Law Enforcement

What Would Tightening Police Use Of Force Restrictions Mean?

Law Officer - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:32

Editor’s Note: The recent Legislation put forward by the California State Legislature is one of the most dangerous policy issues we have ever seen here at Law Officer.  To think that a State could ignore the established Case Law from the United States Supreme Court that has guided law enforcement operations for close to three decades is staggering.  I recently taught 250 Law Enforcement Officers from California and the fear in their mind of what will happen to law enforcement if this proceeds is heartbreaking.  Many understand that performing their duties in any significant way of safety will be impossible with the proposed legislation.  My fear is that this move, by a dysfunctional political group, will make it’s way across the country and if that occurs, there will not only be a mass exodus in the profession but the job will become even more dangerous than it already is.  This is not paranoia but rather my opinion based on 25 years of experience in the profession and if you think the criminal element has been emboldened with the last several years of anti-cop rhetoric, just place this type of legislation out there and see what happens.  I am thankful that the Force Science Research Institute is addressing this important issue and the below information comes from their 363rd Newsletter.

Travis Yates, Editor In Chief

The persistent urge by police critics to tighten restrictions on the use of force surfaced again this month after a controversial shooting in Sacramento, California.

A state legislator told a press conference that she will introduce a bill to change the legal standard for law enforcement in California from using “objectively reasonable force” to “necessary force.” That means officers would be legally allowed to use deadly force only if “there were no other reasonable alternatives to prevent serious injury or death,” according to a spokesperson for the ACLU, which is among the activist groups behind the measure.

Also the bill would “encourage prosecutors to consider whether officers could have de-escalated a situation with verbal warnings or used nonlethal force” before resorting to gunfire, according to reports of the conference.

At this writing, exact wording of the bill has not been publicly revealed, but we asked a select group of police attorneys with Force Science credentials to comment on implications of the proposal. One noted in responding that “there are efforts in several parts of the country” to alter the current standard, so the drive for change is not unique to California.

Here’s what our panel has to say:

Cost will be fatal hesitation, court confusion, monetary windfall for plaintiffs
Atty. Mildred O’Linn, Force Science Analyst, Manning & Kass law firm, Los Angeles

What is required in use-of-force situations by officers under current law is a stringent enough burden without imposing additional scrutiny via a subjective “necessary” standard.

Under the Supreme Court’s decision in Graham v. Connor in 1989, force used by law enforcement must be “objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances.” That means that officers must take into account everything they knew and believed to be true up to that moment when they made their force decision, and then they will be judged on whether their assessment was reasonable and their force appeared to be necessary.

Potentially relevant factors for consideration can be extensive, ranging from the perception of immediate threat to the relative size, strength, and age of the suspect compared to the officer.

If the legal standard goes from an objective “reasonable and appears to be necessary” standard to a subjective “necessary” standard—and the “appears to be” disappears—officers will be faced with impossible decisions with unbearable consequences. The evaluation of their choices and actions in those “split-second decisions” in life-threatening circumstances would then be based on the ultimate outcome of the incidents.

Judging an officer’s decisions in the bright light of day, when the smoke has cleared and the danger has passed and when you know the actual facts and circumstances, is clearly untenable. Officers cannot be expected to determine in the split-seconds available to them whether the weapon is real, the knife is sharp, the attacker is skilled, or even if the object in the hand is a gun or a phone when there is what reasonably appears to be an immediate threat to safety.

Requiring officers in dangerous circumstances to further evaluate and make sure their actions are necessary could mean death, for example, when an individual reaches for his waistband. Maybe the suspect is just pulling up his pants or grabbing his cell phone—or maybe he’s drawing a gun.

The cost of a “necessary” standard will be officer hesitation and deaths, a confusion in the legal standard for state and federal claims, and a monetary windfall to plaintiffs in civil litigation at great cost to taxpayers.

