Latest News

Calif. churches pledge to stop calling police

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 14:28

By PoliceOne Staff

OAKLAND, Calif. — A group of California churches have pledged to stop calling police in the wake of recent controversial incidents involving LEOs.

The Washington Post reports that some churches in Oakland are “divesting” from law enforcement, whether it’s for mental health crises calls or even acts of violence.

Members of the churches said that American policing has become so “problematic” that it’s best for them to abandon it. The pledge comes in wake of controversial incidents involving police, including the arrests of two men at a Philadelphia Starbucks and the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark.

The program was organized by Showing Up for Racial Justice. Four churches in Northern California have joined the pledge, and other churches are being recruited.

“It’s a challenging ask,” said Rev. Anne Dunlap, a minister who leads SURJ’s outreach to faith communities. “It’s a big ask to invite us, as white folks, to think differently about what safety means. Who do we rely on? What is safe? For whom? Should our safety be predicated on violence for other communities? And if not, what do we do if we’re confronted with a situation, because we are, as congregations? . . . How do we handle it if there’s a burglary? How do we handle it if there’s a situation of violence or abuse in the congregation?”

The churches who have committed to the pledge are training their members on alternative responses to danger. Volunteer leader Nichola Torbett said her church has invited experts to train its members on de-escalating mental health crises, as well as on self-defense when it comes to violent situations. Members of the church will not be armed, she added.

SURJ leaders said while members are free to call police outside of church, they hope that they will someday stop relying on police entirely.

Dunlap acknowledged that many churches SURJ tried to recruit to join the pledge were not interested.


Categories: Latest News

Broward County sheriff to face no-confidence vote

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 14:25

By PoliceOne Staff

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel will face a no-confidence vote from the union representing his deputies.

Jeff Bell, the president of the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association, said Friday that union members moved forward with the vote, which begins electronically Friday and closes on April 26, CNN reports. Bell said he informed Israel ahead of the announcement.

"There is a complete failure at the sheriff's office and he doesn't recognize it," Bell said.

While the move is due to dysfunction in the agency that has been going on for years, the sheriff’s response to the Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting has pushed the union over the edge, Bell said. Israel’s criticism of former SRO Scot Peterson was also a factor.

Bell said that while he agrees Peterson should’ve entered the building, Israel should have taken some responsibility as well.

Morale among sergeants and deputies is non-existent, according to the union president, and members say they are tired of mixed messages from leadership. Bell cited the active shooter policy as an example, which states that a deputy “may” go into a building and engage the shooter.

Lawmakers have also criticized Israel for his response to the shooting. Eleven days after the incident, a number of lawmakers asked Gov. Rick Scott to suspend the sheriff for "incompetence and neglect of duty."

Israel later went on CNN and defended himself from criticism from lawmakers, touting his “amazing leadership.”

All deputies and sergeants in the union, which represents more than half of the county’s 2,560 certified deputies, will have the power to vote.


Categories: Latest News

Judge tosses suit seeking to block parole of NY cop killer

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:59

By David Klepper Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block the parole of an ex-radical who fatally shot two New York City police officers in 1971.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard Koweek ruled Friday that the state Parole Board did not act irrationally or outside its bounds when it granted parole last month to Herman Bell after he served 44 years.

The 70-year-old Bell had been scheduled to be released this week before the legal challenge was filed by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association on behalf of Diane Piagentini, widow of one of the slain officers. Her lawyers had argued the parole board didn't follow proper protocols.

In his ruling, Koweek wrote that the widow did not have legal standing to challenge the board's decision. He also concluded that in order to overturn the Parole Board's decision a court must find it acted with "irrationality bordering on impropriety."

"Nothing that is supplied in this case persuades this Court that the actions of the Parole Board meet that standard," he wrote.

In a statement, the PBA said it would appeal the ruling, which PBA President Patrick J. Lynch called "outrageous." Diane Piagentini said her family is devastated that the judge "turned a blind eye to the Parole Board's illegal actions."

"Not only have they compounded the pain and suffering we have experienced since my husband's death, they have also put the safety of the public in jeopardy by releasing a vicious killer like Herman Bell," she said.

