Latest News

Philando Castile’s uncle becomes reserve officer

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:34

By PoliceOne Staff

ST. PAUL, Minn. — After telling reporters five months ago that he wanted to become a reserve officer, Philando Castile’s uncle officially became one last week.

KARE reports that Clarence Castile and 14 others graduated from the St. Paul Police Reserve Academy after 12 weeks of training. As a reserve officer, Castile will offer support to members of St. Paul PD. Castile said he wanted to become an officer to let children and future generations know that police officers are nothing to be afraid of.

Castile’s nephew, Philando Castile, was shot and killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in July 2016. His death was captured on Facebook live and went viral, sparking protests. In June 2017, Yanez was cleared in the investigation into the shooting.

“I think about my nephew every day. Part of this is about him,” Clarence Castile said. “I don’t want people to be afraid. Police aren't here to hurt you even though you've heard stories and you’ve seen things on TV but all of that isn't everything.”

St. Paul Commander John Lozoya said Castile will find fulfillment as he gets involved in the community and will gain a deeper understanding of the job.


Categories: Latest News

Police: Suspect tried to break Conn. cop’s fingers during traffic stop

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:27

By PoliceOne Staff

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. — A Connecticut couple was arrested after one of the suspects attempted to break an officer’s fingers during a traffic stop Saturday night.

WFSB reports that after the officer pulled over Davin Ware, 20, he learned that his driver’s license was suspended and that he had a weapon and marijuana. When the LEO asked Ware to step out of his vehicle, the suspect attempted to break his fingers.

Ware’s girlfriend Juliann Patenaude, 18, also intervened in the arrest. Two officers received abrasions and lacerations to their hands after the incident.

Ware was charged with several offenses, including assault on an officer. Patenaude was also charged with assault on an officer.

Both suspects are scheduled to face a judge on Nov. 30.


Categories: Latest News

Why stress inoculation is critical for police recruits

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:28

By Amir Khillah, P1 Contributor

Many of today’s police recruits have never been punched in the face or held a gun, and the closest thing to a fight is when they wrestled their little brother for the television remote.

However, instructors are expected in just 16 weeks to magically transform these guys and gals into new police officers. These recruits will be stationed in high-crime zones where they will be expected to hold their own.

If they had good firearms and subject control instructors, they are in luck. And if they had good instructors, they most probably hated them due to the amount of stress, yelling and pressure they placed them under.

How we transform civilians into cops in the police academy

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of stress inoculation in transforming a civilian to police officer. I am a subject control instructor at my local police academy. During scenario-based training days – affectionately known as “Redman” – cadets face role players who are both law enforcement officers and/or MMA fighters. We push cadets beyond their physical and mental limits. It is not an enjoyable day. The cadets are taken down, mounted, and their airway and breathing interrupted.

Cadets initially panic, quit, cry or “freak out.” We put them through these scenarios for three reasons:

    To teach the cadets that their techniques must be ingrained in their muscle memory in order for them to be able to execute under the stress of a dynamic scenario. To teach cadets restraint and how to avoid excessive use of force due to the panic of being in a compromising position, as well as teach them that they have various options prior to reaching deadly force during a fight. In case deadly force is required, to show cadets how to articulate in court that they have been in such a compromising position before and knew they were in a deadly force assault scenario.

Once armed with the basic techniques, it’s important to “stress test” these techniques in condition black. We want to find out if these techniques will work for the cadets’ body type when auditory exclusion, tunnel vision and hyperventilation set in.

I stress to the cadets that I’m not testing them, but I’m testing the content (the tools) I have armed them with. If cadets can’t execute in a controlled environment, what are the chances they will execute in the unpredictable environments on the street? As we all know, we don’t rise to the occasion, we fall back to the level of our training.

Be the voice in a police cadet’s head

Academy instructors are responsible for inoculating cadets to stress and teaching them the most appropriate response to their situation. We walk a fine line balancing injury prevention while inducing stress. But these young women and men count on their instructors to prepare them for situations they most likely have never experienced in their lives. The training and your “voice in their head” may save a new recruit’s life during their first demanding use-of-force encounter.

Administration of stress inoculation in the police academy

There are a number of ways to introduce stress into the cadets’ training. Here are three methods we use during each academy to hardwire a stimulus response into the mind of each new police officer.

1. Pepper spray exposure

I would be lying if I told you cadets look forward to this training module.

Cadets run a quarter mile to increase their heart rate prior to a full-face (1-2 second) exposure of pepper spray. The cadet is then escorted to a matted area (100 feet away, allowing the spray to take full affect) where she/he faces an actively aggressing suspect (a role player).

Cadets must respond to the aggressive actions of the role player, take control of the suspect, apply handcuffs, and maintain situational awareness and weapon retention.

Once the cuffs are double-locked and checked for tightness, the contaminated cadet removes the cuffs and is escorted to the decontamination site.

Cadets experience a high pain stimulus from the pepper spray exposure, and are guided through the proper response of apprehending a suspect. The first time the future officer is contaminated while deploying pepper spray on an actual suspect, she/he already knows the pain they are able to fight through, how their eyes will slam shut, how to control a resisting/assaultive suspect and how to execute completion of an arrest.

Additionally, they gain confidence with the force option, and have the compassion to decontaminate an exposed suspect without sacrificing officer safety.

2. Incorporating securiBlanks (loud) in dedicated training weapons

We recently introduced securiBlanks (loud) into our Redman days. The sound of the firearm going off, the feel of the weapon cycling a round and the realistic visual reaction of the role player during the struggle is so extreme that initially most cadets stop fighting. It takes a few loud persuasive statements by the drill sergeants to encourage the cadet to continue the good fight.

The auditory stimulus of the discharge of a firearm captures the cadets’ attention so powerfully that it can reduce their ability to accomplish a dominant position in the fight.

This effect is most noticeable on the first day a cadet experiences this auditory and tactile stimuli. A significant desensitization to the loud auditory stimuli occurs on subsequent training rotations.

Additionally, we discovered a very interesting training failure by incorporating live training weapons and securiBlanks into Redman reality-based training.

Most red or blue training guns (molded rubber) do not have a cycling slide. While carrying plastic training guns, malfunction drills were simulated. Cadets executed the basic tap, rack and re-assess drill on a gun with no moving parts. That all changed when we introduced sim guns.

