News Items

Policing Matters Podcast: What's the best policy for police pursuits?

Police One - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:29
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

For 100 consecutive weeks, Jim and Doug have cranked out podcast segments on topics as varied as suicide by cop, stop and frisk, Apple vs. the FBI, officer suicide, gang injunctions, and "contempt of cop." They've also covered some lighter topics, assembling lists of their favorite police books, as well as best cop movies and cop shows on TV. In this 100th podcast segment, Jim and Doug revisit the topic that generated the most listener feedback: vehicle pursuits.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Dallas sniper attack: 5 lessons for cops from the fire-rescue response

Police One - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:19

Author: Mike Wood

On July 7, 2016, five Dallas police officers were killed and seven others wounded by an attacker who fired upon them during a protest march. Two citizens were also wounded by the rifle-armed assailant before he was killed by police with an explosives-laden robot.

The Dallas sniper attack resulted in more police deaths and injuries than any other attack since 9/11, and the attempt to salvage actionable lessons from the event is ongoing in the law enforcement community.

It’s critical for law enforcement to recognize that our fellow public safety professionals from the fire and EMS communities were an integral part of the response that night, and there are many lessons to be learned from their experience. While we typically look at an event like the Dallas attack through a law enforcement lens, it’s important for us to look outside our profession for insights and knowledge.

During the 2017 CopsWest Training and Expo, hosted by the California Peace Officers Association, Dallas Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Tami Kayea shared insights with the audience on the fire/EMS response to the Dallas sniper attack, which included the following:

1. The importance of incident command

When Chief Kayea arrived on scene in the early minutes of the event, her first priority was to find the law enforcement command post so that a unified command could be established.

Confusion and security concerns at the still-developing scene prevented her from doing this, but Chief Kayea was able to establish a fire-rescue command post on Elm Street, one block east of the attack site, which served as the on-scene commander for all fire/EMS assets during the event.

The command post allowed Chief Kayea to establish priorities, direct and account for personnel, and properly allocate scarce resources. It also allowed Chief Kayea to establish a measure of control and coordination during a chaotic situation, which improved the response to this complex event.

Fortunately, a deputy chief that arrived later was able to locate the law enforcement command post and establish a unified command, while Chief Kayea continued in command of the fire/EMS operations. The resulting division of labor promoted efficiency, and ensured a high level of coordination between all players.

Our fire/EMS brethren have a rich history of using the Incident Command System (ICS), and law enforcement would be wise to learn from their experience in using this powerful organizational tool.

Dallas Fire-Rescue leadership and personnel were used to working within an ICS environment, and their familiarity with the structure allowed a quick transition to ICS-directed operations. The improvements in communication, efficiency and coordination afforded by ICS were ably demonstrated in the Dallas attack, and serve as an important example for law enforcement personnel faced with similar emergencies.

2. The importance of planning

Dallas Fire-Rescue implemented its Civil Disturbance Plan at the outset of the attack, using it for the first time in an operational environment.

The Civil Disturbance Plan created a separate fire department within a defined perimeter around the event. A dedicated dispatcher handled all calls for service within the perimeter, and specific fire-rescue assets were dedicated to the zone. These assets acted under the control of the Elm Street command post, which also controlled access to the zone – no fire-rescue assets entered or exited the perimeter without coordination with Elm Street Command.

This plan was used with great success during the Dallas attack, and allowed Chief Kayea to effectively manage both the attack response, and routine calls for service within the perimeter.

Chief Kayea admits that fire-rescue leaders didn’t have a high level of familiarity with the plan, but they were able to successfully implement this unproven strategy when the crisis occurred. This is a testament to the value of preplanning efforts. Having a plan in place – even an untested one – can encourage a more comprehensive, coordinated and effective response.

Law enforcement leaders should consider having basic response plans in place for high-profile targets or high-visibility events where an attack is likely. These plans should consider issues such as:

Entry/egress points; Floorplans; Selection of command post or casualty collection point locations; Staging area locations; Emergency vehicle parking; Best locations for police scout/sniper teams; Traffic control; Security measures.

Any work done in advance eases the burden on responders when an emergency kicks off. Even if tactical circumstances dictate significant changes to the basic plan, it helps to have a place to start from.

3. The importance of communications

Good communications are vital to successfully resolving an incident like this, and the Dallas attack provided many lessons in this area.

Implementing the Civil Disturbance Plan allowed Dallas Fire-Rescue to dedicate a tactical dispatcher to handle all calls within the perimeter. Relieving the dispatcher of external responsibilities dramatically improved the effectiveness of radio communications during the event.

