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9 questions you may have about medication for PTSD, anxiety or depression

30 min 36 sec ago

Author: American Military University

By Dr. Aaron Wilson, contributor to In Public Safety

Sometimes working with a therapist or medical professional is not enough to help officers recover and they may be prescribed medication. Many officers worry about taking medication and how it could affect their job performance. These are legitimate concerns and officers should have candid conversations with their healthcare professional about taking medications. It’s also a good idea for officers to keep a log of any side effects they have so they can discuss them with their doctor.

Here are some of the most common questions officers have about medication:

1. Shouldn’t I be able to get better without medication?

Medications may not be necessary at all. However, if left untreated, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress can last longer or even worsen. These problems can seriously interfere with your ability to function, including the ability to perform at work, and also affect your personal relationships and family life. While medications are not mandatory, for the right candidates, they can treat chemical imbalances to improve one’s ability to engage in therapy, which may expedite the road to recovery. I often tell my patients, “Medication is just another tool in your toolbox.”

2. How do antidepressants work?

Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress are conditions in which factors such as genetics, chemical changes in the body and life stressors play an important role. Research suggests these conditions may be linked to changes in the functioning of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Current research focuses on the serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine systems. Imbalances in these three systems can produce profound changes in your mood and behavior. Antidepressants are thought to correct some of the chemical imbalances, essentially helping to “re-calibrate” the system.

3. Why is my doctor prescribing an “antidepressant” for my anxiety or post-traumatic stress?

These conditions affect common areas of the brain and have many neurochemical similarities, so they respond to the same class of medications (antidepressants). For example, Zoloft, which works on the serotonin system, has been approved by the FDA to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress, as well as a few other related conditions.

4. Which medication will work best for me?

There are almost 30 antidepressants currently available. Like shoe sizes, not every medication is the right fit for every individual; a medication that worked well for a friend may not be the best fit for you. Your healthcare provider will discuss medication options based on your particular symptoms. The goal of treatment is to effectively target your symptoms while producing the fewest (if any) side effects. Advances in technology have made it possible to determine how your body metabolizes many different medications, which may guide your provider’s treatment choice. It is important you ask your healthcare provider about any concerns you have about a medication or its potential side effects.

5. What are the most common side effects of antidepressants?

Antidepressants are generally a safe treatment option in otherwise healthy individuals being treated for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Like most prescribed (and some over-the-counter medications), antidepressants may cause mild and usually temporary side effects. Side effects vary by medication and generally decrease with time. Common side effects include:

Nausea Loose stools or constipation Dizziness Drowsiness Nervousness Sleep changes Dry mouth Headache Blurred vision A change in sexual interest or functioning

Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can provide additional information regarding potential side effects. While the internet is an excellent source of information, I encourage patients to speak directly to healthcare professionals with specific questions regarding diagnoses and medications to avoid being inundated with confusing, conflicting and potentially harmful information.

6. Am I going to become addicted to this medication?

As a class of medication, antidepressants are not considered addictive. During years of practice, I can’t think of a single patient who has abused them.

It is important to note that other classes of medications, particularly benzodiazepines (e.g., Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Klonopin) that are sometimes prescribed for moderate to severe anxiety or panic attacks, DO have addictive potential. These medications should be taken exactly as prescribed and are generally meant to be used on a short-term basis. Because of their potential to slow reaction times, they are generally not recommended for first responders while on duty.

7. What is the first step in considering a medication?

Before prescribing any medication, your healthcare provider will need to get a thorough understanding of your symptoms, medical history, medication use, and drug or alcohol use. Be honest. For female patients, it’s also important to discuss issues of pregnancy and birth control use because some medications may be potentially harmful to a fetus or nursing infant or may have a reaction with birth control medication.

8. Why do they say it’s not a good idea to drink alcohol while taking medications?

Alcohol is a powerful DEPRESSANT. Many people “self-medicate” with alcohol and drugs, not realizing it produces exactly the opposite desired effect over time. Alcohol can also interfere with the effectiveness of antidepressants by interfering with how your body metabolizes them. Consuming alcohol while on antidepressants can potentially worsen side effects, cause blackouts, impairment, or unpredictable behavior.

9. How will I remember to take a pill every day?

I typically tell patients to link their medications to a daily activity such as brushing your teeth. If you need an extra reminder, I would suggest setting a daily reminder on your phone. Taking medications as prescribed is extremely important. The effectiveness of antidepressants decreases significantly with missed doses. Unlike Ibuprofen, you cannot take antidepressants on an “as-needed” basis, skipping doses on good days. It is important not to take “catch-up” doses if you forget to take the medication as prescribed. It is also important not to increase or decrease the dose without consulting with your healthcare provider.

Medication can be extremely effective in helping officers recover and regain a healthy balance in their lives. While medication may not be necessary for all officers, it is worth considering based on the advice and expertise of your healthcare professional. Don’t do yourself a disservice by dismissing medication options just because you think it will be seen as a sign of weakness.

About the Author

Aaron Wilson, MD, was named chief medical officer at Sierra Tucson in February 2018. Previously the medical director at Valley Hospital, Dr. Wilson led their Freedom Care Unit, which addresses the specific mental health needs of military service members and first responders. Dr. Wilson has worked closely with active-duty personnel, veterans, retired military, police officers, firefighters, border patrol agents, correctional staff and EMTs with a high acuity of mental illness. Currently, he is an active member of the mental health community in Arizona, serving as president of the Arizona Psychiatric Society and as chairman of the Arizona Disaster Psychiatry Task Force. He is also a co-founder of the Arizona Inter-Professional Behavioral Health Collaborative. To contact the author, email IPSauthor@apus.edu. For more articles featuring insight from industry experts, subscribe to In Public Safety’s bi-monthly newsletter.