During a struggle with a suspect over their firearms, cadets are instructed that their firearm has malfunctioned and is unable to fire. Cadets were being programed to smack the magazine to make sure it was seated properly, then simulate cycling the slide. The problem is that red and blue plastic training guns do not have a slide that cycles. Cadets were issued “sim guns” loaded with securiBlanks (loud or quiet) and cadets experienced weapons going out of battery due to the suspects grabbing onto their guns.

Under the stress of a “real fight” during Redman, cadets did what they have done hundreds of times prior – smacked the magazine into place, and waved a hand over a slide. They did not charge or pull back the slide but literally waved their hands over the slide like they did with the red guns. Needless to say, they were not able to get their guns back into the fight in time. By not utilizing real handguns dedicated to securiBlank training rounds (incapable of firing live ammunition and marked as training weapons), we create a dangerous muscle memory for cadets.

3. Shock knives make everyone scream

Some cadets became very proficient at edged-weapon disarming. We taught them the basic and most efficient way of disarming when creating distance and using your own firearm was not an option.

Cadets were shielding, intercepting, redirecting and disarming like champs. Eventually, cadets must have done what we all do and started searching YouTube for fancy action movie disarms.

We attempted to explain the importance of efficiency of movement and energy conservation, and the importance of gross muscle techniques. Yet the live action movie disarms continued.

Getting “cut” with a red or blue plastic training knife did not deter this. So what did we do? We introduced painful stimuli using a Shocknife with the voltage adjusted all the way up and watched as confidence, performance and flashiness all hit rock bottom.

The pain stimulus of being “cut” by the Shocknife was enough to make some cadets simply drop into the fetal position during the first round. We may or may not have had cadets simply run. Needless to say, flash was gone and we were back to basics and basics win fights.

A drastic and observable desensitization to the electric shock was noted on subsequent training rotations. Don’t get me wrong, cadets certainly did not want to get “cut,” but when they did, they were able to stay in the fight and accomplish the mission. Again, another example of stress inoculation used during reality-based-training.

There are many ways to introduce stress into the training program. Please remember that stress needs to be introduced after competency of the desired technique is achieved. If you have any questions about these training rotations or others we utilize, email amir@lightningkicks.com

Remember future police officers are counting on you to prepare them for the job.

About the author Amir Khillah is a police officer, founder of Centurion and a police academy subject control instructor.


Categories: Latest News

Pension reform could force dozens of Dallas cops to retire in January

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 10:30

Tristan Hallman The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — At 64, Jim Aulbaugh has long been eligible to retire from Dallas Fire-Rescue. He loved working too much to call it quits, but he says he might have to now.

A new state law aimed at fixing the ailing pension fund contains a provision — a vestigial part of the original proposed fix — that could cause him and dozens of other police and firefighters to finally leave their shrinking departments in January.

The provision limits the amount of time police and firefighters can continue to receive credit in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, known as DROP, to 10 years as of Jan. 1. That means first responders like Aulbaugh, who has 12 years in DROP, will continue to pay a chunk of their paychecks into the pension while receiving no additional credit for it.

For police and firefighters, it's one of many uncomfortable new parts of the law, which pared back the pension system's unusually lucrative benefits. But the real impact of this provision is that 51 firefighters and 28 police will have spent more than 10 years in DROP as of Jan. 1 and might retire, pension officials say.

A few other portions of the law could have been the final straw for Aulbaugh and the others in DROP. Their pension contribution rate more than tripled as part of a new state law intended to save the ailing retirement fund. They could have retired in 2016, like many others did, and cash out of DROP.

But Aulbaugh said he loves working too much.

"I've been so lucky to have had this career. I just stumbled into it," he said. "How many people go to work every day looking forward to their job?"

The retirements would pile on the police and fire departments' mass exodus in recent years. The last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 458 police officers left the Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue lost 190 firefighters. That's more than double the usual attrition numbers for both departments.

DROP and the pension crisis were major causes. Previously, DROP allowed veteran police and firefighters to retire on paper while they stayed on the job. The pension checks they would have received were then credited to an individual account, allowing those in DROP to build up a lump sum to supplement their monthly pension checks when they actually did call it quits.

Hundreds of police and firefighters became millionaires from DROP because it also guaranteed compound interest rates of at least 8 percent for years.

Such benefits, combined with heavy investments in risky and overvalued real estate, put the fund on a fast track to insolvency. DROP's lack of limits on time in the fund and withdrawals exacerbated the problem. The fund's members last year collectively yanked hundreds of millions of dollars out of the pension system in waves of panic.

At the time, pension officials had a good reason to propose limits on DROP as part of their fix. The pension board's original proposed changes significantly reduced, but did not do away with, the DROP interest rate. And members could still withdraw lump sums out of the fund.

The 10-year rule was meant to make the plan look more like a normal pension and cap DROP's growth. After multiple debates on the topic, the board settled on a 10-year DROP limit, knowing that it would likely force out some current employees.

But state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, proposed more drastic changes. His bill eliminated the interest rate on DROP and amortized the funds to be paid monthly or annually over retirees' projected lifespans. Doing so effectively killed DROP, turning the perk into what was essentially a second pension payment with some exceptions.

Some — Aulbaugh won't qualify — will have a chance to wipe all their DROP money away and buy normal service credits back instead, but the board still has to decide whether to charge interest on the contributions they would've made in those years.

Regardless, once the amortization came into play and interest rates went to zero, the 10-year rule no longer added up. The pension system could theoretically be better off if the police and firefighters remain on the job and continue to pay 13.5 percent of their paychecks into the fund because DROP was no longer earning interest. While they continue to get service credit, the system can put that money to work.

The pension board's former chairman, Sam Friar, said association leaders and pension officials pushed Flynn to remove the provision during the legislative session, but got nowhere.

"I'm not sure they really understood it," said Friar, who is now back on the new-look board as the fire representative. "It did not make sense. It still doesn't make sense."

Pension officials gave up on it because they had much bigger and thornier issues still on their plate.

"We were just trying to get a bill passed," Friar said. "We had to pick our fights."

Flynn, through a spokesman, said he didn't recall debate over the provision in the complex and massive bill, but is willing to look at it again next session.

Aulbaugh last week implored pension board members to take matters into their own hands by using another provision of the law that allows the board to "correct any defect, supply any omission, and reconcile any inconsistency" in the language. He said he's "cautiously optimistic" about it.

But he probably shouldn't be. The board must abide by the law, and Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Executive Director Kelly Gottschalk said it's probably not a defect because it was intentional.

