school districts or local activists. It does not explicitly state if outreach will happen in three neighborhoods that are heavily impacted by violent crime.

Another concern is that the contract doesn’t require the program to match the city’s financial investment with its own money. The mayor and others said Advance Peace will match the city’s money.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said he supports the program as a “tool” in fighting gun crimes, but current enforcement and community intervention programs are needed as well. He believes monitoring the program and obtaining proof of results would be essential to seeing how successful it is.

A two-thirds approval will be required by Council members because the vote involves a contract and has not had the required 10-day notice.


Quiz: What should you do if you come across a cardiac arrest?

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Sponsored by Philips

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

As first responders, police officers are often the first people on scene. When that scene includes a cardiac arrest, every second counts. According to the American Heart Association, for every minute that a person is in cardiac arrest, the chances of successful resuscitation decrease by 7-10 percent. It's important to know what to do in such a situation. Test your knowledge with the quiz below.


Polk County sheriff: Fugitives at Irma shelters will be arrested

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd issued a warning to sex offenders and those with warrants: If you seek shelter from Hurricane Irma, we’ll escort you to jail.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Judd said authorities would be checking IDs at every shelter and sex offenders and predators “will not be allowed.”

If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed

— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) September 6, 2017

“We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders and predators. Period,” he tweeted.

We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period. https://t.co/DlhqjqFrkM

— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) September 6, 2017

He also tweeted that those with warrants should turn themselves in.

“If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we'll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail,” he wrote.

If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we'll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail https://t.co/Qj5GX9XQBi

— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) September 6, 2017

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman told the Orlando Sentinel that the department hopes the process will spur more turnout at shelters and make residents feel safe.

“We hope it actually leads to more people turning themselves in,” she said.


‘More dead cops’ banner hung on NY overpass

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ALBANY, N.Y. — Police are looking into the source of a disturbing banner tied to an overpass.

Police received a call Sunday that a banner reading “more dead cops” was hanging over a busy highway, News 10 reported. Authorities are unsure of how long it was up, but it was removed shortly after police received the call.

Retired police Capt. John Cooney said whoever hung the sign is “ignorant.”

“They put the sign on the overpass, but it’s insignificant. The police are resilient,” he said.

Members of the community said it’s dangerous to have anti-police rhetoric out there.

“It’s absolute horror,” area man Johnathan Falk said. “We’re talking about people who put their lives on the line every day for strangers for not a lot of money, and they’re getting so disrespected. It’s terrible.”

Police said they are “looking into the matter.”

'More Dead Cops' Banner Found Hanging on Overpass in NY https://t.co/mpDJ55KbCj

— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 6, 2017


Police officer who arrested Utah nurse fired from medic job

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By Lindsay Whitehurst Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah police officer seen on video roughly arresting a nurse who refused to draw blood from a patient was fired Tuesday from his part-time paramedic job.

Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne's termination came after he said on the video that he'd bring transient patients to the hospital and take the "good patients" elsewhere to retaliate against nurse Alex Wubbels.

Those remarks were concerning for Gold Cross Ambulance President Mike Moffitt, who said he'd heard them for the first time when the video was released last week.

"That's not the way we conduct our business, that's not the way we treat people in our city," Moffitt said.

Wubbels was following hospital policy when she refused on July 26 to let Payne take blood without a warrant or formal consent from the patient who was unconscious in the hospital burn unit.

He had been in a car accident that started with a police chase. Payne maintained in his report that he wanted the blood sample to protect the man rather than prosecute him.

There were no answers Tuesday at publicly listed phone numbers for Payne. The Salt Lake police union didn't immediately return messages seeking comment

Police body-camera video shows Wubbels calmly explaining that she could not allow a blood draw from a patient who hadn't been arrested or consented, unless police had a warrant. They did not, but Payne insisted and put her on the phone with his lieutenant who said she would be arrested if she didn't agree.

The dispute ended with Payne handcuffing Wubbels and dragging her outside while she screamed and said, "I've done nothing wrong!"

Her lawyer, Karra Porter, said she can understand ambulance company would be troubled by his comments and the decision to let him go wasn't surprising.

Payne was put on paid leave by Salt Lake City police after the video emerged. A second officer was also put on leave after authorities opened a criminal investigation into the arrest.

The other officer has not been identified. Police have said the lieutenant's actions are also under review.

Payne joined Salt Lake City police more than 20 years ago and worked for Gold Cross as an EMT and paramedic since 1983. He was generally a hardworking, conscientious employee who followed the rules, so his behavior on the video was shocking, Moffitt said.

Gold Cross is a private company that contracts with Salt Lake City to respond to medical calls in the city.


How to make body cameras a reality for a small police department

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Chief Mark Pacholec, P1 Contributor

Technology is revolutionizing police operations, helping to expedite and improve investigations. Unfortunately, implementing new technology can be as complicated as solving a 20-year-old cold case. Why? Many police departments are using servers or hard drives that are unable to handle the amount of data produced by new technology like body cameras.

Body-worn cameras are becoming a crucial part of public safety operations. It’s no longer a question of if police forces should adopt body cameras, but rather how and when.

So why isn’t every police department jumping at the chance to update their legacy IT systems and adopt body cameras? The answer is cost. The cost to integrate body-worn cameras – from buying the cameras to housing the data the cameras produce – can be crippling for smaller departments.

Research by the Police Executive Research Forum found data storage costs can reach up to $2 million annually for a police department. Many departments don't have enough space on servers or hard drives to meet the considerable data needs for video storage. However, there is a way for body cameras to become more than a pipe dream without breaking the bank.

Overcoming The Cost & Storage Problem

Located just outside of Buffalo, New York, the town of Orchard Park is recognized by many football fans as home to the Buffalo Bills stadium, which means the population grows dramatically at the first kickoff of the season. With an influx of visitors, the likelihood of incidents that require police attention greatly increases.

The new Orchard Park Police Department’s body cameras were an asset during football season for on-duty police officers, helping them keep the public safe. However, the department faced challenges storing the large amounts of data produced from the footage obtained by the cameras.

While a grant from the Orchard Park Police Foundation paid for all of our cameras, our department needed its own funding to update the infrastructure to store video data and to retrieve and stream footage.

Department modernization was a necessity for our team to properly take advantage of our investment in body cameras. First the system had to fulfill legal mandates that required us to retain video data for various periods of time, from as few as 30 days to permanent storage. The network also needed to store data from mounted surveillance cameras and operational data from town employees. For a smaller police department like ours, this was a complicated video environment with a high risk of open-ended costs.

Software-Defined Storage

We took advantage of the most economical and impactful approach, a technology called software-defined storage. This solution helped our department store large volumes of data with limited resources.

Software-defined storage is an approach to data storage in which the programming that controls storage-related tasks is decoupled from the physical storage hardware, enabling the use of industry-standard hardware, which is much more cost effective. By taking advantage of software-defined storage technology, the department could store footage from more cameras and keep the data for longer periods of time.

Solutions like these are a result of an open developer initiative by the open source community, harnessing the engineering strength of thousands of active developers. With this community approach, the developer contributions enable organizations such as ours to stay current with storage technology while also keeping costs down.

Using this newly adopted storage system, Orchard Park is now supporting surveillance cameras, body cameras and operational data from all of the town’s departments. The network can also support surveillance tools that help keep police officers and citizens safe.

Police departments need to invest in technology that will help them protect individuals and bring a greater transparency to their communities. Body-worn cameras increase transparency and professionalism and even offer a cost savings on internal investigations and lawsuit settlements.

Don’t let the fear of storage costs hold your department back from upgrading to relevant technology. The variety of camera and storage options available today can help your department keep costs down and help your teams keep everyone safe.


About the author Mark Pacholec is the Chief of Police for the town of Orchard Park. The primary purpose of the Town of Orchard Park Police Department is the protection of life and property, enforcement of laws, reduction of crimes, maintaining public order and the delivery of services which promote community well-being.


Ga. police shoot, kill tiger roaming through neighborhood

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Henry County police responded to an odd and dangerous call Wednesday: A tiger was on the loose in a neighborhood.

Officers responded and kept a visual on the tiger while animal professionals were called in, the department wrote on Facebook. At one point, the animal ran into the back of a residence and began attacking a dog.

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WILD MORNING a TIGER on the loose in Henry County!!! Attacked a tiny dog in its backyard on Meadowbrook Drive. Officers...

Posted by Kaitlyn Pratt FOX 5 on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Police said when the tiger came close to a school bus route in a heavily-populated area, they decided to shoot the animal fearing residents could be in danger.

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Media Release On September 6, 2017, at approximately 6 a.m., Henry County 911 received a call of a tiger loose on I-75...

Posted by Henry County Police Department on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary told Fox 5 Atlanta that police contacted them, hoping to bring the tiger back to their facility after chemically immobilizing it.

"Unfortunately, human life became at risk and the tiger was shot by the authorities," Noah's Ark said. "All of our tigers are accounted for."

The Henry County Police Department and animal control are now working to determine where the tiger came from. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Henry County police, Henry County Animal Control or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

"STAY INSIDE" what police told employees at Stockbridge Hardee's this AM LISTEN: #BREAKING pic.twitter.com/LF6gsvbaY3

— Kaitlyn Pratt Fox 5 (@Fox5Kaitlyn) September 6, 2017

#BREAKING SHOTS FIRED near I75 Jodeco Rd where reports of tiger came in. Just heard dozen shots - officers with rifles LISTEN: shots fired pic.twitter.com/d5DmVBlgDz

— Kaitlyn Pratt Fox 5 (@Fox5Kaitlyn) September 6, 2017


Nearly 200 Houston LEOs lose homes to Harvey

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Officers who were out rescuing residents from floodwaters and keeping the community safe have no home to return to.

The Fort Worth Police Officers’ Association tweeted Thursday that nearly 200 Houston officers lost their homes when Harvey hit. The police union told Fox News that more than 500 officers have been affected by flooding.

Donations of food, water, clothing and other items have poured in. Police officials said money can be sent to Assist the Officer as well.

Vice President of the police union Douglas Griffith said they’ve been overwhelmed with people wanting to help.

“I can’t say enough about the people who have come out and helped us. We’ve had people delivering food to our officers every single day,” Griffith told Fox. “I can’t tell you how blessed we’ve been with all the donations.”

Houston officers have been working mandatory 12-hour shifts and cleaning up their flooded homes in between shifts. The department has also been struggling with the death of Sgt. Steve Perez, who died after becoming trapped in high water while on his way to work.

“Our guys have stepped up and done a wonderful job. And I’m proud of every single one of them,” Griffith said.

Down the street from the police station, Trinity Lutheran Church is offering showers to officers. They have also set up a store with donations that allows officers to pick up what they need.

“This is our way of saying thanks, and we’re willing to share our space to help and be good neighbors too,” Senior Pastor Michael Dorn said.

Because of the influx in donations they’ve received, the Houston Police Department and church decided to send donations down to police agencies near Corpus Christi and Rockport. The homes of all five Port Aransas officers were destroyed.


How UAS technologies are changing the way police view incident scenes

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Worrell, P1 Contributor

A long-time FirstNet supporter, Charlottesville Fire Chief Emeritus Charles Werner has been a strong advocate for UAS technology as an additional tool for all public safety disciplines.

During his 42 years of service, Werner learned first-hand about the importance of communication and the value of new technologies when responding to major emergencies.

With the introduction of UAS devices for public safety use, first responders gain access to aerial views of the incident, as well as the ability to send real-time pictures and data to different locations.

“You actually get a 3-D idea of what’s happening at an incident scene and that’s really important for a responder.” Werner says. “I can take that video from the drone and connect it to the FirstNet network and be streaming live video to all those people that are decision makers – whether they’re incident commanders or the emergency operations center – simultaneously.”

Werner recently initiated efforts to create the National Council on Public Safety UAS. In this capacity, Werner works to advance public safety use of UAS through awareness, education, training, collaboration and best practices.

With interest in UAS technology from emergency first responders dramatically increasing, the Council is keeping the public safety community informed about the evolution of UAS technology and its benefits, and gives public safety a voice to lend valuable guidance and influence as significant decisions are made about UAS issues.

Guidelines on public safety UAS

When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released new guidance about UAS in 2016, the council played a key role in educating public safety disciplines about making this technology more accessible, efficient and safe for public safety use.

These new guidelines on public safety UAS use was one of several reasons the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) made the decision to adopt UAS technologies to enhance and support tactical operations. The LASD will use UAS devices primarily for search and rescue missions or when deputies are in dangerous situations, such as during explosive detection, hazardous materials incidents, disaster response, arson fires, hostage rescue, as well as armed and barricaded subject calls.

The adoption of UAS technologies is expanding across all public safety disciplines as an additional resource for first responders to make better decisions in life-threatening situations. To advance 911 capabilities, the Spokane County Regional Intelligence Group 9 (RIG 9) in Washington State built a real-time analysis capability for 9-1-1 centers in the region.

RIG 9 analyzes video camera inputs and other sensors, such as UAS deployed around the city. These feeds could be part of a next generation 911 deployment, with the resulting analyses rapidly forwarded via FirstNet to responders for real-time decision-making during a crisis.

Making informed decisions during disaster management

FirstNet recognizes that with the necessary safeguards and guidelines in place, UAS technology can be helpful when used for specific missions related to law enforcement, firefighting, border patrol, disaster relief, and search and rescue.

In many states, including Georgia, statewide UAS programs have rapidly grown in the last two years. Georgia streams real-time video from the UAS to their SOC during initial damage assessments, enabling leadership to make informed decisions in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

For incidents impacting multiple regions, Georgia also provides live footage from multiple UAS at once, giving a clearer picture of what is happening across the state. This capability proved very useful during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, when the state flew several missions per day for the first three days after the winds calmed down, conducting damage assessments of restricted areas and also providing aerial situational awareness to responders conducting search and rescue missions on the ground.

As UAS capabilities are enabling public safety to respond to and recover from disasters more quickly and more effectively than in the past, it’s important to consider the limitations to using UAS technologies, and to consider what has curtailed the adoption of UAS in more states.

Restrictions on UAS use

In addition to the expenses incurred to purchase UAS equipment and train pilots, numerous legislative restrictions on UAS usage have been introduced to address privacy concerns. However, these federal restrictions have lessened over time, particularly for public safety usage, enabling more UAS programs to surface.

Poor weather conditions and technical limitations, such as weak cellular or Wi-Fi service in the area, also pose significant limitations to UAS operations.

In both situations, agencies without access to reliable broadband service when it matters most will not receive live stream video and be able to make time-sensitive decisions in the aftermath of disasters. Additionally, poor or disrupted broadband signals hamper the ability to send real-time photos and videos to responders on the ground searching for survivors.


About the Author Mike Worrell, senior fire services advisor, has been with FirstNet since 2015. He served the Phoenix Fire Department for 29 years, most recently serving as the technical services division chief. Mike was also a member of the Public Safety Advisory Committee to FirstNet, a member of the National Urban Search and Rescue Incident Support Team, and a qualified communications unit leader and communications technician instructor. Prior to joining the Phoenix Fire Department, Mike was an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, Submarine Service.


Paramedic saves police officer being attacked by murder suspect

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DENVER — A paramedic rushed to help a police officer who was being attacked by a murder suspect.

KDVR reported that Paramedic Lt. Otis McKay Jr. and Officer Jonathan Davis responded to an assault call June 16. They found two teens with severe facial injuries and another victim lying in the street with a man standing over his motionless body.

“Lt. McKay and Officer Davis quickly recognized that the situation may possibly be a homicide in progress,” officials said.

Officer Davis ordered the suspect to the ground, but the man charged at Davis, knocking his firearm to the ground and tackling him.

When McKay saw the situation, he rushed to help. McKay and Davis fought with the suspect until backup arrived and the man was subdued, according to officials.

Both McKay and Davis were injured in the fight, but police said McKay possibly saved Davis’ life.

Honored Paramedic Otis McKay with Neighborhood Hero Award for aiding @DenverPolice Ofcr attacked by homicide suspect https://t.co/Rl47NsBAX5 pic.twitter.com/Tfst6Z62W5

— Daniels Fund (@Daniels_Fund) September 5, 2017

Daniels Fund and DPD recognized Lt. Otis McKay today for helping an officer being assaulted in a potentially life-threatening situation. pic.twitter.com/aWalWB111h

— Brad Bogott (@bbogott) September 5, 2017


Suspect flees, assaults two Pa. troopers following traffic stop

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Erie Times-News

ERIE, Pa. — A North East man faces two felony charges of aggravated assault after he allegedly fled state troopers during a traffic stop and later assaulted them as he was being taken into custody.

According to an affidavit, state troopers observed Scott J. Lauderbaugh, 34, of 83 S. Pearl St., driving a Mitsubishi Mirage on Sunday morning eastbound on state Route 20. They learned he was driving on a suspended license after running his license plate number.

Lauderbaugh provided troopers with a fake name and date of birth during a traffic stop near the Brickyard Road intersection. Lauderbaugh put his vehicle into gear and sped away, exceeding speeds of 100 mph at times.

He stopped again on Clinton Street and ran behind a home. One of the troopers made two unsuccessful attempts to use his Taser on Lauderbaugh. The trooper tried to place Lauderbaugh into custody after both tripped on a piece of fencing. Lauderbaugh knocked the trooper's Taser from his hand, grabbed at the trooper's duty belt, which caused a firearm magazine to fall to the ground, and removed the trooper's lapel microphone that is used to communicate with fellow officers and dispatchers.

Lauderbaugh fought with a second trooper who responded to the scene. The troopers used pepper spray to subdue Lauderbaugh and place him in handcuffs.

In addition to the two felony counts of aggravated assault, Lauderbaugh faces misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and fleeing a police officer, and a summary charge of driving on a suspended license from a previous drunken driving arrest. He will go before District Judge Scott Hammer for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 14.

Lauderbaugh is being held at the Erie County Prison.

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©2017 the Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.)


Slain Calif. deputy kept shooting, even after bullet hit his heart

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Nashelly Chavez The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy killed in a hotel shootout last week continued to fire his weapon at an armed gunman, even after a bullet had pierced through the soft tissue of his shoulder and hit his heart, Sheriff Scott Jones said during a press conference Tuesday.

Deputy Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the department working for the North Division, rushed to the hotel parking lot after hearing reports of shots fired at the Ramada Inn, Sgt. Shaun Hampton said Tuesday. French, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was taking cover behind a police vehicle at the time of the shooting. He died on his way to the hospital, the department said.

“Even though he was mortally wounded, (French) continued to engage and pin down the suspect as best he could,” Jones said. “He only showed signs of injury once (the) scene was stabilized.”

The man suspected of firing the fatal shot, identified by the department last week as Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, shot approximately 34 rounds from his assault rifle, and at least a dozen more from a 9mm handgun during the hotel shootout, Jones said.

Littlecloud, 32, of Castro Valley, died in a hospital on Saturday from injuries suffered in the incident.

Several sheriff’s deputies, each wearing a black band across their badges, attended the press conference at the sheriff’s department headquarters in downtown Sacramento.

On a wall behind Jones, 19 plaques carried the names of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department officers who have died in the line of duty. Jones said French’s name would soon be added to the memorial.

“It’s difficult for us,” Jones said. “Unfortunately, we’re a very large agency, we’re the largest agency in Northern California, and one of the downsides is that we’re no stranger to this.”

The fatal shooting began last Wednesday, as auto theft task force investigators from both the California Highway Patrol and the Sheriff’s Department were following up on reports of a BMW stolen earlier that morning, said Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Sgt. Paul Belli.

Officers from the task force located the car at the Ramada Inn, off of Auburn Boulevard, and attempted to stop two women who had entered the car. The driver, identified by the department as Priscilla Prendez, sped off and led officers on a chase when they attempted to pull her over.

Prendez eventually stopped in Elk Grove, and was booked on auto theft and felony evading charges. The passenger in the car was questioned and let go.

It was Prendez’s probation status that led officers back to the Ramada Inn, where they discovered a hotel room was booked under her name. When they returned to the hotel to search the second-floor room, officers were met with gunfire that tore through the room’s wall, striking two undercover CHP investigators. They suffered minor injuries in that shooting.

Belli said Littlecloud then made his way to the back of the hotel room and fired at an officer positioned there as he climbed down a balcony. Moving around the building to a parking lot at the front of the hotel, Littlecloud fired his weapon from behind a tree toward French and other officers who had arrived at the scene.

French fired back at Littlecloud, taking cover behind a patrol car near the Ramada Inn’s carport, Belli said. Littlecloud was able to reach a stolen car in the parking lot during the shootout and drove off, coming in close contact with officers at the scene.

It was at some point in the shootout that a bullet went through the car where French had taken cover, and he was struck. Jones said he continued to fire his weapon at Littlecloud, giving no indication of his injury.

Officers followed Littlecloud as he drove off, eventually crashing his car just west of Watt Avenue, the department said in a press release. In total, six Sacramento County deputies who fired their weapons in the incident were put on leave following the shooting.

Hampton said it was not known how many gunshots hit Littlecloud, or where they struck him. An autopsy of Littlecloud was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, he said.

Once officers were able to safely enter the hotel room, they located other guns and methamphetamine, Belli said.

French is survived by three adult children, grandchildren and a girlfriend. A memorial service for the deputy is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Roseville’s Bayside Adventure Church.

———

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


34 arrested during NY DACA protest

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Laura Figueroa Newsday

NEW YORK — New York City elected officials and immigration activists vowed Tuesday to fight President Donald Trump’s ending of an Obama-era policy that has provided legal status to thousands of undocumented immigrant students and young adults.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at news conference at City Hall, said he would “use every legal avenue” to defend New Yorkers affected by Trump’s decision to upend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“This is a day of heartbreak for so many,” de Blasio said, as he stood surrounded by city Council members, union heads and religious leaders. “It is a terrifying moment for so many people who wonder if they’ll be allowed to stay in the only country they’ve known. The actions today by President Trump undermine a bond that has developed in this country between hundreds of thousands of people and all of the rest of us.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, speaking at a rally at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, reiterated the state’s plan to sue the Trump Administration to preserve the DACA program that offers protected status to some 42,000 New Yorkers, including 30,000 New York City residents.

“Immigration has been and always will be the lifeblood of this state,” Schneiderman told a cheering crowd of several hundred.

The city and state’s pledges for legal action came as protesters took to the Manhattan streets Tuesday. There were at least 34 arrests, according to the NYPD. The mayor’s spokesman said in a Twitter post that protesters who cooperated with officers “will only be ticketed released without fingerprinting.”

Shouting “Undocumented! Unafraid” and “No Papers No Fear” some 200 protesters marched in front of Trump Tower Tuesday morning, at one point briefly shutting down traffic as nearly a dozen demonstrators joined hands to form a human chain across 56th Street and Fifth Avenue.

About a dozen protesters, many undocumented, arresting while protesting repeal of #DACA in front of Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/MzkFOuATIs

— Jeff Mays (@JeffCMays) September 5, 2017

Among the demonstrators was Luis Chicaiza, 28, a DACA recipient from Hackensack, New Jersey who said he moved to the United States from Ecuador when he was 10. He now works at a Cheesecake Factory in New Jersey.

“Without DACA I wouldn’t be able to work, to drive, I wouldn’t be able to do anything,” Chicaiza said. “We’re not second-class citizens, we are human beings.”

Some signs from today's protest in NYC following Pres. Trump's decision to end #DACA pic.twitter.com/zDpDXdJAvf

— Shira Tarlo (@shiratarlo) September 5, 2017

Outside the New York Immigration Coalition’s midtown offices, immigration advocates and local politicians, including city Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, denounced the DACA repeal and called on Congress to act quickly.

“I still believe in the dream,” said James, who called the decision to end DACA “blatantly racist.”

At City Hall, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Rev. Al Sharpton joined de Blasio in calling for a restoration of the protections offered under the DACA program. Both argued that those who were brought to the U.S. without legal status by their parents should not be villainized.

“As a pastor, I can tell you these Dreamers are not criminals, aliens . . . intruders . . . they are us. They are our people,” Dolan said. “To demonize them as threats or terrorists contradicts the Bible, America, New York and human decency.”

RIGHT NOW: We're at NYC's Foley Square as more than 1,000 protest Pres. Trump's decision to end DACA pic.twitter.com/IitQ93HL7h

— Michael George (@mgeorge4NY) September 5, 2017

Sharpton recalled Trump’s past efforts to question former president Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship, saying “You have a president who tried to discredit his predecessor’s documents . . . documents are not what he’s preoccupied with, bias and division is what he’s preoccupied with.”

Four NYPD helicopters hovering over Fight for #DACA protest in NYC. pic.twitter.com/SztphhkM3a

— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) September 5, 2017

———

©2017 Newsday


LAPD detectives solve 48-year-old cold case

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kate Mather Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — It should have been an ordinary errand: a trip to a Mid-Wilshire drugstore to buy a hair dryer.

Wendy Jo Halison drove her prized green Thunderbird down Fairfax Avenue on that Sunday afternoon in 1968, stopping at the Thrifty on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard. After shopping, the 22-year-old art student was seen filling up her car at a gas station down the street.

But Halison would never return home to her family.

Her body was found the next morning, stuffed in the trunk of her car, a few blocks from where she was last seen alive.

The mystery of her murder lingered for nearly half a century, outlasting several detectives and potential suspects. New forensic techniques sometimes revealed tantalizing clues, but investigators failed to identify her killer.

Halison’s family was haunted by her death. Her parents died without learning who killed their daughter. Her sister wondered if she would too.

When an unexpected break came 48 years later, the revelations were chilling.

The man who strangled Halison had already been convicted of murdering two other women — and was suspected of killing more.

———

Halison grew up in Los Angeles with her parents and older sister, Linda. The daughters of a real estate salesman and a bookkeeper-turned-homemaker, the girls painted and played the piano. Halison was gregarious, with a big smile that still beams through the black-and-white photos hanging on her sister’s wall.

She took classes at San Fernando Valley State College — known as Cal State Northridge today — and lived in a Mid-City home with her parents and her beloved poodle, Pierre.

“She had everything going for her,” recalled Gil Kort, who was then married to Halison’s sister.

Halison called her sister that Sunday about a newspaper ad for a hair dryer on sale at Thrifty and asked if she wanted to go buy one.

Linda Kort Trocino told her sister no — she had two young sons at home and wanted to spend the day with her family. Decades later, her eyes welled with tears as she recalled the conversation.

“That still haunts me,” she said.

When Halison didn’t return home later that day, her family began to worry. It was unusual for her not to check in.

Halison’s mother called police that night to report her missing, but was told they couldn’t launch a missing persons case so quickly. Rather than wait, the family began to search on their own.

Gil Kort was a private investigator and rallied friends to help. He also hired a helicopter to scour the neighborhood from above.

Less than an hour after the search began the next morning, Halison’s boyfriend spotted her Thunderbird parked on Fairfax Avenue. Kort found her keys on the floor of the back seat and went to open the trunk.

Halison’s body was inside.

“It was the worst day of my life,” Kort, now 77, recalled.

Investigators later determined Halison had been sexually assaulted, then strangled, said Richard Bengtson, an LAPD detective now handling her case. Her fingernails were broken — detectives think she tried to fight her attacker.

The rope used to kill her was found at the scene. She still wore her jewelry and watch, causing detectives to rule out robbery as the motive. The only thing missing was the hair dryer.

———

Trocino was waiting at her parents’ house when her husband walked in. It was the first time Trocino had seen him cry, she recalled.

“We found her,” Kort told them. “She’s gone.”

Police quickly zeroed in on four men who knew Halison well: her boyfriend, an ex-boyfriend, her brother-in-law and another friend. They guessed that she might have known her attacker, someone who knew she was shopping alone.

The boyfriends, however, especially stood out to investigators, Bengtson said. The one who had spotted Halison’s car from the helicopter had seemingly picked a needle out of a haystack. Even the pilot wondered how he was able to see the car from where they were flying.

He also failed a lie detector test, raising more eyebrows.

Kort said he took a polygraph test right away, so police could eliminate him as a suspect and move on with their search. He said he understood why detectives initially focused on the men close to Halison.

“I thought it was somebody that knew her,” he said. “Strangling somebody is very personal.”

But the weeks turned into months and the months into years without much progress. Detectives were able to glean some clues — a white man was seen near Halison at the drugstore and again at the gas station — but the case ultimately stalled.

———

Harry Klann Jr., a criminalist for the LAPD, got involved three decades later when storied detective Frank Bolan asked him to look at evidence collected in Halison’s case.

In 1998, DNA analysis was in its infancy and the LAPD had been working with the forensic technique for only about four years, Klann said.

But when a colleague found semen on Halison’s capri pants and underwear, Klann said, they decided to analyze it in hopes that DNA would yield a fresh lead. Sure enough, he said, they found a sample from the suspect.

Investigators went to work, drawing blood from each of the four men they had originally questioned in connection with Halison’s death. They eliminated all four as suspects.

“Now you can move on,” Bengtson said. “It closes one door, but opens up others to look at.”

But the investigation stalled yet again. The DNA samples were too meager to test against collections in state and national databases.

“It just wasn’t going anywhere,” Klann said.

He recalled talking to Bolan about the case late one night as the detective smoked a cigarette outside Tom Bergin’s, a bar just down the street from where Halison’s body was found.

“This case will be solved long after I’m gone,” Bolan told Klann.

———

Halison’s death — and not knowing who was responsible — devastated her family.

Her parents left her room intact. For years, Kort avoided driving down Fairfax and felt sick when he saw Thunderbirds on the road.

Halison’s father, Lee, diligently stopped by their neighborhood police station, asking if there were any new leads. He offered rewards looking for anyone who might have seen Halison that day.

The family thought of the milestones Halison was robbed of: a wedding, birthdays, watching her nephews grow up, having children of her own.

Halison’s death seemed to hit her father the hardest. She was born on his birthday, and her absence hung over every celebration.

“If something happens to me, I want you to promise, don’t forget your sister,” he once told Trocino. “And you do what you think you can do to find out who did this.”

———

By 2016, three LAPD investigators had been working Halison’s case for years: Klann, the criminalist; Bengtson, the cold-case detective; and Peter Berman, a former head deputy district attorney who now helps detectives look over old cases for new clues.

Bengtson was assigned to the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, a group of detectives who handle some of the toughest cases in the city. He was among the original eight detectives assigned to the cold case unit when it was created in 2001, and the only one of those still working there.

Bengtson is of the classic detective mold, with a deep voice, sharp eye for detail and a determination to find answers. He doesn’t like the word “closure,” he said, because he’s not sure families of those killed will truly gain it.

At his desk inside the division, thick binders line the cubicle behind him. Halison’s files — what detectives call the “murder book” — are neatly arranged on his desk.

The investigators frequently flipped through those files, looking for the clues that could lead them to Halison’s killer.

Last summer, they asked Klann to run the DNA again, hoping improved technology would finally help them identify enough markers to upload the sample in the state’s system.

When Klann got the results, he said, he immediately sent Bengtson a text message.

“Are you sitting down?” he wrote.

———

Edwin Dean Richardson’s criminal record stretched to his childhood, escalating from burglaries and thefts to more violent crimes scattered across the country. He was a drifter, working odd jobs as he moved from state to state.

In 1960, he was convicted of attempted robbery and kidnapping in San Diego and spent eight years behind bars. He was paroled in April 1968 — five months before Halison was killed.

Richardson landed in an Ohio prison in 1981, after being convicted of killing 21-year-old Jo Anna Boughner in Belmont County, a steel-and-coal community on the state’s eastern border. Richardson was also convicted of kidnapping two girls across the river in West Virginia.

Tom McCort, now 76, was Belmont County’s sheriff for two decades. Before that, when he was an investigator for the prosecutor’s office, he spent more than three years looking for Richardson, who skipped town after Boughner’s body was found.

McCort eventually used a phone bill tossed in the trash to track Richardson to a trailer park in Mesa, Ariz., where he was arrested for Boughner’s murder. On the flight back to Ohio, the retired lawman said, Richardson bragged about killing another woman, wrapping her body in a blanket and tossing it over a cliff.

“He was almost boasting about what he had done and what he had gotten away with,” McCort recalled.

About 20 years later, authorities used DNA to link the still-imprisoned Richardson to a cold-case killing in Orange County.

Richardson was flown to California to face trial, where he pleaded guilty to raping and strangling Marla Jean Hires in 1972. The 23-year-old’s battered body was wrapped in cloth and dumped down an embankment not far from the Yorba Linda Country Club — just as he’d told McCort on the plane.

Richardson, then 70 and suffering from emphysema, was sentenced in 2006 to life in prison, all but ensuring he would die behind bars.

———

By the time the investigators in L.A. used the DNA to identify Richardson as the man who strangled Wendy Jo Halison, the convicted killer had been dead about four years.

Bengtson cursed at the news.

“Even alive and in prison is better than dead,” the detective lamented. “Because then I get to go to him and say: ‘Guess what? I’m going to put another charge on you.’”

Because Richardson was dead, investigators couldn’t interview him in prison or, more importantly, take a sample of his DNA to confirm their initial hit. Instead, they matched a blood sample identified as Richardson’s in the Orange County investigation to the DNA from Halison’s case. They also combed through his background, to see if his habits matched those of Halison’s killer.

As they did, Bengtson said, they noticed disturbing similarities.

Halison, Hires and Boughner were all young, attractive brunettes who were alone when they were abducted. Each was assaulted and strangled. Their cars were abandoned.

Bengtson thinks Richardson was an opportunist, targeting women who were about to get in their cars. The detective believes he used some type of weapon to force them to slide into the passenger’s seat.

There are gaps on his rap sheet that worry Bengtson and the others. A killer like Richardson — a serial killer — doesn’t typically take a break, they said.

“This guy didn’t stop at one or two or three,” Bengtson said. “There’s no chance in hell.”

There was another woman, another pretty 22-year-old killed a year after Halison. Margie Schuit’s beaten and strangled body was found in Burbank, but her car was found in Los Angeles — in the parking lot of the same Thrifty drug store where Halison shopped.

It’s too much of a coincidence for Bengtson and Berman. They think there’s a chance Richardson killed Schuit too.

The problem, they said: The evidence from Schuit’s 1969 killing was lost. There is no DNA to test.

———

When Bengtson was confident Richardson was the man who killed Halison, he picked up the phone to call her sister. Those calls are “a little nerve-racking,” the detective admitted, because he knows they bring a wave of mixed emotions to the victim’s relatives.

“All at once, it’s just a hurricane hitting them,” he said.

Trocino was eating brunch with her husband when she got the call.

She didn’t answer at first, assuming it was a telemarketer, and let the call go to voicemail. When she listened to the message, she said, she immediately felt sick.

“We found who killed your sister,” Bengtson said.

———

Last month, Trocino and her husband, Tony, drove to the LAPD’s glass headquarters in downtown L.A. to meet the investigators for the first time. A necklace that once belonged to her sister hung around her neck.

Trocino sat quietly, her hands folded and her eyes wide, as the investigators patiently answered her questions. At 48 years, it was the oldest cold case they had solved, they told her.

When Bengtson walked through Richardson’s criminal history, Trocino shook her head.

“You OK?” her husband asked, rubbing her back.

“Unbelievable,” she said.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Texas seeks swift reversal of blocked ‘sanctuary cities’ law

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking a federal appeals court for an emergency order blocking a lower ruling that kept Texas' new anti-"sanctuary cities" law from taking effect.

In a filing Tuesday, Paxton requested expedited consideration and a ruling from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court within two days.

A San Antonio-based federal judge last week temporarily suspended Texas' new law amid a lawsuit questioning its constitutionality. The law had been set to kick in Sept. 1.

It allows police to inquire about people's immigration status during routine interactions like traffic stops. Police chiefs also could face removal from office and even criminal charges for not complying with federal requests to hold people jailed on non-immigration offenses longer for possible deportation.

Opponents call it a "show your papers" law.


You’ll float too: Pa. police find over 20 red balloons tied to sewer gates

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LITITZ BOROUGH, Pa. — Police in Lititz Borough came upon a terrifying discovery over the weekend: red balloons tied to sewer gates all over town.

The police department wrote on Facebook Tuesday that someone “took it upon themselves to promote” the upcoming release of the child-killing clown movie “It.”

“We give points for creativity, however we want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons from the grates and we respectfully request they do not do that again,” the department joked.

The titular character of the movie, adapted from a Stephen King novel, is a clown who lures children down into the sewers with red balloons.

Sgt. Stephen Detz told CBS that while they don’t have an accurate balloon count, he knows it’s “definitely above 20.”

Detz said while there are fans of the movie in the department and they find the prank funny, he would like the pranksters to stop.

"I mean, somebody eventually has to clean it up, obviously," he said. "We've removed several, but there are still a lot more out there."

Last year, clowns terrorized multiple cities in several different states. At least a dozen people were arrested in Georgia, Alabama and Virginia for taking part in the stunts or making false reports. In a recent bulletin by the Pennsylvania State Police, authorities warned that similar clown sightings could happen because of the Sept. 8 release of the “It” movie.

Detz mentioned to CBS that while wearing a clown costume isn’t a crime, harassing and assaulting people while wearing the costume is.

"They should respect others boundaries,” he said. If they are showing support for a movie that's not a problem. It's when they start trying to harass or annoy people with their presence."

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A certain movie is coming to theaters in two days, and a local prankster took it upon themselves to promote the...

Posted by Lititz Borough Police Department on Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Cop dressed as Batman brings smiles to Harvey victims, first responders

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Cpl. Damon Cole is famous for his heroic acts. Whether it’s capturing shoplifters while dressed as Batman or driving 11 hours to be Superman for a boy with cancer, Cole knows what it means to rise to the occasion.

On Saturday, Cole worked patrol with the Houston Police Department to assist with Harvey rescues.

“It was heartbreaking seeing so many people that have lost everything from Hurricane Harvey,” he wrote on Facebook. “After I got off work I really wanted to do something more for the families.”

He called Houston Police Sgt. BK Klev who allowed Cole, dressed as Batman, into the George R. Brown Convention Center to bring joy to the families staying there. He even met with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cole shared photos of his act of kindness on Facebook and Twitter, saying “doing my part to help make these amazing families smile after going through so much. Be the reason someone smiles today.”

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Time to be the reason someone smiles today.

Posted by Heroes & Cops Against Childhood Cancer on Saturday, September 2, 2017

Even though we work for different cities, we all have the same goal. Protect and help ALL people in Texas. pic.twitter.com/Z5uqg1GWc5

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 2, 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=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

I worked patrol today with Houston PD (6am-6pm) and it was heart breaking seeing so many people that have lost...

Posted by Heroes & Cops Against Childhood Cancer on Saturday, September 2, 2017

I am honored to meet such wonderful officers @houstonpolice like Officer Fortson doing such an amazing job. pic.twitter.com/cePMhTff93

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017

Doing my part to help make these amazing families smile after going through so much. Be the reason someone smiles today. pic.twitter.com/mSt1tLJtmp

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017

I started watching Spdierman with him on his phone. He wouldn't stop watching me, instead of the movie, lol. pic.twitter.com/CZfVwsz4o8

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017

Doing my part to help make these amazing families smile after going through so much. Be the reason someone smiles today. pic.twitter.com/2OPH8FXdF0

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017


Shoplifting suspect assaults man with ax after he offers to pay for the suspect’s items

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

LOS ANGELES — Police said a man who offered to pay for a shoplifting suspect’s items was attacked with an ax.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told CBS LA that a suspect was stealing the items from a 7-Eleven Saturday when a man offered to pay for them.

The suspect became upset and began arguing with the man. Police said the suspect then attacked the man with an ax, striking him in the head several times. The suspect fled on foot. The victim was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Authorities have released a surveillance image of the suspect. He is considered armed and dangerous. The public should call 911 with any information regarding his whereabouts.


Should cops see body cam video before giving use-of-force statements?

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Force Science Institute
Author: Force Science Institute

Article reprinted from Force Science News #330.

A recent webinar on the question of whether officers should be allowed to review body cam video before giving statements on use-of-force incidents featured a spirited clash of opinions among two law enforcement lawyers and a forensics expert, but in the end offered agreement on two critical points:

1. To avoid potentially damaging pitfalls, officers and their attorneys need special expertise about the nature and limitations of video recordings, regardless of when they’re viewed;

2. Departments must be actively educating their communities now about the surprising realities of video footage to preserve trust in the face of future controversial episodes.

The webinar, Point/Counterpoint: The Debate over Officer Viewing of BWC Video Footage, was presented by Lexipol, a prominent public safety risk management and policy consulting group.

The roundtable participants were Ken Wallentine, an attorney and supervisory special agent who directs the Utah Attorney General’s Training Center; Laura Scarry, an attorney and former police officer who specializes in defending law enforcement officers and their agencies; and Grant Fredericks, a former Canadian officer and a certified Forensics Video Analyst.

Here are some highlights of their exchanges.

Video footage is a common, but flawed, source of evidence

These days Fredericks states, “Video images are more common in serious criminal investigations than any other source of evidence – more than DNA, fingerprints or eye-witness testimony.”

The popular belief is that cameras capture exactly what happened at the scene they’re recording. But in truth, Fredericks emphasizes, video images can be significantly deceptive because there literally is more to them than meets the eye.

In the webinar, he used compelling footage from actual cases to demonstrate a few of the scientific shortcomings of body cams, dash cams and surveillance cams that UOF investigators commonly are unaware of.

He explains that all modern digital video footage is “encoded using various forms of compression,” a process that reduces data size but “fools the human eye.” Because of compression a camera may appear to have recorded continuous action when, in fact, some of what appears to be new images is actually repeated footage “stolen” from previous recordings.

Moreover, some action that occurred may be omitted entirely from what a viewer sees later, Fredericks says. When images are dropped but gaps are not immediately obvious, the footage “can give the illusion of increased levels of force that didn’t exist” at the scene. In short, a distorted and false record of what happened is created but not easily detected.

Without a working knowledge of such sophisticated forensic techniques as “macro-blocking analysis” and “time tree analysis,” it can be impossible to “identify the reliable images and ignore the images that are not reliable,” Fredericks says.

It’s been his experience, he says, that officers can easily “misinterpret” video of force events they’ve been involved in. “They don’t want to be perceived as lying,” so if the video seems to contradict what they remember, “they’ll change their memory to accommodate the video.”

Heightened vulnerability

Wallentine picks up on this concern in arguing that letting officers see their video before giving a statement merely sets them up for trouble “by making their entire account of the incident vulnerable” to damaging scrutiny.

“Inevitably they’ll be asked by plaintiffs’ attorneys, investigators, and the media, ‘Are you relating perceptions of the event at the time you used force or are you giving a version you believe is supported by the recording?’ There is almost no way for officers to prove the former,” he claims.

“Once they’ve viewed a video, they can’t unview it. They may see something on the video that is contrary to their perceptions and feel pressured to change their account. This makes them vulnerable to accusations they are lying. If they merely relied on their perceptions of the situation, they would be in a better position in court.

“Training can help cops be more comfortable testifying to what they remember, while being fully aware that video may depict something else. It is so innocent not to remember something perfectly. That fact needs to be impressed again and again on cops. Training should help officers admit without feeling funny that they don’t really know what all they saw at the time [of the incident] or precisely what they processed.”

In defending a pre-statement viewing position, Scarry emphatically disagrees regarding enhanced vulnerability. Seeing video before giving a statement “will result in a statement that is much more difficult to pick apart in court,” she insists.

Even with video’s acknowledged shortcomings, she says, watching footage “allows the officer to review the incident in a more controlled environment in which he or she no longer experiences the distorted sensory perceptions that take place during a critical incident.” This can aid the officer’s recollection and “assist in obtaining the truth of what occurred.”

The officer then has a chance to address contradictions, differences in perception or memory gaps at the time the statement is taken.

“It is much better that an officer’s first and only statement address all issues,” Scarry argues. “That’s a lot better than having an officer make errors and then in a ‘Gotcha moment’ in court have to say, ‘Oops, I guess I got it wrong.’”

She adds that investigators taking an officer’s statement should make clear that the officer “should be as candid as possible about any differences” that he or she perceived at “the moment of executing a force option decision,” compared to what he or she perceives during a video review.

Anticipate public opinion

Allowing officers to preview video, Wallentine posits, “can contribute negatively to police/community relations and to a department’s respect for transparency and legitimacy. Public confidence can diminish if citizens perceive that an officer’s statement is tailored to the video rather than a recall of perception.”

Scarry counters: “Police/community relations rest on far more” than an officer viewing video of any singular incident. “Having a clear policy in place, educating citizens ahead of time about the policy, communicating clearly in the event of an officer-involved shooting – these all are essential and will help overcome any negative feelings associated with letting an officer watch a video.

“How an agency communicates about what is seen on body-worn camera video is far more important than the timing of an officer’s viewing. The agency’s transparency about how it handles the video and how it reached that decision and its willingness to engage the public’s perception [are what] build trust.”

Guidelines need to constantly evolve

Scarry points out that the policy Lexipol currently recommends is not a rigid dictum but is “still evolving.” She quotes it this way: “Any officer involved in a shooting or death may be permitted to review available video or audio recordings prior to providing a recorded statement or completing a report.”

The qualifier “may be” makes this policy “permissive, not restrictive,” Wallentine observes. “It allows for a case-specific determination [that’s] nimble, agile, and customizable” and accommodates possible input from outside parties like a district attorney or independent investigative agency that may have a critical role in the case at hand.

A possible “compromise” policy, the debaters agreed, would mirror the approach Fredericks strongly believes to be the best. First, the involved officer gives a statement “to the best of his memory and ability.” Then, after being cautioned about the limitations of recordings and ideally with the assistance of a knowledgeable professional, he views video of the event. Then he is asked to “fill in gaps” by commenting on elements “that may not be consistent” with his memory.”

Training is key

The unequivocal point of agreement among the webinar’s participants is succinctly stated by Wallentine: “Cameras without proper training are a recipe for disaster.”

He supplements Fredericks’ demonstrations of often-unrecognized video shortcomings with a litany of his own: “Cameras don’t track with an officer’s eyes. They don’t capture tactile cues, such as when a suspect flexes muscles and starts to resist. They don’t reveal a suspect’s prior history known to the officer. They don’t record at the speed of life. They don’t capture images in 3-D or represent distances accurately. They don’t accurately reproduce what the human eye sees, and they don’t reproduce the subjective fear an officer feels.”

Without training to detect and assess the impact of such factors, a UOF video may appear skewed to an officer’s severe disadvantage. Absent special analysis skills, in Fredericks’opinion, the “average LEO is not qualified to interpret video evidence.”

In addition to strengthening the expertise of agency personnel, the webinar panel expresses the hope, in Scarry’s words, that “agencies are educating their community about the scientific nature of body-worn cameras and other methods of gathering video surveillance,” as well as the nature of human memory of high-stress encounters.

This is “absolutely mandatory,” Wallentine says, as part of the effort to keep the public from rushing to judgment about UOF encounters.

Additional points of debate

The roundtable participants also debated a number of other topics:

• Whether permitting an officer to preview video violates the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Graham decision, which cautions against bringing “20/20 hindsight” to a UOF evaluation;

• Whether previewing constitutes an unfair special privilege for officers that is not extended to suspects and key witnesses;

• Whether officers should be entitled to preview relevant video from all cameras, including cell phones and surveillance units that are known to have recorded the action in question.

The purpose of debating these and other webinar topics is not to “solve” the controversy about previewing, explains moderator Shannon Pieper, Lexipol’s marketing communications director. Instead, the aim is to “explore different perspectives” to arm stakeholders “with information to consider when making their own decisions” about training, practices, and effective written policies.


About the participants Ken Wallentine is an attorney and supervisory special agent who directs the Utah Attorney General’s Training Center. He is a certified Force Science Analyst and a current student in the Advanced Force Science Specialist program, as well as a consultant and senior legal advisor for Lexipol.

Laura Scarry is an attorney and former police officer who specializes in defending law enforcement officers and their agencies in litigation for her law firm DeAno & Scarry in Chicago. Also an attorney for Lexipol, she is an instructor for Force Science Institute courses on Force Science Analysis and on Body Cameras & Other Recordings for Law Enforcement.

Grant Fredericks is a former Canadian officer and a certified Forensics Video Analyst who heads the firm Forensic Video Solutions in the Spokane, Washington, area. A contract instructor in video analysis at the FBI National Academy, he has testified as an expert witness on video-related matters in more than 150 cases in North America and abroad.

For more information on Lexipol, see www.lexipol.com.

Thanks to Lt. Glen Mills of the Burlington (Mass.) PD and president of the Massachusetts Assn. of Crime Analysts for helping to facilitate this report.


Video shows Mich. cop terminated pursuit long before suspect killed 5 in crash

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Force Science Institute

By PoliceOne Staff

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Police released dash camera footage of a high-speed pursuit after rumors spread that an officer was pursuing the car before it crashed and killed five.

Undersheriff Paul Matyas said Saturday that the video shows otherwise.

An officer attempted to pull over a Dodge Charger Saturday that was going an estimated 100 mph, MLive reported. Footage shows the officer activating his lights and sirens to begin the pursuit.

Shortly after, the officer can be heard telling a dispatcher, “yeah, I’m going to have to terminate it. It’s well over 100 mph.” The officer deactivates his lights and sirens and slows down. He can be heard saying he’ll continue down the road to see if the car crashed.

Videos shows the officer come across the crash scene about 90 seconds later.


ASPCA training equips police with tools to investigate animal abuse

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Force Science Institute

By Stacy Wolf, ASPCA Senior Vice President

Animal cruelty is a crime against animals, but also a crime that offends our most basic community values.

The scale of this cruelty can be shocking, as seen in 2016 when the ASPCA assisted the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office in a cruelty case involving nearly 700 animals living in deplorable conditions at an unlicensed, self-described animal rescue facility. It was the largest companion animal cruelty case in ASPCA history.

Animal cruelty doesn’t just hurt animals. Research shows that some forms of animal cruelty are indicators of potential future violent acts against people. But effectively investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty cases presents unique challenges to law enforcement, prosecutors and animal welfare agencies alike.

The ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group is made up of investigators, lawyers, behaviorists and forensic veterinarians who collaborate with law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of animal crimes and help rehabilitate animal cruelty victims.

The goal of this work is to save animals in jeopardy today, while helping law enforcement agencies build their own capacity to handle such cases independently in the future.

Training courses provide information on animal cruelty

ASPCA research has found that nearly half of law enforcement officers encounter animal cruelty at least several times a year, nearly a quarter of them on a monthly basis.

Almost half of officers say more training is needed on how to investigate animal cruelty cases.

Feedback from law enforcement agencies demonstrates a keen interest in receiving additional training to help officers identify animal cruelty and conduct effective investigations that result in successful prosecution.

In response to these findings, the ASPCA has increased efforts to offer training courses to law enforcement and animal control officers on various animal cruelty topics and trained nearly 2,000 law enforcement officers across the country last year to effectively assist victims of cruelty and neglect.

These trainings provide crucial tools that empower law enforcement to identify, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty.

Current training opportunities

This September, the ASPCA is collaborating with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, the New York State Office of Public Safety and the Mohawk Valley Police Academy to offer a statewide animal cruelty investigations training.

During the two-day course, attendees will learn about New York State animal cruelty laws, evidence collection, the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, animal fighting, and investigating equine and large-scale cruelty cases.

Numerous ASPCA animal welfare experts spanning specialties in veterinary forensic sciences, investigations, criminal law and animal behavior will offer training, which will be held September 11 and 12 at Mohawk Valley Community College in Oneida County.

Law enforcement officers based in New York interested in attending this training should submit a course application at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3660801/ASPCA-Symposium-Utica. Those not based in New York or unable to attend can visit aspcapro.org for information on ASPCA trainings in your area.


Cleveland police chief responds to police unions’ choice to not hold flag at Browns’ opener

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Force Science Institute

By Jane Morice Advance Ohio Media

CLEVELAND — Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams released a statement Sunday night responding to the past week's news that the Cleveland police and rescue unions would not participate in holding the American flag during the National Anthem during the Browns opener due to players' protests.

Below is the statement in full:

"Hello, Cleveland,

Recent statements made by the President of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association would lead one to believe that members of the Cleveland Division of Police are against participating in events with our Cleveland Browns athletes. This is simply not the viewpoint of all of our officers. The Cleveland Browns Organization has been a longtime partner of the Cleveland Division of Police, donating and assisting (many times quietly) to our Police Athletic League and hosting events with kids in the city's Muny League Football. We know that we can count on this partnership to continue.

As law enforcement officers, we took an oath to serve and to protect. We protect the rights of all citizens to express their views as protected by the First Amendment of our constitution, no matter the issue. Our American flag is an important symbol to our great country and we, as officers, will continue to salute it.

More importantly, we as Cleveland Police Officers strive to open the lines of communication with all of our citizens--athletes and enthusiastic Browns fans alike. Who are we kidding?! We are CLEVELAND!! And we stay strong together. We stand together.

Moving forward, I can tell you that we within the Cleveland Division of Police are in communication with the Cleveland Browns Organization as we have been in the past. We want to hear from our players, the fans and our citizens of this great city. We want to bridge the gap. We want to talk.

I look forward to a continued partnership with our CLEVELAND athletes, our community and a great BROWNS season!!!"

Steve Loomis, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, which represents the department's rank-and-file officers, said late Friday that protests by some of the Browns players is offensive.

"It's just ignorant for someone to do that," he said. "It just defies logic to me. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that's as offensive as it can get."

The union that represents the city's dispatchers, EMTs and paramedics followed the CPPA's lead Saturday.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


After violence, Calif. debates classifying ‘antifa’ as a street gang

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Force Science Institute

By James Queally and Benjamin Oreskes and Richard Winton Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Not long after dozens of black-hooded protesters were filmed pummeling people on his city’s streets, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin made clear his disgust for the self-stylized vigilantes.

“Antifa,” he said, is no different than a street gang, and police should start treating protesters in the anti-fascist movement accordingly.

Later that day, legislators in Sacramento advanced resolutions that would treat violent acts committed by antifa movement’s enemies — white nationalists and neo-Nazis — as terrorist acts under state law.

As forces on the extremes of the nation’s ever-widening political divide continue to battle with fists and weapons on the streets of California, law enforcement officials and politicians have started debating whether these extremist groups should be classified as street gangs.

Such a designation could give law enforcement new tools to combat the groups. Numerous laws on the books give authorities the power to restrict the movements of gang members and enhance criminal charges against them.

But such a move raises legal issues because unlike with traditional street gangs, the underlying motive of these extremist groups is political expression rather than criminal enterprise.

Law enforcement experts say the groups that have been warring in the Bay Area for months — which include anti-fascists and those using “black bloc” militant tactics, far-right organizations such as the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, and white nationalist groups such as Identity Evropa — certainly share similarities with a street gang.

“It is gang behavior with some ideology. But it is also a social entity as well as a political one,” said Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Arreguin, the mayor, said he believes that groups on both the left and the right meet this definition. But “it’s something I would want to discuss with our enforcement partners before I make that announcement,” he said.

“There are violent extremists on both sides, and we need to look at a variety of legal and law enforcement strategies to deal with these groups,” he said. “There are organized groups — violent extremists groups — on the left and right that have encouraged people to come to Berkeley and physically confront the antifa or to confront the alt-right.”

But some gang experts also expressed concern about linking the far left to street gang activity. While the groups may share commonalities with gangs, the idea of labeling them as such could be seen as a punishing a political viewpoint, no matter how extreme.

“There’s an argument for it, but there’s also a very grave concern because they are exercising their constitutional rights,” said San Bernardino County Deputy Dist. Atty. Britt Imes, a nationally renowned expert on gang activity. “Their criminal actions, not their free speech actions, their criminal actions, will determine whether they qualify as a criminal street gang.”

Labeling either far-left or far-right groups as street gangs could have serious consequences for those arrested during the inevitable next clash at a counter-protest in California. Under the state’s Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act — a piece of legislation passed at the height of the nation’s gang boom — gang enhancements can add two to 15 years to a criminal sentence for people convicted of committing a crime in concert with gang activity.

Identified gang members can also be subject to injunctions, or civil restraining orders, that would prevent them from being in certain areas or congregating with friends and even family. Such tactics have been hailed as successes, and decried as draconian by civil liberties groups, in Los Angeles.

A spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department said she did not know whether antifa would qualify as a gang under California law.

Any law enforcement agency trying to label antifa protesters as gang members might also run into another problem: Technically, they don’t exist.

Joanna Mendelson, a senior investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said “antifa” generally describes a way of thinking, rather than a group.

“The antifa is a loose network of individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far-right movements,” she said. “There’s not a clear organizational structure. It’s a movement.”

Antifa does not have a membership, nor does anyone have to claim to be part of the group to embrace its tactics or approach to protests, she added. But some far-left groups that espouse violence have taken on this banner.

Some law enforcement officials believe those groups fit the description of a street gang, even if identifying their followers would be next to impossible.

“I think under state law they could easily be declared a gang,” said Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators’ Assn. “They behave like a gang. They have defined commitment to violence. They have their own gang dress.”

Imes, who said that he was speaking as an expert and that his comments did not reflect the opinions of the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office, added that many black and Hispanic factions defined as gangs under the law also lack structure or formal membership.

Antifa’s stated goal may be to defeat white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but if the means by which its followers achieve that mission are violent, they could still be defined as a gang, he said.

“The question is going to become have they engaged in a pattern of criminal activity … and is that part of their primary purpose for existing? When you talk about a group engaging in civil disobedience, I am very hesitant to label them a street gang,” Imes said. “However, if their purpose is to come together to cause havoc, or engage in violence, and this is antifa or the white supremacist side … they’re going to engage in conduct that will eventually fit the definition of what a criminal street gang is.”

Those standing across Bay Area battle lines from anti-fascists, including the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, seem to have more in common with what the average citizen associates with gang lore. The Proud Boys, a national collective of “western chauvinists” founded by former Vice media executive Gavin McInnes, has a formalized initiation process that includes being beaten by members, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Members have to declare themselves as Proud Boys, follow a dress code that includes polo shirts and engage in violent brawls with anti-fascists as part of their initiation, the SPLC has said. The group has regional chapters, including in the Bay Area and Orange County, and some members refer to themselves as “commanders” of specific sets. After an April rally, the Bay Area Proud Boys claimed Berkeley as its “territory,” according to a tweet pinned atop its social media page.

“When they do things like that, and they put things in writing like bylaws … it makes our job a lot easier,” Imes said. “It makes proving the associational organization much easier. When you talk about whether something is a criminal street gang or not, you look to what evidence you have.”

Factions on both sides of the political divide also commit a pattern of crimes that are described in the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act, experts say. The repeat brawls in the Bay Area and elsewhere could constitute a pattern of assault. Arson is also listed under the law, Imes said, pointing to fires believed to have been set by anti-fascists during protests in Berkeley earlier this year.

Still, most experts agree that it’s easier to label a group a gang when its criminal acts are divorced from political speech. The Golden State Skinheads are a white supremacy group, for example, but its members have also been known to engage in robberies and drug trafficking.

McBride said he’s less concerned with labels than he is with stopping the endless series of brawls in the Bay Area before they escalate into something worse.

“These young men see it as an adventure with the excitement of a fight,” he said, warning that sooner or later “someone is going to pull a gun.”

———

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


5 use of force studies cops should know

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.
Author: Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

You know it. I know it. Unlawful shootings by police are extremely rare. The question is, can we make the skeptic believe the realities of police use of force?

Line officers, police leaders and public information officers can get educated about the facts behind such encounters if they read these studies.

1. Klahm C, Tillyer R. Understanding police use of force: A review of the evidence. Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, 2010, 7(2) 214-239.

When researchers want to know if other researchers have arrived at similar conclusions, one method is to do a meta-analysis.

In Klahm and Tillyer’s review, the reader can conclude that many of the assumptions about what precipitates a police officer’s decision to employ force – such a race, nature of the offense, and the number of officers present – are not universally true.

Force encounters are an anomaly in police conduct, influenced by so many factors – many of them unresearched – that prediction is impossible.

Core quote: “Based on the empirical evidence summarized, it appears that few suspect and encounter characteristics are highly influential in determining use of force by police.”

2. Police Executive Research Forum for the National Institute of Justice. Comparing Safety Outcomes in Police Use-Of Force Cases for Law Enforcement Agencies That Have Deployed Conducted Energy Devices and A Matched Comparison Group That Have Not: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation, September 2009.

This study compared multiple agencies, some of which used conducted energy devices (CED) and some of which did not, in nine categories covering death and injury to subjects and police officers. The outcome of the research is a clear justification of these devices.

Core quote: “LEAs should consider the utility of the CED as a way to avoid up-close combative situations and reduce injuries to officers and suspects.”

3. Phoenix Project: Predictors of Suspect Use of Force, April 2001.

This study is valuable because of the number of factors examined, and the author’s comparisons to other research.

Three general categories are summarized: those factors that have no apparent influence in predicting use of force, those that are inconsistent and those that are consistently associated with use of force during arrest situations.

Among the interesting findings is that the number of officers at the scene is not a predictor of less force, thus the critique that an officer is at fault for not waiting for backup is refutable.

Core quote: “Groups are likely frustrated by their inability to obtain complete and reliable information on incidents of police use of force.”

4. Restraint in the Use of Deadly Force. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, June 2012, 81:6.

This insightful article gives a statistical glimpse at how many times law officers were legally entitled to use deadly force but choose not to.

Written within the context of the FBI’s statistics on officers killed in the line of duty, a key finding is that while using deadly force is a rarity, the majority of police officers have been in situations where they had a deadly force decision to make.

Core quote: “The authors’ experiences have revealed that a large number of officers have been in multiple situations in which they could have used deadly force, but resolved the incident without doing so and while avoiding serious injury.”

5. National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Use of Force by Police Overview of National and Local Data, October 1999.

This report is a good summary of use of force research from several perspectives, including citizen complaints.

Core quote: “About 1 percent of people who had face-to-face contacts with police said that officers used or threatened force. In 7,512 adult custody arrests…fewer than one out of five arrests involved police use of physical force. That can be considered a low rate in view of the study’s broad definition of force.”

There are lots of good resources on this issue, as will certainly be pointed out in readers’ comments. Most research tells us the following:

We need more research; The variables are too many to precisely define; Police officers in the United States are doing an amazing job!

Photos: Conn. K-9 gets hero’s send-off before being euthanized

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MIDDLETON, Conn. — A K-9 received a hero’s send-off before he was put down.

The Middletown Police Department wrote on Facebook that K-9 Hunter had been ill for the past couple of days. Tests revealed he had an aggressive form of liver cancer and doctors recommended euthanization.

