Latest News

3 Seattle officers shot; 1 suspect dead, 2 in custody

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 07:13

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Lisa Baumann and Gene Johnson Associated Press

SEATTLE — Three Seattle police officers were shot and injured during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect, who later died, after a robbery at a downtown convenience store.

Three people are suspected in the Thursday robbery at a 7-Eleven store near Pioneer Square, the city's oldest neighborhood, said Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best.

Officers chased two suspects, a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, who ran from the store, police said.

While one officer struggled with the male suspect on the ground, the girl struck the officer over the head with a bottle, police said. The 19-year-old then ran to the entryway of an office building where he shot at police, who returned fire, Best said.

Authorities closed off several downtown blocks throughout the afternoon as police cruisers flooded the area and SWAT officers searched a nearby federal building where the suspect had barricaded himself inside. The girl was arrested nearby.

Police said Thursday night that officers found the male suspect deceased.

It wasn't immediately clear if the man died from police gunfire. Police said his cause of death would be determined by the King County Medical Examiner.

A third suspect, another 19-year-old man was later identified and taken into custody.

One of the wounded officers, a 30-year-old man, was initially listed as critical with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the chin and ribcage. Harborview Medical Center officials upgraded his condition within a few hours to serious but stable. Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best said the wounded officer was talking.

A 42-year-old female officer was listed in satisfactory condition at the same hospital. She was released Thursday night, after her ballistics vest stopped a bullet headed for her chest.

Their names haven't been released but police said the female officer has worked for the department for three years while the male officer has worked there for two years.

A second male officer, a 27-year veteran, sustained a hand injury in the shooting and was also treated and released from the hospital. The male officer struck with a bottle was treated at the scene.

"Our hearts and our thoughts are with those officers and with their families," said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Authorities are investigating and police said the officers who fired their guns would be placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice.

Cindi Raykovich, the co-owner of a running store in the area, described the scene from her business as it unfolded Thursday.

"We've got the doors locked, and the cops are all around us," she said. "They want us to stay in the back room. When we walk out front, there's a guy standing out front who points at us and tells us to go back."

The department disclosed the shooting on Twitter, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.

Brad Clough, who works at a bicycle repair shop in the area, said he heard sirens and saw at least several dozen police officers converge on the scene.

"Wow. This is real," he said, describing SWAT officers racing down the street.


Categories: Latest News

2 SC officers wounded in shootout, suspect killed

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 06:57
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Ashley Jean Reese The Island Packet HARDEEVILLE, S.C. — Two officers were shot after responding to a domestic dispute at the Sanders subdivision in Hardeeville.

A Hardeeville Police officer and Jasper County deputy have been shot by a suspect, according to Jasper County Sheriff Chris Malphrus.

The two officers are in “critical, but stable condition,” Malphrus said. The suspect, whose identity was not immediately available, was killed in the incident, Malphrus said.

The incident began when law enforcement officers responded to a domestic complaint after 6 p.m. Thursday, where a man was reported to be shooting at a woman, Malphrus said.

UPDATE: Police have identified Justin Smith from Jasper County & Celvin Grant from Hardeeville as the officers who were shot pic.twitter.com/iixmdvO0fL

— Shelbey S. Roberts (@ShelbeyRoberts) April 21, 2017

The deputy was identified by Malphrus as Justin Smith, who has been with the office about two years.

He identified the Hardeeville officer as Sgt. Kelvin Grant, with the department since 2010.

Family members of both men are with them at the hospital in Savannah, and deputy Smith is up and talking.

Both officers have multiple gunshot wounds, but the exact number had not been confirmed Thursday night, Malphrus said.

Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward says it appeared both officers were going to survive their injuries.

Also the departments have received an outpouring of support and food donations from citizens, he said.

The S.C. State Law Enforcement Division will take over the investigation, as it routinely does for shootings when officers are involved.

———

©2017 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)


Categories: Latest News

Officials: Police had Paris attacker in their grasp

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 06:48

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Lori Hinnant and John Leicester Associated Press

PARIS — The Champs-Elysees gunman who shot and killed a police officer just days before France's presidential election was detained in February for threatening police but then freed, two officials told The Associated Press on Friday. He was also convicted in 2003 of attempted homicide in the shootings of two police officers.

The French government pulled out all the stops to protect Sunday's vote as the attack deepened France's political divide.

