Law Enforcement

Georgia Officer Killed During Traffic Stop

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 04:07
The DeKalb County police officer shot and killed Thursday during a traffic stop has been identified as Edgar Isidro Flores.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Georgia Police Officer Killed During Traffic Stop

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 04:07
DeKalb County police officials said that the suspect fled a traffic stop, and when the officer pursued, the man pulled out a handgun and fatally shot him before being killed by officers.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Test & Evaluation: Ruger PC Carbine

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 01:32
The purpose of the police carbine is to bridge the gap between the handgun and the precision rifle. The Ruger PC Carbine is simple to maintain and highly maneuverable.
Categories: Law Enforcement

5 Suggested New Year's Resolutions For LEOs

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 01:27
I usually use this time of year to take a look back and then forward. I like to see what has happened this past year—where I’ve made improvements; what training I’ve enjoyed; what threats have increased; what positive support the community has...
Categories: Law Enforcement

2019 Annual Buyer's Guide

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 01:25
More than 200 companies bring you the best products and services to help you protect and serve. Check out our 2019 Annual Buyer's Guide!
Categories: Law Enforcement

CJIS Compliance Is Not A Choice

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 01:24
CJIS compliance might seem daunting for many, but by understanding the basic requirements it needn’t be complicated.
Categories: Law Enforcement

IACP Delivers Education, Technology & A Presidential Visit

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 01:15
The first IACP conference in 1893 drew 51 police chiefs. Nearly 125 years later, the conference still goes on strong, boasting its highest attendance in 2018.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Don’t Just Set Your Goals - Write Them Down

Officer.com - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 01:10
As the winter chill sets in here in Idaho, I am reminded that another year is coming to an end. By the time you get this issue, Thanksgiving will be over and Christmas will be right around the corner. We’ll all be another year older and maybe a little...
Categories: Law Enforcement

DWI arrest in Steamburg

State - NY Police - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 23:49
On December 13th, 2018, Troopers out of SP Jamestown arrested Robert Colburn, 26, of Steamburg, for Driving While Intoxicated.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Clarendon, PA man arrested following accident in Kiantone

State - NY Police - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 23:39
On December 12th, 2018, Troopers out of SP Jamestown arrested Robert Shaffer, 45, Clarendon, PA, for Driving While Intoxicated.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Ga. officer killed after traffic stop; suspect dead

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 20:41

Associated Press

DECATUR, Ga. — A Georgia police officer and a suspect died Thursday night after a traffic stop led to a foot chase and shooting just east of Atlanta, authorities said.

DeKalb County police Chief James Conroy said at a news conference that the unidentified officer and suspect died at an Atlanta hospital following the Thursday evening shooting, according to news outlets.

"Tonight, a DeKalb County Police officer died in the line of duty serving its citizens of DeKalb County," Conroy said.

A police dog was also shot and was listed in critical condition.

Maj. Jerry Lewis Jr. said the shooting followed a traffic stop. Lewis said the suspect tried to flee and the DeKalb County officer pursued. The suspect then shot the officer and the K-9 officer, prompting responding officers to shoot the suspect, Lewis said.

Conroy said the slain officer had been with the department for less than two years. The suspect was described as a man in his 20s to 30s.

According to officials, the shooting happened in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

A witness who was eating inside a nearby restaurant told WSB-TV he heard at least six gunshots.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

The shooting caused a nearby portion of Interstate 20 to be briefly shut down, leading to rush-hour traffic jams.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Las Animas County Sheriff's Office (CO)

Law Enforcement LODD - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 19:19
Sergeant Matthew Moreno was killed in a vehicle crash on Highway 12, near Valdez, while responding to a domestic incident at 8:00 pm. Sergeant Moreno's patrol pickup and a second patrol...

5 agency improvements police officers want to see in 2019

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 18:13

By Alexandra Wessling, P1 Staff

For many officers, 2018 was a tough year. Controversial court cases and officer-involved shootings dominated headlines, and agencies continued to struggle with complex issues like recruitment and retention.

Still, there were many highlights: The viral Lip Sync Challenge promoted departmental solidarity. Heroes rose to the occasion. More departments adjusted to the times, removing unpopular policies like bans on beards and tattoos. Several departments authorized pay raises and took advantage of grants to fund much-needed training and equipment.