She doesn't believe the limit on DROP will make a big difference to the fund either way. She said the idea was to make some limit on DROP like other cities' pensions.

"It wasn't about the money," Gottschalk said. "It was about trying to be more consistent with the other DROP programs."

But, she added, "it is going to force retirements."

Ultimately, the police and firefighters could decide not to retire because they love their jobs or their paychecks, although their departments aren't counting on it.

Aulbaugh, who makes more than $50 an hour, said he hasn't decided for sure if he's going to leave yet.

"Nobody wants to be told to leave," Aulbaugh said. "Most of these guys that this is going to affect are some of the best, most knowledgeable people in the department."

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Categories: Latest News

7 Ind. officers quit over take-home police car policy

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 09:52

By Ken de la Bastide The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.

ANDERSON, Ind. — The take-home car policy for the Anderson Police Department has resulted in seven officers leaving the department, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police told members of Anderson city council last week.

The discussion about take-home cars for police officers in Anderson was renewed as city council approved funding for the purchase of new patrol cars.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the administration of Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. provided council members with a special order outlining the policy. A year ago, the council asked for a take-home car policy to be implemented.

Councilman Jon Bell said he didn’t like policy provisions that limit take-home cars only to officers living in Anderson.

“The policy is highly unusual,” Bell said, contending that it falls short of achieving the objectives of quicker response and community policing.

“We need to have a way to address the policy,” Bell said. “This policy is a place to start, but it needs to be refined. I don’t agree with how restrictive the policy is.”

Broderick recalled that a year ago the council expressed concern about police vehicles being taken outside city limits.

“This is a beginning policy,” he said. “We will review it as we go forward, and there may be some changes.”

Scott Calhoun, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union, said the take-home car policy is a mistake and that seven officers have left the department because of the restrictions.

“It was a step back,” he said. “We have people living just outside the city limits that can’t have a take-home car.”

Councilman Ty Bibbs said the council wants each officer to have an assigned car. He said a proposal to expand the take-home car policy was presented to council just last week.

Council President Greg Graham recommended a meeting of the administration, FOP, safety board and council to discuss the take-home car policy.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department and police departments in Elwood and Alexandria all provide take-home vehicles.

The sheriff’s department has 36 take-home patrol cars, and all of the deputies reside in the county.

Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine last year said his department’s policy was adopted in 2016 and includes a provision where officers pay $30 every two weeks. He said there are 17 take-home vehicles, and officers must reside within a 35-mile radius of Elwood.

Alexandria Police Chief Matt Ellis said all 13 of his department's patrol officers have take-home vehicles and must reside within 25 miles of the city.

APD car policy

According to the Anderson Police Department's take-home car policy, officers driving APD vehicles while off duty must meet the following conditions:

- Limited to officers living within city limits, with exceptions for canine officers and detectives on call.

- To be used for APD-related business and driving to and from APD work; no personal use.

- No civilian passengers, unless approved by administrative staff.

- Must have badges, weapons, radio and other pertinent equipment, including handcuffs.

- Must provide aid to stranded motorists.

- Required to have police radio activated and provide backup on police calls.

- Required to maintain proper appearance of the vehicle, including washing and cleaning.

©2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.)


Categories: Latest News

Pa. trooper shot during traffic stop upgraded to 'stable' condition

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 09:43

By Pamela Lehman The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Seth Kelly, who was shot several times during a gun battle along Route 33, had his medical condition upgraded Friday as he continues his “long road” to recovery, his troop commander said.

Kelly continues to recover to gunshot wounds to his neck, shoulder and thigh in the shooting that happened after a traffic stop Tuesday morning in Plainfield Township, said Capt. Richard D’Ambrosio, commander of Troop M that serves Lehigh, Northampton and Bucks counties.

Kelly was in critical condition at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, but was upgraded to stable condition on Friday, said D’Ambrosio.

Kelly “has a long road ahead of him right now,” D’Ambrosio said.

Kelly, a 13-year-veteran, likely saved his life by wrapping his leg with a tourniquet, officials say.

Kelly is the husband of Philomena Kelly, a Forks Township police detective, according to officials.

The suspect in the shooting, 22-year-old Daniel Kahil Clary of Monroe County, is also recovering from several gunshot wounds, authorities say. Clary remains at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest under guard until his medical condition improves enough for him to be taken to prison.

Clary is charged with two counts of attempted homicide and two counts of attempted homicide of a police officer, officials say. Clary’s bail Wednesday was set at $1 million.

Clary suffered gunshot wounds to the back of his neck, his side and hand, state police say.

Authorities say Trooper Ryan Seiple stopped Clary’s vehicle for speeding and gave him a citation. But, when Seiple started to drive away, Clary flagged him down and asked how to pay for the citation, police say.

Seiple suspected Clary was under the influence and saw drug paraphernalia in Clary’s car, authorities say. Seiple called for backup and after Cpl. Kelly arrived, they gave Clary a sobriety test that he failed, police say.

As the troopers tried to arrest Clary, a “knock-down, drag-out” fight ensued as cars sped past them, police say.

Clary was hit with a stun gun, but it had little affect on him, police say. Authorities say Clary got away from the troopers, got a handgun from his car and opened fire, hitting Kelly several times.

The troopers returned fire and Clary was able to get back into his car and drove himself to Easton Hospital, police say. Clary admitted to trying to disarm one of the troopers during the struggle and shooting at the troopers, according to Northampton County Court records.

©2017 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)


Categories: Latest News

Hundreds attend funeral of Ill. officer killed during traffic stop

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 09:25

By Marissa Page Chicago Tribune

ROCKFORD, Ill. — When it came time to line up their law enforcement vehicles for Officer Jaimie Cox's funeral procession, it took more than half an hour for all the cars to empty the church parking lot on Saturday.

A ceremony and funeral procession was held for Cox, of the Rockford Police Department, after he died on-duty Nov. 5.

Hundreds gathered at First Free Rockford church to honor Cox’s life, including several hundred of who were law enforcement officers from across the state and country, which led to the long procession.

The hourlong service was open to the public, but at the request of Cox’s family not open to media coverage. The family also requested that final arrangements for Cox’s burial remain private.

After the ceremony within the church, those in attendance gathered outside in freezing temperatures to witness the start of Cox’s funeral procession.

Cox, 30, died Sunday during a traffic stop. The man operating the vehicle, Eddie Patterson Jr., 49, was also killed. Patterson died of gunshot wounds, and Cox suffered fatal blunt force trauma.

