Latest News

SC detective shot during domestic violence call dies

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 19:18

Associated Press

YORK, S.C. — A South Carolina sheriff says one of the four law enforcement officers shot while trying to find and arrest a domestic violence suspect has died.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson announced on the office's Facebook page that Detective Mike Doty died Wednesday.

Authorities say York County Sgt. Buddy Brown and York City Police Sgt. Kyle Cummings are recovering.

Tolson says those two officers along with Doty were SWAT team members ambushed by 47-year-old Christian McCall on Tuesday.

The sheriff says York County Sgt. Randy Clinton is awaiting surgery. His condition hasn't been released.

Categories: Latest News

NY police agencies get grant for video interrogation recordings

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:00


ALBANY, N.Y. — More than two dozen law enforcement agencies across New York will be receiving grants to update or purchase recording equipment for video interrogation systems.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that more than $650,000 in grants for the 28 local law enforcement agencies - including four in the Rochester area.

Once a new law takes effect on April 1, failing to record interrogations in applicable cases could result a recorded confession being inadmissible as evidence. This only applies to interrogations at police stations, correctional facilities, prosecutor's offices, and similar holding areas.

Full Story: Four local police agencies receive NY grant money for video interrogation recordings

Categories: Latest News

Brother of slain boy becomes Ill. officer

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 15:19

Denise Crosby The Beacon-News, Aurora, Ill.

AURORA, Ill. — Early Monday morning, the Aurora City Council chamber was filled with proud family and supportive friends as 10 young men, standing ramrod straight in their dark suits and ties, were sworn in as Aurora's newest police officers.

Cellphones clicked. Cameras rolled. Parents beamed. And only hugs outnumbered the handshakes going around the room.

But most of the attention, certainly from the media, was focused on the second young man who took this oath on a snowy Martin Luther King Jr. Day … for no one knew more personally than he did the impact a police badge can have on a family and a community.

Jason Contreras was only 3 years old when in November 1996 his older brother Nico was shot and killed while asleep in his bed at their grandmother's house.

If you know even the basic outline of Aurora's ugly history with gang violence, you probably recognize the name of little Nico. And you likely are familiar with his sweet face, as well, for this 6-year-old child's senseless murder became a rallying cry that set off a wave of anti-gang activism in the community.

While Jason was barely old enough to remember the night his brother was slain or the immediate aftermath, he spent the next two decades as a member of a close-knit family as determined to seek justice for Nico as the police department and prosecutors who eventually got convictions for the two men responsible.

Elias Diaz — who authorities say planned the shooting and drove the getaway car — was found guilty in 2008 and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Mark Downs, who fired the gun into the bedroom — reportedly Nico's uncle was the target, whom they believed was a rival gang member — was convicted in 2009 and received a 70-year sentence.

The murder not only became an integral part of Aurora's dark history and road to redemption, it also came to define much of this family's story — as they became involved with law enforcement, clergy and other activists trying to stem the tide of gang violence that had ripped apart the community. So it's no wonder there were so many family members gathered in the council chamber to watch this young man being sworn in as an Aurora police officer.

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We welcomed ten new police officers to the Aurora Police family today during a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall. The...

Posted by Aurora Police Department on Monday, January 15, 2018

And there is little surprise why this celebration — including those hugs, smiles and tears — was also for a little boy who, only in death, had a chance to make his mark in the world.

Jason's mother, Sandi Saltijeral, admitted she was "scared out of my mind," when Jason announced his senior year of high school he wanted to become a police officer. But trying to change his mind was futile, she said, because when "Jason makes up his mind to do something," there is no talking him out of it.

"And I know how much he wants to make a difference,how much he wants to help people," said Saltijeral, who moved to Chicago several years ago but remains tightly connected to the Aurora community.

There is "no doubt" Jason gravitated to law enforcement because of Nico, said his father, Javier Contreras. Jason was a Plano High School student when the men accused of his brother's murder came to trial. After graduating with a degree in law enforcement from Western Illinois University, he joined the Plano Police Department in the fall of 2016. But his goal, the family told me, was always to be part of Aurora's force, which had played such a vital role in his life.

"Becoming an Aurora cop means a lot to him and to all of us," Contreras said. "It is coming full circle for the family."

In addition to loved ones, there were plenty of city and county officials on hand who played an active role in the Nico case, including two Kane County assistant state's attorneys who have been working on it since the killers were arrested and who continue to deal with the ongoing appeals process.

"Something good came out of something really bad," noted Sal LoPiccolo, a 29-year veteran prosecutor who got to know Jason and the family as they faithfully attended all court proceedings through the years, and have had to endure so many emotions as appeals have snaked through the system.

His colleague agreed. "This was a horrible crime," said Mark Stajdohar, who has been a prosecutor for 17 years and admits he's grown particularly close to the family. "And seeing this (ceremony) helps."

As police liaison for the county's state's attorney's office, Linda Hagemann has also become personally involved. And as the longtime victims advocate gave Jason's mother a congratulatory hug, she reminded Saltijeral of the powerful impact her slain son has had on so many people in this community.

"Nico," she said, "will always have a special place in our hearts."

Now that his little brother is a member of the Aurora police force, the family could not be more proud.

"Jason knows who he is," said his beaming grandmother, Mary Saltijeral. "And I do not worry, for God will watch over him."

©2018 The Beacon-News (Aurora, Ill.)

Categories: Latest News

Mass. officer honored for going beyond call of duty

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 12:28

By PoliceOne Staff

RANDOLPH, Mass. — For one Massachusetts officer, being a cop means helping others, whether he is on or off duty.

WCVB reports that Officer Kevin Gilbert recently received a commendation for being the “living embodiment of service and selflessness” by the Randolph PD. The department said Gilbert typically scours social media and news headlines to learn about people who are in need that he can help.

Gilbert’s selfless actions include helping people at home and in places as far away as Georgia and Tennessee. The officer sends out care packages to sick children in hospitals, and even helps the families of the children by providing toys and gift cards for gas.

Another example of positive policing: Randolph PD Officer Kevin Gilbert receives Commendation from Chief for selflessness beyond the call of duty. His story at 5:30. #wcvb

— Nichole Berlie (@NicholeBerlie) January 10, 2018

"As a police officer, making an arrest is one thing in the course of our duties, but by sending a letter and gift with a police patch to a sick child in the hospital, you can do the most with that," Gilbert said.

Sgt. Douglas Morgan recalls the time Gilbert helped a single mother who was caught shoplifting from a store. Morgan said the mother stole because money was tight and she was trying to provide for her daughter. So, Gilbert went into the store and paid for enough food to last the family until the mother received her next Social Security check.

Gilbert said his generosity comes from his parents, but he also made it clear that he isn’t the only selfless officer.

"I'm certainly not the only officer in our department who does it, but it's always nice to be able to help whenever we can," he said.

Randolph Police Officer Kevin Gilbert Recognized for Selfless Efforts Beyond the Call of…

— Randolph Police Dept (@RandolphPD) January 9, 2018

Categories: Latest News

Officer buys new wheelchair for homeless man

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 12:20

By PoliceOne Staff

MIAMI — When a homeless man couldn’t get his wheelchair to open, a Miami officer opened her own wallet to help solve his problem.

WPLG reports that Officer Anna Lazcano is a member of the Miami PD’s Homeless Outreach team. The team consists of Miami officers who check on the homeless and offer them assistance and shelter.