The department posted photos of Officer Michael D’Aresta carrying Hunter through a line of saluting officers as the duo made their way to the vet’s office.

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Hunter and Officer D'Aresta have been such a huge part of our department the past ten years. Such a dedicated K-9...

Posted by Middletown Police Department -Connecticut on Friday, September 1, 2017

“Officer Michael D'Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K9 handler dreads making this evening,” the department wrote.

D’Aresta and Hunter began serving with the Middletown PD together in 2007.

“Such a dedicated K-9 team,” the department said. “It will never be the same. Rest in Peace Hunter you've done well.”

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Officer Michael D'Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K9 handler dreads making this evening at...

Posted by Middletown Police Department -Connecticut on Friday, September 1, 2017


Houston LEO battling stage 4 cancer braves Harvey to rescue residents

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A Houston police officer battling stage 4 metastatic colon cancer braved Harvey’s floodwaters to help rescue thousands of stranded residents.

Norbert Ramon’s sergeant called him as rain began to fall on Aug. 26, Fox News reported. The 24-year veteran began preparing for the worst.

“By Sunday morning when he woke up, there was so much rain and standing water that he could not go to his regular duty in downtown Houston,” Ramon’s wife, Cindy, said.

Ramon notified his sergeant then reported for duty with the Houston Lake Patrol, the nearest patrol unit.

“From then it was a madhouse,” Cindy told Fox. “They started going out rescuing people in all parts of Houston. That’s where it started from and it’s been non-stop.”

Ramon was put on desk duty three weeks ago over concern about his health. But Cindy said the cancer hasn’t been on Ramon’s mind. He’s concerned with helping Harvey victims. So far, he’s helped rescue 1,500 residents.

“He’s been so caught up in the emotions and the excitement of trying to rescue people, he had no time to even think about it,” Cindy said. “You wouldn’t even think he had cancer, he’s plugging along like he doesn’t.”

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Incredible photos from our Lake Patrol Unit as they helped evacuate the Kingwood area. Great job guys!

Posted by Houston Police Officers' Union on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ramon receives chemotherapy in Oklahoma every two weeks. After the hospital staff saw photos of Ramon’s work, they were reportedly worried for his health, but believe he’s truly a hero.

“The people actually reached out to me, they called us and said ‘Hey how are you guys doing, we’re seeing all the photos and we wanted to check up on you,’” Cindy said. “It’s just an emotional roller coaster.”


PD thanks Utah nurse for protecting injured LEO’s identity

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SALT LAKE CITY — An Idaho police department is thanking a nurse for protecting an injured officer’s identity during a viral incident between the nurse and a Utah detective.

The Rigby Police Department wrote on Facebook Friday that it was one of their reserve officers, William Gray, who was injured in the July accident that led to the viral video. A suspect fleeing Utah State Highway Patrol collided head-on with Gray’s truck, killing himself and critically injuring Gray.

Dash camera footage of the high-speed pursuit shows suspect Marco Torres fleeing from police before swerving into oncoming traffic and striking Gray’s truck head-on. Police initially attempted to pull over Torres for erratic driving. The impact caused an explosion. Police told Fox 13 that Gray was on fire when he exited his vehicle. Gray was airlifted to the burn unit at University of Utah Hospital.

Det. Jeff Payne entered the burn unit where nurse Alex Wubbels was working as a charge nurse on July 26 and asked for Gray’s blood as part of an investigation, KSL reported. Payne, a trained police phlebotomist, did not have a warrant and the unconscious patient could not provide consent, so Wubbels denied him access, the Washington Post reported. An argument between Payne and Wubbels was caught on body camera and Wubbels was arrested for “interfering with an investigation.” She was later released without charge.

The Rigby Police Department said they were not made aware of the incident until Aug. 31. They noted that Gray, at no time, was under any suspicion of wrongdoing and was the victim in the accident.

“The Rigby Police Department would like to thank the nurse involved and hospital staff for standing firm and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim,” the agency wrote. “The Rigby Police Department would also like to acknowledge the hard work the involved agencies and trusts that this unfortunate incident will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate action will be taken.”

CEO of University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City Gordon Crabtree told USA Today on Tuesday that hospital security should have intervened to stop the incident and “this will not happen again.”

"Nurse Wubbels was placed in an unfair and unwarranted position (and) her actions were nothing less than exemplary,” he said.

Crabtree said policies have been changed and police officers can now speak only to “house supervisors.” No contacts can be made in patient-care areas.

According to ABC 7 Chicago, Salt Lake City’s mayor and the department’s police chief apologized Friday, stating what they had seen was unacceptable.

"It was clear that the arrest was completely mishandled, was inappropriate and didn't need to happen," Police Chief Dale Brophy said. "She did everything possible to make that situation work and she wasn't rewarded for it."

Per department policy, Payne and a second officer are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. Payne was also put on administrative leave from his part-time position as a paramedic with Gold Cross Ambulance, Fox 13 Now reported.


Police: Houston looters targeting cops, firefighters

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Firefighters were targeted by looters while rescuing people from Hurricane Harvey floodwaters, according to police.

Daily Caller reported that a group of firefighters were shot at while conducting search and rescue operations.

“We had firefighters out there helping people, and looters started firing on them,” Officer Joe Gamaldi said. “We sent officers down there on a code 1 (which means as fast as you can) to assist, and they too came under fire.”

Gamaldi said there were no injuries in the incident.

“This was absolutely the most despicable and disgusting thing that you could imagine,” Gamaldi said. “That our officers had to stop what they were doing, high water rescues and saving lives, to deal with looters firing at our officers and firefighters.”

Gamaldi had a message for looters: “If you are caught, you will go to jail and there will be severe consequences.”

Neighboring Houston area Montgomery County District Attorney reinforced Gamaldi’s message and made it clear that looters would be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“Leniency and probation will be off the table for these offenses committed during this time,” Ligon said.

Texas law allows punishment to be enhanced for crimes committed during an official natural disaster.


Police union: Houston looters targeted cops, firefighters

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Firefighters and officers were targeted by looters, according to a police union.

The Houston Chronicle reported that a group of firefighters and officers were shot at while responding to the scene.

Police Union Vice President Joe Gamaldi said police diverted from making high-water rescues to respond.

Shout out to looters who are breaking into businesses/shooting at firemen/officers and advertising it while we are saving people #disgusting

— HPOU (@HPOUTX) August 29, 2017

A tweet by the HPOU called the shooting "#disgusting," and said that looters were "advertising it while we are saving people." Gamaldi retweeted the HPOU's tweet.

Harris County DA Kim Ogg told Fox News that looters would be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“Anyone who tries to take advantage of this storm to break into homes or businesses should know that they are going to feel the full weight of the law,” Ogg said. “Offenders will be processed around the clock without delay.”

Texas state law “allows for enhanced punishment ranges for certain offenses committed during a declared natural disaster event," Montgomery County officials said.


Photographer mistakenly shot by officer who mistook camera for weapon

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cliff Pinckard Advance Ohio Media

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio — A newspaper photographer was shot by a deputy Sunday night after the deputy mistook the man's camera for a weapon, reports say.

The New Carlisle News reports its photographer, Andy Grimm, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for surgery and is expected to recover from his wound.

Grimm had his camera and a tripod and was outside at about 10 p.m. Sunday attempting to take photos of lightning during a storm, the News reports.

Clark County Deputy Jake Shaw reportedly was on a traffic stop that didn't involve Grimm when he saw the photographer with the tripod and camera and mistook it for a weapon. Shaw then fired at Grimm, the News reports.

"I was going out to take pictures and I saw the traffic stop and I thought, 'Hey, cool. I'll get some pictures here,'" Grimm tells the News. "I turned around toward the cars and then 'pop, pop.'"

Grimm tells the News he was in full view of Shaw and that the deputy gave him no warning before firing. However, he said he knows Shaw and that he hopes the deputy will not lose his job over the incident.

The newspaper also used its Facebook page to urge that people not criticize the deputy.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the shooting, the News reports. Clark County is located in southwest Ohio near Dayton.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Photographer shot by officer who mistook camera for weapon

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cliff Pinckard Advance Ohio Media

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio — A newspaper photographer was shot by a deputy Sunday night after the deputy mistook the man's camera for a weapon, reports say.

The New Carlisle News reports its photographer, Andy Grimm, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for surgery and is expected to recover from his wound.

Grimm had his camera and a tripod and was outside at about 10 p.m. Sunday attempting to take photos of lightning during a storm, the News reports.

Clark County Deputy Jake Shaw reportedly was on a traffic stop that didn't involve Grimm when he saw the photographer with the tripod and camera and mistook it for a weapon. Shaw then fired at Grimm, the News reports.

"I was going out to take pictures and I saw the traffic stop and I thought, 'Hey, cool. I'll get some pictures here,'" Grimm tells the News. "I turned around toward the cars and then 'pop, pop.'"

Grimm tells the News he was in full view of Shaw and that the deputy gave him no warning before firing. However, he said he knows Shaw and that he hopes the deputy will not lose his job over the incident.

The newspaper also used its Facebook page to urge that people not criticize the deputy.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the shooting, the News reports. Clark County is located in southwest Ohio near Dayton.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Police: Driver crashes into crowd at Labor Day block party, injuring 8

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Police say a woman who tried to drive around a block party in Philadelphia and crashed into a crowd, injuring eight people including a pregnant woman, is facing a charge of driving under the influence.

The unidentified woman told officers that the brakes on her SUV failed Monday afternoon, causing her to hit the people.

Police say the victims were taken to area hospitals. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

Police say the driver remained at the scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

UPDATE: Police will charge driver of vehicle that plowed into South Philadelphia block party with DUI. @6abc pic.twitter.com/xsrO1FfEuJ

— Jeff Chirico (@JeffChirico) September 5, 2017


Conn. sergeant kills himself during hotel standoff

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rob Ryser The News-Times

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — A Danbury police sergeant who barricaded himself inside a hotel died Sunday from a self-inflicted injury, police said.

Sgt. Drew Carlson, who joined the force in 2004, was promoted to sergeant in 2016.

Danbury police Chief Patrick Riddenhour said officers had notified Carlson’s kin.

“We would just ask for prayers and privacy at this time,” Riddenhour said Monday morning.

Police arrived at Wyndham Hotel on Strongtown Road around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, State Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said. Both Southbury police officers and the State Police Tactical Unit were at the hotel for several hours.

Kelly said troopers were able to gain access to the room the man was in and he was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police said there was no criminal aspect to the incident, but the Western District Major Crime detectives will conduct an investigation.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner will also conduct a post-mortem exam.

———

©2017 The News-Times (Danbury, Conn.)


NYPD officer helps deliver a baby in apartment, for 2nd time

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — When a New York City police officer helped a woman give birth in an apartment bathroom, it wasn't the first time the officer helped deliver a baby on the job.

New York Police Department Officer Doris Vega and partner Timothy Canniff were called to a Bronx apartment around 3 a.m. Monday. They found a 30-year-old woman in the midst of giving birth, standing up.

Great job by P.O Doris Vega and P.O. Timothy Caniff of the 48 pct. who helped a mom deliver a healthy baby girl @JPeterDonald @NYPDNieves pic.twitter.com/oL29aPytPa

— Ahmed Nasser (@NYPDNasser) September 4, 2017

Vega says they guided the woman to the floor and helped her complete the delivery safely, with emergency medical services workers advising by phone. Mother and baby were taken to a hospital and are doing well.

Vega recalls she also helped deliver a baby some years ago in a living room. She says she felt more confident this time, "and it was a beautiful experience."


Police: Huge WWII-era bomb successfully defused in Frankfurt

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Probst Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany — Bomb disposal experts defused a huge unexploded World War II-era bomb in the German financial capital Frankfurt that forced the evacuation of more than 60,000 residents, police said Sunday.

Hospital patients and the elderly were among those affected in what was Germany's biggest evacuation in recent history.

Construction workers found the 1.8-ton (4,000-pound) British bomb Tuesday. Officials ordered residents to evacuate homes within a 1.5-kilometer (nearly a mile) radius of the site in Germany's financial capital. Dozens of ambulances lined up early Sunday to pick up anyone unable to independently leave the danger zone.

The high capacity bomb, also dubbed a Blockbuster, was one of thousands dropped over Germany by the Royal Air Force during the final years of World War II to cripple the Nazi war machine and demoralize the German population.

Authorities warned that if the bomb had exploded, the shock wave could have caused widespread damage throughout the western part of the city.

Unexploded bombs are still found regularly across Germany, even 72 years after the war ended. About 20,000 people were evacuated from the western city of Koblenz before specialists disarmed a 500-kilogram U.S. bomb there Saturday.


Mass. trooper saves kitten from tunnel

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By Antonio Planas Boston Herald

BOSTON — An adorable gray kitten that strayed onto the Interstate 90 Connector Tunnel yesterday was rescued by a state trooper — and now the staties are seeking the public’s help naming the frisky feline.

The cat, which is undoubtedly now down to eight lives, made it out of the tunnel with her life but suffered an injury to her tail, police said yesterday in statement on the agency’s Facebook page.

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This ended purrrrrrrrrrrfectly. Today, this little gal decided to play a little hide and seek in the Route 90...

Posted by Massachusetts State Police on Sunday, September 3, 2017

“Today, this little gal decided to play a little hide and seek in the Route 90 Connector Tunnel in Boston. Multiple calls were received about her walking around in the tunnel,” cops said. “This little kitten looks like she has been through a lot, as she has lost quite a bit of fur on her tail from some sort of burn. Her prognosis is good however, and she will be up for adoption soon, when she is medically cleared.”

The cat was rescued with the help of Sgt. Bob Dateo, who “shut traffic down to enable the rescue of her,” police said. The Animal Rescue League of Boston also assisted in the rescue.

On its Facebook post about the curious kitty, state police posted pictures of her, along with video of her walking on the side of the highway while cars zoomed by.

As of last night, the post had been viewed more than 1,000 times and generated more than 200 comments about how cute the kitty is, and with ideas for potential names.

Some suggested names from people who commented on the post included: “Lucky,” “Boston,” “Beans,” “Troublemaker” and “Dateo — after her rescuer.”

———

©2017 the Boston Herald


Cleveland police union refuse to hold flag at Browns opening game

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Members of unions representing Cleveland police officers and paramedics have said they won't hold a large U.S. flag during pregame ceremonies prior to next Sunday's Cleveland Browns season opener after a group of Browns players knelt during the national anthem before a preseason game last month.

Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, cited his service in the U.S. Navy when he told WKYC-TV he was astounded that Browns management knew of the protests but allowed it to occur.

"I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem," Loomis said.

Nearly a dozen Browns players knelt in a circle and prayed in silent protest during the anthem before a preseason home game Aug. 21 against the New York Giants. A smaller group of players placed hands on the shoulders of their kneeling teammates.

A team spokesman issued a statement at halftime that said the organization has a "profound respect" for the national anthem, the U.S. flag and those who serve in the military.

"We feel it's important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression," the statement said.

Dan Nemeth, president of the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees Local 1975, said he had a similar reaction to Loomis'. He told Cleveland.com he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and finds it "hypocritical" for Browns management to say they support the military while allowing players to kneel during the anthem.

"When I was growing up, we were taught to stand every morning, put our hands over our hearts and say the Pledge of Allegiance," Nemeth said. "And when we did that, we typically had someone holding the flag in front of the class. For them to disrespect the flag by taking a knee did not sit well with me."

About 30 Browns players stood arm-to-arm in a line behind the rest of the team during the national anthem before an Aug. 26 preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A veterans group outside Strongsville said last week that it would not show Browns games because of the player protests.

The Browns' protests are part of a social-consciousness movement started last season by then-quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became a polarizing figure for kneeling during the anthem.


Ohio sheriff’s new bomb-sniffing dog has day job as DARE sidekick

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By Holly Zachariah The Columbus Dispatch

COMMERCIAL POINT, Ohio — The Pickaway County deputy sheriff stood at the front of the fifth-grade classroom to teach a most-important lesson about what happens when you drink too much alcohol, so he adopted his serious, I-mean-business, law-enforcement face.

Until, that is, someone basically Army-crawled to his feet and licked his boots.

Well, not a someone. A dog. And not just any dog, but Deputy Mike, a Belgian Malinois who will turn 2 in November.

Mike stretched his long and lean body as far as he could — he was temporarily tethered to a desk because the kids would be throwing a ball while wearing "drunken-driving" goggles — to try to wrap himself around the legs of Deputy Dale Thomas. As Mike did so, the 25 students in Classroom 318 at Scioto Elementary School dissolved into a chorus of "awwwwwwws" and giggles.

Thomas broke character and laughed. "This guy," he said about Mike. "Geez."

For just a moment, the class became a lesson in Cuteness 101.

Although Mike has become quite an ambassador for Thomas, and has turned out to be a great companion and tool in the classroom, this is not his job or primary objective. He is a bomb dog, specifically trained to sniff out explosives. He is the first such dog in Pickaway County, and each of the four school districts in the county, plus Ohio Christian University in Circleville, pitched in $2,000 apiece to help the Pickaway County sheriff's office obtain Mike and outfit and train him this summer.

Pairing him with Thomas, who has been the county's DARE officer for 21 years, just made sense, Sheriff Robert Radcliff said.

Bomb threats are (thankfully) rare, Radcliff said. He recalls only four since he became sheriff in 2013. One of those was at the Circleville Wal-Mart; the other three were in the Teays Valley school district, home to Scioto Elementary.

"In these times, especially, you take nothing for granted. It is expected when you have a threat — any threat — you take it seriously and investigate it quickly," Radcliff said. "A dog can sweep a school or a building or an event quickly and efficiently, and everyone can get back to normal."

When the sheriff asked Thomas if he would like to have a canine partner, the deputy jumped at the chance.

"No hesitation," Thomas said. "I try to make the DARE program the funnest part of the kids' day, and Mike certainly now steals that thunder." Deputy Mike's whine when no one pays attention to him is evidence of that.

But on a more serious note, Thomas is in the county schools every day. He knows the layouts, the students, the staffs. If a threat arises, it made sense that he and Mike would be able to find it or discount immediately.

Teays Valley Superintendent Robin Halley said the district's nonprofit education foundation happily ponied up the district's $2,000 share.

"The landscape of schools has changed, and security is our first priority," Halley said. "We already get a high degree of support from our village police departments, but when the sheriff said this dog would help us — in an emergency — not have the kids on lockdown so long and more quickly get back to the business of the school day, we were all for it."

Before Deputy Mike, Pickaway County had called on the sheriff's office in neighboring Ross County to bring in a bomb-sniffing dog. Now, Ross County is calling on Pickaway County. Just two weeks ago, after regularly training with the Columbus Bomb Squad, Mike had his first real test: The Ross County sheriff was investigating a bomb threat at a halfway house in the middle of the night and needed a hand. Deputies Thomas and Mike responded. Nothing was found, but you can't put a price on security, Thomas said.

Each district has welcomed Mike as an addition. Some of the schools where Thomas teaches DARE have made sure that Deputy Mike has a special and comfortable bed in his room. Between classes, Thomas takes Mike outside to run off his energy, fetch a ball, get a drink and, ummmmm, you know.

"He is high energy," Thomas said. "That's what makes him so good, his drive."

Mike is a passively trained dog. Although he can do some passive tracking (such as when a child is lost), he isn't trained in drug detection or bite-aggression of suspects.

In the summer, when Thomas isn't in school, Deputy Mike will sweep festivals and special events; he'll also be at the iconic Circleville Pumpkin Show in October.

"When it's time for him to work and sniff out trouble, he does great," Thomas said. "But here in the classroom? Here, he's just a big help in teaching the kids that officers are their friends."

———

©2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)


Man accused of killing Calif. deputy in shootout dies

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dominic Fracassa San Francisco Chronicle

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The Castro Valley man accused of killing a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy and wounding two California Highway Patrol officers died Saturday, succumbing to the injuries he suffered during a shootout with police Wednesday.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department announced the death of 32-year-old Thomas Daniel Littlecloud.

Littlecloud was accused of killing Deputy Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, during a stolen-vehicle investigation. He also wounded a pair of Highway Patrol investigators. The investigators are are expected to survive.

French was shot with an assault rifle while pursuing Littlecloud as the Castro Valley man fled a motel room through a back balcony. Littlecloud made it to a vehicle — which was stolen from the Bay Area, according to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department — and drove off, crashing the car and firing more shots at officers. Littlecloud was shot by police and taken to a nearby hospital.

Littlecloud had an extensive criminal history in the Bay Area, dating back at least 14 years.

———

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


2 men arrested in wounding of 2 St. Louis police officers

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Authorities have arrested two men suspected of wounding two St. Louis police officers in an attack that also left a 24-year-old woman in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head.

Acting Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole said Friday evening that the third victim was in her home directly behind the officers when they were attacked.

The woman's mother identified her as Tamara Collier and said she was wounded when a bullet went through their back door and struck her while she was doing laundry, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She said she returned from a store after seeing police in the neighborhood and found her daughter lying in a pool of blood.

A 35-year-old male officer and 32-year-old female officer were treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds to their legs and hands and facial wounds caused by shrapnel. They were in stable condition.

O'Toole said the suspects are 22 and 24 years old and have criminal records. He described them as violent offenders but didn't provide further details. Authorities recovered a handgun and an assault rifle that they believe was the weapon that fired the bullet that struck Collier.

The injured officers are members of a unit that investigates gang crimes. O'Toole said they were patrolling the area in their car and were "ambushed" by the suspects. He did not say how the suspects were taken into custody other than it occurred without more shots being fired.

"They're firing an assault rifle like this in a highly urban area — obviously they have total disregard for the safety of anyone other than themselves," O'Toole said.

Relatives told the newspaper that Collier was scheduled to start a new job Tuesday as a certified nursing assistant at a veterans' nursing home. Her mother, Mia Caddell, said Collier's 1-year-old daughter was at home at the time of the shooting but wasn't hurt.


Retired police officer steps off with college marching band

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio — A retired police officer with multiple college degrees has re-enrolled as a freshman at the University of Toledo for the opportunity to step off with the school's marching band.

WNWO-TV reports 59-year-old grandmother Virginia Todd took to the field with her clarinet Thursday night for Toledo's football season opener.

Meet 59-year-old Virginia Todd. She's a member of the Univ of Toledo marching band. She hasn't played since her high school days at Whitmer! pic.twitter.com/Ovwj05DG7E

— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) September 1, 2017

Todd spent 21 years with the Oregon Police Department outside of Toledo and is now an attorney, a coroner's office death investigator and a full-fledged member of the Rocket Marching Band.

She says her young band mates accepted her with open arms and have helped her out as she re-learned her marching band skills after training for three months and attending a nine-day band camp.

Todd says Toledo created a special program that allowed her to re-enroll as a freshman.


Ill. police work to build relationship, trust with city’s teens

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Janelle Walker The Courier-News

ELGIN, Ill. — Angela Mascote feels, as a 15-year-old Larkin High School student, she and many of her friends have a pretty good relationship with the Elgin Police Department.

Two years ago, Mascote was the first winner of the department's "Chief for a Day" poster competition, which included a ride from her middle school to a tour of the police department.

But according to Chief of Police Jeff Swoboda, while the department does quite a bit of outreach with adults in the community, they may not be addressing the concerns of its youth.

That concern was among the reasons for the first STEP — Students Together Engaging the Police — session, Thursday night at the Centre of Elgin's Heritage Ballroom.

"Our outreach is mostly older people — we are not getting input from this age range," Swoboda said. "We are not connecting to this age as well as we think we can."

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Chief Swoboda here - Our first Students Together Engaging Police (STEP) event has begun. As you can see, it's a full...

Posted by Elgin Police Department on Thursday, August 31, 2017

That age range is 13 to 19 year olds. The department reached out to Elgin's high schools, Boys & Girls Club, Youth Leadership Academy and via its Facebook page to bring in teens.

Nearly 100 attended the 5 p.m. event which offered free food before the 6 p.m. kick off.

Rather than talk to the teens, Swoboda made an opening statement, followed up by Bob Whitt, a self-described former gang member. Whitt has been working on community outreach with the department.

The idea, Whitt said, is to help build the relationship and trust between the department and community youth.

The youth were broken into small tables with one or two police officers at each table. The officers then led the youth through a few prepared questions to help understand what their current relationships and thoughts were with police in general.

Sgt. Kevin Senne and Officer Heather Farrell of the Resident Officer of Program of Elgin asked their table what their thoughts were on officers. Many of the youths said they had thought about being police officers or teachers.

There are similarities between teachers and police, Senne told the table. Oftentimes, he said, officers don't want to arrest youth, but rather teach them about the law and set an example for them.

Mascote was also at that table — Senne recognized her from her poster project a few years earlier.

She had heard about the session through her mother, a nurse at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital who follows the department's Facebook page.

"I wanted to come and learn about the community," Mascote said.

She believes the department has a good reputation among her friends, but does realize that some teens may not be fans of police in general because of national news reports.

She will talk to those peers about how the Elgin department is different, Mascote said.

That is another reason the department wanted to hold a teen-centric session, Swoboda said.

"Perception is reality," Swoboda said. While many Elgin teens may be used to seeing the school resource officers in their high and middle schools, that doesn't mean they have a relationship with the officer other than saying "hi" in the hallway, he added.

The input from teens will also be used to develop a teen advisory committee for police, he said.

The department has a citizen's advisory committee now, Swoboda said — but again, that isn't addressing youth issues.

The city is looking to bring youth onto some of its advisory committees, and having youth involved in the department brings a talent pool for those assignments.

A few of the youth were asked to speak about Thursday's event, and their relationship with police, on camera. That video will be used as a recruiting tool in the future, Swoboda said

———

©2017 The Courier-News (Elgin, Ill.)


Ill. police work to build relationship, trust with city’s teens

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Janelle Walker The Courier-News

ELGIN, Ill. — Angela Mascote feels, as a 15-year-old Larkin High School student, she and many of her friends have a pretty good relationship with the Elgin Police Department.

Two years ago, Mascote was the first winner of the department's "Chief for a Day" poster competition, which included a ride from her middle school to a tour of the police department.

But according to Chief of Police Jeff Swoboda, while the department does quite a bit of outreach with adults in the community, they may not be addressing the concerns of its youth.

That concern was among the reasons for the first STEP — Students Together Engaging the Police — session, Thursday night at the Centre of Elgin's Heritage Ballroom.

"Our outreach is mostly older people — we are not getting input from this age range," Swoboda said. "We are not connecting to this age as well as we think we can."

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Chief Swoboda here - Our first Students Together Engaging Police (STEP) event has begun. As you can see, it's a full...

Posted by Elgin Police Department on Thursday, August 31, 2017

That age range is 13 to 19 year olds. The department reached out to Elgin's high schools, Boys & Girls Club, Youth Leadership Academy and via its Facebook page to bring in teens.

Nearly 100 attended the 5 p.m. event which offered free food before the 6 p.m. kick off.

Rather than talk to the teens, Swoboda made an opening statement, followed up by Bob Whitt, a self-described former gang member. Whitt has been working on community outreach with the department.

The idea, Whitt said, is to help build the relationship and trust between the department and community youth.

The youth were broken into small tables with one or two police officers at each table. The officers then led the youth through a few prepared questions to help understand what their current relationships and thoughts were with police in general.

Sgt. Kevin Senne and Officer Heather Farrell of the Resident Officer of Program of Elgin asked their table what their thoughts were on officers. Many of the youths said they had thought about being police officers or teachers.

There are similarities between teachers and police, Senne told the table. Oftentimes, he said, officers don't want to arrest youth, but rather teach them about the law and set an example for them.

Mascote was also at that table — Senne recognized her from her poster project a few years earlier.

She had heard about the session through her mother, a nurse at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital who follows the department's Facebook page.

"I wanted to come and learn about the community," Mascote said.

She believes the department has a good reputation among her friends, but does realize that some teens may not be fans of police in general because of national news reports.

She will talk to those peers about how the Elgin department is different, Mascote said.

That is another reason the department wanted to hold a teen-centric session, Swoboda said.

"Perception is reality," Swoboda said. While many Elgin teens may be used to seeing the school resource officers in their high and middle schools, that doesn't mean they have a relationship with the officer other than saying "hi" in the hallway, he added.

The input from teens will also be used to develop a teen advisory committee for police, he said.

The department has a citizen's advisory committee now, Swoboda said — but again, that isn't addressing youth issues.

The city is looking to bring youth onto some of its advisory committees, and having youth involved in the department brings a talent pool for those assignments.

A few of the youth were asked to speak about Thursday's event, and their relationship with police, on camera. That video will be used as a recruiting tool in the future, Swoboda said

———

©2017 The Courier-News (Elgin, Ill.)


Chicago police superintendent leaves hospital after kidney transplant

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has left the hospital three days after undergoing a kidney transplant.

Johnson was discharged on Saturday afternoon. On Wednesday, doctors removed a kidney from Johnson's son and then transplanted into the 57-year-old Johnson.

A day after the surgery, doctors said it went smoothly and that both Johnson and his 25-year-old son, Daniel Johnson, were doing well.

Johnson disclosed in January that he had suffered from a serious inflation of his kidneys for decades and was on a transplant list.

Johnson is expected to be out of the office for three to five weeks.


Spanish police arrest 12 in drug bust

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MADRID — Spanish police have arrested 14 people, including 12 British nationals, in an operation to bust a drug trafficking ring in a resort town on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

Spain's Civil Guard said Saturday that it made the arrests during raids of 12 different residences.

Police confiscated three kilograms of cocaine, unspecified quantities of other drugs, more than 100,000 euros ($118,000), and four vehicles used by the alleged drug dealers.

A police video showed officers with weapons drawn breaking down an apartment door while a helicopter hovered overhead.

The dealers allegedly sold the drugs in Magaluf, a seaside resort that has become a popular destination for tourists and partygoers seeking nightlife.

Besides the 12 U.K. citizens, police also arrested one Spaniard and one man from the Dominican Republic.


Del. officer dies of injuries suffered in 2012

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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Dover Post

DOVER, Del. — Dover police are reporting the death of an officer due to complications from an injury he suffered five years ago.

Cpl. Thomas Hannon, 42, died early in the morning of Friday, Sept. 1, department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

Hannon died at Christiana Hospital with his family at his side, Hoffman said.

Hannon's death was the result of medical complications stemming from a leg injury sustained in the line of duty in 2012.

Hannon had been with the Dover Police Department since 2005. During that time, he served in the Patrol Unit, Quality of Life Unit, the TAC section of the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit, and as a K9 officer in the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit.

He had been on restricted duty during part of the time following his injury and had been promoted to the rank of corporal in 2013.

Hannon was also a highly decorated officer; receiving a 2006 Officer of the Quarter award, two distinguished unit awards, a DUI enforcement award, numerous perfect attendance awards, and two life-saving awards.

He earned his first life-saving awards in 2008 when he helped save a woman after she stopped breathing and the second in 2009 when he rescued a handicapped woman from a burning residence.

In a prepared statement, Chief Marvin Mailey eulogized the late officer.

"Cpl. Thomas Hannon was a big part of the Dover Police Department family," Mailey said. "His larger than life personality, sense of humor, and his unwavering commitment to the citizens of Dover will be greatly missed by all.

"We lost an excellent police officer, friend and, brother today. Cpl. Hannon's family lost an even better husband, father, son, and brother as well.

"Our thoughts continue to be with them at this time, and we are committed to keeping Cpl. Thomas Hannon's memory alive and supporting the entire Hannon family during this tragic time."

The department will share more information as it becomes available, Hoffman said.

———

©2017 Dover Post, Del.


Del. officer dies of injuries suffered in 2012

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Dover Post

DOVER, Del. — Dover police are reporting the death of an officer due to complications from an injury he suffered five years ago.

Cpl. Thomas Hannon, 42, died early in the morning of Friday, Sept. 1, department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

Hannon died at Christiana Hospital with his family at his side, Hoffman said.

Hannon's death was the result of medical complications stemming from a leg injury sustained in the line of duty in 2012.

Hannon had been with the Dover Police Department since 2005. During that time, he served in the Patrol Unit, Quality of Life Unit, the TAC section of the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit, and as a K9 officer in the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit.

He had been on restricted duty during part of the time following his injury and had been promoted to the rank of corporal in 2013.

Hannon was also a highly decorated officer; receiving a 2006 Officer of the Quarter award, two distinguished unit awards, a DUI enforcement award, numerous perfect attendance awards, and two life-saving awards.

He earned his first life-saving awards in 2008 when he helped save a woman after she stopped breathing and the second in 2009 when he rescued a handicapped woman from a burning residence.

In a prepared statement, Chief Marvin Mailey eulogized the late officer.

"Cpl. Thomas Hannon was a big part of the Dover Police Department family," Mailey said. "His larger than life personality, sense of humor, and his unwavering commitment to the citizens of Dover will be greatly missed by all.

"We lost an excellent police officer, friend and, brother today. Cpl. Hannon's family lost an even better husband, father, son, and brother as well.

"Our thoughts continue to be with them at this time, and we are committed to keeping Cpl. Thomas Hannon's memory alive and supporting the entire Hannon family during this tragic time."

The department will share more information as it becomes available, Hoffman said.

———

©2017 Dover Post, Del.


Yacht’s distress call leads to big Greek marijuana bust

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece — A rescue operation in the eastern Aegean Sea has turned into a big marijuana bust.

A Greek coast guard statement says a Turkish-flagged wooden sailboat that issued a distress call near the island of Nisyros was found to be carrying around 700 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of marijuana. The three Turkish nationals on board were arrested.

The yacht's crew radioed for help late Thursday, citing engine failure. Greek authorities sent a coast guard launch to look for the vessel. A freighter that had been diverted to help located the sailboat.

The statement says the yacht was towed to Nisyros, where a search early Friday turned up the marijuana cargo.

It was not immediately clear where the yacht had been heading.


Police: Woman steals shoes and flees, leaving son behind

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. — Alabama police have arrested a woman who they say left her 5-year-old son behind after stealing a pair of shoes.

Mobile Police Department spokesman Donald Wallace tells news outlets 24-year-old Debrina Scott shoplifted the shoes Saturday from a Mobile shoe store. Wallace says that when Scott was confronted by security at the store, she took off running across the parking lot. Her son followed her and was nearly struck by a vehicle.

News outlets report that Scott was arrested Tuesday on charges of theft and endangering the welfare of a child. She was released Wednesday evening. It's unclear if Scott has an attorney.

@MobileALPolice looking for Debrina Scott. She's wanted for theft of property, endangering the welfare of a child. https://t.co/lR3XrKq1NW pic.twitter.com/AEuF3A4KqY

— Cassandra McAboy (@McaboyCassandra) August 30, 2017


New Calif. law will extend immigrant protections

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sophia Bollag Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California police will soon be barred from arresting crime victims or witnesses just because of actual or suspected immigration violations under a new law the governor signed Friday.

The measure is one of several authored by state lawmakers to ensure people living in the country illegally who otherwise follow the law are not deterred from reporting crimes or serving as witnesses.

Police are already prohibited from detaining people who report or are assisting with investigations of hate crimes.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will extend the protection to victims and witnesses of all crimes unless police are executing a warrant.

It will also prohibit police from turning a crime victim or witness over to federal immigration authorities without a warrant.

Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who authored the measure, says it will help immigrants cooperate with law enforcement.

The Los Angeles Democrat has argued the measure is particularly important in light of Republican President Donald Trump's promises to crack down on illegal immigration and ramp up deportations.

California is home to a significant portion of the country's undocumented population. Democrats who control the state Legislature have vowed to push back against Trump's immigration policies.

Also on Friday, another high-profile immigration bill, SB54, passed out of a key committee. That bill, known as the "sanctuary state" bill, would prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. It now heads to the floor of the Assembly for a vote.


Calif. court rules LDR data can’t be kept private

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Richard Winton Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court decided Thursday that data from millions of vehicle license plate images collected by the Los Angeles police and sheriff’s departments are not confidential investigative records that can be kept from public disclosure.

The unanimous opinion came as civil liberties groups raise concerns about the increasing use of police cameras mounted on cruisers or street poles to take photographs of passing vehicles. The devices use software to almost instantly compare the plates with vehicles linked to crimes and the information can be stored for years.

Law enforcement officials say the data are invaluable for tracking down stolen cars, catching fugitives or solving other types of crimes. But the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have criticized the indiscriminate nature of the surveillance and how the movements of innocent drivers are captured alongside potential criminals.

The latest legal dispute arose when the two groups sought data from about 3 million license plate images that the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department collected in a week. The organizations said they planned to analyze the data to determine if police were disproportionately capturing license plates in particular neighborhoods.

The Supreme Court stopped short of ordering the agencies to release the raw data, saying that doing so would violate the privacy of motorists whose licenses were captured. But the justices said there may be other ways to make the information publicly available by redacting some of the information or replacing each license plate number with a random unique identifier.

“It is an enormous win for disclosure and transparency,” said Peter Bibring, director of police practices for the ACLU of California. “The court recognized California’s sweeping public records exemption for police investigations doesn’t cover the mass collection of data.”

The city and county did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The civil liberties groups submitted their requests in 2012. At the time, the LAPD gathered about 1.2 million images of vehicle plates a week while the Sheriff’s Department collected as many as 1.8 million, the Supreme Court said. The data are stored on confidential computer networks. The LAPD keeps its data for five years; the Sheriff’s Department keeps its for two.

The two departments declined to release the data, arguing that they were investigative records protected from disclosure.

But the Supreme Court disagreed, noting that the vast majority of the images were from vehicles not linked to any crime. The justices said at least some disclosure should be attempted.

“It is hard to imagine that the Legislature intended for the records of investigations exemption to reach the large volume of data that plate scanners … now enable agencies to collect indiscriminately,” the court noted. It pointed out that the scans are not gathered as part of a targeted investigation.

The court cautioned, however, that disclosing the raw data could help someone figure out where a motorist lives, works or frequently visits.

“The act of revealing the data would itself jeopardize the privacy of everyone associated with a scanned plate,” the court said, adding that with so many scanned images, the “threat to privacy is significant.”

The justices sent the case back to the trial court to consider whether the raw data can be redacted or turned over in another form that protects the identity of drivers.

Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the court’s privacy qualms validate her organization’s concerns about police collecting huge volumes of data to track the movements of millions of people. Agencies could misuse the data to obtain personal information about department critics or target people based solely on their political activities, she said.

“Location data like this, that’s collected on innocent drivers, reveals sensitive information about where they have been and when, whether that’s their home, their doctor’s office, or their house of worship,” she said.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Finnish police officers to get submachine guns

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jan M. Olsen Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Police in Finland released a third suspect Friday in a fatal stabbing attack allegedly carried out by a Moroccan asylum-seeker, a development that came hours after the Nordic country's news agency said officers will be issued MP5 submachine guns in addition to their normal equipment.

The released man was arrested a week ago on suspicion of helping plan the Aug. 18 attack that killed two people and injured eight, the National Bureau of Investigation said.

Two other Moroccans who also had been detained as suspects were released earlier this week.

None of them still are considered suspects, the bureau said.

The main suspect — a Moroccan asylum-seeker whose application was denied — is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder with terrorist intent.

Investigators said he had become radicalized, but did not elaborate. He also had given a false name and age when he first was interviewed.

Investigators have said they weren't aware of a motive for the attack in southwestern Finland, but that it appeared to target women.

Earlier in the day, Finnish news agency STT said the country's more than 7,000 police officers soon will have submachine guns. A top police official cited the increased terror threat is the main reason for the upgrade.

Ari Alanen of Finland's top police body told STT on Friday that "we must increasingly consider the weapons we need to take with us."

No one with the National Police Board was immediately available for comment. No details were immediately available on when the weapons would be handed out.

In June, Finland's security agency raised its threat assessment to the second level on a four-step scale.


FBI, Homeland Security warn LE of more antifa attacks

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials have been sending warnings to local and state law enforcement since 2016 that antifa has become increasingly dangerous.

Warnings from the Department of Homeland Security state that there’s a growing threat of lethal violence between antifa and white supremacist and nationalist groups, according to interviews and confidential documents obtained by Politico. Antifa’s actions have concerned federal officials, pushing DHS to formally classify their activities as “domestic terrorist violence.”

By April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the main instigators of violence at rallies. After the election in November, antifa focused on President Donald Trump’s supporters in addition to white supremacist and nationalist groups.

“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” one senior law enforcement official told Politico. “These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”

Rallies are scheduled for the next couple of months, including in Texas, Oregon, Missouri and Florida.

“Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” former New York City police officer Brian Levin said. “It’s an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation.”

A senior state law enforcement official told Politico that “a whole bunch of them [antifa]” have been deemed dangerous enough to be placed on U.S. terrorism watch lists.

The FBI and DHS had no comment on the statement or the documents, stating that they were not intended to be made public.


FBI, Homeland Security warn LE of more antifa attacks

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials have been sending warnings to local and state law enforcement since 2016 that antifa has become increasingly dangerous.

Warnings from the Department of Homeland Security state that there’s a growing threat of lethal violence between antifa and white supremacist and nationalist groups, according to interviews and confidential documents obtained by Politico. Antifa’s actions have concerned federal officials, pushing DHS to formally classify their activities as “domestic terrorist violence.”

By April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the main instigators of violence at rallies. After the election in November, antifa focused on President Donald Trump’s supporters in addition to white supremacist and nationalist groups.

“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” one senior law enforcement official told Politico. “These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”

Rallies are scheduled for the next couple of months, including in Texas, Oregon, Missouri and Florida.

“Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” former New York City police officer Brian Levin said. “It’s an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation.”

A senior state law enforcement official told Politico that “a whole bunch of them [antifa]” have been deemed dangerous enough to be placed on U.S. terrorism watch lists.

The FBI and DHS had no comment on the statement or the documents, stating that they were not intended to be made public.


St. Louis preps for possible unrest as verdict nears in fatal 2011 OIS

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis is preparing for potential unrest as a verdict is expected soon in the first-degree murder case against a former St. Louis officer who fatally shot a suspect after a 2011 pursuit.

Jason Stockley is charged with the fatal shooting of drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith, the Associated Press reported. Smith was shot five times in his car after a pursuit in December 2011. Stockley testified that Smith was holding a gun before the pursuit began and he felt he was in imminent danger. Stockley opened fire when Smith refused commands to put up his hands and reached across the seat “in the area where the gun was,” according to the officer’s attorney.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele cited video of the incident that captured the officer saying he was “Going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it” moments before Smith was shot.

Stockley’s attorney said the comments were made in the heat of a dangerous situation. A gun was later found in the car. Steele has claimed the weapon “was a plant” that only had the officer’s DNA on it, according to the report.

Stockley’s bench trial ended on Aug. 9. Protesters are pledging to shut down highways and the airport and disrupt businesses if he is acquitted, according to the report. Officials have set up barricades around the courthouse, the civil courts building and the police headquarters as a precaution.

Barricades surround two courthouses in downtown #STL in advance of #JasonStockley verdict. Source does not expect decision today. pic.twitter.com/kOA0G9vN3x

— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) August 29, 2017

“It’s going to look a lot like Ferguson. It’s going to be a hundred-plus days, three hundred-plus days of direct action,” activist Tory Russell said Monday during a rally on the courthouse steps.

St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts said he’s met multiple times with the judge, police leaders and others about the potential unrest. He told AP that the judge has offered no insight into how he’ll rule or when. Betts anticipates a late-night verdict, hoping that the courthouses are mostly empty and downtown employees have gone home. He asked the judge to give enough notice so courthouse employees can leave, if necessary.

“If the protest gets violent in any kind of way, we’re going to shut the buildings down,” Betts said.

It’s unclear if Gov. Eric Greitens will send in the Missouri State Highway Patrol or activate the National Guard, like they did with Ferguson.

Highway Patrol Capt. John Hotz said in an email that the agency “stands ready to assist local law enforcement agencies when requested.”


Mich. State Police suspend vehicle pursuits following ATV death

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Allie Gross Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Michigan State Police has prohibited troopers from engaging in vehicle pursuits involving misdemeanors and traffic violations following the death of a Detroit teenager who was being chased by a trooper Saturday.

State Police Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue released a statement Thursday saying the department is "reassessing its pursuit policy." In the interim, effective immediately, "troopers patrolling in the city of Detroit will be prohibited from engaging in vehicle pursuits resulting from a traffic violation or misdemeanor offense."

The ban applies only to Detroit, said Etue. However, she also noted that all State Police officers "have been reminded that current policy requires members to weigh the hazard presented by the violator against the risk created by the pursuit."

On Saturday evening, 15-year-old Damon Grimes died after crashing his four-wheeled, all-terrain vehicle into a pickup during a high-speed chase with a trooper. Trooper Mark Bessner, who was trying to get the teen off the road, reached out the passenger window of his patrol car and shocked the teen with a Taser, according to a source familiar with the case. It's a violation of Michigan State Police policy to deploy a Taser from a moving vehicle.

Detroit police are investigating the incident and the death of the unarmed teen.

On Thursday, Mayor Mike Duggan weighed in on the matter, specifically focusing on the issue of high-speed chases.

"Police chases often have the potential for tragedy, and the difference in the policies of the Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police highlight that concern," Duggan wrote in a news release, noting that he supported Police Chief James Craig's decision to have the Detroit Police Department conduct an independent investigation into the events leading up to the teen's death.

The Detroit Police Department has a policy not to engage in high-speed chases for traffic offenses or misdemeanors, and in the cases of felonies, the decision is made by a supervisor, Duggan explained.

Duggan noted that since Damon's death, he has met with Gov. Rick Snyder and "urged the State Police to adopt the City of Detroit’s policy when patrolling in our city."

State Rep. Sheldon Neely, D-Flint, has proposed legislation requiring state troopers to follow local pursuit policies when patrolling within the boundaries of a city. Duggan wrote that he spoke with Neely and expressed support for the provision.

"I am encouraged that MSP leadership is taking steps towards changing its policy," said Duggan. "Chief Craig and the Detroit Police Department will continue to work with them to ensure that safe policing procedures are followed in the city of Detroit."

On Wednesday, a $50-million lawsuit was filed against the trooper on behalf of Damon's parents, Monique and John Hughes. The federal lawsuit, which was filed in Detroit by attorney Geoffrey Fieger and assigned to U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain, was originally filed as a "John Doe" suit, as the firm had not yet confirmed the trooper's identity.

Following the news conference, the Free Press confirmed the identity of the trooper involved in the incident as Bessner.

Court records obtained by the Free Press indicate that Bessner, 43, who joined the State Police Metro Post in 2012 after serving three years with the Canton Police Department, has a history of excessive force. Since 2013, two civil lawsuits, both involving Tasers, have been filed against Bessner.

The first, which was filed in 2013 in U.S. District Court in Detroit and settled a year later, alleges that Bessner "repeatedly struck" and "gratuitously kneed" an unarmed plaintiff, who was never charged with a crime.

The second case, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court in 2015, alleges that Bessner Tased the plaintiff on "multiple and continuous occasions with the specific intent of inflicting pain," including after the plaintiff was in handcuffs.

On Wednesday evening, Bessner's defense attorney, Richard Convertino, released a statement to the Free Press in regard to his client, emphasizing that the teen refused to obey Bessner's commands to stop prior to the Tasing.

"The death of Damon Grimes was tragic, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," Convertino wrote in an e-mailed statement to the Free Press.

"On Aug. 26th, troopers attempted to stop Mr. Grimes, who recklessly and dangerously drove an ATV as he actively resisted and evaded arrest. During the pursuit, Trooper Bessner was forced to make a split-second decision under circumstances on the scene and at the moment which was tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.

"We are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation and trust the investigators will assess the facts objectively in light of the totality of the circumstances.”

———

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


2 officers shot in St. Louis; suspect at large

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis police officers are hospitalized in stable condition after being shot on the city's north side.

The shooting happened early Friday afternoon. A police spokeswoman confirmed the shootings and says both officers are in stable condition.

Media reports say one officer was shot in the leg. No information was immediately released about the other officer's injury, or what led to the shooting.

Police are searching for a suspect. No arrests have been made.

Police spokeswoman Leah Freeman says the officers were taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital and more information will be released later Friday.


2 officers shot in St. Louis; 2 suspects at large

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis police officers are hospitalized in stable condition but expected to recover after a shooting near downtown.

Both officers — a 35-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman — are being treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds to their legs and hands, and facial wounds caused by shrapnel.

Interim Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole says police are searching for two suspects.

The officers are part of the department's unit that investigates gang crime. Around 1:45 p.m. Friday they saw a person they wanted to speak with. But O'Toole says the suspect fired at the officers with a high-caliber assault weapon before they could get out of their car.

O'Toole and Mayor Lyda Krewson were joined by several dozen officers at the hospital. Krewson called the officers' actions "courageous."

Acting Chief O'Toole briefing media on two officers shot at 14th and Cass. https://t.co/Yls53SqsyZ

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) September 1, 2017


Fla. LEOs turned away by restaurant security, owner says it was a misunderstanding

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DAVENPORT, Fla. — A wife of an officer said two uniformed Polk County Sheriff’s deputies were turned away by restaurant security Saturday night.

Crystal Nobre, a member of Central Florida LEO Wives, wrote a post on Facebook saying she, along with other LEOs and their wives, reserved a table at Davenport’s Ale House for the Mayweather vs. McGregor boxing fight. The LEOs were not in uniform and off duty and the group was quickly seated and served.

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So a group of LEOs and wives are out at the Davenport's Ale House for the big fight. I reserved a table in advance to...

Posted by Central Florida LEO Wives on Saturday, August 26, 2017

While they were being served, Nobre invited a few on-duty Polk County deputies for food on their lunch break.

When the uniformed deputies arrived, they were turned away by security, who allegedly told the deputies they were making customers nervous.

“I was stunned and mad, and I was hurt for my guys to have to hear that,” Nobre told ABC Action News.

Restaurant owner Danny Chopra told the news station that the incident was a miscommunication between staff. He said he was told by his assistant manager that the deputies were there to serve a warrant. Chopra said that it wasn’t the right time to do that.

"We are extremely sorry it was a misunderstanding, any law enforcement are always welcome at our restaurant," he said.

Chopra said if he would have known the deputies were just there to eat, he would have let them in.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook that they had met with Chopra, along with the restaurant’s general manager, and had a “very positive meeting.”

“Both Danny and [restaurant GM] Ray expressed their heartfelt apologies for what happened,” the agency wrote. “They said there were a series of mistakes and misunderstandings that led to a poor decision being made, and they sincerely regret what happened. They have asked to meet with the deputies involved so they can apologize to them in person—we are passing on that invitation.”

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UPDATE (8.28.17): Friends: Today, Captain Ken Raczynski of our Northeast law enforcement district met Danny, one of...

Posted by Polk County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, August 27, 2017

The sheriff’s office said they have not had any issues with the restaurant before and deputies frequently dine there. The department wrote they “believe people can make a mistake, apologize for it and move forward.”

Nobre told ABC Action News that despite the apology and invitation to the officers, her family probably won’t eat there in the near future.

"We as wives want our guys to be respected,” she said. “The men and women in blue don't get enough respect as it is and two days prior to that they laid two of their brothers to rest one city over, and for an establishment to turn them away for dinner I'm not going to have that. It's unacceptable in my mind as a police wife."


Ga. cop fired for comment at traffic stop says he’s retiring

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A police lieutenant who was fired after a 2016 video surfaced showing him making what is believed to be a sarcastic comment to an uncooperative driver said he’s retiring.

As Police Chief Mike Register was announcing Cobb County police Lt. Greg Abbott’s termination Thursday on TV, Abbott sent an email to the county announcing his retirement, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Cobb County Public Safety Director Samuel Heaton confirmed to CNN Friday that the department had received an email from Abbott requesting immediate retirement.

"He was eligible for that. Once he retires he is no longer employed so no disciplinary action can take place. He is entitled to his retirement, which he would've received even if he was fired," Heaton said.

Abbott was recorded on dash cam footage telling a driver who said she was afraid to move her hands that “Remember, we only kill black people.”

“But, you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. We only kill black people, right?” Abbott says to the driver.

An internal review report of Abbott’s comments indicate that the officer was being sarcastic, according to the chief. A representative of the driver said she also believes the officer was being sarcastic because the woman “gave him some lip” but said it makes you cringe, Fox News reported.

The chief said that he considered the 28-year veteran officer to be an honorable man, but the comments were “inexcusable,” no matter the intent, the Associated Press reported.

"I feel that no matter what context you try to take those comments in, the statements were inexcusable and inappropriate. They're not indicative of the values that I'm trying to instill within the Cobb County police department and that I believe the county holds," Register said.


Police helicopter crashes near Atlanta; 2 officers hurt

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Bazemore and Jeff Martin Associated Press

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A police helicopter crashed as it returned to its air base after searching for a suspect near Atlanta on Friday, injuring both occupants.

Firefighters had to free one of them from the wreckage, but both survived and are expected to recover, said Gwinnett County Cpl. Michele Pihera.

The crash scene is a grassy field at the airport, about 200 yards (180 meters) from the hanger where the helicopter is based.

The chopper was returning from helping officers on the ground search for a suspect, Pihera said.

By police radio, they had told the officers on the ground that they planned to head back to the airport since a storm was approaching, and conditions were getting windy, she said.

The chopper then went down around 11 a.m. at Briscoe Field, a general aviation airport in the Lawrenceville area where the police department's two helicopters are based about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Atlanta.

The Federal Aviation Administration was sending personnel to the scene Friday and will investigate, said agency spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, who identified the helicopter as an MD 369.

The black copter was broken into two main pieces, its tail section separate from the main fuselage.

Helicopter crash update: Briscoe Field / Lawrenceville Airport is shut down during this investigation pic.twitter.com/9UNHSUeaIa

— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) September 1, 2017

Helicopter crash update: Helmet belonging to one pilot pic.twitter.com/p9LFwZy18p

— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) September 1, 2017


How to help Hurricane Harvey first responders

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sarah Calams, P1 Contributor

Hurricane Harvey is being called one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. Its catastrophic devastation has caused over one million people to evacuate their homes in Texas.

FEMA officials say that about 325,000 people have already sought federal emergency aid. First responders are continuing to conduct block-by-block searches, looking for anyone alive or dead. The current death toll has risen to 46, but officials said that number may change in the coming days or weeks.

However, amongst the flooding and destruction, it has been incredible to watch people from all walks of life help in the rescue efforts. The "Cajun Navy," a group of good Samaritans formed after Hurricane Katrina, have helped save thousands of stranded people in Houston.

First responders – police, fire and EMS – have banded together from all over the U.S. to help save those affected by the powerful storm. Additionally, active duty service members, the National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard have assisted in countless water rescues.

Among the estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes destroyed in the Houston area, are homes belonging to the men and women who have put everything on the line to save others: our first responders. The State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas reported that many firefighters suffered major losses in the disaster. It's estimated that 80 percent of firefighters in one department have lost their homes.

Many first responders are exhausted after working non-stop during search and rescue efforts, as captured in this viral photo of a deputy who took some much-needed rest after rescuing those trapped by rising waters.

We commend their immeasurable hours of work during this disaster and we also want to shed light on the organizations and charities raising money for first responders directly affected by the storm.

Here are some ways you can give back to first responders affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Acadian Employee Emergency Relief Fund

Acadian Ambulance, headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, created a relief fund to provide immediate financial assistance to Acadian Ambulance employees who are experiencing financial hardships resulting from Hurricane Harvey. Click here to make a contribution and help the agency's team members in Texas.

International Association of Fire Fighters Foundation Disaster Relief Fund

You can help IAFF members working during Hurricane Harvey through the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund. You can donate here – the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund is aiming to raise $10,000. The fund has currently raised over $3,500.

National Volunteer Fire Council Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund

Volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel whose homes have been impacted as a result of Hurricane Harvey can apply for a NVFC stipend to assist with basic needs in the aftermath of the storm. Learn more here.

State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas Hurricane Harvey Relief

By donating here, you can help the fire departments in the impacted area – 78 percent of which are volunteer – recover financially and continue to help those in need. All proceeds will go toward an immediate relief fund. The Texas Fire Marshal’s Office is also requesting that any unused firefighter or EMS T-shirts be donated so they can be distributed specifically to firefighters, paramedics and their families in need.

Fraternal Order of Police Foundation Disaster Relief

The FOP Foundation is helping officers who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. You can make a one-time donation or can contribute monthly. For more information, click here.

Assist the Officer Foundation

Assist the Officer is accepting donations to aid Houston-area officers who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. You can donate online or send checks to: 1600 State Street in Houston, Texas, 77007.

Los Angeles Protective League Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

For one week, the LAPPL will be matching all donations (up to $5,000) made to the Assist the Officer Foundation. Donate by Sept. 6 and type "LAPD" in the special instructions box. The LAPPL will double the impact of your generous donation. Learn more here.

Police Wives of America Relief Fund

Police Wives of America is gathering drinks, snacks and toiletries to send to first responders in Houston. You can donate here – 100 percent of all proceeds will go to first responders affected by the storm.

As with any organization or charity, be sure to check its legitimacy. Some organizations claim to be sending 100 percent of their funds to Hurricane Harvey victims, but may not be entirely truthful. Charity Navigator compiled a list of reputable organizations providing assistance to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. This list can also help you determine if a charity or organization is legitimate.

There are hundreds of Houston-area charities and organizations. If you're looking to help outside of first responder charities and organizations, consider local organizations such as the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society, Houston Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi or the San Antonio Humane Society.

To all first responders: Thank you for your continued efforts during the recovery efforts and remain safe out there. In the comment section below, please feel free to share your stories and photos with us.


Policing Matters Podcast: The best cop shows in TV history

Posted on September 1, 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

There have been tons of terrible police procedurals, but we've had some good cop shows too. That list includes Southland, Streets of San Francisco, Hill Street Blues, Barney Miller, and The Wire. What are the best cop shows in television history? What makes those good shows good? In this week's podcast, Jim and Doug go to Hollywood and talk about their favorites. Add your favorites in the comments section below - movies too, if you want.


8 NYPD officers hospitalized after exposure to suspected fentanyl fumes

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Eight officers were hospitalized after inhaling fentanyl fumes after entering an alleged drug lab.

Officers were called about a man who was suspected to be high on heroin Friday, NBC New York reported. He was taken into custody.

Shortly after responding, the officers became light headed and nauseous. Officials said they believe they were sickened by fentanyl fumes. The entire midnight shift at the precinct needed medical attention. They are expected to fully recover.

An investigation is ongoing.


Houston retailer becomes home base for Harvey first responders

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A sporting goods retailer has opened its doors for first responders who have traveled from all over the country to aid Hurricane Harvey victims.

Wall Street Journal reported that Academy Sports and Outdoors hosted more than 400 first responders from all over the country in Houston, as well as Academy employees who have been flooded out of their homes.

“This was as democratic a catastrophe as could possibly be. It didn’t pick one part of town,” Academy CEO J.K. Symancyk said. He and his family are among the employees taking shelter at the store.

The four-story headquarters has gyms for sleeping, as well as places to shower.

Academy has also helped out with supplies for responders rescuing stranded individuals. They have opened the doors of closed stores so responders could grab things like kayaks, ponchos and pontoon boats.

For the evacuees on land, Academy provided air beds, backpacks, T-shirts, socks, shoes, underwear and more.

To open more space, Academy made its distribution center available after the governor’s office requested the National Guard take shelter at Academy as well.

Currently, Academy is determining where to donate $1 million of clothes and shoes.

“We’re trying to balance where it can be most useful in the here and now,” Symancyk said.

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#HoustonStrong #HurricaneHarvey In the past, Academy has prided itself on providing a quick response with trucks of...

Posted by Academy Sports + Outdoors on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kudos Academy Sports + Outdoors & J.K. Symancyk for opening your doors to support 1st responder rescue activities https://t.co/65WGyQNntZ

— Chanda MonWill (@Chandarmw) September 1, 2017


CHP officers shot during gun battle recovering from wounds

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Veronica Rocha Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Two undercover California Highway Patrol officers who were shot Wednesday during a deadly gun battle with an armed suspect are recovering from their wounds, officials said.

The officers, whose names were not released, were assisting with a stolen vehicle investigation when they were struck by gunfire, according to the CHP. Deputy Robert “Bob” French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, was also shot and died on the way to the hospital.

One of the officers was shot in his shoulder and released Tuesday night from a hospital. The other officer was struck in his hand and wrist, the CHP said. He underwent surgery Thursday morning and is recovering.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the deadly shooting continued Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Department identified the suspect, who was also shot by officers, as Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, a 32-year-old Castro Valley resident.

Littlecloud initially wasn’t the focus of Wednesday’s stolen vehicle investigation, which started just after 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard.

Members of a Sacramento County auto theft task force were monitoring the hotel after they found a stolen vehicle in the parking lot, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said.

They saw two women enter the vehicle and drive off, Turnbull said. When officers tried to stop the vehicle, the women led authorities on a pursuit that ended in Elk Grove, about 16 miles south of Sacramento.

Officers arrested Priscilla Prendez, 23, of Oakland and released the other woman, Turnbull said. Prendez was booked on suspicion of vehicle theft and felony evasion, authorities said.

Authorities discovered Prendez was on probation and had been staying at the hotel, Turnbull said, so officers returned to the hotel to search the room.

When officers arrived, he said, they knocked on the door and announced themselves. That’s when multiple shots were fired through hotel room door and walls, striking the CHP officers.

As sheriff’s deputies surrounded the hotel, Turnbull said, Littlecloud, armed with a high-powered assault rifle, tried to escape from the balcony.

“He engaged the deputies in gunfire, striking Deputy French during his attempt to flee,” Turnbull said in a statement.

French, 52, was shot in his side, and the bullet entered his chest cavity, authorities said.

Littlecloud then climbed off the balcony, jumped into a vehicle and led police on a pursuit that ended in a crash and an exchange of gunfire, authorities said.

He was shot and taken into custody, Turnbull said.

Littlecloud remained hospitalized Thursday with life-threatening injuries, the sergeant said.

The Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division, along with the Sacramento County district attorney’s office and the county’s Office of Inspector General, are investigating.

Six deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on leave during the investigation.

———

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


After Harvey’s fury, police tasked with gathering up the dead

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Molly Hennessy-Fiske Los Angeles Times

HOUSTON — The woman’s body, slight and petite, was revealed as floodwaters receded, washed up against the green metal fence surrounding her apartment complex.

Neighbors knew exactly who she was: Kiesha Williams, a 32-year-old certified nursing assistant and single mother of two girls. They had watched her drown in angry floodwaters as they frantically called 911.