This proposal is politically and financially motivated in a time when criminal consequences have been minimized and offenders are empowered by the lack of meaningful consequences. The reality is that we already ask so much of officers and we need to be reasonable in our expectations.

“They want to prosecute more LEOs”
Atty. Lance LoRusso, Force Science Analyst, LoRusso Law Firm PC, Atlanta, GA

The goal of those who seek to change the standard is simple. They want to prosecute more LEOs who use deadly force.

Much of their criticism of police behavior is born of ignorance regarding not only the laws of the use of force, but also the mechanics of the use of force, the force options available to LEOs, the potential danger of a suspect, and the speed and reality of deadly force encounters.

These advocates look at the number of deadly force encounters with LEOs and argue they speak loudly of the clear need for additional training and changes to the legal standards by which LEOs are judged. In fact, the numbers speak loudly to the contrary. On average, LEOs arrest approximately 12-13 million people each year; they shoot and kill approximately 960. In truth, the use of deadly force by LEOs is rare.

Perhaps the knowledge gap and intervention of politics is precisely why the Supreme Court recognized in Graham v. Connor that the actions of a LEO must be judged from the perspective of a “reasonable officer” who is trained and aware of the realities of the use of force—by police and against them. The reasonable belief standard now prevails as the clear statutory standard in more than 40 states.

Changing from a “reasonable belief” standard to a “necessary” standard would be unworkable in the daily reality of law enforcement.

“The calculus of reasonableness [allows] for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving—about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation,” Graham states. If force that appears reasonable to the involved officer at the time and under the stress of the event is later found to be unnecessary, the LEO should not face a penalty for his or her actions, the Court ruled. A “20/20 hindsight analysis…in the peace of a judge’s chambers” is expressly forbidden.

A “necessary” standard invites and virtually ensures a hindsight analysis of LEOs’ actions. Any standard that invites the use of hindsight disregards the reality of policing.

Impossible, unworkable standard will cost police & civilian lives
Atty. Scott Wood, Force Science Analyst & Force Science faculty, Wood Puhl & Wood law firm, Tulsa, OK

If necessary means you have to wait to see a gun, and wait to see if it is pointed, and wait to see if the suspect fires, it will be an unconstitutional statute. If it requires you to exhaust all other less lethal options before using deadly force, it will be an impossible standard, and extremely costly to law enforcement in terms of lives lost.

If such a statute were passed, and I was an officer in California and did not quit my job, I would demand to be retrained in this new way of analyzing whether deadly force was “necessary.”

One of my favorite citations on the use of force is from, ironically, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Scott v. Henrich, (39 F3d 912, 914):

“Requiring officers to find and choose the least intrusive alternative would require them to exercise superhuman judgment. In the heat of battle with lives potentially in the balance, an officer would not be able to rely on training and common sense to decide what would best accomplish his mission.

“Instead, he would need to ascertain the least intrusive alternative (an inherently subjective determination) and choose that option and that option only.

“Imposing such a requirement would inevitably induce tentativeness by officers, and thus deter police from protecting the public and themselves. It would also entangle the courts in endless second-guessing of police decisions made under stress and subject to the exigencies of the moment.”

Exactly right.

If an impossible and unworkable standard is adopted, more calls will turn into “drive through” investigations. On the most dangerous calls, lives will be lost, police and civilian, while the numerous calculations of what is “necessary” are carried out.

The genius of Graham v. Connor, which bends and moves with the facts of every case, has guided use-of-force training for almost 30 years. Tinkering with such a cornerstone of law might have serious and far-reaching consequences we can’t even see now.

A “feel good” gateway into no man’s land
Atty. Emanuel Kapelsohn, Force Science Analyst & Advanced Force Science Specialist candidate, president of the Peregrine consulting corporation, Fogelsville, PA

The feel-good attempt to change the standard from “objective reasonableness” to “necessity” would discard well-established case law, and put the police officer, and the courts, into no man’s land.