"Nothing must hamper this democratic moment, essential for our country," Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after a high-level meeting Friday that reviewed the government's already heightened security plans for the two-round vote that begins Sunday.

"Barbarity and cowardice struck Paris last night," the prime minister said, appealing for national unity and for people "not to succumb to fear."

Investigators believe at this stage that the gunman, 39-year-old Frenchman Karim Cheurfi, was alone in killing a police officer and wounding two others and a German tourist on Thursday night, less than 72 hours before polls open, a French official who discussed details of the investigation with the AP said on condition of anonymity.

The official and another, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Cheurfi was detained toward the end of February after speaking threateningly about police but was then released for lack of evidence.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack unusually quickly in a statement that sowed confusion by apparently misidentifying the gunman.

Police shot and killed Cheurfi after he opened fire on a police van on Paris' most famous boulevard. Investigators found a pump-action shotgun and knives in his car. Cheurfi's identity was confirmed from his fingerprints.

A key question was how the attack might impact French voters. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that it "will have a big effect" on the election and that "the people of France will not take much more of this."

The risk for the main presidential candidates is misjudging the public mood by making an ill-perceived gesture or comment. With polling so close, and campaigning banned from Friday midnight, they would have no time to recover before voters cast ballots.

The two top finishers Sunday advance to a winner-takes-all presidential runoff on May 7. Two of the main candidates, conservative Francois Fillon and centrist Emmanuel Macron, canceled planned campaign stops Friday.

The attack brought back the recurrent campaign theme of France's fight against Islamic extremism, one of the mainstays of the anti-immigration platform of far-right leader Marine Le Pen and also, to a lesser extent, of Fillon, a former prime minister. In the wake of the assault, they redoubled appeals for a firmer hand against Islamic extremism and promised get-tough measures if elected.

Le Pen, speaking at her campaign headquarters, urged the outgoing Socialist government to immediately re-establish border controls. Cazeneuve, the Socialist prime minister, accused the National Front leader of seeking to make political hay from the assault.

After Le Pen spoke scathingly Friday of the government's fight against extremism, Cazeneuve said Le Pen's party in 2014 voted against an anti-terrorism law and, in 2015, against a law that beefed up resources for French intelligence services.

He said: "She seems to be deliberately forgetting everything that has been done over five years to make people forget that she opposed everything, without ever proposing anything serious or credible."

Fillon separately pledged to maintain the state of emergency that has been in place since IS-claimed gun and bomb attacks killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015.

"The fight for the French people's freedom and security will be mine. This must be the priority," he said.

As Paris got back to business, municipal workers in white hygiene suits were out before dawn to wash down the sidewalk where the assault took place — a scene now depressingly familiar after multiple attacks that have killed more than 230 people in France over two years. Delivery trucks did their early morning rounds. Everything would have seemed normal if not for a row of TV trucks parked along the boulevard that is a must-visit for tourists.

Asked if the assault would impact voting, the centrist Macron said: "No one knows."

With some voters doubtful whether the 39-year-old former banker is experienced enough to be head of state, Macron appealed for cool heads.

"What our attackers want is death, symbolism, to sow panic (and) to disturb a democratic process," he said.

Macron said he canceled campaign stops out of a sense of "decency" and to allow police to concentrate their resources on the investigation.

Said by polls to be running neck-and-neck with Le Pen, he tore into her claims that previous attacks wouldn't have happened under her watch.

"She won't be able to protect our citizens," Macron said of Le Pen.

The two police officers injured in the attack are out of danger, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said. National police spokesman Jerome Bonet, also speaking on BFM television, said there were thousands of people on Paris' iconic boulevard when the gunman opened fire and that the rapid response of officers who shot and killed him avoided possible "carnage."

Voters also wondered how the latest attack might impact the election.

Elena Worms, walking her dog near the Champs-Elysees, called the attack "destabilizing" and said she fears it will "push people to the extremes." She said her plans to vote Fillon remain unchanged.

"He wants to lead Muslims away from fundamentalism to security," she said.

In a statement from its Amaq news agency, the IS group gave a pseudonym for the shooter, Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki, indicating he was Belgian or had lived in Belgium. But Belgium's interior minister said the pseudonym did not belong to the attacker.

Investigators searched a home early Friday in an eastern suburb of Paris believed linked to the attack and police detained for questioning three of the gunman's family members — routine in such cases.