Last week, Rafael Alvarez flagged down Lazcano for some help. When the officer learned that his wheelchair was broken, she bought the disabled man a new one, ABC News reports.

Alvarez, who moved to Miami from Cuba in 1980, worked as a roofer until he had to quit for medical reasons, including a leg amputation from diabetes. He and his wife became homeless when Medicare didn’t cover all of their bills.

"Regardless of where they are from, where they ended up and what they're doing with their life, it's just helping the community. It is what we're all about,” Lazcano said.


Categories: Latest News

Why police training must balance the body and the brain

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:25

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

Francis Bacon wrote, “Ipsa scientia protestas est,” which translates to “Knowledge itself is power.” He clearly never tried to get a resistive suspect into handcuffs.

The power needed to win a street confrontation is developed through the effective combination of seven components:

Balance Focus Speed Flexibility Endurance Strength Simplicity of technique

If you memorize these words, you will know the seven components, but that knowledge in itself will not make you powerful.

To be powerful, you must regularly venture out of the knowledge-based classroom (mental) and engage in rigorous, ongoing skills training (physical). You see knowing is enough only in a sterile classroom; doing is required on the unforgiving street.

Taking a Balanced Approach to Police Training

As law enforcement officers age, there is a natural tendency to shy away from hands-on training and gravitate toward lecture-based education. Cops become satisfied to train while seated on their brain.

There should be a healthy balance between mental and physical learning in police training. This can be achieved by varying our training locations. For example, training should take place:

    In a training/lecture room and online; In a gymnasium/weight room/track to address fitness; In a mat room to learn and update defensive and control tactics; On a driving range for hands-on emergency vehicle operations and on a driving simulator. On a firearms range, in scenarios and on a firearms simulator.

For the survival-minded officer, fitness training on your own time and dime must be a part of your regimen.

Don’t Just Train in Your Comfort Zone

Many of us like to train in our comfort zone. For example, the DT guru will spend all of his or her hands-on training time in the mat room, while the top gun spends all of his or her training time on the range.

It is important to continually update your strengths, but it is critical to identify your weaknesses so they become your strengths as well.

Imbalanced Training is Economical

Many administrators may lean toward knowledge-based lectures to avoid police officer injuries, as well as reduce police training costs and enhance convenience. Officers embracing a sedentary lifestyle are satisfied to remain seated comfortably while being “entertrained” by a great trainer.

There is great value to lecture-based training; however, this can’t be a street officer’s training endgame. Ongoing skills training is an absolute necessity for street officers. A balance must be struck in training between the knowing and the doing.

Developing Power in the Peace Officer

A balance in training can develop seven components of power in the peace officer:

    Balance on the street comes from maintaining proper stance, whether moving or stationary. You must be able to move and perform tactics effectively while maintaining your balance, as you simultaneously compromise the resistive suspect’s balance. Focus comes into play whether you are trying to get the best results out of finger placement on the mandibular-angle pressure point, or while delivering a round to the center mass of an armed robber taking aim at you. This type of focus is achieved first through knowledge-based training to learn where the vulnerable areas are, followed by skills training in the defensive tactics room and on the firearms range. Speed in the applications of holds, delivery of punches and in performance of your sudden assault draw will assist you in defeating assaultive and resistive suspects. Speed is also improved through knowledge-based training. A major enhancer of speed is having a solid knowledge in arrest search and seizure, as well as the rules you follow in use-of-force decisions, because knowledge can improve an officer’s decisiveness. Decisiveness is the equivalent of hyperdrive on the street. Flexibility means training your muscles and joints to be able to move through your full range of motion. Patrolling in a squad, sitting at a desk or watching a screen for hours a day will rob you of your flexibility. The rule of physical flexibility is, “Move it or lose it!” Flexibility also means having multiple options at your disposal. Developing both types of flexibility requires mental and physical training. Endurance is primarily maintained or improved upon through physical activity. You will be able to run longer if you run, fight longer if you spar, overcome resistance longer if you lift. There is another type of endurance that can be obtained through knowledge-based training. Listening in advance of critical incidents to the lessons of physical and emotional survival from people who have “been there and done that” will assist officers in emotionally enduring the difficult times in their careers. Strength is primarily gained in a weight room or fitness center. Strength can be improved upon throughout your life. It is imperative a street officer have strength to draw upon. It is however not the final arbiter in a struggle. By quickly taking a suspect’s balance away and using an effective leveraging technique, an officer can defeat strength in many cases. Simplicity of technique does not mean you choose only the simplest of techniques. It means that through knowledge-based training and successful street applications of a particular technique, it becomes second nature for you, making you more powerful.

When there is time to think, knowing the correct action to take helps you succeed. This is developed through mental training. When there is no time to think, the powerful reaction that helps you prevail comes only through rigorous and repeated hands-on training.

Power on brothers and sisters.

Categories: Latest News

Lawyer: Charges possible in connection with Vegas shooting

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:18

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Ken Ritter Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Charges could be filed in connection with the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, even though the gunman responsible for killing 58 people is dead, a lawyer for Las Vegas police told a judge Tuesday.

Attorney Nicholas Crosby did not identify new evidence or suspects but said charges might be possible depending on the results of an ongoing investigation.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo and the FBI have said they believe Stephen Paddock acted alone to carry out the Oct. 1 shooting that also injured hundreds before killing himself.

"Without naming names, there are potential charges against others as a result of the ongoing investigation?" Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish asked Crosby as he argued to keep police search-warrant records sealed.

"Yes," said Crosby, who represents the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which Lombardo leads. "There are charges being investigated."

The attorney declined outside court to say whom he referred to.

Officer Laura Meltzer, a Las Vegas police spokeswoman, said the department is "investigating possible criminal charges related to items discovered during the service of search warrants." She did not name a suspect and said she could not specify the type of charges or what was found without compromising the investigation.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Breault in Las Vegas declined to comment.

Federal court documents made public Friday showed that as of Oct. 6, the FBI considered Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, "the most likely person who aided or abetted Stephen Paddock."

Danley, who was in the Philippines during the shooting, was questioned by the FBI after returning to the U.S. Lombardo and Aaron Rouse, FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, said in October that Danley was not a suspect.

An FBI spokeswoman said last week that she could not comment about Danley. Her lawyer, Matthew Lombard in Los Angeles, did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages Tuesday.

The judge Tuesday didn't order the Vegas police records released as requested by a lawyer for media organizations, including The Associated Press. Cadish said she might review the documents privately before making them public.

"It only makes sense that a party who is arguing that something has to be kept secret can't fully explain in public why it has to be kept secret," she said.

Media companies want the judge to release affidavits showing what police told state judges to obtain search warrants immediately after identifying Paddock as the man who opened fire from a 32nd-floor suite of a casino-hotel into a country music festival crowd below.

Officials have not said and records released so far don't show what motivated the 64-year-old high-stakes gambler to kill.

"Paddock planned the attack meticulously and took many methodical steps to avoid detection of his plot and to thwart the eventual law enforcement investigation that would follow" the shooting, one federal document said.

A U.S. judge on Friday unsealed more than 300 pages of FBI warrant records justifying searches of Paddock's properties in Reno and Mesquite, Nevada, along with vehicles and multiple email, Facebook and other internet accounts belonging to Paddock and Danley.

Danley told investigators that they would find her fingerprints on bullets used during the attack because she would sometimes help Paddock load high-volume ammunition magazines, according to the FBI records.

