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Son of officer killed in Dallas ambush dies by suicide

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 16:25

By PoliceOne Staff

CORSICANA, Texas — The son of an officer who was killed in the July 2016 ambush in Dallas died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday.

KDFW reports that 19-year-old William Thompson, son of Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson, was found dead by Corsicana police at a park. Police said Thompson called 911 early Monday morning and told them that he was planning to kill himself.

Officers were able to track Thompson down, but he shot himself as police were approaching him, according to the report. No suicide note was found.

Brent Thompson was one of five officers who were killed in a deadly ambush in downtown Dallas on July 7, 2016.

Police said William Thompson’s death is under investigation.


Categories: Law Enforcement

The 10 best states to make a living as a police officer in 2017

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 15:46

By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

Each year, PoliceOne analyzes 50 states and Washington D.C. to determine which offers the best comprehensive wages for law enforcement officials.

After the 2016 edition was published, we received requests to include a deeper look at income and property taxes. We listened. And this year, we’ve added several new data points.

Criteria

In short, we used a weighted average to compare:

Salary Cost of living Income tax Property taxes

A detailed breakdown of the methodology can be found at the end of this article.

Notable changes from 2016: Only four states from the 2016 list appear in 2017. Six of the 10 states to make this list don’t have an income tax. One state on this list sits below the national average wage for police officers, which is $57,129.

See if your state made the list.

https://readymag.com/912810

Methodology

We used a weighted system to measure the best states for police officers to make a living. The data points we measured are as follows:

Salary (35%) Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data we found the annual mean wage for patrol officers in each state. Cost of living (20%) We used the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center to rank each state’s cost of living. State income tax percentage (30%) We used the Tax Foundation to find max tax rates in each state. Data is valid as of July 2017. States with an * by them indication a flat income rate throughout the state. Property tax (15%) We used the Tax Foundation to find property taxes which are effective tax rates on owner-occupied homes.

The lack of consistent variables makes it difficult to include pension information in our write up. We do acknowledge long-lasting financial security paints a more robust picture of which states allow officers the best living.

Click for the full national ranking.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Calif. man sentenced in brutal beating of officer in front of cop's daughter

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:56

By Luke Money Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, Calif.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — A Huntington Beach man has been sentenced to six years in state prison for beating an on-duty police officer last year, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Darryl Keith Headrick, 60, pleaded guilty Friday to one felony count of aggravated assault on a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of resisting and obstructing an officer.

His son Bryce Headrick, 25, also of Huntington Beach, is serving a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to the same charges last year.

In both cases, the charges carried a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.

According to authorities, a Huntington Beach police officer stopped Bryce Headrick for a traffic violation while he was riding a bicycle near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Clay Avenue at about 11:20 p.m. Feb. 9, 2016.

As the two talked, Darryl Headrick approached and hit the officer on the head from behind, according to police.

The father and son knocked the officer to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked him until he lost consciousness, authorities said.

They then fled on bicycles.

Huntington Beach officers arrested Darryl Headrick near the scene. Bryce Headrick was arrested hours later near his home.

The officer, whose name was not disclosed, was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, including a concussion, authorities said.

At Darryl Headrick’s sentencing Friday, the officer said the crime has had a tremendous effect on him and his family. According to the district attorney’s office, the officer’s daughter was on a ride-along with him that night and saw the attack.

©2017 the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Judge permanently blocks Trump sanctuary cities order

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:24

By Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

The judge had previously made the same arguments in a ruling that put a temporary hold on the executive order targeting so-called sanctuary cities. The Trump administration has appealed that decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"The District Court exceeded its authority today when it barred the President from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law," Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement late Monday. "The Justice Department will vindicate the President's lawful authority to direct the executive branch."

Orrick's ruling came in lawsuits brought by two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the ruling was "a victory for the American people and the rule of law."

"President Trump might be able to tweet whatever comes to mind, but he can't grant himself new authority because he feels like it," he said in a statement.

A lawyer for the DOJ argued during a hearing before Orrick in April that the executive order applied to only a few grants that would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

But the judge disagreed, saying in his rulings that the order was written broadly to "reach all federal grants" and potentially jeopardized hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to San Francisco and Santa Clara.

He cited comments by the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as evidence that the order was intended to target a wide array of federal funding. And he said the president himself had called it a "weapon" to use against recalcitrant cities.

The Trump administration separately has also moved to withhold one particular law enforcement grant from sanctuary cities, prompting a new round of lawsuits that are pending.


Categories: Law Enforcement

More than $98M in community policing grants awarded

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:20

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Several cities, including Chicago, have been awarded more than $3.1 million each in federal grants to hire extra police officers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday announced COPS Hiring Program grants, saying 80 percent of the 179 agencies sharing $98 million in grants agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities.

It's not clear which cities agreed to cooperate.

Metropolitan Dade County Florida, Houston and San Antonio police departments and the Orange County sheriff's office in California also received grants.

The grants are separate from one that pays for public safety equipment. The Trump administration threatened to withhold those grants from cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

Chicago is suing the federal government for withholding that funding, and dozens of jurisdictions have supported it.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Police: Fla. teen attacks parents after being told to stop playing video game

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 11:55

By David J. Neal Miami Herald

MIAMI — A teenager who wanted to keep playing video games attacked his mother and stepfather with a golf club, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said, an attack that included trying to stab the stepfather with the golf club.