The decision to parole Bell has been widely criticized by Republican state lawmakers. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that while he disagreed with the decision, the Parole Board isn't not subject to his direct control.

"If I were on the parole board I would not have made that decision," he told reporters. "The Parole Board is an independent board but I would not have made that decision."

Supporters of the decision note that Bell was properly eligible for parole, and that continuing to incarcerate an elderly man was an unwarranted use of state resources.

Bell and two other members of the Black Liberation Army, a violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party, were convicted of killing officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini after luring them to a Harlem housing development with a bogus 911 call. Authorities say both officers were shot multiple times, with Piagentini hit by more than 20 bullets.

During Bell's eighth parole hearing in early March, the state parole board approved Bell's release from Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County, determining "his debt has been paid to society." Board members took into consideration his stated remorse for killing the officers and the fact he had earned bachelor's and master's degrees while in prison and counseled other inmates.

It was unclear Friday afternoon when Bell would be released.

One of Bell's co-defendants has since died in prison while the other, Anthony Bottom, is serving 25 years to life at maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility in Sullivan County. Bottom, 66, is due for a parole hearing in June.


Categories: Latest News

Sheriff: 2 deputies fatally ambushed because of LE hatred

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:12

By Jason Dearen Associated Press

TRENTON, Fla. — Investigators in Florida say they may never know why a man - a recluse from a rural farm community who rarely ventured into town - killed two sheriff's deputies while they sat in a Chinese restaurant.

John Hubert Highnote, 58, of Bell casually walked into the restaurant, went up to the Gilchrest County deputies and fired at them. He then went into his car and killed himself.

"It's inexplicable," State Attorney Bill Cervone said. "People will want to know why, and we may never have an answer for them."

Highnote came from a small town just up the road from the Ace China restaurant in Trenton, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Gainesville. He lived alone in a small, brick house off a dirt road shaded under a canopy of trees.

A neighbor who has lived across the street for five years said that Highnote never once introduced himself, and he was rarely seen in town. The only time she ever saw him was when he would drive his truck into the garage.

"I'd see him pull in, shut the garage and go in. No lights on or nothing," said the neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she did not want to be involved in the investigation. She characterized him as a recluse.

Gilchrest County Sheriff Bobby Schultz blamed the deaths of Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, on hatred toward law enforcement.

"What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it's been demonized? Every type of hate, every type of put-down you can think of," Schultz said at a news conference.

"The only thing these men were guilty of is wanting to protect you and me. They just wanted to get something to eat, and they just wanted to do their job," he said.

President Donald Trump called the slain deputies "HEROES" in a tweet sharing his condolences with their friends, families and colleagues.

Highnote bought his house in Bell in 2010, property records show. He'd had one traffic ticket in Gilchrist County over the past eight years, according to the county clerk of court.

Prior to moving to Bell, records show that Highnote lived in St. Petersburg where he had more run-ins with law enforcement over previous decades.

He was arrested for felony carrying a concealed firearm in 1978, a charge later dropped after he successfully completed a pre-trial intervention, Pinellas County court records show.

Hightnote was also arrested for misdemeanor criminal mischief in 1994, for which he also did a pre-trial diversion program and the charges were dropped. The records had no further information about the mischief for which he was arrested. He was also cited for consuming alcohol in public in 1977, and had 11 traffic tickets for speeding and other infractions over the years.

Schultz said state law enforcement officials are investigating, and an investigator from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was at Highnote's house on Friday.

"Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best," Schultz said. "They were men of integrity, men of loyalty. They were God-fearing, and they loved what they did, and we are very proud of them."

Schultz said he rushed to the scene, and then had the difficult task of calling the families of Ramirez, who is survived by his wife and two young children, and Lindsey, who joined the sheriff's office in 2013.

Jamie Mauldin, a waitress at Akins Bar-B-Q about a mile from Highnote's house in Bell said the town is devastated by the loss of the two deputies. She wore a freshly made T-shirt that said "Gilchrist Strong." The proceeds of the shirts will go to the deputies' families.

"Ramirez was the sweetest ever. He loved his family. Loved his job," she said. "Always had a smile."