Cell phones were used for some sensitive communications during the event in lieu of the radio, as the radio was not a secure medium. It’s easy for prepared attackers to monitor radio communications and derive important intelligence from them, so a secure communication capability is important. Cell phones may not be available in a critical incident due to network overload or tower damage, so agencies should investigate and prepare other means of reliable, secure communications in advance.

Staging operations were coordinated on the same radio channel used for operations during the Dallas attack. Chief Kayea noted that this burdened the tactical frequency and, in retrospect, she would advise using a separate channel to coordinate staging efforts.

Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) software and protocols were found to be lacking during the event. The MDTs used by Dallas Fire-Rescue place new entries at the top of the stack and automatically advance the screen to the top of the page when a new message comes in. This created problems for personnel who were reading an older message when a new message arrived. It was difficult to return to the old message and read it with a constant influx of new messages resetting the screen.

More important, the MDT does not segregate information by priority, so critical entries were frequently lost amongst the flood of routine/administrative messages.

Managing the high volume of MDT information was problematic in the Dallas attack – there were 481 lines of information on the MDT (versus five in a typical emergency), and sorting out the wheat from the chaff was extremely difficult and labor intensive.

Improved MDT software that could “triage” information based on its importance is a pursuit worth considering, based on the Dallas experience.

4. Police transport of victims

Four of the five law enforcement officers killed in the Dallas attack, and one of the citizen casualties, were transported by police. Because it was difficult to secure the rapidly-changing scene and get rescue assets to the wounded, officers made the decision to transport victims directly to hospitals in police vehicles.

Chief Kayea notes that there are many advantages to this procedure and it is often the best choice. However, she also notes that agencies should establish policies and provide training to assist officers in making good decisions on whether to transport a victim. A suitable policy must address:

The types of injuries that warrant direct transport instead of waiting for fire/EMS; Coordinating the transport to ensure that the victim is transported to a facility with the appropriate level of care; Coordinating the transport to ensure that one facility is not overloaded – it’s important to spread out the load amongst several facilities in a mass casualty incident to avoid breakdowns; Coordinating the transport to ensure it’s preferable to bringing the victim to available fire/EMS assets nearby; Minimum manning for a transport operation – one officer to treat the victim while the other drives.

Implementing policies and training in this area will aid officers in making a better choice during a high-stress situation, and will also help to protect the agency and officers from potential liability.

5. The importance of critical incident stress management

Critical events like the Dallas attack subject public safety personnel to high levels of stress. Police, fire and EMS personnel not only have to deal with the risk of personal injury, they also carry the burdens of seeing innocent parties injured or killed.

Organizations must understand that critical events can affect personnel for a long time after the incident. Many agencies are good at providing counseling or help for responders in the immediate aftermath, but few take a long-term approach to managing the stress caused by critical incidents.

It’s important for leaders and personnel to understand that everyone in the organization has a duty to look out for the health and safety of their fellow employees, and to pay particular attention to behaviors that indicate someone might be struggling with depression or stress triggered by critical incidents or just the everyday rigors of the job.

Agency leaders need to ensure resources are always available to help someone who needs it, and that agency policies such as scheduling, pay and sick leave are supportive of members who seek this assistance.

Agency leaders also need to consider the families of public safety personnel. The families themselves are frequently affected by the stress of the job, and may need access to help or care as well. Additionally, they need to be part of the solution when their spouse/parent/child is struggling with job-related stress or depression.

It’s a basic responsibility of every agency, and of every employee in that agency, to care for members of the team and their families. The painful experience of Dallas helps to remind us of this long term obligation.

In closing

I’d like to thank Battalion Chief Kayea, the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department and the California Peace Officers Association for providing this valuable opportunity for members of the law enforcement community to learn from the experience of the Dallas attack.

It takes a lot of effort to distill these lessons and turn them into actionable items, but we owe it to the public we protect, and to each other, to pay attention to them. There will always be a “next time,” and we need to ensure we are ready for it. God bless you all, and be safe out there.

Categories: Law Enforcement

1800 N Ih 35 Nb - Traffic Hazard

E 12TH TO IH 35 NB RAMP/N IH 35 NB TO IH 35 UD NB RAMP | 30.278041 | -97.730019 | Traffic Hazard | Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:05:56 GMT
Categories: Current Incidents

Man sentenced after fail-to-stop collision in Beckenham

Metropolitan Police News (UK) - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:01
​A man has been jailed for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of a collision
Categories: UK - Law Enforcement

Rev. Jesse Jackson Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis

Media - KXAS NBC5 DFW - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:57

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he announced Friday. In an emotional letter to his supporters, the 76-year-old said his diagnosis came "after a battery...