Several officers wept and embraced as Cox’s coffin was placed in a hearse in front of the church.

Naperville resident Jeremy Arnold, a former classmate of Cox’s at Northern Illinois University, attended Saturday’s service.

Arnold, 38, said Cox led the triathlon club when they were students there. Arnold said once during a race, his legs cramped and caused him to slow down significantly. Cox and another teammate went back to track Arnold down and “ran him to the finish.”

“He was always willing to go the extra mile,” Arnold said.

Nicole Johnson, a 28-year-old Rockford resident, watched the sirens flash on the dozens of police vehicles parked in the lot at First Free as they prepared for the procession.

Tears welled in her eyes as Johnson said her husband, Steven, was sworn into the Rockford force in December along with Cox. Johnson said her husband and Cox were “really close” friends.

“I met (Cox) at the swearing-in ceremony,” Johnson said. “He was really excited to make a difference in his community.”

Johnson’s husband was part of the procession, she said. She said he was profoundly affected by Cox’s sudden death.

“Lots of officers want to be like him,” Johnson said. “Now every time they go out there, they’ll keep him in his memories and work to make him proud.”

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Categories: Latest News

Ore. K-9 killed by hit-and-run driver

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 07:18

Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — Authorities in western Oregon say a police dog a few weeks away from retirement has been killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The Eugene Police Department in a news release Saturday says the 8-year-old German shepherd named Blek died Friday evening while off duty with officer Rob Griesel in rural Lane County.

Police Chief Pete Kerns says Blek had been a go-to dog for the department and had a warrior’s spirit.

Earlier this year the Oregon Peace Officers Association honored Blek at its K9 Valor Awards for his capture of a suspect following the shooting of a law enforcement officer.

Authorities declined to release details about the hit and run, and say they have been unable to find the driver.

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K9 Blek Killed While Off Duty By Hit and Run Driver Eugene Police is sorry to report the death of K9 Blek, who was hit...

Posted by Eugene Police Department on Saturday, November 11, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Infographic: Are you prepared to protect yourself from hazardous materials at crime scenes?

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 06:00

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Categories: Latest News

San Francisco's first Chinese-American police officer dies

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 10:15

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Herb Lee, San Francisco's first Chinese-American police officer, has died. He was 84.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Lee died Nov. 1 of colon cancer.

Lee joined the police force in 1957 and spent his first years working undercover in Chinatown.

He investigated gangs and later worked in the juvenile and narcotics divisions. He was promoted to sergeant and became executive director of the Police Activities League, overseeing athletic and enrichment programs for poor children.

His son, John, who's also a police officer, says his father tried to steer youths away from crime and often took them out fishing aboard his 25-foot boat, the Ah Choo.

Lee retired from the force in 1987.

Police Chief Bill Scott calls Lee "a true pioneer" and a beloved mentor and colleague.


Categories: Latest News

Man drops cocaine on floor while in court on drug charge

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 10:12

Associated Press

EAGLE, Colo. — Authorities say a man who was in a Colorado court for violating his bond on a drug charge is in even more trouble after a wad of cocaine fell from his hat while he was in front of the judge.

The Vail Daily reported Wednesday that 43-year-old Juan Jose Vidrio Bibriesca was standing next to two other defendants at an Eagle County District Court podium when he took his hat off and a square of folded paper fell out. A police officer watched the paper filled with cocaine fall to the floor, and after reviewing surveillance footage, authorities determined it fell from Bibriesca's hat.

Bibriesca was then walked to the county jail. He was charged with narcotics possession and another bond violation.

Booking documents don't indicate if he has hired an attorney.


Categories: Latest News

Body count blamed on MS-13 violence grows in NYC suburbs

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 10:10

By Frank Eltman Associated Press

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — Angel Soler's mother brought him to the U.S. as a young boy, figuring things would surely be better than in Honduras, where he had lived in one of the world's most violent cities. Javier Castillo's father made the same calculation when he took his young son out of gang-plagued El Salvador.

Life in the leafy Long Island suburbs of New York didn't prove to be any safer.

The corpses of the two teenagers, the latest victims of suspected MS-13 gang violence on Long Island, were found a few miles from each other in secluded areas late last month. Police also discovered the remains of another young man, Kerin Pineda, who, like Soler, had formerly attended Freeport High School.

Their fates match those of many of the more than two dozen people believed to have been killed by the gang in the New York suburbs in the past two years: They were Central Americans who came to the U.S. as children seeking a better life, then vanished, only to be found slain months later.

"Destroyed," Castillo's distraught father, Santos Ernesto Castillo, said Wednesday outside the funeral home where his son's wake was being held. "I don't have another word. Destroyed, because one brings his sons here to achieve their best, and this happens."

A handful of friends and relatives attended Castillo's wake at a funeral home in Brentwood. His father, a former police officer in El Salvador, asked that his photograph not be taken because he feared for other members of his family. Castillo's aunt proudly held a photograph of her nephew, smiling from a day he spent at Robert Moses beach on Long Island.

Castillo, who had attended Central Islip High School, was 16 when he vanished on Oct. 11, 2016.

"Over four months, every night we were out looking for him thinking maybe we would see him but that did not happen," his father told reporters in Spanish. "I though the police were doing something, but they let too much time pass."

The teen's remains were found more than a year later on Oct. 24 in a marshy area of a waterfront park in Freeport, more than 25 miles (40 kilometers) from his home. Police haven't revealed what led them to the body or when they think he died. He would have turned 17 during the time he was missing.

Castillo's aunt, Maria Lezema, described him as humble. "If people did not mess with him, he would not say anything. He did not bother anyone. He was quiet. He went from school to home."

Three days after Castillo was found, authorities located the remains of Kerin Pineda in thick woods near a large pond several miles away.

Pineda's mother, Lilian Oliva-Santos, told reporters her son was 19 when he vanished in May of 2016. He reportedly was talking with a girl on Facebook who told him to meet her in a wooded area.

"I brought him from Honduras here thinking everything would be better, here, like we would be safe, but I guess it wasn't," she told News12 Long Island.

Soler was 15 when he disappeared on July 31 this year. His body was discovered Oct. 19 in a wooded lot in the hamlet of Roosevelt. Homeland Security officials said they searched there based on a tip. The boy's mother, Suyapa Soler, told Newsday she came from Honduras 11 years ago and had her son join her four years ago to protect him from gang violence in their home city of San Pedro Sula.