Now, they wondered how many more victims remained entombed in flooded apartments.

So far, Hurricane Harvey has claimed at least 31 lives. But the death toll is expected to rise this week as flooding subsides and people return home and search for the missing, making the same sorts of grim discoveries as people did in neighboring Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, a dozen years ago.

Houston officials embarked on the house-to-house search Thursday in areas where floodwaters rose 3 feet or more. That included the Woodforest Chase apartment complex in the eastern neighborhood of Northshore.

As they searched, the storm was still causing havoc. On Houston’s northern outskirts, a fire at a chemical plant rattled nerves when it spewed a plume that was deemed noxious, but not dangerously toxic. A major hospital in Beaumont, 90 miles east, had to shut down after the town’s water supply failed.

But the recovery of the dead was a quieter affair: sorrowful, slow, infused with dread of what still remained to be discovered.

The boxy tan stucco complex of Woodforest Chase faces Greens Bayou, an unruly, brush-choked river that overflowed during the worst of the storm last weekend, sweeping families from their homes. Farther north, the same bayou swept away a van containing a family of six. The vehicle was retrieved Wednesday.

At Woodforest Chase, some fled to the complex’s rooftops as the waters rose. From there, they shouted for help and watched helplessly in horror as neighbors drowned.

One resident who had taken refuge on a roof, Roshanda Harris, said she saw five bodies float away, including those of three children.

Derrick Vance, 29, said he saw half a dozen people die. He descended from the roof at one point to help families next door. But he couldn’t reach Williams and others stranded across the complex. The parking lot between them had become a roaring river.

“Most people that died was on that side. There might be some people still in their apartments,” he said Wednesday, pointing to the area where Williams’ body was found.

A team from the local medical examiner’s office removed Williams’ body from the complex fence Wednesday, and relatives broke the news to her daughters that their mother had died.

Neighbors said they couldn’t be sure how many had fled before floodwaters rose nearly to the roofs. The storm peeled open apartment doors, windows and whole walls, washing the contents through the surrounding fence. There, they became mired like flotsam on the beach, with the same briny stench.

Shaky cellphone video posted on Facebook showed figures clinging to a tree in the parking lot as brown water rushed around them, ripping one woman’s clothes off and threatening to tear her away as the other figure clung to her underwear.

“Pull her up! She underwater!” shouted a woman filming from across the complex.

“Pull her head up!” yelled a girl.

A man can be heard on his phone nearby calling 911.

“Tell them she going underwater and she can’t breathe,” the woman said.

“We need someone out here now, we’ve got people drowning,” the man told an operator.

Suddenly, the woman filming screamed.

“She’s gone — they let her go,” she said. Noting others had already drowned, she added, “That’s not the first person.”

A cousin, Daquan Green, said he recognized Williams in the video. He also recognized a friend in a pink jacket, who had accompanied her back to the apartments, and was the one who tried to save her. The friend survived, he said.

Williams could not swim, according to Green, 21, who was at her apartment Wednesday with relatives.

Williams had graduated from Houston’s Furr High School and worked at a local hospital while studying to become a certified nursing assistant, virtually living in her scrubs, relatives said. The single mother rented her own apartment, bought a blue Chevy Malibu sedan and had just received her license before Harvey hit, he said.

When the storm started, Green said, Williams left daughters Kiaja Williams, 13, and Kinaya Williams, 11, with her aunt and returned to the complex to save her dogs, pit bulls Tiger and Doughboy.

“They lived. She never made it to them,” Green said.

Saturday would have been her 33rd birthday.

As the search crews pressed ahead with their task, Sheldra Brigham, a Fire Department spokeswoman, said the crews will not mark unoccupied homes with Xs, the notorious “Katrina Cross” search codes spray-painted by Federal Emergency Management Agency crews across the front of stricken houses after that deadly storm.

“It alerts the wrong people that no one is there,” Brigham said, explaining that the Xs could attract looters or squatters.

The search crews will use a new GPS tracking system to record and map what they find, Brigham said.

The process could take weeks.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Anti-death penalty prosecutor loses fight with Fla. governor

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Brendan Farrington Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida state attorney who refused to seek the death penalty lost her court fight Thursday with the Republican governor who reassigned her murder cases to another prosecutor.

The state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Rick Scott had the power to reassign cases from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

The ruling ends a power struggle between Scott and Ayala that began in March when she said she wouldn't consider seeking the death penalty in any homicide case. Her decision outraged Scott and others because execution wouldn't be an option if Markeith Loyd was convicted in the slayings of an Orlando police lieutenant and Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Scott has reassigned more than 25 cases to a neighboring prosecutor, including ongoing murder cases and resentencing hearings for people already on death row.

"Crimes like these are pure evil and deserve the absolute full consideration of punishment — something that State Attorney Ayala completely ruled out," Scott said in a prepared statement. "She unilaterally decided to not stand on the side of victims and their families, which is completely sickening."

Ayala said in a press release that she respects the court's decision and that she has formed a panel of seven assistant state attorneys to review every death penalty eligible case.

"It is my expectation that going forward all first-degree murder cases that occur in my jurisdiction will remain in my office and be evaluated and prosecuted accordingly," she said.

In March, Ayala said the process of executing a murderer is costly, isn't a crime deterrent and drags on for years for the victims' relatives. When the Supreme Court heard her case in June, she said she has followed state law and there's nothing that requires her to seek the death penalty. The only other option in first degree murder cases is life in prison without parole.

But the Supreme Court ruling said Ayala has shown a "misunderstanding" of Florida law by having a blanket policy instead of considering the death penalty on a case-by-case basis.

"Ayala's blanket prohibition against the death penalty provided the Governor with 'good and sufficient reason' to reassign the cases at issue," the court wrote in the 5-2 decision.

The court also noted that Scott didn't mandate that the death penalty be sought in any of the cases he reassigned to neighboring prosecutor Brad King, but left it to King's discretion.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office represented Scott before the court.

"The Governor has every right to reassign these cases to prosecutors who will uphold the laws of our great state. This year, we have seen the brutal murders of law enforcement officers in State Attorney Aramis Ayala's circuit, and her unconscionable decision to never seek the death penalty will not be tolerated," Bondi said in a prepared statement.


P1 Photo of the Week: Dunking a cop

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

PFC M. Leung, with the Fairfax County (Va.) Police Department, captured this great photo of PFC Emmilie Cherry taking one for the team at a "Dunk a Cop" event on Aug. 14.

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!


Doctor: Chicago police superintendent’s kidney transplant successful

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson's kidney transplant was a success and he was already feeling well enough to check his emails just hours after the surgery, doctors said Thursday.

The 57-year-old Johnson will likely be released from the hospital this weekend, the doctors said at a news conference at Rush University Medical Center. His 25-year-old son, Daniel Johnson, who donated the kidney, was doing so well that he would likely be allowed to go home later Thursday, they said,

"The superintendent looks really good, he's awake, he's sitting up (and) he's probably by now sitting in a chair," said Dr. Edward Hollinger, Jr., who took part in the transplant surgery at Rush University Medical Center. "We are very pleased with the function of the kidney."

Johnson disclosed in January that he had been battling a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the kidneys for decades and was on a waiting list for a new kidney — something doctors said on Thursday was becoming more and more urgent as his kidney function slipped to about 10 percent. They said he would have soon been forced to undergo dialysis if he did not receive a new kidney.

The doctors who performed the 6-hour surgery said Johnson will soon feel better than he has in the years his condition has been deteriorating, and that his energy will improve as his new kidney removes toxins from his body that his damaged kidneys were unable to completely remove.

They also said chances are slim that Johnson's body will reject the kidney, and the odds of rejection are even less because the kidney he received was from his son. They said the chances of rejection fall after the first month and that if there are no problems in the next year it's highly unlikely that Johnson's body will reject the kidney.

Doctors said Johnson will be allowed to walk as much as he wants next week and they expect him to return to his office in three to five weeks.


Ala. police receive Byrne Justice Assistance Grant

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Kimberly Hyde WTVY

DOTHAN, Ala. — The Houston County Sheriff's Department is teaming up with Dothan Police once again to receive the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant.

The federal money is set aside for law enforcement and allows departments to buy things like vehicles, training, equipment and computers for patrol cars. The Houston County and Dothan City Commissions have approved the federal grant for several years in a row.

“It’s just another example of the cooperation with have with the City of Dothan,” said Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver. “We work daily to try to work with them and other governments to make tax dollars go further. This is a good opportunity and example of that.”

Full story: Law enforcement in Houston County will get new technology thanks to federal grant


Fla. supreme court rules governor had power to reassign death penalty cases

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Brendan Farrington Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida state attorney who refused to seek the death penalty lost her court fight Thursday with the Republican governor who reassigned her murder cases to another prosecutor.

The state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Rick Scott had the power to reassign cases from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

The ruling ends a power struggle between Scott and Ayala that began in March when she said she wouldn't consider seeking the death penalty in any homicide case. Her decision outraged Scott and others because execution wouldn't be an option if Markeith Loyd was convicted in the slayings of an Orlando police lieutenant and Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Scott has reassigned more than 25 cases to a neighboring prosecutor, including ongoing murder cases and resentencing hearings for people already on death row.

"Crimes like these are pure evil and deserve the absolute full consideration of punishment — something that State Attorney Ayala completely ruled out," Scott said in a prepared statement. "She unilaterally decided to not stand on the side of victims and their families, which is completely sickening."

Ayala said in a press release that she respects the court's decision and that she has formed a panel of seven assistant state attorneys to review every death penalty eligible case.

"It is my expectation that going forward all first-degree murder cases that occur in my jurisdiction will remain in my office and be evaluated and prosecuted accordingly," she said.

In March, Ayala said the process of executing a murderer is costly, isn't a crime deterrent and drags on for years for the victims' relatives. When the Supreme Court heard her case in June, she said she has followed state law and there's nothing that requires her to seek the death penalty. The only other option in first degree murder cases is life in prison without parole.

But the Supreme Court ruling said Ayala has shown a "misunderstanding" of Florida law by having a blanket policy instead of considering the death penalty on a case-by-case basis.

"Ayala's blanket prohibition against the death penalty provided the Governor with 'good and sufficient reason' to reassign the cases at issue," the court wrote in the 5-2 decision.

The court also noted that Scott didn't mandate that the death penalty be sought in any of the cases he reassigned to neighboring prosecutor Brad King, but left it to King's discretion.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office represented Scott before the court.

"The Governor has every right to reassign these cases to prosecutors who will uphold the laws of our great state. This year, we have seen the brutal murders of law enforcement officers in State Attorney Aramis Ayala's circuit, and her unconscionable decision to never seek the death penalty will not be tolerated," Bondi said in a prepared statement.


First look: Glock Gen5 G17 and G19

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Sean Curtis

On Saturday, I stood in line cursing myself for not getting up earlier. Some 48 people stood between me and the Gen5 Glocks I had come to test at my local firearms mecca, Liberty Firearms Institute in Johnstown, Colorado. Another 20 folks waited in line behind me, their fate marginally worse than mine. Eventually the doors opened, and we were allowed inside.

The release was seemingly minuscule compared to traditional Glock fanfare. There was a small social media campaign, with 100 gun ranges across the country selected to preview the new Glock iteration.

Liberty Firearms Institute general manager Heather Rubal said they had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and received the new gun models just two days before their official release, with no idea of what they were. When they arrived, she learned they were the Gen5 G17 and G19.

People lined up to spend $20 to test the weapons with a target and receive a Glock promotional Gen5 cap too. The response was overwhelmingly positive. People like the new trigger. A few did not care for the finger groove in the front of the magazine well.

I had come for a sincere testing, not some taste, but I am not the creature you often find at the traditional gun range. I feel confined by stalls and shelves…I’m not used to not working from a holster. When I run my weapon dry, I drop my mag without concern and glance laterally for cover (get off the X!). This does not serve well where 20 people are shooting and another 40 are waiting in line to try the new Glock. However, I still managed to wring both models out and gather some impressions.

What’s new with the Gen5 Glock?

Taking the guns out of the boxes, they are blacker due to the nDLC. It’s a new finish that replaces the nitride previously used. The coating, applied to the frame and barrel, is supposed to be tougher and offer less friction.

Speaking of the barrel, Glock claims this is the new Glock Marksmen Barrel (GMB). The polygonal rifling that had been used in previous generations is gone in favor of more traditional rifling. Glock claims this barrel has tighter tolerances and will provide greater accuracy. I did not have a bench for testing that theory, but the weapon demonstrated at least the same accuracy I was used to at the 25-yard line.

Another big change is the trigger. The group is completely different than before, it feels smoother. One of the biggest differences is the trigger reset. I would squeeze a round off, reset, then begin to squeeze and bang! I was shooting again. This will take some getting used to, but the follow-up shots via trigger reset definitely felt faster than even the Gen4 I’m used to.

Externally, the finger grooves are gone, though the backstrap system is still in place for fitting different hand sizes. In addition, a true ambidextrous slide stop lever has been added, meaning lefties can utilize the gun a little easier. The magazine release is the same as Gen4 and can still be switched to a left-handed grip within the magwell.

The magwell probably provided me with my greatest revelation when testing both models. Reloads were much faster. For history’s sake, I’ve been shooting Glock since Gen1. I don’t go crazy with mods or polishing or any of that stuff because for a duty weapon, I don’t want to vary from stock should I end up on the stand. The flared magwell, with its beveled edges, made my reloads a lot faster. In addition, I experienced a more resounding magazine seating as a result. We practice reloads a lot in law enforcement. This gun allows for slightly greater angles and will make your reloads quicker and more assertive.

A new half-moon has been cut out of the front of the magwell, creating a gap between the upcurved floorplate of the magazine and the well itself. The function of this serves to allow a finger to dig out a magazine either jammed or just reluctant to leave.

The magazines have received some bumps too. Orange followers vibrantly identify when you’re empty. In addition, they help serve as visual reference in the round counter in the back of the magazine. On the downside, this is another thing you’ll need to clean when you get back from the range.

Ever bang your flat-nosed Glock on a Kydex holster? The new Gen5 models have received tapered muzzles, creating a smoother entry.

Glock armorers will notice several of the internals have changed too. From the trigger group, to firing pin, firing pin channel and slide cover plate, things have been beefed up to make the legendary Glock’s durability even tougher. The recent bid for the U.S. Army contract pays off for the rest of us with this new version of a couple of Glock’s vanguards.

What’s the same?

Alas, Glock’s standard sights are still the same and are interchangeable with previous models. Magazines are also swappable according to Glock sources. Many flexible holsters will work with the Gen 5, but keep in mind the ambidextrous slide stop lever creates some width not previously accounted for.

With the different internal parts, many things will not be compatible with previous models. Though with Glock being the 400 lb. gorilla it is, the aftermarket is probably already tooling up to meet inevitable demand.

Conclusion

Joined by two other shooters, we fired a total of 500 rounds through both the Gen5 G17 and G19. They performed remarkably with no failures of any kind. The trigger reset and subsequent break was a surprise, but something training could get me accustomed to. The magwell and magazine upgrades are a welcome change that indicates Glock is listening to the consumer. The barrel upgrades are a boon that fits the state of law enforcement in the U.S. today – no one is paying less attention to where our shots go.

I attended a Glock armorer training recently and they have a pretty fair corner on the law market in the U.S. I’d like to think this is righteously earned. Their reliability, simplicity and affordability make them great candidates for government service. The Generation5 Glocks continue this fine tradition. They are evolving, growing and improving to meet the mission parameters of officers across the nation. Quantities of the new Gen 5s release the first week of September with Blue Label to follow.


Clerk: Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke resigns

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Scott Bauer Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — Outspoken Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who built a following among conservatives nationally with his provocative social media presence and strong support of Donald Trump, resigned on Thursday.

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said he received a resignation letter from Clarke, but the letter did not say why the sheriff was leaving office more than a year before his term is up.

Clarke's office referred questions to an email address that he had provided. He did not immediately respond to an email seeking his reasons for leaving or what he planned to do next.

Clarke's most recent Twitter post from Thursday afternoon showed him posing with law enforcement officers at the National Fraternal Order of Police convention in Nashville.

Some Wisconsin conservatives had encouraged Clarke to challenge U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, but he repeatedly rejected their overtures.

Clarke announced in May that he had taken a job at the Department of Homeland Security, but the agency never confirmed it. He later said he withdrew his name. He recently published a memoir, "Cop Under Fire."

The tough-talking, cowboy hat-wearing firebrand made himself a darling of the political right through his brash social media presence, his staunch support for Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration and his support for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods.

Clarke was one of the few African-Americans to speak at the Republican National Convention last year. He has been vocal about gun rights and critical of what he called the "hateful ideology" of the Black Lives Matters movement, saying at times, "Stop trying to fix the police. Fix the ghetto."

Clark has been sheriff of Milwaukee County since 2002 and spent more than two decades before that with the city's police department.

A lengthy inquest into the dehydration death of a Milwaukee County Jail inmate earlier this year raised troubling questions about how Clarke managed the jail — just as the White House was said to be considering him. Despite that investigation, Clarke remained popular with many conservatives.

The frequent Fox News guest earned more than $105,000 last year in speaking fees — almost as much as his sheriff's salary — at more than three dozen events across the country.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker would be responsible for appointing someone to serve the remainder of Clarke's term, which runs through 2018. Walker's spokesman Tom Evenson said once he receives official notification of his resignation, the process of finding a replacement will begin.

Evenson did not immediately respond to an email seeking reaction from the governor to Clarke's decision to resign.


Cartel shipped drugs hidden in sex-organ shaped candles

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

PATERSON, N.J. — Law enforcement sources said a Mexican cartel allegedly shipped drugs inside candles shaped like sex organs.

More than 1,300 pounds of candles were discovered, NBC 4 reported.

The candles were shipped to a Long Island facility before they were transferred to a New Jersey warehouse.

Police said five alleged members of the cartel have been arrested. The suspects allegedly intended to use the warehouse to make crystal meth from the methamphetamine inside the candles.


Police: Cartel shipped drugs hidden in genitalia-shaped candles

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Sean Curtis

By PoliceOne Staff

PATERSON, N.J. — Law enforcement sources said a Mexican cartel allegedly shipped drugs inside candles shaped like sex organs.

More than 1,300 pounds of candles were discovered, NBC 4 reported.

The candles were shipped to a Long Island facility before they were transferred to a New Jersey warehouse.

Police said five alleged members of the cartel have been arrested. The suspects allegedly intended to use the warehouse to make crystal meth from the methamphetamine inside the candles.


NYPD release video to show illegal chokehold wasn’t used on suspect

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Police released video Wednesday of a 2013 incident involving an officer accused of using a banned chokehold.

Video shows two officers struggling with a suspect in an elevator on Oct. 9. Police said the man attempted to kick one of them, ABC 7 reported. He then allegedly turned and spit on an officer.

The officer is then seen placing his hands on the back of the suspect’s neck and covering his face with a pair of pants.

Police said the video is evidence the officer did nothing wrong, but the Civilian Complaint Review Board recommended the officer be disciplined. According to the New York Daily News, Police Commissioner James O’Neill decided in July to overturn the CCRB’s verdict - the first time he’s done so.

“The New York City Police commissioner also reviewed this video and all evidence involved in this case previously and rejected the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s conclusion and directed that the officer be found not guilty,” Assistant Commissioner Peter Donald said in a statement.

Councilman Rory Lancman threatened to subpoena the department for rec­ords in the case.


Quiet Warrior: Why it matters that we honor our best

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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

By Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

A colleague recently asked me, “What does the term ‘Quiet Warrior’ mean to you?”

My reply was, “The quiet warrior shuns the spotlight and shrugs off public praise, but is willing and able to do things that most ordinary humans either cannot or will not do in service of their communities. The Quiet Warriors are the best of us — they are guardians whose bravery and heroism may go unappreciated by a small but vocal fraction of the population, but who are respected and admired by a an equally quiet majority of Americans.”

My colleague asked me for some examples of quiet warriors. I was simultaneously filled with memories of officers I’ve personally met or read about that fit the description like poster children and also at a loss for words. There were just too many to list.

Some have made headlines, but the overwhelming majority has not. Seeking only the feeling of satisfaction a person feels after having done something to help someone, countless cops have served the public in truly compelling ways that fit the Quiet Warrior mentality.

The acts of a Quiet Warrior can be mundane. Cops change tires for stranded motorists , help a kid learn how to tie a necktie , help a homeless man who was “down on his luck” or help rescue a boy trapped underneath a pontoon dock.

The acts of a Quiet Warrior can also be extraordinary. Cops save people from jumping to almost certain death, rescue people from burning cars (even felons after pursuit), and pull a colleague from the path of an oncoming car.

You can see some of Quiet Warriors we already profiled, such as Officer Jonny Castro, who has created inspiring portraits of fallen officers; Chet Parker, who has organized a program to help connect the homeless in his area with services they desperately need; and Officer Jennifer Maddox, who has worked to connect with the children of one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods and bridge the gap between police and neighborhood residents.

Why a program like Quiet Warrior matters

For the past several years, it’s been tough sledding for coppers in America. It seems that now more than in my memory, citizens are more prone to see cops negatively. This is partly due to how media works now and partly due to how often police are portrayed negatively in pop culture. Despite the fact that every day literally thousands of police-citizen interactions are entirely uneventful — are positive even — that’s not what leads the six o’clock news. And a good cop’s story certainly is not going to be as titillating as a Training Day or a Bad Lieutenant. Of course not all portrayals are bad, but the lately, the majority have been.

This is why I am so thrilled that PoliceOne and 5.11 Tactical have teamed up on this program. I won’t delve deeply into detail on the program itself — click here to get a full description — but suffice it to say that I feel like we’re filling an important need to shed light on just a small fraction of the thousands of positive stories which happen every day in this country. My hope is that these stories are not only seen by those within the profession, but by the citizens as well.

Doing a tough job with honor and valor

For the Quiet Warrior, the words kindness and service are synonymous. The Quiet Warrior is motivated by their unending desire to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. They don’t seek fame or fortune. They simply do an incredibly difficult job with a deeply held sense of honor, duty, and valor.

Quiet Warriors are faced with astonishing challenges every day, and are increasingly asked to do things for which they have not been trained. They are marriage counselors at DV calls. They are social workers at nuisance calls. They are counselors at calls at schools. They are psychologists at suicide-watch calls.

Despite the fact that the near-constant chorus of criticism continues unabated, the Quiet Warrior dons the ballistic vest and the uniform, straps on the duty belt and polishes the badge for another shift, every day, all day, in every city and town in this great country.

So I say, thank God for the Quiet Warriors. We are more than merely fortunate to have them — without them the world would be a miserable place.

If you have a Quiet Warrior story, please share it with us here.


DHS warned state officials of potential violence at Charlottesville rally

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential warning to law enforcement about potential violence in Charlottesville, three days before the deadly rally.

The Aug. 9 report obtained by Politico said that white supremacists and antifa had previously clashed twice before in Charlottesville at a May 13 white nationalist rally and a KKK gathering on July 7. The report also stated that the Aug. 12 rally would be “among the most violent to date” between the two groups.

The assessment warned that both “anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists” were calling online for supporters to “be prepared for or to instigate violence” at the rally.

“They predicted it,” a senior law enforcement analyst told Politico. “[Some from both sides] were saying, “'All right everybody, go get your weapons, and we're gonna go kick their asses.' And that’s exactly what happened in Charlottesville.”

According to the Associated Press, one woman was killed when a white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters. Two state troopers were killed later in the day in a helicopter crash and more than 20 people were injured.

When Politico contacted federal, state and local authorities for comment about the DHS report, they said they were aware of the warnings and had taken the appropriate steps to prepare for potential violence.

City Manager Maurice Jones said that the “city and state police prepared for the worst-case scenarios” and “were well aware of the potential for violence.”

“It’s the reason why we sought to move the rally to a more amenable space outside of our dense downtown, where police could more effectively address the safety concerns,” Jones said. “We hoped that the groups that descended on our community would not engage in violence, but they did, and the police responded in an effort to restore order.”

On Aug. 24, Charlottesville officials met in a private meeting to discuss “personnel matters” regarding the deadly rally. Mayor Mike Singer said that the events “raised serious questions about the city’s handling of security, communications and governance.” The council called for an independent review of all decisions related to the Aug. 12 rally, the torch-lit rally held the night before and a July KK rally.


Man stuffs $1K in buttocks to hide it from deputies

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Carli Teproff Miami Herald

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A man in Marion County who was arrested on drug trafficking charges learned quickly that hiding a stash of cash in his rear-end doesn't pay off.

According to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, a deputy stopped 26-year Pattreon Stokes for speeding early Saturday morning in the area of East Highway 40 and Baseline Road.

Deputy Calvin Bates smelled marijuana from the car, the sheriff's office said.

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"CRACK MONEY": MAN STUFFS OVER $1,000 IN RECTUM IN ATTEMPT TO HIDE IT FROM DEPUTIES To quote everyone’s mom, “Don’t put...

Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Monday, August 28, 2017

A search revealed approximately 197 grams of methamphetamine, rock cocaine, four grams of heroin, a scale, a small amount of marijuana and a large amount of currency on his person.

Also in the car, deputies said: A 7-month-old in the front passenger seat.

Stokes was arrested and when he arrived at the jail, the money he had on him was missing.

“Detention deputies then noticed something quite unusual… they observed $20.00 bills falling from Stokes’ buttocks area,” the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post. “After a necessary but undesirable process for everyone involved, MCSO Detention Deputies located $1,090.00 in U.S. currency hidden in Stokes’ rectum.”

Stokes is charged with smuggling contraband into a detention facility, trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking heroin, possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, manufacture or deliver, possession of marijuana and possession of drug equipment.

———

©2017 Miami Herald


La. police searching for suspect who opened fire on cop’s home

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

EUNICE, La. — A search is underway for the suspect who fired shots at an officer’s home in what police believe was a targeted shooting.

"I'm thinking that he was targeted because he was an officer," Police Chief Randy Fontenot told KATC. "I don't think it was just a random shooting."

The officer and his family were home at the time of the shooting, but no one was injured. Police are searching for a dark-colored sedan seen on surveillance footage. Officials are also looking into recent arrests to see if there could be a possible connection.

"It's something that bothers us a lot knowing that they're going to target one of our officers just for doing their job or for who they are," Fontenot said. "We don't take this activity lightly we will investigate and we won't let up until we find who's responsible for it."


NYPD officer mistakenly shoots US marshal in blue-on-blue

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A U.S. marshal was wounded after an NYPD officer opened fire on a dog that was attacking them.

Law enforcement attempted to arrest a man wanted for a New York armed robbery Thursday morning, NJ.com reported.

When police arrived, the dog became aggressive and attacked one of the marshals. The NYPD officer, who was assisting, fire five times at the dog, killing it, the department said.

The marshal was struck in the foot during the gunfire. He was transported to a hospital in stable condition. A police source told NJ.com that a suspect was arrested during the operation.

An investigation is ongoing.


Gunman enters MMA studio, leaves handcuffed, bloodied

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Andy Nguyen Burbank Leader

BURBANK, Calif. — A man got more than he bargained for when he entered a Burbank mixed martial arts studio armed with a gun Tuesday night while a class was in session.

The incident occurred sometime around 9 p.m. at the Defiant MMA and Fitness studio at 146 W. Cypress Ave.

According to Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman for the Burbank Police Department, the man entered the studio carrying a black bag and approached one of the instructors in a reportedly aggressive way.

As he reached inside his bag, a scuffle ensued between him and the instructor — 34-year-old Jacobe Powell.

Powell, a lightweight MMA fighter, told KTTV in an interview that he thought the man was reaching for a weapon, so his instincts kicked in to defend himself.

“[I] got the weapon away from him before the cops arrived,” he said. “One of my guys who was training called the police, and I just subdued him until the police showed up.”

News footage at the MMA studio showed the suspect with a bloodied face. He was placed into custody and transported to a nearby hospital.

Green said police recovered a loaded handgun from the scene, but no shots were fired. Although it’s unknown why the man entered the gym with a gun, Green said the suspect and the gym instructor may know each other.

As of late Wednesday morning, the man had not yet been booked into a jail because he is still being treated at a hospital. His identity has also not been officially confirmed, although the man was carrying a Virginia identification card, Green said.

He faces, at minimum, a charge for assault with a deadly weapon.

———

©2017 the Burbank Leader (Glendale, Calif.)


Utah K-9 shot during police standoff

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A police K-9 suffered gunshot wounds to the neck and mouth area while assisting police in a standoff.

K-9 Tess and her handler responded to assist in the apprehension of a carjacking suspect Tuesday, St. George News reported.

According to KSL, the suspect told police he had a rifle and ammunition. The suspect opened the truck door at one point and opened fire, striking Tess twice in the mouth area. Both bullets exited her neck.

Washington COSO (Utah) #K9 officer shot in the line of duty transported to Vegas for surgery this morning. Now in stable condition. pic.twitter.com/cSOJ6Ojywy

— LVMPD (@LVMPD) August 30, 2017

Officers opened fire, striking the suspect several times. He was transported to the hospital for surgery and his condition is unknown. Tess was transported to a local hospital, but after an evaluation, she was airlifted to a Las Vegas speciality center.

“I was going to ask for [the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police] assistance to actually transport her from where they landed at the airport or hospital or something over to the vet clinic,” Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said. “They said, ‘We’ll do one better than that’ and they actually blocked the road on Tropicana in front of the vet clinic to get her immediate response down there.”

K9 Tess happy to be headed home. pic.twitter.com/nto98OaRyl

— Washington Co SO, UT (@washeriff) August 30, 2017

Tess was stabilized after surgery and was released Wednesday to recover at home. She is expected to make a full recovery. A GoFundMe has been created to help with medical costs.

“The Sheriff’s Office would like to again extend their deepest thanks to all the first responders and veterinary staff who took part in Tess’ treatment and recovery,” a statement said. “This was undoubtedly a team effort and each individual played a critical part in her survival.”

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UPDATE: Great news! Washington Co. Sheriff's Office just shared on Twitter that K9 officer Tess is headed home! ---- UPDATE: Las Vegas police posted on Twitter that K9 officer Tess of the Washington County sheriff’s office (Utah) underwent surgery at Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center and is listed in stable condition. READ MORE→http://bit.ly/2gpPmV8

Posted by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Fla. deputy wins appeal in ‘stand your ground’ shooting

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rafael Olmeda Sun Sentinel

Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Peraza cannot be prosecuted for the July 2013 shooting death of Jermaine McBean in Oakland Park, an appeals court affirmed Wednesday.

The ruling from the Fourth District Court of Appeal determines that police officers are entitled to same immunity under the state’s “stand your ground” law as private citizens, despite an earlier ruling from another appeals court that reached the opposite conclusion.

The legal conflict will have to be resolved by the Florida Supreme Court, and Peraza’s lawyer said he’s anticipating a showdown in Tallahassee.

Broward State Attorney’s Office spokesman Ron Ishoy agreed, saying the inconsistency between the current and former appeals court decisions must be settled by the Florida Supreme Court.

Peraza had been charged with manslaughter in the July 31, 2013, shooting of McBean, 33, a computer engineer who was walking home in his Oakland Park neighborhood after having just purchased a realistic looking air rifle at a nearby pawn shop. Peraza was one of several deputies who responded to reports of an armed man walking through the neighborhood, and the only one to open fire when McBean failed to follow orders to put the weapon down.

Peraza testified that he only pulled the trigger when McBean appeared to begin raising the weapon as if to fire it. Family members said McBean likely did not hear the deputies’ orders because he was listening to music through a pair of earbuds at the time.

The shooting did not attract the same level of national attention as other incidents that gave rise to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, but it did result in Peraza’s indictment on the manslaughter charge. Before that, no on-duty officer had been charged in a homicide case in Broward County in 35 years.

Locally, Black Lives Matter activists rallied around McBean’s family, calling the shooting an unjustified use of lethal force.

McBean family lawyer David Schoen called Wednesday’s ruling a travesty, adding his belief that Broward Circuit Judge Michael Usan was wrong on the facts and the law when he originally dismissed the case.

“Peraza would be convicted on the evidence,” Schoen said. “The McBean family is heartbroken. I can’t say this it’s unexpected. They saw what happened with the original decision and they lost all faith in the justice system.”

Schoen expressed hope that the Supreme Court would let a jury decide whether the shooting of McBean was justified.

“There are strong feelings on both sides of this — members of our community and law enforcement, the men and women who don the uniform,” said defense lawyer Eric Schwartzreich, who represents Peraza on behalf of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association.

“At the end of the day, a law enforcement officer needs to be able to do his job,” he said. “He’s entitled to use the ‘stand your ground’ defense just like anyone else in our criminal justice system. That’s what this case is about.”

Five years ago in Southwest Florida, the Second District Court of Appeal ruled that Haines City Police Officer Juan Caamano was not entitled to the stand your ground law’s protection from prosecution because other laws that deal specifically with the conduct of on-duty law enforcement officers while making arrests should take precedence.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office failed to convince Usan to apply the Caamano ruling to the Peraza case in 2016. Usan decided that stand your ground should apply to law enforcement officers as well as civilians.

Attorneys argued their positions in front of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in June.

Wednesday’s ruling in Peraza’s favor acknowledged the conflict with the Second District’s 2012 decision and asked the Supreme Court to settle the question of whether an on-duty officer making an arrest is entitled to immunity under the stand your ground law.

Peraza has been working for the Broward Sheriff’s Office in an administrative role during the appeals process. Schwartzreich said he will be asking to get back to his previous assignment — on patrol and in uniform — now that the appeals court has ruled.

But, Schwartzreich said, the case has not reached its conclusion.

“We want this nightmare to be over for Deputy Peraza,” he said. “It’s far from over, but I think we’re going to prevail.”

———

©2017 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)


Ga. cop under investigation for comment at traffic stop: ‘We only kill black people’

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A police lieutenant is under investigation after a 2016 dash cam video surfaced showing the officer making what is believed to be a sarcastic comment to an uncooperative driver.

“Remember, we only kill black people,” Lt. Greg Abbott of Cobb County Police Department was recorded as saying to a driver who said she was afraid to move her hands.

“But, you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. We only kill black people, right?” Abbott says to the driver.

A representative of the driver said she believes the officer was being sarcastic because the woman “gave him some lip” but said it makes you cringe, Fox News reported.

Abbott’s attorney Lance LoRusso told Channel 2 News that Abbott is cooperating with the investigation and his comments “must be observed in their totality to understand the context.”

“He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger. In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger's own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest,” LoRusso said.

Police Chief Mike Register said Abbott has been placed on administrative duties pending an investigation. He said while the department is dealing with the issue “head-on,” “no matter what context [the statement] was said, it shouldn’t have been said.”


‘Suspect apprehended!’ Police nab 6-foot Miami Beach python

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — A 6-foot (2-meter) Burmese python slithered near a popular Miami Beach pedestrian mall, scaring the crowd outside a convenience store.

Customers leaving Exprezo noticed the snake beneath a royal palm tree on Wednesday. Someone called Miami Beach police and the python was captured.

Police Chief Daniel J. Oates tweeted "suspect apprehended!" along with photos of the capture.

Suspect apprehended! Officers responded to a call of a 6ft snake just off Lincoln Road and safely captured it. #GoodWork pic.twitter.com/N5M2mq47T6

— Daniel J. Oates (@MBPDChiefOates) August 30, 2017

Store owner Indika Wanigarathne tells the Miami Herald she was thinking, "How big can it be?" Then she saw the python and "freaked out."

Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez says the snake will be turned over to a wildlife refuge.

Officer Traci Sierra, whom Rodriguez describes as an animal advocate, captured the snake.

The store owner had another word for Sierra: hero. "Trust me," she said, "I wouldn't grab that thing."

Six-foot Python captured on Lincoln Road https://t.co/IvLP0frAQn pic.twitter.com/b7KE34DiGB

— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) August 31, 2017


Easy collar: Men allegedly robbed bar during police party

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The police response time was quicker than ever.

Two men were arrested after police say they robbed a bar outside Baltimore while off-duty officers were there for a police retirement party.

The Baltimore Sun reports the men allegedly demanded cash from the register at a Woodlawn bar Tuesday evening while a group of officers gathered for a longtime sergeant's retirement. The officers chased and arrested them.

Baltimore County police spokesman Cpl. Shawn Vinson says 21-year-old Joseph McInnis III and 22-year-old Tyree McCoy face armed robbery, theft and other charges. The Sun reports neither had an attorney listed in online court records.

Monaghan's Pub owner says it's odd that someone would attempt a robbery because a precinct station is across the street.

Vinson says the party was for David Neral who has been with the department since 1988.


Police chief: Smoke from Texas chemical plant fire not toxic

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gregory Bull, Emily Schmall and Reese Dunklin Associated Press

CROSBY, Texas — A Houston-area chemical plant that lost power after Harvey engulfed the area in floods was rocked by fires and two explosions early Thursday, but local authorities said the resulting smoke presented "no danger to the community at all."

Arkema Inc. said in a statement on its website that the Harris County Emergency Operations Center reported two explosions and black smoke coming from the plant in Crosby, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, at about 2 a.m.

At a news conference Thursday, Assistant Harris County Fire Chief Bob Rayall said different grades of organic peroxides in a semi-trailer caught fire not long after midnight. Rayall said the fire emitted a 30- to 40-foot (9- to 12-meter) flames and black smoke.

Rayall did not refer to any blasts, but Harris County Fire Marshal spokeswoman Rachel Moreno said there had been "small explosions."

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says some deputies suffered irritated eyes from the smoke but insisted it wasn't dangerous.

"It is not anything toxic," Gonzalez said. "It is not anything that we feel is a danger to the community at all."

At a separate news conference in Washington, D.C., FEMA administrator Brock Long told reporters that "by all means, the plume is incredibly dangerous."

A plant spokeswoman said late Wednesday that the flooded facility had lost power and backup generators due to the flooding, leaving it without refrigeration for chemicals that become volatile as the temperature rises.

Gonzalez said the fire would burn itself out. Rayall said the fire service was not monitoring the fire — "that's industry's responsibility" — and that the company hired a contractor to do aerial monitoring of the smoke to see which direction it was going.

An AP photographer at a roadblock about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the scene could see no sign of a blaze in the direction of the chemical plant as the sun rose Thursday morning.

Arkema had warned that a fire was going to happen, saying it was inevitable because of the loss of power in the floods.

"The fire will happen. It will resemble a gasoline fire. It will be explosive and intense in nature," spokeswoman Janet Smith told The Associated Press late Wednesday.

There was "no way to prevent" the explosion, chief executive Rich Rowe said earlier Wednesday.

Arkema manufactures organic peroxides, a family of compounds used for making a variety of products including pharmaceuticals and construction materials.

"As the temperature rises, the natural state of these materials will decompose. A white smoke will result, and that will catch fire," Smith said. "So the fire is imminent. The question is when."

Harvey struck Southeast Texas last week, slamming into the coast as a Category 4 hurricane, then weakening to a tropical storm that dumped record amounts of rain on the state, in particular the Houston area. The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression late Wednesday.

The company shut down the Crosby site before Harvey made landfall, but a crew of 11 had stayed behind. That group was removed and residents living within a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) radius were told to evacuate Tuesday after the plant lost power.

Moreno said late Wednesday that the 1.5-mile radius was developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other subject-matter experts.

"The facility is surrounded by water right now so we don't anticipate the fire going anywhere," she said.

The plant falls along a stretch near Houston that features one of the largest concentrations of refineries, pipelines and chemical plants in the country.

Arkema was required to develop and submit a risk management plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because it has large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas. The plans are supposed to detail the effects of a potential release, evaluate worst-case scenarios and explain a company's response.

In its most recently available submission from 2014, Arkema said potentially 1.1 million residents could be impacted over a distance of 23 miles (37 kilometers) in a worse case, according to information compiled by a nonprofit group and posted on a website hosted by the Houston Chronicle.

But, Arkema added, it was using "multiple layers of preventative and mitigation measures" at the plant, including steps to reduce the amount of substances released, and that made the worst case "very unlikely."

Daryl Roberts, the company's vice president of manufacturing, technology and regulatory services in the Americas, did not dispute that worst-case scenario but said that assumed all the controls in place failed and strong winds blew directly toward Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city.

"We have not modeled this exact scenario but we are very comfortable with this 1.5-mile radius," Roberts told the AP. He added that it mostly resembled less serious scenarios that would affect a half-mile radius and a few dozen people.

Roberts said the vessels containing the organic peroxide are equipped with controls to slow the release of chemicals. He said the chemicals will quickly vaporize because of the water, reducing the size and scope of the fire.


Explosions rock flood-crippled chemical plant near Houston

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gregory Bull, Emily Schmall and Reese Dunklin Associated Press

CROSBY, Texas — Explosions and fires rocked a flood-crippled chemical plant near Houston early Thursday, sending up a plume of acrid, eye-irritating smoke and adding a new hazard to Hurricane Harvey's aftermath.

The plant's owners warned more explosions could follow because a lack of refrigeration was causing chemicals stored there to degrade and burn.

The top federal emergency official in Washington warned that the plume of smoke was "incredibly dangerous." But local officials disputed that.

There were no immediate reports of any serious injuries.

Dozens of workers were pulled out of the Arkema Inc. plant before the hurricane hit and a small crew that had been left behind was evacuated before the blasts for fear of just such a disaster. Officials had also ordered people living within 1½ miles (2.4 kilometers) to leave on Tuesday.

Fire and plant officials said the substances that caught fire were organic peroxides, a family of volatile compounds used for making a variety of products, including pharmaceuticals and construction materials.

Earlier this week, Arkema warned of the possibility of an explosion at the plant about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, saying Harvey's floodwaters had knocked out power and backup generators, disabling the refrigeration needed to keep the organic peroxides stable.

On Thursday, Rich Rennard, an Arkema executive, said the chemical compounds were transferred to refrigerated containers after power was lost. But he said those containers also failed, causing the chemicals to degrade and burn in one unit before dawn.

He said the company expected more explosions from the eight remaining containers.

Assistant Harris County Fire Chief Bob Royall said the organic peroxides caught fire in a tractor-trailer and sent up 30- to 40-foot (9- to 12-meter) flames and black smoke. Harris County Fire Marshal spokeswoman Rachel Moreno put the quantity of burning organic peroxide at 2 tons.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said some deputies suffered eye irritation from the smoke, but added: "It is not anything that we feel is a danger to the community at all."

In Washington, however, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters that "by all means, the plume is incredibly dangerous."

Arkema had warned earlier this week that the chemicals would erupt in an intense fire resembling a gasoline blaze. There was "no way to prevent" the explosion, CEO Rich Rowe said on Wednesday.

The company shut down the site before Harvey blew ashore, though a crew of 11 had stayed behind until it, too, was pulled out.

The plant is along a stretch near Houston that contains one of the biggest concentrations of refineries, pipelines and chemical plants in the country.

Moreno, of the fire marshal's office, said the 1½-mile radius was developed in consultation with the Homeland Security Department and other experts.

"The facility is surrounded by water right now so we don't anticipate the fire going anywhere," she said.

Arkema was required to submit a risk management plan to the Environmental Protection Agency because it has large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas. The plans are supposed to detail the effects of a potential release and how the company would respond.

In its most recently available submission from 2014, Arkema said that in a worst-case scenario, 1.1 million residents could be affected over 23 miles (37 kilometers), according to information compiled by a nonprofit group and posted on a website hosted by the Houston Chronicle.

Arkema said that scenario was highly unlikely because it assumed that all of the plant's safety measures failed and that strong winds were blowing directly toward Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city.


‘Hell’s breaking loose’: A 911 center under siege by Harvey

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matt Sedensky, AP National Writer

HOUSTON — Some of the callers are panicking; others exude a strange serenity. One moment, Harvey's floodwaters are pouring into a home, the next a motorist is trapped on an inundated interstate. A woman goes into labor in a washed-out neighborhood, and a split-second later, a family seeks rescue from their attic. The pleas for help stream in hour after hour, call after call after call.

In the thick of a paralyzing storm and its aftermath, the weight of this swamped city's problems are landing at the cavernous 911 call center, where operators are racing to keep up as people dial in by the tens of thousands.

"This is like nothing we've ever experienced before," operator Erika Wells says, in a short reprieve between calls.

At its worst, from Sunday into Monday, some 75,000 calls poured in, more than eight times the normal 24-hour load, and those dialing sometimes endured long waits to reach an operator. Even as time passed and the volume dropped, more than 21,000 people called between Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon, when an Associated Press reporter was given exclusive access to observe work at the center. In a single hour, dozens of calls can arrive at a single operator's headset.

Wells reported for work on Saturday at 2 p.m. and worked a 20-hour stretch through Harvey's immediate aftermath before she finally stepped away at 10 a.m. Sunday. Like her colleagues, she has camped out at the center since. She works frenzied 12-hour shifts and sleeps each night on a cot in a darkened hallway with a cluster of female colleagues. It feels like some sort of strange summer camp.

She is 26, a lifelong Houstonian, and first set foot in the call center nine years ago, when she was a high schooler taking part in a co-op program. She's worked here ever since, through floods and Super Bowls and New Year's Eves, but never something quite like this.

Wells sits before four screens in a massive, dimly lit room thick with the hum of the dozens of others tending to Houston's misery. Giant displays hang from the back wall, projecting images from the world outside — streets turned to rivers, rescues from rooftops, and officials chattering about a storm that won't seem to go away. All the while, the calls stream in to her.

"Houston 911: Do you need medical, police or fire?" she asks each one.

After so many hours and so many calls, it all has become a blur. Still, some stick out: The man who calmly reported water had reached his knees and drowned his dog; the house packed with 10 people in desperate need of an escape; the woman whose baby chose the worst time to enter the world.

"I literally watched it go from a regular Saturday, to this water is everywhere, to now all hell's breaking loose," she says.

She cajoled callers to breathe and stay calm as she tried to collect the information she needed to help them. Some surprised her with their seeming nonchalance in the face of tragedy, like the man who was trapped in his home, and the woman whose husband had died. Each time she hung up or transferred the caller to a police or fire dispatcher, another came through, almost immediately.

"It was back to back to back to back," she says.

As operators have tended to strangers' tragedies, they've juggled their own lives. Though Wells' home is unscathed, on Monday she received word her ex-husband's home was not and that her children, ages 2 and 4, had to be evacuated by boat. Other operators have suffered severe losses to their homes. Wells said one operator needed to dial 911 to request a rooftop rescue.

They have taken to heart the suffering of others, too. LaKendric Westbrook, a call center supervisor, says some operators have been overwhelmed by the pain they hear through their headsets, and the limited relief they can offer.

"You just want to go through the phone and help them," Westbrook says.

On Tuesday afternoon, as 841 calls reach the center in a single hour, Wells encounters the ordinary and the harrowing. A little girl, with shrieks and laughter in the background, calls to say she needs a firetruck; clearly, she does not. A woman seeks help for her sister, trapped in her home with a sick baby. A burglary, an assault, a report of looting, mixed among repeated misdials.

"I need to get out of the house. I need help," a trembling voice pleads.

This is the slowest it's been in days, and still the pace is furious. A woman calls wondering if she's in danger, if the rising waters mean she should be rescued. A report of a woman seen drifting into chest-deep water on the freeway. A woman fearful for the fate of a friend.

"I got flooded," one woman says flatly. "Do you need to be rescued?" Wells asks. "Yes," she answers.

Wells shows no sign of stress as the calls come in. Her pink-manicured fingers type away the details of each person's report.

Inside this bunker, the tragedy feels both intensely personal and strangely distant. The news coverage plays over and over and the calls continue to come in, but it doesn't quite seem real — Wells hasn't yet emerged from this building or seen the damage first hand.

Her children have said they're proud of her, and she has felt a bit of pride too. She saw a tweet about the volume of calls coming in and thought to herself, "I was part of that."

A circle of new faces has emerged in the center of this sprawling space, a signal that new operators have arrived and Wells' shift has finally neared its end. The faint sound of a helicopter can be heard outside as a steady rain continues to fall. She misses her children, her bed, and soy chai lattes at Starbucks.

But after all that this storm has brought, she says, her colleagues feel like family, and this place feels like home.


Ark. state police working on training for gun law expansion

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Andrew DeMillo Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas law dramatically expanding where concealed handguns are allowed will take effect this week, but the training needed to carry those guns to college campuses, bars, government buildings and other new locations may not be available until early next year.

After the law takes effect Friday, Arkansas State Police will have 120 days to design the additional training requirements which concealed handgun licensees will need to complete before they can carry their weapons at college campuses and other places allowed under the new measure. More than 225,000 people have concealed handgun licenses in Arkansas.

A state police spokesman said the agency is making progress, but didn't give a timeline for when the training standards would be available for the roughly 1,000 concealed handgun instructors around the state. The additional training can be up to eight hours long.

"We're not cranking up the enhanced concealed carry license machine on Sept. 1. There's got to be these checks and balances in terms of rules and procedures," spokesman Bill Sadler said.

Higher education officials around Arkansas have already been briefing faculty, staff and students about the new law, including reminders that concealed weapons are banned on campus until the enhanced licenses are available.

"The message from our campus is that firearms are not allowed on campus unless you meet the qualifications of this statute and it's not possible to meet those qualifications yet," said Brad Phelps, general counsel for the Arkansas State University System.

At the University of Arkansas' flagship campus in Fayetteville, officials are holding a forum on Sept. 6 to address the new law but said those are still some questions.

"We're not trying to tell anyone everything they need to know because we don't know all the answers yet," UA Spokesman Mark Rushing said. "Some of the answers to some of the questions we're receiving we won't know until we have a better understanding of what (state police) are going to include in the enhanced training."

Lawmakers who pushed for the measure earlier this year said the additional training would prepare licensees for active shooter situations at places like colleges and universities, but the legislation doesn't refer to such situations and leaves the guidance up to state police.

"No law enforcement-styled training will be part of the syllabus being prepared for concealed handgun license instructors," Sadler said. "Instructors will be encouraged to emphasize training for licensees about complying with orders from police and applicable laws should a licensee be present as an active shooting incident might begin to evolve."

Republican Sen. Trent Garner, a lead sponsor of the guns measure, said lawmakers wanted to give state police leeway in developing the training program.

"I think it'll be both an enhancement of what you already learn in concealed-carry (training) with the added-on training of how to respond to a person in a closed area who is actively trying to engage you," Garner said.

A Democratic lawmaker who opposed the gun expansion said he's hearing concerns from students and faculty about the law's effects, and questioned how much the additional training would help.

"I don't think anything they cram into an eight-hour training session could properly prepare somebody for the trauma of a live shooting," Rep. Greg Leding.

State police are also working on the rules for the security plans colleges and universities will have to submit to exempt sporting events from the expanded guns measure. The exemption was added in follow-up legislation after the campus guns law drew objections from the Southeastern Conference and others over fears about allowing weapons at football games and other events. So far, no schools have submitted security plans for the exemptions.


Federal judge blocks Texas’ tough ‘sanctuary cities’ law

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge late Wednesday temporarily blocked most of Texas' tough new "sanctuary cities" law that would have allowed police to inquire about people's immigration status during routine interactions such as traffic stops.

The law, SB 4, had been cheered by President Donald Trump's administration but decried by immigrants' rights groups who say it could force anyone who looks like they might be in the country illegally to "show papers."

The measure sailed through the Republican-controlled Legislature despite months of protests and opposition from business groups who worried that it could cause a labor-force shortage in industries such as construction. Opponents sued, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia's ruling in San Antonio keeps it from taking effect as planned Friday — allowing the case time to proceed.

In a 94-page ruling, Garcia wrote that there "is overwhelming evidence by local officials, including local law enforcement, that SB 4 will erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe" and that "localities will suffer adverse economic consequences which, in turn, will harm the state of Texas."

"The Court cannot and does not second guess the Legislature," he continued. "However, the state may not exercise its authority in a manner that violates the United States Constitution."

Garcia's order suspends the law's most contentious language while suggesting that even parts of the law that can go forward won't withstand further legal challenges.

The law had sought to fine law enforcement authorities who fail to honor federal requests to hold people jailed on offenses that aren't immigration related for possible deportation. It also would have ensured that police chiefs, sheriffs and constables could face removal from office and even criminal charges for failing to comply with such federal "detainer" requests.

The four largest cities in Texas — San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas— have joined the lawsuit, saying the law is vague and would have a chilling effect on immigrant communities. Their attorneys told Garcia that his ruling could determine if other states pursue copycat measures. Lawyers for the Texas attorney general's office responded that the new law has fewer teeth than Arizona's 2010 "Show Me Your Papers" measure that was partially struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Top conservatives say an immigration crackdown is necessary to enforce the rule of law. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has maintained that only lawbreakers have anything to worry about.

On the final day of the legislative session in May, tensions boiled over when Republican state Rep. Matt Rinaldi told Democrats that he had called federal immigration agents to report protesters in the Capitol who held signs saying they were illegally in the country. One Democratic legislator admitted pushing Rinaldi, who responded by telling one Democrat that he would "shoot him in self-defense."

The Trump administration has made "sanctuary cities" a target. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to pull federal money from jurisdictions that hinder communication between local police and immigration authorities and has praised Texas' law.


1 Calif. LEO dead, 2 wounded in shootout

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A gunman with an assault rifle shot and killed a California sheriff's deputy and wounded two CHP officers Wednesday at a Sacramento hotel that was later surrounded by officers searching for suspects.

Three people, including the man suspected of killing the deputy, were in custody following a chase in a stolen car investigation that led to the hotel.

Police believe other suspects may still be holed up in a room where the shots were fired. Guests at the hotel were told to shelter in place.

Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, died on the way to a hospital from a gunshot wound to his side, Sheriff Scott Jones said. The two wounded California Highway Patrol officers were expected to survive.

The man suspected of killing French was shot by authorities and was in custody. His name was not released.

Two women were also in custody. Their names were not released.

The incident began when authorities said the women led CHP officers on a vehicle chase in what was believed to be a stolen car. When the chase ended about 20 miles from where it began, the women were taken into custody and police learned one of them had booked a hotel room in Sacramento.

Officers went to search the hotel. When they announced themselves, they were hit with gunfire coming from inside the room. Authorities say a man inside then left through the back, where he shot French and fled in a vehicle.

After a short pursuit, police exchanged fire with the man, who was hit, sheriff's spokesman Tony Turnbull said.

Jeff Marshall, who lives near the hotel, said he heard gunshots and then tires squealing and saw a grey Dodge Charger speed by his home, going the wrong way down a busy street.

Marshall estimated he heard 12 shots.

"It was like the wild West," Marshall said.

French, 52, is survived by a girlfriend and several adult children, Jones said.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


Suspects in shooting of 3 LEOs linked to stolen vehicle ring

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two women believed to be part of a stolen car ring led California police on a 20-mile chase Wednesday before pointing them to a Sacramento hotel where another suspect opened fire with an assault rifle in a shootout that left one officer dead and two others wounded, authorities said.

Deputy Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, died on the way to a hospital from a gunshot wound to his side, Sheriff Scott Jones said.

The two wounded California Highway Patrol officers were expected to survive. Their names have not been released.

The gunman was arrested after he was wounded during a short car chase, authorities said. Police did not name him or the two women.

Authorities spent hours searching the hotel before determining there were no other suspects inside.

"It was an extremely dynamic, horrific series of events," Jones said.

Officers initially went to the hotel during an investigation by an auto theft task force — a joint project among departments.

The chase occurred after they spotted a gray Dodge Charger they thought had been stolen.

Police say they learned while apprehending the women that one had a room at the hotel. Officers returned and knocked on the door of a room to investigate.

Authorities say a man inside opened fire then left through the back, where he shot French and fled in a vehicle. Pursuing officers exchanged fire with the man, who was hit, sheriff's spokesman Tony Turnbull said.

The gun used by the man held a high-capacity magazine, which are now illegal to purchase in California, authorities said.

Jeff Marshall, who lives near the hotel, said he heard gunshots and then tires squealing and saw a gray Dodge Charger speed by his home, going the wrong way down a busy street.

Marshall estimated he heard 12 shots.

"It was like the wild West," Marshall said.

The sheriff described French, 52, as a well-known, well-respected training officer assigned to patrol the county's northern areas.

He was a "go-to guy for advice and counsel, not just career advice but tactical advice and things like that," Jones said.

French is survived by his live-in girlfriend, adult children and grandchildren and a sister.

"Words aren't going to make an appropriate appreciation of him as a man or his career," Jones said.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


Survey: How does your police agency handle policy and training in the video age?

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Few forces are impacting law enforcement like video, which is shaping training, policy, community relations, and creating major technology challenges even as it solves problems. PoliceOne is currently working on a special coverage project that aims to address all facets of the topic with expanded analysis and reporting, and we’d like to hear from you. Please take a moment to fill out this quick, eight-question survey that aims to explore how police departments are handling training and policy in a recorded world.


3 Calif. LEOs shot near motel, 2 arrested in connection with shooting

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Two California Highway Patrol officers and a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy were wounded in a shooting.

The three officers were shot near a Ramada Inn Wednesday afternoon, KCRA reported.The officers are alive, but their conditions are unknown.

CHP officials said two people were detained in connection with the shooting, but the scene is still active. It’s unclear if law enforcement is still looking for suspects.

Nick Cruz, who was staying at the Ramada Inn, told the news station that he looked outside when he heard gunshots and saw a woman walking with an AK-style assault rifle. He said officers were shooting, but she got into a car and fled.

A nearby high school and middle school were put on a brief lockdown, but it has since been lifted.

No other details have been released. An investigation is ongoing.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


3 Calif. LEOs, 1 suspect shot near motel

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Authorities say three police officers and one suspect were shot during a vehicle theft investigation.

The scene in Sacramento remains active and there may be more suspects.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tony Turnball says two California Highway Patrol officers and one sheriff's deputy were in a hospital Wednesday after being hit by gunfire from inside a hotel room.

Turnball says he doesn't know the officers' conditions.

Authorities say a male suspect had exited the room and fired at a deputy on the hotel balcony. The male suspect was also hit with gunfire and is in custody.

Two women have also been arrested.

The incident began when the women led CHP officers on a vehicle chase in what was believed to be a stolen car.

The investigation then led officers to a Sacramento hotel.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


Mom, daughter police duo work last shift together

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CALGARY, Alberta — A mother and daughter who both work for the Calgary Police Service worked their last shift together.

Const. Renata Cattoni retired Monday after more than 40 years in law enforcement, according to a department Facebook post. Cattoni was able to work her last shift with her daughter, Const. Amanda Maodus.

During her time with CPS, Cattoni patrolled multiple districts and worked with the department’s Major Events and Emergency Management Unit.

Close to four years ago, Maodus joined the force as a patrol officer after working as a dispatcher. Maodus said her mom and dad, who is also retired from CPS, inspired her to work in law enforcement.

Cattoni said her favorite memory of working in law enforcement was when she was able to present Maodus with her badge at graduation.

“There are a lot of ups and downs in this job, but if I had the opportunity I would do it all over again in a heartbeat,” Cattoni said. “I have loved this job and I am lucky to have been able to share these experiences with my daughter.”

The department said Cattoni has “undoubtedly made a difference in thousands of Calgarians’ lives throughout her career and we wish her lots of relaxation in her retirement!”

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Policing - The Next Generation Today, we have the neat experience of watching two generations of officers – a mother...

Posted by Calgary Police Service on Monday, August 28, 2017


ICE warns Harvey victims of people impersonating immigration agents

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are warning the public after multiple reports of people impersonating Homeland Security Investigations agents.

According to a statement issued on the ICE website, the impersonators are telling people to evacuate their homes so they can rob the empty houses.

“Real HSI officials wear badges that are labeled "special agent," which members of the public can ask to see and verify,” the statement said. “ICE officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) also wear badges labeled with ERO Officer. They also carry credentials with their name and organization.”

Officials said citizens who interact with the fake agents should ask to see their badges and credentials. If the public suspects something, they are asked to call ICE at 866-347-2423.

FEMA, ICE and the city of Houston issued statements Tuesday informing the public that no one will be asked for papers or ID if they seek shelter from Harvey.

ICE issues statement on "disturbing reports" of people impersonating ICE officials in Houston: pic.twitter.com/YdIMphGxgf

— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) August 30, 2017


Which pocket holster is best for you?

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

I’m quite partial to carrying a handgun in my pocket. It’s a practice that works well on and off duty.

Lightweight revolvers and thin autos work best, and some guns are superior for this job.

For revolvers, I recommend the M&P 340CT. For autos, I like the Kahr PM9. Both choices don’t weigh the pocket down and they have the prerequisite reliability and accuracy.

Pocket holster carry takes training and practice. Training includes learning to carry the speedloader in the same pocket as the gun for revolver users for rapid reloads.

If pocket holsters were simple pouches, choosing one would be easy. You could just sew your own pouch and be done with it.

I have been carrying my Charter Arms Undercover Lite for a year or so in three different pocket holsters: Gould & Goodrich, BLACKHAWK and Sticky.

The question I asked was, “Which pocket holster is the best for me?” The answer isn’t complicated, as long as the user follows the rules:

1. The holster must completely cover the trigger guard;

2. The holster must agree with the user’s tactics;

3. The holster must let the user acquire the master grip before drawing;

4. The holster must conceal and protect the gun.

Gould & Goodrich 701 Pocket Holster

The holster with the lightest material is the Gould & Goodrich 701 Pocket Holster (MSRP $19.09 for the shield; price varies).

The non-slip layer on the outside is like some of the tacky materials we put on our guns to improve the grip. After several months of use, the “wing” area – designed to break up the outline of the gun – is a lot more flexible.

The G&G 701 is the most concealable of the choices, and I use it in pants with narrow pockets. It is the most flexible of the three, and I recommend it for garments with stiffer materials. The suede smooth lining provides flexibility and gives it a really fast draw.

I also use the G&G 701 for unconventional applications. I have a running waist pack not designed for holding a gun, but it has a smooth zipper. With this holster, it becomes my running companion.

The G&G 701 isn’t stiff enough for IWB carry, like the other two in this review.

BLACKHAWK’s TecGrip Pocket Holster

BLACKHAWK’s TecGrip Pocket Holster (MSRP $18.95) has a very tacky exterior. It uses high-density, closed-cell foam to make it stiffer than the G&G 701. Although it has stitching on the edges, it is mostly thermal-bonded laminate.

The TecGrip Holster does a great job breaking up the gun’s outline. The interior is smooth and, like the G&G 701, can be machine or hand washed.