Other records showed that Danley received a wire transfer of money from Paddock while she was in the Philippines and that Danley deleted her Facebook account in the hours immediately after the shooting.

Categories: Latest News

University police chief combats sexual assaults with apps, relationships

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:11
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By George Morris The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE, La. — You can't open the newspaper or flip on the TV without hearing about another A-lister brought down by charges of sexual assault or harassment.

But Joycelyn Johnson has been combating sexual assault since long before it became a hot-button issue.

It started when she was on foot patrol in the Southern University Police Department, and continues now that she's chief.

Her work has been noticed, and not just on campus.

Johnson was honored last year regionally by HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Law Enforcement Executives and Administrators and locally by the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links for innovations she has brought to Southern police, particularly those combating sexual assault on campus.

When Johnson, 49, joined the force in 1999, she walked the night shift, keeping an eye on several dormitories.

“Walking around meeting students, talking to them, just getting to know them is when I started learning about these types of crimes going on, and they just don’t report,” Johnson said. “So, after getting to know students and listening to some of the things that were going on, that had happened to them or friends, I had decided to do something.”

In 2002, she received approval from then-Chief Dale Flowers to contact other police departments and implement a domestic violence awareness and prevention program at Southern. She began by creating self-defense classes, safety awareness efforts and letting students know about health and counseling services. Later, Flowers approved her request to offer a rape and sexual abuse awareness and prevention program and to provide a private office where victims could feel more comfortable.

Since the campus population constantly changes, the need to get the word out is constant. In the early going, that included a pamphlet Johnson created titled “Keeping Jags Safe.” As time passed, smartphones have become nearly universal.

“One morning I was riding around campus, and from the Mini-Dome to inside the campus, the kids walked to go to class, and everybody pretty much had a phone in their hand either looking down or not paying attention,” Johnson said. “I said I need to do something to get their attention while they’re on the phone.”

That inspired her to pursue development of the Jags Safe app, which was introduced in 2015 while Johnson was Southern’s interim police chief. Developed by 911 Cellular, the app enables Southern students and faculty to contact the campus police department, request an escort to their vehicle, track the location of the campus shuttle and anonymously report crimes or other problems on campus, including photos or videos. It also has emergency information, a campus map and other safety features.

About 2,900 Southern students and faculty members have downloaded the app, Johnson said, and they’re not afraid to use it to alert Southern police. Not all of those contacts are emergencies, but she views anything that connects students to the campus police as a positive.

“They tell us all kinds of things,” Johnson said. “The funniest one: ‘Can you please tell the kids upstairs to stop stomping? I’m trying to sleep.’”

This is not to say there aren’t more serious issues, including the ones that caught Johnson’s attention as a patrol officer. Sexual assault remains a subject that victims are reluctant to speak about to authorities, the chief said. Rape accusations are rare. When they have occurred, Johnson said she has done whatever is necessary, including providing rides to the District Attorney’s Office for accusers who needed transportation.

A Baton Rouge native and 1986 Capitol High School graduate, Johnson is the first woman to be Southern’s permanent police chief. Capt. Sandra Knighten, one of her mentors, was the first female interim chief.

Since becoming chief, Johnson said she has encouraged officers to “adopt” dorms so the students will get to know them.

“It’s very important,” she said. “As a student, it was important for me to have relationships within the campus community because I needed help. When I was a student, I didn’t know one campus police officer. I would see them, but I didn’t know their name.”

©2018 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

Categories: Latest News

Sons of slain Wash. deputy name new K-9 officer after father

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:04
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Craig Sailor The News Tribune

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Among the many tributes paid to fallen Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney this week one has a wagging tail and a fondness for dog biscuits.

A new K9 deputy arrived from Pennsylvania Tuesday. He will go by the name of Deputy Dan.

The name, the Sheriff’s Department said, was chosen by McCartney’s three sons.

“With the name comes great expectations — brave, strong, hardworking,” the department said. “We know K9 Dan is up to the challenge.”

McCartney was fatally shot Jan. 8 after responding to a home invasion at a Frederickson “drug house.” His funeral is Wednesday.

The 15-month-old German Shepard will join fellow K9 Deputy Baker, “Who proudly served alongside Deputy Daniel McCartney in our Mountain Detachment,” the Sheriff’s Department said.

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Of all of the special deliveries we have received over the past week, this one is extra special. Today we gained...

Posted by Pierce County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

©2018 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

Categories: Latest News

Al Capone's bullet-resistant vest featured in LEO museum

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:03

Author: NLEM Staff

January marks the birth and death of one of America’s most notorious gangsters. Al Capone was born on January 17, 1899, and became a central focus of federal law enforcement during Prohibition.

Two federal agencies began working to bring Capone to justice. Eliot Ness was a Prohibition Bureau agent charged with the task. His team raided illegal stills and significantly slowed the cash flow of Capone’s boot-legging operations. Meanwhile, Internal Revenue Service Agent Mike Malone went undercover as a wise guy from Philadelphia to infiltrate Capone’s gang, but the actual takedown of Al Capone is credited to a quiet IRS agent named Frank Wilson.

Wilson was one of several IRS agents who were investigating Capone’s financial dealings. By some estimates, Capone raked in $60 million in illegal liquor sales during Prohibition. Combined with another $25 million from gambling establishments and $20 million from vice and other illegal activities, Capone became of the country’s richest gangsters.

Using forensic accounting, Wilson and his team were able to gather sufficient evidence to indict Capone on charges of tax evasion. Capone was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison, most of it served in Alcatraz.

After eight years, Capone was released from prison in ill health from the effects of syphilis. He suffered a stroke and died January 25, 1947, at the age of 48.

A bullet-resistant vest once worn by the notorious gangster is part of the National Law Enforcement Museum’s collection, and will be on display in the History Beat exhibit when the museum opens this fall.

Categories: Latest News

Disaster mental health: Meeting the unique needs of first responders

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 09:53

Author: NLEM Staff

By Kendall Pfeffer, Sam Buser, PhD, and Jana Tran, PhD

As evidenced by the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, natural disasters are relatively commonplace events that are potentially traumatic for many of the individuals caught in their wake.

While the human suffering and losses suffered by affected communities are widely reported, the consequences of these events on the men and women who bear the burden of search and rescue is understudied and underreported.

No one who witnesses a disaster is untouched by it, and first responders are uniquely impacted.

Following what has been one of most aggressive and destructive hurricane seasons on record, it is crucial that we reflect on what we know about mental health consequences for first responders and how we might improve disaster mental health efforts moving forward.

How do natural disasters impact first responder mental health?

Research has identified seven phases of a disaster:

    Pre-disaster (warning or threat), Impact, Heroic, Honeymoon, Inventory, Disillusionment, Recovery.

In the initial weeks following a disaster (i.e., the honeymoon phase), community cohesion is at its peak, altruism is prominent and many survivors experience optimism as the community bands together.

Expressions of gratitude for first responders’ selfless acts of heroism are abundant; however, as the community returns to normal, recognition subsides.

During the inventory and disillusionment phases, optimism often gives way to discouragement or despondency. First responders may feel abandoned or resentful, and signs of burnout and compassion fatigue become more evident.

These feelings are exacerbated for those struggling with wage or benefit issues.

Finally, in the recovery phase, emotional resources and social support may wear thin for those who continue to struggle.