On Friday, Nassau County prosecutors quietly arraigned a 26-year-old Wyandanch man, David Sosa-Guevara, on a charge that he and "others not yet arrested" hacked Soler to death with a machete.

In a joint statement, the county district attorney, Madeline Singas, and acting police commissioner, Patrick Ryder, declined to comment further, citing "a sensitive and ongoing investigation."

Authorities have not said whether any of the homicides are linked, although Soler's mother says he was friends with Pineda.

All three are believed to be victims of the MS-13 street gang, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official could not speak publicly because of the ongoing investigation.

The gang has been blamed for at least 25 killings since January 2016 across a wide swath of Long Island. Earlier this year, both President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Long Island with promises to help law enforcement stem the violence.

Police are also investigating a number of missing-persons cases involving young Central American men and boys who vanished, though they have balked at saying how many of those cases are believed to involve gang violence.

Suffolk County Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said the department is currently investigating 112 missing-persons cases involving people between ages 13 and 23 who have disappeared since Jan. 1, 2016. He said experience indicates, though, that a great majority of those cases will turn out to involve runaways or people who have failed to communicate their whereabouts to relatives.


Categories: Latest News

Police: Report of plot against police nets gun, drug arrests

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 10:09

Associated Press

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — Police in New Jersey say an investigation of a reported plot to kill a police officer resulted in the arrests of three people on firearm and drug charges.

Asbury Park police say the probe began after a report that a local gang member had told several people that "he was plotting to kill an Asbury Park police officer."

Authorities searched an Asbury Park home early Friday and arrested two men and a woman on charges of possessing a defaced firearm, unlawfully possessing weapons, and drug possession. The woman also was arrested on two child endangerment counts.

Police reported finding weapons, drugs and cash as well as an $800 bicycle bought "from a drug addict on the streets for $5."

No charges have been filed in connection with the reported plot.


Categories: Latest News

Texas church members gather for 1st time since attack

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 10:07

By Claudia Lauer Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — Hundreds of people will gather in the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday to worship with surviving members of a local church where a shooting rampage left more than two dozen people dead.

Members of the First Baptist Church will hold a church service for the first time since a gunman opened fire inside the small church a week earlier in the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

Initial plans called for gathering at a community center could house a few dozen people. But when organizers realized about 500 people were planning to attend, the service was moved outside to a baseball park.

Church representatives also plan to eventually open a public memorial inside the church, where 26 empty chairs have been placed. Authorities have put the official death toll at 26 victims because one of the 25 people killed was pregnant. Church officials have said the building will likely be demolished.

On Saturday, about 100 people gathered outside the town's community center to commemorate Veterans Day and to honor the shooting victims, nearly half of whom had ties to the Air Force.

"Maybe this will start the healing process that will get Sutherland Springs and Wilson County to put this horrific tragedy behind us and look to the future," county Judge Richard Jackson, his voice breaking, told the crowd, which included first responders and law enforcement officers.

Jackson, the county's top administrator, thanked the first responders and others who rushed to First Baptist Church in the aftermath of last Sunday's shooting, which also wounded about 20 people. What they saw there will affect them the rest of their lives, Jackson said.

The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being shot and chased by two men who heard gunfire from the church. Investigators have said the attack appeared to stem from a domestic dispute involving Kelley and his mother-in-law, who sometimes attended services at the church but wasn't there the day of the shooting.

Kelley had a history of domestic violence: He was given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force after pleading guilty to assaulting his first wife and stepson.

Sutherland Springs is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio and not far from several military posts, including Lackland Air Force Base. The Air Force's chief of staff, Gen. David Goldfein, said 12 of those killed were either members of the Air Force or had family ties to it.

Among them were Scott and Karen Marshall, both 56, who had decided to retire in nearby La Vernia after meeting when they were in the service together more than 30 years ago. On Thursday, a military funeral was held for them at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

On Saturday, two silver hearses carried the bodies another couple, Therese and Richard Rodriguez, to a small cemetery on the edge of Sutherland Springs following a funeral.

Retired Chief Warrant Officer Mike Gonzales, who led Saturday's Veterans Day ceremony, said many veterans choose to live in the San Antonio area because of its deep military ties, and families tend to migrate to the city's surrounding rural areas.

"We come here to enjoy life, to get quiet and to raise our children," he said. "We've been to war zones and seen that tragedy firsthand. Never did we think that tragedy would strike here."

A steady stream of people also visited a makeshift memorial of crosses adorned with flowers, photographs, red hearts and white, purple and pink balloons. Among them was Jackie Lee, who traveled from San Antonio with several friends.

"It was on my heart since it happened," she said. "I needed to come to show the community some support, to show these people some support."


Categories: Latest News

RI police: 'Grave public safety risk' led to fatal highway OIS

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 12:10

By Amanda Milkovits and Jacqueline Tempera The Providence Journal, R.I.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The day after Providence police officers and state troopers shot and killed a pickup truck driver and wounded his passenger after a highway chase, the Providence police explained on Friday how the incident unfolded.

At a news conference, they showed video from highway cameras of the pickup truck, a white Ford F250, veering in and out of traffic and ramming cars in its way. The highway video included the volley of about 40 shots fired by multiple officers and troopers. The police also showed a view from a body camera on one of the Providence officers who fired his gun. The videos were posted on the department's Facebook page later Friday.

The police said the shooting was justified and wanted the public to see what happened. "We, as a department, believe that getting footage out and explaining the circumstances both leading up to and the use of deadly force was important," said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré.

The police identified the driver who was killed, Joseph J. Santos, 32, and his passenger, Christine Demers, 37, who was critically injured.

The police also identified the five Providence officers who fired a total of 20 shots, though not the state troopers who fired the rest. The police referred questions about the troopers to the state police, who did not come to the news conference at the Providence Public Safety Complex.

"The state police, although partners with us in this, were not prepared to publicly discuss their role," Paré explained.

In response to numerous questions Friday afternoon, the state police still refused to identify troopers or release any information about their actions. "All I can say is the Rhode Island State Police are continuing to work with the Providence Police Department and the office of the attorney general to fully investigate the events of the past 24 hours," state police spokeswoman Laura Meade Kirk said. "This investigation is ongoing, and we will provide further details when they become available."

Gov. Gina Raimondo, speaking Friday to The Journal's podcast "The Insiders," said she had been briefed and it appeared that the shooting was justified.