The TecGrip Holster is best used for pocket-sized autos like the Kahr PM9 because of its ability to soften the vertical lines of the slide. Occasionally, I stick my 40 Shield in my pocket using TecGrip’s larger size.

The Sticky Holster

The Sticky Holster (MSRP $29.95) is well named. It is definitely sticky against almost any material. Despite its extreme tackiness, pet hairs and the like don’t adhere to it.

Sticky Holsters are stitched in the shape of the gun, like the G&G 701, and the “wing” created by the stitching fills many different pocket shapes. This product positioned my gun in a predictable position no matter what I wore.

The edges of the product are seam taped, and I have cleaned this holster several times with no loss in stickiness.

Besides pocket use, this holster is perfect for a BUG. In fact, Sticky Holsters make a BUG Pad for vest carry. They also make an Anklebiter Ankle Holster, which makes the Sticky Holster even more versatile.

IWB Considerations

The design of these holsters means they are tacky enough to be used as an IWB set up. The beltline pins the gun and holster enough for this kind of carry. The Sticky products definitely have the structural integrity for this application. I even tried my Sticky Holster on a trip to the corner store wearing a pair of drawstring shorts.

But please apply the casual spandex wear rule when it comes to carrying a pocket holster for IWB. Just because one can do it, does not mean one should do it. There are sounder tactical options.

OK, which one did I like the best? Well, I carry all three depending on the application. After all, pocket holsters are cheap, and I use them all the time.


Police: Man used prosthetic leg to smuggle heroin into Fla. jail

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

OCALA, Fla. — A man used a prosthetic leg to smuggle heroin into Marion County Jail, according to police.

William Conley, 53, was being searched Thursday at the Marion County Jail after being taken there by deputies on a warrant for failure to appear in court for driving with a suspended license, ClickOrlando reported.

Corrections officers ordered Conley to remove his leg during the search, but he became hesitant and asked if it was necessary. Conley compiled and deputies found a syringe inside the fake limb.

Conley said the syringe was used to inject chickens with vitamins, but heroin showed up in a test. He then told police that he used methamphetamine and morphine, but the needle wasn’t used for heroin.

He was charged with use or possession of drug paraphernalia and smuggling contraband into a detention facility.


Photos: SC man holds fugitive at gunpoint until police arrive

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — An armed citizen held a man who had been on the run since Aug. 18 at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

Police told WLTX that a deputy was serving a car theft warrant Tuesday when Christopher Cravets saw the officer and fled on foot. He was wanted on an armed robbery charge.

Manhunt for wanted suspect in Keyshawn County pic.twitter.com/yMfex8URI7

— chris brathwaite (@number1bajan) August 29, 2017

Deputies, K-9s and helicopters searched for Cravets, 21, for several hours. Charles Belcher, a medic, was visiting his girlfriend and went out to grab his gun from his truck after hearing about the manhunt.

Belcher went to check the property and found Cravets in the back of an SUV parked in a carport.

"I came out to check the green Explorer and saw somebody in the back and I just pulled my weapon and ordered him out of the vehicle and made him get on the ground until the cops got here," he said. “The only thing I was worried about is if he had a gun and if he was going to try to shoot me.”

Suspect caught on Dry Branch Rd pic.twitter.com/uzljBV9nfE

— chris brathwaite (@number1bajan) August 29, 2017

Belcher held Cravets at gunpoint for a couple of minutes before deputies arrived to take Cravets into custody.

Sheriff Jim Matthews said Belcher did “a heck of a job.”

"[Cravets] pistol-whipped a girl and tried to rob her at gunpoint,” Matthews told WLTX. “We will never turn down civilian assistance when we have a situation like that because we're pretty shorthanded and even though we had a SLED helicopter up, we need all of the help we can get and this guy stepped up to the plate and he did the right thing.”

Cravets was charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and second-degree burglary.

Our Chris Brathwaite @number1bajan was there as Charles Belcher captured a wanted Kershaw Co suspect who deputies say triggered a manhunt. pic.twitter.com/0GHAjIledc

— Chuck Ringwalt WLTX (@ChuckRingwalt) August 29, 2017


Judge: Philly can’t immediately release LEO names in shootings

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — After the Fraternal Order of Police filed a suit, a Philadelphia judge has ruled that the city can’t immediately release the names of officers involved in shootings. The temporary injunction issued on Friday comes after protesters gathered outside the home of Officer Ryan Pownall, who fatally shot David Jones on June 8 after a fight over Jones’ gun, the Associated Press reported. A line of LEOs stood in front of Pownall’s home to separate protesters from the officer. Pownall is currently on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The city must wait 72 hours to release an officer’s name, during which time the union can challenge the city’s attempt to release the name.

A hearing on whether an extension will be made to the ruling is set for Sept. 29.


Video shows suspect crashing BMW M3 during pursuit

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WEST MIDLANDS, England — Police released video of a 2016 high-speed pursuit that ended when the suspect crashed his BMW.

Police attempted to pull over Kamar Farooq, 30, last September when he fled at a high speed, the BBC reported. Footage shows the pursuit reaching speeds up to 115 mph.

Farooq drove erratically and on the wrong side of the road before he drove over a roundabout and crashed into a gas station, the Mirror UK reported. He moved to the backseat after the crash and claimed to be a passenger.

Farooq and two other men in the car were arrested. Footage from earlier in the day helped police ID Farooq as the driver. They matched the clothes he was wearing when he was arrested.

He was convicted of dangerous driving and driving while banned. He was sentenced Friday to two and a half years. He was also banned from driving for 10 years.


Deputy wearing night vision goggles stops attempted ambush

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ENUMCLAW, Wash. — A deputy wearing night vision goggles stopped an attempted ambush on officers when he saw the suspect approaching police with a rifle.

Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance Tuesday after a woman said her boyfriend hit her and her son, KOMO reported. She said the boyfriend locked himself in a room where they kept guns.

The woman and her two children exited the home safely, but the man stayed inside the home and turned the lights out.

A deputy wearing night vision goggles saw the man walking through the darkness with a rifle aimed at deputies. Police ordered the suspect to drop his weapon several times. He was shot and seriously wounded when he refused.

The suspect is expected to survive and is being treated at a hospital. No deputies were injured. The woman sustained a back and leg injury during the disturbance. The children were uninjured.

An investigation is ongoing.

King County deputies shoot man after domestic disturbance in Enumclaw SE 472nd. Man should survive pic.twitter.com/Ff8FqrH7Bx

— Carleen Johnson (@CarleenOnKOMO) August 29, 2017


Sheriff proposes sending inmates to help with Harvey damage

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

TAUNTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts sheriff who proposed sending county jail inmates to help President Donald Trump build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is offering to send inmates to Texas to help clean up damage from Hurricane Harvey.

WGBH-FM first reported Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson wants to send inmate "volunteers" to help rebuild Houston.

Hodgson says 10 inmates have expressed interest in the project. He says he hopes federal disaster relief funds can cover inmates' transportation and housing costs.

The plan would need approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, local sheriffs involved and the National Sheriffs' Association.

Hodgson says he has been in contact with the sheriffs association. The association's executive director said Tuesday that the idea is innovative.

Hodgson and Trump are both Republicans.


Philadelphia latest city to sue on sanctuary conditions

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over what officials call "unlawful" immigration restrictions placed on a major federal grant.

In the lawsuit announced Wednesday, the city is asking the court to stop Sessions from adding these conditions to a grant program used to pay police overtime, upgrade equipment and courtroom technology and train officers.

Philadelphia's so-called "sanctuary" status has made it a frequent target of the attorney general. Sessions said in July that cities and states can only receive Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants if they allow federal immigration officials to access detention facilities, and that they must provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.

Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have also sued over the grant conditions.


Man arrested for allegedly slashing tires of NJ police, fire vehicles

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

SOMERDALE, N.J. — Police in New Jersey have arrested a man who they say slashed 52 tires on multiple police and fire vehicles.

Philly.com reports police have charged the 51-year-old with multiple charges including criminal mischief following an arrest on Tuesday. Investigators say a Somerdale Police officer recognized the suspect in surveillance videos because he had previously reported a stolen bicycle at the station.

According to police, the suspect slashed tires on nine police cruisers, one fire vehicle and three personal cars of police officers on Sunday.


Evaluation ordered for man accused of killing Fla. officers

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The man suspected of killing two Florida police officers will undergo a competency evaluation before his first court hearing.

Orange-Osceola Circuit Court officials announced Tuesday that a judge will then review the evaluation of 45-year-old Everett Miller. Miller is accused of gunning down Kissimmee Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard on Aug. 18. Baxter died that night and Howard passed away the next day.

Officials said Miller is a veteran who spent 21 years in the Marine Corps. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Miller was previously involuntarily hospitalized after he stripped down to his boxers and walked down a street carrying a high-powered rifle.

Miller is facing first-degree murder charges.


Houston police chief blunt and emotional during Harvey

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Graczyk Associated Press

HOUSTON — In a matter of hours, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo had warned looters to stay away from his city and then choked back tears as he announced the death of one of his veteran officers.

It's that empathetic side mixed with a heavy dose of no-nonsense law-and-order that makes Acevedo so endearing to the communities he has policed over his 30-year career in law enforcement.

The Cuban-born Acevedo, who came to the U.S. with his family in 1968, has been on the job in the nation's fourth-largest city for less than a year. He is the city's first Hispanic police chief and regularly answers questions from reporters in Spanish. Before Harvey elevated his national presence, he was known locally for his active role on social media and his blunt speaking style, which he showcased in his threat to looters.

"So word to the wise: Don't come to Houston," he said Tuesday, "because you're going to be caught. And I guarantee you when you take advantage of people and prey on them in these circumstances, that's despicable behavior and we're all going to push hard to make sure you don't see the sunlight anytime soon."

Acevedo grew up in California, started in law enforcement in East Los Angeles with the California Highway Patrol and rose to chief of that agency. He arrived in Houston last November after nine years as Austin's chief.

His tenure in Austin was marked by efforts to strengthen ties with community groups. He faced criticism for several use-of-force incidents, including the 2015 arrest of a black teacher who was thrown to the ground by a white officer and the fatal shooting of an unarmed, naked 17-year-old.

After the shooting, the police union criticized him for speaking at a news conference while standing with groups such as Black Lives Matter.

In another sign that he is not the typical Texas cop, he has been a vocal critic of the so-called anti-sanctuary cities law that expands police powers to question people who have been detained about their immigration status. He was also critical of recently-enacted laws that allow people to openly carry licensed handguns and carry concealed handguns into colleges buildings and dorms.

On Tuesday, Acevedo vividly laid out the details of how his officer, Sgt. Steve Perez, had lost his life trying to get to work when he became trapped in his patrol car in a flooded highway underpass.

His voice cracking, Acevedo chronicled how Perez left home about 4 a.m. Sunday to get to work, even after the sergeant's wife had urged him to stay home. Harvey's torrential rains had started the previous evening and continued to rage.

"I've got work to do," Perez told his wife, according to the chief.

"He has that in his DNA," Acevedo said.

"He was one of the sweetest people I've met," Acevedo said of Perez, whose death Sunday was two days short of his 61st birthday. "I've only been here nine months, we've got 6,500 employees and I knew who Steve Perez was, because he was a sweet, gentle public servant."

When Perez failed to show up at the regular roll call Monday, investigators back tracked his movements and narrowed their search to an inundated underpass.

On Tuesday morning, divers recovered Perez in 16 feet of water. Acevedo said he had "the privilege" of notifying Perez's family.

Mayor Sylvester Turner credited Perez for making "that extra effort" to get to work.

"What we can say is Sgt. Perez fulfilled his mission and the Lord called him home. I would dare not say he lost his life in vain, because he didn't."

As Turner and Acevedo turned from a podium, they hugged.


Md. police, fire departments used as ‘safe stations’ for opioid addicts

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Phil Davis The Capital

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — The “Safe Stations” initiative in Anne Arundel County has taken off over the past month, offering opioid addiction help to 45 people over the last three weeks.

At 15 people a week, according to Anne Arundel police, its popularity is well beyond what county officials expected.

The program — which turned police and fire departments into veritable safe havens for those addicted to drugs looking for help — originally launched with the expectation that its capacity would be about five people per week.

The increase has led to an influx of people in need of detoxification and caused those in charge of the program to make some changes to fit the growing demand.

“A large portion of the people, because they’re fearful of the withdrawal, need that detox piece,” said Jen Corbin, head of the Mobile Crisis Team that oversees the program.

Corbin said word of mouth is helping the Safe Stations program’s popularity, with people coming out of it and “spreading the word that, ‘This has helped me.’”

The initiative was expanded last month after the state sent the county a $287,000 grant to hire personnel for the county’s Crisis Response Team, which refers those in the program to various resources throughout the county to help with treatment.

For Peter D’Souza, executive director of the Hope House Treatment Center, it’s part of what’s led to a longer waiting list of people awaiting treatment.Souza, executive director of the Hope House Treatment Center, it’s part of what’s led to a longer waiting list of people awaiting treatment.

Currently, 60 people are on a wait list for treatment at the Crownsville-based center, D’Souza said.

Not all of it can be attributed to Safe Stations, he added. Part of the center’s policy is to prioritize those who are referred there after having suffered an overdose over those who voluntarily commit themselves.

With 715 people having overdosed as of Wednesday, according to Anne Arundel police, there’s no shortage of new patients as the county continues to set weekly highs for overdoses.

But he said he’s worried he won’t be able to adequately staff the center, which just increased its capacity from 16 beds to 49 beds as of July.

Maryland law requires the center to have one substance abuse counselor for every eight patients admitted, D’Souza said.

While he has the beds to accommodate more patients, he only has three counselors and is struggling to find more with an accredited counseling degree.

“The salaries in the addiction field are lower than those in other fields,” D’Souza said. “That is something that the state and the county … needs to start addressing.”Souza said. “That is something that the state and the county … needs to start addressing.”

County Health Officer Fran Phillips said while a federal waiver that allows treatment centers in Maryland with more than 16 beds to receive federal dollars allowed places like House Hope to expand, it magnified the issue of a lack of accredited addiction counselors.

“They’re full and they’re looking for staff like everybody else is,” Phillips said of Hope House. “Where are we going to find qualified addiction counselors?”

Corbin said her team has started to work closer with many of the detoxification providers — such as Hope House and Pathways in Annapolis — to better accommodate incoming patients.

In addition, the team is referring some people who come through Safe Stations to treatment centers outside the county if it’s more convenient, she said.

Copyright 2017 The Capital


Ky. House holds private meeting to discuss police, fire pensions

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Adam Beam Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Facing unpopular decisions on the state's failing public pension systems, the Kentucky House of Representatives shut the public out of its first discussion of potential changes by holding a closed-door meeting Tuesday to discuss a state-funded report that recommends pay cuts for retirees and freezing benefits for current workers.

House Republicans campaigned on changing the pension system last fall, and voters gave them a super majority for the first time in state history. Since January, Republican leaders have vowed to pass legislation in a special session this year to fix the pension system, which is at least $33 billion short of paying the retirement benefits for state workers, police officers, firefighters and public school teachers over the next 30 years.

But Republicans have not said what those changes would be. Monday, a state-funded analysis recommended major changes, including taking away 16 years' worth of cost-of-living raises for some retirees and freezing the benefits for current workers and moving them into a 401(k)-style plan. Tuesday, Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover invited all 100 members to a closed-door meeting to discuss the report.

"This is beyond frightening," said David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees. "We would hope that the legislators would recognize the importance of being more open about this discussion."

Bryanna Carroll, governmental affairs director for the Kentucky League of Cities, said the group does not have an opinion on how the House of Representatives does business. But she said the meeting will "hopefully be a positive for us to gauge where the members are on the issue."

The Associated Press objected to the meeting being closed to the public. Kentucky's Open Meetings Act requires any meeting of a quorum of any public agency to be open to the public. Laura Hendrix, general counsel for the House majority leadership, said caucus meetings are exempt from the law. She said Tuesday's meeting was officially a meeting of the House Republican caucus with the Democratic caucus as invited guests.

"In effect, the Speaker of the House has decided to call a meeting of the entire House for the purpose of discussing public business," Associated Press attorney Brian Barrett wrote in a letter to the Speaker's office. "It cannot be the case that the House can avoid its obligations under the (Open Meetings) Act merely by describing a meeting as a collection of committees rather than a quorum of the governing body. This plainly violates the spirit of the law and is both substantively and legally dubious."

Democratic state Rep. Jim Wayne walked out of the meeting after he said his request to make it open to the public was denied. He appeared to be the only lawmaker to leave the meeting.

"It's not the right way to do things," Wayne said. "We've seen under the leadership of Jeff Hoover a number of opportunities for transparency to have basically been kicked off the road."

Hoover told reporters after the meeting that "there was no discussion, it was members asking questions of our budget director and our consultants." He said the meeting was "for informational purposes only."

"I felt really good about it. We wanted to do that to give them the opportunity to do it without the media there and to make it a more comfortable setting for them to ask questions," he said. "I hope it sends the message to state workers that we are trying to solve this problem in a bipartisan manner."


Top 10 videos of sovereign citizens getting owned

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

While the threat of the sovereign citizen movement is no laughing matter, it’s undeniably funny when these anti-government agitators have interactions with police that don’t quite go the way they had hoped. That’s why we’ve gathered the 10 best clips of sovereign citizens getting owned by cops. Take a look, and share your humorous sovereign citizen encounters with us in the comments section.

1.

After this sovereign citizen spent nearly five minutes talking about the legality of Texas traffic codes, the officer familiarized him with the landmark SCOTUS case, Baton v. Window.

2.

One classic sovereign citizen tactic is attempting to throw as much “legal” mumbo jumbo at a cop as they can in the hope the officer will let them go, as this video is a great example of. Spoiler: It doesn’t work.

3.

“Article Four Free Inhabitant.” ‘Nuff said.

4.

This video doesn’t feature a cop, but it was too good not to include. The judge deserves a raise for his patience and his sense of humor in dealing with this sovereign citizen.

5.

“I do not consent!”

6.

Surprisingly, this sovereign citizen’s stand down order had no effect on the officers arresting him.

7.

Last anyone checked, the argument was still going.

8.

“The wind’s pushing your car? It’s not even windy out.”

9.

One of the many examples of the classic “traveling not driving” sovereign citizen argument.

10.

His “legal counsel” wasn’t of much help.

Conclusion

All laughs aside, chances are you’ll run into a sovereign citizen at least once during the course of your police career, so it’s important to be prepared. For more information about them, check out “5 common crimes committed by sovereign citizens" and “5 responses to a sovereign citizen at a traffic stop.”


5 things to know about white supremacist groups

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

The largest U.S. public gathering of white supremacists in decades occurred earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia. A vehicle terror attack during the rally left one person dead and dozens hospitalized. While the violent gathering of white supremacists, neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups shocked the nation, it is only the latest in a troubling trend of violence from these fringe groups. Here are five things all cops should know about this extremist threat.

1. White supremacy is on the rise.

White supremacists, as well as other hate groups, are growing.

According to a 2016 report, the SPLC identified 130 KKK camps, 43 neo-Confederate groups, 99 neo-Nazi groups, 100 white nationalist groups, and 78 skinhead groups currently active in the U.S. Overall, the number of hate groups in America has increased 17 percent since 2014. The Daily Stormer, one of the most infamous white supremacist websites, expanded from one chapter in 2015 to around 30 last year, according to ABC News. Icons in the movement both old, like David Duke, and new, like Richard Spencer, are a regular presence at rallies.

“Since the era of formal white supremacy – right before the Civil Rights Act when we ended [legal] segregation – since that time, this is the most enlivened that we've seen the white supremacist movement,” Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), told ABC News.

And it’s not just the numbers that are cause for concern. As evidenced in Charlottesville and other cities, where much of the violence has stemmed from clashes with the violent far-left-leaning group antifa, white supremacy has moved from the dark corners of the internet into American streets, bringing the threat of violence along with it.

2. White supremacists are responsible for more violence than any other current domestic extremist movement.

According to a May 10 intelligence bulletin obtained by Foreign Policy, the FBI and DHS warned that white supremacists “were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 … more than any other domestic extremist movement” and that these groups “likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year.”

The mass killing at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church carried out by Dylann Roof, the deadly train stabbings in Portland by suspect and “known white supremacist” Jeremy Christian, the mass shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple, which was carried out by white supremacist Wade Michael Page, and the aforementioned violence in Charlottesville – in which attendees were instructed by prominent white supremacist figures like Mike “Enoch” Peinovich and The Daily Stormer to bring weapons – are just a few of the more well-known incidents.

White supremacist Christopher Cantwell received widespread attention after being filmed in a Vice documentary about the Charlottesville rally, in which he’s quoted as saying: “These people want violence, and the right is just meeting a market demand." Cantwell has a history of violent threats that also extends to law enforcement.

He has called for overthrowing the government and advocated killing “government agents.” He celebrated the ambush killings of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos and said he once considered going on a bloody rampage like Vegas police ambush killer Jerad Miller.

Recently, news broke that federal investigators uncovered what they believed to be a “credible threat” to the public by neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division. While investigating the murder of two members by another member who converted to Islam, police found materials for explosives in the garage of their residence.

Devon Arthurs, the suspect in the murders, told police his victims were planning a terror attack "because they want to build a Fourth Reich."

3. Who are these groups?

Although white supremacist, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi groups number in the hundreds, there are some that have received particular attention in the wake of the deadly violence in Charlottesville.

One you may be most familiar with is Vanguard America. VA’s slogan, “Blood and Soil,” was heard among the chants in Charlottesville during the torch march the night prior to the rally that turned deadly. And James Alex Fields, the suspect in the car attack that killed Heather Heyer, was seen posing with VA at the rally prior to the killing (the group later denied that Fields was a member). VA’s leader, Dillon Irizarry, said earlier this year that the group had around 200 members, with representation in 20 states.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, at a rally with other white supremacist groups in April, VA became a member of the Nationalist Front – an umbrella organization led by Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers Party and Jeff Schoep of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Socialist Movement (Cantwell is also associated with these two groups). Among other groups in the NF alliance: the KKK, Aryan Nations, and Phineas Priesthood.

Heimbach is considered one of the most prominent faces of the modern white supremacist movement. He founded the Traditionalist Youth Network in 2013 and also had a leadership role in the neo-Confederate League of the South. The aforementioned Traditionalist Workers Party is a political offshoot of TYN created to run in local elections, which Heimbach says will happen in 2018. Heimbach was a major presence at the “Unite the Right” rally and helped promote it. He also made headlines for shoving a protester at a Donald Trump rally last year and subsequently suing Trump for indemnity in connection with the assault.

When asked if the outcome of Charlottesville was what he had hoped for, Heimbach told the New York Times:

“We achieved all of our objectives. We showed that our movement is not just online, but growing physically. We asserted ourselves as the voice of white America.”

The TWP was also responsible for putting on the rally in Sacramento last year that led to mass stabbings and other injuries during a clash between white supremacists and antifa.

4. The federal government previously expressed concern about the possibility of a growing threat.

The FBI has investigated potential infiltration of white supremacist groups into law enforcement. In a 2006 report obtained by The Intercept, the agency detailed its discovery of a white supremacist group that was encouraging “ghost skins” (defined as “those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes”) to join the ranks of police agencies as a way to give white supremacist groups advance warning of any investigations into their activities.

In 2009, a DHS report titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” stated that “The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.” The report sparked a political backlash, and in response, DHS “cut the number of personnel studying domestic terrorism unrelated to Islam, canceled numerous state and local law enforcement briefings, and held up dissemination of nearly a dozen reports on extremist groups,” according to the Washington Post.

The government continues to divert resources from investigations into white supremacist groups. Earlier this year, the DHS cut grant funding to “Life After Hate,” an outreach and intervention organization focused on white supremacists.

5. How is the issue being combated now?

In the wake of Charlottesville, some states have introduced legislation that would classify white supremacist groups as terrorists and politicians from both sides of the aisle have come out on social media to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

And police agencies are beefing up manpower at rallies where white supremacist groups are expected to show. In San Francisco, for example, every single officer in the city was on duty in anticipation of an Aug. 26 “free speech” rally, which was eventually canceled by its organizers.

In the private sector, tech companies like Google, GoDaddy, Spotify, Apple, PayPal and Facebook have made moves to cut white supremacists out of their platforms.


Officials: No immigration enforcement at Harvey relief sites

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

Undocumented immigrants seeking relief and shelter from Hurricane Harvey won’t be arrested or have to show ID, officials said.

FEMA, ICE and the city of Houston have all confirmed that immigration enforcement is not their main priority during Hurricane Harvey. They want to make sure people stay safe.

In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said their highest priorities are “to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible and the speedy recovery of the region.”

Under the “rumor control” tab on their website, FEMA wrote that ICE and CBP agents will not be conducting immigration enforcement at relief sites like shelters and food banks. However, if local law enforcement informs ICE of an undocumented immigrant at a relief site that “presents a public safety threat, ICE will make a determination on a case-by-case basis about the appropriate enforcement actions.”

Additionally, the city of Houston said in a tweet that they “will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter.” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told ABC News that he would represent any immigrant facing deportation after seeking relief from the storm.

“If you are in a stressful situation, I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you’re religion is, I don’t care what your language is, you come and take advantage of every service that we have,” Turner said.

We will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter. This rumor is FALSE!

— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) August 29, 2017


Houston emergency officials: Stay out of the water

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — The continuous flooding in Houston is displacing more than humans—bayou animals such as alligators, snakes and fire ants are all looking for higher ground as well.

Meyerland Patch reported that Houston emergency officials warned residents to stay out of the water because of unseen hazards lurking inside.

The Houston Gator Squad, a group that removes alligators from unwanted places, retrieved its first alligator Saturday, but is preparing for what they believe will be a busy week.

“Alligators that show up on your property during flooding and heavy rain are not seeking you out for food or trying to be aggressive,” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “They are trying to deal with the weather like the rest of us.”

The Texas Cooperative Extension Service said that fire ants are clinging together to form a living flotilla to make it through the flood. The floating fire ant colonies can inhabit around 500,000 fire ants.

According to the Houston Zoo, there are 34 species of snakes in the city, which are also being dredged up. Six of the 34 species are venomous, including the Texas coral snake and three species of rattlesnakes, the western cottonmouth and the southern copperhead.

The Gator Squad in Houston is warning people of danger and telling them to leave the alligators alone: https://t.co/I5dnouNH9r pic.twitter.com/LJMp8uFP4u

— KLTV 7 (@KLTV7) August 28, 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=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

WATCH OUT FOR GATORS, Y'ALL: Yup, this one was caught right here in Meyerland. The Texas Gator Squad safely relocated it to El Campo. Randy Wallace FOX 26 http://bit.ly/2wI6f4i

Posted by FOX 26 Houston on Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fire ants form a protective island as they float out the #Houston flood pic.twitter.com/UBORwAzA4R

— Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) August 27, 2017

Pro tip: Don't touch the floating fire ant colonies. They will ruin your day. #Harvey pic.twitter.com/uwJd0rA7qB

— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) August 27, 2017

Photos: Flooding brings alligators and floating fire ants to Houston area https://t.co/Lf0SpsphYM #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/fE1a53HYQB

— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) August 28, 2017


Harvey’s hidden hazards: Gators, snakes and fire ants

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — The continuous flooding in Houston is displacing more than humans—bayou animals such as alligators, snakes and fire ants are all looking for higher ground as well.

Meyerland Patch reported that Houston emergency officials warned residents to stay out of the water because of unseen hazards lurking inside.

The Houston Gator Squad, a group that removes alligators from unwanted places, retrieved its first alligator Saturday, but is preparing for what they believe will be a busy week.

“Alligators that show up on your property during flooding and heavy rain are not seeking you out for food or trying to be aggressive,” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “They are trying to deal with the weather like the rest of us.”

The Texas Cooperative Extension Service said that fire ants are clinging together to form a living flotilla to make it through the flood. The floating fire ant colonies can inhabit around 500,000 fire ants.

According to the Houston Zoo, there are 34 species of snakes in the city, which are also being dredged up. Six of the 34 species are venomous, including the Texas coral snake and three species of rattlesnakes, the western cottonmouth and the southern copperhead.

The Gator Squad in Houston is warning people of danger and telling them to leave the alligators alone: https://t.co/I5dnouNH9r pic.twitter.com/LJMp8uFP4u

— KLTV 7 (@KLTV7) August 28, 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=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

WATCH OUT FOR GATORS, Y'ALL: Yup, this one was caught right here in Meyerland. The Texas Gator Squad safely relocated it to El Campo. Randy Wallace FOX 26 http://bit.ly/2wI6f4i

Posted by FOX 26 Houston on Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fire ants form a protective island as they float out the #Houston flood pic.twitter.com/UBORwAzA4R

— Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) August 27, 2017

Pro tip: Don't touch the floating fire ant colonies. They will ruin your day. #Harvey pic.twitter.com/uwJd0rA7qB

— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) August 27, 2017

Photos: Flooding brings alligators and floating fire ants to Houston area https://t.co/Lf0SpsphYM #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/fE1a53HYQB

— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) August 28, 2017


Chicago cop who opened fire on stolen car in 2013 found guilty of civil rights charges

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — An officer who wounded two teenagers when he opened fire on a stolen vehicle in 2013 was found guilty Monday of federal civil rights charges.

Marco Proano, 42, allegedly fired several shots into the stolen car as it backed up after police stopped the car for speeding, WLS reported. Two teenagers were wounded in the shooting and Proano was charged in 2016 with federal civil rights violations for using unreasonable force and causing bodily injury.

A defense attorney said during the trial that Proano made a split second decision when he opened fire. Dash cam video shows the stolen car reversing and then driving away from officers.

Proano arrived on the scene after two other officers came across the car full of at least six teenagers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The driver fled before Proano arrived, and as he approached the scene, Proano saw the car suddenly reverse with one teen hanging out a window. Another person jumped from the backseat, put the car in reverse and pushed the gas pedal with his hands.

Proano is seen in dash camera footage stepping forward with his gun drawn as the vehicle reverses. He steps back then forward again and he opens fire. Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgia Alexakis said Proano fired 16 shots. A police statement released to the Associated Press at the time of the shooting said the officer opened fire out of fear that the "occupants who had been in the vehicle were in a position to sustain great bodily harm.”

The jury found Proano guilty after less than four hours of deliberation, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He faces up to 20 years in prison, 10 years for each civil rights violation.

Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said in a statement that they were “disappointed in the jury’s verdict.”

“The pressure on the police is making the job extremely difficult,” Graham said. “It seems that the criminal elements in our society are not accountable in our justice system, while the police face an intense scrutiny for every split second decision they make. We will meet with our legal advisers to consider the next steps."


Quiz: Are these long guns real or fake?

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Police departments have long warned the public about the dangers of replica guns. A split-second decision can mean the difference between life and death, and there is no training in the world that can teach police officers how to differentiate fake from real when mere seconds count. The following photos shared by police departments are of replica and real long guns. With all the time in the world (which officers in the field do NOT have), can you tell which of these long guns are real or fake? Take the quiz below. Think you can accurately identify replica handguns? You can find our quiz on those here. For information about how cops can educate the public about the dangers of replica guns, click here.


Planet Fitness worker berates customer wearing fallen cop shirt

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SANDUSKY, Ohio — A woman alleges she was recently berated by a Planet Fitness worker for wearing a shirt honoring a fallen officer.

Carolyn Demore, who says she’s currently in the police academy, wrote on Facebook that she was waiting for someone to sign her in to tan before she worked out on Aug. 18 when a worker approached her. He allegedly walked behind the counter and said “I hate your shirt. I hate the police. F*** them.”

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Tonight at Planet Fitness in Sandusky I walked in minding my own business. As I'm waiting for an employee to sign me in...

Posted by Carolyn Demore on Friday, August 18, 2017

She said she brushed it off, but he continued and said “that’s the dumbest shirt ever.” Demore told him the shirt honored Officer Andrew Dunn, who was fatally shot in a 2011 gun battle with a suspect. The employee allegedly replied “good for him, I don’t like you either.”

Demore said she tanned, but cut her workout short because she “lost all respect for Planet Fitness.”

Planet Fitness wrote a response on Facebook saying that they do “not condone such behavior.”

“Our goal is to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for all of our members and guests,” they wrote. “We have taken immediate action and have reached out to all parties involved. We hope that you know that we aim to continue our commitment to providing a safe place to all.”


Planet Fitness worker allegedly berates customer wearing fallen cop shirt

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SANDUSKY, Ohio — A woman alleges she was recently berated by a Planet Fitness worker for wearing a shirt honoring a fallen officer.

Carolyn Demore, who says she’s currently in the police academy, wrote on Facebook that she was waiting for someone to sign her in to tan before she worked out on Aug. 18 when a worker approached her. He allegedly walked behind the counter and said “I hate your shirt. I hate the police. F*** them.”

(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=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Tonight at Planet Fitness in Sandusky I walked in minding my own business. As I'm waiting for an employee to sign me in...

Posted by Carolyn Demore on Friday, August 18, 2017

She said she brushed it off, but he continued and said “that’s the dumbest shirt ever.” Demore told him the shirt honored Officer Andrew Dunn, who was fatally shot in a 2011 gun battle with a suspect. The employee allegedly replied “good for him, I don’t like you either.”

Demore said she tanned, but cut her workout short because she “lost all respect for Planet Fitness.”

Planet Fitness wrote a response on Facebook saying that they do “not condone such behavior.”

“Our goal is to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for all of our members and guests,” they wrote. “We have taken immediate action and have reached out to all parties involved. We hope that you know that we aim to continue our commitment to providing a safe place to all.”


Widow of fallen Fla. officer sworn in as special agent

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The widow of an officer killed in the line of duty earlier this month was sworn in as a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Sadia Baxter was sworn in Monday, WESH reported. She will be working in the organized crime unit.

Officials said Baxter was hired before her husband, Officer Matthew Baxter, was murdered. According to WFTV, she was an officer with the Kissimmee Police Department before she was hired on as a special agent.

Matthew and Sgt. Sam Howard were patrolling a neighborhood with a history of drug activity on Aug. 18 when the deadly shooting occurred, the Associated Press reported. While investigating three people, Baxter got into a scuffle with Everett Miller. Both officers were shot and killed. Miller, 45, faces multiple charges including first-degree murder.

Sadia Baxter (the wife of fallen officer Matthew Baxter) was sworn in as a special agent with #FDLE. #KissimmeePoliceDepartment @MyNews13 pic.twitter.com/fuPJqjzSkb

— Stephanie Bechara (@BecharaReports) August 29, 2017


Daughter writes touching note to cop dad helping with Harvey rescues

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WACO, Texas — The daughter of a police officer wrote her father a touching note before he headed south to help with Harvey rescues.

The Waco Police Department shared a photo of the letter to the Facebook Monday.

The girl wrote she hoped her dad didn’t get hurt, “but I hope you help other people that need it more than you do.”

“I hope no one gets hurt more. I hope everyone gets away the hurricane. I love you!”

Multiple police departments and the National Guard were deployed to help local law enforcement with rescues.

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As our off-duty officers head into harms way to help with hurricane Harvey rescues, we thought we'd share with you one...

Posted by Waco Police Department on Monday, August 28, 2017


Handcuffed suspect dead after shooting NM officer

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By Katy Barnitz Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man is dead after he shot a state police officer who had just handcuffed him — striking the officer in the badge, according to authorities.

The officer was taken to a local hospital and released soon after, according to New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas. The officer, whose name has not been released, suffered bruising and facial injuries from badge shrapnel and will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice.

William Wilson, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The state police officer along with a San Juan County sheriff’s deputy opened fire after Wilson fired a shot, Kassetas said in a news conference broadcast online.

Wilson was a passenger in a truck stopped at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday by a San Juan County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Officers were looking for the truck because they believed it had been involved in recent larcenies and burglaries.

The state police officer arrived soon after as backup. The officer had “a discussion” with Wilson, Kassetas said, before cuffing Wilson’s hands in front of his body.

“Ultimately very shortly after that took place, that suspect produced a weapon, a revolver we believe, and fired it at my state police officer attempting to kill him,” he said. “That round went into his badge and vest.”

Kassetas, speaking at a 3:30 p.m. news conference in Aztec, said it’s not clear how many rounds the officer and deputy fired. Asked whether the suspect was patted down for weapons, he said the situation unfolded in a matter of moments.

“In a perfect world, yeah, people should be patted down and checked for weapons, but things happen very quickly,” he said. “My officers and the deputies have seconds to make a decision.”

San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen took the news conference as an opportunity to criticize the Supreme Court’s bail reform effort and new rules that aim to keep poor people from lingering in jail on bond they can’t afford while allowing judges the option of keeping the most threatening defendants in jail awaiting trial without bond.

He said the rules put people like Wilson back on the streets too quickly. He said Wilson had a lengthy criminal record and Kassetas pointed out that Wilson was wearing a GPS monitor at the time of the shooting.

Online court records show Wilson was released Aug. 2 from the San Juan County jail, after he was charged with burglarizing his uncle’s home in July 2017. According to court documents, he stole a dozen firearms and about $500 in change during the burglary.

Wilson was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond and one of the conditions of his release was GPS monitoring.

Prior to that arrest, William had been convicted of nine felonies, including arson, battery on a police officer, residential burglary and drug possession.

“Our judges, our lawmakers, and all law enforcement and every citizen of the state needs to stand up and stop this nonsense of catch and release,” Christiansen said.

———

©2017 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)


Houston police officer drowns in Harvey floodwaters

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A police officer has drowned in his patrol car while driving to work to help with Harvey rescues.

The 30-year veteran was driving Sunday morning to work when his patrol car became trapped in high floodwaters, the Houston Chronicle reported. Police said he tried to get out but was unable to.

Search and rescue crews are recovering his body. His family has not been formally notified.

"He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn," one high-ranking official told the publication.

The Associated Press reported that authorities have only confirmed three deaths from Hurricane Harvey.


Houston mayor IDs officer who drowned in Harvey floodwaters

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 2: 57 p.m. (CST):

Associated Press

HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that police Sgt. Steve Perez has died after he became trapped in his patrol car as he was driving to work.

The Houston Chronicle has reported that the 30-year officer was heading to work Sunday when he became trapped in high water on Interstate 45 in north Harris County and then couldn't get himself out of his car.

Houston Police Chief Confirms Officer Died In Flood While Making His Way To Work pic.twitter.com/JmVQYcjiLz

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 29, 2017

EARLIER:

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A police officer has drowned in his patrol car while driving to work to help with Harvey rescues.

The 30-year veteran was driving Sunday morning to work when his patrol car became trapped in high floodwaters, the Houston Chronicle reported. Police said he tried to get out but was unable to.

Search and rescue crews are recovering his body. His family has not been formally notified.

"He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn," one high-ranking official told the publication.

The Associated Press reported that authorities have only confirmed three deaths from Hurricane Harvey.


Another Fla. Highway Patrol official resigns amid ticket quota probe

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The second-highest ranking official in the Florida Highway Patrol is resigning amid an ongoing review into whether troopers were being ordered to meet traffic ticket quotas.

Lt. Col. Michael Thomas resigned Monday after it was discovered he sent an email in late May that encouraged troopers to write two tickets an hour. Thomas had been with the Florida Highway Patrol for 30 years. His last day on the job will be Sept. 1.

In his resignation letter, Thomas said the email was a "grave error" and could have been interpreted as an order to supervisors.

This is the second resignation this month. Maj. Mark Welch of Tallahassee's Troop H resigned after he told troopers they weren't writing enough tickets.

Top state officials have insisted that ticket quotas are not allowed.


Photo of cop carrying woman, baby through Harvey floodwaters goes viral

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Adam Geller AP National Writer

HOUSTON — In the photo, little Aiden Pham — 13 months old and swaddled in a blanket — nestles asleep in his mother's arms, even as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey surge around them.

Someday, no doubt, Aiden's mother will tell him about the day Houston police rescued them from their flooded home by boat, and about how one officer lifted them to safety. But thanks to the careful eye of a veteran Associated Press photographer assigned to cover the storm, the world already knows the mother, child and officer as the faces of the struggle to deal with the devastation.

"I was just keeping an eye out and as soon as I saw the SWAT team member carrying her and then seeing the baby, I just couldn't believe that baby was wrapped up in there and not crying," photographer David Phillip said of the moment Sunday afternoon when his lens found the trio. "It was just tender. It was very special."

Phillip's photo shows officer Daryl Hudeck, in baseball cap and fatigues, carrying Catherine Pham and the son she cradled through knee-deep water covering Interstate 610, in southwest Houston.

Phillip said the woman and child were rescued along with the baby's father from their home in the city's Meyerland section, where water reached many roofs.

By Monday, the image had quickly become a symbol of the storm and rescue efforts, featured across the web and many front pages.

The Phams, carried to a police staging point at a high spot in the road, were quickly whisked away Sunday, giving Phillip just a minute or two to get their names and witness their relief.

"House is completely flooded, but at least we are all together," Catherine Pham posted on her Facebook page late Sunday. "We are so thankful that God was looking over us today!"

Soon after the Phams were rescued, Phillip said, he broke away to transmit the photos. It's a good thing, too. Not long after, a boat he was on hit an object underwater, probably a submerged car, and the photographer was pitched backward into the water. His leg was scraped by the boat's outboard motor before fire department rescuers could pull him on board. One of his cameras and all the images it contained were lost.

Phillip, who is 51 and has been a photographer for the AP for 22 years, all based in Houston, has covered many hurricanes. But Katrina, Ike and Rita could not prepare him for the one that has swamped his home city.

During Katrina, "I did see a lot of disturbing things, you know, dogs eating bodies and that sort of thing," he said. "But having this in your home, it's just kind of a sickening feeling. I just kind of think it's a bad dream and we'll all wake up and it will all be gone. But it isn't going to be any time soon."

Still, Phillip said, seeing police rescue people like Catherine and Aiden Pham has been a reminder of his city's endurance.

"There's moments that will always stick in your head — that one and something that happened a few hours before them, when a sheriff's deputy had to go and rescue a guy from a flooded car," he said. "Just the terror on the gentleman's face who was being rescued and just how dedicated our law enforcement is, just doing what they can to save people."


Police: 2 woman dressed as nuns try to rob Pa. bank

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TANNERSVILLE, Pa. — Police say two women dressed as nuns attempted to rob a bank in Pennsylvania's Poconos.

Authorities say the women walked into Citizens Bank near Tannersville on Monday and one brandished a handgun, demanding money from a teller. But they left without taking anything.

Each woman was wearing a black nun's habit and veil. One woman also was wearing sunglasses.

The FBI is investigating and posted bank surveillance photos on Twitter.

#Wanted for attempted armed bank robbery today in #Tannersville PA: 2 H/F, ~5'-5'2"; wore nuns' habits/veils, had blk handgun. 215-418-4000 pic.twitter.com/Ujoxnjy3D2

— FBI Philadelphia (@FBIPhiladelphia) August 28, 2017


Charging decision expected in fatal OIS of Justine Damond by year’s end

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A prosecutor in Minnesota says he expects to decide by the end of the year whether to charge a Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a woman who called 911 about a possible sexual assault in her neighborhood.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement that his office has received public pressure to make a decision about the death of Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian native killed by Officer Mohamed Noor last month. Damond had called police to report a possible assault and met officers in an alley behind her home where Noor shot her. Noor has not commented publicly about why he shot Damond.

"We have received some e-mails and phone calls from members of the community demanding that we charge the officer immediately and ascribing all kinds of nefarious reasons as to why we haven't done so," Freeman said. "The truth is, we are following the same procedure we have with the three previous officer-involved shootings."

An investigation and review of a police shooting typically takes four to six months, Freeman said.

The fatal shooting of Damond, who was engaged to be married, has drawn international attention since the July 15 shooting.

Freeman broke precedent with the standard practice of having a grand jury to decide whether officers would be charged in police shootings when he reviewed the death of Jamar Clark, who was fatally shot by police in November 2015. The two officers involved in that case were not prosecuted.

"We will follow that practice in this case," Freeman said in his statement. "So, once the file is turned over to our office, I will thoroughly review the investigation with several of our most senior prosecutors and make a decision."


Calif. PD launches vigorous LGBT recruitment, outreach

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By Robert Salonga The Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif. — With Silicon Valley Pride approaching this weekend, the San Jose Police Department is for the first time launching a campaign to recruit members of the LGBT community through a series of public initiatives and an intrepid ad campaign.

The campaign will feature identical ads showing the actual families of three officers: a heterosexual couple, a gay male couple and a lesbian couple.

Chief Eddie Garcia also announced Thursday that his department has created a liaison role dedicated to addressing crime and police concerns within the LGBT community, which has battled issues with underreporting of crime out of fear of reprisal from families and colleagues.

“The reality is the LGBT community gets overlooked often,” Garcia said. “Bias isn’t solely about race. We can’t preach social justice outside the organization if we’re not preaching it inside as well. We want to continue to mirror the community we serve.”

Garcia will lead a push this weekend during Pride festivities to drum up interest in joining the police force. And inside the department within existing ranks, an array of projects to improve officers’ cultural competence with LGBT people and issues, and ability to discern hate crimes against them, is underway. Police academy recruits are already required to visit the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center as a component of their diversity training.

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We had a great time on Sunday at the Silicon Valley Pride parade. We loved meeting all of your families! And... a special shout out to all of the officers and their families that marched with the Chief in the parade.

Posted by San Jose Police Department on Monday, August 28, 2017

Officer James Gonzales, recently the vice president of the police union, is helping spearhead the new outreach. He is one of two openly gay male officers in the department.

“These steps are significant. No matter what you say, unless officers and people are seeing other officers serving openly, how will they have the confidence to do the same?” Gonzales said. “Seeing us in real same-sex couples can provide the confidence to work here and be open about their family status.”

“We’ve been at Pride for a number of years,” he added. “But we’ve never recruited at a gay event showing a gay officer and their family.”

The new liaison role mirrors efforts in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and, naturally, the city’s pioneering neighbors to the north in San Francisco.

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Today SJPD Officers', lead by Chief Garcia on top of a specially marked police car, marched in the Silicon Valley Pride...

Posted by San Jose Police Department on Sunday, August 27, 2017

Alongside the Pride participation — where the chief will ride in a patrol car outfitted with rainbow SJPD decals — this weekend the department will run the series of TV and print ads touting its new “SJPD + Your Family” campaign.

The ads show officers getting ready for work and saying goodbye to their spouses, with the only differences appearing at the end when their sexual orientation is briefly revealed.

The trailing message: “Now Hiring: San Jose Police Department welcomes all families to join our police family.”

Gonzales is featured with his husband in one of the ads. Officer Saul Duran appears in one with his wife, Patricia Jaime, a former SJPD officer-turned-District Attorney investigator. Officer Margaret Sandez rounds out the campaign appearing with her wife.

The chief is quick to point out that the department is not prioritizing the LGBT community over other underrepresented groups, but rather bringing it more evenly into the fold, especially with a nascent recruiting blitz to replenish years of staffing losses.

“We’re opening up the floodgates with recruiting. The LGBT community consists of all races,” Garcia said. “The individuals who qualify to be an SJPD officer are not all white, not all Latino, not all African-American. And they’re not all straight. If they can answer a call for service and save someone’s life, that’s good enough for me.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo echoed the sentiment.

“We’re passionate about getting the best and brightest women and men to serve our community, that requires us to send a clear message,” Liccardo said. “We invite diversity.”

Garcia noted that within the department culture, there has been more familiarity with openly lesbian officers than gay male officers. Gonzales has been a bridge for many of his colleagues in that regard, thanks in part to his familiarity to them as a union officer.

“I need to make sure that if a male officer happens to be gay, and if they want to keep their life private, that’s fine,” Garcia said. “And if they want to be able to talk about their personal life, I need to make sure that person is safe.”

Much of the planned outreach will be done in consultation with an LGBT advisory board created earlier this year, composed of community leaders including county Supervisor Ken Yeager; county LGBT affairs Director Maribel Martinez; Gabrielle Antolovich, board president of the Billy DeFrank Center; San Jose mayoral LGBT liaison Khanh Russo; and Wiggsy Sivertsen, the South Bay LGBT rights pioneer who spent nearly a half century at San Jose State University and co-founded the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee.

“This signifies progress in a way we’ve never seen before,” Yeager said. “The police force aggressively recruiting gays and lesbians is something I have not seen, ever. These all send a strong message in many ways: First, feel free to apply but more, importantly, feel free to report a crime.”

Yeager was alluding to a chronic issue in the LGBT community in terms of shaky trust in law enforcement. According to county figures, just one in four LGBT domestic-violence victims report the abuse to police.

Among LGBT youth, 81 percent are verbally harassed, 44 percent of them are physically harassed, and 20 percent are physically assaulted at school, according to the county. And the fear of reporting to police, and potentially outing themselves to families or employers, helps feed the troubling statistic that 29 percent of homeless youth are LGBT.

“I remember the days when officers would harass gay people or would not take the crime against them seriously,” Yeager said, adding that the police outreach “just shows the remarkable progress that’s going to keep on accelerating. I hope this happens with other police departments, and fire departments, as well.”

———

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


Amid Harvey floods, Houston police chief worries ‘how many bodies?’

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Graczyk and David Phillip Associated Press

HOUSTON — Crews overwhelmed by thousands of rescue calls during one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. history have had little time to search for other potential victims, but officials acknowledge the grim reality that fatalities linked to Harvey could soar once the devastating floodwaters recede from one of America's most sprawling metropolitan centers.

More than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths — including a woman killed Monday when heavy rains dislodged a large oak tree onto her trailer home in the small town of Porter. But unconfirmed reports of others missing or presumed dead were growing.

"We know in these kind of events that, sadly, the death toll goes up historically," Houston police Chief Art Acevedo told The Associated Press. "I'm really worried about how many bodies we're going to find."

One Houston woman said Monday that she presumes six members of a family, including four of her grandchildren, died after their van sank into Greens Bayou in East Houston, though Houston emergency officials couldn't confirm the deaths. Virginia Saldivar told The Associated Press her brother-in-law was driving the van Sunday when a strong current took the vehicle over a bridge and into the bayou. The driver was able to get out and urged the children to escape through the back door, Saldivar said, but they could not.

"I'm just hoping we find the bodies," Saldivar said.

And a spokeswoman for a Houston hotel says one of its employees disappeared while helping about 100 guests and workers evacuate the building amid rising floodwaters.

The disaster is unfolding on an epic scale, with the nation's fourth-largest city mostly paralyzed by the storm that has parked itself over the Gulf Coast. With nearly 2 more feet (61 centimeters) of rain expected on top of the 30-plus inches (76 centimeters) in some places, authorities worried the worst might be yet to come.

Early Tuesday, Harvey's relentless downpour continued to drench Houston and the surrounding area. Rain fell at a pace of about half an inch (1 centimeter) per hour over Harris County — home to Houston — and up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) per hour to the east.

The Houston metro area covers about 10,000 square miles (25,900 sq. kilometers), an area slightly bigger than New Jersey. It's crisscrossed by about 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) of channels, creeks and bayous that drain into the Gulf of Mexico, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southeast from downtown.

The storm is generating an amount of rain that would normally be seen only once in more than 1,000 years, said Edmond Russo, a deputy district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, which was concerned that floodwater would spill around a pair of 70-year-old reservoir dams that protect downtown Houston.

President Donald Trump was expected in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Austin Tuesday for briefings on the first major natural disaster of his administration, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump. And Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview with News Radio 1360 KKTX in Corpus Christi that he and his wife, Karen, will visit southeast Texas later this week.

The impact of Harvey is also already being felt in Lake Charles, southwestern Louisiana, where emergency crews have been rescuing residents from their flooded homes after steady overnight rainfall.

Forecasters expect the storm to creep eastward as far as Mississippi by Thursday, meaning New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina unleashed its full might in 2005, is in Harvey's path. Foreboding images of Harvey were lighting up weather radar screens early Tuesday, the 12th anniversary of the day Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish.

Rescuers meanwhile continued plucking people from inundated Houston neighborhoods. Mayor Sylvester Turner put the number by police at more than 3,000. The Coast Guard said it also had rescued more than 3,000 by boat and air and was taking more than 1,000 calls per hour.

Chris Thorn was among the many volunteers still helping with the mass evacuation that began Sunday. He drove with a buddy from the Dallas area with their flat-bottom hunting boat to pull strangers out of the water.

"I couldn't sit at home and watch it on TV and do nothing since I have a boat and all the tools to help," he said.

A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the low-lying Houston suburb of Dickinson, home to 20,000. Police cited the city's fragile infrastructure in the floods, limited working utilities and concern about the weather forecast.

Nearly 6,000 inmates displaced by flooding have been moved from prisons in the Houston area to other facilities in South and East Texas, according to the state Department of Criminal Justice.

In Houston, questions continued to swirl about why the mayor did not issue a similar evacuation order.

Turner has repeatedly defended the decision and did so again Monday, insisting that a mass evacuation of millions of people by car was a greater risk than enduring the storm.

"Both the county judge and I sat down together and decided that we were not in direct path of the storm, of the hurricane, and the safest thing to do was for people to stay put, make the necessary preparations. I have no doubt that the decision we made was the right decision."

He added, "Can you imagine if millions of people had left the city of Houston and then tried to come back in right now?"

By Monday night, 7,000 people had arrived at the city's largest shelter set up inside the George R. Brown Convention Center — which originally had an estimated capacity of 5,000.

Red Cross spokesman Lloyd Ziel said that volunteers made more space inside the center, which also was used to house Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans in 2005, in part by pushing some cots closer together. A shortage of cots means some people will have to sleep on chairs or the floor.

The center settled down at night, after an occasionally chaotic day that saw thousands of evacuees arrive in the pouring rain. Officers and volunteers at times rushed to attend to those with medical needs.

At the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, the Army Corps started releasing water Monday because water levels were climbing at a rate of more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) per hour, Corps spokesman Jay Townsend said.

The move was supposed to help shield the business district from floodwaters, but it also risked flooding thousands more homes in nearby subdivisions. Built after devastating floods in 1929 and 1935, the reservoirs were designed to hold water until it can be released downstream at a controlled rate.

In the Cypress Forest Estates neighborhood in northern Harris County, people called for help from inside homes as water from a nearby creek rose to their eaves. A steady procession of rescue boats floated into the area.

Harvey increased slightly in strength Monday as it drifted back over the warm Gulf, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters expect the system to stay over water with 45 mph (72 kph) winds for 36 hours and then head back inland east of Houston sometime Wednesday. The system will then head north and lose its tropical strength.

Before then, up to 20 more inches (51 centimeters) of rain could fall, National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini said Monday.

That means the flooding will get worse in the days ahead and the floodwaters will be slow to recede once Harvey finally moves on, the weather service said.

Sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday, parts of the Houston region will probably break the nearly 40-year-old U.S. record for the biggest rainfall from a tropical system — 48 inches (120 centimeters) — set by Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978 in Texas, meteorologists said.

The amount of water in Houston was so unprecedented that the weather service on Wednesday had to update the color charts on its official rainfall maps to indicate the heavier totals.

In Louisiana, the images of the devastation in Houston stirred painful memories for many Hurricane Katrina survivors.

"It really evoked a lot of emotions and heartbreak for the people who are going through that now in Houston," Ray Gratia said as he picked up sandbags for his New Orleans home, which flooded during the 2005 hurricane.

In Washington, President Donald Trump's administration assured Congress that the $3 billion balance in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster fund was enough to handle immediate needs, such as debris removal and temporary shelter for displaced residents.

The White House said Monday night that the president and first lady will visit Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday. They will receive briefings on the relief efforts by local leaders and organizations.

Harvey was the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961's Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.


Untraceable ‘ghost guns’ concerns grow among LE

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kristina Davis The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — Every gun tells a story.

It’s a popular catchphrase used by law enforcement to describe how to trace a firearm, from manufacturer to distributor to point of sale to customer.

But a new crop of guns bear no markings of their origin.

They are hand-built in homes and shared workshops, using mail-order parts and drilling machines that range from the rudimentary to the complex. They don’t bear the serial numbers of licensed manufacturers. They are untraceable, hence their nickname: “ghost guns.”

In just the past few years, the advancement and availability of milling and 3-D printing technology has made it easier than ever to build your own guns.

While not illegal on the face of it, authorities have grown increasingly concerned about the potential for a growing black market that sidesteps state and federal gun laws regulating everything from background checks to banned weapons.

The build-your-own-gun movement took off a few years ago in California, home to some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and has more recently been spreading to other part of the country, said Paul Ware, counsel for the Los Angeles division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The division spans Southern California, from the Mexico border north to San Luis Obispo.

Ware first heard of the practice a few years ago when an investigator forwarded him a clip from San Diego’s 10 News. A local business was inviting people to make their own AR-15-type weapons around Christmastime. While state law prohibits the sale of the completed rifles, it is not illegal to posses them in specific configurations. A new state law also requires AR-15 owners to register their weapons.

“I watched the video and said ‘That’s interesting,’” Ware said. He researched further and determined the business didn’t have a firearms manufacturing license, which is needed to make guns for sale legally.

“They are no longer in business,” he said. “We told them they needed a license, and they decided not to get a license.”

By law, licensed gun manufacturers are required to engrave identifying information on the weapon’s lower receiver. It’s the hollow metal frame that by legal definition makes a gun a gun. The manufacturer name and unique serial number are marked on the piece, and the gun’s path to a distributor is recorded in its company records.

The distributor and gun dealer must also record their possession of the weapon, ending with to whom the gun is ultimately sold.

ATF is prohibited by law from keeping a national register of firearms, so when a gun pops up at a crime scene, it is this process of checking through private corporate records that traces the gun to potential suspects.

When a ghost gun shows up at a crime scene, that presents a problem.

How does it work?

The most important component to building an untraceable gun is the lower receiver. The easiest way to get one without the markings of a licensed manufacturer is to buy an unfinished lower receiver online.

Called ULR for short, the unfinished piece can be sold legally without a license as long as it is missing key components that make it a firearm. The gun industry has attached a threshold to this, typically describing an unfinished lower receiver as 80 percent done. But ATF says that there is no 80 percent rule — it either is a gun or isn’t a gun, Ware said.

Once at home, the buyer can easily drill a few remaining holes in the unfinished metal shell. The now-finished lower receiver is then ready for its other parts — such as barrel, trigger mechanism, upper receiver and stock — all readily available online. Assemble it and you’ve got a working gun.

Lower receivers can also be milled from scratch at shared workshops that rent expensive machinery to the public.

It is not illegal to make or own these kinds of guns, and gun enthusiasts make up much of the fanbase for this do-it-yourself method.

“It’s not as nefarious as it sounds,” said Steve Herrick, owner of MakerPlace in Morena, a workshop that rents everything from metalworking tools to 3-D printers to industrial sewing machines.

He said customers bring in their own computer software for the Computer Numeric Control, or CNC, machines, where they can make anything from a Barbie to a lower receiver.

“The work required is not that hard. You don’t have to be a skilled craftsman to do those things,” he said.

He added: “We try not to stick our nose in our customers’ business.”

The one rule he asks gunmakers to follow is to not ever assemble the firearm at the workshop. “They can make individual parts, most of which are not recognizable,” Herrick said.

The guns are a far cry from the first models that were milled this way, Ware said.

“People laughed off the first versions of 3-D guns, they were terrible,” he said. “They shot a few rounds, blew up in your hand. It’s not that anymore. They are nearly as good as ones you can buy.”

Against the law

What is illegal is to make these kinds of guns for sale, or to sell as a middleman. And a felon is prohibited from owning any kind of gun.

A black market for these untraceable guns — from Glock pistols to fully-automatic machine guns — has emerged, selling to customers without background checks.

“Prohibited people have easy access to these guns,” Ware said. “They can make them themselves or buy from someone who makes it for them. It subverts the whole Gun Control Act. Most people think it’s hard to get a gun without a background check. It’s not.”

It was easy for Rolando Magana.

Prior convictions for domestic violence and making threats using a gun made him ineligible to own a firearm. So he went to ROHG Industries.

“They were inviting the public to come in, you pick the parts you want, like a smorgasbord, a buffet,” Ware said. “They put it into the CNC machines and ask the customer to press the button. Believe it or not, they could manufacture and fully assemble a gun, in an hour, you walk out with a rifle.”

The La Habra business kept records of its sales and photos of customers, but did not perform background checks, authorities allege. When the warehouse was searched in 2014, agents culled through about 520 customer profiles and learned 20 were convicted felons and another person was deemed mentally unfit to possess a gun, according to court documents.

One of those customers, Magana, admitted that he’d bought guns and gun parts from the business and trafficked them in carloads to Michoacan, Mexico, according to the criminal complaint. A search of his house turned up an arsenal of guns marked with serial numbers, as well as unfinished lower receivers and plastic human restraints.

The warehouse owner, Joseph Roh, is set to go to trial in October in Orange County on a charge of manufacturing guns without a license.

Paul Joseph Holdy, a convicted felon with a history of drug offenses, was running a less sophisticated operation in San Diego.

Using drill presses and small CNC machine at his University City home, as well as the fancier machines at MakerPlace, Holdy made lower receivers and then assembled guns using component parts. He sold at least 18 guns to undercover ATF agents from June 2016 to May 2017, including short-barrel machine guns, assault rifles and handguns, according to his plea agreement and other court records.

The deals were often made in parking lots, and a few times the agents were invited to the house that he shared with his parents, according to court records.

Another local ring ran out of North County. A young mechanic, Christian Romero, was accused of making assault-style weapons from unfinished lower receivers and then selling the assembled weapons with help from friends for more than $1,000 each.

While federal authorities went after these operations criminally, ATF’s Ware said the agency tries to first educate those in the industry about what is and isn’t allowed. Most comply, he said.

ATF does not specifically track cases involving unfinished lower receivers, therefore it is unknown how frequently such guns are showing up at crime scenes or are seized. Local law enforcement are more likely to come across such weapons, Ware said.

San Diego police said officers rarely come across such guns.

An AR-15-style rifle pieced together from various parts was used in the 2013 rampage shooting in Santa Monica. John Zawahri, 23, killed five people, starting at his father’s home and ending at Santa Monica College. Police shot him in the school’s library. Zawahri was also carrying a .44-caliber pistol.

The rifle appeared to have been modified to fire more rounds.

———

©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune


Governor signs law limiting Ill. police on immigration

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sophia Tareen Associated Press

CHICAGO — Illinois will limit how local and state police can cooperate with federal immigration authorities under a plan signed into law Monday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, a move that puts the first-term Republican at odds with his party on immigration issues.