But though 2018 had its victories, members agreed: There’s room for improvement in the New Year.

Load-bearing vests, better mental health support and an end to the recruitment crisis topped P1 readers’ wishlists for 2019. What agency improvements do you hope to see in the New Year? Leave your comments below.

NEW YEAR, NEW GEAR: DITCH DUTY BELTS

Duty belts weighed heavily on cops’ minds — and backs — for 2019.

“Load bearing vests would absolutely be number one,” Matt Ross wrote. “[My] department likes to talk about tradition and ‘the look.’ I'm five years on and my back feels destroyed. It has altered my quality of life. I can't play with my 4-year-old because my back pain is so severe. I'm only 30!”

Andrew Conan agreed: “Right now my screaming back pain says load-bearing vests.”.

“Load-bearing vests!” Jeff Walker said. “Get the weight off our hips and back. Two back surgeries now already!”

The science is on our readers’ side. A research team from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire determined that load-bearing vests are ergonomically superior to duty belts and can help limit hip and back problems for LEOs.

“The findings are clear and they are significant,” said Dr. Jeff Janot, a professor of kinesiology and the faculty lead on a six-month study that involved UW-Eau Claire, ECPD and Mayo Clinic Health System. “While the vests weigh more, the weight is more evenly distributed so there is less strain on the hips and lower back.”

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT AND DESTIGMATIZATION

High-profile tragedies such as the Parkland massacre and Thousand Oaks bar shooting dominated headlines this year, but what often goes unreported — not only by the media, but officers themselves — are the emotional struggles cops face after responding to traumatic events.

A lack of mental health resources and industry-wide stigma against seeking emotional support force many officers to keep line-of-duty trauma close to the vest, often with damaging results. P1 members hope 2019 is the year that changes.

“Oh my gosh, I would have to say counseling for every officer, especially those that have witnessed a traumatic event, which is pretty much everybody,” Susan Marie Teresa wrote. “Peer counselors to talk to after said traumatic event. Ongoing suicide prevention training.”

Proactive mental health outreach seemed unlikely to others, who cited a far-reaching bias against seeking emotional support.

“No way will that happen,” John Coffelt said. “If an officer admits to having a problem, they're immediately put on administrative leave. All their guns get confiscated, psychologically retired and permanently banished from the department. I've seen it happen to many good police officers over the years!”

CHANGES IN PUBLIC PERCEPTION

Policing is already a tough calling, but many officers feel negative public perception made it even harder to protect and serve in 2018. In the New Year, P1 members hope the public will better understand the challenges cops are up against every day and do more to support them.

“If I could change one thing? That would be easy: public perception,” Billy Green wrote. “Unfortunately, how police are perceived is not completely up to them. Humanity believes what suits them. It is the rare individual who, despite an emotional bias, can with a discerning mind accept the facts: That of over 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers in this country, the vast majority are out there serving and protecting.”

Others feel agency leadership has a chance to play a vital role in setting a supportive example for the community in 2019:

“[I’d like to see] departments brave enough to educate the public on the realities of the profession instead of cowering in silence,” Dustin Marvin said.

EQUIPMENT UPGRADES

Whether it’s a squad car that won’t start or a radio with reception spottier than a Dalmatian, equipment trouble on the job isn’t just inconvenient — it can be downright dangerous. For many, upgraded equipment and better technology top the list of agency improvements for 2019.

“Honestly it would be nice to have equipment that works well enough so that you don’t feel even more in danger while working,” Mieko Shroyer wrote.

Chris Jackson agreed: “Radio communication that works! Having to call in traffic stops to county dispatch on my personal cell phone is ridiculous!”

"The Federales have Blackhawk helicopters and we're driving around in Crown Vics with 150,000 miles on them,” Ian Tausig quipped.

AN END TO THE RECRUITMENT CRISIS

Fueled by a healthy economy and low unemployment, a recruitment crisis strained personnel and departments across the nation in 2018, leaving the thin blue line even thinner. Many P1 members listed staffing trouble as a top-priority agency improvement for the New Year.

“Our 1975 staffing levels aren’t cutting it,” Dave Fins said.

With diminished ranks, officers were left to pick up slack and work harder than ever.

“Need more people,” Jaxon Payne wrote. “Can't take a day off without throwing the schedule out of whack.”


