Law Enforcement

Cop, good Samaritans save girl with special needs from drowning

Police One - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 09:33

Author: Lauri Stevens

Niagara Gazette

OLCOTT, N.Y. — The quick actions of good Samaritans and a Niagara County Sheriff’s deputy saved a 4-year-old girl from drowning in Lake Ontario near Krull Park on Thursday morning.

According to Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour, the girl, who is non-verbal and has special needs, wandered from her Main Street home sometime before 8 a.m. Voutour said he didn’t know how the girl got the door open.

She ended up at Krull Park, where she slipped through a fence around Olcott Beach.

Nearby park-goers tried to coax the girl away from the water, but seemingly frightened, she instead went farther out. So they called 911, reporting the girl was in the water and appeared at risk of drowning.

By the time Deputy Jon Vosburgh arrived on the scene, the girl was about 60 yards out and struggling to swim.

With waves pushing the girl farther from shore, and her head repeatedly vanishing under the waves, Vosburgh dove into the cold waters.

Vosburgh managed to bring her back to the shore within minutes.

The girl coughed up large amounts of water, but was conscious and breathing.

EMTs at Olcott Volunteer Fire Company evaluated the girl, who was later taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital for further evaluation.

Deputies spoke with Olcott residents and were able to locate the girl’s Main Street residence within about 30 minutes. They found the front door ajar and the girl’s father, Joshua Wankasky, asleep.

Voutour said deputies found no evidence that drugs or alcohol kept Wankasky in his slumber. Still, deputies charged Wankasky with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

“He has an obligation to take care of his child,” said Voutour, adding that he trusted his deputies and their supervisors’ determination.

Deputies found no sign of the girl’s mother at the home. “No one’s ever mentioned mom all day. She wasn’t there,” Voutour said.

Voutour commended the 911 callers and Vosburgh, a Newfane native and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2011.

“Deputy Vosburgh did an outstanding job. He thought nothing of taking off his equipment, diving into a 55-degree lake and bringing this girl above the surface,” Voutour said. “Had he not done that, we would have been talking about a death for sure.”

After the rescue, Vosburgh dried off, put on a clean uniform and went back to patrol duty.

Later in the day, Vosburgh responded to a dispute involving two fishermen on opposite sides of Eighteen Mile Creek.

“I thought he was going to have to go into the water again. ... Fortunately, he was able to solve that from shore,” Voutour said.

Copyright 2018 Niagara Gazette


Categories: Law Enforcement

Traffic Fatality

Sheriff - Hillsboro County (Tampa, FL) - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 09:27
Bicyclist suffered fatal injuries.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Ariz. police team up with drug counselors to combat opioid crisis

Police One - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 09:22

By Caitlin Schmidt The Arizona Daily Star

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — As officials continue to grapple with the opioid crisis in Pima County, a new $1.4 million grant may further those efforts, pairing drug counselors with law enforcement for a more holistic approach.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of a collaboration between the county, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Tucson Police Department, Codac Health Recovery and Wellness, the University of Arizona Southwest Institute for Research on Women, Arizona Superior Court Pretrial Services and Cenpatico.

It will support Pima County’s new project, United Medication Assisted Treatment Targeted Engagement Response, or U-MATTER, and will run through Sept. 29, 2021. The Pima County Board of Supervisors is to vote on the grant at Tuesday’s meeting.

The U-MATTER project, which complements TPD’s recently implemented opioid-deflection program, will provide peer-supported case management for people who receive medication-assisted treatment, which involves the use of medications such as Vivitrol, methadone or Suboxone, which ease the symptoms of opioid dependence and withdrawal.

On July 1, TPD rolled out its deflection program in its midtown and west-side divisions. The three-pronged program gives opioid addicts the ability to be placed into treatment with no risk of jail. It involves self-referral by drug users and outreach by officers and caseworkers to connect with people who recently overdosed or fell out of drug treatment.