The narrow measure prohibits police from searching, arresting or detaining someone solely because of immigration status, or because of so-called federal immigration detainers. But local authorities will be able to communicate with immigration agents and hold someone for immigration authorities if there's a valid criminal warrant, according to the new law.

Rauner acknowledged at the signing — a heavily-attended, festive event in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood — that it was a tough proposal many didn't want him to support, but he said he was convinced after talking with law enforcement and immigrant leaders.

"This took months and months of difficult negotiations," Rauner said after a mariachi band performed and top Democrats gave supportive speeches. He said it helps Illinois take another step toward "continuing to be a welcome state."

Proponents insist the measure falls short of a "sanctuary" law because it leaves the door open to communication and ensures the state complies with federal law. But Republican opponents have tried to characterize it that way, something that comes as President Donald Trump has threatened to crack down on sanctuary cities, which have laws friendly to immigrants living in U.S. without legal permission.

The move places Rauner in a tricky spot as Democrat-heavy Illinois' first GOP governor in over a decade. He faces re-election next year and will need to shore up support from Republican strongholds outside Chicago.

Rauner said he believed the measure would increase safety and "improve connectivity" between immigrants and law enforcement to make the state safer.

Detainers are requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to law enforcement agencies to hold a suspected deportable immigrant long enough for immigration authorities to pick them up. But federal courts have found the requests aren't sufficient for local jails to hold someone after bail has been posted or beyond their sentence, with critics raising constitutional and liability questions for jails. California and Connecticut don't honor them, a practice many counties nationwide already follow.

Trump has called for more links between federal and local authorities to fix a broken immigration system and deport criminals. He's threatened to withhold public safety funds from sanctuary cities such as Chicago, which has filed a lawsuit in response. In light of his crackdown, Miami-Dade County has reversed a sanctuary policy and Texas beefed up laws to allow police to ask about immigration status on traffic stops and requiring law enforcement to honor detainers or face punishment. However, the Texas law faces a court challenge.

In Illinois the measure was only approved after it was scaled back from an initial proposal that included the creation of "safe zones," like schools and hospitals where immigration agents wouldn't be allowed to make arrests.

Law enforcement agents, who attended Monday's event, said the plan would allow them to focus energy on safety, encourage immigrant victims of crime to come forward and build trust. Tension between the groups was on display briefly during the event as Illinois Sheriff's Association executive director Greg Sullivan used criminal justice terminology to discuss the "removal of illegal criminal aliens" to the crowd of immigrants and activists. Several interrupted, yelling their preferred term of "undocumented."

Rauner's hesitance to back the bill has been obvious. The former businessman has avoided talking about national issues such as immigration, particularly when it comes to Trump. He's said he favors comprehensive immigration reform, but has not detailed what that means.

This month during his first national television interview on FOX News, he repeatedly declined to discuss Chicago's lawsuit or sanctuary laws. He pivoted to his ongoing fight over state funding issues with majority Democrats. In response, conservative media outlets such as Breitbart News, blasted Rauner for not denouncing the measure. A Chicago Tribune columnist said Rauner signing the bill "opens a breach on his right political flank."

Ahead of the signing, Rauner would only say the measure was "reasonable," prompting groups in support such as the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, which includes high-profile Republicans and CEOs, to boost advocacy.

Backers say the law, reviewed by State Police and the Illinois Attorney's General office, will help protect immigrants from federal harassment.

"It's obviously a benefit to an undocumented person to know the police are not going to be putting them under suspicion everywhere they go," Senate President John Cullerton, a Democratic sponsor of the bill said at the signing. "There are also benefits to law enforcement."

The law takes effect immediately.

__

The legislation is SB31


Untraceable ‘ghost gun’ concerns grow among LE

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kristina Davis The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — Every gun tells a story.

It’s a popular catchphrase used by law enforcement to describe how to trace a firearm, from manufacturer to distributor to point of sale to customer.

But a new crop of guns bear no markings of their origin.

They are hand-built in homes and shared workshops, using mail-order parts and drilling machines that range from the rudimentary to the complex. They don’t bear the serial numbers of licensed manufacturers. They are untraceable, hence their nickname: “ghost guns.”

In just the past few years, the advancement and availability of milling and 3-D printing technology has made it easier than ever to build your own guns.

While not illegal on the face of it, authorities have grown increasingly concerned about the potential for a growing black market that sidesteps state and federal gun laws regulating everything from background checks to banned weapons.

The build-your-own-gun movement took off a few years ago in California, home to some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and has more recently been spreading to other part of the country, said Paul Ware, counsel for the Los Angeles division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The division spans Southern California, from the Mexico border north to San Luis Obispo.

Ware first heard of the practice a few years ago when an investigator forwarded him a clip from San Diego’s 10 News. A local business was inviting people to make their own AR-15-type weapons around Christmastime. While state law prohibits the sale of the completed rifles, it is not illegal to posses them in specific configurations. A new state law also requires AR-15 owners to register their weapons.

“I watched the video and said ‘That’s interesting,’” Ware said. He researched further and determined the business didn’t have a firearms manufacturing license, which is needed to make guns for sale legally.

“They are no longer in business,” he said. “We told them they needed a license, and they decided not to get a license.”

By law, licensed gun manufacturers are required to engrave identifying information on the weapon’s lower receiver. It’s the hollow metal frame that by legal definition makes a gun a gun. The manufacturer name and unique serial number are marked on the piece, and the gun’s path to a distributor is recorded in its company records.

The distributor and gun dealer must also record their possession of the weapon, ending with to whom the gun is ultimately sold.

ATF is prohibited by law from keeping a national register of firearms, so when a gun pops up at a crime scene, it is this process of checking through private corporate records that traces the gun to potential suspects.

When a ghost gun shows up at a crime scene, that presents a problem.

How does it work?

The most important component to building an untraceable gun is the lower receiver. The easiest way to get one without the markings of a licensed manufacturer is to buy an unfinished lower receiver online.

Called ULR for short, the unfinished piece can be sold legally without a license as long as it is missing key components that make it a firearm. The gun industry has attached a threshold to this, typically describing an unfinished lower receiver as 80 percent done. But ATF says that there is no 80 percent rule — it either is a gun or isn’t a gun, Ware said.

Once at home, the buyer can easily drill a few remaining holes in the unfinished metal shell. The now-finished lower receiver is then ready for its other parts — such as barrel, trigger mechanism, upper receiver and stock — all readily available online. Assemble it and you’ve got a working gun.

Lower receivers can also be milled from scratch at shared workshops that rent expensive machinery to the public.

It is not illegal to make or own these kinds of guns, and gun enthusiasts make up much of the fanbase for this do-it-yourself method.

“It’s not as nefarious as it sounds,” said Steve Herrick, owner of MakerPlace in Morena, a workshop that rents everything from metalworking tools to 3-D printers to industrial sewing machines.

He said customers bring in their own computer software for the Computer Numeric Control, or CNC, machines, where they can make anything from a Barbie to a lower receiver.

“The work required is not that hard. You don’t have to be a skilled craftsman to do those things,” he said.

He added: “We try not to stick our nose in our customers’ business.”

The one rule he asks gunmakers to follow is to not ever assemble the firearm at the workshop. “They can make individual parts, most of which are not recognizable,” Herrick said.

The guns are a far cry from the first models that were milled this way, Ware said.

“People laughed off the first versions of 3-D guns, they were terrible,” he said. “They shot a few rounds, blew up in your hand. It’s not that anymore. They are nearly as good as ones you can buy.”

Against the law

What is illegal is to make these kinds of guns for sale, or to sell as a middleman. And a felon is prohibited from owning any kind of gun.

A black market for these untraceable guns — from Glock pistols to fully-automatic machine guns — has emerged, selling to customers without background checks.

“Prohibited people have easy access to these guns,” Ware said. “They can make them themselves or buy from someone who makes it for them. It subverts the whole Gun Control Act. Most people think it’s hard to get a gun without a background check. It’s not.”

It was easy for Rolando Magana.

Prior convictions for domestic violence and making threats using a gun made him ineligible to own a firearm. So he went to ROHG Industries.

“They were inviting the public to come in, you pick the parts you want, like a smorgasbord, a buffet,” Ware said. “They put it into the CNC machines and ask the customer to press the button. Believe it or not, they could manufacture and fully assemble a gun, in an hour, you walk out with a rifle.”

The La Habra business kept records of its sales and photos of customers, but did not perform background checks, authorities allege. When the warehouse was searched in 2014, agents culled through about 520 customer profiles and learned 20 were convicted felons and another person was deemed mentally unfit to possess a gun, according to court documents.

One of those customers, Magana, admitted that he’d bought guns and gun parts from the business and trafficked them in carloads to Michoacan, Mexico, according to the criminal complaint. A search of his house turned up an arsenal of guns marked with serial numbers, as well as unfinished lower receivers and plastic human restraints.

The warehouse owner, Joseph Roh, is set to go to trial in October in Orange County on a charge of manufacturing guns without a license.

Paul Joseph Holdy, a convicted felon with a history of drug offenses, was running a less sophisticated operation in San Diego.

Using drill presses and small CNC machine at his University City home, as well as the fancier machines at MakerPlace, Holdy made lower receivers and then assembled guns using component parts. He sold at least 18 guns to undercover ATF agents from June 2016 to May 2017, including short-barrel machine guns, assault rifles and handguns, according to his plea agreement and other court records.

The deals were often made in parking lots, and a few times the agents were invited to the house that he shared with his parents, according to court records.

Another local ring ran out of North County. A young mechanic, Christian Romero, was accused of making assault-style weapons from unfinished lower receivers and then selling the assembled weapons with help from friends for more than $1,000 each.

While federal authorities went after these operations criminally, ATF’s Ware said the agency tries to first educate those in the industry about what is and isn’t allowed. Most comply, he said.

ATF does not specifically track cases involving unfinished lower receivers, therefore it is unknown how frequently such guns are showing up at crime scenes or are seized. Local law enforcement are more likely to come across such weapons, Ware said.

San Diego police said officers rarely come across such guns.

An AR-15-style rifle pieced together from various parts was used in the 2013 rampage shooting in Santa Monica. John Zawahri, 23, killed five people, starting at his father’s home and ending at Santa Monica College. Police shot him in the school’s library. Zawahri was also carrying a .44-caliber pistol.

The rifle appeared to have been modified to fire more rounds.

———

©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune


NM police: Suspect in custody after shooting at public library

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 5:52 p.m. (PST):

A city official says police have taken a person into custody who they believe is responsible for a shooting at a public library in eastern New Mexico

Clovis City Commissioner Garza said the investigation is ongoing and he could not say whether there were any fatalities or how many people were injured. One woman could be seen being helped into an ambulance and police radio traffic indicated one victim was being transported to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

Clovis is about 200 miles east of Albuquerque, near the Texas state line. The library is in the downtown area of the city.

Garza said there's no indication of a motive for the shooting. He called it a tragedy, saying he and other city officials are asking people to pray for the families that have been affected. He said the city will offer whatever support it can as the community looks to recover.

Original story below.

CLOVIS, N.M. — New Mexico state police have confirmed there has been a shooting at a public library in Clovis.

Officer Carl Christiansen said Clovis police responded to the library this afternoon in response to a report of an active shooter. He could not immediately say whether there were any fatalities or injuries.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports that police scanner traffic reported air ambulances have been dispatched and at least one victim was taken to Clovis Municipal Airport for transport to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.


Official: 2 killed, 4 injured in NM public library shooting

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 7:19 p.m. (PST):

The city manager tells a newspaper that two people were killed and four people were injured in a shooting inside a New Mexico public library.

Clovis police and elected officials also says that the shooter was taken into custody and was being questioned Monday.

At least 6 people shot by 16 year old gunman inside New Mexico Library, so sad. Thoughts & prayers with the victims pic.twitter.com/O228wy32bu

— Gary FrostGermanotta (@frostygary) August 29, 2017

City Manager Tom Phelps told The Eastern New Mexico News on Monday evening that three of the injured were taken to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. Clovis, a city of about 40,000, is about 200 miles east of Albuquerque, near the Texas state line.

Authorities did not immediately release the names of the two people who were killed.

Officials planned to release more information at a news conference Monday night at City Hall.

UPDATE 5:52 p.m. (PST):

A city official says police have taken a person into custody who they believe is responsible for a shooting at a public library in eastern New Mexico

Clovis City Commissioner Garza said the investigation is ongoing and he could not say whether there were any fatalities or how many people were injured. One woman could be seen being helped into an ambulance and police radio traffic indicated one victim was being transported to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

Clovis is about 200 miles east of Albuquerque, near the Texas state line. The library is in the downtown area of the city.

Garza said there's no indication of a motive for the shooting. He called it a tragedy, saying he and other city officials are asking people to pray for the families that have been affected. He said the city will offer whatever support it can as the community looks to recover.

Original story below.

CLOVIS, N.M. — New Mexico state police have confirmed there has been a shooting at a public library in Clovis.

Officer Carl Christiansen said Clovis police responded to the library this afternoon in response to a report of an active shooter. He could not immediately say whether there were any fatalities or injuries.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports that police scanner traffic reported air ambulances have been dispatched and at least one victim was taken to Clovis Municipal Airport for transport to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.


Shooting that killed 2, wounded 4 at library shakes NM city

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CLOVIS, N.M. — A shooting inside a public library that killed two people and wounded four has deeply shaken an eastern New Mexico community.

The gunman surrendered after the shooting Monday and was taken into custody without incident after police entered the Clovis-Carver Public Library, authorities and elected officials with the city of Clovis said during a news conference. Warrants for his arrest were being prepared, but it's wasn't immediately clear what charges he would face.

Clovis Mayor David Lansford said things could have been much worse had it not been for the quick response, training and courage of police. He called the shooting tragic and senseless.

"This is a big blow to our community," he said. "Our community is a community that places a high value on life and the sanctity of life. And each life that lives in this community is precious. So we're all hurting right now as a result of what took place this afternoon."

Clovis, a city of about 40,000, is about 200 miles east of Albuquerque, near the Texas state line. The area is home to Cannon Air Force Base. The nearby community of Portales is home to Eastern New Mexico University.

The injured included two men and two women, authorities said. Some were taken to a hospital across the state line in Lubbock, Texas. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

One woman was seen being helped into an ambulance while a call for air ambulances could be heard over police radio traffic.

The names of the victims and the gunman were not released.

A woman who was in the Clovis-Carver Public Library when a man killed two people and wounded four others said the man told her to run, the Eastern New Mexico News reported Monday night.

Lisa Baird told the newspaper that she was about 20 feet from the man as he opened fire inside the library.

"Run!," he yelled at her. "Why aren't you running? I'm shooting at you! Run!"

Baird talked to the newspaper through Facebook Messenger. She said she was talking with a library patron when she says she heard a "very loud bang."

"My initial thought was why would someone throw a cherry bomb or M80 firecracker into the library? Then I saw a young man aim his hand, which had a handgun in it, to the ground/carpet about 6 feet in front of him and he fired like four or five shots into the carpet," she said.

She dove under a nearby desk "and tried to squish up as small as possible," Baird said.

From there, Baird said she could hear the man moving around the library and firing multiple shots.

"Then I heard his pants 'shooshing' as he approached the end of the reference desk. I heard a sound like a phone or something being put on the reference counter at the end of the desk, about 4 feet from my head," she said.

Then police entered the library and began shouting for the man with the gun to "lay on the ground" repeatedly, Baird said.

Police Chief Doug Ford says the suspect did not resist after police arrived.

Police said they were still working to process the crime scene and piece together what happened. Ford could not immediately say what kind of gun was used in the attack.

Top elected officials from across New Mexico issued their condolences for the victims and their support for the community. Gov. Susana Martinez called it a "horrific attack."

"In the coming hours and days we will learn more information about this despicable act, but for now I ask all New Mexicans to pray for the victims and their families, and for the entire Clovis community," said Martinez, a former prosecutor.

Attorney General Hector Balderas said his office has reached out to the local district attorney to offer its help.

Sojung Her, a 26-year-old cashier at the Shogun Japanese Steakhouse within view of the library lawn, said the shooting left behind a sense of fear and vulnerability.

"It's kind of a freak thing," she said. "What if he just walked into our restaurant and started shooting?"

Police cars and tactical officers crowded the streets outside as she arrived to work at the restaurant late Monday afternoon.

"This kind of thing never happens here," she said.

Vanessa Aguirre told The Eastern New Mexico News that she was in the library with her son when a man came in and started to shoot into the air.

"It all happened so fast," she said. "We took off fast."


Shooting that killed 2, wounded 4 at library shakes NM city

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CLOVIS, N.M. — A shooting inside a public library that killed two people and wounded four has deeply shaken an eastern New Mexico community.

The gunman surrendered after the shooting Monday and was taken into custody without incident after police entered the Clovis-Carver Public Library, authorities and elected officials with the city of Clovis said during a news conference. Warrants for his arrest were being prepared, but it's wasn't immediately clear what charges he would face.

Clovis Mayor David Lansford said things could have been much worse had it not been for the quick response, training and courage of police. He called the shooting tragic and senseless.

"This is a big blow to our community," he said. "Our community is a community that places a high value on life and the sanctity of life. And each life that lives in this community is precious. So we're all hurting right now as a result of what took place this afternoon."

Clovis, a city of about 40,000, is about 200 miles east of Albuquerque, near the Texas state line. The area is home to Cannon Air Force Base. The nearby community of Portales is home to Eastern New Mexico University.

The injured included two men and two women, authorities said. Some were taken to a hospital across the state line in Lubbock, Texas. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

One woman was seen being helped into an ambulance while a call for air ambulances could be heard over police radio traffic.

The names of the victims and the gunman were not released.

A woman who was in the Clovis-Carver Public Library when a man killed two people and wounded four others said the man told her to run, the Eastern New Mexico News reported Monday night.

Lisa Baird told the newspaper that she was about 20 feet from the man as he opened fire inside the library.

"Run!," he yelled at her. "Why aren't you running? I'm shooting at you! Run!"

Baird talked to the newspaper through Facebook Messenger. She said she was talking with a library patron when she says she heard a "very loud bang."

"My initial thought was why would someone throw a cherry bomb or M80 firecracker into the library? Then I saw a young man aim his hand, which had a handgun in it, to the ground/carpet about 6 feet in front of him and he fired like four or five shots into the carpet," she said.

She dove under a nearby desk "and tried to squish up as small as possible," Baird said.

From there, Baird said she could hear the man moving around the library and firing multiple shots.

"Then I heard his pants 'shooshing' as he approached the end of the reference desk. I heard a sound like a phone or something being put on the reference counter at the end of the desk, about 4 feet from my head," she said.

Then police entered the library and began shouting for the man with the gun to "lay on the ground" repeatedly, Baird said.

Police Chief Doug Ford says the suspect did not resist after police arrived.

Police said they were still working to process the crime scene and piece together what happened. Ford could not immediately say what kind of gun was used in the attack.

Top elected officials from across New Mexico issued their condolences for the victims and their support for the community. Gov. Susana Martinez called it a "horrific attack."

"In the coming hours and days we will learn more information about this despicable act, but for now I ask all New Mexicans to pray for the victims and their families, and for the entire Clovis community," said Martinez, a former prosecutor.

Attorney General Hector Balderas said his office has reached out to the local district attorney to offer its help.

Sojung Her, a 26-year-old cashier at the Shogun Japanese Steakhouse within view of the library lawn, said the shooting left behind a sense of fear and vulnerability.

"It's kind of a freak thing," she said. "What if he just walked into our restaurant and started shooting?"

Police cars and tactical officers crowded the streets outside as she arrived to work at the restaurant late Monday afternoon.

"This kind of thing never happens here," she said.

Vanessa Aguirre told The Eastern New Mexico News that she was in the library with her son when a man came in and started to shoot into the air.

"It all happened so fast," she said. "We took off fast."


NYPD needs to replace 36K police smartphones

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — The NYPD must replace 36,000 police smartphones because of outdated operating systems.

According to the New York Post, the city bought Microsoft-based Nokia smartphones and outfitted officers with them over the past two years as a part of a $160 million NYPD Mobility Initiative. Just a few months later, officials are planning to replace the phones with iPhones.

The move comes after Microsoft announced it will stop supporting the operating system that runs the phones and custom NYPD apps.

The initial decision to use Microsoft phones was met with criticism.

“The NYPD’s decision to go with Microsoft’s mobile operating system seems to confound more than a few, since Windows Phone’s 2.3 percent US market share is anemic when compared to Android’s 65.2 percent and iOS’s 30.9 percent,” Digital Trends wrote in October.

Sources told the Post that Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology Jessica Tisch insisted on buying the Microsoft phones because the NYPD was already using Microsoft software for its video surveillance program.

An NYPD spokesperson said they wouldn’t discuss the situation until Tisch returned from vacation.


Photo: Officer buys gas for man who couldn’t afford it

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An officer paid for a stranded man’s gas after he discovered he couldn’t afford it.

Officer Zack Herman came across the man who was sitting on the side of a highway over the weekend, Inside Edition reported.

The driver said it was too late to cash his check, so he had no money to refill his gas tank. Herman drove the man to get gas and paid for the full tank with his own money.

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We received the below message from a citizen last night, and we've identified the Officer as KPD Officer Zack Herman. ...

Posted by Knoxville Police Department - TN on Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bystander Travis Van Norstran captured the moment in a photo and shared it with the department, who shared it on their Facebook.

“In a world of protest, hate, debate, racism, violence and lack of respect for one another, it’s nice to know there are officers such as this one that exemplify professionalism and what it means to protect and serve,” Norstran wrote. “Thank you for all you do and thank you for being a blessing to a stranger.”

The department praised Herman in the post as well.

“It's small things such as this that make our police officers not only human, but it also shows how caring and compassionate they are for the people they serve,” the PD wrote. “Great job Officer Herman!”


Photo of officer ‘passed out’ from Hurricane Harvey response goes viral

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A photo of a reportedly exhausted police officer resting after working non-stop during Hurricane Harvey has garnered attention on social media.

In a photo posted to Reddit, Deputy Sheriff Robert Goerlitz is seen allegedly falling asleep in uniform with waders on, leaning against a bag of charcoal. The photo was captioned “This policeman worked countless hours helping victims of Hurricane Harvey until he passed out.”

This policeman worked countless hours helping victims of Hurricane Harvey until he passed out from exhaustion. from pics

While the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has yet to confirm the backstory of the photo, the outpouring of support for Goerlitz and the rest of the undeniably hard working Hurricane Harvey responders is inspiring.

One user wrote that her son is a deputy constable with Harris County Police.

“He just got off a 26-hour shift and was told to go home and rest but he is on call,” she wrote. “It is mayhem out there. Those guys work so hard. It is not an easy area to work especially under these circumstances, but they do a great job.”

Another thanked the woman’s son for his service and said he hoped that “after all this is over they get the rest they deserve.”

A different user wrote, “Think how worn out you’ve gotta be to fall asleep soaking wet with that much gear on. He deserves a break.”

Another wanted to buy the officer “all the beers and brisket.”


Suspect opens fire on Mo. officer during pursuit

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

SUNSET HILLS, Mo. — A man with several prior convictions fled from police and opened fire on an officer.

Police pulled over a car that had a felony warrant associated with the license plate Saturday, the St. Louis Dispatch reported. When the officer approached the car, the driver, Cassandra Williams, sped off.

During the pursuit, the suspect’s car sideswiped an assisting officer’s vehicle. The passenger, Christopher Keown, fired several shots at the pursuing officer. As the suspect’s vehicle exited the highway, Keown continued firing, striking the officer’s windshield multiple times. The officer returned fire. No one was struck or injured.

Williams lost control and crashed the vehicle, ending the pursuit. Both suspects were taken into custody. Police recovered a pistol at the scene of the crash.

Keown was charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and interfering with a felony arrest. Williams was charged with interfering with a felony arrest.

Keown has previously pleaded guilty to DUI in 2008 and driving with a suspended or revoked license in 2012, according to court records. He has several hunting-related violations as well, including killing and skinning a black bear.


Man charged in altercation with police at Philly statue protest

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Melanie Burney Philly.com

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia public school teacher has been charged in connection with an altercation with police during a protest near the statue of Frank Rizzo, the city’s former mayor and police commissioner, outside the Municipal Services Building earlier this month, authorities said Saturday.

John Edward Sheerin, 63, of the 6200 block of Hasbrook Avenue in the city’s Crescentville section, was arrested without incident Friday night and charged with terroristic threats and harassment for allegedly making verbal threats of violence to a Philadelphia police officer, police said.

The alleged incident occurred Aug. 16 at the 10-foot bronze statue at 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, across from City Hall. Thousands of demonstrators who had participated in a “Philly Is Charlottesville” march had surrounded the statue and called for its removal.

Sheerin is a teacher at the Julia de Burgos School in North Philadelphia, according to School District payroll records.

The district was aware of the alleged incident, was investigating Sheerin prior to his arrest, and had removed him from the school pending outcome of the probe, said spokesman Kevin Geary. He declined to elaborate, citing personnel matters.

“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority,” Geary said in a statement. “This is a matter which we take very seriously.”

On his Facebook page, Sheerin thanked supporters who camped out in front of the 19th Police District station while he was being held there.

“I really can’t believe you guys stayed out there all night. It must have been so uncomfortable. But I learned something about discomfort from my first night in a cell. There’s nothing SOFT in a cell!” Sheerin wrote.

He did not respond to several requests for comment via phone, email, text, and a visit by a reporter to his home Saturday night.

Late Saturday morning, Asa Khalif, a leader of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania, posted on Facebook: “Our comrade is home safe and sound. This man is a true soldier in the fight for justice. Proud to have him as a friend and ally. Thanks John Sheerin. #Salute”

The hulking Rizzo statue has been the target of protests and renewed calls for its removal that heated up after deadly violence erupted in Charlottesville, Va., in mid-August after a clash between white nationalists and counterprotesters over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Rizzo statue was defaced Aug. 17 with the message “Black Power” spray-painted in white. City workers power-washed the message from the statue, which has been egged in recent weeks. A mural of Rizzo in South Philadelphia was defaced with spray paint last weekend.

Councilwoman Helen Gym has said that the statue should go, and Mayor Kenney, a fellow Democrat, has said it is time to discuss its future, though he has not taken a public position on removal. Kenney said the city Art Commission would decide the fate of the statue after conducting a hearing.

Activists who want the 2,000-pound statue removed say Rizzo oppressed black citizens as police commissioner in the 1960s and became mayor in part by appealing to the racial fears of white Philadelphians. Others say Rizzo championed the little guy and the statue should remain.

Rizzo was elected in 1971, then a Democrat, and served two terms. He died in July 1991 during a comeback campaign for mayor, running as a Republican against Ed Rendell, the Democratic nominee.

Staff writers Mark Fazlollah and Kristen Graham contributed to this article.

———

©2017 Philly.com


Teacher charged in altercation with police at Philly statue protest

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Melanie Burney Philly.com

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia public school teacher has been charged in connection with an altercation with police during a protest near the statue of Frank Rizzo, the city’s former mayor and police commissioner, outside the Municipal Services Building earlier this month, authorities said Saturday.

John Edward Sheerin, 63, of the 6200 block of Hasbrook Avenue in the city’s Crescentville section, was arrested without incident Friday night and charged with terroristic threats and harassment for allegedly making verbal threats of violence to a Philadelphia police officer, police said.

The alleged incident occurred Aug. 16 at the 10-foot bronze statue at 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, across from City Hall. Thousands of demonstrators who had participated in a “Philly Is Charlottesville” march had surrounded the statue and called for its removal.

Sheerin is a teacher at the Julia de Burgos School in North Philadelphia, according to School District payroll records.

The district was aware of the alleged incident, was investigating Sheerin prior to his arrest, and had removed him from the school pending outcome of the probe, said spokesman Kevin Geary. He declined to elaborate, citing personnel matters.

“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority,” Geary said in a statement. “This is a matter which we take very seriously.”

On his Facebook page, Sheerin thanked supporters who camped out in front of the 19th Police District station while he was being held there.

“I really can’t believe you guys stayed out there all night. It must have been so uncomfortable. But I learned something about discomfort from my first night in a cell. There’s nothing SOFT in a cell!” Sheerin wrote.

He did not respond to several requests for comment via phone, email, text, and a visit by a reporter to his home Saturday night.

Late Saturday morning, Asa Khalif, a leader of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania, posted on Facebook: “Our comrade is home safe and sound. This man is a true soldier in the fight for justice. Proud to have him as a friend and ally. Thanks John Sheerin. #Salute”

The hulking Rizzo statue has been the target of protests and renewed calls for its removal that heated up after deadly violence erupted in Charlottesville, Va., in mid-August after a clash between white nationalists and counterprotesters over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Rizzo statue was defaced Aug. 17 with the message “Black Power” spray-painted in white. City workers power-washed the message from the statue, which has been egged in recent weeks. A mural of Rizzo in South Philadelphia was defaced with spray paint last weekend.

Councilwoman Helen Gym has said that the statue should go, and Mayor Kenney, a fellow Democrat, has said it is time to discuss its future, though he has not taken a public position on removal. Kenney said the city Art Commission would decide the fate of the statue after conducting a hearing.

Activists who want the 2,000-pound statue removed say Rizzo oppressed black citizens as police commissioner in the 1960s and became mayor in part by appealing to the racial fears of white Philadelphians. Others say Rizzo championed the little guy and the statue should remain.

Rizzo was elected in 1971, then a Democrat, and served two terms. He died in July 1991 during a comeback campaign for mayor, running as a Republican against Ed Rendell, the Democratic nominee.

Staff writers Mark Fazlollah and Kristen Graham contributed to this article.

———

©2017 Philly.com


The ‘heavy’ patrol rifle: Is bigger better?

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Richard Fairburn

Since the earliest days of the patrol rifle movement, some officers have chosen a larger caliber than the .223 Remington/5.56mm.

When military surplus rifles were released to U.S. police agencies, some chose the 7.62mm NATO caliber M14 rifles over the smaller and newer M16A1s.

Most of those who chose the M14 were rural agencies, like state police, county sheriffs and game & fish departments, especially in the western states.

Why police officers choose a larger caliber

The 5.56mm cartridge has always been a marginal performer, especially in terms of deep penetration in large creatures, and we shoot more injured or dangerous animals every year than we do felons.

Loads like the Federal Tactical Bonded; the all-copper, hollow-point, bullet-based rounds; and the Mk262 Mod 1 load used by military SpecOps units, have dramatically improved the terminal performance available from M16/M4 carbines, but the 7.62mm/.308 Winchester round delivers a whole different level of ballistic “whup-ass.”

A few years ago I was evaluating a Colt LE901 carbine in 7.62mm. A buddy and I were firing side-by-side at steel plates at ¼ mile (440 yards). His “tink, tink” 5.56mm hits were puny compared to the heavy “ker-schmack” impacts from the big Colt.

Another reason to choose a larger caliber AR carbine is to equip a police designated marksman (DM). A few years ago I proposed that police agencies embrace this military concept, a carbine equipped with a magnified optic for increased distance and precision, giving patrol commanders near-sniper level capabilities without waiting an hour for a full-fledged SWAT marksman to arrive.

Upping the caliber of a DM carbine gives us increased penetration for dealing with light-intervening cover, while also delivering devastating one-shot stopping power.

A torso hit from a 150-155 grain-expanding .308 bullet should ensure an immediate stop on any felon and most animals up to perhaps 400 pounds.

If you think a .30 caliber projectile is too powerful for your locale, most makers are now chambering their AR10-size rifles for the 6.5mm Creedmoor, an intermediate power cartridge.

The .308/7.62, however, offers less expensive military (M80 Ball) ammo for practice and training.

Testing the Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Carbines

Recently, based on a colleague’s recommendation, I had Smith & Wesson send me one of their M&P 10 carbines as a test base.

An advantage of the M&P 10 is its light weight at just under 8 pounds. Since you will be adding an optic, weapon light and, for DM use, a bipod, starting with a lightweight carbine keeps the overall weight manageable.

My philosophy calls for a DM rifle to be capable of CQB work when needed so a package weighing much more than 9 pounds (11 pounds with a sling and loaded 20 round magazine) gets cumbersome. Such capability also requires a scope that will dial down to 1x – no magnification.

While breaking in the barrel and checking velocities and accuracy, the S&W carbine proved it would deliver near-sniper grade accuracy with some loads.

Several ammunition companies load plastic-tipped bullets in the 150-155 grain weight range that will match the trajectory of less expensive full-metal-jacket loads for training. The expanding “tipped” bullets also offer devastating terminal performance on animate targets up to 300 pounds or more and are less likely to over penetrate as open tip match bullets are prone to do.

M&P10 evaluation package

My evaluation package combined the S&W M&P 10, which came with Magpul MOE furniture and backup sights, and a Leupold VX-6 1-6x scope in a LaRue QD mount.

For a heavy patrol rifle focusing on CQB to patrol distances, a 1x optic like an Eotech or Aimpoint would save several dollars and ounces.

For a weapon intended primarily for DM use, the magnified optic plus a bipod will allow precise hits to extreme police gunfight distances.

The M&P 10 barrel is a few hundred rounds from peak accuracy, but will already keep three round groups under 1 MOA with selected loads.

The M&P10 comes with an 18-inch, pencil-weight tapered barrel, rather than the typical 16-inch M4 carbine-length tube. This adds little to the overall length, but increases the muzzle velocity about 50 feet-per-second and slightly decreases the muzzle blast that comes from burning twice as much gunpowder per shot as a 5.56mm round.

While S&W came with a specially designed flash suppressor, I substituted a BABC (Big Ass Battle Comp) compensator from Battle Comp Enterprises.

I did a review several years ago on Battle Comp’s first 5.56mm model and it dramatically reduced the recoil and muzzle rise on a Colt 5.56mm M16A2 carbine, especially on full-auto.

While the.308 caliber AR rifles are not uncomfortable to fire, a BABC can reduce almost 50 percent of the recoil and drastically cut the muzzle rise, helping you stay on target for quick follow-up shots.

I had two complaints:

1. The M&P10 I received had a Magpul pistol grip that was not fully seated on the frame and lacked the grip screw and lock washer. Unlike my normal experience with Magpul’s excellent products, this particular pistol grip was poorly made and required some whittling to get it on the frame (another Magpul pistol grip slid onto the frame easily), but the rifle should have never gotten through S&W quality control as it was.

2. The rifle only came with a single Magpul 20 round magazine. No serious semi-auto weapon should ever come with a single magazine. The various 7.62mm AR rifles must be selling very well, because I had to scrounge far and wide to find two more 20 round mags.

Magpul also makes 7.62mm LR/SR magazines in 10 round and 25 round configurations (the 25 rounder has a window which shows the remaining round count). A special variation is produced for the M118LR military load that uses a 175 grain Sierra MatchKing bullet and is loaded to a slightly longer-than-normal overall length.

The dedicated M118LR magazines should fit into any rifle compatible with SR25-pattern magazines, but being slightly oversize they usually won’t drop free when you punch the magazine release.

The M&P10 has ambidextrous magazine releases and bolt releases. The single-stage trigger breaks at just over 6 pounds and while a little creepy, is better than most stock AR triggers.

Since my DM prototype is intended for precision use, I will probably install a Geiselle SSA two-stage trigger. The SSA trigger has a 4.5 pound total pull weight with the final stage breaking at a light and crisp 2 pounds. I do not recommend anything but a single-stage trigger of 5-6 pounds pull weight on a patrol rifle, but on a precision rifle with magnified optics, a lighter, high quality trigger has merit and the Geiselle trigger is absolutely reliable, and in use with many military units.

Conclusion

When I wrote my first article promoting “patrol rifles” in 1984 I said the 5.56mm round was almost ideal for human targets with the right loads.

Now, after 30-plus years of evolution, we have ammunition that offers even better 5.56mm performance. But the power and reach of a heavier round provides a capability a few of our officers should have.

Coupled with a magnified optic and bipod, a DM may be able to solve many problems long before a SWAT sniper could arrive.


Buc-ee’s invites Texas first responders to eat, drink for free

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KATY, Texas — Buc-ee’s invited first responders to tour their facility before they officially opened to the public.

George Walter Greenway IV shared a photo on Facebook Sunday and said that Buc-ee’s offered emergency personnel free food, drinks and a place to stay the night.

“Everyone thank Buc-ee’s for us,” he wrote.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the travel center hosted a “first responder day” for officials and their families. Buc-ee’s spokesman Jeff Nadalo said it was a “way to give back to the community."

(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=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Buc-ess just let emergency personnel in to stay the night. And we can eat and drink on Buc-ess. So everyone Thank Buc-ees for us. Please Share.

Posted by George Walter Greenway IV on Sunday, August 27, 2017


Video shows high-speed pursuit, shootout between Iowa deputy, suspect

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Police released dash cam video of February pursuit and shootout between a deputy and a suspect.

Melvin Spencer led Deputy Mike Lenz on a high-speed pursuit through the snow before opening fire from the driver’s seat on Feb. 26, Sioux City Journal reported.

Video shows the intense shootout that injured a male passenger in the suspect’s vehicle. He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Lenz was not injured in the shootout, but at least five rounds struck his patrol vehicle before Spencer fled on foot. He was arrested three hours later.

Spencer is charged with attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could face 25 years in prison.

Brittney Hood, who was initially driving the vehicle involved in the pursuit, pleaded guilty in April to eluding and interfering with official acts. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $250. Hood fled from the traffic stop, initiating the pursuit. She eventually stopped the car and fled on foot before being apprehended.


Photo: UK police car bursts into flames during call

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NORTH YORKSHIRE, England — Two officers escaped uninjured after their patrol car caught fire while responding to an emergency call.

The car suffered a “catastrophic engine failure” Saturday and burst into flames, the BBC reported.

Sgt. Paul Cording tweeted photos of the blaze saying it was a “lucky escape” for his colleagues.

The officers returned to work a couple of hours later in a replacement patrol vehicle.

Lucky escape for my colleagues on the #A168 at #Asenby when their patrol car suffered a catastrophic engine failure on a blue light run pic.twitter.com/jpqJ7chYzi

— Sgt Paul Cording (@OscarRomeo1268) August 26, 2017


100 police killed in Rio, on pace to be worst year in decade

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Renata Brito and Peter Prengaman Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Military police on Sunday buried the 100th officer to be killed in Rio de Janeiro state this year, a 39-year-old who was shot multiple times while off duty and visiting his father.

The grim milestone underscores a surge in violence in Rio, Brazil's signature city that just a year ago hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics. Authorities acknowledged in recent months that drug trafficking organizations and other criminal gangs now control large areas of the city. Thousands of soldiers have been deployed to help police, but even their presence has not slowed the bloodshed.

A sense of desperation could be felt among the 200 people who attended the funeral for Sgt. Fabio Cavalcante on Sunday afternoon. Cavalcante's wife was so distraught that she could barely walk during the procession and had to be held up by the fallen officer's brother, himself a part of the force.

Cavalcante, the father of an 8-year-old, was killed Saturday in Baixada Fluminense, one of Rio's most violent districts. Several armed men approached, apparently intending to rob him. When they learned he was a police officer, he was shot at least 10 times, his father, who Cavalcante was visiting, told local media.

"We were supposed to have a picnic today with the wives and widows of police officers," said Rogeria Quaresma, the wife of an officer in attendance. "How long? How long is this going to keep happening before someone does something?"

Rio has long been the deadliest place for law enforcement in Brazil, which is Latin America's largest nation. Going back to the 1990s, the number of officers slain in the state each year has almost always gone over 100.

What has security experts worried this year is the pace of slayings of military police officers, the force responsible for patrolling and apprehending suspects. At the current rate, 2017 is on track to be the deadliest year since 2006, when 153 officers died, according to military police data.

That spike is being mirrored in myriad crime data across the board, a surge fueled by rising unemployment in the wake of a major recession, an inability by the broke state government to pay thousands of public employees on time and a political crisis from a mega corruption scandal that has shifted the focus of many lawmakers away from Rio's perennial security problems.

There is also growing consensus that Brazil's criminal gangs, which are heavily armed and control many of Rio's hundreds of slums, are strengthening. Earlier this year, gang-led slaughters in several Brazil prisons left at least 130 dead.

Many Rio residents, particularly in slums, loathe police, which have long been accused of corruption and excessive force. Every year, several hundred civilians are killed during police operations.

A Human Rights Watch report found that more than 8,000 people were killed by Rio police between 2005 and 2015, the majority young black men. While many were criminals shooting at police, many others were caught in the crossfire or even killed deliberately without provocation.

Adding to the problems is the erosion of a pacification program launched several years ago that aimed at building connections between officers and residents. Budget cuts have slashed program funds, and today neighborhoods previously lauded as "pacified" are increasingly dangerous.

Paulo Storani, the former captain of an elite squad of military police known by the Portuguese acronym BOPE, says that drugs have long powered the gangs because they provide ample resources while police forces are often working at a "deficit" of funds, training and arms.

What has him most worried of late, however, is the way officers are dying. While some are killed during confrontations, more are falling while off duty. That can happen because an officer sees a crime being committed and gets involved without the backup of his team, or because his position as officer makes him a target.

"Criminals are motivated to kill police," said Storani.

All of Brazil was able to witness such brazenness in the killing of the 99th officer, Mabel Sampaio, on Thursday.

Street cameras in his neighborhood, obtained by local media and broadcast nationwide, captured the officer pulling into the garage of his home. Seconds later, a young man carrying a pistol can be seen walking in. Sampaio was shot several times and died en route to the hospital.

"I feared that this would happen, and that day has come," his daughter Giulia wrote on her Facebook page. "They have destroyed our family. Unfortunately, this world is filled with monsters."


Trump rolling back limits on military gear for police

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will revive a program that provides local police departments with surplus military equipment such as high-caliber weapons and grenade launchers, despite past concerns that armored vehicles and other gear were inflaming confrontations with protesters.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the program to roaring applause Monday at a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police, one of the groups that had long urged Trump to restore the military program.

The plan will "ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become a new normal," Sessions told the cheering crowd.

Trump plans to sign an order undoing Obama-era limitations on police agencies' access to camouflage uniforms, bullet-proof vests, riot shields, firearms, ammunition and other items. The changes are another way in which Trump and Sessions are enacting a law-and-order agenda that sees federal support of local police as key to driving down violent crime.

Groups across the political spectrum have expressed concern about the militarization of police, arguing that the equipment encourages and escalates confrontations with officers. But many law enforcement agencies and policing organizations see it as needed to ensure officers aren't put in danger when responding to active shooter calls and terrorist attacks. An armored vehicle played a key role in the police response to the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

Congress authorized the Pentagon program in 1990, allowing police to receive surplus equipment to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2015 that severely limited the program, partly triggered by public outrage over the use of military gear during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police responded in riot gear and deployed tear gas, dogs and armored vehicles. At times they also pointed assault rifles at protesters.

Obama's order prohibited the federal government from providing grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, and firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or greater to police.

"Those restrictions went too far," Sessions said. "We will not put superficial concerns above public safety."

As of December, the agency overseeing the program had recalled at least 100 grenade launchers, more than 1,600 bayonets and 126 tracked vehicles — those that run on continuous, tank-like tracks instead of wheels — that were provided through the program.

Trump vowed to rescind the executive order in a written response to a Fraternal Order of Police questionnaire that helped him win an endorsement from the organization of rank-and-file officers. He reiterated his promise during a gathering of police officers in July, saying the equipment still on the streets is being put to good use.

"In fact, that stuff is disappearing so fast we have none left," Trump said.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said in a statement Sunday night it is "exceptionally dangerous and irresponsible" for the administration to lift the ban.

"Just a few summers ago, our nation watched as Ferguson raised the specter of increased police militarization. The law enforcement response there and in too many places across the country demonstrated how perilous, especially for Black and Brown communities, a militarized police force can be," the LDF said.

"The President's decision to make this change in the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville and against a backdrop of frayed relations between police and communities of color further reflects this administration's now open effort to escalate racial tensions in our country," the organization said.

Justice Department documents summarizing the order describe much of the gear as "defensive in nature," intended to protect officers from danger.

Most police agencies rarely require military equipment for daily use but see a need to have it available, said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

"It is hard to imagine any situation where a grenade launcher or bayonet would be something that a major police department would need, but defensive shields and armored vehicles kept on reserve will be welcome," he said.

Sessions has said he believes boosting morale among police can help curb spikes in violence in some cities. The plan to restore access to military equipment comes after Sessions has said he intends to pull back on court-enforceable improvement plans with troubled police departments, which he says can malign entire agencies and make officers less aggressive on the street.


Sessions: Limits on military gear for police went too far

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Richard Fairburn

By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will revive a program that provides local police departments with surplus military equipment such as high-caliber weapons and grenade launchers, despite past concerns that armored vehicles and other gear were inflaming confrontations with protesters.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the program to roaring applause Monday at a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police, one of the groups that had long urged Trump to restore the military program.

The plan will "ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become a new normal," Sessions told the cheering crowd.

Trump plans to sign an order undoing Obama-era limitations on police agencies' access to camouflage uniforms, bullet-proof vests, riot shields, firearms, ammunition and other items. The changes are another way in which Trump and Sessions are enacting a law-and-order agenda that sees federal support of local police as key to driving down violent crime.

Groups across the political spectrum have expressed concern about the militarization of police, arguing that the equipment encourages and escalates confrontations with officers. But many law enforcement agencies and policing organizations see it as needed to ensure officers aren't put in danger when responding to active shooter calls and terrorist attacks. An armored vehicle played a key role in the police response to the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

Congress authorized the Pentagon program in 1990, allowing police to receive surplus equipment to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2015 that severely limited the program, partly triggered by public outrage over the use of military gear during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police responded in riot gear and deployed tear gas, dogs and armored vehicles. At times they also pointed assault rifles at protesters.

Obama's order prohibited the federal government from providing grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, and firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or greater to police.

"Those restrictions went too far," Sessions said. "We will not put superficial concerns above public safety."

As of December, the agency overseeing the program had recalled at least 100 grenade launchers, more than 1,600 bayonets and 126 tracked vehicles — those that run on continuous, tank-like tracks instead of wheels — that were provided through the program.

Trump vowed to rescind the executive order in a written response to a Fraternal Order of Police questionnaire that helped him win an endorsement from the organization of rank-and-file officers. He reiterated his promise during a gathering of police officers in July, saying the equipment still on the streets is being put to good use.

"In fact, that stuff is disappearing so fast we have none left," Trump said.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said in a statement Sunday night it is "exceptionally dangerous and irresponsible" for the administration to lift the ban.

"Just a few summers ago, our nation watched as Ferguson raised the specter of increased police militarization. The law enforcement response there and in too many places across the country demonstrated how perilous, especially for Black and Brown communities, a militarized police force can be," the LDF said.

"The President's decision to make this change in the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville and against a backdrop of frayed relations between police and communities of color further reflects this administration's now open effort to escalate racial tensions in our country," the organization said.

Justice Department documents summarizing the order describe much of the gear as "defensive in nature," intended to protect officers from danger.

Most police agencies rarely require military equipment for daily use but see a need to have it available, said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

"It is hard to imagine any situation where a grenade launcher or bayonet would be something that a major police department would need, but defensive shields and armored vehicles kept on reserve will be welcome," he said.

Sessions has said he believes boosting morale among police can help curb spikes in violence in some cities. The plan to restore access to military equipment comes after Sessions has said he intends to pull back on court-enforceable improvement plans with troubled police departments, which he says can malign entire agencies and make officers less aggressive on the street.


Police: Teen found dead of gunshot wound in back of patrol car

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kaylee Remington Advance Ohio Media

AKRON, Ohio — A 17-year-old boy in police custody died of a gunshot wound to the head while sitting in the back of an Akron police cruiser, a police spokesman and the Summit County Medical Examiner said.

The incident happened about 11 p.m. on 7th Street between Kenmore Boulevard and Maryland Avenue, Akron police Capt. Daniel Zampelli said. Xavier McMullen was later pronounced dead at the scene. An officer found a gun next to McMullen, Zampelli said.

A preliminary investigation indicates that McMullen shot himself, but Zampelli said it's unclear whether the shooting was intentional or an accident.

Officers took him into custody as part of a robbery investigation, Zampelli said.

A man and a woman told police that they were seated in a van on 10th Street about 10 p.m. when three males approached. One of them showed them a gun and demanded money, Zampelli said.

They took property and ran away, he added.

An investigation led investigators to a 7th Street home. The homeowner allowed police inside where they found the three males and took them into custody, Zampelli said. Officers placed the suspects in separate cruisers.

Officers heard a gunshot as they continued their investigation. They rushed to the cruiser where McMullen was seated. The officers opened the door and found him with a fatal gunshot, Zampelli said.

Anthony Criss and Matthew Allen, both 18, are charged with aggravated robbery and were taken to the Summit County Jail.

The Akron Police Detective Bureau, Office of Professional Standards and Summit County Medical Examiner's Office are investigating, Zampelli said.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Police: Teen found dead of gunshot wound in back of patrol car

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kaylee Remington Advance Ohio Media

AKRON, Ohio — A 17-year-old boy in police custody died of a gunshot wound to the head while sitting in the back of an Akron police cruiser, a police spokesman and the Summit County Medical Examiner said.

The incident happened about 11 p.m. on 7th Street between Kenmore Boulevard and Maryland Avenue, Akron police Capt. Daniel Zampelli said. Xavier McMullen was later pronounced dead at the scene. An officer found a gun next to McMullen, Zampelli said.

A preliminary investigation indicates that McMullen shot himself, but Zampelli said it's unclear whether the shooting was intentional or an accident.

Officers took him into custody as part of a robbery investigation, Zampelli said.

A man and a woman told police that they were seated in a van on 10th Street about 10 p.m. when three males approached. One of them showed them a gun and demanded money, Zampelli said.

They took property and ran away, he added.

An investigation led investigators to a 7th Street home. The homeowner allowed police inside where they found the three males and took them into custody, Zampelli said. Officers placed the suspects in separate cruisers.

Officers heard a gunshot as they continued their investigation. They rushed to the cruiser where McMullen was seated. The officers opened the door and found him with a fatal gunshot, Zampelli said.

Anthony Criss and Matthew Allen, both 18, are charged with aggravated robbery and were taken to the Summit County Jail.

The Akron Police Detective Bureau, Office of Professional Standards and Summit County Medical Examiner's Office are investigating, Zampelli said.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


AG: Trump ends limits on military gear for cops

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is announcing a plan to lift restrictions on surplus military equipment that can be passed on to police.

It's a step that civil liberties groups fear will lead to more violent confrontations among police and protesters. But the Trump administration believes the program that supplies grenade launchers and high-caliber weapons to local law enforcement agencies is necessary for public safety.

Sessions is unveiling a revival of the program during a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police, one of the groups that had long pushed Trump to end the Obama-era ban.

A summary of Trump's executive order being circulated among police groups says it shows he values safety over appearances. It describes much of the gear as "defensive in nature," intended to protect officers.


AG: Trump ends limits on military gear for cops

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is announcing a plan to lift restrictions on surplus military equipment that can be passed on to police.

It's a step that civil liberties groups fear will lead to more violent confrontations among police and protesters. But the Trump administration believes the program that supplies grenade launchers and high-caliber weapons to local law enforcement agencies is necessary for public safety.

Sessions is unveiling a revival of the program during a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police, one of the groups that had long pushed Trump to end the Obama-era ban.

A summary of Trump's executive order being circulated among police groups says it shows he values safety over appearances. It describes much of the gear as "defensive in nature," intended to protect officers.


Officials act to protect downtown Houston from Harvey floods

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Michael Graczyk Associated Press

HOUSTON — Officials released more water from Houston-area reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey early Monday in a move aimed at protecting the city's downtown from devastating floods but that could still endanger thousands of homes, even as the nation's fourth-largest city anticipated more rain.

Harvey, which made landfall late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and has lingered just off the coast dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm, sent devastating floods pouring into Houston on Sunday. The rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers who could not keep up with the constant calls for help.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said during a news conference Monday that as many as 50 counties in Texas are affected by the flooding and that a tremendous amount of rainfall is in the cards for southwest Louisiana too. The rain and floods have been blamed in at least two deaths.

Even as the water rose Sunday, the National Weather Service issued an ominous forecast: Before the storm is gone, some parts of Houston and its suburbs could get as much as 50 inches (1.3 meters) of rain. That would be the highest amount ever recorded in Texas.

On Monday morning, emergency vehicles made up most of the traffic in an otherwise deserted downtown Houston — normally a bustling business area. Many traffic signals did not work and most businesses were closed.

Residents living near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs — that were designed to prevent flooding in downtown Houston — were warned Sunday that a controlled release from both reservoirs would cause additional street flooding that could spill into homes. Rising water levels and continuing rain was putting pressure on the dams that could fail without the release. Harris and Fort Bend county officials advised residents to pack their cars Sunday night and leave in the morning.

"When the sun comes up, get out," said Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District. "And you don't have to go far, you just need to get out of this area."

The Army Corps of Engineers started the reservoir releases before 2 a.m. Monday — ahead of schedule — because water levels were increasing at a rate of more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) per hour, Corps spokesman Jay Townsend said.

Officials in Fort Bend County, Houston's southwestern suburbs, late Sunday issued mandatory evacuation orders along the Brazos River levee districts. County officials were preparing for the river to reach major flood stages late Sunday. County Judge Robert Herbert said at a news conference that National Weather Service officials were predicting that the water could rise to 59 feet (18 meters), three feet (90 centimeters) above 2016 records and what Herbert called an "800-year flood level." Herbert said that amount of water would top the levees and carries a threat of levee failure.

On Sunday, incessant rain covered much of Houston in turbid, gray-green water and turned streets into rivers navigable only by boat. In a rescue effort that recalled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, helicopters landed near flooded freeways, airboats buzzed across submerged neighborhoods and high-water vehicles plowed through water-logged intersections. Some people managed with kayaks or canoes or swam.

Volunteers joined emergency teams in pulling people from their homes or from the water. Authorities urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday that drainage remains a concern.

"I'm not sure where the water is going because it's just so much that we can't really absorb more in the ground at this point. ... We have way too much water and not enough places for it to drain," Acevedo told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

And on the possibility of the rain subsiding, he said: "We're just keeping our fingers crossed"

FEMA's Long predicted that the aftermath of the storm would require FEMA's involvement for years.

"This disaster's going to be a landmark event," Long said.

The National Weather Service meanwhile warned that the catastrophic flooding would worsen due to heavy rainfall in the coming days and that it would be slow to recede once Harvey finally moves on. Director Louis Uccellini said during a news conference Monday that up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain could fall in the coming days, on top of the more than 30 inches (76 centimeters) some places have already seen.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards requested a federal emergency disaster declaration in a letter to the White House, underlining that parts of the state likely to be affected by Harvey are still recovering from devastating flooding in 2016.

It was not clear how many people have been plucked from the floodwaters in Texas. Up to 1,200 people had to be rescued in Galveston County alone, said Mark Henry, the county judge. Rescuers were giving priority to life-and-death situations, leaving many affected families to fend for themselves. And several hospitals in the Houston area were evacuated due to the rising waters.

Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center was quickly opened as a shelter. It was also used as a shelter for Katrina refugees in 2005.

Gillis Leho arrived there soaking wet. She said she awoke Sunday to find her downstairs flooded. She moved some belongings upstairs then grabbed her grandchildren.

"We had to bust a window to get out," Leho said.

Some people used inflatable beach toys, rubber rafts and even air mattresses to get through the water to safety. Others waded while carrying trash bags stuffed with their belongings and small animals in picnic coolers.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said authorities had received more than 2,000 calls for help and urged drivers to stay off the roads.

"I don't need to tell anyone this is a very, very serious and unprecedented storm," Turner said.

The deteriorating situation was bound to provoke questions about the conflicting advice given by the governor and Houston leaders before the hurricane. Gov. Greg Abbott urged people to flee from Harvey's path, but the Houston mayor issued no evacuation orders and told everyone to stay home.

The governor refused to point fingers on Sunday.

"Now is not the time to second-guess the decisions that were made," Abbott, a Republican, said at a news conference in Austin. "What's important is that everybody work together to ensure that we are going to, first, save lives and, second, help people across the state rebuild."

The mayor, a Democrat, defended his decision, citing the risk of sending the city's 2.3 million inhabitants onto the highways at the same time.

"If you think the situation right now is bad, and you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare," Turner said.

The Coast Guard deployed five helicopters and asked for additional aircraft from New Orleans.

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit Texas on Tuesday. He met Sunday by teleconference with top administration officials to discuss federal support for response and recovery efforts.

The rescues unfolded a day after Harvey settled over the Texas coastline. The system weakened Saturday to a tropical storm. By early Monday, Harvey had shifted a little closer to the coast, hovering about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of Victoria, with sustained winds of about 40 mph (65 kph). The National Hurricane Center said it continued to edge in a southeasterly direction at 3 mph (4.8 kph).

Harvey was the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961's Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.


Officials act to protect downtown Houston from Harvey floods

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Graczyk Associated Press

HOUSTON — Officials released more water from Houston-area reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey early Monday in a move aimed at protecting the city's downtown from devastating floods but that could still endanger thousands of homes, even as the nation's fourth-largest city anticipated more rain.

Harvey, which made landfall late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and has lingered just off the coast dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm, sent devastating floods pouring into Houston on Sunday. The rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers who could not keep up with the constant calls for help.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said during a news conference Monday that as many as 50 counties in Texas are affected by the flooding and that a tremendous amount of rainfall is in the cards for southwest Louisiana too. The rain and floods have been blamed in at least two deaths.

Even as the water rose Sunday, the National Weather Service issued an ominous forecast: Before the storm is gone, some parts of Houston and its suburbs could get as much as 50 inches (1.3 meters) of rain. That would be the highest amount ever recorded in Texas.

On Monday morning, emergency vehicles made up most of the traffic in an otherwise deserted downtown Houston — normally a bustling business area. Many traffic signals did not work and most businesses were closed.

Residents living near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs — that were designed to prevent flooding in downtown Houston — were warned Sunday that a controlled release from both reservoirs would cause additional street flooding that could spill into homes. Rising water levels and continuing rain was putting pressure on the dams that could fail without the release. Harris and Fort Bend county officials advised residents to pack their cars Sunday night and leave in the morning.

"When the sun comes up, get out," said Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District. "And you don't have to go far, you just need to get out of this area."

The Army Corps of Engineers started the reservoir releases before 2 a.m. Monday — ahead of schedule — because water levels were increasing at a rate of more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) per hour, Corps spokesman Jay Townsend said.

Officials in Fort Bend County, Houston's southwestern suburbs, late Sunday issued mandatory evacuation orders along the Brazos River levee districts. County officials were preparing for the river to reach major flood stages late Sunday. County Judge Robert Herbert said at a news conference that National Weather Service officials were predicting that the water could rise to 59 feet (18 meters), three feet (90 centimeters) above 2016 records and what Herbert called an "800-year flood level." Herbert said that amount of water would top the levees and carries a threat of levee failure.

On Sunday, incessant rain covered much of Houston in turbid, gray-green water and turned streets into rivers navigable only by boat. In a rescue effort that recalled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, helicopters landed near flooded freeways, airboats buzzed across submerged neighborhoods and high-water vehicles plowed through water-logged intersections. Some people managed with kayaks or canoes or swam.

Volunteers joined emergency teams in pulling people from their homes or from the water. Authorities urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday that drainage remains a concern.

"I'm not sure where the water is going because it's just so much that we can't really absorb more in the ground at this point. ... We have way too much water and not enough places for it to drain," Acevedo told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

And on the possibility of the rain subsiding, he said: "We're just keeping our fingers crossed"

FEMA's Long predicted that the aftermath of the storm would require FEMA's involvement for years.

"This disaster's going to be a landmark event," Long said.

The National Weather Service meanwhile warned that the catastrophic flooding would worsen due to heavy rainfall in the coming days and that it would be slow to recede once Harvey finally moves on. Director Louis Uccellini said during a news conference Monday that up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain could fall in the coming days, on top of the more than 30 inches (76 centimeters) some places have already seen.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards requested a federal emergency disaster declaration in a letter to the White House, underlining that parts of the state likely to be affected by Harvey are still recovering from devastating flooding in 2016.

It was not clear how many people have been plucked from the floodwaters in Texas. Up to 1,200 people had to be rescued in Galveston County alone, said Mark Henry, the county judge. Rescuers were giving priority to life-and-death situations, leaving many affected families to fend for themselves. And several hospitals in the Houston area were evacuated due to the rising waters.

Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center was quickly opened as a shelter. It was also used as a shelter for Katrina refugees in 2005.

Gillis Leho arrived there soaking wet. She said she awoke Sunday to find her downstairs flooded. She moved some belongings upstairs then grabbed her grandchildren.

"We had to bust a window to get out," Leho said.

Some people used inflatable beach toys, rubber rafts and even air mattresses to get through the water to safety. Others waded while carrying trash bags stuffed with their belongings and small animals in picnic coolers.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said authorities had received more than 2,000 calls for help and urged drivers to stay off the roads.

"I don't need to tell anyone this is a very, very serious and unprecedented storm," Turner said.

The deteriorating situation was bound to provoke questions about the conflicting advice given by the governor and Houston leaders before the hurricane. Gov. Greg Abbott urged people to flee from Harvey's path, but the Houston mayor issued no evacuation orders and told everyone to stay home.

The governor refused to point fingers on Sunday.

"Now is not the time to second-guess the decisions that were made," Abbott, a Republican, said at a news conference in Austin. "What's important is that everybody work together to ensure that we are going to, first, save lives and, second, help people across the state rebuild."

The mayor, a Democrat, defended his decision, citing the risk of sending the city's 2.3 million inhabitants onto the highways at the same time.

"If you think the situation right now is bad, and you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare," Turner said.

The Coast Guard deployed five helicopters and asked for additional aircraft from New Orleans.

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit Texas on Tuesday. He met Sunday by teleconference with top administration officials to discuss federal support for response and recovery efforts.

The rescues unfolded a day after Harvey settled over the Texas coastline. The system weakened Saturday to a tropical storm. By early Monday, Harvey had shifted a little closer to the coast, hovering about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of Victoria, with sustained winds of about 40 mph (65 kph). The National Hurricane Center said it continued to edge in a southeasterly direction at 3 mph (4.8 kph).

Harvey was the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961's Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.


‘We carry guns’: Armed judges in spotlight after Ohio attack

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Andrew Welsh-Huggins Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — More judges are carrying weapons than most people realize, even though attacks on judges remain rare, surveys and experts say.