The attack appeared to fit a spreading pattern of European extremists targeting security forces and symbols of state to discredit, take vengeance on or destabilize society. It recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris: one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

For Sunday's vote, the government is mobilizing more than 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect the 70,000 polling stations, with an additional 7,000 soldiers also on patrol.


Categories: Latest News

Cybercrime ring dismantled with Europol’s support

EUROPOL - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 02:38
A joint investigation by Spanish and British law enforcement authorities, coordinated by Europol and its Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), has resulted in the dismantling of an international cybercrime group involved in the design, development and selling of sophisticated software tools to render all types of malicious malware  infecting thousands of computers worldwide undetectable by security products.
Categories: Latest News

P1 Photo of the Week: Fire in the Everglades

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 02:00
Author: PoliceOne Members

Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Officer Joey Cabrera captured this photo on April 7 while assisting a fire in the Everglades.

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


Categories: Latest News

Baltimore setting up oversight of police under Obama decree

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 02:00
Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Baltimore is moving ahead with police reforms mandated by an agreement with the Justice Department under President Barack Obama.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Thursday's launch of a website that outlines the process. The next step is to choose residents of the city for a new police oversight committee.

A federal judge recently approved the agreement, despite objections from President Donald Trump's Justice Department.

Online applications are being taken through May 22, and by July, the panel should begin reviewing the city's current civilian oversight process.

The city also is looking for an independent monitor who would be approved by the court to assess whether the consent decree is being implemented and publish regular reports on the city's progress.


Categories: Latest News

Man charged with murder in fatal shooting of Okla. deputy

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 02:00

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Justin Juozapavicius Associated Press

MULHALL, Okla. — A man suspected of fatally shooting an Oklahoma deputy was charged Thursday with murder, and the district attorney later vowed she'll seek the death penalty against him because of the "particularly heinous, atrocious and cruel" nature of the crime.

Nathan LeForce, 45, was charged Thursday in Logan County with first-degree murder, larceny of a vehicle and armed robbery, court records show. Those records don't list an attorney for him, and he remains jailed.

Logan County Deputy David Wade, 40, died Tuesday after he was shot while serving an eviction notice at a home near Mulhall, about 50 miles north of Oklahoma City. Wade was shot several times, including in the face, and returned fire before radioing in for help.

Video from Wade's body-worn camera captured LeForce approaching Wade with a raised handgun and firing at the deputy, according to charging documents filed in court Thursday. After the first shot, as "Wade goes down and is obviously suffering from a gunshot wound," several more gunshots could be heard in rapid succession, the documents said.

Authorities said LeForce then took Wade's patrol vehicle and drove at a high speed to a convenience store, where he stole another car at gunpoint, according to the affidavit. That car was found abandoned near Guthrie, where LeForce was later found hiding in an outbuilding and surrendered to police.

After LeForce appeared before a judge, Logan County District Attorney Laura Thomas said in a statement to The Associated Press that she'll prepare a death penalty case because of the brutality of the crime.

"Not all first degree murder cases qualify for the death penalty in Oklahoma. This is one that does," Thomas said in a statement. "I'm angry our deputy was murdered. I'm angered at that portion of society that is already looking for a way to justify the unjustifiable and finding excuses for the inexcusable."

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said earlier Thursday that the gun used in the shooting has not been found. Agency spokeswoman Jessica Brown said law enforcement agencies are still searching for the gun to find out if it had been used in other crimes and to prevent a child from finding it first.


Categories: Latest News

Officers discover police headstones, firearms during home search

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 09:52

By PoliceOne Staff

COHASSET, Mass. — Police discovered a collection of stolen police, fire and military headstones and 98 firearms during a home search Friday.

According to the Patriot Ledger, police searched Robert Stoddard’s home after receiving a tip of multiple improperly secured firearms. When they entered the home, they found shotguns, rifles, pistols, military-grade ordnance shells and cases of ammunition spread across the home.

Police Chief William Quigley told the publication Stoddard did not serve in the military, but lives near a former military ammunition depot.

Along with the firearms and ammunition, officials found multiple police, fire and military headstones allegedly stolen from the cemetery across from Stoddard’s home. Authorities are working to identify the families.


Categories: Latest News

'Drug-hunting lizard' joins Ariz. police

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 09:50

By PoliceOne Staff

AVONDALE, Ariz. — A new animal has joined the Avondale Police Department: a bearded dragon lizard.

Officer Iroh was given a badge and officially sworn in April 13 as a continuation of a running joke the department posts to their Facebook.