A standard of necessity for the use of force does not require officers to exercise reasonable judgment, but instead requires them to foretell the future. Consider this hypothetical:

An enraged man, screaming obscenities and brandishing a machete, advances toward an officer from less than 20 feet away, ignoring commands to stop. At some point before the attacker is within contact distance, most courts would say it is “objectively reasonable” for the officer to fire in defense of his life.

But was it “necessary”? How do we know that if the officer had simply holstered his gun, knelt down, and pleaded for his life, the attacker wouldn’t have abandoned his attack? Or if the officer had used pepper spray or a Taser or empty-hand defensive tactics or had simply run away, it would not have proven effective? We cannot say any of these unlikely options would not work without trying them. And if any did work, then shooting the attacker was not necessary, was it?

If your response to this is that necessary, as a use-of-force standard, doesn’t actually mean “necessary”—it means what the officer reasonably believes is necessary—then we have returned to the “objectively reasonable” Graham v. Connor standard that already exists. But if “necessary” means what most people would understand it to mean—that the officer had to use the force he used, because no lesser force would have sufficed; in other words, that the officer used the minimumamount of force that would control the violent situation—then this is requiring the officer to foretell the future.

The fact is the untrained media commentator—or politician or member of the public—usually has little, if any, understanding of the factors that properly enter into an officer’s decision to use high levels of force. Changing the standard that guides that decision is merely a “feel good” measure that scraps 29 years of carefully established federal case law and imposes an impossible, superhuman task on officers.

Challenge to politicians: Experience reality exposure before supporting change
Atty. Laura Scarry, Force Science Analyst & Force Science faculty, DeAno & Scarry law firm, Chicago

It is clear the proposed legislation is purely emotional, a knee-jerk reaction to a recent controversial shooting as opposed to a well-thought-out and educated response to a complicated issue.

What I find most frustrating about the proposed bill is that the legislature spends so much emphasis placing the responsibility on police officers in deadly force situations. Sure, officers must be held accountable when they engage in criminal behavior but in my experience representing officers after shootings, I have yet to represent one who “wanted” to kill the suspect who confronted them with real or perceived threats. A common thread I see with all my clients is that they felt they had “no choice” but to react the way they did and often ask, “Why did he/she do what they did to force me to act?”

The power of that question resonates with me deeply. Officers KNOW that they work in a fish bowl, they KNOW that their every move can be found on video, whether it’s from their dash cams, body cams, civilian cell phones, or surveillance cameras. So why would an officer murder someone when they know their actions are going to be criticized afterward? Even those who were justified in using deadly force to subdue a suspect risk losing everything they worked hard for.

Officer behavior, as we well know, is primarily in response to suspect behavior. I often wonder what the outcome would be in these high-profile incidents had the suspects just complied with the officers’ lawful orders to stop, get on the ground, or show their hands.

By Illinois law, deadly force is justified when an officer “reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another person.” I am not really concerned about the use of the word “necessary” per se. What I am concerned about is whether the proposed bill in California eliminates an officer’s “reasonable belief” that such force was necessary.

Also I have concerns about the suggestion by the bill’s sponsors that officers must use other alternatives before resorting to the use of force, including “warnings, verbal persuasion, or other nonlethal methods of resolution or de-escalation.” This is completely unrealistic.

I challenge supporters of this bill to experience reality-based training simulators/videos to truly understand why police officers may make mistakes in the use of deadly force, before requiring the unattainable.

Law Officer is a proud partner with the Force Science Institute.  This article originally appeared in Newsletter 363. 

Visit to learn more about the research FSI conducts and the training they provide.

The post What Would Tightening Police Use Of Force Restrictions Mean? appeared first on Law Officer.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Rochester man arrested on numerous charges after striking marked State Police car

State - NY Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:29
On April 20, 2018, at approximately 3:23 a.m., the State Police attempted to stop a motorist that fled from the Rochester Police Department moments earlier.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Ill. plan: Replace armed school officers with therapists

Police One - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:21

By Sarah Zimmerman Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Some Illinois lawmakers want to give extra money to schools that replace armed security officers with unarmed social workers and behavior therapists, an approach to safety that's far different than a national push to add police or arm teachers following a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch, a Hillside Democrat, said he proposed the plan after hearing from advocates who argue that investing in mental health resources is the best way of treating the epidemic of violence.