The question of whether judges should be armed got renewed attention this week after an Ohio judge who was carrying a gun was shot outside his courthouse and fired back.

Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese is recovering from the shooting Monday in Steubenville, along the Ohio River roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Pittsburgh.

"We carry guns," a judge said in a survey that was part of the National Judicial College's 2014 analysis of personal and on-site security measures. The report didn't identify respondents.

"I now carry an easily accessible handgun with me at all times," another judge said in the judicial college's April security survey. "I have received firearms training and continue to practice and receive ongoing gun safety and training."

In 2014, four judges in Ohio's 4th District appeals court in southern Ohio issued an order allowing them to carry guns.

Whether a judge should carry a gun is a frequent question John Muffler gets at the judicial security seminars he teaches around the country.

"There are plenty who are carrying them now because of their position, and they're aware that there are risks associated with the decisions they make and the positions they have," said Muffler, retired from the U.S. Marshals Service and now director of MOSAIC Threat Assessment Systems for Gavin de Becker & Associates, a private security agency.

Judges should take additional precautions shielding their movements and home addresses when possible, says Muffler and others. They also recommend against judges having guns in courtrooms if other security officials are carrying weapons to reduce the danger of injuries from cross-fire.

Judges with guns in courtrooms also raises the risk of objections from defense attorneys, since it could signal judges' fear of a defendant whose case they're overseeing.

A few states ban guns inside courthouses altogether, such as Rhode Island, although it does allow police to carry stun guns.

Tennessee in 2011 allowed judges to carry weapons into their own courthouses after 16 hours of initial training and eight hours repeated annually. That training requirement was later repealed. Wyoming allows judges to carry weapons and decide if anyone else can bring a weapon into their courtroom, but limits the power of judges to ban guns in courthouses.

Judges have come to the realization they're not immune from violence, said Lake County Judge Eugene Lucci, a former police officer who teaches judges about safety in Ohio and nationwide.

Lucci estimates about one in 10 Ohioans have permits to carry concealed weapons, and believes judges carry at a higher rate. He recommends judges with guns undergo the same training as police officers.

Investigators are still looking for the motive behind Bruzzese's shooting. The judge was overseeing a wrongful death lawsuit against a local housing authority filed by the suspect, who was shot dead by a probation officer.

Other attacks on judges have had direct links to cases in front of them:

— Last year, a Florida man was sentenced to more than 300 years in prison for trying to kill federal Judge Timothy Corrigan in 2013 in what prosecutors said was an assassination attempt. The suspect faced going to prison for violating probation previously imposed by Corrigan for a 2008 firebombing attack.

— In Texas in 2015, State District Judge Julie Kocurek was wounded by a gunman in an ambush outside her Austin home. Authorities charged three men in the shooting, with federal prosecutors saying the trio believed an upcoming hearing before Kocurek would jeopardize their fraudulent financial schemes.

— In 2006 in Reno, Nevada, Family Court Judge Chuck Weller was wounded by bullet fragments and glass after a man whose contentious divorce Weller had handled shot at the judge through his courthouse office window with a high-powered rifle.

Weller said it's up to individual judges to decide whether they should carry a weapon. He said all people who carry guns, including judges, should have the proper training.

"I don't see any reason to deny judges the right to carry firearms, but I'm not advocating one way or another about whether they should," Weller said.

Two of every 100 judges told the National Judicial College's 2014 survey they'd been physically attacked at some point.


‘Briana’s Law’ makes CPR training mandatory for NYC, state cops

Posted on August 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ted Phillips Newsday

NEW YORK — New York State and New York City police officers will soon be required to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation training under legislation signed into law Sunday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The new state law requires all state and New York City police officer candidates to complete the training before graduation from the police academy, and training must be repeated every two years. The law goes into effect in 60 days.

“This common-sense law will give law enforcement the training and the tools that will help save lives,” Cuomo said in a news release. “CPR is a critical skill and by requiring law enforcement candidates and officers to become certified, we can create a safer New York for all.”

The law’s enactment follows years of advocacy by the parents of Briana Ojeda, an 11-year-old Brooklyn girl who died of an asthma attack on the way to the hospital in 2010. Ojeda’s mother drove her daughter to the hospital from the Carroll Gardens playground where the medical emergency happened, but was stopped by a police officer on the way. The police officer didn’t know how to administer CPR and the girl died shortly after arriving at the hospital, according to the news release and media accounts.

After her death, Ojeda’s parents, Michael and Carmen Ojeda, sued the city and the police officer, but a state judge dismissed the case in part because police weren’t required to know CPR, according to media accounts of the trial. Her parents pushed for the law first introduced by Assemb. Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) in 2011.

CPR is a medical technique administered through chest compressions and breaths in cardiac and breathing emergencies.

“By requiring NYPD and State Troopers to get certified and recertified in CPR every two years, we help make New York more prepared for life-threatening situations that may arise,” Ortiz said in a news release.

———

©2017 Newsday


Trump prepares to lift limits on military gear for police

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to restore the flow of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies under a program that had been sharply curtailed amid an outcry over police use of armored vehicles and other war-fighting gear to confront protesters.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press indicate President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order undoing an Obama administration directive that restricted police agencies' access to the gear that includes grenade launchers, bullet-proof vests, riot shields, firearms and ammunition.

Trump's order would fully restore the program under which "assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be repurposed to help state, local, and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime," according to the documents.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions could outline the changes during a Monday speech to the national conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee, a person familiar with the matter said. The person insisted on anonymity to discuss the plan ahead of an official announcement.

The changes would be another way in which Trump and Sessions are enacting a law-and-order agenda that views federal support of local police as a way to drive down violent crime.

National police organizations have long been pushing Trump to hold his promise to once again make the equipment available to local and state police departments, many of which see it as needed to ensure officers aren't put in danger when responding to active shooter calls and terrorist attacks. An armored vehicle played a key role in the police response to the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

In 1990, Congress authorized the Pentagon to give surplus equipment to police to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism.

Groups across the political spectrum have expressed concern about the militarization of police, arguing that the equipment encourages and escalates confrontations with officers. President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2015 that severely limited the surplus program, partly triggered by public outrage over the use of military gear when during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police responded in riot gear and deployed tear gas, dogs and armored vehicles. At times they also pointed assault rifles at protesters.

Obama's order prohibited the federal government from providing grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, and firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or greater to police. As of December, the agency overseeing the program had recalled at least 100 grenade launchers, more than 1,600 bayonets and 126 tracked vehicles — those that run on continuous, tank-like tracks instead of wheels — that were provided through the program.

Trump vowed to rescind the executive order in a written response to a Fraternal Order of Police questionnaire that helped him win an endorsement from the organization of rank-and-file officers. He reiterated his promise during a gathering of police officers in July, saying the equipment still on the streets is being put to good use.

"In fact, that stuff is disappearing so fast we have none left," Trump said.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said in a statement Sunday night that it is "exceptionally dangerous and irresponsible" for the administration to lift the ban.

"Just a few summers ago, our nation watched as Ferguson raised the specter of increased police militarization. The law enforcement response there and in too many places across the country demonstrated how perilous, especially for Black and Brown communities, a militarized police force can be," the LDF said.

"The President's decision to make this change in the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville and against a backdrop of frayed relations between police and communities of color further reflects this administration's now open effort to escalate racial tensions in our country," the organization said.

The documents, first reported by USA Today, say Trump's order would emphasize public safety over the appearance of the heavily equipment. They describe much of the gear as "defensive in nature" intended to protect officers from danger.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the expected move.

Most police agencies rarely require military equipment for daily use but see a need to have it available, said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

"It is hard to imagine any situation where a grenade launcher or bayonet would be something that a major police department would need, but defensive shields and armored vehicles kept on reserve will be welcome," he said.

Sessions has said he believes improving morale for local law enforcement is key to curbing spikes in violence in some cities. The plan to restore access to military equipment comes after Sessions has said he intends to pull back on court-enforceable improvement plans with troubled police departments, which he says can malign entire agencies and make officers less aggressive on the street. Consent decrees were a hallmark of the Obama administration's efforts to overhaul certain agencies, sometimes after racially charged encounters like the one in Ferguson.


Photos, videos: First responders jump into action during Hurricane Harvey

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday and continues to hover over the state of Texas, bringing severe weather. Volunteers have joined emergency teams to pull people from their homes or from the water, which was high enough in some places to gush into second floors, the Associated Press reported.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that the number of counties declared federal disaster areas from Tropical Storm Harvey and its aftermath has increased to 18. On Sunday, 12 counties were added to an earlier federal disaster list of six. According to AP, 50 counties have been declared state disaster zones, 30 earlier in the week and 20 on Saturday.

Here's a collection of photos and videos documenting how police and other first responders are responding to the disaster.


Photos, videos: First responders rush into action during Hurricane Harvey

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday and continues to hover over the state of Texas, bringing severe weather. Volunteers have joined emergency teams to pull people from their homes or from the water, which was high enough in some places to gush into second floors, the Associated Press reported.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that the number of counties declared federal disaster areas from Tropical Storm Harvey and its aftermath has increased to 18. On Sunday, 12 counties were added to an earlier federal disaster list of six. According to AP, 50 counties have been declared state disaster zones, 30 earlier in the week and 20 on Saturday.

Here's a collection of photos and videos documenting how police and other first responders are responding to the disaster.


3 more charged in Charlottesville protest

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Charlottesville police have announced charges against three more people relating to the Aug. 12 white nationalist rally in Virginia.

Police also said Saturday they have now identified 35 victims after a car plowed into a crowd, killing a woman.

Police say Richard Wilson Preston was charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. The 52-year-old was in custody in Towson, Maryland. Police say Daniel Patrick Borden was charged with malicious wounding. The 18-year old is in custody in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Police say Alex Michael Ramos was charged with malicious wounding. His last known residence was Marietta, Georgia.

James Alex Fields Jr. faces second-degree murder charges for driving a car into counter-protesters and killing Heather Heyer. He has been in custody since the day of the rally.


Police arrest 2nd man in Buckingham Palace terror incident

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sylvia Hui Associated Press

LONDON — London police arrested a second man Sunday in connection with a suspect who drove up to a police van not far from Buckingham Palace then reached for a 4-foot (1.2-meter) sword, an incident detectives called a terrorism attempt.

Scotland Yard said three officers were slightly injured when they confronted the 26-year-old man who allegedly drove at the police van then stopped in a restricted area outside the gates of Queen Elizabeth II's London residence Friday night.

The driver reached for the sword in his car and repeatedly shouted "Allahu akbar!" ("God is great" in Arabic) during the incident, police said. The officers used tear gas to incapacitate the man and arrested him at the scene.

No one other than the man and the officers were injured. Two of the officers were treated for minor cuts in the hospital, while the third did not require hospital treatment.

Police said a second suspect, a 30-year-old man, was detained Sunday in west London on suspicion of involvement in terrorism. Officers were searching an address in the area as part of the probe.

Police had said Saturday they believed the first suspect was acting alone and were not looking for potential accomplices. The force has obtained a warrant to detain him until Sept. 1.

"This is a timely reminder that the threat from terrorism in the U.K. remains severe," Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Dean Haydon said. "While we cannot speculate on what the man was intending to do — this will be determined during the course of the investigation — it is only right that we investigate this as a terrorist incident at this time."

Palace officials declined to comment. British media reported that no members of the royal family were in Buckingham Palace, one of London's top attractions, at the time. The queen typically spends the month of August at her Balmoral estate in Scotland.


Berkeley police brace for possible protests

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — Police have set up barricades in a downtown Berkeley park in preparation for possible demonstrations by right-wing and left-wing groups.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that police with bomb-sniffing dogs checked the grounds of Civic Center Park early Sunday.

A right-wing rally billed as "No To Marxism in America" was initially called for Sunday afternoon but then canceled over the weekend.

Organizer Amber Cummings said that Berkeley officials and left-wing extremists made it impossible to hold the event and she would be the sole attendee.

It was not clear if supporters or opponents would show up.

The left-wing group By Any Means Necessary had vowed to shut down the rally at Civic Center Park.

It has been involved in violent confrontations.


Several arrests at Berkeley protests

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

UPDATE 1:40 p.m. (PST):

Police have helped right-wing protesters attending a "Rally Against Hate" out of a park after they were surrounded and pushed by counter protesters.

The skirmish broke out at the Berkeley protest between several dozen left-wing demonstrators and a handful of right-wing supporters.

The skirmish was tense but ended quickly.

3rd arrest I've seen at #berkeleyprotest pic.twitter.com/duyuj7hT4x

— Karl Mondon (@karlmondon) August 27, 2017

The left-wing protesters surrounded the small number of right-wing supporters, then shouted at them and pushed them. The right-wing protesters sought protection from police and were escorted away.

Several people were arrested at Berkeley's Civic Center Park by police who have banned protesters from covering their faces and carrying a variety of items that could be used as weapons.

About 2,000 people gathered in what was billed as a "Rally Against Hate." Opponents of the rally far outnumbered supporters.

#BREAKING: Arrests being made at flashpoints around #Berkeley. Crowds starting to surge. Police move in rapidly. #berkeleyprotests @NBCNews pic.twitter.com/7iQ8WeX7m6

— Steve Patterson (@PattersonNBC) August 27, 2017

UPDATE 1:41 p.m. (CST):

BERKELEY, Calif. — Several hundred people protesting against a right-wing rally have gathered at a park in downtown Berkeley under tight police security.

Supporters of President Donald Trump were largely outnumbered Sunday by counter protesters but peacefully debating with the growing crowd at Civic Center Park.

A right-wing group had called off a rally to be held at the park, fearing violence. But some supporters turned up anyway.

#BREAKING: #ANTIFA Arrives as one solid black bloc. Armed w/ shields, under banner, clad in usual. Police equip masks. #berkely @NBCNews pic.twitter.com/otbQIyBF8o

— Steve Patterson (@PattersonNBC) August 27, 2017

Police were checking bags of those entering the park and had erected barricades around the park as part of tight security measures to prevent violence.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — Police have set up barricades in a downtown Berkeley park in preparation for possible demonstrations by right-wing and left-wing groups.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that police with bomb-sniffing dogs checked the grounds of Civic Center Park early Sunday.

A right-wing rally billed as "No To Marxism in America" was initially called for Sunday afternoon but then canceled over the weekend.

Organizer Amber Cummings said that Berkeley officials and left-wing extremists made it impossible to hold the event and she would be the sole attendee.

It was not clear if supporters or opponents would show up.

The left-wing group By Any Means Necessary had vowed to shut down the rally at Civic Center Park.

It has been involved in violent confrontations.


Coast Guard rescuing people by helicopter in Texas

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Oditt says helicopters have rescued more than 100 people in the Houston area as Tropical Storm Harvey floods numerous neighborhoods.

In a conference call Sunday with reporters, Oditt says Coast Guard personnel and aircraft from around the country have been dispatched to Texas. He says Texas Air National Guard choppers were also assisting with rescues.

Oditt says people facing rising floodwaters should not go into attics, since rescuers in the air cannot see them. The incident commander urged people who head to their rooftops to wave sheets, towels or anything else to attract the attention of helicopter crews.

Coast Guard helicopter crews along the southern portion of the Texas coast are reporting the rescue of almost 40 people, starting from the morning before Hurricane Harvey made landfall. That includes six people rescued from their home Saturday evening in the hard-hit city of Aransas Pass. Among them were three children, their two parents and an elderly woman who was in need of oxygen.


Catastrophic floods strike Houston; thousands flee homes

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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UPDATE 3:10 p.m. (CST):

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says that the number of counties declared federal disaster areas from Tropical Storm Harvey and its aftermath has increased to 18.

Abbott said Sunday 12 counties have been added to an earlier federal disaster list of six. He said President Donald Trump has approved the increase in counties.

Also, 50 counties have already been declared state disaster zones, 30 earlier in the week and 20 on Saturday. Abbott says the counties under the federal and state declarations include Harris County, which encompasses Houston and has been experiencing severe flooding from torrential rains.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m. (CST):

Several hundred people have arrived at the downtown convention center the city of Houston has converted into a shelter after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey inundated much of the city.

Ken Sandy has been designated shelter manager by the Red Cross. He said Sunday that his volunteers are prepared for 1,000 people at the George R. Brown Convention Center, and the center is big enough for them to expand if necessary. The center has 1.8 million square feet (0.17 million sq. meters) of space.

Volunteers are handing out towels to people entering the cavernous center. Cots have not yet arrived.

Authorities across Houston and surrounding Harris County are quickly opening shelters as the full toll of the flooding becomes clear and thousands of people evacuate their homes.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m. (CST):

A Harris County official is asking members of the public who have a boat or a high water vehicle to help with efforts to rescue Houston residents whose homes have flooded in the torrential rains brought by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said at a news conference Sunday that the additional boats and vehicles that Texas is sending to the Houston area are not able to get to the area due to flooded roadways. He adds that vehicles the state previously sent are already being used to help rescue individuals.

Emmett, who oversees government operations in Harris County, where Houston is located, says, "We desperately need boats and high water vehicles ... We can't wait for assets to come from outside."

EARLIER:

Associated Press

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Oditt says helicopters have rescued more than 100 people in the Houston area as Tropical Storm Harvey floods numerous neighborhoods.

In a conference call Sunday with reporters, Oditt says Coast Guard personnel and aircraft from around the country have been dispatched to Texas. He says Texas Air National Guard choppers were also assisting with rescues.

Oditt says people facing rising floodwaters should not go into attics, since rescuers in the air cannot see them. The incident commander urged people who head to their rooftops to wave sheets, towels or anything else to attract the attention of helicopter crews.

Coast Guard helicopter crews along the southern portion of the Texas coast are reporting the rescue of almost 40 people, starting from the morning before Hurricane Harvey made landfall. That includes six people rescued from their home Saturday evening in the hard-hit city of Aransas Pass. Among them were three children, their two parents and an elderly woman who was in need of oxygen.


Rescuers pluck hundreds from rising floodwaters in Houston

Posted on August 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Graczyk Associated Press

HOUSTON — Tropical Storm Harvey sent devastating floods pouring into the nation's fourth-largest city Sunday as rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers who could not keep up with the constant calls for help.

The incessant rain covered much of Houston in turbid, gray-green water and turned streets into rivers navigable only by boat. In a rescue effort that recalled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, helicopters landed near flooded freeways, airboats buzzed across submerged neighborhoods and high-water vehicles plowed through water-logged intersections. Some people managed with kayaks or canoes or swam.

Volunteers joined emergency teams to pull people from their homes or from the water, which was high enough in places to gush into second floors. The flooding was so widespread that authorities had trouble pinpointing the worst areas. They urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.

Judging from federal disaster declarations, the storm has so far affected about a quarter of the Texas population, or 6.8 million people in 18 counties. It was blamed for at least two deaths.

As the water rose, the National Weather Service issued another ominous forecast: Before the storm that arrived Friday as a Category 4 hurricane is gone, some parts of Houston and its suburbs could get as much as 50 inches (1.3 meters) of rain. That would be the highest amount ever recorded in Texas.

Some areas have already received about half that amount. Since Thursday, South Houston recorded nearly 25 inches (63 centimeters), and the suburbs of Santa Fe and Dayton got 27 inches (69 centimeters).

"The breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before," the National Weather Service said in a statement.

Average rainfall totals will end up around 40 inches (1 meter) for Houston, weather service meteorologist Patrick Burke said.

The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, predicted that the aftermath of the storm would require FEMA's involvement for years.

"This disaster's going to be a landmark event," Long said.

Rescuers had to give top priority to life-and-death situations, leaving many affected families to fend for themselves. And several hospitals in the Houston area were evacuated due to the rising waters.

Tom Bartlett and Steven Craig pulled a rowboat on a rope through chest-deep water for a mile to rescue Bartlett's mother from her home in west Houston. It took them 45 minutes to reach the house. Inside, the water was halfway up the walls.

Marie Bartlett, 88, waited in her bedroom upstairs.

"When I was younger, I used to wish I had a daughter, but I have the best son in the world," she said. "In my 40 years here, I've never seen the water this high."

It was not clear how many people were plucked from the floodwaters. Up to 1,200 people had to be rescued in Galveston County alone, said Mark Henry, the county judge, the county's top administrative post.

Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center was quickly opened as a shelter. It was also used as a shelter for Katrina refugees in 2005.

Gillis Leho arrived there soaking wet. She said she awoke Sunday to find her downstairs flooded. She tried to move some belongings upstairs, then grabbed her grandchildren.

"When they told us the current was getting high, we had to bust a window to get out," Leho said.

William Cain sought shelter after water started coming inside his family's apartment and they lost power. "I live in a lake where there was once dry land," he said.

Some people used inflatable beach toys, rubber rafts and even air mattresses to get through the water to safety. Others waded while carrying trash bags stuffed with their belongings and small animals in picnic coolers.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said authorities had received more than 2,000 calls for help, with more coming in. He urged drivers to stay off roads to avoid adding to the number of those stranded.

"I don't need to tell anyone this is a very, very serious and unprecedented storm," Turner told a news conference. "We have several hundred structural flooding reports. We expect that number to rise pretty dramatically."

The deteriorating situation was bound to provoke questions about the conflicting advice given by the governor and Houston leaders before the hurricane. Gov. Greg Abbott urged people to flee from Harvey's path, but the Houston mayor issued no evacuation orders and told everyone to stay home.

The governor refused to point fingers on Sunday.

"Now is not the time to second-guess the decisions that were made," Abbott, a Republican, said at a news conference in Austin. "What's important is that everybody work together to ensure that we are going to, first, save lives and, second, help people across the state rebuild."

The mayor, a Democrat, defended his decision, saying there was no way to know which parts of the city were most vulnerable.

"If you think the situation right now is bad, and you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare," Turner said, citing the risks of sending the city's 2.3 million inhabitants onto the highways at the same time.

Jesse Gonzalez, and his son, also named Jesse, used their boat to rescue people from a southeast Houston neighborhood. Asked what he had seen, the younger Gonzalez replied: "A lot of people walking and a lot of dogs swimming."

"It's chest- to shoulder-deep out there in certain areas," he told television station KTRK as the pair grabbed a gasoline can to refill their boat.

The Coast Guard deployed five helicopters and asked for additional aircraft from New Orleans.

The White House announced that President Donald Trump would visit Texas on Tuesday. He met Sunday by teleconference with top administration officials to discuss federal support for response and recovery efforts.

The rescues unfolded a day after Harvey settled over the Texas coastline. The system weakened Saturday to a tropical storm.

On Sunday, it was virtually stationary about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Victoria, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph (72.42 kph), the hurricane center said.

Harvey was the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961's Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.


Photo: Cop braves Hurricane Harvey to save American flag

Posted on August 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ARANSAS PASS, Texas – A photo of an officer braving hurricane force winds to recover an American flag has gone viral.

The Aransas Pass Police Department posted the image to Facebook on Friday, writing “While some dishonor and desecrate her, APPD Ofc. Jack McCarty will stop at nothing to honor and save her.”

The image has been shared over 4,000 times.

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While some dishonor and desecrate her, APPD Ofc. Jack McCarty will stop at nothing to honor and save her. #GodBlessAmerica #HurricaneHarvey

Posted by Aransas Pass Police Department on Friday, August 25, 2017


San Francisco fences park ahead of planned protests

Posted on August 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Janie Har Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — City officials took steps Saturday to prevent violence ahead of an expected news conference by a right-wing group at a San Francisco park.

But hours before the event was set to occur, the organizer said it would be moved indoors.

Joey Gibson of the group Patriot Prayer did not provide a location or further details. He also said in a Facebook post that he would pop up at random sites throughout the city to speak with residents.

It marked the latest pivot by the group that initially intended to stage a rally in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge but scrapped that idea, citing threats from left-wing agitators and worries that civic leaders and law enforcement would fail to protect them.

The change involving the news conference came as officials erected fencing and a large contingent of police monitored Alamo Square park.

Protesters holding signs that read "End White Supremacy" and "Ban Racists" gathered around the perimeter of the park but were not allowed inside.

The news conference was a late substitute for the "freedom rally" planned near the Golden Gate by Patriot Prayer.

Both sides were suspicious.

"We don't trust this group. I never have from the beginning," Mayor Ed Lee said of Patriot Prayer.

Lee said the group had not canceled the rally in writing, so police would remain vigilant at the Golden Gate site.

Lee urged counter-protesters to stay away and avoid violence.

"I do believe there are provocateurs in those groups that are intentionally wanting to incite some level of violence," he said.

When he canceled the rally on Friday, he said his followers would instead attend an anti-Marxist rally in nearby Berkeley on Sunday. But a short time later, the organizer of that rally called it off.

Organizer Amber Cummings said in a lengthy statement issued via Facebook that she had "grave concerns for the safety of the people attending my event."

Right-wing rally was cancelled, but hundreds still showing up to protest #SanFrancisco pic.twitter.com/fnqJcyH7KH

— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel_) August 26, 2017

Cummings said the event was planned "to speak out against the political violence happening to people who do not agree" with left-wing ideology, and that the meaning was being lost as rhetoric around the rally escalated.

Tension over the gatherings had built in the two weeks since violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was charged with murder after driving a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman.

Gibson and Cummings insisted their gatherings would be peaceful, but critics alleged they would be magnets for racists and others seeking violent confrontations.

Gibson said his group disavows racism and hatred.

A number of counter protests were planned. The left-wing group By Any Means Necessary, which has been involved in violent confrontations, had vowed to shut down the Berkeley rally.

Protesters moving up Fillmore looking for access into Alamo Park. I've been told by police every entrance is blocked. pic.twitter.com/G7vqtA3SK1

— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel_) August 26, 2017

Some groups in the city synonymous with the "Summer of Love" had planned to welcome their political opponents with unusual weekend protests, though it wasn't clear which of those would continue.

Plans included littering Crissy Field, the site of the now-canceled Saturday rally, with dog poop, dispatching red-nosed clowns and a giant inflatable chicken that bears the hairstyle of President Donald Trump.

On Friday, hundreds of people rallied raucously and danced at City Hall. They held signs that read "Unite Against Hate" and cheered religious and elected officials who took the microphone to speak of love and champion diversity in a city that famously prides itself as a sanctuary for gays, minorities and people who are in the country illegally.

Ahead of the planned far-right rally in San Francisco tomorrow, protesters flock to Civic Center Plaza for the #UniteAgainstHate rally. pic.twitter.com/ZUPi2aSXEB

— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 25, 2017


Cops plan ice bucket challenge with family of man behind it

Posted on August 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BEVERLY, Mass. — Police in the hometown of the man who inspired the ice bucket challenge plan to host one with his family.

Beverly Police Chief John LeLacheur says officers and Pete Frates' family will take the challenge Sunday. The department is challenging other officers, firefighters, emergency workers and t public to participate.

Frates inspired the ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $220 million for Lou Gehrig's disease research since 2014.

The Massachusetts native and former Boston College baseball star was diagnosed in 2012 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. There is no known cure for the disease, which weakens muscles and impairs physical functioning.

During the challenge, participants dump buckets of ice water over their heads and challenge others to do the same to promote ALS awareness and encourage donations.


Drones deployed for the 1st time to monitor NY State Fair traffic

Posted on August 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Drones will be monitoring weekend traffic conditions at the New York State Fair for the first time.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that state-of-the-art drone technology will help the state police and Department of Transportation better monitor traffic and parking lot capacity at the Empire Expo Center near Syracuse.

The drones will operate under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, with a range of about 1 mile (1.61 kilometers).

The Democratic governor says drone research, development and manufacturing are part of a larger initiative to boost economic growth in central New York.

The State Fair began Wednesday and runs through Sept. 4.


UAS deployed for the 1st time to monitor NY State Fair traffic

Posted on August 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Drones will be monitoring weekend traffic conditions at the New York State Fair for the first time.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that state-of-the-art drone technology will help the state police and Department of Transportation better monitor traffic and parking lot capacity at the Empire Expo Center near Syracuse.

The drones will operate under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, with a range of about 1 mile (1.61 kilometers).

The Democratic governor says drone research, development and manufacturing are part of a larger initiative to boost economic growth in central New York.

The State Fair began Wednesday and runs through Sept. 4.


NYPD K-9 returns to work after falling through ceiling

Posted on August 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Maura Grunlund Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The NYPD K-9 Unit dog named after slain Detective Russel Timoshenko has recovered from injuries suffered during a gun raid in Brooklyn.

"We are happy to report that ESU K-9 'Timmy' is back to work after having his stitches removed," said a post on the NYPD Special Operations Division Twitter feed.

Det. Benny Colecchia of Staten Island is seen holding his partner Timoshenko (Timmy) in pictures posted on the Twitter feed.

K-9 Timoshenko along with the rest of his unit, and officers from the 76th Precinct executed the warrant at a home on Seabring Street in Red Hook around 7:45 p.m., a spokesman for the NYPD said.

While searching the attic of the home, the German shepherd signaled where firearms were being kept when the sheetrock ceiling gave out, sources said.

He fell through, and suffered lacerations to his paw. He was treated at a local animal hospital and received eight stitches.

#Update: We are happy to report that ESU K9 "Timmy" is back to work after having his stitches removed. ?? pic.twitter.com/fCJh2pzbcq

— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) August 24, 2017

———

©2017 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.


3 UK officers injured after suspect drove at police, went for 4-foot sword

Posted on August 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sylvia Hui Associated Press

LONDON — British counterterrorism police on Saturday were investigating a man who was detained after he drove a car at police outside Buckingham Palace then "reached for a 4-foot sword," injuring three police officers.

The Metropolitan Police force said officers stopped a 26-year-old man who deliberately drove at a police van Friday night near Queen Elizabeth II's London residence, one of the city's top tourist attractions.

"Uniformed officers then confronted the driver of the vehicle and during that confrontation the driver reached for a 4-foot sword" in the car, said Dean Haydon, commander of the Metropolitan Police counterterrorism branch.

The suspect repeatedly shouted "Allahu akbar!" ("God is great" in Arabic), Haydon said. Three London police officers were slightly injured while struggling to arrest him, he added.

Police believed the suspect was acting alone and were not looking for other suspects Saturday. Counterterror officers were carrying out searches in Luton, north of London, where the suspect was from.

Kiana Williamson said she saw officers trying to wrestle a man out of a car that had stopped near the palace. In less than a minute, "the man had been restrained and looked almost unconscious by the side of the road," Williamson said.

The suspect was taken to the hospital for minor injuries and remained in custody in a London police station. No one other than him and the police officers was injured.

British media reported that no members of the royal family were in Buckingham Palace at the time.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan thanked police for acting quickly to protect the public.

The police presence in London was stepped up because of the long Bank Holiday weekend and the annual Notting Hill Carnival, a busy street festival that attracts huge crowds.

Buckingham Palace did not comment on the incident and tours of parts of the palace that are open to the public in the summer were unaffected Saturday.

Last year, a man convicted of murder climbed a palace wall and was detained on the palace grounds while the queen was at home.


Trump pardons Joe Arpaio

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has granted a pardon to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio was found guilty last month of criminal contempt for disregarding a court order in a racial profiling case.

Arpaio was scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 5.


IACP, civil rights organization partner to address hate crimes

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have joined forces to continue a dialogue on hate crimes.

The partnership will lead discussions about how to break down barriers and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and vulnerable communities, according to a press release.

“By joining forces, we will assist agencies and community leaders in effectively responding to hate crimes, providing resources, and developing solutions to prevent such incidents,” IACP President Donald De Lucca said. “Through the advisory committee, the IACP and Lawyers’ Committee will bring together unique expertise to establish an achievable action agenda that will help stakeholders across the United States respond quickly to these crimes, making a lasting impact on victims and their communities.”

The committee will be focusing on incidents that are motivated by actual or perceived race, national origin, religious background, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability of a person. They aim to discuss legal, economic, emotional, social and safety issues that arise during such events and will provide recommendations on the best response. Committee members include law enforcement and civil rights leaders, advocates, academics and hate crime victims.

President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee Kristen Clarke said the events in Charlottesville served as a “reminder that too many communities are targets of hate-fueled acts.”

“In these difficult moments, we must redouble our efforts to combat hate,” she said. “That includes a thoughtful dialogue among law enforcement and the civil rights community to ensure the needs of targeted communities, including racial and religious minorities, LGBT, and the handicapped are addressed.”

The first meeting is on Sept. 19. After the agenda is finalized, private and public funding will be sought for implementation by the IACP and Lawyers’ Committee. Once funded, IACP and the Lawyers’ Committee hope the agenda will help improve the safety of all individuals threatened by hate.


BLM protests at Philly cop’s home after fatal OIS, mayor thanks LE for response

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in front of an officer’s home Thursday in response to a fatal police shooting earlier this month that involved a struggle over the suspect’s gun.

Officer Ryan Pownall pulled over David Jones on June 8 after he saw Jones driving a dirtbike erratically in the street, Metro News reported. A struggle ensued over a gun in Jones' waistband, according to police. A witness told police he saw Jones’ weapon fall to the sidewalk before Jones fled and Pownell opened fire. Jones died shortly after.

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At the murderer of David Jones house officer Ryan Pownall of the 15TH district #Justice4DavidJones #NO #JUSTICE #NO #PEACE

Posted by Ikey Raw on Thursday, August 24, 2017

Protesters posted “wanted” signs on poles near Pownall’s house as they gathered there Thursday. A line of LEOs formed to protect Pownall’s home and to separate protesters from the officer. No arrests were made.

In a statement, the mayor condemned the protest, saying it did nothing to move police and community relations forward. He also thanked police and said they “peacefully defused” the event.

“There are many Philadelphians and officers who are productively working to build police-community trust, including pushing for transparency and reform which Commissioner Ross and I both agree must continue,” the mayor said. “What happened last night did nothing to move those efforts forward."

The shooting is currently being investigated by the Attorney General’s office.


Deputy, trooper cleared in fatal NC shooting of armed woman

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jonathan Drew Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — A woman fatally shot by law enforcement officers along an interstate highway fired on them first after ignoring commands to drop her gun, videos released Friday by a prosecutor show. The deputy and state trooper have been cleared of wrongdoing.

"Under the circumstances ... their use of deadly force was both reasonable and warranted," Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle explained in a news release.

The dash-cam recordings reveal new details about the shooting on July 8, which happened after Tina Medlin apparently veered onto the grass alongside Interstate 40 east of Raleigh. A dozen passing drivers called 911 to report her driving erratically at speeds around 100 mph, or seeing her wrecked SUV. Multiple callers said she had a gun.

The news release said a driver who stopped to help heard Medlin, a white woman, repeatedly yell "I wish I would have just killed myself!"

Deputy Taylor Davis and Trooper Jonathan Taylor arrived around 6:30 a.m. The videos start with Medlin face-first on the ground, yards away from the officers. They order her to show her hands. She gets up holding a firearm. They tell her to drop the weapon.

Before the exchange of gunfire, one of the officers can be heard saying: "I see the weapon! Don't draw it!"

Instead, she fires at them. Only then do Taylor and Davis both return fire, Doyle wrote.

Medlin was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to her right arm and head, and died three days later.

A state law enacted last year prohibits public release of police dashboard and body camera video without a judge's order. Doyle described a strong need to more fully explain the officers' actions, and Johnston County Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock agreed, writing on Wednesday that the release "is necessary to advance a compelling public interest."


Policing Matters Podcast: How crowd control needs to evolve as protests turn more violent

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

A white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in mid-August left a 32-year-old woman dead and nearly two dozen other people injured when a deranged white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters. There were other violent clashes in the streets that saw too little separation between the opposing factions. At the time of this recording session, there is a far-right rally planned in of all places, San Francisco. The city is organizing a “block party” to give the opposing side a place to gather. It’s nearly five miles away. Whether or not the rally in the City by the Bay is kept peaceful, law enforcement must continue to develop new ways to deal with the threat. In this week’s podcast, Jim and Doug discuss how crowd control is changing.


Police: Woman killed birth daughter, burned body months after reuniting

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Heather Hollingsworth and Margaret Stafford Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri woman was charged Tuesday with killing the autistic teenage daughter she gave up for adoption as a baby, weeks after the girl's remains were found in a burn pit on her remote property and months after the girl moved back from Minnesota, where she was raised.

Rebecca Ruud, 39, is charged with first-degree murder, abuse of a child resulting in death and second-degree felony murder in the killing of her 16-year-old biological daughter, Savannah Leckie. She is also charged with tampering with physical evidence and abandoning a corpse, said Ozark County Prosecutor John Garrabrant. He declined to say whether anyone else would be charged, but Sheriff Darrin Reed said the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

Ruud is being held in the Ozark County jail. A cellphone number listed as hers wasn't working, and the public defender's office didn't immediately reply to a phone message seeking comment.

According to a probable cause statement filed with the charges, Ruud reported a fire on July 18 on the property where she and her now-husband live in Theodosia, a village of about 250 people near Missouri's southern border with Arkansas. She told fire officials she was burned trying to save the girl from the fire, but refused to let them talk to Savannah.

Two days later, Ruud reported that Savannah had gone missing, investigators said. She later gave differing accounts of how she was injured but claimed Savannah ran away because she blamed herself for starting the fire.

Several searches of the property turned up human teeth, a meat grinder, a knife and 26 bottles of lye, which can be used to accelerate the breakdown of bodily tissue, according to court documents. Human bone fragments were found in a field about 400 yards (365 meters) from the home on Aug. 4. During that search, Ruud and her husband left the farm and got married.

A forensic analysis identified the remains as Savannah's, the sheriff said.

Ruud was arrested at a Greyhound Bus station on Saturday. She had bought a ticket to Kansas City and her husband, who has not been charged, had a ticket to Memphis, Tennessee. Investigators arrested her because she was known to have contacts in several states and is affiliated with groups involved in living off the public grid, according to the probable cause statement.

Ruud told investigators that she put Savannah up for adoption when she was born and that the girl spent most of her life in Minnesota. Affidavits filed in support of search warrants describe Savannah as having high-functioning autism.

Savannah's adoptive mother, Tamile Leckie-Montague, asked Ruud last November to take the teen because Savannah couldn't get along with her fiancé, Cary Steeves. Ruud agreed and was given power of attorney. After the girl moved to Missouri, she was home-schooled and had "almost no social contacts," according to an affidavit.

Ruud's ex-boyfriend, Buddy Smart, told investigators he had seen her discipline Savannah by forcing her to crawl through a hog pen and making her to bathe in a pond, the affidavit states. Ruud acknowledged that was true and told investigators that when Savannah cut her arm "in a suicidal gesture," she forced the girl to scrub the wound daily with alcohol and salt as punishment.

Steeves told Minneapolis television station KSTP-TV that Savannah "needed a lot of one-on-one focus and the farm just seemed like a really good place for her at the moment." He told the Star-Tribune that Leckie-Montague last spoke to Savannah on June 3, which was her 16th birthday, and that there was "nothing like big, red flags" suggesting anything was amiss.

Leckie-Montague, who lives in the Minneapolis suburb of Columbia Heights, told authorities that Ruud "continually complained" about how Savannah was acting on the farm and the time and money it took to care for the girl, according to the probable cause statement.

Leckie-Montague issued a news release Tuesday thanking Missouri investigators and asking for privacy for her and her family.

"Our family is in deep grief and is mourning Savannah as her remains were identified yesterday. This is not the outcome that we were hoping and praying for," she wrote.


Photo: Man steals bulldozer, crushes Ill. cop car

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

KANKAKEE, Ill. — Police have arrested a man after he stole a bulldozer and ran over a patrol car.

An off-duty officer called police Friday to report a bulldozer that was spinning around in the street, ABC 11 reported. Police arrived on the scene and attempted to pull over Austin White, 18.

White put the bulldozer in reverse and ran over the front of a patrol car. Luckily, no one was injured but the car was severely damaged. White then drove 12 more blocks before officers subdued him with a TASER.

He was treated for injuries at a local hospital. Charges are pending.

Bourbonnais man steals bulldozer, backs over Kankakee police car: https://t.co/Y4fZkrNxa8 pic.twitter.com/ukVa8EZdwj

— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) August 24, 2017


Neb. PD uses drone for first time in explosion investigation

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LINCOLN, Neb. — After an explosion in a Lincoln, Nebraska, residential neighborhood, city police used drone technology to assess the damage before physically moving on to the scene.

It was the first time drones had been used by the police, which required permission from the mayor, Chris Beutler.

Police had already received a search warrant for the home, and received verbal permission from neighbors to conduct the aerial investigation. The explosion leveled one home, scattered debris, caused damage to homes over several blocks and critically injured two people.

The use of drones is limited in police investigations due to careful consideration of the Fourth Amendment, which prevents unlawful searches, including aerial surveillance by a government entity.

Even with permission to photograph the area from neighbors, the police are not releasing the images received from the drone.

Read more about how drones can increase public safety here.


Ore. sheriff removes ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag from courthouse break room

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Samantha Matsumoto The Oregonian

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. — After white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, displayed a black-and-white American flag with a blue line across its center, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese announced a similar flag had been removed from a break room in the Multnomah County Courthouse.

For some, the symbol known as the "Thin Blue Line" flag is used to show support for law enforcement and honor officers killed in the line of duty. Others say it's gotten co-opted by the white nationalist movement and shows disrespect to people of color.

The flag was in a courthouse breakroom for Sheriff's Office staff, said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Chad Gaidos. A Multnomah County commissioner raised concerns about the flag to Reese earlier this week, Reese said in a statement Wednesday.

"The community concerns raised led me to ask that the flag be removed while we consider whether or not it is appropriate to display any altered United States flag inside a county-owned facility," Reese said.

The flag has sometimes served as a flashpoint in what has become the nation's fraught terrain of racial politics.

In March, a Florida woman was asked by her homeowners' association to take down her flag after complaints that it was anti-Black Lives Matter.

St. Louis residents complained after the flag was hung on a float during a popular city parade in June, saying it took attention away from marginalized groups. Parade officials later apologized for displaying the flag.

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Sheriff Reese Comments on Flag at County Courthouse: Earlier this week, I was approached by the office of a county...

Posted by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, August 23, 2017

In Portland, emergency medic technicians were criticized in March for wearing patches with the Thin Blue Line emblem during protests. Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Myers said it was inappropriate for medics to wear the patch because it suggested they sided with police against protesters.

In Charlottesville on Aug. 12, demonstrators displayed the flag alongside Confederate flags during a white nationalist protest. Later that day, a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring at least 19 others. The suspect had expressed racist views in the past, friends reported.

Police Officer Darryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, said neo-Nazis and white supremacists have hijacked the symbol. He's not involved in the county decision, but spoke in general about the flag.

"It's a memorial to fallen officers who have given their lives to support and protect diverse and evolving communities," Turner said. "Anyone who supports (white supremacists') rhetoric should not be using that flag."

It should be made clear that the flag doesn't stand for racist beliefs, he said.

"We reject their rhetoric of hate, bigotry, racism and violence in this country. We need to stand together and fight against that," he said.

At the same time, he said, the flag has value as a way to honor police. "We also need to make sure we support and fight for our symbols," he said.

In a statement, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the sheriff was right to remove flag.

"We must be open and try to understand how symbols may hurt or offend other people," she said. "The sheriff is taking a positive step and listening to the community's concern, talking to his people, and taking both into account."

The process to determine the flag's fate hasn't yet been determined, Gaidos said. Reese met with staff Wednesday to discuss the flag, the sheriff said in his statement.

"I ask them to work with me to resolve these issues by determining how and where to display the flag in a manner that will honor fallen law enforcement officers and also meet the expectations of our community," Reese said.

———

©2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


Dash cam video released of pursuit, fatal Alaska OIS of armed man

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Police released footage Wednesday of a high-speed pursuit and fatal officer-involved shooting of an armed man.

Police were investigating a stolen vehicle and property case on Memorial Day when they witnessed Shawn Christopher Buck, 23, approaching the scene in his car, KTUU reported.

Buck, who was known to have three felony arrest warrants and prior convictions, was pulled over by troopers. Police Chief Brad Johnson said Buck refused to comply and fled.

Speeds exceeded over 100 mph as Buck drove into oncoming traffic and the wrong way down a highway ramp. Johnson said at one point, Buck pointed a handgun at a trooper and almost struck a motorist.

“At this time of day, vehicle traffic was busy with people leaving for Memorial Day weekend,” Johnson said. “This was further compounded the closer Buck got into the city of Fairbanks with much more traffic and innocent lives at stake.”

Police placed spike strips down. Buck drove over them and fired one shot at an officer, who was not hit. Despite all tires being deflated, Buck continued to flee. He rammed multiple police cars to avoid being boxed in.

After striking a patrol car head on, police approached Buck’s car on foot and fired several shots after seeing a gun in his hand. Buck died from his injuries at the hospital.

The Office of Special Prosecutions cleared all four officers of any wrongdoing.


Portland requires officers to give prompt account after using deadly force

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jessica Floum The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police officers who use deadly force will now have to speak with police internal affairs investigators within 48 hours of the incident.

The Portland City Council unanimously approved that rule Wednesday. It will take effect immediately.

The change from current practice, opposed by Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, was championed by Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Nick Fish. Underhill said compelling statements before a criminal investigation could violate officers' due process rights, making them immune from prosecution.

The council also unanimously decided to create a new commission on "community-engaged policing" as a means for the public to engage in bureau policies. That is intended in part to comply with a federal mandate for community engagement in the city's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Revs. LeRoy Haynes Jr. and T. Allen Bethel, co-chairs of The Albina Ministerial Alliance's Coalition for Justice and Police Reform, were among more than a dozen who testified in favor of the reforms Thursday.

"We have reached a crossroad in the struggle to bring 21st Century community policing to the city of Portland, and to address both the failures and the costly mistakes of the past," Haynes said.

The 48-hour rule applies to most officers. Only those who are physically incapacitated or unable to speak with investigators will be excused. The council removed a loophole from the original proposal that would have allowed the police chief and police commissioner to delay the interview.

The revisions came after the mayor and city commissioners heard testimony from the public at two hearings in the last several weeks.

"I want you to know I heard you," Wheeler said Thursday. "I appreciate the testimony that was provided here."

The council directed the city attorney to seek a court review of the policy.

In July, Underhill advised that the police bureau can't compel officers involved in fatal shootings to speak until a criminal inquiry is done.

Retired chief deputy district attorney Norm Frink this week told The Oregonian/OregonLive that he found Underhill's concerns "reasonable" but supports the city's decision to compel statements soon after deadly incidents. He urged city officials to consult with U.S. Department of Justice lawyers and Underhill's office to iron out the details of the policy.

The rule change came two weeks after Wheeler hired Danielle Outlaw to replace former Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman, making Outlaw the first African American woman to hold the position.

"Let us begin anew with the coming of a new chief that embraced 21st Century community policing and creating a new model not only for Portland but for the nation that will build respect and build trust and build accountability and justice to all the citizens of Portland as well as those who serve on the Portland Police Bureau," Haynes said Thursday.

Before voting in favor of the community engagement group on policing, Fish commended the mayor's leadership. He recalled Wheeler asking the public early in his term to judge him based on the progress he makes on police reform and accountability.

The mayor, Fish said, proposed an idea that got mixed reviews and a lot of push back, but he incorporated that feedback into the final policy.

Fish also complimented the mayor for getting consensus on the "very independently-minded" council on the third or fourth major issue in the last month.

"It's a mark of a different kind of leadership that you can bring the whole council along," Fish said. "To me, that's the hallmark of a good leader."

Wheeler also thanked his colleagues.

"This finishes the easy part," Wheeler said. "Now the hard work begins."

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©2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


The role of technology in human trafficking and sexual exploitation

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mandy Johnson, P1 Contributor

Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar worldwide criminal industry. Trafficking involves denying a person their freedom and benefitting from their exploitation. Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion when exploiting their victims.

The many forms of trafficking fall into two primary categories:

Forced labor (e.g., restaurant work, fruit stand sales and farm labor) Sexual exploitation (e.g., commercial sexual activities such as prostitution, pornography and stripping)

Sexually exploited victims are the largest percentage across the different forms of trafficking. The evolution of technology has created a non-traditional arena for traffickers to sexually exploit victims.

Around the world and in our present culture, technology has many purposes: communication, tracking, payment services and collaboration. While those purposes are not criminal in and of themselves, a trafficker’s use of technology is typically criminal in nature and exploitive.

Traffickers use devices like notepads, laptops and smartphones because they are portable, small and simple to use; they have multiple functions; and they can assist in individuals evading law enforcement detection.

Technology facilitates communication, payment

Communication is critical in commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). A trafficker needs to be able to communicate with potential buyers.

Using smartphone texting features, texting applications, private or instant messaging apps, or Voice Over IP (VoIP), traffickers are able to communicate with an interested buyer to set up a “date,” discuss payment (or donation) and establish a meeting point.

Tracking a victim’s movement means that she (there are male CSE victims, but typically a CSE victim is female) is not necessarily free to get help, contact law enforcement or leave her trafficker. The trafficker is able to display dominance and control by keeping tabs on the victim and ensuring she is where she is expected to be.

Many smartphones have GPS capabilities and location apps whereby a trafficker is able to verify the location of a victim’s phone. Theoretically, if the phone is somewhere, the victim should also be there. Essentially, her movements are monitored in real time.

While payments have historically been cash, according to a trafficking survivor, traffickers prefer electronic payment. Cash transactions can threaten business. If a victim has large amounts of cash in her possession, a buyer may assault her and rob her. Carrying credit cards – such as a Vanilla card, Greendot card and other reloadable prepaid cards – is also not as suspicious as carrying several hundred dollars in small bills.

Electronic funds such as bitcoin are utilized as a quick, untraceable method of payment. Additionally, if a buyer pays in advance via bitcoin, a reloadable prepaid card or through a money transfer app, the trafficker minimizes the risk of loss and can easily move the money around.

These alternate forms of payment allow monies to be sent to someone anywhere in the world, be posted on the books of an incarcerated trafficker or assist in evading law enforcement suspicion.

Collaboration and coordination among traffickers is more feasible when they utilize different forms of technology. Modern technology enables traffickers to exploit their victims to a larger audience.

The darkweb allows for clandestine service or person sales. Dating, escort or sales websites (such as Backpage and Craigslist) are easily manipulated to facilitate commercial sexual encounters.

Social media sites and apps are often used for recruiting purposes and communication with potential victims.

Other apps are used for communication with buyers, other sellers and victims; collaboration of trafficking efforts; payment arrangements; victim tracking; evasion of law enforcement detection; and phone locking to minimize evidence collection.

Portable nature of technology aids traffickers

According to law enforcement, traffickers use technology because it is simple. A trafficker with minimal to no formal education can easily access and use many features of a smartphone such as GPS tracking or apps that lock a phone remotely.

Smartphones, notepads and laptops serve many purposes. One device small enough to fit in a pocket or small purse can facilitate almost every aspect of CSE, such as communication, tracking, payment acquisition or transfer, and exploitation collaboration. While traffickers may have a desktop computer, laptops, notepads and smartphones are far more efficient and portable.

Portability means transactions can be initiated anywhere at any time with anyone. The victim does not need to stand on a street corner to hustle a ”date” because connecting with a potential buyer, coordinating the time and location, and establishing the terms of the date (donation amount, services, etc.) are easy to finalize on their phone prior to meeting. There is no need to have a landline to make phone calls because the victim or trafficker is able to make phone calls using apps or VoIP.

Traffickers are able to evade law enforcement detection using features and apps on a smartphone. For example, a cell phone service contract is not necessary if there is access to a Wi-Fi connection. Avoiding a cell phone service contract makes it more difficult for law enforcement to track the user, their phone calls and identity.

Conclusion

Recognizing the ways a trafficker exploits technology can enhance investigative efforts, assist in detecting criminal activity and potentially create grounds for prosecution. Maintaining technological awareness is critical. Technology is continually changing and remaining cognizant of emerging trends can make a difference in the life of a victim.


About the author Mandy Johnson has been in law enforcement for over nine years as a crime and intelligence analyst. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice, a Master's degree in criminal justice and a certificate in crime and intelligence analysis. She has worked at police departments, sheriff's offices, the California Department of Justice and the California State Threat Assessment Center (a federally recognized fusion center). She has also worked as a criminal justice college instructor. Her areas of expertise are prison and criminal street gangs and human trafficking.


The 2 most dangerous moments of domestic violence calls

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

If you ask a street cop who is about to retire what the five scariest moments were in his/her career, one or more of them will have taken place during a domestic violence call.

Time after time, domestic violence perpetrators prove that anyone who can deliberately kill the people they love the most can kill a police officer without blinking an eye.

Police officers must take full control of their destiny by being fully alert and aware during every moment of a domestic violence call.

The Most Dangerous Moments

If a domestic abuser intends on killing a police officer, history has proven the attempt is most likely to take place:

    During the approach; While attempting the arrest.

Officers must shift into high alert during these critical moments of every call/contact, but this is especially true in domestic violence cases.

The Approach

A domestic violence call is often a crime in progress. In most cases where the victim has managed to call 911, the perpetrator has witnessed the desperate plea for help. In these cases, the abuser knows the police are coming.

This call inspires some to flee. Others will stay, change their chameleon-like personas and attempt to lie their way out of their circumstance. Still others will prepare to extinguish their rage by visiting violence upon responding officers.

Considering this fact, take great care during your approach. Do not announce your arrival with your siren. Come in silent as if you are arriving at an alarm. Arrive at a spot out of the direct line of sight of the residence on every domestic violence call. Approach cautiously on foot, using cover and try to be the surprise-er and not the surprise-ee, upon arriving.

Do not proceed directly to make contact on the approach. Pause short, from a position of advantage, and scan the area. Watch. Listen.

Assess what is happening around and within the residence before you make contact. During this moment in time, in many cases you can determine what is happening, where it is happening, who is in danger, who needs to be arrested and how much more help you need.

You also will be able to determine if the circumstances are exigent in the extreme, and if there are weapons involved. This intelligence gathering takes just a matter of seconds, but failing to do so and rushing in blind has proven to be a fatal error.

When you do move in to make contact, treat every door as the fatal funnel it is. Do not stand in front of doors and avoid exposing yourself to attack from windows. When you are with a partner, you should approach using the contact-cover concept.

When you make contact, separate the parties involved, secure them if justification exists, conduct a protective sweep of the scene and attend to the injured.

With this done, it is time to investigate the incident.

The Arrest

The second most dangerous time for officers on a domestic violence call is during the arrest.

Chronic abusers are able to persuade those around them into believing they are wonderful individuals, while successfully hiding their dark side. So skilled are these schmoozers, they often lull officers with their compliance and cooperation into believing one of two things that are totally false.

They will convince officers either they are the victims or that the arrest will be made without incident.

The last words ever heard by officers may be, “Certainly, officer. Let me just get my coat.”

When it comes to making an arrest, you need to control the suspect’s movements both verbally and physically. Remember, you are on their turf, so they know where their weapons are and you don’t.

When probable cause has been developed, get the help you need, get them handcuffed and be prepared for violent resistance. If the suspect needs a coat and shoes, you get them and search them as well, before you throw them over the suspect’s shoulders. That suspect should already be handcuffed.

Treat the suspect with respect, but do not extend one ounce of trust ever.

The Most Dangerous Time For Victims

People from the outside looking in often ask about the victim, “Why don’t they just leave?”

There are many reasons domestic violence victims don’t leave, but one of them is because they have often heard, “If you try to take my kids and leave, I will kill you.” Abused victims have ample evidence to believe this is not an idle threat.

The process of leaving is truly the most dangerous time in a violent relationship.

Many abusers view their family as their property. If they feel they are about to lose this “property” they can be deadly to themselves, their spouse, children and even pets. The list does not stop here.

It is not unusual for this violence to spill out of the home, especially if the victim has managed to get out. On many occasions these stalkers attempt to ruin their spouse’s life by targeting their spouse’s employers, fellow employees, friends and any officers that might try to interfere.

Conclusion

It is often said that the goal of officers is to make it home at the end of every shift. To accomplish this remember you can’t enjoy domestic bliss off duty unless you survive domestic violence on duty.


Texas officer cleared in fatal shooting at traffic stop, video released

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ryan Osborne Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Tarrant County grand jury has declined to indict an Arlington police officer in the shooting death of a man during a traffic stop in February, the district attorney’s office announced Thursday.

Tavis Crane, 23, who had warrants for his arrest, refused multiple times Feb. 1 to get out of his vehicle when asked to do so by Cpl. Elise Bowden before twice running over her. A backup officer, Craig Roper, who was partially in the car before it started moving, then got all the way in and shot Crane.

Bowden suffered multiple injuries, including broken bones, and was hospitalized for several days.

A grand jury voted to take no action against Roper in the shooting.

Crane family attorney Lee Merritt had demanded that police release dashcam video of the incident, saying witness accounts differed from the version released by police.

The district attorney’s office released dashcam video of the incident Thursday.

The video shows Bowden and two other officers approaching Crane’s car after pulling him over for a probation violation and multiple misdemeanor warrants out of Dallas County. Two adults and an infant were also in the car.

Bowden, on the dashcam video, asks Crane to step out of the car. Crane says, “I’m not stepping out, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

After some back and forth conversation, Bowden says, “You have a warrant and you need to step out.”

Crane continued to deny that he had a warrant out for his arrest.

“I have to take my baby home now,” he said. “I’m not stepping out.”

After Crane refused again to get out of the car, Bowden responded, “Tavis, if you go and do something stupid, then we’re going to be breaking windows, it’s going to get crazy. It ain’t worth it. Look at me. I’m talking to you like a mother, OK? You’re a father. Open the door, baby.”

One officer then opens the back driver’s side door of the car, while another points a flashlight in the front passenger’s window.

“Put your hands on the dashboard,” one officer yells.

“Open the door!” Bowden shouts again. “I told you don’t want to do this. Open the door. Open the door now.”

At that point, the officer who had opened the back driver’s side door — and who, based on the police account, was presumably Roper — appears to be partially inside the car.

After more yelling from Bowden, telling Crane, “Don’t do it!” Crane’s car revs up and moves forward slightly. Bowden then moves behind the car, which rams backward, knocking her to the ground. The car crashes into the patrol car before pulling forward, running over Bowden again.

“Oh my god!” Bowden screams repeatedly. “I’ve been run over twice!”

At some point during all of that, Roper shot Crane, though it was unclear from the dashcam video exactly when. Crane drove away with Roper still in the car, and an officer in a second patrol car followed, according to that officer’s dashcam video.

Crane’s car only went a short distance down the road. When the second officer arrived, Roper was standing outside the car.

Roper and the second officer pulled Crane from the car and performed CPR as a woman in the car cried. Crane was taken to Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In a press release in February, Merritt — who also represents Jacqueline Craig, the black woman arrested by a white Fort Worth police officer in an incident that went viral on social media — said Roper “initiated a struggle that culminated in Crane’s death.”

Merritt could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

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©2017 Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Report praises Fla. agency’s response to Pulse massacre

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — An internal review mostly praises the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's response to the nightclub shooting in Orlando but says improvements could be made in how the state agency identifies victims and notifies next of kin.

The report released Friday is a self-review of the Florida Department's response to the massacre, although the Orlando Police Department was the primary responding agency.

A separate review of the Orlando Police Department's response is still ongoing.

The Florida Department's report says in the rush to get to the scene, agents didn't bring common equipment. It recommends having "go-bags" with equipment that agents can take for quick deployment.

Forty-nine people were killed last year in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The Orlando Sentinel first reported on the review.


Drug lord sentenced in murder of DEA agent

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Patrick J. McDonnell Los Angeles Times

MEXICO CITY — He was known as “El Padrino” — the Godfather — and, as co-founder of the once-dominant Guadalajara drug cartel, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo reigned over Mexico’s multibillion-dollar narco-commerce with all the ruthlessness and aplomb of the fictional Don Corleone.

The former street cop and bodyguard turned-drug kingpin counted police commanders and politicians among his protectors and supplicants.

But eventually, Gallardo went too far. The international outrage following the 1985 murder in Mexico of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, eventually led to the fall of Gallardo and his close associates and the splintering of their nationwide criminal network.

The fallout of Camarena’s murder — and the unraveling of Gallardo’s cartel — continues to be felt in Mexico to this day, influencing law enforcement, politics and how modern cartels operate. Even though Gallardo was arrested decades ago, the case made the news again this week when a Mexican federal court sentenced Gallardo to 37 years in prison for the murder of Camarena and a Mexican pilot, Alfredo Zavala.

As part of Wednesday’s court decision, Gallardo also was ordered to make the equivalent of $1.18 million in reparation payments, presumably to the families of the victims.

Gallardo, now in his early 70s, has been in Mexican custody since 1989, when intense pressure from U.S. authorities led Mexican authorities to arrest him.

But the kingpin’s case had dragged on for decades in Mexican tribunals amid a plethora of legal maneuvers and a court ruling throwing out a previous 40-year sentence against Gallardo. It is said to be one of the longest judicial proceedings in Mexican criminal history. Several more years of appeals are possible, authorities say, even though Gallardo has already served the bulk of his term.

The official sentencing comes 32 years after Camarena — the DEA agent and former Calexico cop and U.S. Marine — was brazenly snatched in broad daylight in Guadalajara. Camarena was kidnapped while walking along a street to meet his wife for lunch. Zavala, who was assisting Camarena in his undercover investigations, also disappeared.

The Camarena case, which has inspired films, books and television series, put the public spotlight on the organized and brutal nature of Mexican drug-trafficking rings. The intense law enforcement focus ultimately contributed to altering the makeup of the drug gangs, but did not come close to putting an end to the illegal cross-border commerce.

In a sense, the takedown of the Guadalajara cartel set a template for the Mexican drug wars that have raged to this day — often with much more bloodshed and brutality than in the heyday of Gallardo and his henchmen.

After Camarena disappeared, an irate Reagan administration pressed the Mexican government to find him. U.S. customs officials all but shut down the nearly 2,000-mile-long border, triggering a binational crisis.

It was a low point in U.S.-Mexico relations perhaps unmatched until President Trump took office in January amid threats to build a border wall, slap a tariff on Mexican imports and carry out large-scale deportations of Mexican citizens in the U.S. illegally.

The bodies of Camarena and Zavala were found, a month after their February 1985 disappearances, near a ranch in the western state of Michoacan. Their remains showed signs of torture.

The subsequent manhunt for the killers was called the largest in DEA history. Suspicion immediately fell on the Guadalajara cartel and its three principal figures: Gallardo, Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca and Rafael Caro Quintero, all giants of the Mexican demimonde, subjects of corridos (ballads) and legends.

