Law Enforcement

Millions Collected For Fallen Officers But Who Gets The Money?

Law Officer - 1 hour 23 min ago

After five police officers were gunned down in Dallas on July 7, 2016, tens of thousands from around the world reached out to help the widows and children of the slain men.

Money flooded into City Hall. Officials struggled to organize and distribute it, so they turned to the Assist the Officer Foundation, a long established charity run by the Dallas Police Association, to handle the cash and checks.

But in the years since the killings, millions ended up at two other charities — the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and the Texas Fallen Officer Foundation — run by a charismatic but largely unknown police sergeant named Demetrick Pennie.

Most of that money never made it to fallen officers’ families, a Dallas Morning News investigation has found. Instead the bulk of it went to three telemarketing companies, one of which is owned by Pennie’s friend. Tens of thousands of dollars went straight into Pennie’s pocket.

Grunt Style is an apparel company that raised over $200,000 for Pennie’s organization in 2016 with the sell of a t-shirt dedicated to those Dallas area officers murdered.  At the time, Grunt Style promised that the funds would be given directly to families.

Officers’ families received just 22 percent of the total $3.2 million donated to Pennie’s two charities in 2016 and 2017, according to the groups’ most recent IRS filings.

Pennie’s expenditures run counter to best practices established by the Better Business Bureau that recommend charities spend no more than $35 of every $100 from donors on fundraising costs such as telemarketers.

Last year, for every $100 donated to Pennie’s Texas Fallen Officer Foundation, just $5 went to families, while $74 went to telemarketers, $15 to cash reserves and $6 to travel, meals and expenses for Pennie and his team.

The figures for the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation were slightly better. For every $100 donated last year, $10 went to fallen officers’ families, while $48 went to telemarketers, $25 to cash reserves and $17 to travel, salaries and other expenses.

The bureau says at least 65 percent of a nonprofit’s spending should go toward fulfilling its core mission. Last year, the Texas Fallen Officer Foundation and the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation allocated just 6 percent and 13 percent of their spending, respectively, toward helping families.

That’s far out of line with other big-city police charities that share the same mission, a News analysis of IRS filings shows.

Meanwhile, the charity work is benefiting Pennie.

Last year, Pennie was paid $43,300 from funds donated to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, IRS records show. That’s in addition to his $89,400 police salary. The foundation also paid $37,900 to its vice president, Sonia Godinez. The charity spent $12,600 on travel, although records do not state who traveled where.

Read More at Dallas News

The post Millions Collected For Fallen Officers But Who Gets The Money? appeared first on Law Officer.

Categories: Law Enforcement

State Police are looking for two people in the Neversink River

State - NY Police - 3 hours 52 min ago
State Police along with numerous area fire rescue squads responded to a report of two subjects in distress in the Neversink River.
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Lincoln Parish Sheriff's Office (LA)

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State Police “Troop L” announce the arrest of a Westbury man on numerous charges after leading Troopers on a pursuit.

State - NY Police - 13 hours 44 min ago
On Friday August 17th,2018 at approximately 6:15a.m., Troopers were led on a pursuit and after intentionally striking a State Police vehicle, then hitting a parked car and resisting arrest the subject was taken into custody.
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Scituate Barracks

State - RI Police - 16 hours 39 min ago
On August 17, 2018 at 11:11PM, Troopers arrested Monica Beaumont, age 40, of 31 Pettis Drive, Warwick, RI for 1.) Sixth District Court Bench Warrant for Fraudulent Checks out of the Warren Police Department, 2.) Second District Court Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear for Arraignment out of the...
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Minn. PD outfits officers with camera-mounted guns

Police One - 18 hours 39 min ago

Randy Furst Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

A west-suburban law enforcement agency is permanently outfitting its officers with lightweight cameras mounted on their handguns, marking them among the first in the state to adopt the homegrown technology amid calls for transparency in police shootings.

Gary Kroells, the police chief for the West Hennepin County Safety Department, which serves Independence and Maple Plain, said that each of his 10 officers will carry the weapon-mounted cameras at a cost of $7,200 — significantly less expensive than body cameras. The department tried out the cameras for the past year as part of a pilot project. A few months ago, the Farmington Police Department began carrying the devices.

The 3.2-ounce, 3-inch long camera sits in front of the trigger and activates video and audio as soon as an officer pulls the gun from the holster. The gun camera comes with a flashlight to illuminate targets in the dark.

“There’s very few incidents that happen at the end of a weapon,” Kroells said, adding that the cameras won’t just capture deadly force encounters, but also provide information as to how and why officers are using their guns. “We wanted to provide our officers the opportunity to have the video value of what happens at the end of that weapon, along with transparency for citizens.”

