Law Enforcement

How police can prevent the next Parkland

Police One - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:55

Author: Richard Fairburn

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has now joined the list of schools forever linked to school attack massacres. Sadly, this school shooting in Florida was COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE!

The police response to such events must be better, both left and right of “bang” when the first shot is fired. In the book “Left of Bang” by Jason A. Riley and Patrick Van Horne, we learn how the U.S. Marines have trained to better prepare their pre-attack awareness.

Left of Bang: We already know exactly how to stop these attacks.

Media pundits and politicians have been on TV non-stop since the Parkland shooting, crying that we need to figure out how to stop such events. Hell, we already know how to stop them. The evidence for my argument comes from the hundreds (maybe thousands) of student-planned attacks that have been prevented by local law enforcement agencies.

Nearly every school attack has been preceded by many warning signs.

PoliceOne.com contributor Dan Marcou’s list of 5 phases leading up to these attacks defines the process these shooters follow left of bang. One notable exception to this was the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack. The killer at Sandy Hook was possibly the most disturbed individual we’ve seen so far where his pre-event planning wasn’t discovered until the follow-up investigation.

The recent event in Parkland was completely preventable. So many people knew this teenager posed a threat that two different tips were called in to the FBI.

The list of examples where the FBI has failed to connect the dots in both school and terrorist active shooter threats is long. I am not an FBI detractor, I have friends there and no organization is better at large-scale, complex investigations. But few FBI agents come from a local police background. They aren’t cops, don’t think like street cops and are not conditioned to do things in a hurry. Slow, thorough and deliberate describes FBI investigations. I believe that had those two tips been called into a local police or sheriff’s agency, the massacre in Parkland would have been prevented.

Rather than figuring out how to stop such events, we simply need to collect and analyze the hundreds of events U.S. police agencies have already prevented. That analysis will identify the investigative and intervention techniques common to the many success stories. It will give us a checklist of preventative actions and possibly identify specific changes that will (can) enhance the steps police can take. It will also identify any additional authority police agencies can be granted via legislation to further their effectiveness in preventing school shootings.

Some of the stopped events allow criminal charges, putting the planners in custody. Others are interrupted so early that agencies must utilize "emergency detention" authority, where the mental health system often finds the perpetrators not to be a significant threat and they are released. This aspect of the mental health system may be a huge beneficiary of our prevented-incident analysis, by getting laws passed which give the police more authority. After all, we see these incipient killers at their worst, when they cannot maintain their "mask" of normalcy. By the time mental health professionals get them, they have calmed down enough to again seem normal.

Right of Bang: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”

After the Sandy Hook shooting, the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”

Various media and liberal politicians predictably condemned and ridiculed the statement. Police officers know the statement was exactly on target, if you’ll pardon the pun.

While most communities have School Resource Officers (SRO) in their schools, the positions are not adequately staffed, although their presence has helped prevent many incidents.

A couple of incidents have been minimized by SROs, right of Bang, but there are simply too few SROs for them to be reliable fight stoppers.

In the 20-officer agency I lead (city population just under 15,000), we have one SRO for the entire school district, who moves between all the schools throughout the day. With a uniquely marked patrol car, the students know when the SRO is in their school. Neither my budget, nor that of the school district, can afford more SROs.

After the Newtown shooting, I posted an article on PoliceOne.com suggesting a way to quickly put more good guys with guns in our schools. This plan could provide hundreds of thousands of volunteer “Minutemen” as armed protectors near every unsecured entrance at every school. I include armed and trained school personnel in my plan to bolster the defense even further.

We already know how to stop most of these massacres before they occur (left of Bang). My proposal provides a quick and inexpensive plan to provide many, many good guys with guns to serve as sheepdogs for the ones we can’t prevent (right of Bang).

This is my two cents on how to reply to the public’s righteous demand for law enforcement to “Do something!” Add your thoughts to the discussion below.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Video: Loaded Handgun Found Inside Georgia Jail

Police Magazine - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:48

VIDEO: Loaded Handgun Found Inside Georgia Jail

Authorities are investigating after a loaded gun was found at the Bibb County Jail in Georgia.

Last Wednesday afternoon, a husband of a female inmate contacted the jail staff after his wife told him there could possibly be a gun inside the female section of the jail. Corrections deputies later found a small .22 caliber handgun, which was loaded with one bullet.