Each disaster has intrinsically unique factors which influence the nature, intensity and duration of post-disaster stress, including:

Control – While hurricanes and natural disasters are beyond human control and absent of evil intent, flooding and other negative consequences may be exacerbated due to human factors. Many first responders experience anger and frustration directed at their command staff; and local, state and national government agencies for failing to properly staff certain areas or appropriately allocate resources. Additionally, the random, uncontrollable nature of the event may cause feelings of helplessness and heightened anxiety. Exposure – First responders may be victims themselves, even while they are trying to help others. Those who have lost their homes or witnessed destruction and loss within their families or neighborhoods experience a combination of grief and trauma that may extend the duration of recovery. High exposure survivors tend to experience more anxiety, sadness, post-trauma symptoms, physical or somatic symptoms and alcohol use. Scale and scope – Harvey was the wettest tropical hurricane on record in the contiguous U.S. and caused catastrophic flooding and property damage in the Houston-area. Irma brought intense wind and rainfall for 37 consecutive hours resulting in 132 deaths. Maria devastated the entire island of Puerto Rico, leaving residents without power, water or access to medical care. When entire communities are impacted to this degree, survivors can become disoriented. Social support that maintains a sense of community and occurs in familiar settings is critical. Fortunately, the first responder community binds together to help their brothers and sisters in times of crisis such as these. Active Incident – For most citizens, after the storm passes, the disaster threat is over, and the recovery and rebuilding process can begin. For first responders, the end point is ambiguous. Hurricanes and floods often remain an "active incident" as they continue to make related calls (e.g., recovering bodies) over a period of weeks. Recurrence – We know that anniversaries of critical incidents can trigger post-traumatic stress symptoms. Because hurricanes follow a seasonal pattern, survivors may be concerned that a storm will hit again before the season ends or again next hurricane season. At the one-year anniversary, reminders that we are potentially at-risk can reignite disaster stress and hypervigilance. Unique characteristics of first responders

First responders are generally altruistic, fearless and intrinsically motivated individuals who may occasionally struggle to identify when it is time to take a break for self-care.

They experience compounded demands to meet the needs of survivors and the community, all while coping with anxiety about the safety and well-being of their own families.

This unique position of being both rescuer and victim frequently results in ethical dilemmas. They may experience overwhelming feelings of helplessness as their professional duty to serve their community comes into direct conflict with personal commitments to protect loved ones.

Many first responders recover dead bodies, and some may respond to civilians who have chosen to commit suicide as a result of the disaster. This degree of exposure to human tragedy, coupled with higher levels of pre-trauma exposure and chronic occupational stress, means first responders will be uniquely vulnerable to adverse stress reactions.

The majority of survivors are resilient and will integrate their disaster experience, process their loss and move forward over time.

However, first responders who have significant pre-existing physical, behavioral or mental health issues are at greater risk for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Those who have experienced recent or concurrent losses or other stressors (e.g., the death of a loved one, divorce or marital distress, financial strain, illness) are also at greater risk of delayed recovery.

Additionally, overwork and sleep disruption during initial operations compound risk for PTSD.

Depression and PTSD may be manifested in physical complaints, as well as behavioral and emotional reactions, particularly prominent among those less able to experience and express emotions directly. Emotional reactions will oscillate between numbness and intense expression (i.e., anger or irritability).

Additionally, first responders who utilize maladaptive coping styles (e.g., avoidance, emotional numbing, drinking to cope) are more vulnerable. Many of these coping strategies are implicated in the development and maintenance of PTSD.

Ironically, the strategies that have assisted first responders in coping with the day-to-day accumulation of occupational stress and frequent exposure to potentially traumatic events may prevent them from effectively processing a natural disaster.

Aspects of police culture may impede willingness to seek social support (i.e., a “man up” or “don’t take it home with you” mentality).

Law enforcement agencies are replete with individuals who exhibit a take charge, control-oriented mentality. They are comfortable in the role of rescuer dealing with problems of others. Help seeking behaviors are often interpreted as a sign of weakness. Additionally, stigma and mistrust of outsiders prevent many from seeking mental health services.

On the flip side, extensive social support networks inclusive of crew, department, union and peer-support networks can help to buffer these risk factors. When perceived social support from both their work family and their family at home is high, risk for prolonged stress response lowers.

How to help first responders cope with disaster

Disaster stress reactions are a normal reaction to a difficult and abnormal situation. In the days and weeks immediately following a disaster, they are common and experienced by most.

However, stress reactions that continue into the long-term may be indicative of depression or PTSD and signal that a first responder needs additional support or referral to a mental healthcare provider.

Intervention in the mid- and long-term period following a natural disaster is critical for first responder populations.

1. Implement evidence-based intervention models when possible.

While direct research with first responders in the aftermath of disasters is limited, several crisis intervention models have been well documented and frequently replicated.

Psychological First Aid, originally developed for intervention with civilian populations, has been adapted for first responders [1]. It focuses on stabilization and practical assistance, facilitates normal methods of coping and normalizes emotional responses. Research supports the use PFA in the immediate and mid-term.

The Houston Fire Department follows a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) model. CISM incorporates multiple intervention components for secondary victims, which cover a range of functions, delivered in different formats, throughout the ongoing phases of crisis/disaster response [2]. The peer-trained model provides the flexibility necessary to respond to unique factors of specific incidents.

2. Use what you’ve got.

Just as each individual survivor has his or her own personal assets that can reduce disaster stress, affected communities often have pre-existing structures for social support and resources for recovery. It’s always recommended to utilize interventions with empirical data supporting their efficacy, but you don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

Use your community, organizational or department resources and customize the intervention model to meet the needs of your first responder community.

3. Consider the fit-ness of your efforts.

When DMH efforts fit the culture of the community being served, service usage increases. First responders are likely to reject outside interference.

Utilize organizational and community mental health providers for consultation, guidance and programmatic planning, and then have trained peer-support teams make initial contacts.

4. Demystify the stress response.

Individuals who believe their traumatic stress symptoms are due to their own weakness, rather than an ordinary response to extraordinary events, are more likely to struggle with traumatic stress symptoms in the long-term [3].

This is particularly true of first responders, given cultural norms of strength and self-sufficiency.

Provide information on common reactions in the short-term; warning signs in the long-term; and, of course, recommendations for healthy coping strategies. De-stigmatization is key.

5. Be persistent and patient.

Go to the survivors. Don’t wait for them to seek out mental health services on their own. Be visible, go from station to station, and provide clear, relevant information.

Because first responders are not accustomed to being the ones in need of assistance, outreach efforts should be nonintrusive and open-ended. Continue to check-in and provide psychoeducation on an ongoing basis, especially around anniversaries.

6. Plan ahead.

Frequently, mental health programs and support networks’ organizational plans are unclear or inadequate immediately following a natural disaster due to rapid mobilization and prioritization of citizen survivor needs.

But it’s never too late to create a functional plan. In the late-term (inventory and disillusionment phases), first responders may be hit particularly hard. Stress reactions become more evident as those around them return to pre-disaster levels of functioning.

Consider implementing a CISM model or some variation of a peer-support network that can also be called upon in the event of a future disaster.


1. Ruzek JI, Brymer MJ, Jacobs AK, Layne CM, et al. (2007). Psychological first aid. Journal Of Mental Health Counseling, 29(1);17-49.