The cameras are sold by Viridian Weapon Technologies of Maple Plain. It is one of several companies in the United States now marketing gun-mounted cameras to law enforcement agencies. President and CEO Brian Hedeen said 250 departments across the country are testing or working on implementing the cameras, while 10 agencies, including in Arizona and South Carolina, have fully implemented them.

Hedeen said the company began researching the technology soon after the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which caused widespread unrest. Such cameras may have cleared up the controversies surrounding the highly publicized shootings of individuals by police in recent years, including in Minnesota. Last month, Minneapolis city officials released body camera footage in the fatal police shooting of Thurman Blevins the day before the officers were cleared of wrongdoing. St. Paul officials have also pledged to release body camera footage in the shooting of William “Billy” Hughes. Last year, there were no body cameras or dash cameras activated in the fatal shooting of Justine Damond by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was later charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

“It’s not going to capture traffic stops and things like that, but if officer-involved shootings are something that a department wants to capture, this is the best tool,” Hedeen said.

Kroells said body cameras were “not cost effective,” estimating that buying and operating them for his department would run about $40,000, most of it for collecting and storing the vast amounts of video on a cloud service. He said the department already has audio devices on officers’ uniforms and cameras on the department’s squad cars. The department has never had an officer-involved shooting, he said.

Hedeen said that’s the allure of his company’s technology. Once purchased, there’s no incremental cost.

“They’re very inexpensive to own,” he said. “It doesn’t change how a department has to operate; you don’t have to hire extra staff.”

Ben Feist, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, said that in critical incidents it’s important to have as many video records as possible, but that gun cameras should complement body cameras rather than replacing them.

“We’d miss a lot of the context that a body camera could provide; the gun camera won’t show what led up to the gun unholstering,” he said. “Lots of types of police conduct or misconduct won’t be captured if you don’t have the body camera.”

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum, a national law enforcement think tank, also said context is important in what footage is gathered.

“To me its important to know what choices the officer had before he drew the gun,” he said.

Matthew Plowman, Viridian’s general counsel, said while it’s not a scientific study, he had reviewed 100 to 150 cases of officer-involved shootings in 2016 and 2017. In more than half the cases, there was no incident to review before the gun being drawn. He said some of the communities that bought the company’s cameras also had body cameras for their officers. Hedeen said the devices have not yet captured an officer-involved shooting.

Herman Nixon, chief of the 14-member police department in Williams, Ariz., said last year that he got interested in the cameras after one of his lieutenants saw them at a firearms expo in Las Vegas.

Nixon said at the time that his department has not had an officer-involved shooting since 2003, but his officers usually have to draw their guns two or three times a month.


©2018 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Categories: Law Enforcement

Clarence man charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child

State - NY Police - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 19:06
On August 16, 2018, State Police Clarence members arrested Stephen G. Dewes for two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Categories: Law Enforcement

NTOA releases updated Tactical Response and Operations Standard (TROS) for LE

Police One - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 18:10

By PoliceOne Staff

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to serving the law enforcement community, has released the latest update to its Tactical Response and Operation Standard for Law Enforcement (TROS).

This document establishes a core set of concepts and principles that improve standardization within the profession of tactical law enforcement services.

First offered in 2008, the SWAT Standard was reviewed, expanded and updated in both 2011 and 2015 to represent the most contemporary best practices being used in the law enforcement community.

The most substantive changes to the latest revision include the addition of recommended equipment lists, better guidance on both TEMS and CNT capabilities, and a terminology change from Priorities of Life to Safety Priorities.

The latest version of the NTOA Tactical Response and Operations Standard can be downloaded from the NTOA's website at

For more information on the National Tactical Officers Association, visit

Categories: Law Enforcement

Flying Cross Launches Dual Closure External Armor Vest Cover

Police Magazine - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 17:28

Flying Cross, a leader in the design and manufacture of U.S. military and public safety uniform apparel, announced significant improvements to its Aeroshell Armor Cover, an external armor vest cover expertly designed with a zipper and Velcro dual adjustable side panel closure system. The patent-pending dual-closure system allows for a secure fit utilizing a Velcro and a zipper closure for ease of donning and doffing. The system enhances officer safety by eliminating the need of daily manipulation and adjusting, as well as accelerated wear with other single, expandable closure systems, both of which can lead to fit issues.

For more information, visit


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Genetec Clearance Now Enables Easy Upload of Video from Phones

Police Magazine - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 17:03

Genetec Inc., a leading technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced the new 'File Request' feature for its Genetec Clearance digital evidence management system. The feature is designed to make it easy for the general public and private businesses to contribute to crime-solving efforts by sharing relevant video and photos from their cell phones and surveillance systems with law enforcement agencies.