Categories: Law Enforcement

How an LAPD police officer budgets for the future

2 hours 19 min ago

LAPD officer Jamie Carganilla shares the details of her income and expenses, as well as her financial goals, as part of a series from Khan Academy covering the responsibilities, requirements and financial aspects of careers.


Categories: Law Enforcement

How case-based learning can build enthusiasm for a forensic science career

4 hours 23 min ago

Author: American Military University

By Dr. Dena Weiss, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

Since 2000, there has been a major initiative at all levels of educational institutions in the United States – from K-12 to colleges and universities – to promote student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) coursework. STEM includes the study of physics, chemistry and life sciences (i.e., biology, anatomy and anthropology), along with math and engineering.

However, despite these efforts, there appears to be a continuous deficit in students entering the science fields. The U.S. National Academies reported in Rising Above the Gathering Storm that there is a deficiency of scientists in the United States. According to Wagstaff and LaPorte, STEM interest suffers from a phenomenon known as the “leaky pipeline.” Students start out pursuing science degrees but transfer to other degree programs, which contributes to low STEM completion rates. Dropout rates are higher for females and minorities, contributing to disproportionately low percentages of women and minorities working in science fields:

Females constitute 50 percent of the population; 30 percent work in the sciences; Hispanics constitute 17 percent of the population; 6 percent work in the sciences; African Americans constitute 13 percent of the population; 5 percent work in the sciences. Rising Opportunity in Forensic Science Careers

One area that holds great potential to garner student interest is forensic science. Forensic science is a fascinating field of study that impacts public safety by utilizing scientific theories and techniques to assist law enforcement, as well as the court system. The field has many specialties such as toxicology, entomology, DNA analysis and digital forensics that require a background in STEM sciences.

Not only is it an interesting career, but there is also a growing need for more forensic scientists. The United States Department of Labor predicts there will be a 17 percent increase in forensic science jobs between 2016 and 2026, which is much higher than the average for all occupations. With continual advances in forensic science technology, these numbers are likely to be higher than estimated.

According to Durose and Burch, more than 14,000 individuals are employed full-time by government crime laboratories. But more qualified forensic scientists are needed. It is estimated that these government laboratories have a case backlog of 570,100 requests for forensic services. Private labs are stepping in to assist with the forensic testing of evidence submitted to state and federal laboratories; however, these companies are also in need of their own qualified forensic scientists.

With the appeal of hands-on work and the clear need for more scientists in the field, forensic science would seem a natural career choice for many students. As with other STEM-based professions, it is a struggle to keep students on this career path of using science to assist with matters of law.

It is the responsibility of academic institutions and individual educators to change this trend by creating a learning atmosphere within classrooms that fosters a love for the sciences. The goal should be to encourage students to develop a passion for STEM at a young age and support their learning through high school and college, providing them with the tools needed to follow a pathway to a forensic science career.

Case-Based Learning Engages Students in Forensic Sciences

One of the best ways to create enthusiasm among future scientists is through active-learning initiatives that use case-based scenarios, which provide real-world examples of what scientists encounter in the field. Active learning is defined as “the process of having students engage in some activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and upon how they are using those ideas.” Student motivation increases, as does their personal satisfaction and confidence, when engaged in active-learning exercises.

Case-based scenarios engage active learning as they give students an opportunity to use not only book knowledge, but critical thinking skills and group interaction to solve real or fictional criminal cases. In a study by Cresswell and Loughlin, forensic case-based scenarios were assigned to student groups of three and contained the following components:

Introduction to the problem; Analysis of evidence; Designing of testing strategies; Testing of evidence; Analysis of results; Writing of report and witness statements.

Overall, students reportedly had a high interest in the case-based scenarios as well as the preparatory lectures that accompanied the scenario. Results of the study revealed improvement in assessment outcomes.

One of the only negative components that students reported was having to work together in a group setting. However, from an academic perspective, group work is critical to learning. It’s also critical for a career in forensics. Forensic scientists solve crimes collectively and in tandem with law enforcement, lawyers, medical examiner staff, as well as other government agencies such as Child and Family Services.

Case-based scenarios offer the possibility of grouping diverse ethnic and gender populations, which can greatly enhance the learning experience. Unique life experiences result in different approaches to critical thinking and absorption of knowledge. Research has shown “diverse teams perform better,” which holds promise in the academic arena for renewed enthusiasm in the forensic sciences as well as other science disciplines.

Academic institutions and educators must find ways to incorporate case-based scenarios and other active learning strategies into their STEM coursework. This style of learning has proven to engage students, help create a passion and enthusiasm for the sciences, and build student confidence in their ability to pursue a career in forensic science or other science-based careers.

About the Author

Dr. Dena Weiss is an assistant professor at American Military University, teaching courses in criminal justice and forensic science. She has been a crime scene investigator for more than 20 years and is currently a fingerprint expert for a central Florida police department. Prior to that position, she was a serologist for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Her court experience includes testifying in more than 200 federal and circuit court cases in over 15 Florida counties. Dena has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Sociology, a master’s degree in Forensic Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Criminal Justice. To contact the author, email IPSauthor@apus.edu. For more articles featuring insight from industry experts, subscribe to In Public Safety’s bi-monthly newsletter.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Police continue search for suspect in deadly French Christmas market shooting

7 hours 3 min ago
Author: American Military University

By PoliceOne Staff

STRASBOURG, France — A massive manhunt continued Wednesday for the suspect in Tuesday’s shooting at a French Christmas market that left two people dead, a third brain dead, and 12 people wounded, Associated Press reported.