“Research has shown that reptiles possess a strong sense of smell making their ability to detect certain illicit drugs possibly more accurate than K-9s,” the department wrote in the original April Fools post from last year. “Our pilot program drug sniffing bearded dragon will be assisting officers in the city. Please help us welcome Iroh!”

Although he won’t be sniffing out drugs anytime soon, Iroh is still “helping” officers with tasks and providing support.

(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 = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Time for an update on Iroh's Adventures. Iroh got sworn in today by Chief Nannenga, Iroh is official! #IrohAdventures

Posted by Avondale AZ Police Department on Thursday, April 13, 2017


Categories: Latest News

5 things to know about crime broadcast on social media

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 09:06

Author: Cole Zercoe

The killing of a 74-year-old Cleveland man that was broadcast over Facebook is just the latest in a disturbing trend of crimes committed in front of a digital audience. Over the past several years, there has been an uptick in the use of social media to document heinous acts in progress. Here are five things to know about the darker side of services like Facebook Live.

1. From standoffs to police pursuits, criminals are documenting their acts online.

Among the usual, innocuous content like selfies and food photography, crime has become a troubling presence on social media.

In 2015, the brutal killing of a television reporter and cameraman during a live news broadcast was filmed by the perpetrator and posted on Twitter and Facebook after the gunman fled the scene.

In 2016, 23-year-old Korryn Gaines posted videos on Facebook and Instagram in the midst of a police standoff in which she barricaded herself inside her apartment while armed with a shotgun.

Earlier this year, the beating of a mentally disabled man in Chicago by four suspects was streamed live on Facebook.

There have also been multiple cases of drivers filming themselves as they evade police during high-speed pursuits.

This troubling trend is the reality of an increasingly connected world, where all it takes is the simple push of a button to share photos or video with the masses.

2. Does the existence of these tools influence criminal behavior?

The great debate over whether access to an audience influences criminal behavior has gone on for as long as news organizations have existed, but the rise of social media has created a relatively new angle to the theory.

In a paper presented at the American Psychological Association last year, researchers found that a high volume of discussion on Twitter about a mass shooting increased the probability of another mass shooting occurring shortly thereafter. While motive in these incidents can be hard to pin down, this research does add credibility to the idea that those seeking notoriety and fame are more likely to commit heinous acts in an era where sharing is only a click away.

Raymond Surette, a criminal justice professor at the University of Central Florida, calls this phenomenon “performance crime.”

“The over-sharing that lies at the core of self-incriminating performances is an extension of the significance that social media have come to play culturally,” Surette wrote. “It is better to get your performance out there and be known than to be unknown in a celebrity culture, even if criminality is required.”

UC Davis law professor Elizabeth Joh told the New York Times:

“Any of these platforms — especially live ones — encourages users to perform. Should Facebook have a duty to rescue a crime victim? Should we, or is it O.K. for thousands or millions of people to watch a crime unfold without doing anything except sharing it?”

3. What are social media companies doing about the issue?

Thus far, the policing of content on these platforms can best be described as a work in progress. In all fairness, policing content on a website such as Facebook – where 510,000 comments are posted and 136,000 photos are uploaded every 60 seconds – is no small task. It took the company about two hours to take down footage of Robert Godwin’s murder.

Earlier this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg briefly mentioned the incident during the company’s annual developer conference:

"We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening," Zuckerberg said.

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s VP of global operations, also issued a statement on the incident, saying the company would improve its procedures in order to stamp out similar content in the future.

“In addition to improving our reporting flows, we are constantly exploring ways that new technologies can help us make sure Facebook is a safe environment. Artificial intelligence, for example, plays an important part in this work, helping us prevent the videos from being reshared in their entirety,” Osofsky wrote. “We are also working on improving our review processes. Currently, thousands of people around the world review the millions of items that are reported to us every week in more than 40 languages. We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster.”

Other services are also taking steps to combat violent or otherwise objectionable content on their services. Google and Twitter, for example, are now using artificial intelligence to wade through the massive volume of content uploaded to their websites.

4. Social media has been an investigative aid for police departments.

It probably goes without saying that the rise of documented crimes on social media is an investigative asset for police departments.

In 2015, an officer managed to track down a DUI suspect based on landmarks he picked out in a livesteamed video the offender posted on Periscope. In the same year, a teen was charged with murder after posting a selfie with the body of another teen to Snapchat.