The teenage boy was charged with domestic violence battery on his mother and felony domestic violence-related aggravated battery on his stepfather.

Because he is a juvenile, no names were released in the sheriff’s office description of last Tuesday’s family fight in a Destin home, which the agency said came from what the boy told deputies.

Deputies said the teen admitted that his mother wanted him to stop playing a video game involving other players and talk to her. When he didn’t, she brought the golf club into play by threatening to smash the video game console. The teenager grabbed the golf club and began pushing his mother with it, according to the report.

When the stepfather tried to stop the pushing, the teenager began hitting him with the golf club. When the club broke in half, the teen then tried to stab his stepfather with the broken end, but “it didn’t work,” the teen told deputies.

The stepfather drove himself to medical care, the sheriff’s office said.

©2017 Miami Herald


Categories: Law Enforcement

Official says border agent was found at bottom of culvert

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 11:17

By Claudia Lauer and David Warren Associated Press

DALLAS — Investigators believe a border patrol agent who died in West Texas after suffering extensive injuries to his head and body may have fallen down a 14-foot (4-meter) culvert, and his partner, who radioed for help, has no memory of what happened, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation.

FBI spokeswoman Jeanette Harper said in a statement Monday that both agents were found late Saturday night in a culvert near Van Horn and that both had traumatic head injuries. Harper said Rogelio Martinez died early Sunday. The FBI is leading the investigation and results of his autopsy are pending.

Another U.S. official, who was briefed on the investigation but is not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Monday that Martinez was found at the bottom of the culvert and that investigators believe he may have fallen. The official said it happened after dark in an area that's known for drug activity and where agents often look for drugs in culverts.

Authorities haven't offered an official explanation of what happened to Martinez and his partner, and a border patrol supervisor said reports that the agents were attacked are "speculation."

Several elected officials, including President Donald Trump, have called Martinez's death an attack. Rush Carter, a supervisor for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol region that includes the area where Martinez died, said all the agency can confirm is that the two "were injured while performing their regular duties."

"We are waiting for the investigation to fully determine how those injuries happened," Carter said Monday night.

Harper told the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday that Martinez and his partner were "not fired upon," but she didn't elaborate.

Martinez's father told the El Paso Times that his son suffered serious injuries that left his head "destroyed." The agent repeatedly suffered cardiac arrest before succumbing to his injuries, an emotional Jose Martinez said.

"I would tell him, 'Son, that job is too dangerous.' But he would say, 'Dad, it's the job I like. I want to defend my country from terrorists . I want to prevent terrorists and drugs from coming into the country,'" Martinez said.

Rogelio Martinez, father to an 11-year-old, lived in El Paso and joined the Border Patrol in 2013.

CBP issued a statement Sunday that was thin on details, saying the two agents "were responding to activity" near Interstate 10 and close to Van Horn, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso. A CBP spokesman said Martinez and his partner were taken to a hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez's partner, whose name hasn't been released, was in serious condition.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of CBP, said in a letter sent to border agents on Sunday that Martinez was unconscious when agents found him with "multiple injuries" to his head and body.

Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for a border patrol agents union, the National Border Patrol Council, told The Associated Press that the two agents appeared to have been struck in the head with a rock or rocks. Cabrera said agents who responded to the scene described it as "grisly" and said Martinez and his partner had "extensive injuries."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a $20,000 reward Monday for information that leads to an arrest or conviction in the case. The Republican also tweeted that "resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future."

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took a similar approach in a news release: "We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe."

Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to insist that Martinez's death underscores the need for a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

"Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!" he tweeted.

The president offered his condolences to Martinez's family. He also said Martinez's partner was "brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt" but that it "looks like he'll make it."

Authorities haven't said whether they have any suspects or whether they think smugglers or people who were in the country illegally were involved.

Border Patrol records show that the agency's Big Bend sector, which includes the area where the incident occurred, accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region's mountains make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents, not including Martinez, who have died since late 2003. Some were attacked while working along the border and others were killed in traffic accidents.

Martinez is the second agent to have died this year.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Fla. K-9 dies following medical procedure

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:43

By Alexi C. Cardona Naples Daily News Fla.

COLLIER CO., Fla. — A Collier County Sheriff's Office K9 died earlier this month after undergoing a medical procedure from which he did not recover.

The K9, Ajax, was handled by Cpl. Eugene Shakuro. The K9 provided security for President Donald Trump during his Sept. 14 visit to Collier County following Hurricane Irma, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Shakuro and Ajax spent numerous hours working together, and the team completed their patrol/detection course last year.

"K9 Ajax had a great personality and an outstanding drive to want to work," the Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page.

Ajax was 2½ years old.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

It is with great sadness that the Collier County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit announces the passing of K9 Ajax. K9 Ajax...

Posted by CCSO K-9 Unit on Monday, November 20, 2017

©2017 the Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

11 fantastic discounts for law enforcement officers

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:41

By PoliceOne Staff

Working as an LEO means you put your life on the line every day. As a way to show appreciation, some companies offer discounts to first responders. With the holiday’s right around the corner, it’s a great time to check the deals out, too.