"As I understand it, the person in the truck was really very violent and was dangerous," Raimondo said. "A car is a weapon, right? And it was assault with a deadly weapon. And so from what I've been briefed on and what I've seen the officers who were there, they saw this guy in the truck ... and he was going out of his way to aggressively ram into pedestrians and other cars, and they had to do what they had to do. The police were in danger, the public was in danger."

At the public safety complex, Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. narrated the highway surveillance video as it played on a screen. "We believe that video shows the acts of the officers as doing exactly what we would want them to do in stopping an imminent and significant threat," he said.

The incident began Thursday morning, about an hour after a handcuffed prisoner drove away in a state police cruiser, leaving the trooper behind. The Providence police found the cruiser, with the trooper's gun inside, abandoned on a street in Elmwood, Clements said.

A tip came in that a man, who may have been handcuffed, was seen trying to get into a white pickup in that area, the chief said, so officers started pulling over white pickups in the area, to no avail.

Then, a radio broadcast came in that a white pickup fled from a Cranston police officer, Clements said. Providence police Sgt. Robert Boehm broadcast on the police radio that he was behind the vehicle, which was getting onto Route 10 north and "clearly trying to elude police at high speed," Clements said.

Video from the state Department of Transportation shows a large white pickup truck speeding up Route 10 north, weaving in and out of traffic, traveling in a breakdown lane, trying to shake Providence police and state police cruisers with flashing lights following close behind.

The video shows more Providence police and state police cruisers joining the pursuit, as the white truck veered across lanes and cut off a tractor-trailer and other vehicles in an effort to escape. The truck faked a move onto Route 95 south and then sped in the breakdown lane heading for the ramp onto Route 95 north.

#BREAKING Body camera video from Providence shooting. Warning: foul language on the audio #wbz pic.twitter.com/Ly0GN1ULDR

— Jim Harrington (@jejharrington) November 10, 2017

Up ahead on the ramp, near the back of Providence Place mall, a Providence officer stopped his cruiser and blocked traffic to prevent the truck from getting onto Route 95.

"These officers believed if he made it onto the highway, there would have been a greater risk to the public," Pare said.

The truck tried to keep going anyway, ramming a small car stopped in front of it and shoving it to the side. An officer helped a woman out of that car, and other Providence police and state troopers who were converging on the truck jumped out of the way, as it smashed back and forth into cars, nearly clipping a trooper trapped between its driver's side and the railing.

The final confrontation came as the truck tried to force its way out. There's a first volley of shots, then they stop, and resume when the truck moves again.

An officer wearing a body camera arrives in time for the second volley of gunfire, and his video shows the chaos and smoke from the truck's spinning tires. The truck's windows are dark, and it's impossible to see anyone inside. The officers and troopers have guns drawn, and they wave each other to put their weapons down when it's clear the truck isn't moving. They swarm over the truck, and one shouts, "Watch the passenger! Watch the passenger!"

Paré said five Providence officers fired shots at the truck: Major Oscar Perez, in charge of the community police division; Sgt. Gregory Paolo; and task force officers Christopher Ziroli, Matthew McGloin and Thomas Zincone.

While the three officers were wearing body-cameras, only McGloin's recorded, Paré said. Zincone forgot to turn his on, and Ziroli's didn't activate because he tapped it once, not twice, the commissioner said.

"We firmly believe in situations like this, it hasn't been on our police officers [long], and there'll be times they'll just forget to put it on," Pare said.

Due to the position of the camera, its view is inadvertently blocked by McGloin's hands when he has his gun drawn.

The incident is still being investigated, and there are many unknown factors, such as why Santos was trying to escape the police. He had two bench warrants on a charge of breaking and entering in Providence and stealing a vehicle in East Providence.

His sister, Justine Santos, told WJAR-TV that he was driving an unregistered vehicle and had a suspended license.

"He was probably nervous that he was going to get pulled over and sent back to jail, so he didn't want to stop, which was the wrong decision on his part, which made it dangerous for other people," she told the TV station. "He was a good person that was scared, and not the person trying to hurt people that they're trying to say he was."

The state medical examiner is performing an autopsy, which may determine whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

On Friday evening, the man who'd stolen the cruiser, 35-year-old Donald Morgan, was caught in Cumberland.

Friday afternoon, the Providence police said Demers had undergone surgery but that her condition was not immediately available.

This is the third officer-involved shooting by Providence police this year, and the first fatal shooting by Providence police since March 2014. The five officers are on administrative duty while the incident is investigated by Providence police, state police and the attorney general's office, as is customary for police shootings in Rhode Island.

The matter will be brought to a grand jury, which will determine whether the officers were justified in their use of force.

"It's always hard when somebody dies, regardless of the circumstances," Paré said. "It is a difficult job being a police officer, and it's really difficult when you have a very heavy vehicle, or any vehicle being used as a weapon. ... Someone very easily could get run over. You could get rammed and seriously injured."

The police said they were confident the officers acted appropriately.

There was a "grave public safety risk," said Deputy Chief Thomas A. Verdi. "The driver of the vehicle posed an immediate deadly threat to others on the road and to police officers."

©2017 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.)


Categories: Latest News

Dallas to settle for nearly $62M in police, fire back pay lawsuits

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 11:48

By Tristan Hallman The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — The Dallas City Council will vote next week to pay $61 million to settle four of six back pay lawsuits from police officers and firefighters — lawsuits that the mayor says could help bankrupt Dallas if allowed to proceed.

City Attorney Larry Casto said the settlement will be paid using the city's current bonding capacity and will not require voter approval. Some of the financial details still have to be ironed out, but financing it will not require a tax increase.

If approved, the settlement will avert a trial scheduled for Dec. 4 in Collin County. While the remaining two cases risk that the city could still be on the hook for hundreds of millions or more in claims, interest and legal fees, Casto said settling these four significantly reduces the peril.

"It's a wise, prudent fiscal move to remove what could be catastrophic results if we ever did have a jury that sees it the plaintiffs' way," Casto said.

Attempts to reach the plaintiffs' representatives in the cases were not successful Friday.

The cases, initially filed in the 1990s, centered on a 1979 voter referendum that gave police and firefighters raises. The city maintained that the ambiguously worded referendum was meant to be a one-time raise in 1979. Police and firefighters believed the voters had bound the city to maintaining a consistent pay differential between ranks that wasn't paid.