In his undercover work, Camarena had developed an extensive informant network that led to large-scale seizures of marijuana and destruction of pot plantations in northern Mexico, authorities say. His murder was called payback for the damage done to the Guadalajara mob.

Mexican authorities soon rounded up Fonseca and Caro Quintero, but Gallardo — reportedly protected by authorities — was not arrested until 1989.

Though Gallardo remains in prison, Fonseca was transferred to house arrest in 2016 under terms granted to elderly prisoners with health problems.

Caro Quintero was released from prison in 2013 on a legal technicality, to the dismay of U.S. authorities — who have offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his capture or conviction. Both Mexican and U.S. officials are seeking Caro Quintero.

In 2016, Caro Quintero gave an interview from hiding to Mexico’s Proceso magazine denying any role in Camarena’s murder and rejecting reports that he had returned to the drug world.

Amid continuing demand for drugs in the United States, experts say, the destruction of the Guadalajara cartel resulted in a fragmenting of the market and the emergence of distinct regional cartels.

Among them was the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and other criminal mobs in Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez and elsewhere. All built on the sophistication of the Guadalajara cartel, with its close ties to South American cocaine producers. The evolving U.S. appetite for heroin, amphetamines and other illicit substances has been a boost for the trafficking enterprise.

Under pressure from U.S. authorities, Mexican officials have taken down one drug lord after another. Critics question, however, whether the “kingpin strategy” has exacerbated the problem, amid escalating national homicide rates. Violent junior sicarios, or hit men, and other would-be successors now regularly battle for leadership after the incarceration or murders of their bosses.

The arrest of Guzman, and his extradition this year from Mexico to the United States, is a case in point. His absence and the subsequent leadership void have spurred violent clashes among competing blocs fighting for control of Guzman’s fractured empire.

Mexican drug gangs since the 1980s have diversified into other fields — including extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking and the forced takeover of legitimate businesses.

Like their predecessors in the Guadalajara cartel, Mexico’s current narco-leaders maintain financial and social ties to police and elected lawmakers. The nexus among gangs, law enforcement and politicians — and the resulting impunity for many criminals and corrupt officials — continues to bedevil reform efforts in Mexico.

For U.S. anti-drug authorities, a key lesson of the Camarena killing was the need for an immediate and robust response to any menace to its personnel.

"Because of the Camarena case, even the mere allegation of a threat is the tripwire that unleashes DEA’s fury," Jay Bergman, former regional director of the DEA’s Andean office, told the Los Angeles Times in 2015. "The message is loud and clear: Just thinking about harming an agent will turn your world upside down."

Cecilia Sanchez in The Times’ Mexico City bureau and special correspondent Chris Kraul in Bogota, Colombia, contributed to this report.

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©2017 the Los Angeles Times


Police tracked down rape victim using her cellphone GPS

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

BENSALEM, Pa. — Police in Pennsylvania say they were able to find a rape victim using her cellphone's GPS signal.

Bensalem police say they received 911 texts on Saturday from a woman claiming she'd been sexually assaulted.

She texted that she was trapped in a bedroom and couldn't escape.

Officers used her cellphone's GPS to lead them to her. They say she had been punched in the head and choked and her attacker used a steak knife to threaten her and force her to perform sexual acts.

Police say 23-year-old Christopher Henneghan was taken into custody and faces charges including rape, indecent assault and unlawful imprisonment.

He has been arraigned and jailed with bail set at $10 million. He can't be reached for comment in jail. There's no attorney information listed in online court documents.


NJ police receive grant for opioid awareness

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Lori Comstock New Jersey Herald

NEWTON, N.J. — After the tragic traffic death of Summit Police Detective Matthew Tarentino while driving to work on Route 78 in May, Attorney General Christopher Porrino wanted the memory of the man, who devoted his life to his family and community, to live on.

In June, Porrino announced a grant program in Tarentino's honor, called "Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program" and in August, a total of $219,000 was awarded to 28 police departments out of 138 applicants across New Jersey.

Newton Police Department was awarded $10,000 -- the largest amount allowed to a single department.

Full story: Newton police receive grant for opioid awareness


P1 Photo of the Week: Kids on the beat

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Cpl. George Simpson of the Polson (Mont.) Police Department ran into this kids who had some questions about policing earlier this month. So naturally, a couple of them had to get into the patrol car.

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!


Cops: Man, 21, nabbed in NY had license suspended 81 times

Posted on August 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

OAKDALE, N.Y. — Authorities say police in New York have arrested a 21-year-old man who had his driver's license suspended 81 times.

Suffolk County police say Dillon Garcia, of Medford, was pulled over Wednesday on the Sunrise Highway in Oakdale.

A police spokeswoman says suspensions usually occur after someone fails to pay fines or appear in court to answer charges. She says she doesn't have specifics on Garcia's case and doesn't know how many summonses he had received.

Each summons that went unpaid could have resulted in a single suspension.

He is scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Central Islip.

There was no immediate information on an attorney who could comment on his behalf.


US agency didn’t investigate ‘invasive’ Neb. trooper exams

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ryan J. Foley Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. — The federal agency charged with stopping workplace discrimination declined to investigate a complaint alleging female Nebraska State Patrol officers were forced to undergo sexually invasive medical exams that were unnecessary.

According to a June letter sent to attorneys representing trooper Brienne Splittgerber, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that she waited past a 300-day deadline to file a complaint alleging she was forced to expose her vagina to a doctor during mandatory pre-employment physicals. The commission said it had no authority to look into the exams, which prompted criticism of the patrol when they were detailed in a lawsuit filed by Splittgerber this month.

Splittgerber didn't complain sooner because she was told the patrol was investigating concerns she first raised in 2014 after going through the exam. She filed the federal complaint in May after learning patrol leaders closed the inquiry without clear findings and she feared nothing would change. She argued that the patrol's response created a hostile work environment for female troopers, who make up six percent of the patrol's 455 sworn officers.

Then-patrol superintendent Col. Brad Rice didn't explain the medical purpose of the exams conducted by Lincoln physician Stephen Haudrich, but told Splittgerber in April the patrol would contract with a different doctor going forward, her complaint said.

The patrol now says the exams were hernia checks required for all troopers, but other doctors say the procedure as described isn't standard. Splittgerber alleges that male candidates weren't required to take off their pants with one possible exception.

In a May 26 response to her lawyers, commission intake supervisor Khalifah Graff in Kansas City said the agency could not investigate the complaint because the alleged discrimination occurred too long ago. Graff also claimed the patrol "has already remedied the conditions which you allege were discriminatory."

"As such, it does not appear we will take any further action in your complaint," Graff wrote in recommending the case be dismissed, which was adopted by a regional director in June. The letters in May and June were provided to The Associated Press by Splittgerber's lawyers.

Splittgerber's attorney, Tom White, said he wasn't surprised the commission dismissed the complaint but took issue with the claim that the problems had been fixed.

"If they see a chance to sweep a file off quickly, they'll do that. The problem is this one then blew up," he said.

White said he has since filed federal complaints on behalf of two other female troopers who went through the exams in 2016. He said that while those exams also occurred more than 300 days ago, he expects the commission to investigate this time based on his argument that the hostile work environment was more recent.

A spokeswoman for the commission declined comment.

Legal experts with no involvement in the case said the commission often strictly interprets a rule requiring complaints to be filed within 300 days of the last discriminatory act, partly to reduce its caseload.

"They look at the rules and say, 'We don't have the authority to investigate it, as outrageous as that conduct may be,'" said St. Louis civil rights lawyer Jon Berns.

The use of the 300-day deadline is an "easy out" for the commission on complaints that might take more effort to understand, said Des Moines attorney Tom Newkirk, an expert in employment discrimination.

Splittgerber alleges that in September 2014, Haudrich instructed her to remove her pants and expose her vagina for the examination.

She complained to superiors after her personal doctor told her the exams were unnecessary and she learned that male troopers said they weren't forced to remove their pants. She said she was promised the patrol would investigate but never notified of any findings. She said she complained again months later when she learned that another class of female troopers would be subject to examination by Haudrich.

In her complaint, Splittgerber wrote that she still didn't know whether the "invasive, humiliating, and unnecessary procedures" were the actions of an unethical doctor or the result of the agency's directives.

Haudrich, who has no disciplinary history on his medical licenses in Missouri and Nebraska since he started practicing in 1990, and his attorney haven't returned messages seeking comment.

A review by Gov. Pete Ricketts' office faulted patrol leaders for failing to document Splittgerber's complaints and investigate the allegations. The review also faulted Rice, who was fired by Ricketts in July, for failing to correct the agency's inaction after he learned about it in February. The patrol has launched a criminal investigation into the exams, and a state senator last week filed a complaint asking regulators to investigate Haudrich's conduct.


Border officials arrest teen smuggling Bengal tiger cub into U.S.

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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Julie Watson Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — A California teenager who says he bought a Bengal tiger cub on the streets of Tijuana for $300 was arrested when he tried to bring it into the United States in his 2017 Chevy Camaro.

Luis Eudoro Valencia was charged with smuggling a Bengal tiger into the United States after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials found the furry cub lying on the floor of the passenger side of his car during an inspection around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Otay Mesa border crossing.

"CBP officers are often faced with unusual situations," said Pete Flores, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego.

The 18-year-old U.S. citizen, who lives in Perris, said he had purchased the tiger for $300 from someone who was walking a full-sized tiger on a leash in Tijuana, according to court documents. Several tigers have been seized this year by Mexican authorities in Tijuana.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials took custody of the cub and handed the male cat over to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to care for it.

In January, Mexican authorities seized a Bengal tiger in Tijuana after a resident called police to report a man was walking a tiger on a dog leash through the neighborhood. Officials said the 4-month-old tiger had been living in a private home with children.

In April, Mexican officials seized a nine-month old Bengal tiger in Tijuana after the cub fell from a third-floor terrace onto a neighbor's patio, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Despite the fall, the tiger appeared to be in good health.

Mexican circuses have been trying to get rid of exotic animals after a law went into effect in 2015 prohibiting such acts. Drug lords in Mexico have also been known to keep big cats as pets.

All species of tigers are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Importing an endangered species into the United States requires a permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a declaration filed with the agency.

Prosecutors say Valencia lacked both.

Valencia could not be immediately reached for comment and the office of his court-appointed attorney, Robert Schlein, said he has not had a chance to speak to his client.

Valencia was released on a $10,000 bond and ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on September 5 in federal court in San Diego.

If convicted, Valencia could face up to 20 years in prison.


Border officials arrest teen smuggling Bengal tiger cub into U.S.

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Julie Watson Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — A California teenager who says he bought a Bengal tiger cub on the streets of Tijuana for $300 was arrested when he tried to bring it into the United States in his 2017 Chevy Camaro.

Luis Eudoro Valencia was charged with smuggling a Bengal tiger into the United States after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials found the furry cub lying on the floor of the passenger side of his car during an inspection around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Otay Mesa border crossing.

"CBP officers are often faced with unusual situations," said Pete Flores, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego.

The 18-year-old U.S. citizen, who lives in Perris, said he had purchased the tiger for $300 from someone who was walking a full-sized tiger on a leash in Tijuana, according to court documents. Several tigers have been seized this year by Mexican authorities in Tijuana.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials took custody of the cub and handed the male cat over to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to care for it.

In January, Mexican authorities seized a Bengal tiger in Tijuana after a resident called police to report a man was walking a tiger on a dog leash through the neighborhood. Officials said the 4-month-old tiger had been living in a private home with children.

In April, Mexican officials seized a nine-month old Bengal tiger in Tijuana after the cub fell from a third-floor terrace onto a neighbor's patio, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Despite the fall, the tiger appeared to be in good health.

Mexican circuses have been trying to get rid of exotic animals after a law went into effect in 2015 prohibiting such acts. Drug lords in Mexico have also been known to keep big cats as pets.

All species of tigers are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Importing an endangered species into the United States requires a permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a declaration filed with the agency.

Prosecutors say Valencia lacked both.

Valencia could not be immediately reached for comment and the office of his court-appointed attorney, Robert Schlein, said he has not had a chance to speak to his client.

Valencia was released on a $10,000 bond and ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on September 5 in federal court in San Diego.

If convicted, Valencia could face up to 20 years in prison.


Hostage situation ends in Charleston after gunman shot

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Russ Bynum Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A fired dishwasher shot and killed a chef and held a person hostage for about three hours before he was shot by police at a crowded restaurant in a tourist-heavy area of downtown Charleston on Thursday, authorities and one of the restaurant's owners said.

The hostage was freed with no injuries, Mayor John Tecklenburg said. The shooting took place at Virginia's restaurant on the usually crowded King Street, a line of shops and nice dining that caters to both tourists and residents in South Carolina's largest and most historic city.

Tecklenburg quickly said the shooting was "the act of a disgruntled employee" and not a terrorist attack or a hate crime in a city where nine black church members were killed by a white man two years ago.

"This was a tragic case of a disturbed individual, I think, with a history of some mental health challenges," Tecklenburg said at a news conference.

Active shooter situation on King Street in Charleston. pic.twitter.com/DB3AlTLbyW

— Fred Rindge (@SCpigskin) August 24, 2017

Authorities did not release the names of the gunman or the employee he killed. They initially said they believed there were "a couple" or a "small number" of hostages.

The shooting was reported shortly after noon Thursday.

Peter Siegert, 73, and his son Peter Siegert IV, 45, were quoted by The Post and Courier of Charleston as saying that just after several waitresses and kitchen workers walked out the door without saying a word, a man in an apron with a gun came out of the kitchen and locked the front door.

"'I am the new king of Charleston,'" the Siegerts quoted the man as saying.

The man told diners to get on the floor and move to the back of the restaurant. The Siegerts said they escaped out a back door and didn't know how many people were left behind.

One of the restaurant's owners, John Aquino, told WCSC-TV that a dishwasher who had been fired came back to the restaurant and shot a chef to get revenge.

The restaurant was packed with a lunchtime crowd and the first officers to arrive were able to get the man who was shot and a number of diners out safely, interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor said.

The site is a few blocks away from Emanuel AME church, where nine black members of a church were killed by a white man during a June 2015 Bible study. Dylann Roof was sentenced to death in the case.

It is also just several blocks from where more than 100 cruise ships dock in Charleston each year.

Explosive Devices Team now on scene off King St #chsnews #Charleston #scnews @Live5News pic.twitter.com/j9itCQZJFH

— Jackson Helms (@Jackson_Live5) August 24, 2017

King btwn Calhoun & Morris blocked to motorist & pedestrian traffic active shooter in 400 block of King people to avoid the area.

— Charleston P.D. (@CharlestonPD) August 24, 2017

The view from near Virginia's on King. Pic courtesy of @ewadethemermaid. @ABCNews4 #chsnews pic.twitter.com/tqewB6RBdH

— Bill Burr (@BBonTV) August 24, 2017


Hostage situation ends in Charleston after gunman shot

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Russ Bynum Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A fired dishwasher shot and killed a chef and held a person hostage for about three hours before he was shot by police at a crowded restaurant in a tourist-heavy area of downtown Charleston on Thursday, authorities and one of the restaurant's owners said.

The hostage was freed with no injuries, Mayor John Tecklenburg said. The shooting took place at Virginia's restaurant on the usually crowded King Street, a line of shops and nice dining that caters to both tourists and residents in South Carolina's largest and most historic city.

Tecklenburg quickly said the shooting was "the act of a disgruntled employee" and not a terrorist attack or a hate crime in a city where nine black church members were killed by a white man two years ago.

"This was a tragic case of a disturbed individual, I think, with a history of some mental health challenges," Tecklenburg said at a news conference.

Active shooter situation on King Street in Charleston. pic.twitter.com/DB3AlTLbyW

— Fred Rindge (@SCpigskin) August 24, 2017

Authorities did not release the names of the gunman or the employee he killed. They initially said they believed there were "a couple" or a "small number" of hostages.

The shooting was reported shortly after noon Thursday.

Peter Siegert, 73, and his son Peter Siegert IV, 45, were quoted by The Post and Courier of Charleston as saying that just after several waitresses and kitchen workers walked out the door without saying a word, a man in an apron with a gun came out of the kitchen and locked the front door.

"'I am the new king of Charleston,'" the Siegerts quoted the man as saying.

The man told diners to get on the floor and move to the back of the restaurant. The Siegerts said they escaped out a back door and didn't know how many people were left behind.

One of the restaurant's owners, John Aquino, told WCSC-TV that a dishwasher who had been fired came back to the restaurant and shot a chef to get revenge.

The restaurant was packed with a lunchtime crowd and the first officers to arrive were able to get the man who was shot and a number of diners out safely, interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor said.

The site is a few blocks away from Emanuel AME church, where nine black members of a church were killed by a white man during a June 2015 Bible study. Dylann Roof was sentenced to death in the case.

It is also just several blocks from where more than 100 cruise ships dock in Charleston each year.

Explosive Devices Team now on scene off King St #chsnews #Charleston #scnews @Live5News pic.twitter.com/j9itCQZJFH

— Jackson Helms (@Jackson_Live5) August 24, 2017

King btwn Calhoun & Morris blocked to motorist & pedestrian traffic active shooter in 400 block of King people to avoid the area.

— Charleston P.D. (@CharlestonPD) August 24, 2017

The view from near Virginia's on King. Pic courtesy of @ewadethemermaid. @ABCNews4 #chsnews pic.twitter.com/tqewB6RBdH

— Bill Burr (@BBonTV) August 24, 2017


LAPD gets an earful from the public on UAV use

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Kate Mather and Cindy Chang Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — As Los Angeles police pitched their plan to fly drones Wednesday night in a series of forums held across the city, the reaction was less positive than they might have hoped.

Dozens of residents expressed concern ranging from skepticism to outright opposition to any use of drones by the Los Angeles Police Department, telling department brass they were worried about their privacy, over-militarization of the police and that the devices would be flown far more than the LAPD has pledged.

"I wish the trust was there," said one woman at a meeting held near Griffith Park. "I wish that I could say, 'Oh great, please do it.' But you guys really need to earn back some trust in the community. It's not there."

The LAPD’s proposal to fly drones during a one-year pilot program is still in the early stages — the civilian Police Commission must sign off on the pilot program and a policy for testing the drones before any are flown.

Officials said use of the drones would be limited: standoffs with hostage takers or barricaded suspects, bomb scares and shootings in which a gunman is still targeting people. Department brass have said the devices could help gather crucial information as those incidents evolve without putting officers at risk.

Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala said this month that if the LAPD was to fly drones, each use would require the approval of a high-ranking officer and would be documented for later review. Girmala stressed that the drones would not be weaponized.

But at community meetings near Griffith Park and in Van Nuys, the proposal drew largely negative responses. Other meetings were held in San Pedro and Westwood.

About two dozen people attended the meeting in Van Nuys, with speaker after speaker saying no to the LAPD’s use of drones. Some expressed fears that the pilot program would be the first step to a “Big Brother” state in which citizens’ movements are tracked by the government.

“I’m not fooled by the image of a cute little unmanned drone,” said Edie Pistolesi, a professor of art at Cal State Northridge and member of Jewish Voice for Peace. “This is the beginning of the police state. Hello, Nazi Germany.”

The LAPD has plenty of high-tech equipment and should focus more on crime prevention and mental health services, said another speaker, Ronnie Veliz.

“You don’t need this help with all the militarization you already have,” said Veliz, 33, director of Somos Familia Valle and a student at Cal State Northridge.

The police are already viewed as an occupying force, and deploying machines instead of humans will further erode their relationships with residents, several speakers said.

The meeting occasionally turned contentious. As Cmdr. Edward Prokop, who leads the LAPD’s counterterrorism and special operations bureau, explained that drones would not raise civil liberties issues because of the way they would be deployed, an audience member shouted: “We don’t believe you.”

At one point, the audience chanted: “Drone-free LAPD. No drones, L.A.”

Another meeting, held in an auditorium near Griffith Park, also drew about two dozen people, including members of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. Although one woman said she supported the LAPD's use of drones — they could be helpful scanning the L.A. River for people during heavy rainstorms, she noted — the rest of the room was wary.

At one point, some critics stood and turned their backs to Girmala, the LAPD assistant chief, as she explained the advantages the LAPD sees in using the devices.

After the meeting, Jerome Courshon, the vice-chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, acknowledged that Girmala offered some examples where a drone might be useful, but said he was still concerned about public oversight and "mission creep" — that police would quietly expand their use over time.

"I'm skeptical that this is going to be used properly 100% of the time," he said.

Drones have been hailed by law enforcement across the country as a valuable technology that could help find missing hikers or monitor armed suspects without jeopardizing the safety of officers. But efforts to deploy the unmanned aircraft have frequently drawn fierce criticism from privacy advocates and police critics for whom the devices stir Orwellian visions of inappropriate — or illegal — surveillance and fears of military-grade, weaponized drones patrolling the skies.

The LAPD first obtained the unmanned aircraft three years ago, when Seattle police unloaded a pair of Draganflyer X6 drones that stirred criticism in that city. The controversy accompanied the drones to L.A.; after public outcry here, the devices were locked away and never flown.

The LAPD destroyed the Draganflyers this month, just before the department revealed it wanted to test different drones as part of the pilot program.

Critics, though, have raised concerns that the LAPD could use the drones to surveil innocent people, lawful protesters or residents in minority communities.

“Whenever we hear that a government agency, especially police, is interested in acquiring drones, we have lots and lots of concerns,” said Adam Schwartz, a senior lawyer with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. “If they went forward with it, there needs to be a great deal of safeguards and restraint.”

Those safeguards, Schwartz said, would include a policy specifying the exact situations when the devices could be flown and requiring a high-ranking officer to deploy them. There should also be some sort of paper trail so the public can see when the drones are flown, he said.

Although public feedback and Police Commission approval are good, Schwartz added, getting the City Council to consent to any use of drones by the LAPD “is better.”

The timing of Wednesday’s meetings was criticized by some residents and advocacy groups. The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which has been among the most vocal, sent a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday, accusing the LAPD of failing to alert the public about the meetings in a timely manner. The group also took issue with the fact that none of the meetings were held in the southern or eastern areas of L.A. or downtown.

“We demanded that these meetings be canceled and rescheduled," the group wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California echoed those concerns, emailing supporters a letter urging them to "tell the L.A. Police Commission: no to drones -- at least until our community has had a fair chance to ask the questions important to them."

Before the forum held near Griffith Park, Girmala noted that information about the meetings was posted on the LAPD's website and distributed to the media. Residents who weren't able to attend the meetings can still weigh in by mailing a letter or sending an email to the LAPD, she added.

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


LAPD gets an earful from the public on UAV use

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Kate Mather and Cindy Chang Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — As Los Angeles police pitched their plan to fly drones Wednesday night in a series of forums held across the city, the reaction was less positive than they might have hoped.

Dozens of residents expressed concern ranging from skepticism to outright opposition to any use of drones by the Los Angeles Police Department, telling department brass they were worried about their privacy, over-militarization of the police and that the devices would be flown far more than the LAPD has pledged.

"I wish the trust was there," said one woman at a meeting held near Griffith Park. "I wish that I could say, 'Oh great, please do it.' But you guys really need to earn back some trust in the community. It's not there."

The LAPD’s proposal to fly drones during a one-year pilot program is still in the early stages — the civilian Police Commission must sign off on the pilot program and a policy for testing the drones before any are flown.

Officials said use of the drones would be limited: standoffs with hostage takers or barricaded suspects, bomb scares and shootings in which a gunman is still targeting people. Department brass have said the devices could help gather crucial information as those incidents evolve without putting officers at risk.

Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala said this month that if the LAPD was to fly drones, each use would require the approval of a high-ranking officer and would be documented for later review. Girmala stressed that the drones would not be weaponized.

But at community meetings near Griffith Park and in Van Nuys, the proposal drew largely negative responses. Other meetings were held in San Pedro and Westwood.

About two dozen people attended the meeting in Van Nuys, with speaker after speaker saying no to the LAPD’s use of drones. Some expressed fears that the pilot program would be the first step to a “Big Brother” state in which citizens’ movements are tracked by the government.

“I’m not fooled by the image of a cute little unmanned drone,” said Edie Pistolesi, a professor of art at Cal State Northridge and member of Jewish Voice for Peace. “This is the beginning of the police state. Hello, Nazi Germany.”

The LAPD has plenty of high-tech equipment and should focus more on crime prevention and mental health services, said another speaker, Ronnie Veliz.

“You don’t need this help with all the militarization you already have,” said Veliz, 33, director of Somos Familia Valle and a student at Cal State Northridge.

The police are already viewed as an occupying force, and deploying machines instead of humans will further erode their relationships with residents, several speakers said.

The meeting occasionally turned contentious. As Cmdr. Edward Prokop, who leads the LAPD’s counterterrorism and special operations bureau, explained that drones would not raise civil liberties issues because of the way they would be deployed, an audience member shouted: “We don’t believe you.”

At one point, the audience chanted: “Drone-free LAPD. No drones, L.A.”

Another meeting, held in an auditorium near Griffith Park, also drew about two dozen people, including members of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. Although one woman said she supported the LAPD's use of drones — they could be helpful scanning the L.A. River for people during heavy rainstorms, she noted — the rest of the room was wary.

At one point, some critics stood and turned their backs to Girmala, the LAPD assistant chief, as she explained the advantages the LAPD sees in using the devices.

After the meeting, Jerome Courshon, the vice-chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, acknowledged that Girmala offered some examples where a drone might be useful, but said he was still concerned about public oversight and "mission creep" — that police would quietly expand their use over time.

"I'm skeptical that this is going to be used properly 100% of the time," he said.

Drones have been hailed by law enforcement across the country as a valuable technology that could help find missing hikers or monitor armed suspects without jeopardizing the safety of officers. But efforts to deploy the unmanned aircraft have frequently drawn fierce criticism from privacy advocates and police critics for whom the devices stir Orwellian visions of inappropriate — or illegal — surveillance and fears of military-grade, weaponized drones patrolling the skies.

The LAPD first obtained the unmanned aircraft three years ago, when Seattle police unloaded a pair of Draganflyer X6 drones that stirred criticism in that city. The controversy accompanied the drones to L.A.; after public outcry here, the devices were locked away and never flown.

The LAPD destroyed the Draganflyers this month, just before the department revealed it wanted to test different drones as part of the pilot program.

Critics, though, have raised concerns that the LAPD could use the drones to surveil innocent people, lawful protesters or residents in minority communities.

“Whenever we hear that a government agency, especially police, is interested in acquiring drones, we have lots and lots of concerns,” said Adam Schwartz, a senior lawyer with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. “If they went forward with it, there needs to be a great deal of safeguards and restraint.”

Those safeguards, Schwartz said, would include a policy specifying the exact situations when the devices could be flown and requiring a high-ranking officer to deploy them. There should also be some sort of paper trail so the public can see when the drones are flown, he said.

Although public feedback and Police Commission approval are good, Schwartz added, getting the City Council to consent to any use of drones by the LAPD “is better.”

The timing of Wednesday’s meetings was criticized by some residents and advocacy groups. The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which has been among the most vocal, sent a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday, accusing the LAPD of failing to alert the public about the meetings in a timely manner. The group also took issue with the fact that none of the meetings were held in the southern or eastern areas of L.A. or downtown.

“We demanded that these meetings be canceled and rescheduled," the group wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California echoed those concerns, emailing supporters a letter urging them to "tell the L.A. Police Commission: no to drones -- at least until our community has had a fair chance to ask the questions important to them."

Before the forum held near Griffith Park, Girmala noted that information about the meetings was posted on the LAPD's website and distributed to the media. Residents who weren't able to attend the meetings can still weigh in by mailing a letter or sending an email to the LAPD, she added.

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


Ark. deputy dies after pursuit crash, suspect arrested

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

DREW COUNTY, Ark. — A deputy died early Thursday after crashing during a high-speed pursuit with a suspect, who was also injured.

According to Arkansas Online, 29-year-old Deputy Timothy Braden attempted to pull over 23-year-old Samuel Vincent, who refused to stop.

The ensuing pursuit ended when both Braden and Vincent “simultaneously lost control” of their cars and left the roadway.

Braden died at a hospital. Vincent was injured and is being held on charges of first-degree murder, fleeing, possession of schedule VI controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.

Braden served with the Drew County Sheriff's Office for six months. He previously served three years with the McGehee Police Department. He is survived by his wife and four children, according to ODMP.


4 things every cop should know about narcotic field test kits

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Sponsored by S2 Threat Detection Technologies

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Every officer is familiar with narcotics field test kits. In a recent PoliceOne survey, over 90 percent of respondents said they use field test kits in the course of their duties. Most, around 90 percent, use vial-based test kits. However, paper-based kits are becoming a popular alternative. There are many differences between the two types of field kits, from officer safety to shelf life.

Safety

The biggest difference between vial-based and paper-based field test kits is in their construction. Vial-based kits use multiple vials of liquid reagents to test suspected chemicals. The vials must be carefully opened and some of the substance you want to test is put into the vial.

Paper-based tests have a dry construction and do not contain liquid reagents. A swab is provided, which is rubbed on the substance to be tested, and then rubbed on one or more test strips that have been pretreated with the dry color change reagents.

In the PoliceOne survey, 35 percent of respondents had injured themselves using a vial-based test kit. The majority likely came from cuts on the sharp glass or plastic of the vial, but the chemicals in the test kits themselves can also be dangerous.

While similar chemicals are used in both types of test kits, paper based tests are solid state, which means they require less chemicals to manufacture, reducing the threat of exposure to those chemicals.

Shelf life

Another consideration is shelf life. Vial-based test kits typically have a shelf life of around 12 months. Paper-based kits have a shelf life double that, according to Christian Loane, co-director at S2 Threat Detection Technologies.

More importantly, temperature affects these two types of test kits differently. Generally, the warmer the temperature the quicker the reaction goes, but warmer isn’t always better.

Vial-based test kits must be kept in and operate in specific temperature ranges. In high heat, the chemicals can become volatile, while in lower temperatures they can freeze. To an extent, this is also true of paper-based kits, but they are less susceptible to environmental factors.

In-field use considerations, such as temperature, have little effect on the paper-based kits.

Ease of use

One of the biggest concerns for the everyday officer using the kit is how easy it is to use. Both types are operated in a similar way: An individual package is opened, a test of some kind is pulled out, a substance is added to it, and then the results are recorded before the test is disposed of.

Paper-based kits are easier to use because the officer in the field doesn’t have to juggle a vial, find an object to scoop the substance into the vial (usually the test kit wrapper or a penknife) and then safely dispose of the glass or plastic vial.

Paper-based kits are also easier to carry. They are small and flexible and can fit in a back or front pocket and be carried around all shift by an officer. Vial-based kits are bulkier and unlikely to be carried on one’s person.

Price

The average cost of a single vial-based kit is around $3, whereas paper kits can cost about half that. This is due to two factors – the amount of chemical used per kit and the cost of the other materials. Paper-based kits are typically 98 percent paper with the remaining 2 percent being the chemical agent. Vial-based kits are around 98 percent agent with the vial that holds the chemicals as the other 2 percent.

When choosing the right field test kit, it’s important to weigh all the factors involved, from safety to cost. This will help you maximize your investment while improving the efficiency of officers using these kits in the field.


Disgruntled employee shoots 1, takes hostages in Charleston

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 11:02 a.m. (PST):

Mayor: Disgruntled restaurant employee shoots 1, holds hostages in Charleston, South Carolina.

Original story below.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Authorities say they are investigating a possible "active shooter" situation in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Police spokesman Charles Francis said a shooting was reported just after noon on King Street, which is a row of restaurant and shops where tourists frequently gather.

He did not immediately report any injuries or information about a potential suspect. No other details were immediately available.

Active shooter situation on King Street in Charleston. pic.twitter.com/DB3AlTLbyW

— Fred Rindge (@SCpigskin) August 24, 2017

Tom and Patsy Plant told The Post and Courier of Charleston they were eating at Virginia's restaurant and saw a man come out of the kitchen with a gun in his hand and said "there's a new boss in town."

The couple said they left out a back door.

Explosive Devices Team now on scene off King St #chsnews #Charleston #scnews @Live5News pic.twitter.com/j9itCQZJFH

— Jackson Helms (@Jackson_Live5) August 24, 2017

King btwn Calhoun & Morris blocked to motorist & pedestrian traffic active shooter in 400 block of King people to avoid the area.

— Charleston P.D. (@CharlestonPD) August 24, 2017

The view from near Virginia's on King. Pic courtesy of @ewadethemermaid. @ABCNews4 #chsnews pic.twitter.com/tqewB6RBdH

— Bill Burr (@BBonTV) August 24, 2017


Charleston hostage situation over; gunman wounded

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 1:20 p.m. (PST):

The mayor says a hostage situation in a Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant has ended with the gunman being shot by police.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the restaurant employee shot by the gunman Thursday has died.

Interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor says all the hostages at Virginia's restaurant were rescued safely. He didn't say how many there were.

Tecklenburg says the man who took the hostages is in critical condition.

Authorities did not release the names of the gunman or the man killed.

Taylor says the restaurant on tourist-heavy King Street was packed at lunchtime and his officers helped rescue the wounded man and a number of diners.

UPDATE 12:29 p.m. (PST):

An owner of a South Carolina restaurant where a gunman is holding hostages says he's been told the man is a dishwasher who was angry with and shot a male chef.

John Aquino told WCSC-TV that he thinks the gunman was fired and came back to Virginia's in downtown Charleston on Thursday to get revenge.

Aquino says he doesn't know how badly the chef was injured.

Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis says officers were able to get the injured man out of the restaurant after the lunchtime shooting. Francis did not give any details of the man's condition.

Francis says the shooter is holding a small number of hostages, but he has declined to give an exact number.

Witnesses say the man let diners, waitresses and some kitchen staff out of the restaurant.

Authorities say a hostage negotiation team is trying to talk to the gunman.

UPDATE 11:02 a.m. (PST):

Mayor: Disgruntled restaurant employee shoots 1, holds hostages in Charleston, South Carolina.

Original story below.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Authorities say they are investigating a possible "active shooter" situation in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Police spokesman Charles Francis said a shooting was reported just after noon on King Street, which is a row of restaurant and shops where tourists frequently gather.

He did not immediately report any injuries or information about a potential suspect. No other details were immediately available.

Active shooter situation on King Street in Charleston. pic.twitter.com/DB3AlTLbyW

— Fred Rindge (@SCpigskin) August 24, 2017

Tom and Patsy Plant told The Post and Courier of Charleston they were eating at Virginia's restaurant and saw a man come out of the kitchen with a gun in his hand and said "there's a new boss in town."

The couple said they left out a back door.

Explosive Devices Team now on scene off King St #chsnews #Charleston #scnews @Live5News pic.twitter.com/j9itCQZJFH

— Jackson Helms (@Jackson_Live5) August 24, 2017

King btwn Calhoun & Morris blocked to motorist & pedestrian traffic active shooter in 400 block of King people to avoid the area.

— Charleston P.D. (@CharlestonPD) August 24, 2017

The view from near Virginia's on King. Pic courtesy of @ewadethemermaid. @ABCNews4 #chsnews pic.twitter.com/tqewB6RBdH

— Bill Burr (@BBonTV) August 24, 2017


Driver pushes into crowd protesting fatal OIS of suspect who stabbed cop

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Nassim Benchaabane St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Police and a witness gave differing versions of how protesters were injured when a driver pulled into a group that had blocked an intersection on Wednesday night.

The witness, Keith Rose, said the driver had his middle fingers raised before he accelerated through the group of people who were blocking Manchester Avenue and Sarah Street in the Grove neighborhood.

But St. Louis police said the driver stopped, honked and attempted to drive around the protesters before some of them surrounded his car and began hitting it with their hands and a flag pole.

The police statement, from spokeswoman Schron Jackson, said that three protesters were injured after they jumped onto the car and fell off when the driver pulled away.

Jackson said the driver was taken into custody about a block from the intersection after initially refusing to stop for officers. She said the incident was captured on video.

A video taken by Heather De Mian, a vigil attendee at the scene, also captured the incident.

Both police and Rose characterized the injuries as minor.

Rose, who was among the protesters, said he could see the driver of the car as it made its way down Manchester Avenue.

He said the driver at one point stopped the car for a few seconds before accelerating gradually and driving into the group. Rose said that a protester was thrown over the hood of the car by the impact and others were hit by the car.

The people in the street had begun a march after a vigil that had been held nearby. They were holding candles in the intersection when the car approached.

Rose said other drivers had turned off onto side streets rather than driving through the group.

Video: Car drives through protesters marching last night for black trans woman, Kiwi Herring, shot by St. Louis police. pic.twitter.com/TC8tB3pjHA

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 24, 2017

Police later closed off the intersection. The march ended shortly after the incident.

The vigil that preceded the march was set up to honor Kenny “Kiwi” Herring, who was fatally shot by St. Louis police officers a day earlier.

Police said Herring had used a knife to attack officers who had responded to a report of a stabbing. One officer was wounded.

Friends and family say Herring was a transgender woman who, along with her partner, felt threatened by neighbors.

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Charlottesville council meets privately on personnel matters

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Charlottesville officials will meet behind closed doors Thursday to discuss "personnel matters" in the wake of a deadly white nationalist rally, the city's mayor said in a statement.

The City Council decided to hold an emergency closed session with the city manager on Thursday, Mayor Mike Signer said in a lengthy statement posted on Facebook. Signer said the events on Aug. 12 "raised serious questions about the city's handling of security, communications, and governance."

Those are questions that the city council should ask "as the ultimate authority over the city manager," Signer wrote.

It has been nearly two weeks since the rally, which attracted what's believed to be the largest gathering of white nationalists in at least a decade. One woman was killed when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, and two state troopers died when their helicopter crashed.

The rally was sparked by the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a city park. On Wednesday, workers draped the statue of Lee and another of Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in black fabric meant to symbolize the city's mourning.

Charlottesville residents, rally organizers and law enforcement experts are among those who have criticized the city's handling of the lead-up to the rally and the chaos and violence that ensued. Anger boiled over a city council meeting earlier this week, where scores of people screamed and cursed at councilors.

Signer, who has a seat on the city council, explained the city's form of government in his statement and defended the actions he and the council had taken.

His statement emphasized that the city manager "has total operational authority over operations like the ones on August 12" and is responsible for the staff under his command, including the police chief.

Signer said the council was not given the security plan for the rally. When he asked during a briefing days before the event what he could do to be helpful, Police Chief Al Thomas responded, "Stay out of my way," Signer wrote.

"Despite repeated requests, I was not allowed into the City's Command Center (run by City staff) and was instead asked to be in the Emergency Operations Center (where fire, rescue, and other stakeholders were monitoring the situation)," Signer wrote.

The council has called for an independent review of all decisions related not only to Aug. 12, but also a July KKK rally and a prior torch-lit rally of white nationalists at Emancipation Park, Signer wrote. He said he expects details to be announced shortly.

City officials had been expected to host a "community recovery town hall" Thursday evening in collaboration with the Community Relations Services of the Department of Justice. But they announced Thursday morning that it had been rescheduled for Sunday due to conflicts with a local high school's student activities.

Officials will provide an update on "recovery efforts" at that meeting and offer opportunities for public comment, according to a news release.

"Our community has been shaken to its core," City Manager Maurice Jones said in a statement. "We see this partnership with CRS as the beginning of a process of recovery and renewal."

In other developments Thursday, Christopher Cantwell, a white nationalist from Keene, New Hampshire, made an initial appearance in Albemarle County General District Court.

He faces two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a "caustic substance," explosive or fire in connection with a torch-lit rally on the University of Virginia campus the night before the white nationalist rally.

Contacted by The Associated Press on Tuesday, Cantwell acknowledged he had pepper-sprayed a counter-demonstrator. But he insisted he was defending himself, saying he did it "because my only other option was knocking out his teeth." He also said he was looking forward to his day in court.

UVA police said late Wednesday night that he had turned himself in.

Cantwell told a judge Thursday that he planned to hire his own attorney, The Daily Progress reported . The judge did not set a bond, but told Cantwell his attorney could request a bond hearing later.


Chicago Police Superintendent getting new kidney from son

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is poised to receive a new kidney — from his son.

The superintendent who disclosed in January after suffering a public dizzy spell that he's on a waiting list for a kidney transplant told reporters on Wednesday that 25-year-old Daniel Johnson would be the donor of the kidney.

Johnson, who met with reporters to announce that his officers have seized nearly 6,000 illegal guns so far this year, expressed pride in his son when he was asked about the transplant and his son's decision to donate one of his kidneys to his father.

"It's not something that I asked him to do, he chose to do this for me," said Johnson, who has battled for decades a potentially life threatening inflammation of the kidneys called glomerulonephritis. "It's a wonderful thing when you can actually see your son grow into the man that you can be proud of."

Johnson said he and his son have "always had a good bond and, quite naturally it's really gotten deeper," clearly pleased about the fact that it is his son is donating one of his kidneys. "He's a lot like me. He just looks at it like, 'I'm getting a tuneup. Let's get this done and move on."

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Johnson will have the surgery within the next two weeks at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro will run the department in Johnson's absence.

Guglielmi has said that after the operation, Johnson is expected to be back at police headquarters in three to five weeks, but said Wednesday that long before he returns to the office Johnson will be working from home and will be in regular contact with his staff.

At the news conference, Johnson downplayed any worries about his operation and the surgery to remove the kidney from his son, saying that he had faith in God and trusts the surgeons.

"It doesn't concern him and it doesn't concern me, really," he said.

Johnson had more reason to be proud. Daniel Johnson recently told his father that he has taken the tests to become a Chicago police officer, Guglielmi said.

Johnson has been police superintendent since March of last year, when he was 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. Emanuel chose Johnson for the job in March 2016, after rejecting three finalists recommended by the city's police board.


Ind. police receive equipment grant

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

The Greenfield Reporter

WILKINSON, Ind. — The Hancock County Community Foundation recently awarded the Wilkinson Police Department a $795 grant for police equipment.

The grant came from the Hancock County Enrichment Endowment Fund, which aims to address a broad range of needs.

It helps support long-term solutions to community problems; public safety personnel respond quickly to emergencies and organizations meet changing social, cultural, educational and environmental needs in the local community.

Full story: Wilkinson police receive equipment grant


With all-hands-on-deck police action, Calif. cities prepare for rallies

Posted on August 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Casey Tolan and Angela Ruggiero East Bay Times

SAN FRANCISCO — With hundreds of protesters expected to turn out to two “free speech” rallies in the Bay Area this weekend, police leaders and local officials are now fine-tuning plans to prevent a repeat of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Their answer so far: huge officer manpower and tighter restrictions on the demonstrators.

In San Francisco, every single police officer will be on duty on Saturday, when a right-wing rally is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Crissy Field. “Days off have been canceled,” said Officer Giselle

Linnane, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Police Department.Across the bay in Berkeley, city officials are working to issue new rules for protests lacking city permits, as is the case with Sunday’s “No to Marxism in America” rally at Civic Center Park. The new rules, put into force under a hastily passed ordinance, could include a ban of items that could be turned into weapons.

The organizers of the two protests say they have no ties to racist groups. But Bay Area elected officials have condemned both events as “white nationalist” rallies.

"Today and always, we stand together as a community against bigotry, racism, and intolerance – and we are stronger for it,” Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said Tuesday on the steps of City Hall. “As mayor, I am working closely with officials at every level of government — including various law enforcement agencies — to keep the peace on Sunday.”

Arreguin said that the city still hasn’t received any permit applications for the rally, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. And on Friday, the City Council passed a new ordinance allowing the city manager to issue rules for unpermitted protests. The city manager’s office and the Berkeley police department did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment.

Berkeley rally organizer Amber Cummings told Bay City News that she doesn’t want white nationalists to attend her event. She said she organized the event long before the events in Charlottesville and called Arreguin’s characterization of the rally as a white supremacy event “an outright lie.”

The situation in San Francisco is complicated by the fact that the rally is planned to be held in a national park, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The National Park Service issued a permit for the rally earlier this month but agreed to review it after an outcry from city officials.

Joey Gibson, the organizer of the event — whose group, Patriot Prayer, has held events well-attended by white nationalist and other right-wing groups in the past — said in an interview Tuesday that he expected his permit would win final approval and “they just haven’t finalized the paperwork.”

Dana Polk, a spokeswoman for the park service, said in an email late Tuesday that there was “no news yet.”

The U.S. Park Police, which will be leading the law enforcement response to the rally, did not respond to a request for comment. But Linnane said the San Francisco Police Department has been holding meetings with the Park Police to plan their response.

“Our main goal is nonviolence and to help protect ralliers exercising their First Amendment rights,” Linnane said. “We’ll be ready if there’s anybody bringing in weapons.”

Officials in both cities are urging residents not to counter-protest at the scene of the events in the hope to avoid violent clashes. “We don’t want nonviolent protesters to be in a situation where they can be in a middle of a fight,” Arreguin said.

Lines of counter-protesters facing off with right-wing demonstrators are exactly what hate groups want, said state Sen. Nancy Skinner, who represents Berkeley and a swath of the East Bay.

“They only get attention when we give it to them,” Skinner said, quoting former first lady Michelle Obama: “‘When they go low, we go high.'”

But some locals, including Reiko Redmonde of the “Refuse Facism” group, said residents should show up and send a strong message condemning the hate groups.

“Maybe people are risking their safety, but shouldn’t people have risked their safety early on in the Nazi regime when Hitler came to power?” Redmonde asked. “Shouldn’t they have stood out and not let their neighbors be taken away?”

Also on Tuesday, Skinner introduced new legislation that would broaden the state’s hate crime statute.

In Charlottesville on Aug. 12, Heather Heyer, who is white, was murdered after a white nationalist allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

If Heyer had died the same way in California, the driver wouldn’t face hate crime charges because the state’s statute only covers crimes committed against people in a “protected class,” such as a racial minority.

Under Skinner’s bill, SB 630, the hate crime statute would also protect people acting in support of or in defense of protected groups.

———

©2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)


Report questions role of TASERs in police-related deaths

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — A new report from Reuters found TASERs were cited as a cause or contributing factor in 153 fatal police encounters.

In what the news agency calls the “largest accounting to date” of deadly incidents involving TASER deployment, 1,005 people died over the period of 1983-2017 in incidents that included use of the less-lethal device. In many of the cases Reuters tracked, TASERs were not the only form of force employed by police.

Autopsies were obtained for 712 of the 1,005 deaths. In 153 of those cases the ECW was named as a cause or contributing factor. Reuters admitted that most of the 153 autopsy reports had "multi-factorial" causes of death – listing several other elements as components in the ruling – making it impossible to know precisely what role the TASER played in many of the deaths.

Steve Tuttle, Axon’s vice president for communications, told Reuters that the numbers paint an exaggerated picture of the danger of TASERs, given that most of the tallied deaths also involved other forms of force.

While all law enforcement weapons carry risks, Tuttle told the news agency, TASERs are “the safest force option available to law enforcement.”

According to Axon’s numbers, a total of 24 people have died from TASER use, all from secondary injuries (such as a fall).

Most independent researchers say deaths are rare when the devices are properly used, although calculating the probability of a fatal shock may be impossible because of the many factors involved, according to the report.

In a response posted to Axon’s website, the company said the device is the “most studied less-lethal weapon in the world,” with over 700 reports documenting its safety. Over 23 years, TASERs have been deployed over 3 million times and have resulted in more than 187,662 lives saved, according to the company.

Citing, among other things, testimony in lawsuits against police departments and Axon, Reuters also suggests there is confusion among law enforcement agencies about how to properly use the weapon.

“TASER training and product safety warnings are strong and unambiguous,” Tuttle told the news agency. “We do everything we can to ensure that our customers know how to safely operate our products. One purpose of our training and our warnings is to provide agencies with information and smart use guidelines to help them avoid excessive-use-of-force claims.”

In an interview with PoliceOne, Tuttle said it’s vital for police departments to hold regular training sessions on proper use of the device, and that the company continues to work to ensure departments are educated. (Full disclosure: Axon utilizes the PoliceOne Academy platform for department training and certification management)

“We believe recurring training, good policies and oversight are critical for successful TASER programs,” Tuttle told PoliceOne. “We got into this business to save lives and we are doing that. It’s a difficult business to be in – tragedy occurs and that’s the awful part of it. That is what motivates us to continue to improve the technology and embrace training.”

Axon also sent out a bulletin to police departments about the report, offering assistance to any PDs that have questions about the devices.


Trump suggests Sheriff Joe pardon is coming

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — A White House pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio may be coming after President Donald Trump brought it up again at a rally.

In Phoenix on Tuesday, Trump told the audience that he wasn’t going to pardon Joe “tonight” because he didn’t want to cause controversy, the Associated Press reported.

“So, Sheriff Joe was convicted for doing his job?” Trump said. “I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine.”

According to CNN, the White House has drafted the paperwork for the pardon if Trump ultimately decides to do it. An administrative official said one of the talking points the White House is sending to surrogates is Arpaio’s 50 years of service, which includes his time in the military, DEA and as sheriff. They argue that it’s not right to send him to prison for “enforcing the law” and “working to keep people safe.”

Arpaio was found guilty last month of criminal contempt for disregarding a court order in a racial profiling case.

Arpaio is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 5.


$2M grant program to bolster Tenn. courthouse security

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A $2 million grant program aims to improve security at courthouses across Tennessee.

The Administrative Office of the Courts has started the initiative with one-time money set aside by state lawmakers and Gov. Bill Haslam.

A committee of statewide judges will determine the criteria and qualifications for awards.

Preference will be given to counties with courtrooms that don’t meet minimum security standards, and counties that had a courtroom security breach between July 2016 the end of this June.

In June, an inmate shot and injured two deputies at the Coffee County Courthouse before shooting and killing himself nearby.

In October 2016, the Lewis County Herald reported that a man fired a gun in the Lewis County Courthouse, though no one was hurt.

Grant applications will be accepted through October 16.


How to enhance police response to kids impacted by violence

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Isaiah B. Pickens, PhD

Trauma compels us to protect ourselves from threats both real and imagined; it encompasses any event that makes individuals feel their lives or the lives of someone they love are in danger.

Any traumatic event represents a broad spectrum of situations that transcend race, age and socio-economic status.

The complexity of trauma is why there are many terms to define it:

1. The effects of family-related trauma – or intergenerational trauma – extend beyond the individual and can be passed on to children, who in turn, become hypersensitive to perceived threats in their world.

2. Secondary trauma occurs when someone has constant exposure to traumatic stories and stress reactions of others.

3. Complex trauma highlights the cumulative impact multiple traumas can have on both community members and those tasked to protect them.

Studies show that when children are repeatedly exposed to trauma, the amygdala – the area of the brain known to activate the physiological stress response – overdevelops.

This overdevelopment increases the fear and anxiety children experience and causes them to be hyper responsive to frightening situations in both their physiology and their observable behavior.

At the same time, the development of these children’s’ hippocampus – the area of the brain known to turn off the stress response – is inhibited, decreasing its capacity to control the response.

Partnerships Are Key to Building a Trauma-Informed Community

Building a trauma-informed community is a daunting task, but possible with the support of key stakeholders and effective strategic planning.

Connecticut represents one of the most effective efforts to build a trauma-informed community in the country.

A key to the state’s success is supporting cross-system collaboration and integrating community feedback into decisions.

The Yale University Child Study Center partnered with the New Haven Department of Police Services to implement the Child Development-Community Policing Program.

This program partners police with mental health clinicians to respond to situations where children may be impacted by trauma such as a domestic violence situation.

Their efforts recently resulted in a partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to develop a toolkit for law enforcement responding to children exposed to trauma.

In addition, the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut developed the Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative to address factors contributing to school children having contact with the justice system.

Among the first cohort of 13 schools completing the initiative between 2010 and 2015, court referrals decreased by 45 percent. Working with School Resource Officers and other school personnel, partnerships were developed with EMS agencies in Connecticut to ensure schools first refer students for services that address the root of their behavioral problems instead of solely engaging punitive actions that remove students from the school. Their efforts have substantially reduced suspension and expulsion in the schools they serve.

These large-scale partnerships between different systems and the added feedback of the community are pivotal for moving toward a trauma-informed community. However, community members and systems must first develop a common understanding around trauma to begin engaging in effective strategic planning.

Trauma is an explanation for behavior, not an excuse

Trauma-informed work in the criminal justice system is a complex enterprise. Both safety and justice must constantly be balanced. The problem with a singular punitive approach to policing and criminal justice is that it only shows what people can’t do, not what they can do.

Adding trauma-informed practices to policing and criminal justice provides an explanation of why a person behaves in a specific manner and addresses the root causes of the behavior. This explanation allows everyone involved a chance to explore other options for how to handle potentially threatening situations before they turn into crises. For more information, visit www.chdi.org/our-work/mental-health/school-based-mental-health/sbdi/.

This article was originally shared on the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Diagnostic Center Consider the Evidence blog. The OJP Diagnostic Center works with law enforcement to address persistent and emerging public safety problems using evidence-based strategies. The purpose of the OJP Diagnostic Center is to ensure resources are available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to champion law enforcement officer safety and wellness; reduce crime (particularly violent crime and crime involving gangs and drugs) and make communities safer. Since 2012, the OJP Diagnostic Center has worked with over 60 communities on a wide range of public safety topics. Learn more at www.OJPDiagnosticCenter.org. Follow @OJPDC for the latest information on criminal justice topics.


About the author Isaiah B. Pickens, PhD, is Assistant Director of Service Systems National Center for Child Traumatic Stress at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, and Founder of iOpening Enterprises.


How a partnership between police and EMS cut opioid overdose deaths in half

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Taigman and Jon Kelley, PoliceOne Contributors

When was the last time you saw a cop hug a homeless addict and tell him, “I love you and hope that you get into rehab soon?” If you live in Lowell, Massachusetts, it’s a pretty common sight. In Lowell, opiate-related overdose deaths have been cut in half through a compassionate collaboration between the Lowell Fire Department; Lowell Police Department; Trinity EMS; Lowell House; the District Attorney of Middlesex County, Mass. and others.

Unless you are totally unplugged from the news, you know that America is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. According to the CDC, during 2015, 91 Americans died each day from opioid overdose. This year, it’s on pace to be 161 deaths per day. Lowell is not on the list of the top 20 worst cities in America for opiate problems, but it’s second in the state of Massachusetts.

Decide that you have an opioid problem

In January 2015, the city manager asked the folks at Trinity EMS what data they had on overdoses related to heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone. An EMT volunteered to help with the project by reading all the patient care records since the beginning of 2014. That EMT found that overdoses doubled in May 2014 and had been increasing nearly every month since then.

To help them really understand the evolving crisis, they worked with FirstWatch to create a system that alerts them every time a crew runs on an overdose-related incident. The system also aggregates and tracks these calls, monitors and alerts for surges in overdoses, and geographically highlights overdose locations.

Organize a team and a strategy to address the problem

Led by the Lowell police chief and fire chief, the Community Opioid Outreach Program (COOP) was created. Each chief assigned employees to this project full time along with Trinity EMS and Lowell House, an opioid addiction treatment facility. The objective of the COOP is to decrease overdose-related deaths and the suffering related to addiction.

One member of the team lost a relative to an opiate overdose. He asked his chief how he could help prevent this from happening to other families in their community. He, along with his colleagues from EMS, law enforcement and the treatment community, are kind, compassionate and experienced. They have a laser focus on preventing the next overdose.

Every time an EMS crew, fire crew or police officer is dispatched to an overdose-related call, members of the COOP receive an alert via e-mail and on their smartphone app. The day after a patient has been resuscitated from their overdose, the COOP team tracks them down wherever they are for a visit.

One of the most effective strategies to preventing overdose death is to help people who use opiates get into rehabilitation. The COOP has a direct line to in-patient beds and out-patient appointments. They are able to cut through the normal red tape and get people admitted quickly.

Often, one of the challenges involved with getting people to accept rehabilitation is that they often don’t remember how bad things were during their overdose. The team was visiting with a 28-year-old man in his home with his 3-year-old daughter sitting next to him. They were talking about getting him into rehabilitation. The man was brushing the incident off as no big deal and he was refusing rehab.

The Trinity EMT on the team pulled up the patient care report from the day before using the app on his smartphone. He read the narrative to the man, explaining what the medical jargon meant along the way, “Patient found unconscious, unresponsive and apneic – that means you were totally out and not breathing. With vomit on his shirt and feces in his pants. Skin was cool and cyanotic – that means you were cold and blue. You were close to death and you looked like it. Ventilations were supported with a bag-valve-mask – meaning that we had to breathe for you since you’d stopped breathing for yourself. Two mg Narcan administered IV, continued ventilating for five minutes – that means that we gave you a high dose of the medication to counteract whatever it was that you shot-up and it still was not working. Two more mg of Narcan – that means whatever you shot was probably not heroin. Patient respirations restored – meaning that you were finally able to breathe on your own.”

After hearing what actually happened and realizing that his 3-year-old daughter had witnessed the whole thing, he allowed the team to admit him to a rehabilitation bed on the spot.

Policies and procedures to curb overdoses

The real-time monitoring and analysis of overdoses allows the COOP to spot when a new batch of opiates comes into their service area and geographically fence the area that’s hardest hit. One day they had six respiratory arrest overdoses in 15 hours. The COOP launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter about the dangerous new batch of drugs that had entered their community.

They reached 20,000 people in two hours and 150,000 in 72 hours. It was on TV news within five minutes of launching the campaign. Overdoses dropped off within a day or so of their social media campaign.

Additional steps include:

All Lowell Fire Stations are safe havens for rehabilitation. That means that someone who is using illegal drugs can come to any fire station and be referred to rehabilitation without fear of getting arrested for possession. They have tested several theories about opiate use using data. For example, there is no correlation between day of the week or between when Social Security checks are administered and overdoses. But there is a relationship between overdoses that occur outdoors and the proximity of the drug purchase. This is helpful for law enforcement working to arrest dealers. All of the 200 communities included in the 13 towns served by Trinity, across all socioeconomic backgrounds, have had at least one overdose. The COOP has been effective at pushing insurance companies to cover drug treatment even when reluctant. The COOP has developed a short presentation on overdoses for businesses and the general public. This presentation includes what a narcotic overdose looks like, when to call 911 and what to do with a needle when you find one. Because Trinity has such a deep dataset and the tools to analyze it, they have become the go-to agency for questions about the crisis. Recently, someone was asking about the number of overdoses that happen in public bathrooms. Trinity had the answer. The District Attorney became concerned about the impact this crisis was having on children. It’s estimated that 34,000 children are being raised by grandparents or others because their parents are dead, in jail or otherwise unavailable due to addiction. She launched Project CARE (Child Assessment and Response Evaluation) to help provide immediate services to children who experience opioid-related trauma. The COOP team activates this resource anytime they see toys, car seats or other evidence of children.

The opioid crisis shows no signs of slowing down across the country. Using a data-driven approach to performance improvement, it’s possible to save lives and decrease suffering for people who suffer from addiction and the people who love them.


About the authors Jon Kelley is the director of communications and information technology for Trinity EMS. An award-winning expert in the field of opioid related data analysis, program development and community engagement, he regularly presents at conferences and workshops.

Mike Taigman uses more than four decades of experience to help EMS leaders and field personnel improve the care/service they provide to patients and their communities. Mike is the Improvement Guide for FirstWatch, a company which provides near-real time monitoring and analysis of data along with performance improvement coaching for EMS agencies.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Systems and is an Associate Professor in the Emergency Health Services Management graduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He’s also the facilitator for the EMS Agenda 2050 project. Email Mike Taigman at mtaigman@firstwatch.net.


Slain Texas LEO’s son, 5, gets police escort to school

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

TOMBALL, Texas — Dozens of police officers escorted a Texas boy to his first day of kindergarten in place of his officer father, who was fatally struck while investigating a traffic accident in 2011.

Several officers were on horseback Tuesday to help 5-year-old Kevin Will Jr. head to Wildwood Elementary School in Tomball, northwest of Houston.

His mother, Alisha, says she recently texted some officers to see if they'd be available to help walk her son to school. She got a big response.

Her husband, Houston Officer Kevin Will, died after being hit by a vehicle at the scene of a wreck in May 2011. She was pregnant at the time.

Records show the driver of the vehicle that hit Will pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter and was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

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Five year old Kevin Will is starting kindergarten today and the Houston Police Department, among others, is giving him an escort in honor of his fallen father. Full story on Officer Will here: http://bit.ly/2wulJc9

Posted by KPRC2 Chip Brewster on Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Finnish police arrest 2 more suspects in knife rampage

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matti Huuhtanen Associated Press

HELSINKI — Police in Finland on Wednesday arrested two more suspects in connection with last week's stabbings that killed two people and wounded eight in a knife rampage in the southwestern city of Turku, authorities said.

Police said they detained the two men on suspicion "of preparation of an offense to be committed with terrorist intent," bringing the total number of arrests to six. On Tuesday, a regional court ordered that the main suspect — an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum-seeker — be detained on suspicion of terrorist crimes, including two counts of murder and eight counts of attempted murder. Three alleged accomplices — all believed to be Moroccan — were ordered to be held on suspicion they helped plan the attack.

The main suspect, who has acknowledged Friday's stabbings but denies murder, was named as Abderrahman Mechkah although police said they believe he is using a false identity. Investigators have said they are exploring possible links to last week's extremist attacks in Spain. Detective Superintendent Markus Laine told national broadcaster YLE Wednesday that there were signs he had become "radicalized" but declined to give any details.

He was shot in the thigh by police during the knife rampage in Turku, 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, and was treated for his wounds at a local hospital before a planned move to a prison hospital, police said.

The nationality of the new suspects wasn't clear, police said, because they gave contradicting information. They told Finnish officials they were Algerian citizens but had earlier told Swedish authorities that they were from Morocco. It was unclear when they were in Sweden.

The main suspect arrived in Finland last year, but his application for asylum was denied, police said. Earlier, the German Interior Ministry said the man entered Germany at the end of 2015, leaving there in early 2016. He didn't apply for asylum in Germany, the ministry said.

Investigators and the main suspect's lawyer, Kaarle Gummerus, have said they weren't aware of a motive for the attack in which most of the victims were women.