Consider these offers for the men and women in blue for serving their community every day.

Discounts for law enforcement officers

1. Sandals Resorts – If you’re able to get away this winter, do it at a discount. Active police officers can get an additional 10 percent discount on any promotion at Sandals Resorts.

2. Royal Caribbean – Royal Caribbean offers special pricing for police officers and veterans on certain cruises. Anyone occupying the same room as the officer is also eligible for the discount. Refer to their website for a more detailed look at discounted rates.

3. GOVX – All uniformed professionals, including military, police, firefighters, and EMS workers are offered membership with GOVX, which includes 65 percent off over 400 retail brands, exclusive sports, music and other tickets as well as special deals on travel packages, hotels, rental cars and theme parks. 4. Auto Insurance – As a small token of appreciation, men and women who have served our country can also get a discount on auto insurance. Several providers dole out discounts, so it's important to compare different auto insurers to see which provides the best discount for veterans.

5. MLBShop.com, NFLshop.com and NHLShop.com – Sports fans rejoice. The NFL offers a 10 percent discount to law enforcement. The NHL and MLB both offer 15 percent off to officers and their families as well.

6. Columbia – Columbia’s Professional Purchase Program offers a discount to all employees of government agencies who actively work outdoors. Under the terms of service, members of the Professional Purchase Program may not disclose pricing information to anyone who is not an active member of the program.

7. Under Armour – Active police officers, veterans, EMTs and firefighters can take advantage of a 10 percent discount offered by the clothing brand Under Armour. You just need to select the military & fire responder discount at checkout (if you’re online shopping) and you can verify your status instantly.

8. Ford – Ford offers discounts to police officers buying cars through its First Responder Appreciation Program. The offers vary, but right now you can get $1000 in bonus cash when you buy a car through the program.

9. Apple – The popular computer store offers government employees special pricing on personal electronic devices. To redeem their offer go to ‘Apple Store for Government’.

10. Costco – Police officers who join Costco will receive exclusive coupons worth over $60 (which includes 3 free items).

11. Oakley Standard Issue – - This division of Oakley Inc. caters to first responders, military personnel and other employees of the government. Products through this division are marked at a special rate. Register on their webpage for access to products at discounted prices.

Also, if a discount is offered, be sure you know your department's policy on accepting such gifts — no discount is worth losing your job. Do you additional retailers that officer discounts for public safety officials? Mention your favorite discounts in the comments below.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Small W. Va. community rallies around wounded officer

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:55

By Matt Combs The Register-Herald, Beckley, W. Va.

ALDERSON, W. Va. — If there is one thing that can be said about small communities, it is that in times of need and crisis, those small communities gather around one another and offer a helping hand.

A fine example of that community cohesiveness has been on display in the town of Alderson.

On the evening of Oct. 27, Mac Brackenrich, an off-duty Alderson police officer, was shot in the neck while riding an ATV in Summers County and airlifted to a hospital in Charleston where he still remains fighting through his wounds.

On Sunday morning, the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department held a fundraiser breakfast for the wounded officer at their station in Alderson’s Historic District.

Although Brackenrich may be best known as Alderson PD’s K9 officer, he was also a member of the fire department in the small town straddling the Greenbrier.

Mike Vandall, with the fire department, had nothing but praise for the young man.

“Mac is very warm,” Vandall said. “He’s never met a stranger. He’s the kind of guy that will give you the shirt off his back; he’ll do anything for you.”

Those feelings were also shared by Jeremy Bennett, the town’s police chief.

“Super good kid,” Bennett said. “Young. Had such drive, loved helping his community. He was a firefighter, police officer. He was also an EMT or working on becoming an EMT. A father, son, grandson. Just an all-around good kid. That’s all you can really say.”

Bennett was at a loss for words about the whole situation.

“There’s so many emotions,” Bennett said. “I mean why him?”

Although Bennett may be at a loss for words on the situation, he isn’t lost when it comes to the steps that need to be taken.

“Just to support the family, that’s it,” Bennett said. “There’s a long-term need. We all got to come together and do what we can to help him.”

Vandall highlighted some of those costs.

According to Vandall, the emergency flight to the hospital will cost upward of $50,000, with bills from over three weeks in intensive care also pilling up.

“The cost of this is going to be astronomical,” Vandall said. “He’s improving; it’s just slow.”

The support that the community has shown Brackenrich has impressed Vandall.

“To have the support that the community has given Mac is overwhelming,” the firefighter said.

Another person who has been impressed by the support is Tracie Brackenrich, the young officer’s mother.

Staying by the side of her wounded son, Tracie Brackenrich said that she has received prayers and well wishes from as far away as Texas and North Dakota.

The officer’s mother said that countless numbers of people her know her son even in the smallest way have reached out with their thoughts.

“Just overwhelming is about the only word I can come up with,” Tracie Brackenrich said.

The officer’s mother believes that the outpouring of support shown to her son is in part because of the love and respect that the community has for him.

“He knew everybody,” Tracie Brackenrich said. “If he didn’t know everybody, everybody knew him.”

©2017 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Baltimore police find new evidence in slain detective's case

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:15

By Justin Fenton The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Armed with new autopsy findings, Baltimore Police investigators returned Monday to the scene where Det. Sean Suiter was fatally shot last week and said they had found “additional, significant” evidence.