5. It has also created investigative challenges.

But it hasn’t all been gravy. As much as they’ve worked together, police agencies and social media companies have also butt heads in the past.

Late last year, Twitter halted access to its user data for a law enforcement tool that allowed departments to monitor social media and detect potential crime.

In March, Facebook updated its instructions for developers, barring them from using its data for law enforcement surveillance purposes.

And earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection dropped a summons to unmask a Twitter account after the company filed a lawsuit.

Generally, Facebook has been cooperative with investigative requests. In the first six months of 2016, the company handed over data for 80 percent of the 23,854 requests they received from police agencies. And in the aforementioned Korryn Gaines case, police worked with Facebook and Instagram to temporarily deactivate her accounts, believing that her posts were distracting her from negotiations.

But there is still more work to be done, and both police agencies and social media companies need to collaborate in the road ahead. As social media continues to dominate our everyday lives, the rise of crime shared on these sites and how best to combat it is a thorny issue with no easy solutions.


Categories: Latest News

Video shows events leading up to fatal shooting of Okla. deputy

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 06:53
Author: Cole Zercoe

The Oklahoman

LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. — The Logan County sheriff's office has released the body cam video of Deputy David Wade and his conversations with Nathan LeForce before Tuesday's shooting.

Wade, 40, was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center. He went into cardiac arrest, but doctors were able to revive him long enough to get him into surgery. Wade died at 11:51 a.m. on the operating table.

At a news conference about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Devereaux said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had taken Leforce, who has a long criminal history in Noble County, into custody.

___ (c)2017 The Oklahoman


Categories: Latest News

Pa. ambush suspect seeks to avoid death penalty

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 06:44

Author: Cole Zercoe

By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

MILFORD, Pa. — A survivalist who shot and killed a Pennsylvania State Police trooper and injured another in an ambush at their barracks will now fight for his own life following his conviction on capital murder charges.

Eric Frein, 33, was convicted Wednesday of all 12 charges he faced more than two years after targeting the state police in a late-night sniper attack.

The focus now shifts to the impact of Frein's crimes. He killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson, a 38-year-old Marine veteran who left behind a wife and two young sons, and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass, who was shot through both hips as he came to the aid of his mortally wounded comrade and suffers from a range of health problems.

Prosecutors will ask the same jury that convicted Frein to send him to death row, while defense lawyers will argue for a sentence of life without parole. The penalty phase begins Thursday afternoon and is expected to wrap up early next week.

Frein melted into the woods after taking four shots with a high-powered rifle, eluding capture for nearly seven weeks. Prosecutors say he opened fire on random troopers at the Blooming Grove barracks in the Pocono Mountains because he was trying to spark a revolution.

Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin called Frein a terrorist and told reporters after the guilty verdict that he intends to seek "full justice" for the victims and their families.

"This case is not yet over. We have a very serious and somber proceeding to go through," he said.

Frein was convicted of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, terrorism and two weapons of mass destruction counts related to the small bombs he left in the woods during the manhunt.

The verdict was expected after prosecutors presented more than 500 pieces of evidence tying Frein to the ambush. His DNA was found on the trigger of the murder weapon, and police recovered several handwritten notebook pages at Frein's campsite in which he described the attack and his subsequent escape into the woods in chilling detail.

He also wrote a letter to his parents in which he advocated revolution as a way to "get us back the liberties we once had."

The defense said Frein deserved to live despite his "dastardly acts," as his lawyer put it.

"We would like to present Eric in the most sympathetic light that we can," said lawyer William Ruzzo. "The way they villainized him, we can't make him a holy man, but we're trying to make him a man."

He insisted Frein has an "inner core of goodness."

A death sentence would send Frein to death row, but the state has a moratorium on executions under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. The state's last execution was in 1999, and it has executed only three people since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1976.

Wolf applauded the verdict but didn't address Frein's sentence.

"Today justice was served and a brutal murderer will be held accountable for his heinous and cowardly acts against members of the Pennsylvania State Police," he said in a statement.

Police linked Frein to the ambush after a man walking his dog discovered his partly submerged SUV three days later in a swamp a few miles from the shooting scene. Inside, investigators found shell casings matching those found at the barracks and Frein's driver's license.

The discovery sparked a manhunt that involved 1,000 law enforcement officials and spanned more than 300 square miles. The dragnet shut down schools and roads and hurt businesses in the mountainous region, which leans heavily on tourism. At times, police ordered residents to stay inside or prevented them from returning home as they pursued tips and supposed sightings, while trick-or-treating was canceled.