Categories: Latest News

W.Va. officer buys diapers with own money for mother in need

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:27

By PoliceOne Staff CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia officer is being recognized after helping a mother in need.

On April 14, Cpl. Jamie Wilson was responding to a domestic complaint at an apartment complex when he encountered the mother, WVAH reports. Wilson learned that the mother’s live-in boyfriend had taken money from her, leaving her unable to buy diapers for her child.

Wilson said he acted like any officer and father would and bought the mother some diapers and wipes for her baby.

"I'm here like any other dad and doing the right thing is just doing the right thing regardless of whether you wear a uniform or not," Wilson said.

Wilson’s kind act was recognized by the Charleston Police Department in a Facebook post. Wilson said he didn’t do anything special and that he was just helping out a parent.

"If there's anything within our power that we can do to help and assist and even get a parent to the proper channels to help them get other help that they need, we'll definitely be there for them," Wilson said.

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On Saturday April 14, 2018 Cpl. Jamie Wilson responded to a domestic complaint at Vandalia Apartments. Upon arrival Cpl....

Posted by Charleston Police Department Community Services on Thursday, April 19, 2018


Categories: Latest News

Illegal waste trafficking: how to make EUR 1.8 million from 200 000 used tyres

EUROPOL - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:34
As part of Operation ROTAMM, the Guardia Civil dismantled a criminal group operating from Spain that acquired used tyres and sold them illegally in Africa, America and Europe. The operation involved 17 countries from the 3 continents. It is estimated that the criminal organisation could have obtained net profits amounting to nearly EUR 2 million.
Categories: Latest News

Biological threats: new challenges for experts across Europe

EUROPOL - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:32
Europol and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) organised the second edition of the Cross-sectoral Biorisk Awareness and Mitigation Training, hosted in Olhão, Portugal, on 17-19 April 2018. 47 participants
Categories: Latest News

Cybercrime prevention – a unified message towards online criminals

EUROPOL - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 05:16
EU Member States, Europol Third Parties and EU Agencies join forces to strengthen the current cooperation model in the area of prevention and awareness as a way to contribute to the reduction of cybercrime.
Categories: Latest News

7 tips for supporting a spouse through critical incident stress

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:30

By Michelle Moon P1 Contributor

Typically when a police officer is involved in a critical incident they are tied up for hours being interviewed after the event. They may have the opportunity to speak with a police chaplain and/or a member of a peer support team, but more often than not they receive a stack of papers that explain what they can expect to experience following the stressful event and are told to head home. What happens after that point is largely dependent upon the policies and culture of each individual department. There can be huge gaps and inadequacies in providing support and care for individuals and their families in the days, weeks, months and even years after such an event.

When the officer arrives home after a critical incident, they may be met with a partner who has little to no knowledge of how to help the officer cope with the stress they may be experiencing. If they are lucky, other officers and their spouses reach out to offer support. Peer support at work and at home is invaluable. Some officers and their families also wisely seek professional counseling. Aside from the support an agency, peers and professionals can provide, the support and resilience that can come from a police officer’s primary relationship can be especially impactful.

Here are some practical things a spouse or significant other can do in the wake of a critical incident.

1. Be prepared

If you receive word your officer has been involved in a critical incident, know that your feelings of stress and anxiety are normal and that your loved one will likely also be experiencing extreme emotions following the event. Expect them to be tied up with red tape before they can come home.

If possible, be home and awake when they arrive and try to minimize any stressors in the home. Have the kids in bed, or farm them out to a family member. Try to make sure the officer doesn’t walk into a giant mess. I know it sounds trivial, but critical incident stress can exacerbate normal stressors and even create new ones. The officer may not even realize this is happening.

After clearing it with the officer, you may also want to place calls to family and/or friends to notify them of the event, especially if there is likely to be media coverage. Offer yourself as the middleman to minimize the amount of questions and contact others make with the officer.