French prosecutors are treating Tuesday’s attack as an act of terrorism. The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, has a criminal record of non-terrorist offenses including several prison sentences in France, Germany and Switzerland with 27 convictions. It’s believed he was radicalized in prison.

Police have arrested four people close to the suspect and in connection with the attack.

The market remained closed Wednesday along with several schools canceling class for the day.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Police continue search for suspect in deadly French Christmas market shooting

7 hours 3 min ago

By PoliceOne Staff

STRASBOURG, France — A massive manhunt continued Wednesday for the suspect in Tuesday’s shooting at a French Christmas market that left two people dead, a third brain dead, and 12 people wounded, Associated Press reported.

French prosecutors are treating Tuesday’s attack as an act of terrorism. The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, has a criminal record of non-terrorist offenses including several prison sentences in France, Germany and Switzerland with 27 convictions. It’s believed he was radicalized in prison.

Police have arrested four people close to the suspect and in connection with the attack.

The market remained closed Wednesday along with several schools canceling class for the day.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Ohio police chief resigns amid shooting investigation

7 hours 36 min ago

By PoliceOne Staff

PERRYSBURG, Ohio - A police chief is resigning days after an investigation found he misjudged his response to a shooting in August.

Investigators found Perrysburg police Chief Daniel Paez pulled officers from the scene when they were needed to relieve officers who were “traumatized” by the officer-involved shooting and hostage takeover in Township, without first consulting officials, The Blade reports.

Chief Paez led the department for more than nine years, starting with the Perrysburg Police Department in 1994.

Perrysburg Mayor Tom Mackin previously said he planned to review issues identified in a report on the investigation with the chief and city administrators and believed Paez could be disciplined following his review. The mayor now thinks the resignation is enough and he does not anticipate taking further action, according to the report.

Councilmembers have mixed thoughts on Paez’s decision. Some believe he should still be held accountable for his decision of pulling the officers. Others believe his resignation is sufficient.

His last day as chief is Jan. 8.


Categories: Law Enforcement

How to decrease response times using a CAD system

8 hours 19 min ago

Author: Tim Dees

The days of dispatchers writing incident details on 5x8 cards and time stamping them with each significant development are mostly behind us, as just about everyone uses some form of computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software. The process is further streamlined with officers having critical operational data immediately available to them via their MDTs or handheld devices. Here are some of the ways this technology can be leveraged to decrease response times and improve police service.

Premise history

A CAD system can maintain details of each address in the service area, information that will pop up when a call at or near that address is entered into the system. These details can be everything from residence addresses of agency employees to histories about people at those addresses who are hostile to police.

Properly updated, these premise history entries can make for smoother responses to incidents. If Officer A had responded to Address X a few days before, he might have some insight to what is going on there, or be able to provide officer safety information to those heading there on a new call. Access codes for the keypads of gated communities are good information for premise history entries.

Both officers and dispatchers should be encouraged to add as much detail as they can to premise history files, so that everyone can get the benefit of their shared experience.

Text updates

Low-priority calls, such as the assignment of cold reports and questions citizens have for officers, can be assigned over the MDT to keep the voice channel available for higher priority traffic. The more critical dispatches are sent to the MDTs, but are also broadcast on the voice channel to maintain everyone’s situational awareness.

Updates to these calls may also be best disseminated over the MDT, rather than by voice. Officers who are adding themselves to the units responding and information coming in from the reporting person can be sent as text updates. Responding officers can see this as they make their way to the call, and keep the channel open for emergency voice traffic. The dispatcher might use some version of voice shorthand (e.g., “Call updated”) to advise responding units of an update, so they will know to glance at their screens and get the new details before they exit their cars. Officers should verbally acknowledge these updates (e.g. “On scene, updates noted”) when they arrive on scene, so the dispatcher will know they have all the current details.

This utility becomes less useful once officers have arrived on scene and are no longer in front of their MDTs. Once the first officers are at the scene and out of the car, any new information should be transmitted over the voice channel, so that everyone will get it. Knowing when to switch from text to voice updates requires situational awareness from the dispatcher. The dispatcher has to be cognizant that the officers are on foot and using their eyes and ears to assess the environment.

Pending calls

Some agencies do not permit patrol units to view the list of pending calls from their MDTs. This is often a sign of low morale or poor officer-supervisor relationships, especially when the rationale is that officers will avoid calls that hold the potential for paperwork or some other less pleasant duty. In more efficient agencies, officers finish details as quickly as they can and then “buy” pending calls before they are assigned to them by the dispatcher. This allows officers to choose calls they can get to fastest, or that make the best use of their individual talents.

If the agency does not permit patrol officers to see pending calls from their MDTs and self-dispatch to them, it may be indicative of a problem deeper than just lack of initiative. Professional, highly-motivated officers want to work and take care of the assignments that come in. If this isn’t the case, top management needs to ask why their officers are not more driven to get the work done.

Alternative communication conduits

As text messaging has become a preferred method of communication over voice calls, the public has asked for a way of contacting emergency services via text, rather than voice. This medium is less than ideal for emergency service use, as it requires having sufficient staff to constantly monitor and respond to incoming messages. There is also greater potential for pranking, as the added anonymity of the text message can make people more bold and reckless.

Still, there are situations where text messaging has advantages over voice, especially if there is a way for those messages to go directly to field units deployed on the incident. Not all CAD systems have a provision for this, and no one wants their officers in the field tapping keys on a smartphone when they’re in a tactical situation. Text messaging is becoming the preferred communications medium and public safety has to adapt to embrace the change.