Categories: Law Enforcement

Ind. police officer killed in car crash during pursuit

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 18:04

By The Evening News and The Tribune

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — A Charlestown police officer died last night after a pursuit beginning in Clark County ended in a crash in Scott County.

Indiana State Police were alerted to the pursuit and crash around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday. Charlestown Officer Benton Bertram died in the crash.

The preliminary investigation shows the pursuit began near Charlestown when Bertram attempted to stop a teal colored 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation, according to ISP. The suspect vehicle fled north on Ind. 3 and continued into Scott County.

The pursuit continued north on Ind. 3 and approached the east intersection with Ind. 56 east of Scottsburg. At that time, Bertram's vehicle crossed over Ind. 56 and left the roadway, striking a tree in the front yard of a nearby residence. Other responding units remained at the scene of the crash and rendered aid to Bertram. He succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Scott County Coroner's Office.

The suspect vehicle and the driver, Benjamin Eads, 35, from Lanes Road in Freedom, Indiana, were later located and apprehended in Clark County.

Heartbreaking news out of southern Indiana where Charlestown Police Officer Benton Bertram was killed in a crash while chasing a fleeing suspect. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/OjyPi33JAH

— Sgt. John Perrine (@ISPIndianapolis) December 13, 2018

The crash and pursuit are still under investigation. ISP crash reconstructionist and detectives remained on scene until early morning hours. Ind. 56 remained closed until approximately 4:30 am.

Eads has been preliminarily charged with the following in Scott County: Resisting Law Enforcement Causing Death Level 2 Felony. In Clark County, he is preliminarily charged with Resisting Law Enforcement Level 6 Felony and Auto Theft Level 6 Felony. Eads was transported and remanded into the custody of the Scott County Jail.

Bertram, 33, was a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department.

The Indiana State Police were assisted by units from the Charlestown City Police Department, the Jeffersonville City Police Department, the Clark County Sherriff's Department, the Scott County Sheriff's Department, Scott County EMS, The Scottsburg City Fire Department, the Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Scott County Coroner's Office.

©2018 The Evening News and The Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Ind. police officer killed in car crash during pursuit

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 18:04

By The Evening News and The Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind.

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. —A Charlestown police officer died last night after a pursuit beginning in Clark County ended in a crash in Scott County.

Indiana State Police were alerted to the pursuit and crash around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday. Charlestown Officer Benton Bertram died in the crash.

The preliminary investigation shows the pursuit began near Charlestown when Bertram attempted to stop a teal colored 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation, according to ISP. The suspect vehicle fled north on Ind. 3 and continued into Scott County.

The pursuit continued north on Ind. 3 and approached the east intersection with Ind. 56 east of Scottsburg. At that time, Bertram's vehicle crossed over Ind. 56 and left the roadway, striking a tree in the front yard of a nearby residence. Other responding units remained at the scene of the crash and rendered aid to Bertram. He succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Scott County Coroner's Office.

The suspect vehicle and the driver, Benjamin Eads, 35, from Lanes Road in Freedom, Indiana, were later located and apprehended in Clark County.

The crash and pursuit are still under investigation. ISP crash reconstructionist and detectives remained on scene until early morning hours. Ind. 56 remained closed until approximately 4:30 am.

Eads has been preliminarily charged with the following in Scott County: Resisting Law Enforcement Causing Death Level 2 Felony. In Clark County, he is preliminarily charged with Resisting Law Enforcement Level 6 Felony and Auto Theft Level 6 Felony. Eads was transported and remanded into the custody of the Scott County Jail.

Bertram, 33, was a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department.

The Indiana State Police were assisted by units from the Charlestown City Police Department, the Jeffersonville City Police Department, the Clark County Sherriff's Department, the Scott County Sheriff's Department, Scott County EMS, The Scottsburg City Fire Department, the Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Scott County Coroner's Office.

———

©2018 The Evening News and The Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

5 of the biggest issues facing law enforcement in 2019

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 18:04

Author: Paul Cappitelli

Each year, law enforcement faces new challenges that redefine the profession. The term “business as usual” is never applicable in policing, as the landscape can change in an instant.

In order to stay abreast of trends, police leaders must constantly read and process information from many sources, because one thing is certain – if you don’t read the tea leaves, you can get broadsided.

This article focuses upon five critical issues (in no ranking order) likely to challenge policing in 2019.