According to the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, a female inmate reportedly hid the weapon inside her "body cavity" as she was processed into the jail, reports WAGA-TV. Then, the weapon was found inside the personal belongings assigned to another inmate. Authorities are seeking warrants on both inmates.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Suspect Bites LAPD Officers Multiple Times

Police Magazine - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:35

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers were bitten several times Monday night by a 30-year-old man who had triggered a cash register alarm at an AT&T store in Tarzana, CA, police said.

Officers from the West Valley Division responded to an alarm at the store around 7:15 p.m., said LAPD Officer Tony Im. It's unclear what the man was doing in the store, Im said.

While interviewing the man, the officers got into a physical altercation with the suspect, Im said. Both officers suffered multiple bites from the man during the struggle. The officers then used a TASER to subdue him, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

Both officers went to Providence Tarzana Medical Center for treatment of their bite wounds, according to Im.

"At the very least I would expect he would face assault with a deadly weapon — his mouth — on the officers," Im said.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Carrie Underwood Donates $10,000 to Oklahoma Officer Injured in Crash

Police Magazine - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:27

Country singer Carrie Underwood donated $10,000 to the GoFundMe page for an Oklahoma police officer who was injured last week in a rollover crash that left him with a broken neck, reports Fox News.

Underwood made the donation under her married name, Carrie Fisher, on the GoFundMe campaign Saturday for Checotah Assistant Police Chief Justin Durrett. The officer was heading to work on Feb. 11 when his truck slid off the road and crashed.

Durrett was ejected from his vehicle. He suffered a broken neck, bruised spine, and multiple gashes on his head, according to the GoFundMe page. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit and can't feel anything from his chest down.

Underwood is a childhood friend of Durrett's, and they attended church together, KOMO News reported.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Baltimore Forces Officers to Stay by Threatening to Sue

Police Magazine - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:17

In a city with a record-breaking murder rate, and respect for police at an all-time low, many people are wondering why more Baltimore Police officers don’t quit. For many of them, the reason is simple - the department won’t let them quit.

Baltimore PD is one of the few departments that actively sues officers who resign, forcing officers to stay.

In order to resign without being sued, officers need to work for years after completing field training.

Current Baltimore officers told Blue Lives Matter that the requirement used to be that officers stay for two years or be sued for $12,000. But after a large number of officers fled the department, the department changed the requirement to five years or be sued for $27,000 - well over half of the officers' starting annual salary of $48,971.00.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

California Cop Killing Suspect to Face Death Penalty Trial

Police Magazine - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:17

Prosecutors announced Friday they will seek the death penalty against an admitted gang member accused of killing his cousin in East Los Angeles and then opening fire on two Whittier, CA, police officers, killing one and wounding the other.

Michael Christopher Mejia, 27, is charged with the Feb. 20, 2017, killings of Officer Keith Boyer, 53, and of his own cousin, 47-year-old Roy Torres.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties, murder for the purpose of avoiding arrest and multiple murders.

Mejia is being held without bail and was ordered to return to a Norwalk courtroom on April 6 for a pretrial hearing, NBC Los Angeles reports.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Trump Honors 9 Law Enforcement Officers with Medals of Valor

Police Magazine - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:17

Embed from Getty Images

President Trump on Tuesday presented the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to 12 "great heroes" who risked "their lives to protect America's citizens and communities."

The award is the highest national honor a public safety officer — local police, fire department, sheriff's officers and rescue personnel — can receive, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Officers who went "above and beyond the call of duty" in various emergency situations to protect human life received the honors from the president, including those who jumped into action during a terror attack more than two years ago, Fox News reports.

The officers honored included six law enforcement officers who responded to the San Bernardino, CA, terror attack that killed 14 people in December 2015 San Bernadino, California.

* Cpl. Rafael Ixco, San Bernadino Sheriff's Department

* Det. Bruce Southworth, San Bernadino Sheriff's Department

* Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernadino Sheriff's Department

* Det. Brian Olvera, San Bernadino Police Department

* District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, San Bernadino County District Attorney's Office

* Officer Nicholas Koahou, Redlands Police Department

Here's a list of the other law enforcement officers who were honored.

Lt. William Buchanan, Avery County (NC) Sheriff's Office for rescuing a man from a burning vehicle.

Chief Douglas Schroeder, Hesston (KS) Police Department, for responding alone to an active shooter at a business. Schroeder shot and killed the gunman.

Patrolman Andrew Hopfensperger, Jr., Antigo (WI) Police Department, for response to an active shooter at a high school dance. The gunman shot and wounded two students outside the building, and was shot and killed by Hopfensperger.