The U-MATTER project will take the deflection program several steps further, pairing Codac drug counselors, known as peer navigators, with TPD’s Mental Health Support Team, or MHST, to respond to overdoses and mental-health calls.

The grant will pay for two peer navigators to serve within the MHST unit and follow up with people post-overdose or post-deflection to make sure they’re keeping up with their treatment, said Terrance Cheung, Pima County’s director of justice reform initiatives.

“Just like smoking, you’re not ready to stop smoking until you say in your mind, ‘I’m ready to do this,’” Cheung said.

“It’s the same thing with this population. Simply because we’re deflecting them doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready for treatment. So you kind of have to repeat this over and over again, but it’s still an alternative to jail.”

Over the last three months, 66 people have opted into TPD’s deflection program to avoid arrest, two people self-referred for treatment and 14 people enrolled via social referrals, which means they either approached officers on the street or were contacted and offered treatment without the presence of criminal charges.

“It started out really busy and then it slowed down a little bit, then it started getting really busy again,” Dan Barden, Codac’s vice president of clinical services, told the Star.

“We’re probably averaging at least one a day right now.”

Barden said organizers of the program were hopeful that it would generate this level of success, but expected it to take longer to ramp up.

“It’s great to see the extent that TPD has bought into this and the officers are buying into this,” Barden said. “I want people to be aware of really how cutting-edge our Police Department is in getting this started.”

It’s unclear what’s led to the program’s early success, but Barden attributes increasing public education and awareness coupled with decreasing stigma surrounding the opioid crisis, with nearly everyone knowing a person who is or has been impacted by addiction.

“It’s not like people thought once upon a time, it’s not necessarily limited to a specific socioeconomic class, this is across society,” Barden said. “But I think anyone that reads the news can see the numbers, they know the stories. I think that’s had a huge influence on how people are viewing the opioid crisis now.”

The program has already impacted dozens of people by keeping them out of jail and getting them into treatment, but organizers of U-MATTER anticipate a much greater reach.

The county decided to partner with TPD for the U-MATTER program since half of the people booked into the Pima County jail come from TPD’s jurisdiction, Cheung said.

“Since they’re the largest agency that has a pathway of law enforcement engagements to jail, we thought that they would be a good first start for us, and because they have a really deep and robust mental-health support team program,” Cheung said, adding that TPD already deflects people in mental-health crisis, so the grant essentially expands that role into substance abuse.

Codac has already hired the U-MATTER peer navigators, who are getting ready to start training, Braden said.

The second and third years of the grant will fund two more navigators, which would allow the program to expand its coverage to nights and weekends, Cheung said.

The grant will also pay for research and evaluation of the project, calculating a return and success rate for people who enter into deflection or medication-assisted treatment. From there, U-MATTER officials will continue to evaluate and look at expanding populations of addicted adults, including the elderly and postpartum women.

Navigators will work closely with Pretrial Services, making sure that people under court supervision have ready access to case support and peer management to handle their addiction, Cheung said.

“We’re trying to be really deliberate and careful in how we’re expanding this program, because ... most of the people in jail either have a substance-use issue or a mental-health issue,” Cheung said. “We’re trying to figure out how to do this and manage the caseload while being able to track and evaluate the impacts of this.”

The grant will also provide money for training sheriff’s deputies and other local partners in skills like motivational interviews and other components to make the project successful.

For the time being, Cheung is acting as program manager, but the county will soon begin the process of hiring a full-time U-MATTER program manager.

U-MATTER goes hand-in-hand with the Pima County Safety and Justice Challenge, a multi-year grant designed to reduce the jail population. When the challenge started in 2015, the largest population in the Pima County jail was people being held on misdemeanors, which has since been drastically reduced.

Currently, nonviolent drug offenders make up the largest population in the jail, which has shifted the challenge’s strategies and goals.