1. Active shooter response

If anything, 2018 showed us that law enforcement officers are expected to act without hesitation when responding to an active shooter situation. In many cases, there has been praise for the immediate engagement of the threat without regard for one’s safety, with criticism lobbed when officers did not respond quick enough to stave off injury or loss of life.

While firefighters are cautioned about when and how to run into burning buildings, policy changes are dictating that police officers run into the “burning building” despite the risks. Sadly, we are seeing incidents where officers are injured or killed in this rush to engage an active shooter. Public pressure appears to be dictating police policy while undermining the basic tenets of officer safety in some situations.

The answer to this dilemma lies somewhere between where the profession was pre-Columbine and where we are today. Each active shooter incident should be analyzed and de-briefed with the lessons learned shared widely to mitigate officer mortality. It’s perhaps time to take a step back and reassess existing active shooter protocols to shift the focus back toward officer safety without fear of public scrutiny and castigation. While there is no clear answer, having a dialogue is a good start.

2. Police transparency and public records

The average police officer will probably tell you they are well aware that their department phones, emails, text messages and alike are a matter of public record. But if you ask about their private phones, they will likely say that such devices are not public record.

Unfortunately, there is no hard precedent that will protect any of the information a public servant shares in the course and scope of duty. To the contrary, the courts are migrating toward a position wherein ALL information is a public record regardless of source. The term “reasonable expectation of privacy” is becoming more obsolete. To this end, devices are potentially subject to subpoena if they contain evidence that may be deemed exculpatory in nature. As if this isn’t enough to worry about, add body-worn cameras into the mix and the associated public disclosure requirements, which vary by jurisdiction.

The media and the public’s thirst for additional details about field activities are likely to increase in 2019 and beyond. Smart police leaders are already having discussions within their ranks about the prospect of increased transparency and crafting policies and protocols to reflect same. The curtain has been pulled back, and there is little forgiveness in the court of public opinion.

3. Officer recruitment

As the struggle continues to find new recruits and retain seasoned officers, it may be time for police leaders to admit they are contributing to their own recruitment crisis through their hiring strategies.

Here are some uncomfortable questions for agency heads:

How many good candidates are being disqualified for requirements/parameters the agency feels strongly about? If law enforcement agencies across the country are confident in their respective screening processes, why are there still officers who break the law and commit crimes after they were vetted? How many candidates who are deemed unqualified might have actually made better police officers than the ones selected? Are the police officers’ selection standards criteria moving targets depending upon the needs of the community and their geo-political environment? Are there “gatekeepers” within agencies that may be keeping the better candidates from succeeding as a result of personal bias or preference?

These are the tough questions that need to be answered, and 2019 is a good time to revisit internal screening processes. The first step might be for police leaders to spend time reviewing recently rejected candidates to determine if some applications can be salvaged.

4. Immigration and sanctuary laws

There is no other way to address the issues surrounding immigration and sanctuary laws other than to state the obvious: it’s a big mess. Some states are passing laws to undermine federal law, local municipalities are passing laws to undermine state laws, the federal government is threatening those who violate the federal laws and the states and suing the feds.

The best suggestion at this point is to encourage detailed internal documentation of all situations (arrests, detentions, releases, etc.) wherever applicable. Educating the public about the limitations under applicable laws and court orders is also a good start.

5. Police use of force and de-escalation policies

The 1993 movie “Demolition Man” with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes is about a futuristic society where the police do not use force and all critical field decisions are made by command personnel via live video feed to police headquarters. Snipes played a hardened criminal who uses extreme lethal force against the police who are powerless to respond. At the time of this film’s release, it seemed like far-fetched fiction. In present day, one could opine that policing is moving in a direction to where the use of physical force by law enforcement will be severely constricted and live video could soon supplant individual decision-making.

The 21st Century Policing Initiative (21CPI) has been in the implementation stages for over three years. Many of the police-community relations elements of 21CPI have been validated and appear to be effective in most respects. However, the elements addressing the use of force have not been as seamless in the transition. Is policing better off today than it was before 21CPI? Is the term “de-escalation” over-used and confusing? Is anyone safer? If so, who? The police? The community?

The elephant in the room with 21CPI is the inconsistency between the past, present and future of police use of force. This consternation begs the following questions:

Is it time to revisit the use of force aspect of 21CPI now that the political winds have shifted? What are the consistently acceptable “rules of engagement?” Are officers hesitating before taking action thus putting themselves and/or the public at risk?