2. Mitchell JT, Everly GJ. Critical incident stress management and critical incident stress debriefings: Evolutions, effects and outcomes. In B. Raphael, J. P. Wilson, B. Raphael, J. P. Wilson (Eds.), “Psychological debriefing: Theory, practice and evidence,” (pp. 71-90). New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press.

3. Ehlers A, Clark DM. Predictors of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: Trauma memories and appraisals. In B.O. Rothbaum (Ed.), “Pathological anxiety: Emotional processing in etiology and treatment” (pp. 39-55). New York: Guilford Press.

About the author Jana K. Tran is staff psychologist for the Houston Fire Department.

Categories: Latest News

Video shows suspect shooting at officers during pursuit

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 15:16

By PoliceOne Staff

SPANISH FORK, Utah — Utah police released intense video of a suspect shooting multiple rounds at officers during a pursuit.

KSL reports that more than 75 shots were exchanged between the suspect, 37-year-old Arturo Gallemore-Jimenez, and Utah County Sheriff’s deputies during a Dec. 20 pursuit. Three shots came from the suspect.

The incident began when Gallemore-Jimenez became angry after locking his keys in his pickup truck and broke into his car by shooting out a window. Police later spotted the vehicle and ordered Gallemore-Jimenez, who they knew had a gun, to put his hands out the window.

Moments later, Gallemore-Jimenez began firing at the five officers. More than 50 shots were exchanged after the officers returned fire.

A 21-year-old man who was parked off the side of the freeway was hit in the shoulder either by an errant shot or by a fragment that ricocheted, Tracy said. His injuries were no considered life-threatening.

A vehicle carrying a family, including four children, was also hit. A bullet went through the vehicle's back window, narrowly missing a 4-year-old boy in a car seat. No one in the vehicle was injured, police said.

After the exchange, the suspect continued driving on the highway at slower speeds because two of his tires were shot out.

Police kept their distance from the suspect during the pursuit as they planned their next move. But as Gallemore-Jimenez began approaching a highly populated area, a veteran member of the sheriff’s SWAT team sped ahead of the suspect, got out of his vehicle and armed himself with a rifle.

Sheriff Jim Tracy said police would have waited for an armored vehicle to perform a PIT maneuver. But since the suspect was headed toward a highly populated area and proved he was dangerous, the deputy became the last line of defense.

"He was going to use a weapon to get away from everything and anything that was bothering him," Tracy said. "We’re not going to let someone who we have already witnessed an attempted murder, go into the public and be lost from our chase. There’s no way we’re going to let that individual get past that point.”

The deputy fired 27 rounds at Gallemore-Jimenez’s passing vehicle, shooting the suspect in the arm and grazing him in the neck. Gallemore-Jimenez crashed into a fence off the side of the road moments later.

Gallemore-Jimenez was soon taken into custody and transported to a hospital. Police found “multiple firearms” in the man’s truck and learned that he was wearing body armor.

After his arrest, Gallemore-Jimenez told police that he was prepared to die and was going to shoot any officer approaching him.

Gallemore-Jimenez faces a slew of charges, including three counts of attempted aggravated murder.

Despite the amount of gunfire exchanged, none of the bullets from the suspect struck any officer or law enforcement vehicle.

Categories: Latest News

Mind over matter: How performance cues can help cops at 'go time'

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:19

By Stephen Robinson

Today’s police officer responds to everything from mass shootings to natural disasters to potentially dangerous domestic calls. Cops need to be ready to go from zero to 100 quickly, and do their jobs extremely well. The stress is unrelenting, and the pressure to perform high.

Police officers can perform more effectively by learning to regulate the stress response and cue the brain and body at critical times of performance. One way to regulate stress is to have tried and true rituals; performance cues make great repetitive habits that strengthen outcomes.

What are performance cues?

Performance cues are physical, mental or other forms of reminders that help unlock a performance state. Performance cues are used at the beginning of an act or event to prepare the body, brain and our emotions for what’s about to occur.

Performance cues are often single words or short phrases, physical gestures or images that signal the brain and prepare the body for performance.

How can I use performance cues?

First you need to practice, and it’s likely you already do, whether you know it or not.

For example, you may have a sequence in how you put on your uniform, how you kit up for duty, or how you get into your vehicle and prepare to drive. All of these motions are subtle cues to your brain and body to prepare you for the day.

Performance cues usually don’t happen by default and need to be a deliberate part of your day-to-day life. As you practice and train, it’s important to tie performance cues to an action and rehearse your mental and motor responses in relation to the action. This will anchor the cue physically, which is vital to making it more than just a “mental statement.”

What are some examples of performance cues?

Former Delta Force SGM and founder and president of Viking Tactics, Inc., Kyle Lamb, uses short phrases while training in relation to his shooting skills. He often links statements to key actions – such as transitioning his carbine – to help him be clear when the pressure is on. He prefers to use the phrase “support side” as opposed to “weak side” because of the negative reinforcement and doubt that is generated by saying “weak side.” Doubt is an enemy to performance so his performance cue is, “Strong to support side” when transitioning his carbine.

Kyle also uses reference points for the process of making the transition, such as “Safety on,” which ties into the physical feeling of finger off the trigger. While in action, he states, “Firing hand to mag well” as he’s going through the motions of the next step in the process. “Step forward and loosen sling,” comes after that.

The words, combined with the motions, help Kyle anchor his skills, and considering he’s one of the world’s best shooters, he may be on to something. Your cues don’t have to be words, but can also be images, body feeling or whatever prompts you the best.

Tim Burke, former Delta operator and 7th SFG SFAUC (Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat) course developer, provides some other examples. He uses what he calls “profound relaxation,” a feeling state for shooting drills and for going into combat. He would practice eliciting the state as a cue both for training and for missions.

When working with the Ecuadorian military on pistol shooting drills, Tim shared that one of his students would step up to the line and repeat, “Focus, focus, focus” multiple times as he dropped into his performance state. This individual was an outstanding student and shooter, and he credited his performance to using verbal cues to dial into his ideal state for pistol shooting. This is a great example of regulating attention to create skill-specific focus.

Often stepping into an intense environment naturally provokes the fight-flight response internally, and staying acutely present to a situation can be challenging. To counter dissociation, operators might use a statement such as, “It’s go time” when orders came down and they are spinning up for a mission. Or they might say, “Right here” or “Right now” or “weight in my feet” as a thought or body cue for staying in the moment. Finding the balance between being relaxed enough and not dominated by the fight or flight mechanism, while being engaged and focused, is what you’re after.

What are the benefits of using performance cues?

When under stress and pressure, the left, verbal hemisphere tends to disengage, as does the larger neocortex or upper brain. By using a phrase or visual motor cue that is tied to how you train, blood stays flowing to the upper brain making it easier to access an optimal performance state under pressure.

Another benefit is that cues engage the verbal area in the left hemisphere of the brain and link it to motor performance. We’ve all heard first responders under pressure degenerate into speaking gibberish on the radio; this is largely a function of the vagus nerve turning off, which innervates in the voice box, along with the heart, lungs and gut. Having focused, performance-supporting statements can regulate the nervous system response so you can do what you need to do.

What’s the bottom line?

You can build tactical cues and create easy-to-remember signals in the form of a word, phrase or image that links to the movement and the action you need to take. Practice these cues in conjunction with the skill itself.

If you’re not out in the field training hard skills, do them in your mind and move your hands and body while you do it, as though you’re putting on gear, changing magazines, etc.