Conclusion

Virtually all public safety agencies use CAD systems, but they don’t always leverage them for maximum efficiency. With some minor re-working of policy, officers can respond to critical incidents with greater safety and improved effectiveness.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Judge won't drop suit against ex-deputy in Parkland school shooting

10 hours 12 min ago

By Terry Spencer and Curt Anderson Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A judge has rejected a deputy's claim that he had no duty to confront the gunman during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Refusing to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a parent of a victim, Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning found after a hearing Wednesday that ex-deputy Scot Peterson did have a duty to protect those inside school where 17 people died and 17 were wounded on Feb. 14. Video and other evidence shows Peterson, the only armed officer at the school, remained outside while shots rang out.

The negligence lawsuit was filed by Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed. He said it made no sense for Peterson's attorneys to argue that a sworn law enforcement officer with a badge and a gun had no requirement to go inside.

"Then what is he doing there?" Pollack said after the ruling. "He had a duty. I'm not going to let this go. My daughter, her death is not going to be in vain."

Peterson attorney Michael Piper said he understands that people might be offended or outraged at his client's defense, but he argued that as a matter of law, the deputy had no duty to confront the shooter. Peterson did not attend the hearing.

"There is no legal duty that can be found," Piper said. "At its very worst, Scot Peterson is accused of being a coward. That does not equate to bad faith."

The ruling came as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission began considering proposals including whether to arm trained, volunteer teachers; make it harder for outsiders to enter Florida's nearly 4,000 public schools; mandate armed security on all campuses with explicit orders to confront shooters; improve communication systems on campus; and impose more statewide uniformity in how troubled students are identified, helped and, if necessary, dealt with by police.

The commission must file its initial report to Gov. Rick Scott, incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature by Jan. 1.

During its periodic meetings since April, the 15-member commission has learned that the suspected gunman, former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, 20, had a long history of disturbing behavior, including threats to shoot up the campus.

Minutes before the shooting, Cruz was recorded entering campus through an unguarded gate and then going into a classroom building. Investigators say he fired down the hallway and through door windows into first-floor classrooms where students didn't or couldn't hide. He climbed to the third floor to continue the attack, where students and teachers didn't know what happened two stories below.

That's because teachers couldn't quickly communicate with administrators, each other, or law enforcement. Loudspeakers could only be heard inside classrooms. Teachers, trying to secure their classrooms, could only lock the doors from the outside.

In addition to Peterson's failure to confront the gunman, there were no kits to stop the wounded's bleeding, and responding officers from different law enforcement agencies couldn't easily communicate over the radio to coordinate a counterattack and share information.

The commission includes law enforcement, education and mental health professionals, a legislator and the fathers of two slain students. It will continue meeting after Jan. 1 and make additional recommendations.

Cruz has pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Judge won't drop suit against ex-deputy in school shooting

10 hours 12 min ago

By Terry Spencer and Curt Anderson Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A judge has rejected a deputy's claim that he had no duty to confront the gunman during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Refusing to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a parent of a victim, Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning found after a hearing Wednesday that ex-deputy Scot Peterson did have a duty to protect those inside school where 17 people died and 17 were wounded on Feb. 14. Video and other evidence shows Peterson, the only armed officer at the school, remained outside while shots rang out.

The negligence lawsuit was filed by Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed. He said it made no sense for Peterson's attorneys to argue that a sworn law enforcement officer with a badge and a gun had no requirement to go inside.

"Then what is he doing there?" Pollack said after the ruling. "He had a duty. I'm not going to let this go. My daughter, her death is not going to be in vain."

Peterson attorney Michael Piper said he understands that people might be offended or outraged at his client's defense, but he argued that as a matter of law, the deputy had no duty to confront the shooter. Peterson did not attend the hearing.

"There is no legal duty that can be found," Piper said. "At its very worst, Scot Peterson is accused of being a coward. That does not equate to bad faith."

The ruling came as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission began considering proposals including whether to arm trained, volunteer teachers; make it harder for outsiders to enter Florida's nearly 4,000 public schools; mandate armed security on all campuses with explicit orders to confront shooters; improve communication systems on campus; and impose more statewide uniformity in how troubled students are identified, helped and, if necessary, dealt with by police.

The commission must file its initial report to Gov. Rick Scott, incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature by Jan. 1.

During its periodic meetings since April, the 15-member commission has learned that the suspected gunman, former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, 20, had a long history of disturbing behavior, including threats to shoot up the campus.

Minutes before the shooting, Cruz was recorded entering campus through an unguarded gate and then going into a classroom building. Investigators say he fired down the hallway and through door windows into first-floor classrooms where students didn't or couldn't hide. He climbed to the third floor to continue the attack, where students and teachers didn't know what happened two stories below.

That's because teachers couldn't quickly communicate with administrators, each other, or law enforcement. Loudspeakers could only be heard inside classrooms. Teachers, trying to secure their classrooms, could only lock the doors from the outside.

In addition to Peterson's failure to confront the gunman, there were no kits to stop the wounded's bleeding, and responding officers from different law enforcement agencies couldn't easily communicate over the radio to coordinate a counterattack and share information.

The commission includes law enforcement, education and mental health professionals, a legislator and the fathers of two slain students. It will continue meeting after Jan. 1 and make additional recommendations.

Cruz has pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Md. officer hurt in series of crashes involving ambulance, cruiser

12 hours 27 min ago

By News Staff

HAMPTON, Md. — A police officer was hurt in a series of crashes involving an ambulance, police cruiser and fire truck.

WBAL TV reported that an ambulance and fire truck were at the scene of a crash involving a tow truck and another vehicle.

Officials said the ambulance was struck by a driver who was trying to pass the fire truck. Police arrested the driver at the scene.