The 21CPI contra-argument suggests that de-escalation was already factored into existing police training and any modifications put officers at greater risk. One thing is certain, if the profession as a whole does not clear up the confusion, state lawmakers will enact legislation to redefine the justification for use of force. It’s already happening in states across the country. It may be time to regroup.

Conclusion

There will no doubt be new and unforeseen challenges in the coming year. For the time being, police leaders should stay focused upon these and other issues that will carry over from 2018. We cannot predict what future crises await this noble profession, but we must ensure we do not allow the mistakes of the past to carry on into the future without intervention.


Categories: Law Enforcement

N.Y. man attacks sheriff, Good Samaritans help take him down

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 17:37
Author: Paul Cappitelli

By Harold McNeil The Buffalo News, N.Y.

CASTILE, N.Y. - A man was charged with first-degree attempted murder Tuesday after he allegedly threatened Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph with a knife, according to State Police.

Lynn M. Hall, 48, was additionally charged with first-degree attempted assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, State Police said.

According to State Police, at about 6:30 a.m., Rudolph was in uniform on his way to work, operating an unmarked police vehicle.

While traveling on Route 238 in Attica, an unknown vehicle started tailgating Rudolph and flashing its lights, State Police said.

Rudolph pulled over to see if the driver of the vehicle needed assistance, and the driver of the unknown vehicle pulled in front of the sheriff's vehicle, blocking him, according to State Police.

State Police said Hall, after exiting his vehicle, allegedly engaged the sheriff in a physical altercation.

The sheriff recognized Hall as someone who had applied for a pistol permit and came to the Sheriff's Office on Monday to inquire about it, according to State Police.

During the struggle between the sheriff and Hall, State Police said, Hall allegedly attempted to gain control of the sheriff's weapon and the struggle continued on the ground along the side of the road.

According to State Police, Hall ended up on top of the sheriff and was allegedly armed with a knife which Hall used to threaten the sheriff's life.

Two civilians and an off-duty state trooper assisted the sheriff in subduing Hall, who was handcuffed and taken into custody, State Police said.

The sheriff was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, according to State Police.

The Sheriff's Office turned the investigation over to State Police.

Hall was arraigned and held without bail in the Livingston Correctional Facility, State Police said.

———

©2018 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

French Christmas market suspect killed by police; ISIS claims attack

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 17:35

Author: Paul Cappitelli

By Julia Naue and Christian Boehmer dpa

STRASBOURG, France — The gunman who carried out the deadly shooting at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg was an Islamic State soldier, the terrorist group’s Amaq news agency said late Thursday.

The report came hours after police confirmed the death of Cherif Chekatt, the suspected gunman in Tuesday’s shooting.

Chekatt, a 29-year-old on a state security watch list who had a criminal record for nonterrorism offenses, was suspected of opening fire at Strasbourg’s crowded Christmas market, killing at least three people and leaving one other brain-dead.

French prosecutors had been treating Tuesday’s shooting as an act of terrorism.

Earlier Thursday, French prosecutors confirmed to dpa that a fifth person has been arrested in connection with the attack.

The individual is not a family member of the suspected attacker, prosecutors said.

The four previous arrests made in connection with the attack were Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers.

A large police operation underway in Strasbourg in the afternoon wrapped up later in the day, French media reported.

The number of deaths following the attack rose to three Thursday, while a fourth victim is brain-dead, French prosecutors told dpa.

The attack took place on Tuesday evening, when Chekatt opened fire at Strasbourg city center’s popular Christmas market, shouting “Allahu akbar” — “God is greatest” according to witness reports.

At least 12 people were injured, with five in serious condition.

On Thursday, EU leaders began a summit in Brussels with a minute of silence to remember the victims of the shooting.

The meeting was taking place in a “bereaved” context, said French President Emmanuel Macron.

“I want to once again pronounce France's solidarity with the victims and their families,” he said.

A Thai tourist was among those confirmed dead, the Thai Foreign Ministry said. Anupong Suebsamarn, 45, had been vacationing with his wife, who survived the attack.

A French man was also among those killed, French media reported, saying that he had been waiting for his family outside a restaurant.