Categories: Latest News

Police grants and sanctuary cities: It's complicated

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 04:00
Author: Linda Gilbertson

The very confusing issue of sanctuary cities just got a little more confusing. Just a couple of weeks after Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech on the Department of Justice’s resolve to continue to enforce laws requiring local law enforcement to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests for illegal aliens or face the loss of federal grant funds, a website that was started earlier this year to report on so-called sanctuary cities that were not following the laws was taken down because of inaccuracies in the information provided.

What hasn’t changed in the past couple of months is that the federal government is still on the path of requiring all grant applicants to comply with the ICE detainer requests or be denied these important federal funds. However, full enforcement of the funding restriction on sanctuary cities may be held up when the new federal budget is discussed because Congress appears to be divided on the issue.

As with most things, there are two sides to the argument. Many law enforcement agencies say their job will be made even more difficult if they follow the regulations, as it will mean less cooperation from immigrant communities as they attempt to investigate and prosecute crimes. Victims and witnesses won’t come forward with information or show up in court due to the fear of deportation. Trust that has been built up between law enforcement and the community will be damaged. But others agree with the federal government’s position that not complying with the laws decreases the safety of everyone in the community.

FUNDING AT STAKE

Some states and cities are doing what they can to comply, while others have filed lawsuits to fight it. Billions of dollars nationwide are hanging in the balance.

What does that mean for you, as you attempt to secure future grant funding for your agency’s needs? Will you be able to apply for COPS Hiring funds this year? Will you get your second-year funding for a project you have already started?

To be honest, I’m not sure anyone really knows at this point. The new COPS grant opportunities haven’t been released yet, although there is no indication that they won’t be available this year. Once they are, it will be interesting to see what the requirements for eligibility are.

Of course, federal grants include much more than just the COPS Hiring Program that directly impacts a law enforcement agency. Others have impact throughout the community.

For instance, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program – SCAAP – provides reimbursement funding to local law enforcement agencies, including corrections departments, for housing illegal aliens who have been arrested in their jails. This includes anyone who is not an American citizen, not just those from countries that are being addressed by the federal government’s new immigration policies. For those departments that utilize this program to help with the cost of incarceration, the amount of funding that could potentially be lost with the sanctuary cities policies is substantial.

Other federal programs that provide funding to law enforcement include those that address complex issues such as mental illness, drug addiction, juvenile crime, and domestic violence. Often these grant opportunities are collaborative efforts between police and local social service agencies, many of which are nonprofits that rely on such funding to serve their clients. The loss of this funding can have large-scale impacts on a community.

It appears there will be further discussion about the issue of sanctuary cities and federal funding, but the decision to comply with the detainer laws or not is highly controversial. Keep yourself informed as things progress so that you don’t lose out on this important funding.


Categories: Latest News

7 years after off-duty wreck took Miss. trooper's leg, jury awards him $1.25M

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 02:00
Author: Linda Gilbertson

By Karen Nelson The Sun Herald

JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. — A jury has returned a whopping $1.25 million civil award in Jackson County Circuit Court.

It’s one of the largest in recent memory for the conservative county, and it was awarded to a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper who lost his lower-left leg in an off-duty motorcycle accident in 2010.

The verdict went against two construction companies that had left a low ramp across a Pascagoula road the night of the accident.

Marvin Henderson was on his motorcycle on Shortcut Road in Pascagoula when he hit the obstruction, according to the original complaint. The ramp covered a conduit the companies were using to move water and sewage across the road.

Attorneys said the drainage system had been built that day and left overnight. It was dark, and the obstruction was poorly marked.

It was a type of ramp, but when Henderson hit it late at night, coming home from classes and the gym, it sent him flying off his motorcycle. The blow crushed his foot and lower leg.

That was September 2010. He fought for almost a year with pain and rehabilitation, but finally lost his leg the following August.

After 25 surgeries, doctors thought he would have more mobility with a prosthetic leg.

Attorneys tried the case in Circuit Judge Robert Krebs’ courtroom last week. Originally, the jury calculated the award at more than $3 million — delivered late Thursday — but then came back to assign responsibility to each party. Jurors found Henderson was 60 percent responsible for his part in the accident, so they reduced the award.