2. Expect things to be different

If you’ve read about critical incident stress, you will know what is within the realm of normal behavior after an event. If you are concerned that there is an abnormal or unhealthy response, seek professional help. When the officer is processing their normal response – which will feel anything but normal to them and you – they may need to have extra time and space for healthy coping mechanisms. Try to allow them the ability to do those things by:

Taking at least a week off work if possible; Taking on as much childcare and household responsibilities as possible for at least two weeks; Encourage them to take the time they need to work through the stress in positive ways. Hobbies, activities and exercise are good and necessary. Even though you may not feel like it, go on dates and family outings. Spend time outdoors and encourage them to do the same.

This may feel like it is adding a lot to your plate, but try to remember it is in your best interest too, in order to have a healthy partner.

3. Let them talk

If they aren’t talking to you, make sure they have someone they can and are talking to. If they want to talk to you, LET THEM! I never understand when I hear a spouse say they don't want to or can’t hear about something their officer experienced at work. If they want to share it with you, LISTEN. I know it can be traumatizing to hear, but it is your obligation as their partner. You need to be willing to share their burdens.

4. Turn off social media and avoid the news

This age of keyboard warriors has added a challenging dimension to critical incidents. Everyone has an opinion and thinks they are a professional photographer or videographer, and the media tends to be slanted against law enforcement. Have someone you trust who is further removed monitor media and report back anything important. For example, if an officer’s name or any other identifying information is released, or a pertinent video is released.

5. Maintain a low-stress environment at home

If you need meals, ask for help or get takeout. Keep things clutter-free and minimize unnecessary distractions and unnecessary company in the home. (Having other officers or support people in the home is an exception and can be very helpful.)

Many officers can experience normal life in a very exaggerated or amplified manner after a critical incident. Normal everyday stressors can be unbearable and even things that went unnoticed before can become overwhelming. This is normal and temporary. If this continues without improvement for longer than a month, or if you feel like it is becoming unhealthy, seek outside assistance.

6. Take care of yourself

Experiencing your own secondary stress following a critical incident is common. Trying to provide support while you yourself are experiencing anxiety can be taxing. Know your limits. If you have the opportunity to talk to other spouses who have been through this, do it, it is invaluable. If you don't, or it’s not enough, seek outside counseling. Many departments have programs that allow spouses to receive professional counseling.

It’s normal to be fearful of the officer going back to work after a critical incident, but try to fight the urge to ask them not to. Of course if there is some flexibility as to when they can return, you should discuss it and try to come to a mutual agreement. Explaining that you feel like you need them home longer to ease your own anxiety may be helpful, as many officers feel the need to return to work as quickly as possible.

7. Recognize this is a season

The severity of critical incident stress decreases over time. How much time exactly varies by person and circumstances, but generally speaking, there should be marked improvement during the first four weeks following the incident. Realize that these are often life-changing events and work toward finding normal again, even if it is a new normal. Realize that investigations, media interest, and any lawsuits or legal matters all have end dates. It won't last forever.

Keep in mind that the mental clarity and emotions of both the officer and their spouse tend to take a hit during this season. It is best to avoid making any life-altering decisions or changes in the time immediately following critical incident stress. Waiting one to six months would be a good place to start.

Taking some practical steps following a critical incident can give law enforcement officers and their loved ones a sense of control over what can seem like a chaotic situation. As a broader family, we must work toward furthering peer support, both inside agencies and within the greater law enforcement family community.

About the Author Michelle Moon is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom who is married to her high school sweetheart who is a police officer.


Categories: Latest News

All you need to know about migrant smuggling in the EU

EUROPOL - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:27
Two years of EMSC. Download the report.
Categories: Latest News

P1 Photo of the Week: Taking the pledge

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:00

Author: PoliceOne Members

This week's photo comes from Jesica Lopez-Huskey of the University of Kentucky Police Department. This photo shows Officer Michael Culver holding Riley the puppy at the University of Kentucky. The department participated in the It’s On Us pledge, which encourages members of the university community to be part of the solution in ending sexual assault and creating a supportive environment for survivors. Members of the department signed their names (and pretended like the puppy signed it too).