Sometime later, a police cruiser that was on the scene was struck by another vehicle. The officer inside was transported to Shock Trauma with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the police cruiser was also transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

After a crash in Hampton, two other crashes follow at the scene, both involving responding vehicles. A police officer and a driver were hurt, and one was arrested. https://t.co/MyMpajk4jO

— WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5 (@wbalradio) December 11, 2018


Categories: Law Enforcement

Ga. officer shot in arm, suspect killed

13 hours 6 min ago

By Associated Press

CALHOUN, Ga. — A woman shot a police officer in the arm during a confrontation Tuesday afternoon in north Georgia, and then another officer returned fire and fatally shot the woman, authorities said.

Calhoun Police Chief Tony Pyle told news outlets that two women were in a car at a gas station in the city of Calhoun when they were confronted.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles said the officer, Joe Yother, a 25-year law enforcement veteran, said he thought he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. When confronted, one of the women reached into the car's glove box, pulled out a gun and fired at Yother's chest, Miles said at a news conference.

Authorities said the bullet ricocheted off the officer's cellphone and struck him in the arm.

Police said another officer then fatally shot the woman with the gun.

The other woman in the car was arrested. Miles said that woman faces charges unrelated to the shooting, but the specific charges haven't been released.

Yother was wearing a bulletproof vest and was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Since Sunday, this is the fourth officer-involved shooting that the GBI, the state's top law enforcement agency, was called to investigate.


Categories: Law Enforcement

5 shoplifting suspects lead Fort Worth police on 25-mile chase

13 hours 41 min ago

By Loyd Brumfield The Dallas Morning News

Four women and one man between the ages of 17 and 20 were arrested Wednesday morning after leading Fort Worth police on a nearly 25-mile chase after they were suspected of shoplifting from a sporting goods store.

The suspects were spotted around 9 p.m. by an off-duty Fort Worth detective who happened to be shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods in the 9300 block of Sage Meadow Trail, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Tianaja Williams, 20; Jocelyn Nelson, 20; Marshalynn Greer, 18; Victor Ybarra, 18, and one 17-year-old face charges of theft, evading arrest and organized criminal activity.

Police said they were trying to shoplift a large amount of Nike clothing products.

The group fled to a nearby getaway vehicle, then led police on a high-speed chase through a large area that included five patrol divisions and the city of Benbrook some 25 miles away from the store, Fort Worth police Capt. Todd Wadlington told the newspaper.

The pursuit ended when the fleeing vehicle ran over some traffic spikes that had been placed in the road in west Fort Worth, the Star-Telegram reported.

No one was hurt, and all of the stolen property was recovered, police said.

———

©2018 The Dallas Morning News


Categories: Law Enforcement

4 dead, 11 injured in possible terror attack near French Christmas market

14 hours 14 min ago

By Rachel DeSantis and Storm Gifford New York Daily News

At least four people were killed and 11 wounded in a shooting near a French Christmas market Tuesday, prompting an investigation into whether the attack was terror-related.

Several of the injured are in critical condition following the attack in Strasbourg, which the French interior minister called a “serious public security incident,” according to the BBC.

A gunman with a criminal record has been identified as a 29-year-old Strasbourg resident, but is not yet in custody, authorities said. He was previously flagged as a suspected extremist, CBS News reports. No possible motive was given.

NBC News reports that police were involved in a firefight in the Strasbourg neighborhood of Neudorf as of 10:45 p.m. local time, though it remains unclear whether the bullets were connected to the shooting.

A witness told a local outlet that the chaos — which happened near the centrally-located Christmas market — lasted about 10 minutes, and that the gunshots prompted widespread panic.

The alleged assailant penetrated a security zone near the market and began shooting, said Strasbourg mayor Roland Riles.

French military spokesman Col. Patrik Steiger claimed the gunman didn’t seem to be aiming for patrolling soldiers but rather unarmed civilians.

“I heard two or three shots … then I heard screams,” said witness Yoann Bazard. “I got close to the window. I saw people running. After that I closed the shutters. Then I heard more shots, closer this time.”

Residents in nearby areas were told to stay indoors as police continued to survey the area.

Strasbourg is a large city in France’s northeast corner, and has a population of more than 270,000.

Its popular Christmas market is in season Nov. 23 to Dec. 30, and the city bills itself as the “Capital of Christmas” on its website.

———

©2018 New York Daily News


Categories: Law Enforcement

How police officers can increase their income during the holidays without overtime

16 hours 35 min ago

Author: Jason Hoschouer

I don’t want to alarm you, but Christmas is in December this year. I hope your family isn’t calling the paramedics right now because you’re choking on your turkey. I apologize if I freaked you out.

Just because you only have a short time before present-a-palooza kicks off, this does not have to be a financial stressor for you. This article will illustrate some quick ways to make some cash that doesn’t necessitate overtime.

All too often, cops become reliant on overtime and yet we still feel like we’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. This article won’t solve all your financial woes between now and Christmas, but it certainly will make a dent in the issue. Below are four ideas on how you can get some margin so you can spend more time with your family instead of pushing a patrol car around for 18-hour days.

1. Have a garage sale

Take a look around your home. Look at all the stuff you have. Did you look in that box in the garage you haven’t opened since you moved in three years ago? Unless you’re a devout minimalist, you likely have things in your home you can easily part with for some easy cash.

A well-organized garage sale can bring you a few hundred dollars in profit in one or two days. It costs you nothing to post your sale on social media or Craigslist. It may cost you a couple of dollars to buy some neon poster board and make some signs. The point is your investment is minor and your gain could be huge.

2. Leverage social media

Don’t like people in your garage? Are you tired of yelling at people to get off your lawn? Are you exhausted at the mere thought of wondering if the guy trying to buy your lava lamp is on parole? Perhaps the garage sale isn’t your cup of tea.

It’s likely that your neighborhood has a Facebook page designed specifically for people to list items for sale. Here’s how it generally works. The page is made up of people in your community. It is likely a closed group and you must be vouched for/vetted prior to approval.