West Gate Blvd / Jones Rd - Traffic Hazard

| 30.225608 | -97.803870 | Traffic Hazard | Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:53:14 GMT
Categories: Current Incidents

Oneonta man arrested for felony DWI with two prior convictions in the last 10 years

State - NY Police - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:50

On November 16, 2017, at about 9:42 p.m., New York State Police at Oneonta arrested Richard H. Talada, age 46, of Oneonta, NY for the felonies of Driving While Intoxicated, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 1st degree, the misdemeanor of Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Interlock Device, and several other traffic violations. 

Categories: Law Enforcement

Calif. officer's kidney donation leads to lifesaving chain of events

Police One - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:49
Author: Mike Wood

By Sophie Haigney San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — As a soldier in the U.S. Army, Anna Cuthbertson served in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. As a San Francisco police officer, she patrols the streets of the Richmond District, busting criminals and protecting citizens.

The average person might think that’s heroic enough. But in a selfless act initially meant to save one life, Cuthbertson, a mother of a 13-year-old girl, donated a kidney this week to a stranger, and in the process set off a chain reaction that made it possible for eight other people to receive lifesaving kidney transplants.

“I thought, the more the merrier. I was thrilled,” said the 35-year-old Cuthbertson, who was recovering at UCSF on Thursday after undergoing the surgery on Tuesday.

The operation was the culmination of a mission that started about a year ago after she listened to an episode of the podcast “Strangers” featuring a story about a transplant that mentioned the website Intrigued, she clicked onto the site.

“It was really just my morbid curiosity at first,” she said.

The more research she did, the more she became persuaded to donate: the risks were lower and the procedure was less invasive than she’d expected.

While on the website one day, reading profiles of people across the country in need of organ transplants, she stumbled on the profile of a 64-year-old Joan Grealis, a mother two children from Walnut Creek.

“I lost my mother when I was 16, and Joan has kids who are my age,” Cuthbertson said. “I thought about how I would do anything to have my mom back, and to think there was a way that I could help these people who are my age keep their mother. I just thought, ‘God, why wouldn’t I?’”

Grealis got a call from Cuthbertson the day she posted the profile on the website. She had written about her close-knit family, especially her husband, a childhood sweetheart she met at the age of 12.

“He was devastated at the prospect of losing me,” Grealis said of her husband, Gary.

Grealis suffered from end-stage renal disease, a result of complications from intestinal surgery she had when she was in her 20s. Doctors determined that neither of her two children nor her husband was a match for donation.

Before getting the call from Cuthbertson, Grealis had been on a waiting list for a donor for 3½ years.

Cuthbertson underwent eight months of intensive testing to see whether she could donate a kidney to Grealis. But eventually, doctors determined she and Grealis were not a match.

Both Cuthbertson and Grealis were put into a registry of pairs of people who want to donate and receive organs but aren’t matches for each other. Cuthbertson was eventually matched to a stranger, whose willing donor, in turn, paired up perfectly with someone else. Eventually the chain comprised 18 people, nine donors and nine recipients, including Grealis.

Grealis underwent a successful transplant at UCSF on the same day Cuthbertson’s kidney donation was completed.

Roughly 19,000 kidney transplants occurred in the United States in 2016, according to data from United Network for Organ Sharing.

Still, though the overall number of transplants has been steadily rising because of an increase in donors, waits remain long. The average wait time for a deceased donor donation in Northern California is seven to 10 years, said Chris Freise, surgical director of kidney transplantation at UCSF.

“Besides great outcomes for living donor transplants, one of the really big advantages is getting the transplant done a lot more quickly. Sometimes within a matter of months,” Freise said. According to the organ-sharing organziation, living donors accounted for about 30 percent of kidney transplants nationally in 2016.

Cuthbertson — who was born in the Sunset District of San Francisco and now lives in Pacifica — enlisted in the Army in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. After she returned, she joined the San Francisco Police Department and gave birth to a daughter. She remained in the Army reserves, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, where she led a female engagement team that helped construct a local women’s center and advocate for women’s rights.

Cuthbertson said donating her kidney is one of the most exciting things she’s done.

“If I could highlight one thing about all of this, it’s that it’s so easy,” Cuthbertson said. “If people just did more research about it, they could really help save a life.”