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Categories: Latest News

The French Gendarmerie and Greek Hellenic Police swoop on Eurasian mafia

EUROPOL - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 01:14
On 17 April 2018, more than 300 hundred officers from the French Gendarmerie and Greek Hellenic Police, with the support of Europol and Eurojust, targeted suspects in Caen and Thessaloniki believed to be part of a Eurasian organised crime group comprised mainly of Georgian and Armenians individuals responsible for over 120 acts of shoplifting in France, and 50 residential burglaries in Greece. 17 suspects were arrested in France, and 14 in Greece.
Categories: Latest News

Policing Matters Podcast: Should drug dealers get the death penalty?

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 23:47
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently issued a one-page memo calling for death penalty for drug dealers when it is “appropriate.” Sessions asked prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug-related offenses as part of an effort to combat the opioid crisis. The memo said, in part, “Drug traffickers, transnational criminal organizations, and violent street gangs all contribute substantially to this scourge. To combat this deadly epidemic, federal prosecutors must consider every lawful tool at their disposal.” According to a Quinnipiac University poll taken just days after the release of the memo, 71 percent of Americans queried on the subject oppose such a policy. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss whether or not such a policy targeting “large-scale drug dealers” might become a judicial quagmire.


Categories: Latest News

Shooter fires through restaurant window, kills 2 Fla. deputies

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 17:38

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

TRENTON, Fla. — Someone fired through the window of a north Florida restaurant Thursday afternoon, killing two deputies who were getting food, officials said.

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz identified the slain deputies during a news conference as Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25.

The deputies were getting food at the Ace China restaurant in Trenton when the shooter walked up to the building and fired at them through a window, Schultz said. Fellow deputies responding to the scene found the shooter dead outside the business.

Schultz wouldn't say how the suspect died, adding that state law enforcement officials were investigating. There's no apparent motive for the shooting.

"Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best," Schultz said. "They were men of integrity, men of loyalty. They were God-fearing, and they loved what they did, and we are very proud of them."

Schultz said he rushed to the scene as soon as he heard about the shooting. He said it's important to remember that attacks like Thursday's can happen anywhere, even in small cities like Trenton.

"After 26 years of doing this, there is nothing that can prepare you for senseless deaths," Schultz said.

The shooter's name wasn't immediately released.

Trenton is in northern Florida, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Gainesville.

Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Noel Ramirez & Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey were eating lunch when they were ambushed & murdered by a coward who then killed himself. Prayers for these deputies as well as their family & friends; blood & blue. @GCSOFlorida #waroncops pic.twitter.com/GZStXJASio

— Town of Hartford PD (@THPDnews) April 20, 2018

Watch @FoxNews's broadcast: Gilchrist County Sheriff on Deputies Killed Thursday https://t.co/UWxS1S3Yx0

— They call me Denise (@MsD_408) April 20, 2018

Governor Rick Scott's Statement on the Shooting of Gilchrist County Deputy Sheriffs pic.twitter.com/3HLmd04xoa

— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) April 20, 2018 (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=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON BEHALF SHERIFF BOBBY SCHULTZ AND THE GILCHRIST COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: At approximately...

Posted by Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, April 19, 2018

Terrible news today from Gilchrist County. Our deepest condolences go out to the two Gilchrist County officers shot and killed in the line of duty this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deputies as well as the GCSO Sheriff’s Office. pic.twitter.com/jM7ayZWQeD

— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) April 19, 2018

UPDATE:Police say 2 Gilchrist Co. Deputies were eating inside Ace China and were shot, killed through the window. Suspect found dead outside pic.twitter.com/cqUomKcfVH

— Katrina Boonzaier (@katrinaboonz) April 19, 2018


Categories: Latest News

Philly’s top cop apologizes to men in Starbucks arrest

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:21

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia's police commissioner has issued an apology to the two men whose arrest at a Starbucks sparked outcry.

On Thursday, Commissioner Richard Ross apologized to Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson after recently defending the officers who arrested them, NBC Philadelphia reports. Ross said he made the situation worse and “failed miserably” in his message around the arrests.

"I just think that as we work to make this city safer and better we do have to acknowledge that there are still things that we need to work on," Ross said. "It starts at the top and that starts with me. Messaging is important and I failed miserably in this regard."

The commissioner added that he is “flawed” like many people are, but “that is still no excuse.” Ross said the issue of race isn’t lost on him and that he shouldn’t be making things worse.