His plan, which is backed by 16 other Democrats in the House, would allow schools to apply to an optional grant if they promise to reallocate funding for school-based law enforcement to mental health services, including social workers or other practices "designed to promote school safety and healthy environments."

But the measure could be a tough sell, especially amid a widespread effort to employ more of what's known as school resource officers — fully armed law enforcement officers often paid for by schools.

As of early April, 200 bills or resolutions have been introduced in 39 states regarding school safety, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than half of these measures were introduced following the shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida. Thirty-four bills in 19 states address regulations and training for school resource officers.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions proposed a school safety plan in March that included a measure prioritizing grants to states that agree to use the money to put more law enforcement in schools.

Michelle Mbekeani-Wiley, from the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, said this approach is wrongheaded and that police are unequipped to recognize or respond to mental health issues. She adds that many minority students within the Chicago Public School system are arrested by school resource officers for non-serious offenses, which could jeopardize their chances of applying to jobs and colleges in the future.

"This increased presence of law enforcement in schools does not necessarily enhance school safety," said Mbekeani-Wiley. "Instead it dramatically increases the likelihood that students will be unnecessarily swept into the criminal justice system often for mere adolescent or disruptive behavior."

However, advocates for school resource officers argue their role is essential to keep students safe, especially in the event of a school shooting.

After Parkland, Deputy Kip Heinle, former president of the Illinois School Resource Officers Association, said he was "fielding two to three phone calls a day" from school districts asking how they can add more patrolling officers. While there's no official count on how many school resource officers are employed in Illinois, he puts the estimate at around 500.

Heinle, who works as a school resource officer in an Illinois suburb of St. Louis, says he believes that the officers are "the best line of defense to keep students safe in school."

He adds that, beyond preserving law and order in schools, many officers act like mentors and informal counselors to many of their students, with the goal of "shaping them to be successful adults someday."

School resource officers are not required to be trained in Illinois, but they can pay to take part in an optional annual training session each summer in Bloomington. Around 85 to 100 officers from around the state typically attend, said Heinle. No Chicago Public School officers have ever attended, he added.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Modern Day Knights

Law Officer - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:08

This most recent addition to the Law Officer “Chaplain’s Corner” arsenal comes in the wake of recent critical incidents (not the least of which is the Florida school shooting) and the plethora of commentary from non-sworn pundits and other so-called “experts” who have never served in the heat of a deadly force conflict. That commentary, frankly, deserves a response from those of us who have made “running to the sound of gunfire” a way of life as an all-too-regular part of our servant-warrior ethos.

My response comes in the wake of more than three decades as a sworn officer and police trainer. In addition, my response is also strongly rooted in a biblical (God’s) worldview inasmuch as I’ve also served concurrently as a police chaplain for the last dozen years.  Let’s dig in!

Right off, we need to define some terms and put to bed the idea that police officers must be downgraded from the servant-warriors God has called us to be and into some kind of politically correct (and oxymoron if there ever was one) “guardian.”

Where does the term “warrior” come from? Scripture (ultimately undeniable evidence) of course! Here are just two brief examples:

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle ( Psalm 144:1)

The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name . (Exodus 15:3)

Part of the problem is that most today, especially those in academia and the media, have never served in a combat unit or taken on violent offenders as a sworn law enforcement officer. Fewer still will take the time to understand the concept of evil or embrace what it means to be what my friend — Lt. Col. Dave Grossman — describes as a “sheepdog” (see “On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs”), to wit, those of us who have answered the call to run to the sound of gunfire (chaos) and engage the wolves (the criminal element) that would otherwise feast with impunity on the sheep (the defenseless public) we’ve sworn to serve and protect.