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle

Categories: Law Enforcement

Hackney murder victim named

Metropolitan Police News (UK) - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:35
Kaan Aslan, 20, was stabbed in the chest in Hackney on Tuesday, 14 November.
Categories: UK - Law Enforcement

November's Wingstop Scholar Athlete - Dorothy Cobb

Media - KXAS NBC5 DFW - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:13

Allen High School senior archer Dorothy Cobb is November's Wingstop Scholar Athlete, and she received a $2,500 check.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Petty Officer 1st Class Walter Kendall, Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody

USCG United States Coast Guard - Compass - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:12
The 37th Annual Salute to the Coast Guard was held Oct. 5, 2017 in New York City, to honor Coast Guard heroics from around the country. The evening honored Petty Officer 1st Class Walter Kendall, a boatswains mate at Coast Guard Station Erie, and Coast Guard Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody of Coast Guard Station Rochester who received the Foundation’s National Award for Heroism.
Categories: Marine Safety

E/B I-84 at Exit 5 - Road Closure - at 12:58 PM - T/Montgomery - Orange Co. for approx 2 hours due to an accident

State - NY - NYALERT - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:00
E/B I-84 at Exit 5 - Road Closure - at 12:58 PM - T/Montgomery - Orange Co. for approx 2 hours due to an accident
Categories: Current Incidents

Video shows suspect dancing for Texas officers after leading them on pursuit

Police One - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:59
Author: Mike Wood

Associated Press

HOUSTON — A man who led police on a nearly 20-mile chase through Houston was taken into custody only after dancing for a time once he stepped out of his car.

The unidentified suspect came to a stop early Thursday before striking spike strips police had laid across Interstate 45.

He eventually complied with police orders to step out of his car but rather than lay on the ground, the man began a dance with arms above his head. The episode concluded when a police dog attacked him.

Police Lt. Larry Crowson says officers were concerned the man might try to flee into traffic, so they unleashed the dog.

Crowson says investigators will determine whether the man was under the influence.

The suspect has been charged with evading arrest.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Video shows suspect dancing for Texas officers after leading them on chase

Police One - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:59

Associated Press

HOUSTON — A man who led police on a nearly 20-mile chase through Houston was taken into custody only after dancing for a time once he stepped out of his car.

The unidentified suspect came to a stop early Thursday before striking spike strips police had laid across Interstate 45.

He eventually complied with police orders to step out of his car but rather than lay on the ground, the man began a dance with arms above his head. The episode concluded when a police dog attacked him.

Police Lt. Larry Crowson says officers were concerned the man might try to flee into traffic, so they unleashed the dog.

Crowson says investigators will determine whether the man was under the influence.

The suspect has been charged with evading arrest.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Baldwinsville Teen arrested on Child Pornography Charges

State - NY Police - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:59
State Police arrested 18-year-old, Richard F. Curtis from Baldwinsville, NY, for (3) counts of Possession of a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class “E” felony and (1) count of Promoting the Sexual Performance of a Child, a class “D” felony.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Disaster Recovery Center Changes in Montgomery County

FEMA - News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:49

AUSTIN, Texas – The State of Texas/Federal Mobile Disaster Recovery Center (MDRC) located at the R.B. Tullis Branch Library in the city of New Caney has closed permanently.

However, a new Disaster Recovery Center will open in New Caney at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at the following location:

Language English
Categories: Emergency Management

Texas officer helps woman find family of slain cop

Police One - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:47

By Rashda Khan San Angelo Standard-Times, Texas

SAN ANGELO, Texas — It's not often someone is glad after a car crash, but for Sheila Walthall a September wreck solved a more than six-decade-old mystery.

In 1958, Walthall lost her "super big brother" — a Kingsville policeman killed in the line of duty. Sgt. Gene Christopher was fatally shot with his service revolver responding to a bar fight.

At age 14 she attended his funeral and distinctly remembers officers from across the country in attendance. But beyond those memories, she had little else. Fire destroyed her family photos and over time she lost touch with the Christophers. She regretted not knowing what happened to Christophers' then 2-year-old son.

Then she got into a traffic crash Sept. 13 and met San Angelo Police Officer Steven Quade.

A hit-and-run investigator, Quade wasn't supposed to work the crash. However, he was training a rookie officer and decided to volunteer them both.

"We jumped in to take the work and met her in the process," he said. While the rookie worked the crash, Quade and Walthall talked.

"I told him to be safe," Walthall said, then she told him about Christopher.

Bernice and Garland W. "Dude" Christopher, of Fort Worth, met Walthall's mother during her pregnancy and became like family.

"We lived with them from my birth until I was about 5 or 6 years old," Walthall said. "Gene was their only son."