“This is really an expansion of the work we’ve done as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge. SJC only funds so much, but we see that there’s a greater need, so we go after different grants and funding opportunities to really address this other population,” Cheung said.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Trump administration approves money for Wash. police

Police One - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 09:12

By Daniel Beekman The Seattle Times

The Trump administration, after threatening to withhold funds for Seattle in retaliation for the city’s immigration policies, has agreed to hand over the money, according to Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes.

Seattle and nearby jurisdictions have been approved for $657,975 in Justice Assistance Grant funds, the U.S. Department of Justice said in an Oct. 10 letter to the city.

Durkan and Holmes are declaring the news a victory for Seattle and its policies, including a 2003 law that in most cases prohibits police officers and other city employees from asking about a person’s immigration status.

Police officers can ask when required by court order and when they have reasonable suspicion to believe a person has been previously deported.

Since 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been warning about a crackdown on Seattle, King County and other local governments across the country that the Trump administration considers so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” because they have policies limiting their own participation in immigration enforcement.

“Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions blinked, Seattle won and public safety prevailed,” Durkan said in a statement over the weekend.

The Trump administration has argued cities and counties with sanctuary policies are protecting illegal immigrants.

Local leaders have said they have no obligation to carry out immigration enforcement, which is the federal government’s job, and aren’t doing anything wrong. They also have said police should mostly avoid involvement in order to build trust from immigrant communities.

President Trump slammed sanctuary cities during his 2016 campaign and issued an executive order shortly after taking office that such jurisdictions would be cut off from federal grants.

Seattle sued the Trump administration over the executive order, and a Seattle judge declined to dismiss the lawsuit. But Sessions issued additional warnings about the Justice Assistance Grant funds, attracting defiant statements from local leaders each time.

Federal court rulings in August sided with jurisdictions like Seattle, bolstering the city’s position, according to Durkan’s office.

Seattle will split the fiscal 2017 funds with King County and other jurisdictions in the region. The city’s allocation will be $252,157, and the Seattle Police Department will use the money to pay three crime-prevention coordinators, according to Durkan’s office.

The coordinators organize block-watch programs and attend community public-safety meetings.

Conditions enclosed with the Trump administration’s Oct. 10 letter to Seattle say local governments, in order to keep the money, must not restrict the exchange of information about a person’s immigration status.

But Holmes said the city appears to have prevailed.

“As we have said all along, there was never any legal basis to withhold this money,” he said in a statement.

“This latest decision hopefully reflects the Trump administration’s full acquiescence to the right of Seattle to be a welcoming city.”


Categories: Law Enforcement

Former officer in Tamir Rice case withdraws from part-time cop job

Police One - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 09:04

By Evan MacDonald Advance Ohio Media

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The former Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice has backed out of taking a part-time job with an Ohio police department that recently agreed to hire him.

Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, announced at a Wednesday news conference that Timothy Loehmann rescinded his application to the Bellaire Police Department.

Samaria Rice said she is relieved that Loehmann will not be patrolling Bellaire.

"Hopefully he will never be employed by any [police department] in America," she said during the news conference. "He is unfit to be a police officer, period."

Jeff Follmer, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association union that represents rank-and-file officers, also confirmed that Loehmann decided not to take the job. Follmer cited "political pressure" as the reason Loehmann decided to rescind his application.

The village of Bellaire hired Loehmann last week to serve as a part-time police officer. Bellaire is a small town of about 4,000 people that borders the Ohio River at the West Virginia border.

Bellaire's police chief, Richard "Dick" Flanagan defended his decision in a statement to the Wheeling, West Virginia newspaper The Intelligencer: "(Loehmann) was cleared of any and all wrongdoing. He was never charged. It's over and done with."

Attempts to reach Flanagan on Wednesday were not successful.

Rice said during Wednesday's news conference that she strongly disagreed with Flanagan's decision to offer Loehmann a job, calling it a "personal attack on [her] family."

"[Loehmann] doesn't deserve any second chances," she said.

Rice said she has not spoken to Flanagan. But her Chicago-based attorney, Billy Joe Mills, reached Flanagan on Wednesday to discuss the job offer to Loehmann, she said.