With practice, the performance cue will be anchored along with the skill, and you will perform better under pressure – making better decisions, fewer errors, and operating with greater precision.

About the author Stephen Robinson, MA, is CEO and president of EVENPULSE, providing the renowned BASE-R Method™ Training on stress mitigation and optimal performance. The training has been delivered to corporations, military personnel, law enforcement, first responders, healthcare professionals and athletic teams, serving 25,000 people. Stephen specializes in taking complex information into an accessible form that audiences can leverage for building themselves and their teams. In his career, Stephen has served as a national security studies specialist, tennis professional, fitness trainer, college professor, performance coach, and business leader. He has worked with a variety of elite audiences, including many elements of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Categories: Latest News

Unnecessary roughness: Do we need to tame police academy training?

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:10

Author: Tim Dees

Police training should be tough. But, if it’s too tough, recruits are lost to resignations, injuries or even death.

A story from Ohio this past week illustrates the potential of the problem. During a dynamic training exercise where recruits were supposed to fight off an instructor who attacks them, six cadets sustained injuries that required transport to a hospital. One had a shoulder dislocation, while the others suffered concussions. Two others reportedly suffered concussions, but were not treated at the hospital.

This incident is not all that different from one at a Virginia police academy in 2011. There, recruit John Kohn was hit in the head repeatedly by an instructor as he lay on his back during a ground-fighting exercise. Kohn stumbled off the mat before he collapsed. He died at a Norfolk hospital nine days later.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD was fined $7,000 by the North Carolina Labor Department after a 2016 incident where a recruit collapsed from heat stress during physical training. The recruit was required to exercise vigorously in July, when temperatures and humidity are high, and while wearing body armor. No water was provided, and breaks were discouraged. Jeremy Moseley, age 29, died from heat injuries.

In 2012, an Oklahoma City PD recruit died after hitting his head on a mat during a simulated combat exercise. Since then, recruits engaged in similar training wear protective headgear.

In 2005, a Kennesaw (GA) police recruit was shot and killed by an instructor who brought a loaded firearm into a classroom where loaded guns were strictly forbidden.

And, in another 2005 incident, no fewer than 43 Massachusetts State Police academy cadets from a single class were hospitalized after suffering multiple types of injuries. In some cases, the training regimen all but forced the injuries. Recruits were forced to drink large amounts of water, then required to run for extended periods without bathroom breaks. The same recruit class experienced hazing in the form of one cadet being forced to wear another’s soiled underwear. Several others were seized by instructors and dunked headfirst into toilets, a process known as a “swirly.”

Inadequate police instructor training

Most police academies are modeled in some way on military basic training. The methodology varies considerably from one academy, and even academy session, to another. In the more rigorous academies, there is a lot of yelling, push-up punishments for the smallest infraction, and other strenuous treatment under the guise of “stress inoculation.”

To be sure, some stress inoculation is valuable. Police officers have to be able to keep their heads when everything is going to hell around them, and they will often be baited by people who are hoping fervently that the cop will lose his or her temper and lash out violently.

Where police academies overshoot the objective is usually tied to poor preparation of instructors. The military basic training model is often extended to the police academy by tactical officers who wear the wide-brimmed “Smokey Bear” hats that are the badge of the military drill instructor. The tac officer may have had some formal training in care and feeding of the police recruit, but just as often, his training has come from watching R. Lee Ermey in “Full Metal Jacket” a few dozen times, just to make sure he gets it right.

What they miss is that military drill instructors must first be non-commissioned officers with years of exemplary service, who then complete months of specialized rigorous training that not everyone passes. After graduation, they usually work as assistant drill instructors for several class cycles before they get a recruit class of their own. They are charged with the safety and welfare of everyone in their recruit class, and they take this charge very seriously. Those who don’t, cease being drill instructors, and may even bring about a premature end to their careers. They’re tough, but they also understand compassion.

The U.S. Marine Corps depicted in “Full Metal Jacket” was the one of the mid-1960s. They do things a little differently now. The military processes far more trainees than do police academies, under mostly more rigorous and dangerous conditions, and manages to kill very few of them in doing it. When running a police academy, “don’t kill anybody” should be a minimum standard.

Back in my day…

Police training tends to suffer from chronic nostalgia. Some police academy instructors take it upon themselves to make the training at least as difficult as it was for them, not wanting to have the newbie get a better deal than they had. Not factored into this mandate is whether the harsh treatment produced better results, or if it served only to make the recruit glad the experience was over and behind them.

There is, of course, also the problem where the academy instructor is just a sadistic jerk who exploits the power he has over the victim recruits. The recruit knows that complaining or failing to do what he is told can mean dismissal from the academy, so he is at the instructor’s mercy.

Not the best way to go

Rigid, high-stress police academies may be counterproductive. In the late 1960s, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department conducted a study that measured the career performance of deputies who had completed academies under both stress and non-stress models. The finding was that “non-stress trained subjects performed at a significantly higher level in the areas of field performance, job satisfaction, and performance acceptability by persons served.” That this seminal research has been mostly ignored is nothing new in law enforcement.

More why, less how

Most rookie cops, me included, heard at least one of their field training officers say, “Okay, kid, forget that academy stuff. I’m going to show you how to do police work” (mine didn’t say “stuff”). Field training is where cops learn the trade, building on the basics taught at the academy. For most, it’s the most crucial part of the transformation to law enforcement officer.

Some basic skills need to be taught in the police academy, as there isn’t anywhere else to pick them up. Defensive tactics skills are probably more important than ever before, as the current cohort of police recruits may have gotten all the way through school without ever having been in a fight. You don’t want your first experience with this to be against an adversary who is going to kill you, if he can.

Still, these skills can be taught with minimal risk of injury using protective gear, simulated weapons and careful adherence to a carefully crafted lesson plan. Instructors who first look around to see if anyone is watching, then freelance on their own, should be sent back to wherever they came from.

There also needs to be a greater emphasis on the why of the police work. Officers who understand the history of policing and how we got to doing things a certain way are going to make better decisions in ambiguous situations. They should understand the rationale behind every procedure and policy, so they can apply that reasoning when they encounter something they have never experienced before. If nothing else, experienced cops know to never say, “Well, now I’ve seen everything.” The world is full of innovators.

Categories: Latest News

Why loud & repetitive verbal commands can hinder compliance

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:03

Author: Duane Wolfe

There is an old saying, “There is a time to talk, and a time to shoot,” which is a concept that should be familiar to all police officers. There are also a lot of less lethal options between the two choices. Verbalization when appropriate, can, and should be used, at all levels of force.

There is a time and a place for loud, forceful commands. However, using loud, repetitive verbal commands can be more of a hindrance than a help when trying to gain compliance from a resistive subject.

Three and done

During his “Realistic De-escalation” class, Dr. Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Institute suggests a verbal strategy that has an officer issue the same loud verbal commands no more than three to four times. If the desired response has not taken place, the officer needs to change what they are doing or saying.

Breaking the loop

All too often police officers get caught up repeating the same verbal commands over and over again. You can watch videos involving cops repeating the same commands – in some cases dozens of times – where you see the suspect does not change their behavior. Yet officers get stuck in a verbal command loop due to training, stress or a combination of the two.

Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different outcome. If a suspect hasn’t changed their behavior after being ordered in the first three attempts, what is the likelihood they will change it in the next 30 tries? If you find yourself in that situation ask yourself, how should I change what I am saying to get the desired results?