The third person killed is a Strasbourg-born man of Afghan origin. The Eyyub Sultan mosque in Strasbourg confirmed to dpa that he would be buried in the coming days.

The Italian Foreign Ministry also confirmed that Italian journalist Antonio Megalizzi was among those in critical condition.

Italian media quoted the father of his girlfriend as saying that Megalizzi was in a coma and that doctors were unable to perform surgery as a projectile was lodged too close to his skull and spine.

The attacker first opened fire Tuesday at 7:50 p.m. local time. Soldiers from an army anti-terrorism patrol shot at him but he escaped in a taxi. The taxi driver later confirmed to investigators that the attacker was injured, and that he had dropped him off in Neudorf, close to where his flat is situated and where Thursday’s police operation took place.

French prosecutors are treating the attack as an act of terrorism. The suspect was on a state security watch list, but also had a criminal record for nonterrorist offenses.

Chekatt, a French national with North African roots, is known to have served several prison sentences in Germany, Switzerland and France. Altogether, French prosecutors said the suspected attacker had 27 convictions and that it was believed he had been radicalized while in prison.

In the wake of the latest such assault to take place on French soil, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said an additional 1,300 soldiers have been deployed as part of an anti-terrorism operation.

©2018 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)


Categories: Law Enforcement

French Christmas market suspect killed by police; ISIS claims attack

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 17:35

Author: Paul Cappitelli

By Julia Naue and Christian Boehmer, dpa

STRASBOURG, France — The gunman who carried out the deadly shooting at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg was an Islamic State soldier, the terrorist group’s Amaq news agency said late Thursday.

The report came hours after police confirmed the death of Cherif Chekatt, the suspected gunman in Tuesday’s shooting.

Chekatt, a 29-year-old on a state security watch list who had a criminal record for nonterrorism offenses, was suspected of opening fire at Strasbourg’s crowded Christmas market, killing at least three people and leaving one other brain-dead.

French prosecutors had been treating Tuesday’s shooting as an act of terrorism.

Earlier Thursday, French prosecutors confirmed to dpa that a fifth person has been arrested in connection with the attack.

The individual is not a family member of the suspected attacker, prosecutors said.

The four previous arrests made in connection with the attack were Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers.

A large police operation underway in Strasbourg in the afternoon wrapped up later in the day, French media reported.

The number of deaths following the attack rose to three Thursday, while a fourth victim is brain-dead, French prosecutors told dpa.

The attack took place on Tuesday evening, when Chekatt opened fire at Strasbourg city center’s popular Christmas market, shouting “Allahu akbar” — “God is greatest” according to witness reports.

At least 12 people were injured, with five in serious condition.

On Thursday, EU leaders began a summit in Brussels with a minute of silence to remember the victims of the shooting.

The meeting was taking place in a “bereaved” context, said French President Emmanuel Macron.

“I want to once again pronounce France's solidarity with the victims and their families,” he said.

A Thai tourist was among those confirmed dead, the Thai Foreign Ministry said. Anupong Suebsamarn, 45, had been vacationing with his wife, who survived the attack.

A French man was also among those killed, French media reported, saying that he had been waiting for his family outside a restaurant.

The third person killed is a Strasbourg-born man of Afghan origin. The Eyyub Sultan mosque in Strasbourg confirmed to dpa that he would be buried in the coming days.

The Italian Foreign Ministry also confirmed that Italian journalist Antonio Megalizzi was among those in critical condition.

Italian media quoted the father of his girlfriend as saying that Megalizzi was in a coma and that doctors were unable to perform surgery as a projectile was lodged too close to his skull and spine.

The attacker first opened fire Tuesday at 7:50 p.m. local time. Soldiers from an army anti-terrorism patrol shot at him but he escaped in a taxi. The taxi driver later confirmed to investigators that the attacker was injured, and that he had dropped him off in Neudorf, close to where his flat is situated and where Thursday’s police operation took place.

French prosecutors are treating the attack as an act of terrorism. The suspect was on a state security watch list, but also had a criminal record for nonterrorist offenses.

Chekatt, a French national with North African roots, is known to have served several prison sentences in Germany, Switzerland and France. Altogether, French prosecutors said the suspected attacker had 27 convictions and that it was believed he had been radicalized while in prison.

In the wake of the latest such assault to take place on French soil, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said an additional 1,300 soldiers have been deployed as part of an anti-terrorism operation.