Activists, including from the Cleveland chapter of Black Lives Matter, contacted Bellaire officials and residents in the days after Loehmann's job offer was made public. Rice and BLM organizer Kareem Henton credited those efforts for getting Loehmann to back out of the part-time job.

"This wouldn't have happened if it were not for outside forces putting pressure on Chief Flanagan," Henton said.

Loehmann shot and killed Tamir Nov. 14, 2014 outside the Cudell Recreation Center on the city's West Side. Loehmann was a rookie officer, and a passenger in a car driving by veteran training officer Frank Garmback.

The two officers responded to a 911 call about someone pointing a gun at people outside the recreation center. The 911 caller told a dispatcher that the gun looked fake, but that information was never relayed to the officers.

Garmback drove his car within feet of the now-demolished gazebo, and Loehmann shot the 12-year-old boy almost immediately after he got out of the car. Tamir died early the next morning at a Cleveland hospital.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Loehmann in Tamir's death, but the city of Cleveland fired him in May 2017, not for the shooting, but for lying on his application when he applied for his job.

One of the more glaring omissions was that Loehmann did not disclose that he was dismissed from the Independence Police Department after they determined he was unfit to serve on its department. His personnel file from that job noted that Loehmann broke down and cried on the shooting range.

Henton, during Wednesday's news conference, criticized the Bellaire Police Department for trying to hire Loehmann despite his history in Cleveland and Independence.

"Once again, you had a municipality that was going to hire him despite the warning signs," Henton said.

Loehmann has appealed the termination from his Cleveland job ,and the arbitration is still pending, said Henry Hilow, the attorney representing Loehmann in the arbitration case.


Categories: Law Enforcement

First responders reflect on grief after NY limo crash

Police One - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 08:59

By Emily Masters Times Union

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. — Five days after converging on the nation's worst transportation disaster in nine years, the Central Bridge fire and ambulance squad got a call it was dreading all week: another car wreck.

"It was one of our fears: how it would turn out, how we would react, if it was going to trigger anything," Central Bridge Fire Department Chief Brian Baker said.

Thankfully, the Thursday crash and another that followed were both minor. No one was injured, and the crew "got back on the horse," he said.

"They're holding their own at the moment, feeling better day by day, but it will be a long time until things are normal," Baker said.

The emergency workers who rushed to the scene of the fatal limousine crash Oct. 6 are still grappling with what they saw that Saturday afternoon. The firefighters, police officers and EMTs described sleepless nights, persistent memories and, as Baker put it, "basic sorrow."

Twenty people -- including the driver, all 17 passengers and two bystanders -- were killed when a stretch limousine sped through an intersection and crashed head-on into an embankment along Route 30A.

Every firefighter and nearly all of the medical personnel who were sent to the scene are volunteers.

"They may do superhuman work but they are normal people," Schoharie County Sheriff Ron Stevens said. "The first responders did everything they could and that is probably what hurts the most. We do this to save lives."

The troopers who responded to the crash said through a State Police spokeswoman that their experience was still too fresh to discuss. Albany Medical Center Hospital, which had medical staff on standby Saturday and whose pathologist handled the autopsies, also declined to comment.

"We feel for the grieving parents, grieving children," Stevens said. "We know that our pain is recoverable but they cannot recover what they lost. I think that's why we're so guarded."

A city honors the victims of the limo crash in upstate New York over 4 days of funerals https://t.co/EosC6UJRmb pic.twitter.com/VtcjUt4rCQ

— CNN (@CNN) October 14, 2018

He said his deputies and medics were also not ready to talk about what they'd seen.

The Central Bridge firefighters and ambulance squad who were at the crash site that day -- about seven or eight people, the chief said, including himself -- have set up a group text chain to support one another.

"We can chat all day long," Baker said. "If something is bothering us, we can discuss it or make plans to meet up in person."

The group has also spent time together every day and attended two stress debriefings with Red Cross and county mental health professionals.