“I’m very encouraged by the recovery of this evidence,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Monday, declining to elaborate on what was discovered. “I think it’s going to help us identify the killer.”

Davis said the new findings were the result of an autopsy completed over the weekend, which formally ruled Suiter’s death as a homicide by shooting.

The commissioner appeared upbeat about the progress of the case, despite the investigation’s taking longer than usual for an agency accustomed to quickly identifying killers of its own. Since at least the 1960s, the city police department has never gone so long without identifying a suspect in the killing of a police officer.

Davis also said the discovery of new evidence bolstered his decision to keep the area around the Harlem Park crime scene locked down through last weekend, which had prompted criticism from some residents and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. Residents said their IDs were checked as they came and went from their homes.

“I would much rather endure some predictive criticism from the ACLU and others about that decision, than endure a conversation with Detective Suiter’s wife about why we didn’t do everything we possibly could do to recover evidence and identify the person who murdered her husband,” Davis said.

On Monday evening a small group congregated at the corner of West Franklin and Schroeder streets, getting as close as they could to the yard where Suiter was fatally shot. Police caution tape and patrol cars still blocked off some of the streets surrounding the crime scene. For a sixth night in a row, blue and red lights reflected off nearby Harlem Park rowhomes.

The group came to “pour love and light” into the neighborhood, said Baltimore Ceasefire organizer Erricka Bridgeford, and to “turn a murder location into sacred ground.”

Bridgeford, 45, plans to take similar actions at the scene of every murder in Baltimore. Along with other activists, she lit sage to cleanse the area, a process called “smudging.”

“Baltimore deserves light and love in the middle of all this darkness,” she said.

Police have said Suiter, 43, was investigating a still-unsolved homicide from December of last year when he saw a suspicious person in a vacant lot in the 900 block of Bennett Place. Suiter was shot once in the head, rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead the next day.

The reward for tips leading to an arrest and conviction remains at $215,000, which is believed to be an unprecedented amount in Maryland.

At least three shots were fired from Suiter’s own service weapon, which was recovered from the scene, police said. All recovered shell casings were matched to Suiter’s gun, but Davis cautioned that that does not necessarily mean no other gun was fired.

No suspect description has been given to the public since hours after the shooting, when Davis described the suspect as a black man wearing a black and white jacket.

He declined to say what the detective who was with Suiter has told investigators. The partner has not been publicly identified.

The crime scene was secured through the weekend because Suiter’s body was not taken for an autopsy until Saturday afternoon as his organs were donated. Davis said autopsies often provide new theories about the crime, including bullet trajectory and the shooter’s proximity to the victim.

Though investigators scoured the rowhome-sized lot where Suiter was shot, Davis said it was “not unique” to find evidence several days after a crime occurs.

Davis also confirmed that two people had been taken into custody, questioned, and released in the investigation. They were taken into custody after a raid in the 700 block of Dolphin Street, not far from the crime scene. They were not identified.

On Monday about 8:30 a.m., the only signs of the days-long crime scene were a squad car parked near the lot where Suiter was shot and a memorial around the corner on Schroeder Street. Crime scene tape no longer blocked access to the sidewalks.

But around noon, police began putting yellow tape back up and were looking at the dirt lot anew. Davis said it could be closed off for another day.

Later that evening, Bridgeford walked along the police tape on Franklin Street, burning sage. About a dozen others knelt on the nearby sidewalk, arms outstretched toward the vacant lot where Suiter was shot.

As he fell to his knees, Darnyle Wharton prayed for peace. He prayed for his city, for this neighborhood, for Suiter’s family and for everyone who knew him.

“I know it’s really hard for them right now,” said Wharton, 48. “He left that morning and they expected him to come home. And he didn’t. And he won’t again.”

Suiter’s daughter set up an online fundraiser — the authenticity of which was verified by both GoFundMe and the Police Department — on Sunday to collect donations to the family. It had raised more than $30,000 by Monday afternoon.

Police said funeral arrangements were not final but were expected to be announced next week.

Police asked anyone with information to call 911, the homicide unit at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Categories: Law Enforcement

Man accused of shooting rookie Pa. officer arrested

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:32

Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — The man accused of fatally shooting a rookie police officer in western Pennsylvania was taken into custody Tuesday, the state police said.

Details of the arrest of 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt were not immediately released. A news conference was planned for later Tuesday.

Holt is accused of killing New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw during a traffic stop Friday night.

Shaw tried to pull over a Jeep Cherokee driven by Tavon Jamere Harper at 8 p.m. Friday, according to a complaint filed by Westmoreland County Detective Ray Dupilka.

"The Jeep never stopped," Dupilka wrote in the complaint.

District Attorney John Peck said Shaw was attempting to pull the SUV over for a traffic violation that he characterized as "something minor."

On Sunday, police arrested Harper, who they allege fled the traffic stop after Holt bolted from the SUV.

They tracked down Harper and found him Saturday with $2,500 cash and bags of suspected heroin, according to a criminal complaint.

On Sunday, detectives filed drug and fleeing charges against Harper. He does not face charges in connection with Shaw's death.

Authorities said the 25-year-old rookie officer was shot in the chest while chasing Holt on foot.