You post your vintage Evel Knievel lunch box for sale for $20 (I have done zero research on the value of Mr. Knievel’s lunch box, so don’t hold me to it). Then some dude across town sees it and wants to buy it. You agree. You leave the lunch box on your porch. The dude comes over, takes the lunch box and leaves you a twenty spot under the doormat.

This is coined as magic money. Are there potential issues with this? Sure. Someone could steal the lunch box. Someone could steal the $20. If that’s your life perspective, this concept won’t work for you. What I can tell you, however, is that I’ve been doing this for years and have never had an issue.

3. Craigslist: the virtual garage sale

This is similar to the previous tip, but you determine where to meet someone to sell your items. I once sold a motorcycle for $6,000 and simply had the buyer meet me at the PD. He paid in cash (I used a counterfeit detector pen) and three uniformed cops loaded the bike in the back of his pickup. I had zero worries about his authenticity and the transaction went swimmingly. I have had my reservations about Craigslist, but after countless transactions, I’ve grown accustomed to it.

4. Nothing to sell? Try reducing

Look at your financial outflow. Where can you cut back with a quickness that will be a boost to your bottom line during the holidays? Here’s a brief list of possibilities:

Cable; Gym; Eating out; Groceries (the single largest category in which most people overspend); Subscriptions.

I’m not saying to cut these things forever, but it’s likely you’d be able to squeeze out a few hundred dollars simply by spending less in these areas. And who knows, if you keep up this kind of behavior and combine these new habits with a good budget, you may be able to cut out overtime altogether. I haven’t worked overtime out of necessity since the end of 2011, and I assure you this side of the fence feels amazing.

This article, originally published 11/16/2016, has been updated with current information


Categories: Law Enforcement

2 dead, several wounded in attack at French Christmas market

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 16:07

By dpa, Hamburg, Germany

Strasbourg, France (dpa) - Two people were killed and 11 others injured when a gunman opened fire at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg late Tuesday.

Police confirmed the causalities to dpa and said a terrorist motive was suspected.

The gunman fled the scene and remains at large in the eastern city, which sits near France's border with Germany.

"The person responsible has been identified and is actively being sought," the Strasbourg authorities said in a statement.

The European Parliament, which has its seat in Strasbourg, activated its emergency protocol and is currently on lockdown to protect people inside, according to a parliamentary spokeswoman.

France's Interior Ministry has warned the residents of Strasbourg to stay indoors.

Strasbourg's long-established Christmas market, which takes place in the city center, is a major tourist draw in December.

———

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


Categories: Law Enforcement

3 LEOs shot in Houston while serving warrant

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:06

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON - A Harris County Sheriff’s sergeant and two officers from the Texas AG office were injured in a shooting while serving a felony warrant in Harris County.

The officers were shot while approaching the suspect’s door. They returned fire, but it is unknown if the suspect was hit.

Another deputy was injured on the way to the scene in a motorcycle crash.

One suspect, Daniel Trevino, is believed to barricaded inside the home, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office reports. Another person who was in the home was detained.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says this person isn’t necessarily a suspect.

The three officers who were shot were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

This is a breaking news update and will be updated as more information is available.

UPDATE on Officer-involved shooting: One HCSO deputy and 2 officers from @TXAG were wounded by a suspect while attempting to serve a warrant. All 3 are en route to hospital. Suspect remains at large and may be barricaded inside a home. #hounews pic.twitter.com/WWOxaFW0lC

— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) December 11, 2018


Categories: Law Enforcement

NYPD investigating after video shows LEOs pull child from mother

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 13:42

By Thomas Tracy New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn District Attorney on Tuesday dropped all charges against the mom caught on viral video showing cops taking her baby from her grasp inside a Brooklyn social welfare office.

“Like everyone who watched the arrest of Jazmine Headly, I was horrified by the violence depicted in the video and immediately opened an investigation into this case,” Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “It is clear to me that this incident should have been handled differently.”

Gonzalez said that a peace officer for the Human Resources Administration “escalated the situation” and created “an awful scenario” that was depicted in the viral video.

The 2 1/2-minute video shows a group of NYPD officers yanking Headley’s 1-year-old son from her arms as she tries to fight them off while sitting on the floor of a HRA SNAP center in downtown Brooklyn Friday.

Headley, 23, was arrested on a slew of charges including resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child.

A judge ordered her released without bail on the Friday incident, but she remains in custody on Rikers Island an outstanding warrant in Mercer County, N.J.

“This morning my office spoke to the Brooklyn DA about dropping the charges against Ms. Headley,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted Tuesday. “I applaud the DA’s decision to do so. She should be reunited with her child as soon as possible.”

Headley went to the center run by HRA because her child care benefits were cut off suddenly, according to her legal team.

She took a day off from work and since she had no way to pay for day care, brought her son with her.

She’d been waiting four hours when the incident started, the legal team said.

The NYPD said they were called to the center just before 1 p.m. “due to (Headley’s) disorderly conduct towards others, and for obstructing the hallway.”

Headley then refused repeated orders to leave the area, police said.

The NYPD says that HRA peace officers and members of FJC security staff who work at the facility forced her to the floor and then the NYPD tried to place her under arrest.

The two HRA officers involved in the takedown have been sidelined as the incident is reviewed, city officials said.

“Discretion is the better part of valor and we must be thoughtful and compassionate in evaluating the merit of our cases,” Gonzalez said.

NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Monday he was “disturbed” by the video.

———

©2018 New York Daily News


Categories: Law Enforcement

YouTube HQ shooting: For one cop, pulling an overtime shift led to a lifesaving response

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 13:33

Author: Ron LaPedis

Born at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California, Joseph Gomez knew from an early age that he wanted to help people. Following in his family’s military and law enforcement footsteps, Joey joined the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Explorer program Post 810 in 2007 and was planning to follow his cousin into the Marines when he turned 18.