"There are images you can't forget... You can't erase your memory," Baker said. "Each time you can get together and discuss these things, especially with people who were there, it helps. You hear you're not the only one dealing with it. It takes the edge off when people listen."

On Tuesday, the Central Bridge fire and rescue squad visited the crash site together. Some prayed, others had a quiet moment. They all embraced and cried.

"We never knew them but we feel like we're close at heart now," Baker said, crying softly as he talked about the victims. "It's hard to explain."

Copyright 2018 Times Union

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A sincere and humble thank you to the community for coming by to show support and gratitude for our members. It truly means a lot to each of us.

Posted by Central Bridge Fire Department on Sunday, October 14, 2018


Categories: Law Enforcement

Detective Bureau

State - RI Police - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 08:30
MEDIA CONTACT: Major Dennis B. Fleming, Detective Commander (#401-764-5605) No arrests to report.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Propper Cold Weather Duty Fleece

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 08:27
Available in black and LAPD Navy and built from a premium fleece that withstands pilling and resists static cling, the Cold Weather Duty Fleece keeps you warm and professional looking in those transitional seasons when you don’t want something heavy.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Crossing Guard Struck By Car While Pushing Pedestrian to Safety

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 08:21
The crash happened at about 7:30 a.m. Friday at a crosswalk at Royal Avenue and Vaquero Drive, near Madera Elementary School.
Categories: Law Enforcement

How Rescue Teams Are Searching Florida Homes Following Hurricane Michael

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 08:19
Hurricane Michael left a stunning landscape of devastation in its wake. Entire neighborhoods look like they’ve been wiped off the map. On the ground, the scene is even more heartbreaking.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Deadly Crashes Forcing Changes in Florida County

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 08:13
Deadly crashes are forcing changes by Pinellas County leaders.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Hope Valley Barracks

State - RI Police - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 07:15
No arrests or incidents to report.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Hurricane Michael Relief

Sheriff - Hillsboro County (Tampa, FL) - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 07:01
We have all been affected by a hurricane or emergency event at one time or another and now it is our turn to help both officially and personally," said Sheriff Chronister.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Lincoln Woods Barracks

State - RI Police - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 07:00
At 1:32 PM, Troopers arrested Gregory Patton, age 30, of 82 Lincoln Avenue, Central Falls, RI for 1) Superior Court Full Bench Warrant for Violation of Suspended Sentence on the original charge of Manufacture/ Delivery/ Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule I and II originating out of the...
Categories: Law Enforcement

Wickford Barracks

State - RI Police - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 06:45
MEDIA CONTACT: Acting Captain Christopher Schram, District "B" Commander, (401) 444-1202 No arrests to report.
Categories: Law Enforcement

California Deputies Use Trail of Doritos to Lure Runaway Pig

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 06:10
A trail of Doritos potato chips helped lure a runaway pig “the size of a mini-horse” home in California, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department post on Instagram.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Oregon City Ordered to Pay Officer Fired Over Facebook Posts

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 06:04
An arbitrator denied the city of West Linn's appeal of his ruling ordering the city to pay lost wages to a police officer fired last year for racist posts on Facebook.
Categories: Law Enforcement

California Deputy Crashes Patrol Car Into House During High-Speed Pursuit

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 05:50
A Sonoma County deputy’s patrol car crashed into a Bodega Bay house during a high-speed pursuit Sunday, causing both the car and the house to burst into flames.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Ferguson Police Chief Quits to Care for Sick Mother

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 05:32
More than two years ago, Delrish Moss, a former Miami police officer, was named police chief in Ferguson, Mo., after the controversial police shooting death of Michael Brown.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Complete Contemporary Firearms Training

Officer.com - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 05:17
One of the most serious responsibilities law enforcement instructors carry is making sure they’ve adequately prepared their cadets to survive the streets before they graduate from the academy. After the months of academy training, those cadets go out...
Categories: Law Enforcement

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