A viewing resumes Tuesday and Shaw's funeral is set for Wednesday.

Officers from different towns and municipalities were pitching in on the manhunt so the town's police department could grieve Shaw's death and attend services, New Kensington Mayor Tom Guzzo said.

"The outpouring of support from the officers from all over western Pennsylvania has been extraordinary," he said. "We could not be doing this without them."


Categories: Law Enforcement

Texas Border Patrol agent killed in apparent attack

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 17:19

Associated Press

VAN HORN, Texas — Authorities were scouring West Texas on Monday for those behind an apparent attack that killed one U.S. border agent and injured another.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Sunday that was thin on details about what happened, saying the two agents "were responding to activity" while on patrol near Interstate 10 in the area of Van Horn, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and about 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.

CBP spokesman Douglas Mosier said 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez's partner, whose name hasn't been released, is in serious condition.

Elected officials referred to it as an attack, with Gov. Greg Abbott tweeting that "resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future." And Republican Sen. Ted Cruz also referred to it as such, saying in a news release: "We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe."

At a Cabinet meeting Monday, President Donald Trump offered his condolences to Martinez's family and said the wall he has promised to build along the border between the U.S. and Mexico is on the agenda.

Trump said the injured agent was "brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt" but "looks like he'll make it."

Authorities haven't said whether they have any suspects or whether they think smugglers or people who were in the country illegally were involved.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of CBP, said in a letter sent to border agents that Martinez was unconscious when agents found him, with "multiple injuries" to his head and body.

Jeanette Harper, FBI spokeswoman for the El Paso field office, told the San Antonio Express-News only that Martinez and his partner were "not fired upon." The FBI has taken over the investigation.

Border Patrol records show that the agency's Big Bend sector, which includes the area where Sunday's attack took place, accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region's mountains make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents, not including Martinez, who have died since late 2003 — some attacked while working along the border and others killed in traffic accidents. Martinez is the second agent to have died this year.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Border Patrol agent killed in apparent Texas attack

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 17:19

Associated Press

VAN HORN, Texas — Authorities were scouring West Texas on Monday for those behind an apparent attack that killed one U.S. border agent and injured another.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Sunday that was thin on details about what happened, saying the two agents "were responding to activity" while on patrol near Interstate 10 in the area of Van Horn, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and about 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.

CBP spokesman Douglas Mosier said 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez's partner, whose name hasn't been released, is in serious condition.

Elected officials referred to it as an attack, with Gov. Greg Abbott tweeting that "resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future." And Republican Sen. Ted Cruz also referred to it as such, saying in a news release: "We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe."

At a Cabinet meeting Monday, President Donald Trump offered his condolences to Martinez's family and said the wall he has promised to build along the border between the U.S. and Mexico is on the agenda.

Trump said the injured agent was "brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt" but "looks like he'll make it."

Authorities haven't said whether they have any suspects or whether they think smugglers or people who were in the country illegally were involved.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of CBP, said in a letter sent to border agents that Martinez was unconscious when agents found him, with "multiple injuries" to his head and body.

Jeanette Harper, FBI spokeswoman for the El Paso field office, told the San Antonio Express-News only that Martinez and his partner were "not fired upon." The FBI has taken over the investigation.

Border Patrol records show that the agency's Big Bend sector, which includes the area where Sunday's attack took place, accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region's mountains make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents, not including Martinez, who have died since late 2003 — some attacked while working along the border and others killed in traffic accidents. Martinez is the second agent to have died this year.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Video of Ala. K-9 doing pushups alongside officers goes viral

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 16:56

By PoliceOne Staff

GULF SHORES, Ala. — A seven-second video featuring a K-9 doing pushups in sync with two police officers has gone viral.

AL.com reports that two-year-old K-9 Nitro, who joined the Gulf Shores PD in February, joined Officers William Cowan and Ben Hancock as they did push-ups. The video has gained more than 60,000 views since it was posted on Saturday.

The video was made to promote an anti-car theft campaign called the “9 p.m. routine” - reminding people to remove their valuables from their cars at night to prevent theft. The campaign was started by the Paso County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department and has reportedly reduced the number of thefts there.

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It’s 9:00 PM #GulfShores! Go ahead and follow the #9PMRoutine. ??????????? K9 Nitro, Officer Cowan and Officer Hancock are getting warmed up and ready to apprehend any bad guys that break the law!

Posted by Gulf Shores Police Department on Saturday, November 18, 2017


Categories: Law Enforcement

Ford unveils first plug-in hybrid police car

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 16:46

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — The Ford Motor Company recently unveiled its first plug-in hybrid patrol vehicle.

CNET reports that the Ford Special Service Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will have a 7.6 kWh battery and is capable of driving up to 21 miles on battery alone at speeds up to 85 miles per hour.

The battery will take an estimated 2.5 hours to charge on a Level 2 charger.

The interior features “anti-stab plates” in the seats. Agencies can also add additional features such as spot lamps and the ability to turn off interior lighting for surveillance purposes.

Orders for the vehicle will open in December, and delivery is expected to start next summer.