Now some might suggest that being a “warrior” or even running to the sound of gunfire are somehow at odds with modern  Peelian principles of policing. Frankly (and the subject of a future article), I think that’s plain rubbish (a good British term).  However, anyone who follows my own teachings knows that I routinely add the biblical concept of being a “servant” to “warrior” (servant -warrior) and “leader” (servant-leader).

In a previous article, I asked what it meant to have and live a servant-warrior ethos in this “age of guardians” (smh). Let’s review:

Fellow writer Steve Willis rightly wrote, “The consummate warrior is defined by his indomitable spirit, fierce will, personal integrity, and a willing, vigorous dedication to whatever written or implied code(s) of conduct his government might place upon him in addition to his exceptional skill at arms.”  Is this not consistent with what we do as cops? I believe it most certainly is.

The rarity of true servant-warriors who will run to the sound of gunfire and take on evil is not new.  On this, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote, “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”  Amen to that!

And the servant part of being a warrior? The word servant in the Greek of the New Testament is diakonos. We get the word “deacon” from that. It has the same meaning as the word “minister” used by the apostle Paul in Romans 13:1-4 where he rightly calls for the police to be God’s “ministers for good and a terror against evil.” Here’s what Jesus Himself said on the subject of servanthood that has powerful application for us as civil servants: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your servant; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matthew 20:25-27)

Finally, we look again at the word ethos. The Oxford dictionary defines ethos as “the characteristic spirit of a community as revealed in its beliefs and aspirations.”

Put these three terms words together (servant-warrior ethos) and we come up with something like this: “The characteristic spirit of the community of those who are called to be servant-warriors as revealed in their beliefs and aspirations.” And to what should we aspire? Consider the following:

  1. To always place the mission first (with the “mission” being our summed up in our Law Enforcement Code of Ethics – a copy of which still hangs on my office wall).
  2. To never accept defeat and to never quit until the fight is done.
  3. To never leave a fallen comrade.
  4. To serve, protect and defend the public – including the “weak and the defenseless” (Psalm 82:3-4Isaiah 1:17).
  5. To TRAIN in accordance with our ethos (true warriors will train like warriors).
  6. To always seek to love, serve and protect others before self — even at the risk of our own lives. No, I’m not suggesting that we in any way toss sound officer safety in the gutter or make getting home at the end of our shifts any less important.  Rather, I am in fact saying that our oaths call us to step up higher. However, this does NOT – as our Supreme Court has rightly affirmed – include allowing ourselves to refrain from using deadly force until after deadly physical force is used against us!

So with all this in mind, here is the hard truth: the vast majority of us would have done everything in our power to have been able to stop the carnage at Douglas High School; Las Vegas concert venue; the Orlando nightclub; Virginia Tech; Sandy Hook; Sutherland Springs; Dallas; Lakewood; Los Angeles; the abortion clinic in Colorado Springs; the theater in Aurora; Platte Canyon and Columbine high schools (my home state of Colorado is no stranger to these kind of incidents); the 9/11 attacks; the Murrah Federal Building and far too many other places. Praise God, law enforcement intervention greatly reduced the body count at many of these events, and there have also been countless other potential massacres that have been prevented because we did in fact run to the sound of threat and “gunfire” (explosions, crashes, disturbances, suspicious circumstances, etc.) — often at the price of our health and yes, our lives.

Finally, let me state — for the record — that the real issue here is not guns (or planes, bombs, knives, etc.) but rather the unchecked allowance for evil, disobedience to God’s standards and lawlessness in general. As a nation we have turned our backs on God and there are righteous consequences for having done so.

Ultimately, and in these perilous time, it will be us, the servant-warrior peace officer, the sheepdog, who will stand on the thin blue line between good (order, peace) and evil (chaos, anarchy, lawlessness) and will answer the call (“here am I, send me“) to righteously run to the sound of gunfire to protect and rescue the defenseless and, if necessary, take out the wolf.  So help us God!