Three firefighters were also honored.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Broward County Sheriff, Some Florida Chiefs Push for AR-15 Ban

Police Magazine - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:17

For Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, the anguish of Florida’s worst school shooting remains raw. Families are still burying some of the 17 students and faculty members killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, victims of a deeply troubled ex-student armed with an AR-15 rifle.

For Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates, the scars are six years old but still deep. He headed the police department in Aurora, Colorado, when a mentally ill killer armed with an AR-15 rifle killed a dozen and injured 70 others in a movie theater.

These two South Florida law enforcement leaders want more gun control:

First, they want AR-15 rifles out of the hands of civilians. Second, they argue that lenient state and national gun laws and mental health privacy laws are hampering the mission of police to keep the public safe from gun violence, prohibiting officers from confiscating weapons — often even from people who have produced a trail of warnings like accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.

They’re not alone among top state law enforcement officers calling for lawmakers to tighten gun control. Florida Police Chiefs Association Kevin Lystad, Chief of the Miami Shores Police Department, told the Miami Herald his organization plans to offer gun legislation to state lawmakers in the coming weeks.

“Congress messed up when they didn’t renew the assault weapons ban [in 2004]. I think that was problematic,” Lystad said. “We need to deal with assault weapons, background checks. It’s about finding common ground.”

One immediate change that Oates and Israel want to see: Ban the legal sale of the AR-15s used in both massacres. “In only one condition should you have an assault rifle, if you’ve joined the Marines and you’re going to fight,” Israel said.

 

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Categories: Law Enforcement

Ohio sheriff: Stop school fire drills, add armed personnel

Police One - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:00
Author: Richard Fairburn

By Eric Schwartzberg Dayton Daily News, Ohio

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio — Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said Monday he will take steps to bolster local school safety by training those who work there.

Jones posted to social media that his office will offer free conceal-and-carry class to a limited number of teachers in Butler County. He also said training regarding on how to react during school shootings would be provided.

He said the details would be coming soon online and suggested that people could visit the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for more information for CCW for teachers.

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The time to act is NOW!

Posted by Butler County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jones on Saturday said he has “been saying this for years” as he tweeted a Fox News story that Polk County, Fla. Sheriff Grady Judd said it would be a “game changer” to allow some hand-picked teachers to carry firearms in the classroom.

Jones, in a video posted Thursday, urged local schools to act now to improve school security in the wake of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school on Wednesday.

He said local schools should stop doing fire drills and allow armed former police and military veterans into buildings to help protect students.

©2018 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Ex-NYPD cop sues over larger disability pension for job-related obesity, heart issues

Police One - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:52

Author: Richard Fairburn

By Stephen Rex Brown New York Daily News

NEW YORK CITY — He wants a bigger slice of the pension pie.

An obese ex-NYPD cop sued the city Tuesday, seeking a more generous disability pension for heart disease he attributes to his stressful time on the force.

Jose Vega, 46, seeks an “accidental disability” pension, instead of the “ordinary” disability he gets now, which pays around $4,000 monthly, he said. The more lucrative pension would earn him about $2,000 extra, tax-free.

Vega began suffering “cardiac symptoms” while on the job in late 2007, he said. He had hypertension, sleep apnea and “morbid obesity,” the suit says.

In an interview with the Daily News, Vega said he topped out at 395 ponds around the time he retired in June 2014.

“My body retained like 100 pounds of fluid in one year — from 2013 to 2014,” Vega explained.

“I was never a fat guy. I used to work out. But as a result of this heart condition and hypertension, I became medically — or however you want to say — physically affected.”

Vega, who started on the force in 1997, said his cardiac issues were the result of “job-related stress.”

He gave several examples of conflicts with his superiors which resulted in him being placed on modified duty and twice suspended. In 2011, he said he was disciplined for shoving a suspect as he brought her into the 42nd Precinct stationhouse.

“They were trying to force me out because of my heart condition, disciplinary situations,” he said.

Yet Vega's case does not revolve around his admittedly spotty record, his attorney Warren Roth says.

The law says a New York City firefighter or police officer with a heart condition suffered the infliction through their jobs — unless evidence proves otherwise, Roth said.

The Pension Fund first denied Vega full disability in 2013. In December 2016 Justice Barbara Jaffe ordered the fund to reconsider its decision. The fund again denied Vega full disability, prompting his new suit.