The new feature is simple to use: investigators create a file request link or QR code that can be shared with the public in a variety of ways such as via social media, on the web, or on the news. Contributors can then upload videos, photos, and other evidence directly into Clearance for police officers, investigators, and security managers to review and use as part of their investigation. Since Clearance can accept a wide variety of proprietary file types and file sizes, it is easy for private businesses to upload digital evidence from their surveillance systems even if they are very large files.

Once uploaded, all case information remains private and secure and user actions are tracked to maintain chain of custody. Genetec says the Clearance File Request feature also eliminates the need to create multiple copies using insecure means like DVDs or thumb-drives, and saves personnel time from having to drive out to gather evidence.

"As we turn to our phones to capture life's events, and as video surveillance increases, so does the amount of digital evidence created by personal devices and private systems. For investigators, getting access to this evidence can be tricky, especially since large video files are difficult to share. With the new File Request feature in Genetec Clearance, agencies can quickly put out requests for evidence, and maximize their efforts when collaborating during an investigation," said Erick Ceresato, Product Line Manager at Genetec.

The new feature is available immediately. For more information, visit


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Denver Police Dispatcher Reunites With Officer She Aided After Crash - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:30
Denver Police Dispatcher Erica Limon recently reunited with Lakewood Police Officer Mark O’Donnell, who she helped following a crash earlier this month.
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Gunshot Detection Solution Provider Honored for Technology Benefitting Law Enforcement and Public Safety
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Calif.'s top court rules for police in a pursuit accident case

Police One - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:17

By Maura Dolan Los Angeles Times

SAN FRANCISCO — A police department with a policy requiring 100 percent of officers to certify they read and understood the agency’s policy on vehicle pursuits is not liable for an accident even if all the officers failed to sign, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday.

The case was closely watched by law enforcement and safety advocates. Police chases in California regularly lead to injuries and deaths, with roughly a quarter ending in collisions, according to the California Highway Patrol. On average, there are 23 police chases a day in California.

In a decision written by Justice Ming W. Chin, the state high court interpreted California law to allow departments to escape liability if their written policies mandate 100 percent officer certification.

The “plain meaning” of a 2005 law on police pursuits is that a department must have a policy requiring 100 percent compliance to achieve immunity, “not that every peace officer must meet the requirement,” Chin wrote.

The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit against the city of Gardena by the mother of a passenger in a pickup truck that police were pursuing in 2015 for a cellphone robbery.

About a minute into the pursuit, a Gardena officer rammed the truck, causing the death of 19-year-old Mark Gamar.

Mildred O’Linn, a lawyer for Gardena, said Monday’s decision was “worth millions in governmental immunity to cities and counties.”

“There is nothing harmful about this decision to the community,” O’Linn said.

Abdalla J. Innabi, who represented Gamar’s mother, said the ruling ended the ability of victims of police pursuits to obtain compensation as long as a department has a pursuit policy in place.

The court “just made things a lot more dangerous for people on the roadways or near roadways where pursuits are because all departments will have policies in place,” Innabi said.

Gardena has a pursuit policy. A training log produced by the city showed that only 81 of the city’s 92 officers had certified they completed the annual training within a year of the incident, the court said.

Innabi argued that Gardena could be held liable for Gamar’s death because the law required 100 percent compliance.

Law enforcement associations throughout the state countered that requiring 100 percent of officers to certify in writing to the policy would be administratively impossible to achieve, particularly for large law enforcement agencies.

The court agreed with law enforcement, deciding 100 percent certification “would make it very difficult for a public entity like the city to achieve immunity, and almost impossible for a large entity employing thousands of peace officers.”

Such a requirement “would greatly reduce the incentive for public entities, especially large ones, to promulgate the policy and provide the training, something we doubt the Legislature intended,” Chin wrote.

The decision overturned a court of appeal ruling two years ago that allowed family members of a man killed during a police chase in Beaumont to sue.

The court of appeal said Beaumont, which had a pursuit policy, had not “promulgated” it because not all officers had certified that they had read and understood it. Following that decision, Beaumont settled the case with the victim’s family for $999,999.

A different court of appeal considering the Gardena case ruled 100 percent certification was unnecessary, creating a conflict that the state’s highest court resolved Monday.

The court said it was not required to decide whether there should be liability for a department “when a lack of compliance with the certification requirement or meaningful implementation of the pursuit policy” shows a department was not following the law.