The post Modern Day Knights appeared first on Law Officer.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Md. SRO who fired at school shooter honored by governor

Police One - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:04

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A school resource officer who fired at a student gunman in Maryland is receiving more honors.

Blaine Gaskill, a deputy first class with the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, received a governor's citation on Thursday. The Washington Post reports that Gov. Larry Hogan called him a hero who did everything right. Gaskill also was honored by the Washington Nationals, who had him throw the first pitch at their home opener.

Seventeen-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins mortally wounded 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey before killing himself at Great Mills High School last month.

Officials say Gaskill responded immediately and fired a shot that hit the gun in the teen's hand just as Rollins shot himself in the head.

It was an honor today to recognize DFC Blaine Gaskill of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office with an official Governor's citation. I believe very strongly that his swift action in response to last month’s tragic shooting at Great Mills High School helped to save lives.

— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) April 19, 2018

Categories: Law Enforcement

Detective Bureau

State - RI Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:00
MEDIA CONTACT: Major Dennis B. Fleming, Detective Commander (#401-444-1005) On April 19, 2018, members of the Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Corey Cheshier, age 31, of 86 Cone Drive, West Warwick, Rhode Island, on the following: 1) Affidavit/Arrest Warrants obtained by the Cranston...
Categories: Law Enforcement

Details emerge in killings of 2 Fla. deputies

Police One - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 08:49

Associated Press

TRENTON, Fla. — Authorities say two Florida sheriff's deputies were shot dead through the window of a Chinese restaurant by a man who then killed himself.

The shooter was identified as a man from a small town just up the road from the restaurant, and his motive wasn't immediately known, but the sheriff blamed Thursday's killings on hatred toward law enforcement.

"What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it's been demonized? Every type of hate, every type of put-down you can think of," Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said at a news conference.

This shooter was a "coward," the sheriff said.

"The only thing these men were guilty of is wanting to protect you and me. They just wanted to get something to eat, and they just wanted to do their job," he said.

President Donald Trump called the slain deputies "HEROES" in a tweet sharing his condolences with their friends, families and colleagues.

Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, were killed while getting food at the Ace China restaurant in Trenton, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Gainesville.

The shooter, found dead in a car outside, was identified as John Hubert Highnote, 58, of Bell, a small town just up the road.

"It appears he just walked up and shot them, then went to his car and shot himself. It's inexplicable," State Attorney Bill Cervone said. "People will want to know why, and we may never have an answer for them."

Schultz said state law enforcement officials are investigating.

"Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best," Schultz said. "They were men of integrity, men of loyalty. They were God-fearing, and they loved what they did, and we are very proud of them."

Schultz said he rushed to the scene, and then had the difficult task of calling the families of Ramirez, who is survived by his wife and two young children, and Lindsey, who joined the sheriff's office in 2013.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Good Samaritans save woman's life on the Taconic State Parkway

State - NY Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 08:05
Yorktown, New York – On April 19, 2018, the New York State Police from the Hawthorne barracks investigated a personal injury motor vehicle crash on the Taconic State Parkway near exit 14 (Baldwin Road) in the town of Yorktown.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Massachusetts Police K-9 Goes Home the Day His Partner Was Buried - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 08:04
On the day Yarmouth Police Sgt. Gannon was laid to rest, his K-9 partner Nero returned home.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Panel Begins Independent Review of Baltimore Homicide Detective's Death - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:56
An independent review board put together by Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa began to revisit Detective Sean Suiter's death.
Categories: Law Enforcement

'Killer Grandma' Captured In Texas Following Nationwide Manhunt - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:51
Following a nationwide manhunt, 56-year-old Lois Riess was captured by authorities at a South Padre Island, Texas restaurant late Thursday night.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Scituate Barracks