Our very first plug-in #hybrid police vehicle, the Special Service Sedan, gives officers, fire chiefs, detectives & other government personnel alike the chance to get through entire shifts both gas and emissions free. #EV pic.twitter.com/IdZ1TZxdJ5

— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) November 20, 2017


Categories: Law Enforcement

How to build a diverse police force: Lessons from the corporate world

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 16:08

Editor's note: This special coverage series, Recruitment & Retention Crisis: The Struggle to Hire – and Keep – Good Cops, will take an in-depth look at the recruitment and retention challenges currently facing police agencies, share potential solutions to the crisis and highlight best practices progressive PDs are deploying to bolster their ranks. Watch for further installments of this series throughout the rest of 2017.

By Simma Lieberman

The corporate world is asking, “How do we recruit, engage and retain a diverse workforce?” Diversity is not just a good idea today. It is a business imperative if companies want to stay competitive and innovative.

What could law enforcement learn from the business world to increase diversity among its ranks? This article identifies common mistakes in diversity recruitment, perceived obstacles and best practices by organizations.

Common mistakes in diversity recruitment

Organizations make two mistakes when it comes to diversity recruitment:

1. Company photo diversity

The organization only considers the visible dimensions of diversity: primarily race and gender. The company photo looks good, but everyone thinks the same.

Differences that include sexual orientation, geographic background, thinking and communication style, work function, ability and disability, religion and work style are not valued and are even discouraged.

This is a very narrow definition of diversity and offers little or no value to the organization in terms of new ideas, creativity and innovation.

2. Diversity by numbers

Again, diversity is defined by what you can see. Demographics reflect the outside community, but it is only at the lower or entry levels. There is little or no diversity as you move up into management.

When questioned about diversity in their organization, leaders point to all the numbers. Every year they have good numbers, but the people are constantly changing.

Employees leave and get jobs where there is a value of diversity at all levels and they are encouraged to move up in the ranks.

Addressing diversity challenges

To be a successful organization in today’s culture, you need to create an environment of inclusion where people feel valued and integrated into a company’s mission, vision and strategy at all levels.

When employees’ skills and knowledge are recognized, appreciated and utilized, they are more engaged in contributing to an organization’s success. They are more willing to go the extra mile and share ideas and innovation. The visible and invisible dimensions of diversity that they bring are used as resources for success and growth. In order to create an inclusive work environment, you need a diverse workforce.

Assess your need. Clarify your definition of diversity. Include the visible as well as the invisible dimensions. Conduct a culture assessment of your organization, department or function using focus groups, interviews or surveys. Determine whether one or all of these methods would be most appropriate. Get feedback from the community and identify the needs of any potential end users.

Develop a strategy and implementation plan for a diversity/culture change initiative. Any culture change must be driven by senior management, and include the whole organization. Address all systems and processes including recruitment, employee engagement, retention, promotion and performance evaluation.

Barriers to success

There are three reasons why organizations drop the ball and don’t move forward.

1. Analysis and data nullification

When the assessment is completed and data analyzed, leadership is in denial about the results. Employees lose any trust or hope developed as a result of participating in the assessment. Leadership places blame on employees for having a hidden agenda.

2. Short-cut solution

Leadership listens to the report and decides that hiring a member of one of the underrepresented groups is the answer. They conduct an executive search for the best and brightest and declare a solution found. There is no need and no time for any long-term strategy.

3. Diversity holding pattern

Executive leadership holds a strategy meeting, which results in good ideas or long-term vision, but there is no process of accountability or steps to implement specific actions. Other than discussing the need for more diversity in the organization, there is no plan to change employee recruiting and retention methods.

Recruitment strategies with diversity in mind

Organizations can deploy several strategies to improve diversity recruitment:

1. Create a diverse pool of candidates

If you are serious about implementing a diversity/culture change initiative, you must create a diverse pool of candidates. If you always recruit from the same places, with the same methods, you will always get the same people.

In today’s competitive market, you need to be creative. You have to go where the candidates are and have a long enough lead-time to get a good selection of candidates.

Consider the following:

Research and develop a list of schools that historically have large numbers of women, people with disabilities, and people from different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds. Send recruiting teams to those schools. Attend career days at middle and high schools and come prepared to discuss the benefits of working for your organization and your industry. Goldman Sachs began a program in 1998 called GS Scholars to introduce high school students from historically underrepresented groups to business and finance as a career option. Employers from the publishing industry have participated in career days and gone into middle schools in racially diverse areas to interest students in book and newspaper publishing. When GE Nuclear couldn’t find enough qualified college graduates in nuclear engineering, they began to send recruiters to high schools to get people interested in the field before they went to college. Contact student groups on mainstream campuses and ask them to suggest the best candidates or include notices about your organization in their newsletters or other vehicles for communication. Develop relationships with diversity-related organizations (e.g., Black Student Union, Native American Students Organization, Asian-American Student Union, LGBT organizations, etc.) and sponsor events. Send a diverse team to meet with people at schools and other recruiting sites and build relationships so your organization will be the agency of choice to apply to work. Develop relationships with diverse community organizations and let them know about the opportunities in your organization.

Diageo has sponsored LGBT events during Gay Pride Week in San Francisco and has used marketing and PR people who specialize in the LGBT market.

Sodexho, a food and facilities management services company, in partnership with the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the SODEXHO Pan Asian Network Group, has set up a scholarship for Asian American college juniors who are also involved in community service.