Even after moving out, the families stayed close. Gene would come by to take Walthall to the zoo, to get ice cream, tease — things a big brother does.

"He loved life, he enjoyed life, he was happy and he was always trying to make other people laugh and enjoy themselves," she said.

Gene Christopher served five years in the U.S. Navy before he married Norma Jean Henderson of Kingsville.

"He was real tall and she was tiny," Walthall recalled with a smile. "So we called them Big Gene and Little Jean."

Soon after, Christopher joined the Kingsville Police Department, where he worked four years.

On Feb. 9, 1958 — a Sunday night — Sgt. Christopher responded to a call for assistance at Mayorga's Cafe, where the bartender was having issues with two customers.

When Christopher arrived, he found two officers struggling with Pablo Lomas. As he ran to help, Lomas' half-brother, Pasqual Vasquez, grabbed Christopher's revolver from his holster and shot the officer in the chest. He was 26 when he died.

Christopher's widow moved to Venezuela with their son, Mark Christopher.

After Quade heard the story, he was determined to help.

"She didn't even have a picture of him," said Quade, who has 29 years with the SAPD Honor Guard.

Having been with families after they suffer a loss, Quade has seen the impact. "I wanted to get her something," he said. "All she had were fond memories."

As a police officer, Quade knew he could investigate and research, reach out. So he spent his own time working on the project from September to November.

"I found a lot more stuff than I was expecting to find," he said. "A lot of people helped."

He asked people to find and get rubbings of Gene Christopher's name on memorial walls at the Texas Peace Officers Memorial in Austin and at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Quade also reached out to Rep. Drew Darby for a proclamation in honor of Christopher, and he obtained a flag flown over the State Capitol for the family.

The officer tracked down articles covering Christopher's death, marriage and more, and photographs. Lots of photographs capturing Gene Christopher at different stages of life — from a lanky youth to a dashing naval officer, one where he is passionately kissing his wife, to another where he's holding his son.

More importantly, Quade found Mark Christopher.

His initial search pulled up six people in Texas with that name, so he narrowed it.

"The article (about Christopher's death) from 1958 said the son was 2 years old," Quade said. "So I started looking for someone born in 1956."

He found a Mark Christopher in Houston with the right year of birth. Quade sent him a letter asking if he was Gene Christopher's son. A week later, he got a call confirming he was Gene's son.

Mark, who is a historian, provided the officer with a lot of photos and information for Walthall.

While he doesn't remember her, Mark said he's looking forward to speaking with her. "She could tell me a lot about my dad," he said in a phone interview. "I want to learn what I can."

The only memory Mark has of his dad is being held by his mother while she said goodbye to Gene as he was leaving the house. Mark said he recalls reaching for the pens in his dad's shirt pocket.

Quade revealed his findings to Walthall on Thursday.

"All these years, I had so many questions and now they have been answered," Walthall said, adding that she's excited the boy she never got to hold and see again has been found. "I can't wait to talk to Mark and tell him what a great father he had."

However, Walthall said she'd wait a bit to call him until she wasn't so overwhelmed and could be a bit calmer and coherent.

As each item was presented — framed memorial rubbings, shadowboxed flag, family photographs — Walthall responded with tears, smiles, fanning herself, holding a tissue to her face, her heart. "Oh my God," she repeated over and over.

Then she beamed at the SAPD officers and called them her "angels."

"I can't believe all this — they went to so much trouble ... and they didn't even know me," Walthall said. "I was just the nobody who ran into the back of a truck."

She paused for a breath. "I'm glad I wrecked my car," she added with a grin.

©2017 the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas)

Categories: Law Enforcement

Help Remains after Mobile Disaster Recovery Center Closes in Jefferson County

FEMA - News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:46

AUSTIN, Texas – A State of Texas/Federal Mobile Disaster Recovery Center (MDRC) in the city of Hamshire will close permanently at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. However, help is just a mouse click, phone call or a tap on the FEMA app away.

The center is at the following location:

Jefferson County
First Baptist Church
25304 Hwy 124
Hamshire, TX 77622

Language English
Categories: Emergency Management

Shooting Reported at Hotel Near Six Flags

Media - KXAS NBC5 DFW - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:27

Breaking news from NBC 5.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

13000-13149 N Fm 973 Rd - TRFC HAZD/ DEBRIS

E US 290 HWY WB/SUNCREST RD | 30.349844 | -97.538230 | TRFC HAZD/ DEBRIS | Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:26:28 GMT
Categories: Current Incidents


Subscribe to Volunteer Mobile Emergency Response Unit -- aggregator