But that didn’t happen, and 11 years later one very lucky YouTube employee had reason for extra thanks this year because Joe’s plans fell through. You may have heard of the butterfly effect whereby a small change early on can make a large change later. In Joe’s case, not going into the Marines put him at YouTube’s offices on April 3, 2018, where he saved an employee’s life.

As you may recall, April 3 was the day a disgruntled YouTube content creator showed up at the company’s San Bruno HQ and started shooting. You can read more about that here. In what could only be described as an unbelievable movie plot, the wound treatment videos Joe Gomez watched on YouTube led to him saving a YouTube employee’s life.

The right place, the right time, the right training and the right gear

The borders of Pacifica, San Bruno and South San Francisco are intertwined like fingers, so it is common to see cars from all three agencies plus the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office on the road. For interoperability, each agency’s radios have access to the others’ channels – which are often monitored by beat cops.

On April 3, Officer Gomez pulled an overtime shift for cellphone traffic enforcement. He was driving along Skyline Boulevard when he heard a South San Francisco cop ask why San Bruno cars were going Code 3 through their town. A few minutes later he took the call for an active shooter call after hearing it on Pacifica dispatch.

While most of the San Bruno cars were headed north on Cherry, he was heading south since he was coming from his own beat. Gomez stopped in front of the YouTube building, grabbed his patrol rifle from the front of his car and his hard armor carrier from the back, and ran up the front stairs.

At the top, he encountered a San Bruno officer standing over a YouTube employee who was shot and unresponsive. Joe reached into the medical kit he always carries on his hard armor to don his gloves and grab his trauma shears. He cut open the victim’s shirt and saw a bullet wound. Reaching back into his kit, he took out a chest seal and placed it over the gunshot wound.

While there was no blood running down the victim’s shirt, there was a lot of blood on the ground. Reaching around the victim, Joe could feel blood and another bullet hole – the exit wound. He cut away the employee’s shirt in back and placed another chest seal over the exit wound.

At that point, the local ambulance company was coming up the stairs, so he turned the victim over to them and went to be assigned by the incident commander.

“We were told by medics that had Gomez not stopped the sucking chest wound and placed the dressings the way he did the victim definitely would have died,” said Pacifica Police Chief Dan Steidle. “We’re very proud of him.”

Why Joe was at YouTube in the first place is a story in itself.

What about that butterfly?

When he hit 18, Joe was ready to sign up for the Marines, but his family and friends counseled him to finish his education as Plan B, so he enrolled in business classes at a local community college. After deciding business wasn’t for him, he graduated with a justice administration degree.

Joe wanted the tight camaraderie he knew he would find in the military, which rarely is found in private industry. His cousin, who was deployed in the Middle East, agreed that while there was camaraderie in the military, it could also be found in law enforcement.

Jim Gilletti, the lead Explorer Post 801 advisor, said that Joe was enthusiastic, energetic, outgoing and with a great sense of humor – important when you sometimes see the darkest side of society. After earning the respect of his peers and advisors, he was promoted to sergeant. Further family conversations convinced Joe that the best place for him was in law enforcement – and he already had a good idea of what policing was like.

He entered the police academy and applied to Belmont and Pacifica police departments in November 2012. He aced both interviews, but after digging deeper, decided he would rather serve in the sleepy coastal town of Pacifica, home to the annual Fog Fest. He was hired after graduating in April 2013. Coincidentally, both of his Explorer advisors either live or work on the coast.

Train like your life depends on it

How did YouTube videos help save a YouTube employee’s life? A couple years back, Joe started looking at wound treatment videos on YouTube and became interested in the topic. He started talking to his local firefighters about what supplies to buy, and began building a kit, taking personal time to attend a 4-hour lecture put on by the local Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) team.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did if I hadn’t purchased that kit and taken extra medical courses,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t have known what to do.” In the future, Joe plans to take an extended hands-on course.

Pacifica PD already has rifle-rated armor with two detachable bleed kits and helmets in their cars. Why does Joe carry his own? “It’s personal preference,” he said. “I know what’s in my kit and where it is. And if I am going to sweat all over my carrier or helmet, I don’t have to think about someone else having to wear it later on.”

While they didn’t have city-issued gunshot wound kits in the past, San Bruno police Chief Ed Barberini now has equipped his officers with those kits and the training that goes with them. Like San Bruno, Pacifica PD trains annually for active shooter response and often includes other departments in their training. Both have had response plans for local schools for a number of years.

K-9 comfort

Officer Gomez certainly found the camaraderie he was seeking – not only among his brothers and sisters in blue – but in Hacker, his partner – a black German shepherd who is not only a police K9, but also a comfort dog.

Pacifica PD has a “sociable dog” policy and in addition to standard K9 work, Hacker comes along to 5150 and domestic violence calls. In the first instance, Hacker can be used to help deescalate a situation and in the second, he can help with the trauma of seeing one or both parents taken away by police.

As Joe says, “People call when they're having a bad day and Hacker and I can show that we’re just like anyone else and we want to help others. I really don’t enjoy taking people to jail but it is part of the job.”

Joe continues, “While Hacker was trained in Czech, I already had a Belgian Malinois at home, who was trained in German. Without any help from me, Hacker picked up on Duke’s commands and is now bilingual.”

Distinguished service awards

At a Pacifica City Council meeting on May 15, Joseph Gomez was presented with the Departmental Life Saving Medal for his actions during the April 3 attack.