The lawsuits have hung around through years and through numerous mayors and councils. Joe Bob Betzel, a former firefighter who helped kick off the lawsuit, said last month that he was done negotiating with the city until they had a serious offer. The city, he said in an email, had never made any "good faith effort" to negotiate a settlement and could've been done with it years ago, under previous city management, for much less money.

The current group of city leaders recently tried to get out from under the lawsuit by using the state Legislature. First, they hoped to add language to a bill — meant to save the failing Dallas Police and Fire Pension — that would have made the city immune to the lawsuit. But they didn't find support among legislators and largely dropped the issue.

Then, during the last-minute negotiations on the final details of the pension bill in the Senate, city leaders discussed a small increase in the city's sales tax to help pay off a settlement. But that, too, fell flat with lawmakers.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said he doesn't plan to go down the sales-tax route again.

"I don't think we need it. I don't think the Legislature would support it. I don't think it's the right thing to do for the citizens of Dallas," Rawlings said.

But as he continues to bask in this week's voter approval of a $1.05 billion bond package that will help repair some of the city's crumbling streets and buildings and add new parks, Rawlings said the "dark fiscal cloud" that loomed over the city appears to be clearing.

"Now that we've got the pension fund in a place where we can start to turn healthy again and we've taken care of these four cases and the bond election has been passed, I believe the city of Dallas has never been on firmer financial ground," Rawlings said.

But a threat still lurks in Rockwall County, where the other two cases were filed. Rawlings said that if all six cases had been settled at the same rate, taxpayers would be out about $235 million.

Ted Lyon, an attorney in the Rockwall case, said he was aware of the settlement and commended the attorneys. But he hasn't had a chance to talk to his own clients about it yet.

"We haven't really talked to them about it," Lyon said. "Until we do, we won't know where they are in terms of how far we're going to go forward with the city."

Casto and Rawlings said the city will discuss settlements with the lawyers in the Rockwall case, too. But the two said they're confident the city would win in court.

Casto expects that the courts will combine the two class-action claims, leaving the city with one more case to handle. Lyon said the cases probably should be combined. Casto said the trouble with trying multiple cases is that the city only has to lose one of them to be liable for, potentially, billions in back pay. And, he said, the city would give away its game plan in the first trial to the attorneys in the other cases.

Council member Scott Griggs said he's relieved that the case won't be in the hands of a Collin County jury.

"It's a great opportunity," he said. "It's a case that we need to settle."

The settlement is the latest in a series of troublesome issues that Casto has disposed of since he was named City Hall's top lawyer last year. Casto's imprimatur was on the pension deal, the new entity tasked with building a park between the Trinity River levees and a settlement of a multi-million-dollar water rate case against the Sabine River Authority.

Rawlings, who was deposed in the case, said the looming trial and Casto's relationship with the trial attorneys helped them reach a resolution. The case nearly went to trial in August 2016 and again in May.

Casto credited the mayor and the council, saying they have "a mind-set that the sun comes up tomorrow if you tackle these hard issues."

"A lot has happened in this past year," he said. "Once you figure out, hey, you survive tackling hard issues, let's go do another one."

Sam Friar, a retired firefighter who is one of dozens of plaintiffs in the cases, was surprised to hear about the settlement. Friar was the pension board chairman during the negotiations in Austin. Although his focus was on the pension, he saw how far apart the sides had seemed on the issue.

"I never thought this would happen," he said.

Casto, who started with the city as a lobbyist in 1992, said the referendum settlement was "an excellent deal for both sides" and helps the plaintiffs get money within a few months and avoid an uncertain outcome and years of appeals.

"I really don't remember a time when the city was not struggling with this issue," Casto said. "It's nice to feel we're on a path to find a resolution."

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Categories: Latest News

Calif. first responders to receive hep A vaccines after cop is sickened

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 11:38

By Susan Abram Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County leaders have approved an effort to look into providing law enforcement and other first responders with access to free hepatitis A vaccines, after the LAPD's union reported an officer was sickened with the liver disease while working in downtown's skid row.

The motion, authored by supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, was introduced and approved Tuesday, nearly a week after a spokesman from the Los Angeles Police Protective League made an urgent call for vaccines for 1,000 officers after the officer contracted the virus.

The union represents some 9,800 Los Angeles Police Department officers up to the rank of lieutenant.

The board directed the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to work with the LAPD, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles County Fire, and other law enforcement and fire agencies "to ensure that first responders who are most at-risk of being exposed to Hepatitis A have access to vaccinations."

Public health officials were instructed to return to the board in 14 days with a report on availability and resources.

"We applaud the swift action taken by the Board of Supervisors to protect Los Angeles police officers and other first responders by providing the Hepatitis A vaccination," according to a statement from the LAPPL. "We appreciate the leadership of Supervisor Hahn and Supervisor Barger for immediately understanding the significance of this public health issue and for acting on our plea for help on behalf of our members."

Much of the vaccination outreach efforts in Los Angeles have been focused on homeless people who live in encampments. Health officials are concerned that, because of an outbreak among homeless people in encampments in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties, the disease will spread in Los Angeles.

As of Monday, there were 29 reported cases of hepatitis A, 15 of them among homeless people who use drugs.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease with symptoms that include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and a yellowing of the skin or eyes or jaundice. It is spread person-to-person through close contact or through contact with environments contaminated with feces.

Copyright 2017 Daily News


Categories: Latest News

Experts clarify possibility of overdosing from fentanyl on shopping carts

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 11:38

By PoliceOne Staff

LEACHVILLE, Ark. — After a police department warned Facebook users about the dangers of overdosing on fentanyl left behind on shopping carts, experts quickly negated the claims.

CBS News reported that a Facebook post by the Leachville Police Department warned grocery shoppers to wipe down their carts, or they face danger of overdosing on fentanyl left behind on the handle.

The post, which has since been deleted, read:

"You know when you go to Wal-Mart and they have the wipes to clean your cart handle? How many of you don't use them? Well I do and I always thought of the germs only. Was told today that the police chief also suggests you do it because of all the problems with drugs nowadays and if they have fentanyl or something like that still on their hands and they touch that cart handle and then you do, it can get into your system. Scary, but worth taking the time to clean the handle. All you'd have to do is rub your nose or touch your child's mouth. I never even considered this possibility. Children being exposed to just the powder or residue is a bad situation that can turn deadly."

Experts were quick to weigh in. Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery founder Chad Sabora said the chances of overdosing from shopping cart residue is “completely impossible.”