State - RI Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:45
On April 19, 2018 at 1:35 PM, Troopers arrested Robert Anelundi, age 35, of 30 Cambridge Street Apartment #1, Providence, RI for an Affidavit and Arrest Warrant for a Sex Offender Registration Violation originating out of the Providence Police Department. The arrest was the result of a Barracks...
Categories: Law Enforcement

Troop T announces 'Operation Work Brake'

State - NY Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:36
The 'Operation Work Brake' initiative will remind drivers to be alert and slow down in construction zones.  This enforcement period will run from Monday, April 23 through Friday, April 27. 
Categories: Law Enforcement

Wickford Barracks

State - RI Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:15
**MEDIA CONTACT: Acting Captain Christopher J. Schram 1-401-444-1202** At 9:09PM, Troopers arrested Antonio Brito, age 33, of 18 Lubec Street, Providence, Rhode Island for 1.) Possession with Intent to Deliver (Crack Cocaine) and 2.) Driving in Possession of Controlled Substance. The arrest was...
Categories: Law Enforcement

7 tips for supporting a spouse through critical incident stress

Police One - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:30

By Michelle Moon P1 Contributor

Typically when a police officer is involved in a critical incident they are tied up for hours being interviewed after the event. They may have the opportunity to speak with a police chaplain and/or a member of a peer support team, but more often than not they receive a stack of papers that explain what they can expect to experience following the stressful event and are told to head home. What happens after that point is largely dependent upon the policies and culture of each individual department. There can be huge gaps and inadequacies in providing support and care for individuals and their families in the days, weeks, months and even years after such an event.

When the officer arrives home after a critical incident, they may be met with a partner who has little to no knowledge of how to help the officer cope with the stress they may be experiencing. If they are lucky, other officers and their spouses reach out to offer support. Peer support at work and at home is invaluable. Some officers and their families also wisely seek professional counseling. Aside from the support an agency, peers and professionals can provide, the support and resilience that can come from a police officer’s primary relationship can be especially impactful.

Here are some practical things a spouse or significant other can do in the wake of a critical incident.

1. Be prepared

If you receive word your officer has been involved in a critical incident, know that your feelings of stress and anxiety are normal and that your loved one will likely also be experiencing extreme emotions following the event. Expect them to be tied up with red tape before they can come home.

If possible, be home and awake when they arrive and try to minimize any stressors in the home. Have the kids in bed, or farm them out to a family member. Try to make sure the officer doesn’t walk into a giant mess. I know it sounds trivial, but critical incident stress can exacerbate normal stressors and even create new ones. The officer may not even realize this is happening.

After clearing it with the officer, you may also want to place calls to family and/or friends to notify them of the event, especially if there is likely to be media coverage. Offer yourself as the middleman to minimize the amount of questions and contact others make with the officer.

2. Expect things to be different

If you’ve read about critical incident stress, you will know what is within the realm of normal behavior after an event. If you are concerned that there is an abnormal or unhealthy response, seek professional help. When the officer is processing their normal response – which will feel anything but normal to them and you – they may need to have extra time and space for healthy coping mechanisms. Try to allow them the ability to do those things by:

Taking at least a week off work if possible; Taking on as much childcare and household responsibilities as possible for at least two weeks; Encourage them to take the time they need to work through the stress in positive ways. Hobbies, activities and exercise are good and necessary. Even though you may not feel like it, go on dates and family outings. Spend time outdoors and encourage them to do the same.

This may feel like it is adding a lot to your plate, but try to remember it is in your best interest too, in order to have a healthy partner.

3. Let them talk

If they aren’t talking to you, make sure they have someone they can and are talking to. If they want to talk to you, LET THEM! I never understand when I hear a spouse say they don't want to or can’t hear about something their officer experienced at work. If they want to share it with you, LISTEN. I know it can be traumatizing to hear, but it is your obligation as their partner. You need to be willing to share their burdens.

4. Turn off social media and avoid the news

This age of keyboard warriors has added a challenging dimension to critical incidents. Everyone has an opinion and thinks they are a professional photographer or videographer, and the media tends to be slanted against law enforcement. Have someone you trust who is further removed monitor media and report back anything important. For example, if an officer’s name or any other identifying information is released, or a pertinent video is released.