Spotlight: How the BUG Pocket backup gun vest holster saved 2 cops’ lives

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

PoliceOne Sponsors
Author: PoliceOne Sponsors

Company Name: Ranvon, Inc. Headquarters: Whittier, CA Signature Product: BUG Pocket Website: http://bugpocket.com/

1. What is your signature product?

Since 1994, our signature product, the Original BUG Pocket vest holster, has been the choice for thousands of officers and many departments from coast to coast. Our slogan, "If you don’t tell, no one will ever know", speaks volumes to what the BUG Pocket has to offer. It’s a fully enclosed, virtually undetectable backup gun vest holster equipped with a strapping system that allows for secure attachment in seconds. It attaches to the center of the front panel of concealable body armor, including mesh carriers. There is no sewing, permanent affixing or modification required and it can be washed with your carrier or quickly removed and attached to a second carrier.

As evidenced by the testimonial page on our website (http://bugpocket.com/), the BUG Pocket delivers on all its promises: comfort, concealment, security, ambidextrous holstering and accessibility, and of course, safety. No matter what activity you’re engaged in from an ambush while sitting in your vehicle to physically fighting in the streets for your life, your backup will be secure and readily accessible. It will sit exactly as you holstered it. Most importantly, it is the ONLY backup gun vest holster on the market today that addresses the critical officer safety issue of ricochets and bullet fragments. That threat is addressed with a proven ballistic fragmentation plate that is included with every BUG Pocket at no additional cost.

2. Where did the idea for the original BUG Pocket come from? How did that idea turn into a product?

I'm a 32 year-veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. As a rookie officer, I was required to carry a backup and I carried one throughout my career. Across the nation, like so many before me and after me, I struggled to find a comfortable, safe, secure and accessible place to carry it. That struggle continued approximately 10 years until one day I stuck my backup in my body armor trauma plate pocket and realized how comfortable and accessible it was.

However, I also realized it printed badly, was not secure and I was exposing myself to certain injury or death from a ricochet and/or bullet fragments should an incoming round strike my backup. Having tried all other carry locations and countless methods and holsters, I didn’t want to give up on the trauma plate pocket idea. For the following three years, I designed and redesigned and made adjustments to the BUG Pocket according to field-testing feedback. Once satisfied, I applied for and received a US Patent in 1995.

In the meantime, I was still very concerned about the dangers of an incoming round striking a holstered backup. With the assistance of the firearm units from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol, the current ballistic fragmentation plate was developed and is included with every Original BUG Pocket sold.

3. How did the BUG Pocket save two officers lives in separate incidents?

For Officer Steve Stanton of the San Diego Police Department and Officer Jason McEwen of the California Highway Patrol, the BUG Pocket was the deciding factor in their struggle to save their own lives. In separate incidents, both officers struggled with suspects whose sole goal was to gain control of the officers’ primary weapon. Both officers were able to access their backups via the BUG Pocket and illuminate their threats…permanently from this earth. Both suspects were killed at scene and both officers survived their encounters.

You can read their stories via links on the BUG Pocket home page. It should be noted that Officer Stanton’s story references the BUG Pocket, but Officer McEwen’s doesn’t. However, Officer McEwen during subsequent officer survival training has told his story and he specifically praises the BUG Pocket. The news article in which his story is told simply doesn’t mention the BUG Pocket by name.

4. What sizes does the BUG Pocket come in?

The BUG Pocket is available in two sizes-regular and small. However, we always recommend purchasing the regular size because it will accommodate your choice of the most commonly used larger handguns or a much smaller one. The small, as noted below, is limited in what it will accommodate.

The regular size is approximately 9½" (w) by 10½" (h) and will accommodate the most commonly used larger backup guns, including the Glock 30 and 1923 (both tight fit). And of course, on the other end of the spectrum, it will also comfortably accommodate the most commonly used smaller backups like subcompacts, 2" revolvers and .380 cal pistols. The size small is approximately 9 3/8" (w) by 10 3/8" (h). The largest guns it will accommodate are the Glock 26 and 27 (both tight fit). Any gun smaller than the 26 and 27 will easily fit.

5. Are there any other products out there like the BUG Pocket?

There is one relatively recent product out there that could be considered a "copycat" in many ways. However, it falls dangerously short in the area of officer safety. The other product is similar to the BUG Pocket in size and basic design, but that’s where the similarities stop. The most serious officer safety difference involves ricochets and bullet fragments. As previously mentioned, every BUG Pocket includes a ballistic fragmentation plate that was designed specifically for the BUG Pocket to maximize effectiveness, including coverage of your holstered backup.

The opposite Velcro are permanently secured in their places on the front flap and the frag plate so there's no chance of the frag plate disengaging or shifting. This was specifically addressed during our live fire ballistic testing. In case you heed their recommendation to buy a trauma plate to use as a frag plate, the other product wants you to trust the Velcro they provide with glue on the backside. Also taken into consideration with the fragmentation plate design was pliability to ensure no interference while drawing or tactical re-holstering.

The other product does not include a frag plate, but clearly understands the dangers facing the donning officer and “recommends” the purchase of a soft trauma plate to make the product safe to wear. Not including a frag plate with the product places the burden and additional expense on the officer. With officer safety as a priority, the Original BUG Pocket is a complete product that is safe to wear immediately upon delivery. Simply remove it from the package, take the few seconds to mount it and holster, and get on with your day. In no time you'll literally be mounting and holstering in less than 10 seconds.

The second significant officer safety advantage the BUG Pocket offers is the "grip and rip" access strap located across the front flap. Because of the negative feedback we received regarding the original single pull-tab and how difficult it was to find and pull the front flap open, we upgraded to our current "grip and rip" design. The other product utilizes the BUG Pocket's original ineffective single pull-tab. With the "grip and rip" design it's nearly impossible to miss the access strap. All you need is a pinky, a single finger or a full grip and you’ll have access to your backup. It's that simple and reliable.

The third advantage is the specially designed holster within the BUG Pocket that allows for left or right hand holstering. Simply place your gun in the holster for whatever your preference is for drawing. It’s also important to note that no matter how you holstered, your backup is just as easily accessible with either hand. The design of the holster also allows for easy, trouble free tactical re-holstering. For example, if you were holstered for a right hand draw and during the stress of a tactical re-holster you holstered left handed, it wouldn’t be a problem. The other product supplies a strap with Velcro and requires the officer to create a holster for a left or right hand draw before holstering.


Calif. LEO dies after fight with suspect, car wreck

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Sponsors

By PoliceOne Staff

LAKEPORT, Calif. — A deputy has died after crashing his vehicle shortly after an altercation with a suspect in a domestic violence call.

Police were called Tuesday to a fight involving four to five people, Lake Co News reported. When deputies arrived, they saw Alex Michael Castillo, 21, run into the woods, covered in blood.

Officers attempted to arrest Castillo, but he resisted. Deputy Sheriff Robert Rumfelt was involved in an altercation with Castillo, Sheriff Brian Martin said. A deputy deployed a TASER and detained Castillo.

Officials cleared the scene and as he was leaving, Rumfelt struck a tree with his patrol SUV.

Investigators are looking into how he lost control and crashed. Police are investigating the possibility that Rumfelt may have suffered injuries in the fight that led to the crash. They suspect he may have suffered a heart attack. He was not driving at a high speed or with his lights on at the time of the crash.

Rumfelt started with the Lakefort Police Department in 1997, briefly leaving in 2006 to work overseas as a private law enforcement training contractor. While serving at the department, he was a firearms instructor, field training officer and mentor to new deputies. He is the first Lake County Sheriff’s officer to die in the line of duty in almost 40 years.

“Our hearts are saddened,” Martin said. “He was a true friend to a lot of us. He was very well respected by his peers and everyone who knew him.”

Rumfelt is survived by his wife and two daughters.


Orlando police, fire depts. ask city for new $1.9M dispatch system

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By Caitlin Doornbos Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — To reduce response times and save money in the long term, the Orlando Police and Fire departments are asking the city for permission to spend $1.9 million in bond money for a new dispatch system.

Though police and fire dispatchers work in the same room at the city’s Emergency Operations Center, the agencies work on two call dispatch platforms that don’t share data, said Orlando Fire Department spokeswoman Ashley Papagni.

When a 911 call comes into the city’s emergency communications center, it’s assigned to either fire or police dispatchers, she said. But often, police and firefighters are needed to respond to emergencies.

Think of the new dispatch system like a group text message — everyone gets the information at the same time, eliminating the middle man. The new system would allow the two agencies to share one dispatch system: so during shared calls, they could receive information from both agencies at once.

With the current system, when information from a 911 call handled by the police department needs to be sent to the fire department, a communications worker has to call a counterpart at the other agency, who then has to type it into their separate system, OFD Deputy Chief Rich Wales said.

He says the new system could shave crucial seconds off response times.

“Imagine all that information at your fingertips the second it’s being typed in, versus waiting for that air time for the dispatcher to get on the radio and tell you what is happening,” Wales said.

A combined system will give 911 dispatchers one less job to do — a small stress reliever for the workers who see increasing call volumes each year, said Fire Department Communications Manager Matt King.

The new system would be paid for out of a $30 million bond approved in 2016 for funding current and future public safety projects, Papagni said.

She said the OFD bought their current system 17 years ago; OPD Deputy Chief Mark Canty said his agency bought theirs more than 20 years ago.

Papagni said if the city does not buy a new system, the costs to maintain the systems would be high. Maintenance on the current police and fire systems cost the city more than $415,000 in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The maintenance cost for the first five years of the new program is about estimated to cost $642,000, she said.

Canty said streamlined communications would be especially beneficial during major incidents where there are multiple injured patients or many factors involved.

“The citizens would receive better service because we would able to talk more readily,” he said. “I’m able to take the info I received in the police system and immediately transmit that to the fire station.”

The system would also open up the possibility for the agencies to use new technologies, Fire Department Chief Roderick Williams said. They would be able to access drone footage through the dispatch system and update the GPS systems in Fire Department vehicles.

“We have to keep up with the times,” he said. “Situations are changing all the time, so how do we meet today’s new normal?”

Canty said OPD doesn’t have drones, but it might in the future. The OFD is expect to buy drones within the next two months.

The agencies also are interested in getting text-to-911 technology in the future, which is not possible with the current dispatch system. Text-to-911 capabilities allows citizens to contact dispatchers via text messages.

City commissioners will review the proposal Monday. If approved, it could take as much as 16 months for the system to be installed and fully operational in both departments, Papagni said.

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©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)


Off-duty Calif. sergeant hit, killed by drunk driver

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Holland and Pat Clark The Modesto Bee

MODESTO, Calif. — A Modesto police officer has died after being struck by a drunk driver while the officer was riding his bicycle, authorities said.

Police Chief Galen Carroll announced the death in a video posted on the department's Facebook page.

"It is with deep sadness I notify the community that we lost one of our officers tonight," Carroll said. "Earlier in the evening, one of our officers was involved in a vehicle vs. bicyclist accident where he succumbed to his injuries."

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Fatal traffic collision investigation in northeast Modesto involving an off-duty Modesto Police officer. No further information will be released at this time.

Posted by MODESTO POLICE DEPARTMENT on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The accident was reported on Maid Mariane Lane near Savage school in Village One.

The investigation has been turned over to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP spokesman Thomas Olsen said the call came in at 6:10 p.m. "Emergency personnel arrived on the scene and located a male adult lying in the roadway," Olsen said at the scene late Tuesday evening. "Emergency personnel did everything they could to save his life but he succumbed to his injuries."

Olsen identified the officer as a sergeant who has been with the department since 2012. He previously served with the Tuolumne County Sheriff's office.

The driver was located at the scene and showed signs of intoxication. His name also was not released, but Olsen said the man was driving a Volkeswagen coupe. The CHP arrested him and took him into custody for driving under the influence, Olsen said. He will face numerous felony charges.

"This is a huge loss for his family and the Modesto Police Department community," Carroll said.

Investigators remained on the scene for several hours after the accident. Modesto police officers were joined by Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputies.

Other agencies offered condolences via social media.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Modesto Police Department family," Sheriff Adam Christianson said in a Facebook post.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and our brothers and sisters at the Modesto Police Department," the Modesto Fire Department posted on its page.

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©2017 The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.)


Videos: Protesters throw objects at police during Phoenix Trump rally

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kurtis Lee and Jaweed Kaleem Los Angeles Times

PHOENIX — Thousands of anti-Donald Trump protesters gathered Tuesday outside a campaign-style rally here by the president, engaging in shouting matches with his supporters over whether Trump harbors racist views.

The demonstrations remained peaceful until the end of the rally, when some protesters tried to break through barricades near an entrance to the convention center where Trump was finishing his speech. Police, who said some protesters had thrown rocks and bottles at them, used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Hanging over the city all day was the shadow of Charlottesville, Va., and Trump’s recent assessment that “both sides” were to blame for the violence at a recent rally there by white nationalists and his comments that “some very fine people” were marching alongside neo-Nazis.

In an effort to prevent the Phoenix demonstrations from turning violent, authorities called in extra officers and put the National Guard on the ready.

Barricades were erected to separate Trump supporters and opponents outside the Phoenix Convention Center, where afternoon temperatures climbed past 100 degrees and the growing crowd sought shelter under mesquite trees lining the sidewalks.

“Build that wall! Build that wall!” Trump supporters shouted as the barricades went up.

Police Using Tear Gas & Flash Bombs To Clear Streets In Phoenix; Protesters Throwing Projectiles At Policepic.twitter.com/oDzMPGWSN6

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 23, 2017

“This is a country for everyone!” yelled a counterprotester.

For Ubaldo Cruz, the arrival of Trump in Phoenix was an opportunity.

“I don’t want to regret not speaking up,” Cruz, who does accounting work, said as a beastly sun slipped behind downtown office buildings, moments before Trump strolled onto the stage at the convention center. “It’s one thing to complain with friends … . I wanted to show up and speak up.”

Police deploy tear gas as protestors throw water bottles at them following the @realDonaldTrump rally in #Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/WczKE67yWc

— Elex Michaelson (@abc7elex) August 23, 2017

The anti-Trump protests in Phoenix consisted of several marches downtown that converged at the convention center.

Nearly 4,000 people indicated on Facebook that they would attend an anti-Trump rally at the Herberger Theater Center, less than a block from the convention center. In a separate post, about 3,000 people said they planned to attend a “White Supremacy Will Not Be Pardoned” event downtown organized by the Puente Human Rights Movement, a local immigrant rights group. No official crowd totals were released by law enforcement officials.

Among those to arrive about four hours before the rally was Wolf Schneiter, 62, who held an “Alt-right delete” sign to protest the far-right movement that has backed Trump.

Police firing pepper balls, flash grenades to disperse crowds outside of #Trump rally in Phoenix - Local Mediapic.twitter.com/xMLy22SP7z

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 23, 2017

“I used to protest in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but I took a little time off,” he said. “Now it’s time to get back in the game.”

Schneiter, who has fibromyalgia and receives federal disability payments, said he was dismayed by Trump’s comments about “both sides” being to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.

“What was that about? … I’m beyond words that we’ve come to this,” he said. “You can’t even condemn bigots? Unreal.”

Kim Aimes, 64, marched alongside members of the Puente Human Rights Movement.

Aimes, a social worker from Prescott, about 100 miles north of here, is a member of Indivisible Group, a national network resisting the Trump administration.

“He wants to come west, so, well, we’ll bring it,” Aimes said. “We’ll bring the fight to him.”

Aimes held a sign that read, “Hate Never Made a Great Nation.”

“I just think this country is not moving ahead …,” she said. “We’re talking about Nazis and the KKK. That’s not normal.”

Not far from where Aimes stood, three members of the Southern Arizona Militia wore sunglasses and held AR-15 rifles.

“Y’all Nazis?”an anti-Trump protester asked the men.

They did not move.

“Y’all Nazis?” he asked again.

“Just here to keep the peace,” one of the men finally replied.

Ross Hubbard of Phoenix held his navy blue “Make America great again” hat as he fanned his face with a leaflet while waiting in line for the rally.

“This is America right here … a great day — what a time to be alive,” Hubbard, 45, said. “This will be the greatest show on Earth tonight.”

Sharon Miller, 62, traveled from her home a short drive east in Mesa to cheer on Trump.

“I’m so tired of everyone acting like they’re doing something so brave by standing up to our president … . They’re not,” she said.

In addition to division over Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville, controversy has also erupted over Trump’s hint that he was considering offering a pardon to former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, recently convicted on federal contempt charges.

The former sheriff’s aggressive immigration enforcement tactics have made him a lightning rod for both sides of the immigration debate. Arpaio, who did not receive a pardon Tuesday, was not at the rally.

Even so, protesters carried a variety of signs mocking the former sheriff, some in which he was handcuffed and wore prison strips.

Once Trump took the stage, many of the protesters began to head for their cars in temperatures still hovering near 100 degrees. Others stayed until the end — and the clash with police that filled the air with tear gas. “Some people in the crowd began fighting and throwing rocks and bottles at police,” Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.

“This is crazy, so crazy,” said Mira Ramirez, a 20-year-old Phoenix resident who was there to protest the president. “Everything was great until the end.”

———

(Times staff writer Lee reported from Phoenix and Kaleem from Los Angeles.)

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Man sentenced for 2015 assault on SC trooper

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rachael Myers Lowe The State

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — A 38-year old Saluda man pled guilty to assaulting a state trooper who pulled him over on I-20 for suspected DUI in 2015. Chance Noah Etheredge was sentenced to 8 years in prison and 5 years probation on Tuesday, 11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard said in a news release.

The February 14, 2015, traffic stop ended when state trooper, Lance Cpl. Jason Snider, shot Etheredge after Etheredge pulled a handgun on him, saying “not tonight.” Etheredge, at that point, had failed several field sobriety tests, started resisting arrest, and tried to flee the scene, Hubbard said.

A 2015 SLED investigation determined that the officer-involved shooting was lawful and justified.

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©2017 The State (Columbia, S.C.)


Movie prop money being passed as real in Pa. town

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — Movie prop money is being passed as though it's real in one western Pennsylvania city.

Aliquippa police have posted pictures of a fake $20 bill that was passed at a local business.

Although the bill looks convincingly real otherwise, there is one dead giveaway: The words "Motion Picture Use Only" are printed clearly on the front and back of the bill in question.

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Police haven't said if they know where the money came from or who passed it.

It is not against the law to use real U.S. currency in movies and TV shows. But producers of such shows often use fake bills so they don't have to concern themselves with theft or loss, especially when large sums of money appear on screen.


Off-duty deputy rescues couple from burning vehicle

Posted on August 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jessica De Leon The Bradenton Herald

BRADENTON, Fla. — When an off-duty deputy passed by a car parked on the shoulder of Moccasin Wallow Road, something just didn’t look right, he said.

When Deputy Willie Finklea turned back and approached the car, he quickly realized two people were trapped inside of a burning car.

Neil Cook, 64, was banging on the door saying that he and his 65-year-old wife, Claudia, couldn’t get out because the doors were stuck.

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Deputy Willie Finklea is a true hero. Just ask Neil and Claudia Cook. The Cooks were traveling on Moccasin Wallow Road...

Posted by Manatee County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Finklea grabbed the door handle and began to yank, but it came off in his hand. Without hesitation, he parked his motorcycle a safe distance, told his wife to call 911, walked back to the car, shot out a back window and helped each of them out to safety.

While saving the couple from tragedy was gratifying and rewarding, Finklea feels he and his wife were just agents of God to be there at that moment.

“That’s not our usual route,” Kinklea said Tuesday afternoon. “We rarely go that way, but that day we went that way.”

It was just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday when Kinklea and his wife were riding his motorcycle on their way home from their church in Bradenton. They had stopped for something cold to drink at a gas station on the corner of US 41 and Moccasin Wallow Road, and then decided to take Moccasin Wallow Road east to go home.

“I just thought it was somebody looking at their GPS and didn’t realize the grass was catching on fire,” Kinklea thought when he first saw the burning car.

The electronic windows and door locks would not work and the car began to smoke more before Kinklea was able to force his way into the car.

“I banged on the window several times with my hand and then I had to use my off-duty weapon to put a hole in the back glass and kick the window in so I could unlock the door from the inside,” Kinklea said.

The 14-year veteran cautiously faced the back of the car and aimed down when he fired his gun to minimize glass fragments from hitting them.

Claudia Cook was trying to climb into the backseat so Kinklea went around the car, helping to pull her out. Neil Cook was able to crawl to the passenger side and open a front door to get out on his own, according to the release.

Never fearing for his own safety, Finklea was fueled by the Cooks’ panic.

“I need to get these people out of this car, whatever it takes to get them out of this car,” he remembered thinking.

No one was injured.

He thanked God he was able to help them, and Finklea said being able to do so was the biggest gift from the near tragedy.

Finklea said he did learn a lesson that day: the importance of everyone carrying a window break tool. The deputy said he was going to make sure there is one in every one of his family’s vehicles.

“Breaking the window is harder than you think,” Finklea said.

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©2017 The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.)


Domestic violence investigations: How to identify primary vs. dominant aggression

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

David Cropp
Author: David Cropp

Understanding the distinction between primary and dominant aggression is crucial to investigating domestic violence cases.

In California, Penal Code Section 13701 mandates that officers make reasonable efforts to identify the dominant aggressor and describes a few characteristics of dominant aggression. It mandates that we consider the intent of the law to protect victims of domestic violence from continuing abuse.

Recognizing the difference

In order to identify dominant aggressors we must know their characteristics and not confuse dominant aggression with primary aggression. There is a difference.

A primary aggressor is the one who initiates the first strike. A dominant aggressor is the one who controls and dominates the other. Four examples of primary vs. dominant aggression

These examples are aggregates of information gathered from police reports and crisis centers. The names are not real.

1. Amanda

He always accused me of being attracted to other men. He’d call me a whore and a slut. I never did any of that. It got worse when he drank. He’d complain about how I spent money, especially when I bought anything for myself. He could spend money with no accountability. I had to buy what he wanted me to buy, eat what he wanted to eat and prepare it the way he wanted it prepared. It did not good to say no to sex – he was relentless and would not stop. If I wanted to leave, he would break down and apologize or cry. If that didn’t work he’d threaten to make me pay for ruining his life. I had no life of my own. He started pushing me and grabbing me by my hair and pulling me around the house. I knew what he was capable of doing. He would tell me I was a bitch and a whore, stupid and ugly. I was so hopeless I just wanted to die.

Amanda is the victim of dominant aggression: emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse.

2. Beatrice

I couldn’t take the daily abuse anymore – the insults and the pushing me around. I started fighting back. I’d yell in his face and slap him to stop the insults. He’d record me yelling at him with his cell phone and then call the police. He’d tell them I was out of control and crazy, and that I’d slapped him. He’d show them his recording. They threatened to arrest me. I did slap him, but it was in reaction to his daily abuse. He just set me up. I didn’t want to go jail and I didn’t trust anyone to believe me. I was stuck.

Beatrice is the victim of dominant aggression. Some may consider her a primary aggressor for slapping her abuser, but an investigation would tend to show that her behavior was reactionary in nature. She did not initiate the abuse, and her behavior was not intentional, willful or reckless other than in a defensive posture – she would not have slapped him had it not been for the abuse – she yelled back and slapped him to stop the abuse.

3. Cindy

Yeah, I scratched him. I wanted to leave and he grabbed my car keys to stop me from leaving. I grabbed them back – they’re mine. I scratched him in the process of grabbing my keys from him. I didn’t mean to do it.

Cindy’s behavior is reactionary. She is not a primary aggressor. We don’t know if either is a dominant aggressor, so we have to ask more questions. She had a right to reach for her keys. The scratch was not intentional, willful or reckless.

4. Delores

We were arguing again. It was about money. He’s a good guy, but I’m just not happy. He only works part-time and that’s a problem for me. We get along most of the time, but when money is tight, we argue. Yeah, I slapped him across the face out of anger. I shouldn’t have done it, but I lost my temper. It’s the first time either of us hit the other. He’s never hit me. He’s a good guy.

Delores is a primary aggressor. She admitted slapping her boyfriend and said he was a good guy. Her behavior was intentional and willful, and not in self-defense or reactionary to dominant aggression.

How to identify the dominant aggressor

California Penal Code Section 13701 requires us to make reasonable attempts to identify the dominant aggressor. This is for good reason and is supported by valid research. It does not mean that dominant aggression is present in all cases, but if we don’t look for it, we risk missing it when it is present.

Here are questions to ask:

Have there been threats to kill, commit suicide or take the children? Have arguments been laced with coercive and harmful profanities that demean the victim? Have there been attempts to control one’s movement, associations or social interactions? Do the facts of the case imply that one is motivated out of the need for dominant attention, or to be the sole defender? Is the relationship dominated by jealousy and control? Have attempts to separate been met with an increased severity of violence?

We must investigate whether anyone acted in self-defense or in response to patterned tension-building, intimidation or attempts to control. When a dominant aggressor cannot be validated, then our arrestee is typically a primary aggressor. In less than 20 percent of the cases I’ve read over the years, women are primary aggressors. Many times dominant aggression is simply not present.

Writing better reports, filing more cases for prosecution, facilitating the delivery of services and minimizing return calls for service is a win for everyone.


References Walker L. The Battered Woman Syndrome (3rd edition). New York, NY: Springer Publishing, 2009.

Whitaker D, Haileyesus T, Swain M, Saltzman L. Differences in frequency of violence and reported injury between relationships with reciprocal and nonreciprocal intimate partner violence. American Journal of Public Health; 2007, 97(5), 941–947.


Review: The Trijicon RMR Type 2 does not disappoint

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: David Cropp

Sponsored by Trijicon

By Sean Curtis for PoliceOne BrandFocus

Trijicon recently began shipping the updated version of the now famous RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex). Dubbed the “Type 2” this new iteration of the red dot pistol sight is tougher than the trend-setting original, and it’s packed with a lot more options than previous versions. It’s a great choice for those wanting to transition to a reflex sight, even for duty use. Trijicon sent me one to try. I wore it daily on the job for general carry observations and ran a full-on range test with it for performance—it did not disappoint.

So what’s different?

You’ve got to know the company that produced the ACOG is going to make a tough red dot for pistols. After all, they have a reputation to uphold. The original RMR became synonymous with the new wave of red dot sights for pistols.

In the newest version of the RMR, the windage and elevation dials have been somewhat hardened. Audible clicks can be heard when adjusting, and the detents are more resistant than before, ensuring settings are maintained and do not drift during recoil or other hard use.

The original RMR came in different versions as far as brightness settings were concerned. You could purchase an LED model, adjustable LED, or a dual-illuminated version. The Type 2 now gives you the option of adjustable brightness, or switching to auto-adjust, a mode which detects ambient light and gives you a red dot best suited to your environment. A plus sign button on the left of the optic increases dot brightness, a minus sign button on the other does the opposite. You can also lock out the adjustment buttons while setting the optic into auto-adjust mode. This will save battery life long-term by still providing a dim targeting dot in dark storage.

Features

The Type 2 I tested was the RM06 and came standard with a 3.25 MOA dot. This means the dot covers a 3.25-inch spot at 100 yards. I’m not shooting from rifle distances, so this size is a great compromise for the 25-yards-and-in range. The dot was big enough to quickly catch my eye so I could start shooting fast, but it was small enough that I could still work precisely without covering too much of my target.

The Type 2 has a forged aluminum housing and is rated waterproof to a distance of 20 meters (66 feet). However, you must use the Trijicon AC32064 RMR mounting kit—not included—which comes with a gasket that mounts between the unit and the mount plate. At least, that’s what was required to marry the Type 2 to a Glock 17 MOS.

The footprint of the Type 2 is indistinguishable from the original so mounts and holsters need not be changed. The unit runs on the same CR2032 lithium battery and at optimal operating temperatures may give as much as 4 years of continuous use.

Performance

During my two weeks of carry on duty, I did not notice anything vastly different from other red dot sights I’ve used on my Glock 17 MOS. The Type 2 is a horizontal surface and as such, can pick up lint and other things during extended carry. Like your weapon, it should be kept clean and inspected regularly. The Type 2 is slightly wider than the Glock slide, but barely so. I liked adding turning the unit on to my daily draw and inspection before my tour. One of the greatest things about this optic is I can leave it on perpetually if I want to. Set up in button lock out mode (to avoid any incidental adjustments), the red dot is bright enough in daylight, but dims down for a dark room.

Out on the range, three instructors ran the weapon and loved the Type 2. During presentation, your eye is drawn to the dot pretty quickly. This speeds up sight picture and trigger press. In short order, you’re sending rounds downrange. Recovering sight picture from recoil is also speeded by the quickly acquired ret dot.

One of the things I did not realize I would like so much about the Type 2 is the curved top. Some might describe it as a saddle, I like to think it has horns. I imagined the functionality of this feature in a couple ways. First, it has great tactility, giving the optic grip for one-handed reloads. But it also serves as somewhat of a visual bracket, framing the bottom of the uppermost portions of my target.

Multiple shooters ran several hundred rounds through the weapon and the Type 2 performed up to the standard I expect from Trijicon: which is to say, flawlessly. There was no flicker, no loss of zero, and despite being banged around on barricades, one-handed reloads, and suffering inclement weather, the red dot continued to point out all the things we shot.

Duty ready

Adding an electronic optic to a pistol will have some people grumbling about a “failure point”. I accept this fully. Law enforcement does not have the luxury of a weapon system that only works on occasion or intermittently. The benefits of using a red dot sight—especially the durable Type 2 RMR—far outweigh this concern though, particularly when combined with suppressor sights. This allows you to co-witness traditional front and rear sights through your reflex, even if the battery runs out. Some balk at the price of these units, but when you buy Trijicon you are making an investment. This is not a unit that will break or need repair and will likely last a career. Listed MSRP on Trijicon’s website is $699.00 though I have seen them listed closer to $500 with online retailers.

About the author

Sean Curtis is a law enforcement professional with nearly two decades of experience, serving with SWAT, diving and swift water rescue teams in Colorado. He has also served in wildland fire, search and rescue, EMS and emergency management.


Finnish court orders detention of stabbings suspect

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matti Huuhatanen Associated Press

HELSINKI — A Finnish court ordered a Moroccan asylum-seeker suspected of a knife attack that killed two and wounded eight people to remain in custody on preliminary charges.

The regional court in Turku said the 18-year-old male suspect will be held on suspicion of terrorist crimes, including two counts of murder and eight counts of attempted murder.

Three alleged accomplices also were ordered to be held on suspicion they helped plan the attack.

The main suspect, who was identified as Abderrahman Mechkah, has acknowledged Friday's stabbings, but denied the murder charges. The others — all Moroccan — have denied any involvement.

The court said they were suspected of "participating in the murders and attempted murders, committed with terrorist intent."

Mechkah arrived in Finland last year, but his application for asylum was denied, local media reports said.

"bloody events in Turku are a sign that terrorism has come to Finland," Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said. "I feel unspeakable sorrow."

Investigators and the suspect's lawyer, Kaarle Gummerus, said they were not aware of a motive for the killings.

"The remand hearing did not make clear that the prerequisites had been met for a charge of a terrorist crime," Gummerus told the Finnish news agency STT.

Finnish police investigators are exploring possible links to last week's extremist attacks in Spain, where most of the perpetrators and suspects are reported to be Moroccans.


Photos: Officers surprise boy at his police-themed party

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — A boy celebrating his 6th birthday received the ultimate surprise at his police-themed party.

A uniformed officer is seen in photos posted by the department pulling up to Benjamin’s party in his patrol car over the weekend.

Benjamin and his sister, Madeleine, are seen in multiple photos looking mesmerized by something inside the officer’s patrol car. In another photo, Benjamin is surrounded by friends as he blows out the candles on his police-themed cake.

The department thanked Benjamin for inviting them to his party.

“It was great meeting you and your sister Madeleine, and we had a blast!”

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENJAMIN! Thank you for inviting us to swing by your police themed 6th birthday party. It was great meeting you and your sister Madeleine, and we had a blast!

Posted by Fairfax County Police Department on Sunday, August 20, 2017


Caught on camera: Cop stops to dance with elderly woman

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — A heartwarming dance between a police officer and a 92-year-old woman was caught on dash camera video.

Sgt. Kim Lenz was driving last week when she noticed Millie Seiver dancing alone in her apartment building’s parking lot, KAAL TV reported. So Lenz stopped her car, blasted her radio and joined in.

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Millie says sometimes you just need to dance....... Sgt. Lenz couldn't agree more.

Posted by Austin Police Department - Minnesota on Thursday, August 17, 2017

Seiver said it was an “unexpected” moment, and she’s surprised how much attention the video, posted to the department’s Facebook, has received. As of Tuesday, the video had over 29,000 views and more than 400 shares.

"I don't know, I was just so amazed, I was so shocked, I didn't think it would go any further than that," she said. "Probably a little proud, I suppose, of the fact that it drew attention that I'm able to do what I can do."

Seiver said she hopes others will get out and join her.

"I'd like to see more people be more active, out walking and things like that," she said.


Verizon developing FirstNet competitor

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DENVER — Verizon is in the early planning stages of building a dedicated public safety communications network as a competitor to FirstNet. The company said in a press release the network will provide access to Verizon’s 2.4 million square mile 4G LTE network.

"We're making the investments necessary to give public safety access to the best possible network coverage, reliability and capability, when and where they need it," Michael Maiorana, senior vice president of the public sector, said. "Our public safety network will provide a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for public safety, and we'll continue working to offer first responders the network reliability and access to innovative services they need to keep our communities safe."

The company’s network doesn’t require states to opt-out of FirstNet, does not require access to any federal funding provided to FirstNet and will not require states to contribute to its infrastructure, according to the release. Maiorana wrote on LinkedIn that by developing this network, they can ensure public safety officials “have the opportunity to weigh all their options as they make their important communications network decisions.”

“The security we build into our commercial networks, combined with the inherent security advantages of our private core dedicated to public safety, will help protect first responders’ communications,” he wrote. “The resulting multi-carrier environment would give first responders the ability to choose between the two largest national networks to achieve the best network reliability, greatest innovation, and best pricing for their communications services.”

According to the release, Verizon will “make available multi-band devices that will provide access to Band 14 spectrum and enable full interoperability with any Band 14 radio access networks deployed by FirstNet.”

Kevin King, director of corporate communications, told FCW that priority access is available for public safety. Preemption services are set to become available by the end of 2017 and the network is set to be fully completed in 2018.


German police seize 5K orange ‘Donald Trump’ ecstasy tablets

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BERLIN — German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump's head, a haul with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900.)

Police in Osnabrueck, in northwestern Germany, say they found the drugs while checking an Austrian-registered car on the A30 highway on Saturday.

They say the people in the car, a 51-year-old man and his 17-year-old son, told officers they had been in the Netherlands to buy a vehicle but hadn't succeeded so were returning home.

Officers said they found about 5,000 of the orange, Trump-shaped ecstasy tablets along with a large, but unspecified quantity of cash.

A judge on Sunday ordered the father and son kept in custody. The car was seized and towed away.

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+++Festnahme nach Drogenschmuggel+++ Die Autobahnpolizei Osnabrück hatte am Samstag mal wieder den richtigen...

Dikirim oleh Polizei Osnabrück pada 21 Agustus 2017


Stay tougher than the rest with these 6 workouts

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: David Cropp

Sponsored by G-Shock

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Policing requires physical endurance and an enormous amount of physical and mental energy. As a police officer, you might find yourself running far distances, carrying victims from buildings and apprehending people on a day-to-day basis, all while wearing a heavy ballistic vest.

It’s important for police officers to achieve high levels of physical fitness and endurance in order to avoid injuries and remain tough in the face of danger. But training and conditioning at the station often just means cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and some strength training with weights.

If you want to be among the toughest on your squad, it’s necessary to go above and beyond these common exercises. For example, if you exercise occasionally and can dead lift a max of 300 pounds, you may only be able to move a 200-pound person for a short distance before getting tired.

Below, we’ve listed exercises you can do at the station to get stronger and endure under pressure.

1. Kettlebell swings

Kettlebell swings are among the toughest cardiovascular exercises. The kettlebell swing builds power, core strength and stability. It engages the lower back and abdominal muscles and has minimal joint impact.

2. Sled dragging

Sled dragging can also condition muscles, as well as build tolerance to lactic acid. Because it can be as intense as jogging is for the heart and lungs, sled dragging can be a low-impact option for increasing cardiovascular endurance.

3. Police-specific workouts

Instead a series of exercises like running and lifting, training for specific functions can help you be better prepared for police work on the ground.

For example, exercising or even performing basic police station duties in your gear can help you get used to feeling the weight of your equipment and help you stay fit. Running a few miles in your vest can be a way to make your normal workout more vigorous.

4. Burpees and more

The burpee engages leg, arm and core muscles. Squats engage and condition leg muscles, helping you climb up stairs and push past heavy obstacles. Push-ups work arm and chest muscles. Pull-ups engage the biceps and triceps to help you lift heavier objects. Also, because these exercises (aside from pull-ups) don’t require any equipment or much space, you can do them almost anywhere.

5. Squat Thrust

This exercise is similar to the burpee, but it doesn’t include a push-up at the end. Squat thrusts help build lower body muscular endurance by engaging the quads and hamstrings.

This exercise will also help improve hip mobility, which is important for moving quickly in and out of a patrol car or while out in the field. While adding reps will help build endurance, squat thrusts require good form, so it’s important to focus on technique.

6. Cardio

Running is one of the most common cardiovascular exercises, but it’s not always the most popular. If you enjoy running, a daily 3- to 5-mile run outdoors or on the treadmill can be a great way to improve cardiovascular health and build endurance. Even if you don’t enjoy running on its own, you can get a daily cardio workout with activities like basketball, bicycling, swimming or jumping rope.

By running or engaging in other activities that build your cardiovascular endurance, you can respond to calls faster on foot and better keep up during foot pursuits.

Strength and toughness can sometimes mean different things. Working out and staying fit is important, but seriously training to build endurance and prepare for the job of police work will help make you a better and more effective officer. The exercises listed above can help you condition yourself to withstand stressful environments and will help you maintain the mental and physical endurance necessary to power through the most difficult of situations.


How to maintain situational awareness while on duty

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: David Cropp

Sponsored by G-Shock

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Maintaining your sense of situational awareness can improve your decision-making under pressure and allow you to get a better understanding of the circumstances you’re dealing with, whether that’s a patrol run or a SWAT operation.

Without situational awareness, officers run the risk of endangering their colleagues, themselves and the public. You need to always “have your head on a swivel,” scanning the environment while focusing on the task at hand.

The following are tips to improve your own sense of situational awareness.

Use Cooper’s Colors

Police officers are taught Jeff Cooper’s “Color Code,” which breaks down situational awareness into four levels of increasing alertness. It’s useful to remember and review these levels when practicing situational awareness.

Condition white refers to the level at which an officer is completely relaxed and unaware of his or her surroundings. Normally this condition is adopted only at home or in other perceived safe environments.

Condition yellow is the stage at which an officer is still relaxed but paying more attention to his or her surroundings. Cooper explains that if someone is attacked in condition yellow, it shouldn't come as a surprise. You should be in this mode when on duty or when armed off duty.

Condition orange is the level at which an officer has identified an object/person of interest that could be a possible threat. At this point, you would be expecting and preparing for an attack.

Condition red refers to the level at which the object/person of interest does something threatening, at which point your focus changes from a potential threat to a potential target.

Adhere to Objective/Subjective Measures

During training, you can assess your situational awareness by testing yourself against objective and subjective measures.

Objective measures compare an officer’s perception of the circumstances with reality during a simulation task. The assessor asks the officer questions about his or her observations and impressions before, during and after the task. Afterward, the assessor critiques the officer’s perceptions and observations and provides more context about the task to help the officer gain perspective and improve the accuracy of his or her perception.

Subjective measures determine the officer’s rating of his or her own situational awareness or the situational awareness of other peer officers. For this exercise, an officer participates in a simulation task and notes his or her observations and perceptions during. Afterward, the same officer rates the quality of his or her observations, with the help of hindsight.

In general, the idea is that you will be able to use solutions determined during training in future real-world scenarios.

Recognizing Patterns of Behavior

Closely observing and exploring situations can improve your sense of situational awareness as well. Look for behavior that doesn’t fit the expected context of the situation, based on training exercises. This can help you quickly take initiative and gain some control of the situation.

Scan your surroundings and identify cover points, possible ambush points and escape routes. Engage in more scenario training so that your responses are automatic, leaving your conscious mind to plan and make decisions in the moment.

Maintain a Tactical Edge

As you speak with members of the public, no matter how mundane or unimportant the call may be, you should always have a tactical response in your mind. Remember to keep a safe space between you and the person you’re speaking to and be ready to make a quick response to any sort of physical threat.

Situational awareness is a critical skill for police officers, who must make quick decisions under high-pressure, high-stakes circumstances. By improving your awareness of your surroundings, you can make decisions that better protect the safety of yourself, your colleagues and the citizens you serve.


Review: The new G-Shock Mudmaster GG1000-1A5 passes the test

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: David Cropp

Sponsored by G-Shock

By Sean Curtis for PoliceOne BrandFocus

G-Shock has a new winner in the stables, chomping at the bit to get out of the starting gate. The tan colored Mudmaster GG1000-1A5 is a dual-sensor (compass and thermometer) watch with outstanding features that totally fit the active person’s lifestyle. G-Shock sent me one to try out and I challenged it during the summer months when my activity levels are at a frenetic pace. Because all its features, the G-Shock GG1000-1A5 makes the term “timepiece” seem antiquated.

Activities

In Colorado, we work furiously to enjoy the few warm summer months. Imagine the squirrel feverishly packing away nuts and you’ll have an idea. I spent time at the swimming pool, shooting at the range, and also attended a plant survival class up in the mountains. I found the G-Shock GG1000-1A5 had many features that elevated it beyond a normal watch’s value… it could do things I put to use in the field. In addition, it’s tough. I wish companies made all wearable technology like this, it’s the type of quality many people are willing to pay for.

Appearance

From the unboxing, I could tell the G-Shock GG1000-1A5 was a little larger in diameter than other G- Shocks I’ve used. At roughly 56 x 55 millimeters, the combination of the digital face with analog dials spoke of a utilitarian confidence. To me its size subtly said “Trust me, I’ll get you out of trouble”. I’ve seen some watches that were so large they served as a flag for the wearer, warning of something missing from their lives. The G-Shock GG1000-1A5 was serviceable but not ridiculous. The size helps the user identify all the important information the watch relays.

The outside bezel is marked with 360-degree hashes, allowing the user the ability to accurately interpret compass azimuths and make adjustments accordingly. While I am used to the overall black face of the G-Shock, the tan colored ban was a refreshing switch up for me. I found I liked it, and it unexpectedly matched up well with a lot of my gear.

The face, portrayed the important information I seem to require in my daily activities every hour or so. The analog hands gave me my time at a quick glance. The digital panels revealed date and day. I know this seems silly, but I do forget what day it is sometimes and the watch easily saves me from this minor embarrassment. Date? Forget about it. Unless it’s an anniversary or birthday, I probably am not keeping up with the date. I may not always have my cell phone right within my reach, but I always have my watch on. The G-Shock GG1000-1A5 kept me from seeming like some crazed time traveler, “What YEAR is it?”

In the bottom-right quadrant of the watch between the three and six is a small, circular, dial, with a gear shaped indicator within. The outside of the dial is marked with mode designators like “TMR” for timer, “ALM” for alarm and so forth. When you hit the mode button, the gear turns its orange arrow to indicate which mode it is in. I cannot rightly express why, but I love this feature! It reminds me of some of my favorite pinball games, seamlessly blending the analog and the digital, while providing crucial information. The watch is a handsome piece, similar in function to an executive brief.

Testing

Alas, I am not gentle on my equipment. I care for it, but I expect it to work as hard (if not harder) than I do. My aquatic experiences testing the newer multi-gasketed, sleeved, guards which insure no intrusion near the buttons were fun. I’d love to tell you I placed the charge on the enemy vessel, activated the timer, then swam away like a special forces saboteur. The reality was, it was finally time to leave the public pool and while children may argue with a parent about how much time has elapsed, the G-Shock GG1000-1A5 is an unerring, unassailable, source. The countdown timer (ten minutes if you please) was great. Activated underwater, when the alarm went off, the children gathered their masks and water wings without protest.

During a range day I faced heat, barriers, and recoil from multiple calibers without any complaints from the G-Shock GG1000-1A5. I was even able to enjoy a couple full-auto mag dumps without having any type of problems with the watch. I think we sometimes take the hardiness of these G-Shock watches for granted. I found the buttons shouldered enough to be protected from most accidental button pushing. This may seem minor but I’ve had some strange experience where world time was activated accidentally with other watches making me wonder where time had gone. G-Shock thought of this.

Finally, a four-day class on survival plants offered a multi-tiered challenge. While seeking out glacier lilies in the mountains, I used the compass to set a course. By pressing the “COMP” button, the second hand turned on the dial to indicate north (with magnetically corrected declination). I was able to set my bearing accordingly. The variance between 12,000 feet and 6,500 is significant, sometimes as much as 20 degrees. With the thermometer (more accurate off the wrist) I was able to keep track of this detail. In addition, the 1A5 clung to my wrist, ignoring mud as I dug forearm-deep around edible cattail roots and did not falter. Nor did the watch protest during subsequent hosings off, again, making me wish all electrics could be made to this standard.

Conclusion

The G-Shock Mudmaster GG1000-1A5 is another solid performer in a proud line known for durability and precision. I cannot think of a scenario I would enter into where I would panic after remembering I had not first taken off my watch, then remove it. It’s just that tough. You can bang it around, get it muddy, submerge it, and it will still tell you how to get somewhere, then tell you what the temperature is when you arrive.

About the author

Sean Curtis is a law enforcement professional with nearly two decades of experience, serving with SWAT, diving and swift water rescue teams in Colorado. He has also served in wildland fire, search and rescue, EMS and emergency management.


Man claiming to be Jesus attacks cops, subdued with ECD

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — A man claiming to be Jesus was subdued with an ECD after attacking deputies.

Police responded to a call Saturday of loud music and a man removing his clothes at an apartment, CBS12 reported.

When they arrived on the scene, John Witkowski began acting irrational and yelled at deputies. He hit a deputy in the chest after he told police he was Jesus.

Witkowski, 63, continued resisting while being walked out. A deputy deployed his ECD to subdue Witkowski, who hit a deputy with his elbow as he was handcuffed.

He was charged with two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.


Video shows high-speed pursuit of felon with infant in car

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Police released dash camera footage of a June 2016 pursuit involving a 7-week-old baby and a career criminal.

Ronald T. Comeger, 34, fled from a traffic stop at speeds above 130 mph, Lancaster Online reported. Police said a 7-week-old baby was in the car along with the mother of the child.

Video shows Comeger weaving in and out of lanes before nearly hitting an officer and crashing. Comeger attempted to use the baby as a human shield before he was detained.

The baby sustained cuts to his head and the mother suffered cuts and bruises to her arms and legs.

In May, Comeger was found guilty of aggravated assault of a child, endangering a child, fleeing police and 14 counts of reckless endangerment. He also pleaded guilty to persuading the baby’s mother to not appear in court for the trial. He was sentenced to nine and a half to 19 years.

Assistant DA Christine L. Wilson said Comeger was a “career criminal” with convictions dating back to 2002. He has an estimated 22 probation or parole violations for those convictions.


3 Ill. officers injured while rescuing teen from house fire

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GRAYSLAKE, Ill. — Three officers were injured while rescuing a teen from a burning home.

Firefighters responded to a structure fire early Tuesday and found officers attempting to rescue a someone trapped inside, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Officers linked arms crawled through the home, and grabbed the teenager upstairs, the Daily Herald reported.

The officers and the teen were transported to a local hospital. Two officers were treated and released. One officer remains hospitalized for observation and the teenager was transported to the burn unit where he remains critical, CBS Chicago reported.

Investigators said it’s too early to know the cause of the fire, but it may have been trigger by a dryer vent that sparked behind drywall. The investigation is ongoing.

Three officers and a child were injured during a Grayslake house fire on Tuesday morning. https://t.co/WPEEu6D04S

— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) August 22, 2017


Alleged car thief pulls over to watch eclipse, gets arrested

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michael Williams Orlando Sentinel

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A man suspected of stealing a car was arrested Monday after he pulled over to view the solar eclipse, investigators said.

Orange County deputy sheriffs from the auto-theft unit were following Jocsan Feliciano Rosado, 22, when he parked the car at Harbor Freight Tools on Osceola Parkway near Kissimmee, they said.

After buying a welder’s mask to view the eclipse, Rosado walked back to the car, put the mask on and started looking up at the sky, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jane Watrel said.

While Rosado was wearing the mask, deputies moved in and arrested him, Watrel said.

Welder’s masks are not approved eclipse-viewing devices.

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Overshadowed: Meet Jocsan Feliciano Rosado. This 22-year-old stole a vehicle and was being followed by the OCSO's...

Posted by Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Monday, August 21, 2017

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©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)


Cops: Man arrested for attempting to punch police horse in face

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WORCESTER, Mass. — Police say a Massachusetts man was arrested during a weekend festival after he attempted to punch a police horse in the face.

Authorities said Monday that the 59-year-old Worcester man was arrested Saturday at Worcester's Latin American Festival.

Police say he tried to walk through a group of mounted officers despite being told not to do so. The officers say he deliberately put his shoulder into the chest of one of the horses, and an officer grabbed him by the collar and threw him back in front of the horses. Police say he then threw a punch at one of the animals, which jumped back with an officer still mounted.

Officers say the man struggled as they arrested him and kicked two officers after being placed in handcuffs.


4 Barcelona attack suspects appear for court interrogations

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Aritz Parra Associated Press

MADRID — Four alleged members of a terror cell accused of killing 15 people in attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort appeared in court Tuesday, a day after the last missing member of the cell was gunned down by police.

The four men were arrested last week for their alleged involvement in planning or carrying out vehicle attacks on pedestrians in Barcelona on Thursday and the northeastern town of Cambrils early Friday.

Mohamed Houli Chemlal, a 21 year-old arrested after he survived an explosion at a house in eastern Spain last week, was the first to testify before National Court Judge Fernando Andreu in Madrid. Andreu will decide whether the four should be jailed or released.

Chemlal's testimony is considered key to understanding the motivations of the 12-man cell that killed 15 people and wounded over 120 in the two vehicle attacks. He is the lone survivor of a blast Wednesday that destroyed a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where police believe the cell was preparing explosives for an even bigger attack on the city. Over 100 tanks of butane gas and materials to make TATP explosive were found at the house, police say.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors said the four would be interrogated throughout the day in the presence of lawyers provided for them by the court. Speaking anonymously in line with court rules, she said the testimony would be in Spanish without interpreters.

Suspect Driss Oukabir was arrested Thursday in the northeastern town of Ripoll, as were two others identified by Spanish media as Mohammed Aalla and Salh el Karib. Police have not yet confirmed the last two names.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The lone fugitive from the cell — 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub — was shot to death Monday after he flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two police who confronted him in a vineyard not far from the city he terrorized.

Police said they had "scientific evidence" that Abouyaaqoub drove the van that barreled through Barcelona's crowded Las Ramblas promenade on Thursday, killing 13 people, then hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its driver while making his getaway.

Abouyaaqoub's brother and friends made up the rest of the 12-man extremist cell, along with an imam who was one of two people killed in the house explosion in Alcanar.

Police said with Abouyaaqoub's death, the group responsible for last week's fatal van attacks are all dead or in custody. Five were shot dead by police early Friday in Cambrils, where a second van attack left one pedestrian dead hours after the Barcelona van attack.

Chemlal was born in Melilla, one of Spain's two North African coastal enclaves that have borders with Morocco. Spanish media say the other 11 suspects are mostly or all Moroccans that lived in Spain.


Despite promises of growth, Border Patrol agent staffing on the decline

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Joseph Tanfani Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Five days after President Donald Trump took office, he signed an executive order that promised a swift, sharp crackdown on illegal immigration — immediate construction of a massive border wall, quick hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and stepped-up deportation of undocumented migrants.

“Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” Trump declared at the Jan. 25 ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security, which controls federal immigration agencies.

Seven months later, construction of the wall has yet to begin, the number of Border Patrol officers has actually dropped by 220, and immigration agents are on track to deport 10,000 fewer people this year than in President Barack Obama’s last year in office, the latest figures show.

To be sure, part of Trump’s crackdown is showing dramatic results. Illegal border crossings are down 22 percent compared with last summer. Arrests of people in the country illegally have surged 43 percent since January, including longtime residents who bought homes, paid taxes and raised families here.

The sharpest increase in arrests was of undocumented migrants without criminal convictions — 24,189 under Trump, nearly three times as many as Obama in the first seven months of last year.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the slower pace in deportations — from 240,000 last fiscal year to an expected 230,000 this year — is misleading. Sarah Rodriguez, an ICE spokeswoman, attributed the shift to fewer people being caught and sent back at the border. Removals from inside the country have surged.

But other pledges that Trump made the keystone of his campaign have stalled, or even slid backward, a reflection of the gap between his broad promises and the practical reality of remaking the government’s vast immigration enforcement apparatus.

The challenges are especially steep at the long-troubled Border Patrol, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency. Operating from boats, planes, cars and horses, the green-uniformed Border Patrol officers hold the front line to secure the 2,000-mile Southwest border.

After the terrorist attacks of 2001, Congress doubled the size of the Border Patrol to more than 20,000 to enhance border security. But hampered by poor morale, hiring problems and high attrition, as well as rampant corruption, the agency hasn’t met that goal since 2013.

Staffing has drifted downward since 2010, and the agency now has about 2,000 vacancies — with 220 fewer agents than when Trump took office, records show.

More importantly, based on current attrition and hiring rates, the agency would need to screen about 750,000 applicants to meet Trump’s goal of hiring 5,000 qualified agents, according to a July report by the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security.

“They’re going to have a tough time because they hardly have anyone in the pipeline right now,” said Victor M. Manjarrez Jr., a retired Border Patrol supervisor who studies border issues at the University of Texas at El Paso. “They don’t even have enough to cover attrition.”

Linda Jacksta, an assistant commissioner in charge of human resources at Customs and Border Protection, parent agency of the Border Patrol, said officials are determined to reverse that slide. But she said they probably won’t do so before 2018.

The Border Patrol now has a goal of hiring 500 officers next year, she said, and is trying to recruit former military and law enforcement officers to join the ranks.

“It’s a corner that we have been trying to turn for the past two years,” Jacksta said. The low hiring numbers this year “doesn’t really reflect where we’re headed,” she added.

Getting there won’t be easy. Most applicants wash out in a gauntlet of screening reviews and tests — drug tests, fitness tests, a background criminal investigation and a polygraph test.

One reason: Drug traffickers have repeatedly bribed or otherwise compromised Border Patrol officers. More than 170 officers have been arrested and convicted of corruption in recent years, including some caught working for the Mexican drug cartels they were supposed to be fighting.

Many of the agency’s hiring troubles are of their own making, according to a series of stinging internal audit reports that describe a hiring process mired in inefficiency.

Another inspector general’s report in July found that the agency spent more than $5 million giving polygraph tests to applicants who had already admitted in their job interviews to crimes or other conduct that disqualified them.

“For example, applicants admitted to illegal drug use, drug smuggling, human trafficking and to having close personal relationships with people who commit these crimes,” said an inspector general’s report on Aug. 4.

One applicant admitted to participating in the gang rape of an unconscious and intoxicated woman, but the examiner went ahead with a five-hour polygraph exam anyway, the report said.

The government’s requirement that each applicant pass a polygraph test also has long hindered hiring at the Border Patrol. In recent years, more than 70 percent of applicants flunked the lie detector test.

Former agency leaders say the tests weren’t done properly, producing failure rates far higher than at other law enforcement agencies.

In response, both the House and Senate recently passed bills to allow the agency to skip the test for some applicants, including former police officers or members of the military.

Some present and former agency officials think that’s a bad idea. During the last hiring surge, in the mid-2000s, the agency had trouble maintaining hiring standards and corruption soared.

“If we had our druthers we would have hired slower,” said David Aguilar, a retired Border Patrol chief. “We were using literally every background investigator who could conduct investigations, and that was still not enough. It was a very hairy time.”

In Texas, one agent was arrested with his brothers and charged with killing and beheading a man on the orders of the Sinaloa drug cartel. He was acquitted of murder in January but convicted of working for the drug organization.

“When you have cases like that, what happens is it causes you to be a lot more cautious in what you’re doing,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing agents. “You don’t want to make the same mistakes and let the same people in.”

A bigger problem may be keeping up with people leaving.

In a 2016 survey of job satisfaction in federal agencies, Customs and Border Protection ranked 291 out of 305 agencies, even with a slight improvement in the scores. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the group that handles deportations, came in at 299.

“We’re putting a burden on the taxpayers that is exponential because of this continual hiring,” Judd said, adding that it costs about $100,000 to hire and train an agent.

“When we lose that agent, that’s just $100,000 down the drain that we’re going to have to spend again,” he said.

Jacksta said that the attrition rate has dropped in the last two years and that other trends are moving in the right direction. The average time to hire an agent was once 469 days, she said, leading many to just bail out and get new jobs.

She said that’s been cut to about 160 days. The agency has seen an increase in applicants and lower rates of people dropping out or flunking the tests, she said.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Police hunt suspected thief in ‘I’m Broke Baby’ T-shirt

Posted on August 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — Police in suburban Kansas City are on the hunt for a man accused of stealing a TV while wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "I'm Broke Baby" on it.

The Lee's Summit Police Department says on its Facebook page Monday that "yes, we realize his shirt is ironic!" A photo on the page shows the man wearing the black and white shirt, a matching ball cap and sunglasses. He's clutching a cellphone and what appears to be a shopping cart handle.

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The Lee's Summit Missouri Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect in the attached...

Posted by Lee's Summit Missouri Police Department on Monday, August 21, 2017

The post says he's suspected of stealing the large TV from a retailer. It doesn't say when the theft occurred.

The post has been shared more than 300 times and generated comments including: "Get a job, baby!" and "Shirt says it all."


Cops troll teens who tried (and failed) to mock them

Posted on August 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A local police department trolled a teenager who tweeted a video of his friend posing in front of what he thought was a police car.

Blake Albert tweeted a video of his friend, Alex, posing and blowing smoke from a vape in front of a city vehicle Friday. He tagged the police department, thinking it was a patrol car.

@LawrenceKS_PD pic.twitter.com/8G4evmKcRH

— Blake Albert (@BlakeAlbert228) August 19, 2017

But the police department was quick to point out that it was a water service vehicle.

“I'm sorry Blake, this is awkward, but that's not a police car,” the Lawrence Police Department tweeted. “You vaped in front of a water service vehicle. ¯\_(?)_/¯”

In an interview with NBC4i, Blake claims that he and Alex couldn’t find a police car so they went for the water service vehicle.

I'm sorry Blake, this is awkward, but that's not a police car. You vaped in front of a water service vehicle. ¯\_(?)_/¯ https://t.co/ecn6aVHstX

— Lawrence Police (@LawrenceKS_PD) August 19, 2017


NFL player remembers fallen Fla. cops during preseason game

Posted on August 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Md. — An NFL player honored officers who were killed in the line of duty on his cleats during a preseason game.

Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who is from Orlando, added two more names of fallen officers on his cleats for the Saturday game against the Washington Redskins, AL.com reported.

He had previously written “Sgt. Debra” and “Big Norm” on his cleats for Sgt. Debra Clayton and Deputy Norman Lewis, who were killed in January. But just before the game began, he posted a photo to Twitter saying he added the names of officers Matt Baxter and Sam Howard, who were fatally shot Friday night.

“Added 2 more angels to my cleats in respect to families who loss two HEROS in the community. #SAMHOWARD #MATTHEWBAXTER #RIP,” Clinton-Dix tweeted.

According to AL.com, Clinton-Dix is majoring in criminal justice at Alabama. He recently worked for Brown County (Wis.) Circuit Court Judge Don Zuidmulder as an intern.

Added 2 more angels to my cleats in respect to families who loss Two HEROS in the community. #SAMHOWARD #MATTHEWBAXTER #RIP ????‍+????????????? pic.twitter.com/JLT0ZxETWu

— Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (@haha_cd6) August 19, 2017


Texas deputy fired for grieving fallen officer loses fight to get job back

Posted on August 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — A judge upheld a sheriff’s decision to terminate a deputy for grieving a fallen officer.

Former Deputy John Loughran was allegedly fired in March because his grieving of a fallen deputy was preventing him from doing his job, KXAN reported. Loughran, a 24-year veteran, was supervising Deputy Jessica Hollis in 2014 when she was swept away by floodwaters and killed.

Loughran said he was asked to select pallbearers, give the eulogy at her funeral and helped put her in her casket. He said he struggled with her death.

“I was taking care of everybody, my troops and Jessica,” he said. “Whatever needed to be done, I was there to do it, and when I needed this agency, they were not there for me.”

For the two years he was coping with Hollis’ death, he was placed on administrative duty then administrative leave twice.

“Police officers see and hear and smell, experience things on a regular basis that people are not supposed to see or experience ever, and they do it with honor, they do it with pride,” he said, “But when they need help, they’re told to get back to work.”

Loughran said while he’s disappointed that the decision was upheld, he plans to appeal it.

“I believe this is a huge step back for the mental health of officers, as far as them being able to come forward and say hey I need help,” he said.

According to KXAN, the sheriff’s department declined to comment.


Daughter of fallen NM officer gets police escort on 1st day of school

Posted on August 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A brother in blue stepped up to escort a fallen officer’s daughter on her first day of school.

Officer Anthony Zagorski escorted Officer Jose Chavez’s daughter, 6-year-old Aryam, to school on August 14, KFOX 14 reported. Chavez was fatally shot a year ago by an Ohio fugitive during a traffic stop. The gunman pleaded guilty earlier this year and is facing life without parole.

Zagorski attended the police academy with Chavez. He said he escorted Aryam because he knew he would do the same.

“I have no doubt that she will fit right in,” Zagorski said. “She’ll be welcomed; she’ll become part of the community in no time and feel sale and welcomed here at Hillrise.”

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A year after Hatch Officer Jose Chavez was killed, another local police officer stepped up to take the late policeman's daughter to school.

Posted by KFOX-TV on Monday, August 14, 2017


Official: Secret Service funds drained due to Trump’s frequent travel, large family

Posted on August 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Because of Trump’s frequent travel and large family, the Secret Service says they can no longer afford to pay agents.

Secret Service Director Randolph Alles told USA Today that over 1,000 agents have hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances for the year. Trump has 42 people under protection, including the 18 members of his family. Officials said that number is up from 31 for the Obama administration.

"The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,'' Alles said. "I can't change that. I have no flexibility.&#