Is it a sign of danger or an inability to perceive the officer?

A suspect’s non-compliance can be a sign that the suspect intends to harm an officer or attempt to escape. However, if the suspect is suffering a mental health issue, they may not be aware of or capable of following an officer’s commands.

An officer’s stress level typically rises during these situations, which generally results in the officer yelling even louder. This poses several problems in situations when dealing with the mentally ill:

1. You can’t listen when you are yelling.

In most cases the only way to determine the specific problem is for you to engage in conversation. Yelling at someone doesn’t allow for much two-way communication. If you slow down and listen, you might actually hear cues you can use to defuse the situation and/or gain compliance. Achieving effective communication goes a long way toward slowing things down, and history shows that if we can slow things down, most situations are more likely to end peacefully.

2. Screaming at someone who is already afraid of you doesn’t help calm them or you.

When we do this we end up with a subject who is fearful and, because of increased stress, may become agitated and begin to act out to protect against a perceived threat. This results in officers becoming more stressed and in greater fear of their personal safety. The fear can result in more aggression on both parts and potentially spiral up into a use of force.

Secondly, when emotions run high and our voices raise we have a tendency to look at the other person’s face. This aids in the communication process, but can be hazardous for police officers.

3. Everyone wants to be listened to.

To a subject on the receiving end of the loud, repetitive, verbal loop it may appear that the officer is not interested in listening. Even if they try to talk, it appears that they are being shouted down by an officer. To engage in conversation, you have to appear interested in conversation.

Tactical tips

Here are some tactical tips officers should follow when issuing verbal commands:

    Most people can’t talk and shoot at the same time. A situation may require the firing of a TASER or weapon. That job should be given to someone not involved with communicating with the subject when possible. Talking adds additional time to an officer’s response when they need to respond physically. Only one officer should do the talking. Too many voices – possibly giving contradictory commands – only add to the confusion and stress of the situation. PoliceOne columnist Gary Klugiewicz uses this “one voice” concept in his trainings. If the situation requires that officers’ weapons are out and pointed at a subject, place the sights on them but in a position when you can see the subjects’ hands. If the sights are placed on the subject’s chest and the hands are out of view, you are actually adding time to your response should you need to fire. If you place the sights at the subject’s waist line you can see their hands in most cases and your sights. This will provide for a faster reaction if they reach for a weapon. Most important, officer safety comes before communication strategies. Always use cover or concealment when available and appropriate. Distance gives you the advantage of being farther from a suspect and can help reduce their anxiety of feeling trapped or closed in. Time is usually on your side. When possible, use your words, distance and cover to slow things down.

Verbal communication is one of our most powerful and often used tools. Like any of our tools, the use of communication can be sharpened with new knowledge, training and experience.

Categories: Latest News

Mo. PD suspends social media postings after disagreement with city manager

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:25
Author: Duane Wolfe

By PoliceOne Staff

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Missouri police department has ended a popular series on its Facebook page after disagreements with a city manager.

KOAM-TV reports that the Joplin PD shut down its “incident spotlight” series, which highlights specific arrests and incident calls, after City Manager Sam Anselm asked the department to stop posting the reports. According to emails obtained by KOAM-TV, Anselm said that he has “a hard time seeing how they benefit the community.”

“We can find other ways to highlight the positive activities of the department without creating and inviting divisiveness online,” Anselm wrote in an email. Anselm also asked if the Facebook posts are click-bait to get more Facebook likes. Chief Matt Stewart said other agencies have similar posts on social media and that they’re used to help the community, not for click-bait.

Police Captain Trevor Duncan wrote that the posts are necessary because they let people know what officers are doing, what’s going on in Joplin and showcase the officers’ efforts to combat crime.

"I've encouraged the police department to come up with other ideas to share information that will serve the public in a way that doesn't add to the negativity and divisiveness that currently exists in the online world,” Anselm said in a statement.

The Joplin PD said they have not received official complaints about the “incident spotlight” posts. The department said they were recently given new guidelines that don’t support the incident spotlight as a continuing feature.

Read the email exchange obtained by KOAM-TV below.

Incident Spotlight by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

Categories: Latest News

Officer helps save choking child during first day on the job

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:20
Author: Duane Wolfe

By PoliceOne Staff

HOBART, Ind. — An Indiana officer’s first day on the job included saving a child’s life at a Chick-fil-A.

WGN-TV reports that Officer Richard Mayer was at the restaurant Friday afternoon to get lunch with his colleagues when a mother rushed to their tables with her 15-month-old daughter. The mother, Melanie Hassee, said her daughter Charlotte wasn’t breathing.

Mayer said he and another officer grabbed the child, flipped her over and did “the back slaps, three to four of them.”

The officers were able to dislodge an apple that was stuck in her throat.

“I'm just so thankful he was there at the right time,” Melanie says. “I don't think this was a coincidence that this was his first day. I think he was meant to be somebody who protects and who saves and I'm just so thankful for him.”

Mayer said he has a 1-year-old daughter on his own and has actually used the same baby Heimlich Maneuver on her before.

Hero Officer Richard Mayer explains how he saved the life of a choking toddler.

— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) January 16, 2018

Categories: Latest News

4 SC officers shot in domestic violence call, helicopter hit

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:56

Author: Duane Wolfe

By Hannah Smoot and Andrew Dys The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

YORK, S.C. — Four York County police officers were shot in a gunfight during an overnight domestic violence call and manhunt outside York.

Three of the injured officers were York County Sheriff’s deputies. One is a K-9 officer, who was searching for the suspect; two others were members of the York County SWAT team, police said.

The fourth injured officer, who also is on the county SWAT team, is a York Police Department officer, said York Police Chief Andy Robinson.

The suspect, who has a 1994 arrest for assaulting police, also fired on and hit a helicopter, police said. The helicopter, from the State Law Enforcement Division, was searching for the suspect who attacked officers, a SLED spokesman said.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson and Robinson did not release the names and conditions of the officers early Tuesday morning. Robinson said at least two of the officers have undergone surgery.

“We could really use your prayers.” The York County Sheriff’s Office is hurting this morning after three of their deputies were shot by a domestic violence suspect. A fourth officer with the York Police Department was also hurt. @wsoctv

— Mark Barber (@MBarberWSOC9) January 16, 2018

“I am devastated. Our officers are devastated,” an emotional Tolson said by phone from the hospital. “The entire sheriff’s office family is devastated. We all feel as though we were attacked.

“Nobody understands how it could get to this point. This attack on police has been going on for years. And now it is right here.”

Robinson, the York police chief, said by telephone from Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte that dozens of police officers are at the hospital.

“This is the worst-case scenario for officers and their families, and right now we are concerned about all of them,” said Robinson. “This is what we hope never happens. And it did.”

York Mayor Eddie Lee and York’s city manager went to the hospital and met with the injured York Police Department officer and his family when the officer came out of surgery.

“Everyone seems to be relieved that the officer appears to be pulling through,” Lee said. “When officers are attacked, the community is attacked. We are all appalled by this shooting of four courageous people.”

Tolson and Robinson both said they are monitoring the conditions of all four officers.

“We ask that everyone pray for them, and for every officer who puts his or her life on the line for the public,” Tolson said.

Christian Thomas McCall, 47, is the suspect. He was injured in the gunfight but his condition and location is unclear. McCall has a 1994 arrest for assaulting a police officer, State Law Enforcement Division records show. He was charged by police in Florence in 1994 with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and simple assault, records show.

