Law Enforcement

Ala. bill proposes to arm teachers after Fla. school shooting

Police One - 7 hours 46 min ago

By Mallory Moench Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama lawmaker on Tuesday proposed legislation that would allow the state's teachers to carry guns in school following a deadly school shooting in Florida last week.

Rep. Will Ainsworth, a Republican from Guntersville, said parents, coaches and teachers in his district requested the safety measure after 17 people were fatally shot last week at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Ainsworth's proposal would allow teachers to carry concealed pistols in school if they undergo 40 hours of law enforcement training with the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission and submit to a mental health evaluation. Carrying a weapon would be voluntary.

Ainsworth, who is running for Alabama lieutenant governor, also proposed more state funding for school resource officers, who are police assigned as school security guards. But he pointed out that the officer at the Florida school that was targeted last week didn't have time to reach the suspect whose attack lasted mere minutes.

"If a gunman gets into a school, what do we do? Our students do not need to be sitting ducks. Our teachers do not need to be defending themselves with a no. 2 pencil," Ainsworth said at a news conference Tuesday morning at Guntersville Elementary School, where his three children attended. He was joined by law enforcement and school officials.

Ainsworth told The Associated Press that the two coaches who died protecting students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida could have had a chance of taking down the shooter if they had been armed and trained.

Another Alabama representative, Democrat Christopher England from Tuscaloosa, told AP the bill was a terrible remedy, not a solution.

"We need to craft legislation that ensures people who don't need to access guns don't have them while not infringing upon people's Second Amendment rights," England said. "People are quick to say that they (shooters) were suffering from mental illness or anguish, but you never see any proposal to help with this problem. Our solution is to give a gun and say you're on your own."

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, a former school teacher, said there could be more effective ways to address school shooting threats.

"In my personal opinion, teachers have got their hands full being teachers and instructors. I think there's some other way to provide protection," Ivey said Tuesday.

The nation's two largest teachers' organizations, The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, have opposed arming teachers in school. Anne Leader, a former educator and a volunteer with the Alabama chapter of advocacy organization Moms Demand Action, spoke out against the bill.

"We know that when more guns are around, the likelihood of unintentional shooting goes up," Leader told Yahoo Lifestyle . "Low-grade incidents could escalate to a shooting. Things could get ugly. The psychological toll that it would take on teachers by putting this responsibility on them would be too much."

Teachers in one north Alabama county can already arm themselves while at school after a bill twice vetoed by the governor was made into law in 2013. Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said the law was necessary because rural county schools couldn't afford security guards and the emergency response time could be up to 30 minutes.

Thirty-three lawmakers in the 105-member House of Representatives signed on as co-sponsors on Ainsworth's bill.

Categories: Law Enforcement

The Secretive Company Behind Missouri's Lethal Injections

Forensic Magazine - 7 hours 57 min ago
NewsThe state of Missouri did everything it could to keep secret where it got the drugs it used to put 17 inmates to death. Now, BuzzFeed News has discovered the supplier is a pharmacy repeatedly found to engage in hazardous practices that could put patients—and convicts—at risk.Contributed Author: Chris McDaniel, Buzzfeed NewsTopics: Death Penalty
Categories: Law Enforcement

Houston Police Department (TX)

Law Enforcement LODD - 8 hours 10 min ago
K9 Rony died after suffering a serious injury following a vehicle and foot pursuit of a subject who had been driving a stolen car at approximately 1:00 am. The driver led...

Man Charged With Killing Wife Who Disappeared at Sea

Forensic Magazine - 8 hours 28 min ago
NewsA man who claimed his wife disappeared at sea when their boat collided with an unknown object near the Bahamas was charged Tuesday with killing her and intentionally trying to sink the vessel to cover his tracks.Contributed Author: Curt Anderson, Associated Press
Categories: Law Enforcement

Officer cleared in fatal OIS of teen in moving van, video released

Police One - 8 hours 30 min ago

By Joe Robertson And Ian Cummings The Kansas City Star

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Overland Park police officer who fired into a moving van and killed suicidal teenager John Albers reasonably feared his life was in danger, Johnson County Prosecutor Steve Howe said in a press conference Tuesday.

But the prosecutor’s decision did not quiet public reaction as debate persisted questioning if the officer was in enough danger to warrant firing into the moving van.

In chilling dashcam video released with the announcement, the officer was standing in the driveway of Albers’ family home Jan. 20 in the early evening when the garage door opened to let out a Honda minivan backing down the driveway.