“They knew Vega is not medically able to do his duties and they didn't apply the correct standard,” Roth said, adding that studies have shown cops are vulnerable to obesity due to poor diets and long hours in police cruisers.

Vega seeks an order that the fund reconsider his case or that the judge require he receive accidental disability.

“We'll review Mr. Vega's complaint,” a Law Department spokesman said.

The city's Police Pension Fund said it could not respond by deadline to a request regarding the amount of Vega's pension.

©2018 New York Daily News


Categories: Law Enforcement

Sales of ballistic backpacks spike after school massacre

Police One - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:46

Author: Richard Fairburn

By Laurel J. Sweet Boston Herald

LOWELL, Mass. — Global orders for bullet-resistant school supplies have been coming in “fast and furious” to a Lowell manufacturer since the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. — the latest in a seemingly endless cycle of rampage assaults on campuses across the country.

“We are definitely seeing an increase in sales — to parents, grandparents, some school systems, teachers. Greater than usual in Florida, but yes, all over the country and world. The orders have been fast and furious,” said Joe Curran, founder of Bullet Blocker. “The last time we had an upswing like this one was after Sandy Hook and the truck attack in France. Any violent occurrence gets people thinking in survival mode.”

Curran, a father of two and a former Essex County deputy sheriff and firearms instructor, started his company for his now-adult children 11 years ago after 32 people were slaughtered at Virginia Tech by a student.

Through largely online sales, Bullet Blocker will custom-design requests for school-safety gear, but has ready to ship backpacks, notebooks, three-ring binder inserts and nylon and denim jackets stealthly fitted with anti-ballistic panels roughly the weight of a 20-ounce bottle of soda that can be held up to shield against most small-arms gunfire.

“It was definitely something that I had to do for my own kids. That’s what it came down to,” said Curran. “I wanted them to have at least something that would aid their own safety so they would not have to worry and wait for someone else to come and help them.”

Curran said the insert panels’ main component is Kevlar. They are certified to provide Level IIIA protection against most handgun and shotgun rounds.

“These will not block against a rifle,” he stressed. “That’s a whole other level of ballistic protection.”

Curran said the most unusual order he’s received since starting Bullet Blocker came from the Bible Belt for a gunfire-resistant lectern that a preacher could duck behind.

“To me, that was probably one of the most eye-opening things,” Curran said. “It’s a sad commentary.”

©2018 the Boston Herald


Categories: Law Enforcement

Police: Girl, 17, pretended to be victim after planning her friend's robbery

Police One - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:42

Author: Richard Fairburn

By Tom Steele The Dallas Morning News

SPRING, Texas — A 17-year-old Texas girl was arrested last week after authorities say she planned for a friend to be robbed and then pretended to be a victim during his carjacking.

Deputies were called around 11:30 p.m. Friday after 20-year-old Preston Barry reported that he and friend Susan Mize, 17, had been robbed at gunpoint in Montgomery County.

Barry told deputies that Mize had told him he could make $150 by driving some of her friends to Houston. The two then drove to a park and picked up a 16-year-old boy.

As they waited, a 15-year-old boy in a mask walked up to the driver's side of the car with a handgun, Barry told authorities. He told Barry to get into the backseat, where the 16-year-old pulled out a knife and tied him up with Mize's shoelaces.

The pair beat Barry while taking money from his wallet and threatening him with the gun and knife, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

The teens then drove Barry's car to a nearby H-E-B, where the 16-year-old got out of the car and made Barry, who had been untied, withdraw cash from an ATM.

Barry said that he was tied up again and that his attackers next dropped Mize off at her home — where authorities say she failed to call 911 to report what had happened. Barry offered to give the teens more money at his house if they drove him there, but instead ran inside, locked the door and had his family contact the authorities.

Deputies in neighboring Harris County came across Barry's car in a park a short time later and detained the 16-year-old. The 15-year-old ran off into a wooded area, deputies said.

Authorities found a kitchen knife in the car, as well as a black and silver BB gun.

Montgomery County deputies who questioned Mize about the incident said she eventually admitted that she had been lying and that she had helped set up the robbery. She "believed Preston was an easy target," deputies reported, but said she only planned for the teens to take money from Barry's wallet.

Mize, a Spring resident, was arrested on one count of aggravated robbery and booked into the Montgomery County jail. She was released over the weekend after posting $75,000 bond.

The 16-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age, was taken into juvenile detention and also faces a charge of aggravated robbery. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office says it has identified the 15-year-old suspect and is filing for a warrant for his arrest.