Ross also apologized for not knowing Starbucks policy and that he was unaware that people don’t have to purchase something to sit in the coffee shop.

Nelson and Robinson were arrested last week when a Starbucks manager called police after the two men refused to leave the coffee shop. The men said they were waiting for a business meeting at the shop, according to the Associated Press.

Video taken by a witness went viral, sparking national outcry. Starbucks apologized for the incident and said it’ll include new policies on discrimination and ejecting customers.

After the incident, Ross defended his officers and said they did nothing wrong. The commissioner later said the arresting officer was mortified and was put in unfortunate circumstances.

The commissioner said the department will now come up with a policy for dealing with similar situations. Ross said one of the reasons for the change is so that officers won’t be manipulated by businesses, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.


Categories: Latest News

Video shows Ohio officers racing to save suicidal teen

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:08
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four Ohio officers sprang into action to save the life of a teenage girl who tried to jump off a bridge, recently released body cam footage shows.

Columbus police responded to a call about a possible suicidal teenager on March 20 when they encountered the 17-year-old girl, WCMH-TV reports. Four officers witnessed the girl jump over the railing and onto the river side of the bridge.

The officers sprinted to save girl, who dangled her hands and feet from the edge of the bridge, according to WSYX-TV.

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WHAT YOU DON’T ALWAYS SEE ON TV-REALLY GOOD POLICE WORK ??: On 3/20/18 around 8:19pm Officers Kropp, Salsgiver, Sebastiano and Officer Townsley (Probationary) responded to a distraught 17-year-old girl threatening to jump off of the Greenlawn Bridge into the Scioto River. They all responded and upon arrival observed the female jump over the railing onto the river side of the bridge. Everyone assisted in pulling her back over the railing to safety. We spoke with her and family who arrived before medics transported her to the hospital for further assistance. *Grateful to the officers, the girl for trusting our officers & her family for caring. ***National Suicide Prevention Lifeline*** We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free & confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255 #TogetherIsBetter

Posted by Columbus Division of Police on Sunday, April 15, 2018

“I thought she was gone, honestly. She was so close,” Officer Kenneth Kropp said. “She was picking one hand up of the railing, then the other.”

Kropp and fellow officer Anthony Sebastiano were able to reach and secure her arms before the two other LEOs helped pull her back over the railing. Sebastiano said he feels “blessed to be put in that situation” and thankful that four officers were there.

“I took this job to help people, and that was obviously a great opportunity to help someone in need,” Sebastiano said.

The girl was taken to a hospital for treatment after her family arrived.


Categories: Latest News

Officer delivers special gifts to family after burglary

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:02
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A Washington police officer is being recognized for going above and beyond for a family dealing with a devastating burglary.

Last week, Mikaela Richards and her older brother, Gage, came home after school and were shocked to find their money, wallets and nearly every electronic devices they owned were stolen, KIRO reports. Officer Nate Zaretzke, who responded to the call, said the case was heartbreaking.

“I think what was most heartbreaking was just the way the kids had to come home to this,” Zaretzke said.

When the siblings’ father, Jeff, met with detectives, Zaretzke learned that Jeff was a single father who was “working hard to make ends meet” for his family.

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Among the stolen items were two Kindles. After police took the report, Zaretzke wanted to do something special for the family.

The next day, Gage was called into his school’s office where he picked up two Kindles that were gifts from the officer.

“It was pretty emotional because, I mean, after we got broken into, we didn’t have anything left,” Gage said.

Jeff went to social media to share the officer’s act of kindness, which soon went viral. Zaretzke said he was “extremely thankful and humbled” to learn that he received widespread recognition.

“It’s kind of cool that somebody would care that much and do something like that for people he doesn’t even know,” Gage said.


Categories: Latest News

How to find grants to support tactical gear and other special ops needs

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:09

Author: Therese Matthews

Police officers are tasked with an extremely challenging job every day to maintain public safety. In order to perform effectively, cops need the right equipment, whether tactical body armor, night vision goggles, unmanned aerial vehicles or ballistic shields. If your department is like most law enforcement agencies across the country, budgets are tight and often shrinking, with m any priorities competing for available dollars.