“Stop!” the officer is heard shouting. He calls 17-year-old John by name. The van keeps backing out and the officer jumps aside and fires two shots from the side.

The van backs toward the street and then whips back around, still in reverse, in the direction of the officer, who fires 11 more shots from the side. The van slips into neutral and drifts to a stop in a yard across the street.

“These are tragic situations,” Howe said. “No officer I know wants to take a person’s life.”

Howe’s review of an investigation by a team of law enforcement officials from neighboring departments determined that the officer was reasonably in fear for his life.

“Under Kansas law, this was a proper use of force,” he said.

At the end of the video, 14 seconds after Albers backed out of the garage, the officer is heard in a distraught voice saying, “I thought he was going to run me over.”

The officer was placed on administrative leave during the investigation and has since resigned for personal reasons.

Albers’ family was shown the videos and informed of the prosecutor’s decision prior to Tuesday’s press conference, Howe said. A phone message from The Star left with the family had not been returned as of Tuesday evening.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Albers’ mother, Sheila Albers, had anticipated in an interview with the Blue Valley Northwest High School newspaper, the BVNW News, that the investigation of the shooting and the release of the videos might stress the community.

But she urged people not to react with any violence.

“It is OK to be upset, but I want everyone to be peaceful,” said Sheila Albers, the principal of Blue Valley’s Harmony Middle School. “Any sort of violent response will not honor John. It will not honor my family.”

Many people seeing the videos wondered why police could not continue running from the vehicle’s path.

“It seems like if the officers just would run out of harm’s way, they would be less likely to be hurt by this vehicle,” Julian Araiza wrote on the Star’s Facebook page. “How was shooting at him the only option?”

“He could have moved out of the way,” Kelly McMillen Nagorka wrote, “just like the other officer.”

Others noted that after the initial gun shots, the van spun back again toward the officer, who then fired again.

“Watch the video of the kid really trying hard to run over a cop and then spin around and try it again,” Trey Kendall wrote. “Looks justified to me.”

The officer had jumped to the side of the van before he shot, but Howe said that a vehicle can still be a danger with only a quick turn of a steering wheel.

“None of us can be in the mind of the officer at that time,” Howe said. “He felt he was in danger and he took reasonable action.”

The investigators could not determine if the fatal shot occurred during the first two shots, or in the 11 fired after the van spun around, Howe said.

Howe and Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez discussed the findings of the Johnson County Officer-Involved Shooting Team’s investigation into the shooting at a press conference Tuesday morning.

Donchez expressed sympathy for the Albers family and the Blue Valley Northwest High School community for their “tragic loss.”

“It’s devastating,” he said. “You can hear it in the officer’s voice. It’s devastating for the family and it’s just as devastating for the officer.”

The Overland Park police department will review what happened and will review its lethal force policy, Donchez said.

“We want to make sure we are doing things properly,” he said.

Overland Park police had been called to the house in the 9300 block of West 149th Terrace because the Blue Valley Northwest High School student was reported to be suicidal.

The person who called 911 early that evening had witnessed the teen’s distress in a FaceTime phone call and called the police for help, according to radio traffic.

“He took pills, and (was) drinking heavily,” the dispatcher said. “He (the 911 caller) saw this on FaceTime. He (Albers) also told (the 911 caller) that he was going to stab himself and he’s done with life.”

Albers had been alone in his basement and his parents were not home.

Police were aware that Albers was in mental health distress and two of the officers who responded to the scene Jan. 20 were specially trained CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officers, Donchez said.

But none had any opportunity to make any contact with Albers before he drove the van out of the driveway, he said.

As a police tactic, shooting into a moving vehicle has long been restricted by some police departments, with many determining it is a bad practice except in certain circumstances.

Officers’ best route to safety usually is to move out of the way, many law enforcement agencies have found. A moving car remains a danger if the driver is shot.

The Overland Park Police Department’s policy on shooting at moving vehicles is not as strict as those recommended nationally. It says officers will not shoot at a moving vehicle “except in self-defense or defense of another and when the suspect is using deadly force.”

Other agencies require the deadly force to come from something other than the vehicle.

©2018 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Categories: Law Enforcement

President Trump Issues Medal Of Valor To 12 First Responders

Law Officer - 8 hours 36 min ago

President Donald Trump awarded 12 American heroes, including six for their actions during the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, in 2015, with a Medal of Valor Tuesday, the highest award possible for public safety officers.

“The 12 patriots we honor come from many places and serve in many different roles, but they all share one thing in common: when faced with danger, they each put the lives of others before their own,” Trump said during his remarks. “Some very brave people that I’m standing with today.”


1. Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

“Shot at him a handgun. I continued to shoot at him and he was hit several more times and he died there,” Deputy Wallen told NBC Los Angeles in 2016.

Wallen didn’t notice he had been hit by shrapnel until 12 hours after the gunfight.

2. Corporal Rafael Ixco, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

Ixco, along with several others who responded to the San Bernardino attack, was previously awarded with a Governor’s Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor in California.

3. Detective Bruce Southworth, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

“As I was driving up to Deputy Wallen’s vehicle, some of us exchanged fire with the female in the back of the SUV,” Deputy Southworth said of the shootout.

4. District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office

“To look around and see all of the officers around you, we’re OK, was an incredible feeling,” Johnson, who was a detective at the time, said.

5. Officer Nicholas Koahou, Redlands Police Department

Officer Koahou suffered a gunshot wound to the leg during the shootout but continued to fire on the suspects after sustaining his injury.

“I wasn’t the only one out there,” Koahou said in August. “I had a team of warriors around me.”

6. Detective Brian Olvera, San Bernardino Police Department

“All Officer Olvera’s fired rounds came in the rescue attempt of Deputy Wallen,” a report from the incident states, noting that a group of officers hatched an escape plan to get Wallen out of the line of fire.

7. Chief Douglas Schroeder, Hesston Police Department

Chief Schroeder received the Medal of Valor for stopping an active shooter at Excel Industries in 2016. Schroeder entered the plant alone and shot and killed the gunman, who had already killed three employees and was going after others.

8. Emergency Medical Technician Sean Ochsenbein, Putnam County Rescue Squad

Ochsenbein, a medical student at Tennessee State University, was driving home from a ski trip when he came upon a fiery car accident. He pulled one of the victims from the burning vehicle to safety.

“We had less than a minute if this was going to work out,” he said. “How we were not burned, I don’t know. I will let that question stay with the Lord.”

9. Lieutenant William Buchanan, Avery County Sheriff’s Office

Lt. Buchanan was also on scene during the car accident and worked with Ochsenbein to pull the man out of the burning vehicle.

“Just humbled to get it,” Buchanan said of receiving the Medal of Valor. “I don’t think I actually deserve it. I think the credit should be going to the good Lord, not me. He’s the one who put Sean and I together that night to save that life.”

10. Firefighter/Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier Jr., Redondo Beach Fire Department

Poirier Jr. saved three people after a group of four were swept off of the Redondo Beach, California, shore while fishing in 2016. One victim had already died after hitting his head, but Piorer Jr. managed to stay afloat with the other three people clinging to him until backup arrived.

11. Officer Andrew Hopfensperger Jr., Antigo Police Department

Officer Hopfensberger Jr. stopped a gunman at Antigo High School in Wisconsin after the shooter shot and wounded two people. Both of the victims, who were attending the school’s junior prom, survived.

12. Engineer Stephen Gunn, Peoria Fire-Medical Department

Gunn was one of the first firefighters to arrive at a burning house in Peoria, Arizona, in 2016. He managed to rescue a man from inside the house.

“We were confronted by multiple bystanders and police officers saying that they could see someone inside the house lying on the floor, that they could not get to him,” said Gunn. “This whole experience has just been very humbling for me. If it was anyone of them that got off that truck first and were approached by those police officers, they would’ve done the same exact thing.”

Special Thanks to The Daily Caller for their reporting of this important event.

The post President Trump Issues Medal Of Valor To 12 First Responders appeared first on Law Officer.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested

A Crime Stoppers tip led HCSO deputies to identify Warren Maxwell as the suspect.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Body Camera Video: Officer Dives Into Freezing Water to Save Man - 9 hours 11 min ago
Police have released bodycam footage of the moment an officer bravely leapt into freezing water to save a man in distress.
Categories: Law Enforcement

2 Williamson men get arrested after traffic stop.

State - NY Police - 9 hours 12 min ago
On February 20, 2018, Troopers arrested Samuel E. Winslow, 19, of Williamson, New York for unlawful possession of marijuana and Jordan T. Hayes, 19, of Williamson, New York for driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by alcohol, failure to signal and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Categories: Law Enforcement

K-9 Helps Agents in South Florida Detect Animal Trafficking - 9 hours 15 min ago
Wildlife trafficking is a billion-dollar business that's threatening animals across the globe.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Missing Runaway Juvenile

He left his residence and has not returned.
Categories: Law Enforcement

4 Keys to Building Influence

Law Officer - 9 hours 25 min ago

Leadership is derived from influence…

Leadership is not born out of a title, a position, financial well-being, or seniority. While those factors may force someone to listen and do as you say in a particular moment, without influence they will never go above, do anything extra, or show true selflessness for those around them. In short, leadership from position only breeds mediocrity, short-sightedness, and selfishness.