Identify new ways of reaching target markets. In 2002, Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow, a not-for-profit coalition of 37 nursing and health care organizations, ran promotions in 436 movie theaters before films like “Spiderman” and “Star Wars” in order reach a young market who might not have thought about nursing as a career.

2. Clearly communicate your recruitment process

Your criteria for interviewing and hiring should be based on qualifications and not just because you are more comfortable with someone who went to the same school, practices the same religion or shares your gender or sexual orientation. Have a diverse panel conduct interviews so you can get other perspectives.

Include diversity as part of your mission statement and display it on your website and marketing material. One of the first things a potential recruit will do in researching your organization will be to look at your website. If it does not state and show a high value for diversity, there is a good chance that recruit will look elsewhere.

Diversified Maintenance Services, a facilities service organization, mentions the diversity of their management team in the first sentence of their mission statement. “Diversified Maintenance Services, Inc. (DMS) has a diverse multicultural management team with decades of combined management experience, unique in their unparalleled vision and expertise.”

Market your diversity initiative throughout the organization so the word gets out that your environment is a great place for everyone to work. Identify any changes your organization has made regarding diversity and how diversity goals are being met.

3. Change perceptions about your profession

Identify stereotypes of people who work in your industry and develop strategies for changing perceptions:

Use more inclusive language and visuals in rule books, training and recruiting materials. Make sure all pronouns aren’t female in industries like nursing and that all pronouns are not male in industries like law enforcement.

Johnson and Johnson created a “discover nursing” campaign featuring male and ethnically diverse nurses in television commercials.

Be aware of your own biases and stereotypes and their impact on the environment. Participate in high-level diversity training. Create processes to make people who are different from you feel welcome and included in your organization, and then use the media to alert potential employees that you are a welcoming, inclusive employer.

Organizations like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Wellpoint advertise in “Diversity, Inc.” and market the diversity of their employees as strength. This not only increases their customer base but it helps promote them as employers of choice.

Mentor people who are a different gender or from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. It will help you become more comfortable with other people and will help your staff grow in their careers. Incorporate ideas from other cultures to solve problems and be more innovative.

4. Implement policies that support diversity recruitment

Use resources that are already in place and research what other organizations have done to be successful. Implementing the following policies will support your diversity recruitment:

Develop relationships with employee affinity groups and keep them apprised of any openings. Provide cross-cultural communication training to help staff work well together and serve the client population more effectively. Survey and interview staff across demographics to determine their needs in order to create a strategic plan for retention and increased recruitment under represented populations. Rethink your beliefs that a candidate should always have direct eye contact, be a certain weight or height, speak the way you do, have children, be single, lead in a certain way, not be hearing impaired, etc. Outside of physical requirements for being able to do the job, don’t let your biases exclude excellent candidates. Examine your definition of leadership qualities to include ways in which people with different thought processes and communication styles can lead. If you have been hierarchical in the past, start learning that people with consensus styles can also be effective leaders and do not exclude them from the recruiting process. Conduct exit interviews and identify patterns and themes if they exist. Be willing to change to accommodate and use new ideas and creativity. Use a recruiting team trained in diversity and inclusion awareness.

The Compass Group, a hospitality and facilities management corporation, trains their recruiters so they can communicate and interest diverse candidates. They know that the recruiters are the frontline people and how they interact with potential candidates can be the deciding factor in how that candidate will follow up.

About the author Consultant Simma Lieberman is known as “The Inclusionist,” because she creates inclusive workplaces where employees love to do their best work, and customers love to do business.

Simma is a member of two diversity think tanks, a former co-chair of the San Francisco Regional Chapter of Out and Equal, and former board member of the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association. She is the president of the Northern California Chapter of Society for the Advancement of Consulting, and an inductee to the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame.

Contact Simma at Simma@Simmalieberman.com or visit http://simmalieberman.com/ for more information.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Chicago passes 600 homicides for only third time since 2003

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 14:31

By Madeline Buckley Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Chicago has surpassed 600 homicides for the second year in a row and for only the third time since 2003, according to data kept by the Tribune.

As of early Monday, the city has recorded at least 609 homicides. That trails the 711 homicides this time last year but far exceeds previous years. In 2015, the city had recorded 443 homicides by the weekend of Nov. 22. In 2014, it was 400.

Like homicides, shootings are also markedly down from last year but up by hundreds compared to previous years. At least 3,267 people have been shot in Chicago this year, compared to 3,937 this time last year. In 2015, the number so far was 2,288 and in 2014, 1,999.

This weekend saw 13 people shot in the city, including a 14-year-old boy who was seriously injured.

The boy was walking on Sunday morning in the 2500 block of North Lotus Avenue in the Cragin neighborhood on the Northwest Side when someone shot at him from a vehicle, hitting him in the chest.

He was one of four teens shot over the weekend.

From Friday afternoon to early Monday, one man was fatally shot in what police said was an accident. Anthony Collins, 30, accidentally shot himself Sunday in the 1600 block of North Mango Avenue in the the North Austin neighborhood on the West Side.

The weekend’s latest gun attack was a double shooting in the West Side’s South Austin neighborhood around 3:10 a.m. Monday. Two men were shot in a residence in the 5000 block of West Fulton Street when the assailants entered the home and fired at them, police said.