Grants are a great solution for securing funding for tactical gear and special operations equipment. There are hundreds of federal, state, corporate and private foundation grant-funding opportunities available each year that will consider supporting specialized law enforcement equipment and gear.

Here’s a summary of both the most obvious grants to consider and some not so obvious – each with their own unique requirements.

The Obvious: Justice Assistance Grants and Homeland Security dollars

Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) offer one of the largest sources of grant funding to support law enforcement equipment purchases. Most tactical and special operations equipment and gear are eligible items under this program. But be aware that specialized vehicles and unmanned aerial systems are prohibited expenditures unless you receive an approved waiver from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Many local municipalities across the country receive a local JAG allocation directly from the federal government based on their share of their state’s three-year violent crime average. If your county or city is a local JAG recipient, encourage your grant administrators to earmark a portion of the funding to cover your special operations and tactical equipment needs.

Each state and U.S. territory also receives an annual JAG award for competitive funding that is available to local and state agencies that don’t qualify for the local allocations. Reach out to your State Administering Agency (SAA) representative to discuss your needs and inquire about the next application period.

Homeland Security Grants can be used to fund a variety of specialized gear, equipment and vehicles, as long as you use the equipment to respond to domestic or international terrorism events or other crimes that threaten your community. Most of these federal grants are received through your state’s homeland security or emergency management agency, but decisions on the uses of these funds are based on local planning. Grant applications for equipment that will be used as a regional asset may receive more favorable consideration.

Your agency may also qualify for Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and Port Security Operation Stonegarden depending on where you are located within the United States. Also consider FEMA’s Emergency Management Preparedness Grant (EMPG), which allows for equipment purchases in preparation for an all-hazards emergency preparation events.

Not so Obvious: Traffic Safety, School Safety, Corporate and Private Foundations

Smart “out-of-the-box” thinking may land you grant awards from some not-so-obvious funding sources. Consider these options:

Highway Safety Grants: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration administers grants for law enforcement purposes. The Section 402 State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program has numerous focus areas, including improving enforcement of traffic safety laws, and enhancing emergency services. States typically offer grants to local law enforcement agencies through a competitive application process. Rural Area Development: If you live in a rural area of the country, you may qualify for a grant or loan under the U.S.D.A. Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. Public safety equipment is an allowable cost under this program. School Safety Grants: Many more grant opportunities are becoming available for school safety in light of recent school shooting events across our country. Work with your School Resource Officers on special initiatives and include your equipment needs in the budget request. Corporate Giving Programs: Many large companies and utilities offer grants that target safety and security in the areas where they are located. National freight railroad companies such as BNSF, CSX and Union Pacific administer grants with a focus on keeping the communities safe where their lines are operating. Big box stores such as Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club offer grants to support public safety and law enforcement initiatives in general. Sandwich shop chain Firehouse Subs has also provided grants for law enforcement and first responder equipment across the country. Also consider reaching out to your agency’s utility companies to inquire if they have grants that they offer locally or through their corporate office. Private Foundations: Community Foundations operate across the country by providing funding to non-profit and some government agencies focused on keeping their neighborhoods safe. The Foundation Center is a great resource for locating the community foundation that operates in your area.

These are just a few of the many grant funding sources you can pursue to cover the cost of your tactical gear or other special operations equipment needs. Research these funding sources, see if they match your needs and agency eligibility, and begin applying now. Best of luck!


Categories: Latest News

3 reasons cops should consider a degree in management

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 08:00

Author: Therese Matthews

Sponsored by Norwich University

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

“Is it worth going back to school to get my bachelor’s degree?” This is one of several important questions you should ask yourself, especially if you’re looking to move up the ladder or approaching retirement.

Traditionally, police departments do not require a bachelor’s degree for officer positions, so for some officers that means several years could go by before they realize how an advanced degree could help them get ahead.

Alexa Ward, an enrollment advisor for Norwich University, said management studies degrees have become an increasingly appealing option for law enforcement officers.

“The management studies program is a great fit for anyone who wants to grow their leadership skills, become exposed to diverse ideas and even consider a master’s degree in business administration down the line,” said Ward.