Pacifica Police Chief Dan Steidle said, “Officer Gomez’s actions, along with the actions of all law enforcement officers that responded to the YouTube shooting, exemplify the heroism displayed every day by our profession as we protect our communities. Officer Gomez’s preparation and quick thinking saved this man’s life.”

On June 12, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini presented his department’s Distinguished Service Medal to Officer Joe Gomez, San Bruno Police Sergeants Kevin McMullan and Mike Blundell, Cpl. Joe Valiente and Officers Manuel Agredano, Oliver Reich, Scott Smithmatungol, Misael Covarrubias and Andrew Harper.

San Bruno police dispatcher Erin Beckett, records/communications supervisor Shannon Rohatch and Burlingame dispatchers Melissa Hunkin, Tara Filiere and Christine Granucci also were awarded the medal.

Kitted out

There is nothing more painful than watching someone bleed out because you either don’t know what to do or you don’t have the right equipment. Just like you should be able to draw and get on target without thinking, you also should be able to reach for your appropriately equipped bleed kit and use it – just like Joe.

Dozens of pre-made kits are available from reputable dealers or you can build your own. Some kits are vacuum shrink-wrapped to make them smaller and easier to carry. Be wary of buying medical gear on Amazon and eBay as manufacturers have found counterfeit gear that will let you down.

At a minimum, your kit should have these items:

Gloves – carry at least 2-3 pairs. Muscle memory should have you putting these on before you do anything else. Tourniquet – carry at least one and perhaps two. EMT scissors/trauma shears. Bleeding control patch with a hemostatic agent – there are a handful of different brands, such as Celox?A, ChitoFlex and QuikClot. Emergency trauma dressing. Gauze roll. Vented chest seal: Joe used two of them to cover the employee’s entry and exit wounds.
Categories: Law Enforcement

A Christmas Story: Tedd-ee from the Trunk

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 13:13

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

Calling all police poets! PoliceOne’s poetry column highlights some of the inspirational, moving and funny poems authored by our readers.

This month’s poem by PoliceOne columnist and editorial advisory board member Lt. Dan Marcou tells the story of how a little boy’s decision to serve as a cop was aided by a Santa in blue.

Email your submissions for consideration to editor@policeone.com.

A Christmas Story: Tedd-ee from the Trunk

On Christmas a family tragedy was averted indeed, By an officer saving a mother who on heroin O-Deed. Another mother was saved from a life-threatening beating, By this officer who charged Christmas danger instead of retreating.

This officer handed each child there a bear, patting their heads And replacing their fear with a tearful smile instead. His back-up asked, “How many bears do you give away?” The answer was, “Plenty, twice that on Christmas day.”

When that officer cleared he savored the silent night, He slowed his squad to enjoy each Christmas light. He took in the beauty of the glistening snow, As his memory drifted to a Christmas long ago.

When he lay in bed frightened awakened by Pop, He woke up to screaming that just wouldn’t stop. It suddenly became quiet and as his head peeked out, something new, Santa had brought peace and Santa wore blue.

When Santa saw him he said, “Be right back, son.” Then in the twinkle of an eye Santa in blue was gone. But he returned in a flash with a bear in his arm, And asked, “Can you care for this bear and keep him from harm?”

The boy ran to Santa grabbed the bear and said he Would protect the bear always and call him Tedd-ee. As the officer reminisced he knew this to be true, That was the moment he decided to become a Santa in blue.

What a change can be made with one simple act, A life can be changed and that’s a fact. Especially on Christmas where miracles happen, and this is true, Not just by one Santa in red, but thousands who wear blue.

Because of such kindness, this cop brings Christmas to every call, When a child is endangered, frightened and still small. He first handles the danger, the abusive and the drunk. Then he brings a bit of joy to each child with a Tedd-ee from the trunk.


Categories: Law Enforcement

A Christmas Story: Tedd-ee from the Trunk

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 13:13

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

Calling all police poets! PoliceOne’s poetry column highlights some of the inspirational, moving and funny poems authored by our readers.

This month’s poem by PoliceOne columnist and editorial advisory board member Lt. Dan Marcou tells the story of how a little boy’s decision to serve as a cop was aided by a Santa in blue.

Email your submissions for consideration to editor@policeone.com.

A Christmas Story: Tedd-ee from the Trunk

On Christmas a family tragedy was averted indeed, By an officer saving a mother who on heroin O-Deed. Another mother was saved from a life-threatening beating, By this officer who charged Christmas danger instead of retreating.

This officer handed each child there a bear, patting their heads And replacing their fear with a tearful smile instead. His back-up asked, “How many bears do you give away?” The answer was, “Plenty, twice that on Christmas day.”

When that officer cleared he savored the silent night, He slowed his squad to enjoy each Christmas light. He took in the beauty of the glistening snow, As his memory drifted to a Christmas long ago.

When he lay in bed frightened awakened by Pop, He woke up to screaming that just wouldn’t stop. It suddenly became quiet and as his head peeked out, something new, Santa had brought peace and Santa wore blue.

When Santa saw him he said, “Be right back, son.” Then in the twinkle of an eye Santa in blue was gone. But he returned in a flash with a bear in his arm, And asked, “Can you care for this bear and keep him from harm?”

The boy ran to Santa grabbed the bear and said he Would protect the bear always and call him Tedd-ee. As the officer reminisced he knew this to be true, That was the moment he decided to become a Santa in blue.

What a change can be made with one simple act, A life can be changed and that’s a fact. Especially on Christmas where miracles happen, and this is true, Not just by one Santa in red, but thousands who wear blue.

Because of such kindness, this cop brings Christmas to every call, When a child is endangered, frightened and still small. He first handles the danger, the abusive and the drunk. Then he brings a bit of joy to each child with a Tedd-ee from the trunk.


Categories: Law Enforcement

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