Ladell Hulet Muhlestein, who argued the case for Gardena, said the court did not address what would happen if a department had a requirement but did little to enforce it and only one officer certified.

Gardena’s lawyers said the city conducted training on pursuits several times a year. The officer who caused the crash was a driving instructor and had certified to training in the year before the accident, they said.

Innabi insisted the ruling closed the door to future lawsuits.

Police departments “don’t have to train,” he said. “They just have to have a requirement that they train.”

During pursuits, a department “now can do anything it wants” as long as it has a policy in place, he said.

State lawmakers over the past two decades have struggled to find ways to protect local governments from huge jury awards or settlements in pursuit cases and at the same time heed calls for making chases safer.

For a while, state law gave all peace officers complete immunity from suits if their agencies had a pursuit policy. But as lives continued to be lost, clamor grew to end the legal protections for law enforcement.

In 2002, “Kristie” Marie Elena Priano, 15, an honor student from Chico, died after her family’s minivan was hit by a car fleeing police. The driver of the other car was 15, and her mother had reported to police that she had taken the car without permission.

In another pursuit case that year, a Santa Ana-based state court of appeal wrote that giving police immunity from suits for merely having a written pursuit policy was “cold comfort to victims.”

“We urge the Legislature to revisit this statute and seriously reconsider the balance between public entity immunity and public safety,” the three-judge panel wrote, throwing out a lawsuit by a victim of a pursuit.

The 2005 law was a response to such cases. It made revisions, which went into effect in 2007, that required all peace officers to certify that they read and understood the pursuit policy and mandated annual training for officers.

Pursuits across California dipped each year from 2005 to 2010, records show.

But chases across the state have risen during the past four years, jumping from 6,731 in 2014 to 8,955 last year, a surge of about 33 percent, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of data maintained by the California Highway Patrol.

The number of injuries sustained during those chases rose by 31 percent during the same time frame.


©2018 Los Angeles Times

Categories: Law Enforcement

Louisiana Sheriff's Deputy Saves Teacher's Life on First Day of School - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:31
The first day of school for Plantation Park Elementary School’s teacher Lindsay Burns was a day she says she’ll never forget after Bossier Parrish Sheriff's Deputy Chris Slopak came to her aid.
Categories: Law Enforcement

A Plague of Deadly Hesitation, De-Motivation, and De-Policing in America

Police Magazine - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:30

Embed from Getty Images

Earlier this week, it was reported that an officer with the Chicago (IL) Police Department — who spoke to a local television news station anonymously and with a concealed face and voice — said that he is "more concerned about what the media is going to think about me, what they're going to put on the news, or how I'm going to be portrayed as this evil person" than of being killed in the line of duty.

"There is some hesitancy on wanting to be aggressive and doing police work the way it needs to be," he said.

This officer's outlook on policing in America is not new — nor is it really news. His comments reflected a common concern among officers across the country. Police in a variety of places have talked about trepidation to act when action is the only reasonable response. They have spoken about fearing the aftermath of a deadly force encounter more than they do the incident itself.

This hesitancy has two serious ramifications. Officers are put in greater peril of injury or death. Innocent citizens are more likely to fall prey to the predators that prowl the streets.

Officer Safety

We've seen officers literally retreat from potentially dangerous subjects.

Remember when an officer with the New Richmond (OH) Police Department backpedaled away from a rapidly approaching subject — who was not complying with the officer's orders to take his hand from his pocket — ultimately tripping and falling to his back with his gun in his hand? That subject was known at the time to be suspected of killing his fiancée and his best friend.

We've seen officers recoil and fail to use force while under physical attack.

Remember when an officer with the Birmingham (AL) Police Department was disarmed and pistol-whipped by a convicted felon whose record included an attempted-murder charge, as well as convictions for robbery and assault? That officer later told CNN that he hesitated to use force because he didn't want to be accused of needlessly killing an unarmed man.

Under Graham v. Connor, both of those incidents would have justifiably necessitated the use of deadly force.

In both cases, the officers involved are lucky to be alive.

Unfortunately, those two officers are not alone in their reluctance to use force when force is necessary for their own safety.

Too many officers have been the victim of deadly hesitation.

Fear of a lawsuit does not mean you should be risking your life.

If you know your agency policy, have a solid understanding of Graham v. Connor and other major case law regarding the use of force and are up to date on your training, your day in court following a use-of-force incident will likely go your way.

Rising Crime

Citing the "Ferguson Effect," the anonymous Chicago officer told CBS News that police have retreated from the practice of proactive policing, causing a subsequent increase in crime in some areas.