———

©2018 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)


Categories: Law Enforcement

What we can learn from police officer deaths in 2018

Police One - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 17:28

Author: Tim Dees

Line of duty death (LODD) numbers for 2018 are a mix of (relatively) good news and bad news. The bad news is that the profiles are remarkably similar to 2017. The good news is that they’re a lot better than 2014-2016, inclusive.

As of December 12, 2018, 137 U.S. law enforcement officers lost their lives to some aspect of the job in 2018. This is one shy of the total number of LODDs for 2017, but I am painfully aware that there are not quite three weeks left in the year, and that a cop dies in the line of duty about every 60 hours, on average. Barring a major incident, we will finish the year roughly on par with 2017.

Criminal action

Not quite half (46 percent) of LODDs in 2018 were due to felonious action against law enforcement. This takes into account simple assaults, gunfire, officers struck by vehicles and attacks with edged weapons. All of those categories were roughly similar in number to events in 2017.

The years 2014 through 2016 were especially deadly for law enforcement. 2014 was the year of the officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, an event that got prolonged national attention and sparked considerable civil unrest. LODDs due to criminal action spiked in the ensuing years, rising from 47 in 2013 to 66 in 2014, 58 in 2015, and peaking at 91 in 2016. This trend mercifully declined to 62 last year, and is at 64 in mid-December 2018.

It’s difficult to say if this trend reflects any change in public attitudes toward police, but there is some data showing a more favorable and sympathetic view of law enforcement, even if the trend is only a momentary one. A Gallup Poll conducted annually since 1993 shows that responses of “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police was at 57 percent in 2017 after falling to 52 percent in 2015. This 57 percent is close to the average response to the survey over its history.

Favorable opinions do fall after a high-profile incident where someone is perceived to be victimized by the system. Confidence fell to 53 percent in June 2014 when George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. It went even lower, to 52 percent (a tie for the all-time low) in June 2015, when there were numerous protests of blacks being shot by police.

Active shooters

Another statistic that is difficult to pin down is the number of active shooter incidents. There are multiple databases of these incidents, but most seem to have a political agenda, so the way they classify and count each incident varies.

It’s clear that these are on the rise, and they are nearly always deadly, though far more for the citizenry than for law enforcement. One police death that was initially attributed to an active shooter was Sgt. Ron Helus, of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. Forensics has revealed that Sgt. Helus actually succumbed from a bullet fired by an officer from another agency, so that death will be moved to the “accidental” column.

Additional causes of fatalities

Criminal action accounts for more officer deaths than any other cause, but only a few other categories routinely go into double digits. As with previous years, vehicle-related deaths account for a third (33 percent) of officer fatalities. Many, if not most, of these are single-vehicle accidents, where the officer was responding to a hot call and lost control of the car, going off the road or into a fixed object. This is another tragic statistic that doesn’t change much from one year to the next.

The next-most-deadly category is heart attack, with 16 deaths in 2018. Heart attacks among cops are often attributed to the aged and/or overweight, but a closer look at the data reveals this is not always the case. Minnesota Corrections Officer Joseph Parise died of a heart attack at age 37, and Costa Mesa (CA) PD Officer Adrian Reyes was 43. Neither appears to be overweight in their portrait photos. Their deaths, and others, underscore that the hazards of a law enforcement career extend beyond threats by criminal elements. A healthy diet, regular exercise, preventive medical checkups and acceptance of the fact that none of us are indestructible could help lower this figure.

The last double-digit fatality category is deaths from 9/11-related illnesses – 14, so far, in 2018. This is one nobody saw coming when it happened, and one we can do very little about.

Below 100

The deadliest categories of officer fatalities are addressed directly by an organization called Below 100. The goal is in the name: get the number of police fatalities each year to fewer than 100. It’s never been done in the years that the FBI has been keeping score. Below 100’s advocacy takes in five points:

Wear Your Belt Wear Your Vest Watch Your Speed WIN—What’s Important Now? Remember: Complacency Kills!

These are all tenets drilled into every recruit at the police academy, and yet officers die regularly while ignoring them. Below 100 holds training events around the country, and has training material available for free on its website. It’s a worthwhile visit and a critical goal.

Thanks to the Officer Down Memorial Page and Below 100 for their help in preparing this article. Be safe and be well.


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