"It's just like comparing the HIV epidemic in the 80s when people claimed you could get AIDS from sitting on the toilet," Sabora said. "This is dangerous to opiate users. Like touching them can kill you? It's not true."

Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center medical director Dr. Christopher Hoyte said that while he can’t call the situation “impossible,” it is “very improbable.”

"I never say never, but it is highly, highly, highly, unlikely someone could become that systemically ill just from having fentanyl touch their skin," Hoyte said. "It's not absorbed just touching it. I will say if they touched it and then rubbed their nose and breathed it in through that way that would be a possibility.”

The police department originally linked its claims to the DEA’s first responder guidelines for fentanyl encounters, but the DEA emphasized that the manual was not meant for the public.

The department issued an apology on Facebook.

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

The post about the fentanyl was sent so me from another officer at another Department. I simply shared it. I’m should have checked into it further before I posted it. Sorry for the confusion

Posted by Leachville Police Department on Thursday, November 9, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Mont. drivers get turkeys instead of traffic tickets

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 11:31

Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. — Some Montana drivers got Thanksgiving turkeys instead of tickets when they were pulled over by traffic officers.

The Billings Gazette reports that officers with the Billings Police Department checked for outstanding warrants Wednesday after pulling over drivers for traffic violations.

If they found none, they issued a written warning and a frozen turkey.

Police in Montana town issue Thanksgiving turkeys instead of tickets for minor traffic violations. "It's been a very positive thing for the community." https://t.co/MqosSbEmNQ pic.twitter.com/34yl9GHsEp

— ABC News (@ABC) November 11, 2017

Businessman Steve Gountanis bought the 20 turkeys and asked the department to distribute them in time for the holiday.

Driver Larry Riddle appreciated the surprise after he was pulled over for not signaling a turn.

Riddle's wife died of cancer and he lives alone on a limited budget. Each year, he tries to make a holiday meal for his daughter and himself.


Categories: Latest News

6 things to know about the Glock Gen5 G17

PoliceOne - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 14:01
Author: Sean Curtis

In late August I covered the introduction of two new Glocks from the Gen5 line, the G17 and G19. I wanted to spend more than a casual weekend with the weapon for an in-depth review, so Glock kindly sent me a G17 for that purpose. I have spent over a month with the G17 and the results are outstanding.

First impressions of the Glock G17

While the new G17 looks largely the same, there are some notable differences.

The finger grooves are gone from the grip and the muzzle is beveled down. In addition, there is a new slide stop on the right side of the weapon. This does not automatically make the Glock fully ambidextrous, but by switching the mag release over to the right side, which is a carryover feature from Gen4, it can be.

Finally, the new Glock is über black. Gone is the nitride finish of old in exchange for a new coating called nDLC, which is supposed to be even tougher than the previous iteration. The accessory rail, sights and backstrap system all hail from previous generations.

Testing of the Glock G17

I’ve learned that Glocks need a break-in period of several hundred rounds before you make any judgements. It’s similar to working with a new partner – you don’t know if you’re going to like them until you see them perform under stress. I stressed this gun, enlisting the help of several of my fellow firearms instructors and students to help me in this endeavor. It did not fail. Not once, after close to 1,000 rounds.

This is no surprise for those familiar with Glocks; however, running various types of ammunition from different shooters through different drills, I began to notice some trends:

1. Trigger is smoother People love the trigger. The internals have been changed here and there, but the serviceable portion of that knowledge is the trigger is smoother. The transition from trigger reset to follow-up shot is a little quicker. With practice, this levelled out for me and I was able to not only get used to it, but take advantage of it.

2. Flat shot I could not believe how flat the G17 shot even compared to the Gen4 I carry on duty. Muzzle flip is the enemy of anyone who vies for accuracy from multiple rounds. After you pull the trigger, you have to contend with recoil. It tends to throw your sights off and you have to spend time establishing sight alignment and sight picture again. This Gen5 G17 shoots flatter than any production pistol I have ever shot before. Follow-up shots were quick and authoritative. Even running the gun hard, I was able to dump rounds downrange without the typical spread I would expect in my shot group. Instead of a shotgun blast pattern, a large, ragged hole began to form. Other shooters noticed the same thing and were impressed.

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3. Ambi-slide stop lever I don’t care about the ambi-slide stop lever. I don’t utilize a technique that involves it, and I don’t teach people to use one, whatever side it’s on. But I applaud Glock for evolving their product and realizing that law enforcement isn’t their only market. The finger grooves on the grip never bothered me, but many people are happy with their demise. I did have people who use rigid holsters (Kydex, plastic) report the tapered muzzle helped with re-holstering.

4. Flared magwell Some other observations from multiple shooters related to newer features of the Gen5. The magwell is amazing. If you’ve ever been on the fence about whether a flared magwell is worth looking into, let me assure you, it is. It is surprisingly subtle. It’s not like you’re driving a motorcycle into an airplane hangar, but the difference is definitely noticeable. 5. Quicker reloads Reloads are quicker and more solid. A drawback of Glocks, if you run your mags full, is potentially not having the magazine fully seat during a reload. This results in the magazine falling out when you pull the trigger instead of the bang you were hoping for. The flared magwell helps ensure good lockup when you ram that magazine home.

6. Orange follower Another appreciated upgrade is the orange follower in the magazines. These clearly identify an empty mag through the chamber like never before. Additionally, they are visible in the round count “window” in the back of the magazine.

The sights are traditional Glock, they are functional.

Total package

Between seven shooters and five different types of ammunition, the Gen5 G17 had no failures whatsoever. I did not clean the weapon between range days. Accuracy is said to improve with newer rifling in the barrel, but I did not test this specifically. I attributed much of my control to the improved trigger, but my groups were tighter. A co-worker who shot the new model went out and bought a G19 afterwards. He appreciated the fact that Glock Blue Label was available and kept his cost well below $500.

This weapon is ideal for any police officer on the street, particularly because of the 9mm caliber and adjustable grip size. With a total carry package of 52 rounds and at such a light weight (32.12 oz. loaded), the G17 can serve a whole department. With 9mm’s recently improved ballistics and controllable recoil, anyone can shoot the pistol effectively.

Glock Gen5 G17 Specifications Manufacturer/Model: GLOCK Gen 5 G17 Caliber: 9mm Action Type: semi-auto Barrel: 4.49” Magazine: 17 round Sights: stock Glock Weight: 22.26 oz. (unloaded) Overall Length: 7.95” MSRP: $599.99, Blue Label $398.20
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