5. Maintain a low-stress environment at home

If you need meals, ask for help or get takeout. Keep things clutter-free and minimize unnecessary distractions and unnecessary company in the home. (Having other officers or support people in the home is an exception and can be very helpful.)

Many officers can experience normal life in a very exaggerated or amplified manner after a critical incident. Normal everyday stressors can be unbearable and even things that went unnoticed before can become overwhelming. This is normal and temporary. If this continues without improvement for longer than a month, or if you feel like it is becoming unhealthy, seek outside assistance.

6. Take care of yourself

Experiencing your own secondary stress following a critical incident is common. Trying to provide support while you yourself are experiencing anxiety can be taxing. Know your limits. If you have the opportunity to talk to other spouses who have been through this, do it, it is invaluable. If you don't, or it’s not enough, seek outside counseling. Many departments have programs that allow spouses to receive professional counseling.

It’s normal to be fearful of the officer going back to work after a critical incident, but try to fight the urge to ask them not to. Of course if there is some flexibility as to when they can return, you should discuss it and try to come to a mutual agreement. Explaining that you feel like you need them home longer to ease your own anxiety may be helpful, as many officers feel the need to return to work as quickly as possible.

7. Recognize this is a season

The severity of critical incident stress decreases over time. How much time exactly varies by person and circumstances, but generally speaking, there should be marked improvement during the first four weeks following the incident. Realize that these are often life-changing events and work toward finding normal again, even if it is a new normal. Realize that investigations, media interest, and any lawsuits or legal matters all have end dates. It won't last forever.

Keep in mind that the mental clarity and emotions of both the officer and their spouse tend to take a hit during this season. It is best to avoid making any life-altering decisions or changes in the time immediately following critical incident stress. Waiting one to six months would be a good place to start.

Taking some practical steps following a critical incident can give law enforcement officers and their loved ones a sense of control over what can seem like a chaotic situation. As a broader family, we must work toward furthering peer support, both inside agencies and within the greater law enforcement family community.

About the Author Michelle Moon is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom who is married to her high school sweetheart who is a police officer.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Lincoln Woods Barracks

State - RI Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:15
Media Contact: Captain Derek W. Borek Division "A" Commander State Police Headquarters 401-444-1014 No arrests or incidents to report.
Categories: Law Enforcement

P1 Photo of the Week: Taking the pledge

Police One - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:00

Author: PoliceOne Members

This week's photo comes from Jesica Lopez-Huskey of the University of Kentucky Police Department. This photo shows Officer Michael Culver holding Riley the puppy at the University of Kentucky. The department participated in the It’s On Us pledge, which encourages members of the university community to be part of the solution in ending sexual assault and creating a supportive environment for survivors. Members of the department signed their names (and pretended like the puppy signed it too).

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 T-shirt!

Categories: Law Enforcement

Two Florida Sheriff's Deputies Slain in Ambush During Meal Break - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:43
Gilchrist County Sheriff's Deputy Taylor Lindsey and Sgt. Noel Ramirez were killed while eating at a Chinese restaurant Thursday afternoon when a gunman shot them through a window.
Categories: Law Enforcement

MS-13 Threatens New York Police - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:30
Nassau and Hempstead Village police officers are on high alert and stepping up enforcement after MS-13 twice threatened cops, pledging in one case to “take the streets back” in retaliation for arrests of gang members.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Awareness by Texas Deputy Leads to Arrest of Las Vegas Murder Suspect - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:25
A Oldham County Sheriff’s deputy soon discover that he had found Anthony Wrobel, a 42-year-old disgruntled table games dealer wanted in Las Vegas for the point-blank shooting of two hotel-casino executives at their company picnic.
Categories: Law Enforcement


Subscribe to Volunteer Mobile Emergency Response Unit -- aggregator - Law Enforcement