©2018 The Dallas Morning News


Categories: Law Enforcement

Fla. sheriff visits teen who took bullets for classmates

Police One - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:39
Author: Richard Fairburn

By Christopher Brennan New York Daily News

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — A teen at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School faces a “long road ahead” after he was hit five times shielding his classmates from the attacker’s bullets.

Anthony Borges, a 15-year-old soccer player, put his body between shooter Nikolas Cruz and his fellow students on Wednesday, according to survivors of the massacre that killed 17.

“None of us knew what to do. So, he took the initiative to just save his other classmates,” his friend Carlos Rodriguez told ABC News.

Rodriguez said that Borges was the last student who fled into a classroom to hide, and blocked bullets from hitting others by standing in the doorway as he tried to lock the room shut.

Borges then called his father to tell him he’d been shot.

The Broward County Sheriff’s office said that the boy hailed as a “hero” by classmates who survived uninjured had been shot five times.

“Fortunately, he is recovering -- but has a long road ahead with more surgeries needed,” it posted on Facebook Sunday, adding that Sheriff Scott Israel was “honored” to visit him.

Borges was the last wounded victim of the shooting to be in critical condition, but has since been updated to fair.

A GoFundMe page for the Borges family had raised more than $65,000 as of Sunday night.

©2018 New York Daily News


Categories: Law Enforcement

Man arrested for the felony of making a terroristic threat in Davenport

State - NY Police - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:19

On February 18, 2018, at about 3:15 p.m., New York State Police at Oneonta arrested Aiden M. O’Day, age 21, from Otego, NY for the felony of Making a Terroristic Threat in the town of Otego.  

Categories: Law Enforcement

Criminal Possession of Marihuana Charged in Dresden

State - NY Police - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:17
  Luke J. Harrison
Categories: Law Enforcement

DWAI-Drugs, Cocaine Possession Charged

State - NY Police - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:03
  Kimberly L. Goodson
Categories: Law Enforcement

State Police Investigating a Drowning Incident in Old Forge

State - NY Police - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 14:44
State Police is investigating a death of a 55-year-old woman at the Water’s Edge Inn located on State Route 28 in the town of Webb.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Teen arrested for the felony of making a terroristic threat in Davenport

State - NY Police - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 14:29
On February 16, 2018, at about 7:12 p.m., New York State Police at Oneonta arrested a 15-year-old male, from Davenport, NY for the felony of Making a Terroristic Threat in the town of Davenport. 
Categories: Law Enforcement

Utah measure pushes back on ruling that boosted police power

Police One - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 14:13

By Lindsay Whitehurst Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker is proposing to limit the effects of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bolstered police power to use evidence even if officers did something wrong to get it.

State prosecutors criticized the legislation that would bar all evidence gathered after an illegal stop, while a libertarian-leaning group argued it would curtail the potential for police abuse.

The 2016 ruling from the high court could make police more likely to stop people even if there was no reason to think they were doing anything wrong, said Connor Boyack with the Libertas Institute.

The justices decided man named Edward Joseph Strieff could be convicted of drug crimes even though officers found methamphetamine after an illegal stop in the city of South Salt Lake.

The divided court found the evidence was legal because there was a warrant out for Strieff's arrest. The dissenting justices said it was a blow to constitutional rights because officers only found the unpaid traffic citation after stopping him without probable cause.

Rep. Brian Greene, a Republican from Pleasant Grove, said Monday that the ruling was troubling. While most police officers respect people's rights, there is an occasional exception, he said.

"We've all heard and seen there are those who would abuse power, and this opens the door for abuse, even if it is in small doses," he said. "It is not, in my opinion, the direction we want to be going as a free society, to whittle away at our constitutional protections."

The Utah Attorney General's Office said in a statement that the plan goes too far.

"It punishes officers' good-faith efforts to comply with the law. It also unfairly distorts the truth-finding process by suppressing evidence lawfully seized from criminals already subject to arrest," said Solicitor General Tyler Green, who successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that the evidence against Strieff was legal because he was arrested on a valid warrant.

"Courts already protect citizens from police abuses by suppressing evidence when officers cheat to get it," he said.

Greene said the bill would keep state law where it was when the Utah Supreme Court decided that evidence from the Strieff stop could not be used.

"I am somewhat disappointed that the state felt the need to overturn, and successfully overturned, our homegrown jurisprudence," he said.

Greene expects the bill to have a hearing in the coming days.


Categories: Law Enforcement

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