In fact, in places like Chicago, Baltimore, and other places where use-of-force cases have caused violent protests and confrontations with police, the practice of proactive policing is in danger of becoming lost to history.

In some places police have essentially forfeited the streets, responding to calls only when someone has the temerity to call 911 and ask for help. Traffic stops have become a rarity, as have field interviews and Terry stops.

It is no surprise, then, that violent crime is rampant in some of those places.

In Chicago, the breezes coming in from Lake Michigan now carry more bullets than ever. Over the past weekend, at least 37 people were struck by gunfire in the Windy City, according to the Chicago Tribune.

What's remarkable about that statistic is that it is roughly half of the number of people shot the previous weekend, when at least 74 people were struck by gunfire.

On August fifth alone, at least 47 were hit by gunfire, 40 of them during a seven-hour period, according to the Trib.

In Chicago, 335 people have been killed this year.

In Baltimore, police officers "in nearly every part of the city appeared to turn a blind eye to everyday violations" with the number of potential violations they proactively pursued dropping by almost half, according to USA Today.

"From 2014 to 2017, dispatch records show the number of suspected narcotics offenses police reported themselves dropped 30 percent," USA Today reported. "The number of people they reported seeing with outstanding warrants dropped by half. The number of field interviews — instances in which the police approach someone for questioning — dropped 70 percent."

This year, 180 people have been killed in Charm City.

Nature hates a vacuum. When the police exit the arena, the bad guys enter it — that's just simple physics.

Redoubling Efforts

Prosecutors — elected officials who want to win re-election — are under increasing pressure to bring charges against officers who are doing their jobs within agency policy and established legal precedent.

This does a lot to de-motivate officers from going out and looking for trouble.

Unfortunately, in today's anti-police climate, there may be no way out of this downward spiral until crime gets so bad that city streets look like the studio set of a Mad Max movie. Perhaps when anarchy truly sets in, the people, the press, and the politicians who have handcuffed their police will change their tune.

However, when we have a sitting United States Senator — and a potential Democratic presidential candidate — stating that the American criminal justice system is "racist ... front to back," we've clearly got an uphill slog in changing the narrative.

I'm not saying we should stop trying — quite the opposite.

We need to be redoubling our efforts to re-establish proactive policing and aggressive crime fighting. The overwhelming majority of people out there are innocent of criminal activity — they are often the victims of it — and they deserve the best police service possible.

I concede that when you look up at the scoreboard — to use a sports analogy — it's a little difficult to visualize victory.

In the meantime, keep your head held high.

Do your best to do your job to the best of your ability.

If you're doing the right things at the right times and for the right reasons, you will — hopefully — come out on top, no matter what the situation.

Stay safe out there.


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Categories: Law Enforcement

Controversial California UOF Legislation Hits Sudden, Unexpected Snag

Police Magazine - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:21

Embed from Getty Images

In an email to its members, the California Peace Officers Association said that AB 931 — a controversial piece of legislation that would change California’s legal standard for judging police officers' use of force in the Golden State from "reasonable" to "necessary" — has been "halted in its tracks."

The bill — which was authored by Assembly member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and Assembly member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) — was referred by the Senate back to Senate Rules Committee on Thursday.

AB 931 would conflict with existing case law — specifically, that which is established in Graham v. Connor — regarding the standard by which police use-of-force cases would be evaluated in the courts.

Critics of the bill say that it could potentially create a litigious landslide against police involved in violent confrontations with subjects officers perceive to threaten death or great bodily harm to themselves or innocent civilians.

The California Police Chiefs Association said in a statement that this was an unusual move by the State Senate, saying that "the bill in its current form still needs work in order to gain enough support to pass the full Senate."

In the normal legislative process, the CPCA said, bills are introduced and then referred to a specific policy committee by the Rules Committee.

"After this initial referral, bills get heard by policy and fiscal committees. The move today, to send AB 931 from a fiscal committee back to Rules Committee, is uncommon and signals that the Legislature wants to continue discussing the issue but is unwilling to move the bill forward in its current form" CPCA said.

The California Police Officers Association — which has more than 16,000 members of all ranks from municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the state — said in its email to members, "We are going to continue to talk about this issue that’s so important to our communities with all interested stakeholders. Legislative efforts like AB 931 put Officers [sic] in harm’s way and is just bad legislation. Our industry continues to focus on less-lethal force options that include de-escalation and Crisis Intervention trainings."

CPOA said further that "while there is a chance that the bill could be sent to the Senate floor after negotiations on both sides, today’s action shows how polarizing this bill truly is."

The deadline for all bills to pass the California Legislature is August 31st and Governor Jerry Brown must take action on them by September 30th.


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