When I say influence, I am referring to influence that inspires others to work hard because it is the right thing to do, put “we” before “I,” and to think of themselves as being a part of something greater. As in most professions, but especially in law enforcement, if you lead a team or squad with true influence, then they will do amazing things when it comes to saving the world one call at a time.

There are 4 keys to building true influence with your officers – contact, communication, connection, and contribution.

CONTACT: Contact is time, nothing more. While time may seem like the simplest of things you can offer, remember that it must be focused and consistent. Here are 4 opportunities to build contact into your everyday routine as a law enforcement leader…

Be purposeful in your briefings by finding ways to make them worthwhile for your officers.
Get out of the office and go handle some calls with your officers.
Find time to meet informally with each of your officers just to chat, see how things are, grab a coffee or beverage of choice.
Schedule department required trainings together with your whole squad or at least as many as possible.

COMMUNICATION: Two people can sit in a room for hours, but without communication during that time it means nothing. This is where building influence starts to require foresight, vision, and patience on your part. Communication by definition is a two-way street; an exchange. It requires that you not only have the ability to speak with meaning, but just as important you must be able to listen. Sometimes the most difficult part of communicating effectively is being quiet and listening to what your officers are telling you through both their words and actions. Here are 4 opportunities to increase your level of communication with your officers . . .

  • Consistently repeat, reword, and incorporate your squad expectations into everything you do. The more they hear the message, the more they will believe in it.
  • Be specific when praising your officers for a job well done. Don’t just say, “great job” and walk away. Say something along the lines of, “The way you were handling that interview with our victim was awesome, you really showed some empathy which got them talking. Thank you!” Not only have you praised them, but now they know exactly what you liked about what they did. Remember, what you reward will be repeated.
  • Before leaving from a call, make it a habit to go up to the case officer on scene and ask if there is anything you can do for them to help. This quick moment of communication shows that you are not above getting your hands dirty and shows that police work is a team effort. Of course, if they ask something you better be willing to do it.
  • Create a feedback form and give it to your officers to complete anonymously. Be specific about the traits you want them to evaluate you on and provide space for open-ended comments. This must be done in an environment of trust where the officers know that any advice they give will not be taken personally, but as constructive criticism. If you cannot handle open, honest feedback from your officers, then you need to reevaluate your leadership style and the environment you have created.

CONNECTION: Consistent contact and effective communication lead to the development of a connection. Connection is a bond developed in which there is mutual respect, honesty, and confidence in one another regardless of rank or position. Both sides of a connection trust that the other person has their back, will hold them accountable, and wants what is best for them as a team. Here are 4 opportunities to increase connection with your officers…

  • Build mentoring relationships with your officers. Have meetings with them regularly to discuss their career goals and give them ideas regarding things they can do in their current position to reach their career goals.
  • Know your officer’s strengths and put them in positions of leadership to make the most of them. If you are weak in a particular area of policing (tactics, investigations, traffic, etc.), empower an officer with those skills and defer to their expertise. If a call comes up that would give them some valuable experience in their area of interest, call them over to handle it.
  • Admit when you are wrong or could have done something better. When in briefing going over the latest hot traffic, do not let position or ego stand in the way of you admitting that there could have been a better way to handle it. Policing has many moments that force a leader into making quick decisions with limited information. Thus, we are bound to make mistakes. Treat mistakes, both yours and your officer’s, as learning opportunities so long as they are not injurious or a violation of rights.
  • After receiving feedback from your officers, show them that you have read them and are willing to improve in the areas they identified as your weaknesses. Inevitably, they are going to see things about you that you do not; recognize it and learn from it.

CONTRIBUTION: Contribution is when your officers show that they have bought into your influence through their wording, actions, and attitude. They are willing to not only follow your leadership, but they are also spreading your leadership themselves. Contribution is your confirmation that true influence has been established and if nurtured properly will be self-sustaining. Here are 4 examples of contributions you might see from your officers that reinforce your true influence in a positive way. . .

  • When discussing how to handle a call, they are exemplifying similar values and beliefs in policing that you have been instilling in them through your contact and communication.
  • When your officers are on a call with officers from an overlapping squad, they are confident enough in their knowledge, skills, and your leadership support to step up and take the lead on the call when others are hesitant or indecisive.
  • You will see your officers making the effort and taking the road that has more work because it is the right thing to do; not because it is the easiest.
  • When new officers arrive on your squad, your officers will immediately help them to feel like a part of the team, get them involved, make them feel comfortable, and teach them the culture of the squad.