©2017 Chicago Tribune


Categories: Law Enforcement

Crash sends Calif. police car off road, killing 2 boys

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 13:59

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles County sheriff's patrol vehicle heading to an emergency call crashed with another car and then ran onto a sidewalk, killing two small boys and critically injuring their mother, authorities said Friday.

Two other people in a crosswalk were injured in the Thursday night crash as deputies responded to a report of a gunshot victim, Los Angeles police Capt. Alfonso Lopez said. Investigators were still trying to determine whether the patrol vehicle was using its emergency lights and siren at the time.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the families and all those affected by this tragic accident," a sheriff's department statement said. The agency said it is cooperating with a city police investigation.

A witness, Julie Valle, said the SUV was speeding and didn't activate its lights until it reached the intersection, just before it collided with another car, ran off the road and hit the woman and her two boys.

"They turned the lights on at that moment, a split-second, not enough time for anybody to get out of the way because they were going so fast," she said at a news conference Friday.

Valle said she rushed toward the crash and saw an injured woman.

"She was trying to get up," Valle said. "I told her, 'Don't move, you were just involved in a car accident.'"

Valle also said she saw the boys.

"All I see is little legs," she said. "Then I see a boy, and that's when I start to get the full picture."

Luis Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times that the victims were his brothers, 7-year-old Jose Luis and 9-year-old Marcos. The 7-year-old died at the scene, and the older boy died at a hospital, relatives told the paper.

"I got the call and I didn't believe it," Hernandez said tearfully Friday at a makeshift memorial of flowers, stuffed animals and candles at the intersection. "I just didn't believe it."

Their mother was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The Times said a brief video clip from a liquor store security camera showed the patrol vehicle, its emergency lights on, driving on the sidewalk. A trash can and a person are seen bouncing off the front of the SUV.

The car that collided with the sheriff's SUV hit a third car that struck two adults in a crosswalk, according to the sheriff's statement. Those adults, another pedestrian and two deputies were treated for minor injuries, authorities said.

It was the third crash involving law enforcement vehicles in a single day.

Leticia Ramirez, 15, died at a hospital Thursday night after she was struck by a sheriff's patrol car in nearby Riverside County. The girl ran into the street in the city of Perris and was struck by the vehicle, which wasn't using its lights or siren, authorities said.

A 25-year-old man was struck by a Riverside police car as he stepped off a center divider into its path early Thursday, police said. He was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Texas deputy helps native Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:37

By Brooke A. Lewis Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — Armando Aviles Jr. fondly recalls the soothing sounds of "coquis" or frogs during the summers he spent as a boy in Puerto Rico. The memory of those sounds was a call to arms for the Harris County Sheriff's deputy after Hurricane Maria devastated his native island.

Just weeks earlier, the deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office had rescued flooded victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. "They needed help, (and) I could get to them," said Aviles, who felt fortunate to only suffer some minor damage at the home he shares with his wife and five stepchildren.

When Maria hit, he said: "My family needed help, and I couldn't get to them."

Aviles' cousins and grandparents live in Aguas Buenas, but he had no way of immediately getting to the mountain town thousands of miles away. Worry paralyzed the deputy as he sat at home trying to figure out a way to help his isolated relatives.

"I'm not rich," he said. "I don't have the hook up with big organizations. I can't call somebody and say, 'Hey give me a plane.' "

Aviles grew up in New Jersey but spent summers in Puerto Rico, where he was born. He couldn't stop thinking about his family running out of food and living without electricity and water.

The 35-year-old deputy decided to hold a two-day relief drive at Kroger on Highway 6 in northwest Houston, an area he now patrols. He's worked six years for the sheriff's office.

As Aviles started putting plans into place, he asked the area Kroger manager if he could use the store to keep donations and hold the drive.

The manager broke down in tears, confiding to Aviles that she, too, was Puerto Rican.

The plan started to come together.

Aviles spread the word on social media. He also partnered with another deputy who is an executive for United Sikhs, an organization that has been active in hurricane relief.

In a moment of panic, he remembers asking his wife, "What if nobody shows up?"

Instead, he watched Puerto Ricans from across Houston flood the store to donate whatever they could.

"All these Puerto Ricans came out from different backgrounds, different jobs, even Puerto Ricans who didn't have any money. Puerto Ricans who are unemployed, children," Aviles said. "They came out and wanted to help."

Aviles managed to fill four 18-wheelers with supplies to send to Puerto Rico. They were sent to a warehouse in Miami and are scheduled to arrive by plane in Puerto Rico by early December. However, the deputy still doesn't feel like efforts are enough. He's heard stories of Puerto Ricans burying loved ones in backyards and tales of hospitals with no electricity.

He hears about islanders with diabetes who have run out of insulin.

Plans swim around in the head of Aviles, who set up a GoFundMe to help raise more money for supplies.

He's also searching for families from Puerto Rico who relocated to Houston in the wake of Maria and are in need of food for Thanksgiving. He dreams of holding a local Christmas toy drive for Puerto Rican children.

He wrestles with the reality that there's always more he could do. "You know, you can't get to everybody, as bad as you want to," he said.

©2017 the Houston Chronicle


Categories: Law Enforcement

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