Police were called to a domestic incident at the McCall home on Farrier Lane outside York at about 10:10 p.m. Monday, said Faris the sheriff’s spokesman. The suspect had fled the scene, and K-9 units were called to track the suspect, Faris said.

Here is #newvideo from the neighborhood where 4 law enforcement officers were shot overnight in South Carolina. What we know so far here: #breakingnews

— Mike Trim WPTV (@MikeTrimWPTV) January 16, 2018

The York County K-9 officer was shot during the search and was taken in a patrol car to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, Faris said.

Several police agencies then started searching for the suspect, Faris said.

Shots were fired again at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and three more officers – two York County sheriff’s deputies and the York police officer – were hit, Faris said.

Two injured officers were airlifted to CMC, and one was taken by ground to the hospital, Faris said.

The SLED helicopter was carrying two pilots when it came under fire during the search, Berry said. The officers on the helicopter were not injured but the helicopter’s rear stabilizer was hit, Berry said.

SLED has several teams of agents working the case, with sheriff’s deputies and other police.

“We have agents from the Piedmont and Midlands at the crime scene, agents at the hospitals and agents in other areas of the investigation,” Berry said.

Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, the top prosecutor for York County, said information is still being gathered and it is too early to talk about what charges might develop.

Brackett said his immediate concern is for the officers and their families.

“These officers were wounded, and our concern is their condition, and that their families are being taken care of,” Brackett said.

A neighbor of the suspect who shot at three @YCSO_SC deputies and one K9 officer in York County following a domestic violence call spoke with #FOX46, expressing his shock. WHAT WE KNOW:

— FOX 46 Charlotte (@FOX46News) January 16, 2018

The incident Tuesday happened near the Campbell Crossing neighborhood near the intersection of Paraham Road and S.C. 49 northeast of the city of York. The shootout and screams about injured officers terrified neighbors.

Kim Hamrick of York, a neighbor, said she heard the gunfire and the “awful and terrifying” shots and scream about an officer being down. The incident happened just a few hundred yards from her home, Hamrick said.

“The whole thing was terrifying,” Hamrick said. “I could hear the screaming. I heard, ‘Officer down.’ ”

Hamrick said she is appalled that anyone would be shot.

“My heart goes out to them and their families,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick said she knows the suspect and his family, which includes a wife and two children, and her concern is also for their safety and welfare.

Other neighbors heard the gunshots and helicopter. Chris Chudyk, from the nearby cul-de-sac where shots were fired, said she and her husband were awakened after 1 a.m. by the sound of gunshots and the helicopter.

“I thought they were firing at the helicopter,” Chudyk said. “We knew someone has to be on foot.”

She said they heard two rounds of shots.

“It’s incredibly sad.... It’s very emotional,” she said, tearing up. “And you pray for the family and police.”

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LIVE: 11:30 media briefing on the YCSO shooting incident from earlier this morning

Posted by York County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Neighbor Roger Gilfillan said he heard about the shooting when he was called by a friend to see if he was OK after word started to spread on social media about the shootings. Gilfillan said he would see Christian walking the neighborhood about three times a week.

“I just feel for everybody involved,” Gilfillan said.

Former York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant, now a S.C. House of Representatives member, said he “is sickened and devastated that four law enforcement officers were shot while trying to protect the public.”

Bryant was sheriff from 1997 through the end of 2016, and supervised three of the wounded officers.

“This is a terrible and unacceptable situation for law enforcement and for the people of York County,” Bryant said.

S.C. Rep. Tommy Pope, a former police officer and former top prosecutor for York County, said the shooting of law enforcement officers will not be tolerated.

“The shooting of four brave, courageous officers is an attack on them and their families, but it is also an attack on our society,” Pope said.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating, Faris said.

“Our main concern is for our guys in the hospital right now,” Faris said. “We could really use your prayers, and we could really use your thoughts right now for those officers.”

York County Councilman Michael Johnson, acting chairman of the council, praised the courage of officers who risked their lives to protect the public.

“Last night when the rest of York County was asleep, these brave officers ran toward the danger and were fired on,” Johnson said. “We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their valor and pray for their recovery.”

Officers from surrounding areas went to the scene and to hospitals in both Charlotte and Rock Hill to assist and support the injured officers, including chiefs of police from Rock Hill, Tega Cay and Rock Hill.

©2018 The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

Categories: Latest News

Ariz. police arrest 80-year-old man in armed bank robbery

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:01

Author: Duane Wolfe

Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. — Police in Arizona have arrested an 80-year-old man they say robbed a credit union at gunpoint.

Tucson police said Sunday that a tip led to the arrest of Robert Francis Krebs after authorities circulated surveillance photos of him entering the Pyramid Credit Union and at a teller's window. They say Krebs had a handgun, demanded money from the teller and was given cash before running out of the bank.

Police released the photos after Friday's robbery. A local hotel clerk called police Saturday to report a man that looked like the one in the photos had tried to cash a check.

Police began checking nearby hotels and located Krebs. He was booked into jail on two counts of armed robbery.

It's unclear if he has an attorney.

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Man ordered to apologize to 2 officers he kicked

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:30
Author: Duane Wolfe

By Ray Lamont Gloucester Daily Times, Mass.

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — A 20-year-old Gloucester resident has been ordered to apologize to two Gloucester police officers for an incident in May 2016.

Ryan Carter of 15 Hawthorne Road, had his case continued without a finding through April 2019 after he submitted to facts sufficient to warrant a guilty finding on two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and a single count of being a minor in possession of alcoholic beverages.

Carter was also to undergo a mental health evaluation and enter and complete an anger management program, while remaining drug and alcohol-free and subject to random screens, the judge ordered.

The charges stem from an incident in May 2016, when police observed Carter driving with seven passengers in his vehicle and traveling at a high rate of speed down Washington Street.

Police found alcohol in the car, and after each passenger was picked up by a parent, Carter became belligerent with police at the scene and on the way to the police station, kicking two officers in the process, according to the police report.

Charges of failing to stop for a police officer, disorderly conduct and operating without a license were dismissed at the request of the commonwealth.

In the disposition of other cases heard in Gloucester District Court:

Hunter Cooper, 20, of 26 Mansfield St. was fined $150 after he entered a guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from his shouting racial and ethnic slurs at a city police officer who had offered to give him a ride him after a well-being check. According to a report from Patrolman Stephen Lamberis, he responded to a call to the Rocky Neck parking lot for the well-being check, and found Cooper smelling of alcohol and slumped in his vehicle. Lamberis then sought to give Cooper a ride home while leaving the car in the lot. But, along the way, Cooper began berating Lamberis, who is black, with racial and ethnic slurs, leading the officer to call for backup. The taunting by Cooper continued as he was transported to the police station.

Christopher R. Morgan, 31, of unit E at 2775 Mesa Verde Drive in Costa Mesa, California, was ordered to surrender his license for 45 days and pay a total of $600 in court fees after he submitted to facts sufficient to warrant a guilty finding on a charge operating under the influence of liquor. Morgan was found responsible on a lights violation, but was deemed not responsible on a charge of failing to stay within marked lanes. The charges stemmed from a June incident in which police observed Morgan driving along Rogers Street and then onto Main Street without his headlights on and while crossing the center line.

©2018 the Gloucester Daily Times (Gloucester, Mass.)

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