The road to building true influence is not an easy one and it cannot be circumvented; the same 4 steps will always apply – contact, communication, connection, and contribution. If you want your team to excel and your officers to reach, not just their career goals, but their true potential as law enforcement professionals, then it is incumbent of you to build true influence with them and deliver the right message. This will then build the right concepts of leadership into the department’s next generation of leaders.

The post 4 Keys to Building Influence appeared first on Law Officer.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Stolen Pickup Truck Leads Los Angeles Police on Wild Pursuit - 9 hours 26 min ago
A wild pursuit goes on the train tracks then underground before it ended underground at the Mariachi Plaza Gold Line light rail station in East LA.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Clyde woman gets arrested for aggravated DWI.

State - NY Police - 9 hours 30 min ago
On February 20, 2018, Troopers out of SP Wolcott arrested Jessica M. Mouton, 23, of Clyde, New York for driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, moving from lane unsafely and operating a motor vehicle while using a portable electronic device.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Ala. officer killed, suspect found dead after standoff

Police One - 9 hours 41 min ago

Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. — An hourslong standoff in Alabama ended with both the suspect and a police officer dead.

Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste told news outlets early Wednesday that Officer Justin Billa was shot Tuesday night and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.

Earlier Tuesday evening, officers responding to a report of a person hit had found Fonda Poellnitz dead. Police identified her ex-husband, Robert Hollie, as a person of interest and set up a perimeter around his Toulminville home. Battiste said officers called upon him to come out, but Hollie instead opened fire, striking Billa.

At least one officer fired shots at the scene.

Mobile, AL Police Officer Justin Billa was shot & killed last night as he went into harm's way to search for a murder suspect. In his short two years of service, Officer Billa's dedication to the community he served knew no limits. Our thoughts are with his wife & 1-year-old son.

— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) February 21, 2018

Around five hours after Poellnitz's body was found, the standoff ended, with Hollie dead. Battiste said police did not yet know if Hollie died from self-inflicted injuries or from the shots previously fired by police.

Police have not disclosed Poellnitz's probable cause of death. Her daughter, Octavia Poellnitz, had identified Hollie as the likely suspect to WKRG-TV before Battiste spoke to news outlets.

"He didn't love my momma," she said.

Battiste said police plan to provide an update around midday Wednesday. He didn't offer much information on Billa, saying he still needed to visit the University of South Alabama Medical and speak with Billa's wife.

This fire station sits where Crawford Ln meets MLK Ave. The home where Officer Justin Billa was shot and killed is two houses from this station. We just watched as they raised their flag, then lowered it to half mast. A truly gut wrenching moment. #MobileStrong #MPD

— Hayley Minogue (@WKRGHayley) February 21, 2018

Billa joined the force in January 2016, according to the Mobile Police Department's website. He was named the department's officer of the month that June, winning a commendation for investigating complaints of robberies committed by a man whom he later arrested. The announcement of his award cited Billa's attention to detail and commitment, per his commanding officer.

In July 2017, Billa was interviewed by WALA-TV for a segment on the police force's relationship with community members. He spoke about his intentions as a police officer and goals for the force as a whole.

"We need to go back to helping people instead of just taking them to jail and creating bigger problems," he said. "That's my ideal of good policing and I feel like that's what the chief is working toward."

As WALA-TV reporter Rudy Harper introduced the officer, he noted that Billa was "just six months into the job, a job he wants to do for the rest of his life."

Categories: Law Enforcement

Auburn man gets arrested for unlawful possession.

State - NY Police - 9 hours 43 min ago
On February 20, 2018, Troopers out of SP Waterloo arrested Jake A. Patterson, 23, of Auburn, New York for unlawful possession of marijuana and a seat belt violation.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Whitestone man gets arrested for unlawful possession.

State - NY Police - 9 hours 47 min ago
On February 20, 2018, Troopers out of SP Auburn arrested John J. Turano, 19, of Whitestone, New York for unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Mobile Police Department (AL)

Law Enforcement LODD - 9 hours 55 min ago
Police Officer Justin Billa was shot and killed while assisting in the apprehension of a man who had just murdered his ex-wife. Investigators at the scene of the original murder identified...

State Police arrest four for Driving While Impaired

State - NY Police - 10 hours 3 min ago
State Police Troop F removed four impaired motorists from the road.
Categories: Law Enforcement


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