Here are three reasons police officers should consider pursuing a management studies degree:

1. YOU’LL HAVE THE TOOLS TO BECOME A BETTER LEADER

Some management degree programs offer students an option to pursue a concentration area that allows them to hone their leadership skills. Many of the courses in management studies include a focus on developing leadership skills and approaches.

Effective communication skills are also essential for an officer to thrive professionally. Pursuing a management studies degree can provide opportunities to learn more effective approaches to interacting with people from all walks of life, said Ward.

“The management degree with a concentration in leadership helps you really develop the skills to speak to those you work or deal with in an effective manner,” said Ward.

Over the years, many studies have highlighted how having a college degree can benefit police officers. One study that looked at disciplinary cases against officers in Florida found that officers with a high school education accounted for 75 percent of all disciplinary actions, whereas only 11 percent of officers with college degrees were subjects of disciplinary action.

2. A DEGREE CAN OPEN DOORS FOR OTHER CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Many police officers have the option to retire after 20 years of service. A degree can be especially helpful for you if you’re thinking of switching careers post-retirement. Even if you’re not yet eligible to retire, a career switch becomes much more manageable if you’ve earned a degree in a versatile field like management.

With a management degree, retirement on a police pension could translate into starting a new business, working in a completely different industry or even working as a consultant for a police department that wants more senior officers.

“We encourage our students to think big-picture when choosing their major,” said Ward. “If you want to assume a leadership role, it’s extremely useful to have leadership skills that you can point to on your resume.”

3. GETTING PROMOTED AND INCREASING YOUR EARNING POWER IS WITHIN REACH

If you’re thinking about going to school to increase your chances of getting a promotion, then the good news is that you’re headed in the right direction.

One study found that 48 percent of law enforcement officers who attained college degrees did so to advance their career. Another study that looked at how college degrees affect promotional outcomes for New Jersey State Police found that an officer’s educational degree was the strongest predictor of promotion. In other words, many officers were promoted based on their level of education, which demonstrates the value of earning advanced degrees.

At many police departments, officers make more with a bachelor’s degree. For example, Dallas PD officers earn $49,207 and up on average, but college-educated police officers in the same department make $52,807 and more as their base pay. At Atlanta PD, officers with bachelor’s degrees make anywhere from $2,800 to around $3,600 more annually than do officers with a high school diploma or GED.

“For police officers, there’s a tremendous benefit in getting your higher education, and it’s extremely valuable for officers to hone their critical thinking skills, cultivate their ability to serve those from diverse life experiences and backgrounds, practice effective communication and prepare for more advanced leadership roles down the line,” said Ward.


Categories: Latest News

Slain Mass. LEO's K-9 released from hospital

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 07:36
Author: Therese Matthews

By Kristen Young Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.

YARMOUTH, Mass. — Nero, the wounded K-9 partner of slain Yarmouth police Sgt. Sean Gannon, was released from a veterinary hospital Wednesday and taken home in the cruiser assigned to Gannon, according to a post on the Yarmouth Police Department's Facebook page.

The 28-month-old Belgian Malinois was shot in the face and neck April 12 and had been recovering at Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists in Buzzards Bay, where dozens of current and former K-9 officers made sure the dog was never alone. The man accused of shooting Nero is also charged with shooting and killing Gannon as the K-9 officer was helping to serve a warrant at a Marstons Mills house.

Nero's release came just hours after Gannon's funeral at Saint Pius X Church in South Yarmouth, which drew law enforcement officers from across the country to pay respects and stand in solidarity with Yarmouth police.

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K9 NERO GOES HOME! At the end of one of the most emotional and saddest days, and six-day period in American and...

Posted by Yarmouth Police Dept. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The post called the day "one of the most emotional and saddest days ... in American and Yarmouth Police Department history."

In the post, Yarmouth police thanked those who helped save Nero's life and emphasized the role retired Yarmouth police K-9 handler Peter McCLelland played in the dog's recovery, saying that McClelland "entered the home after Nero was shot and has never left his side."

Nero will stay with McClelland until he fully heals and then will return to the Gannon family, according to the post.

"Rest In Peace Sean, your beloved K-9 Nero is home," the post says.

©2018 Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.


Categories: Latest News

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