Still, the $1.25 million stands out in this county. Judges recalled a $15 million award in a drilling case and $2 million in a 1996 construction case, both involving death, but those were overturned.

“We’re not accustomed to those (large) awards,” said Court Administrator Pat Smith, a 26-year veteran. “Jurors are generally pretty perceptive. They can see through all the grandstanding and get to the truth. So if you have a legitimate complaint, I think, by and large, the jurors can see that.”

Cost of losing a leg

Attorneys argued the companies had used barricades to direct traffic around the obstruction during the day, but not at night. The next day, after the accident, the companies removed it, they said.

Henderson was 30 then. When the case went to trial, he was 37 and had been through excruciating pain, the loss of his leg and all the rehabilitation and training for the prosthesis.

At the trial, his attorneys and witnesses were able to fully to explain to the jury what his expenses and medical costs would be for the rest of his life.

He is still with the MHP, however, and thriving. His attorney, Morgan Holder with Smith and Holder of Gulfport, said he is an investigator with salvage at MHP and still has trooper status.

“He’s a great guy, very resilient,” Holder said.

In 2012, two years after the accident, there was a report of him stopping an armed robbery in Jackson. He was doing a driver’s license road test at Metrocenter Mall, when he heard a woman cry for help. He exchanged gunfire with one man who was fleeing, and even with his prosthetic leg, was able to chase down a woman who was responsible for the getaway car.

At that time, he had four years on the force, and told reporters what he did in the parking lot was simply part of his commitment to protecting others.

Not a complainer

Henderson was in the Marine Corps for four years, did a tour for Operation Enduring Freedom with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Force, and performed humanitarian assistance in Africa. After the Marines, he earned an associate degree and joined the highway patrol.

When he hit that obstruction on Shortcut Road, he was a semester away from a bachelor’s degree, anticipating the birth of his second son and could run 2 miles in under 16 minutes. He was described as the strong, silent type, not a complainer.

Since the wreck, he has managed to stay strong and focused, observers say. He works out, he runs and he’s a bodybuilder.

In a YouTube video created by manufacturer Buckner Prosthetics, which developed prostheses for him and helped train him, Marvin “The Cyborg” Henderson says he thought his life was over when the doctors told him he would never run again.

“I thought it would be the end of me being athletic,” he said. “That was a gut-wrenching moment.”

But now, his work ethic is more intense than ever, because he said he has to be better than the guys with two legs.

He and his trainers with Buckner looked up the fastest an amputee has ever run the 40, and he believes he can beat that.

Despite his physical and emotional setbacks, he graduated in 2011 with a bachelor of arts degree in homeland security studies.

Perseverance

The trial lasted four days and went into the evening most days.

There was testimony from seven to eight experts, including engineers who testified to the loss of Henderson’s wage-earning capacity.

But with an award that high, an appeal is highly possible, attorneys say.

The construction companies named as defendants in the case are WT Construction and Jay Bearden Construction, both from upstate. The judge let Compton Engineering, a Pascagoula firm named in the original complaint, out of the case as not having responsibility.

According to a story in the Sun Herald in 2012 about Henderson’s gumption, his fellow troopers weren’t surprised at his perseverance.

His goal at the time was to become a federal agent. He still may have that in his sights.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “When I was in (the tunnel), I couldn’t see no daylight. But I kept going. I won’t let nothing stop me.”

———

©2017 The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)


Categories: Latest News

After warning to drug dealers went viral, Fla. sheriff says more videos to come

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 02:00
Author: Linda Gilbertson

By Jason Ruiter Orlando Sentinel

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, who became an internet sensation last week with an ominous warning to heroin dealers, isn’t done making videos.

Grinnell was flanked by masked undercover deputies in a video in which he warned heroin dealers that “we are coming for you.”

Sitting at his desk, adorned with an American flag coffee mug and Bible, Grinnell said Friday that there will be more.

“I’m going to have … weekly segments of things that are not in the news, predominantly positive things that are going on in this county regarding law enforcement,” Grinnell said.

He is considering other topics — fraud, cyber crime and general public announcements — as a follow up to the controversial video. It sparked criticism and praise on social media from some who said the law-enforcement lineup looked like an ISIS beheading video and others who labeled Grinnell a hero for taking on the bad guys.

His first national media foray included an interview on Fox & Friends and a story in the New York Times. Grinnell, who was elected in November after a decade as the agency’s chief deputy, also fielded a congratulatory call from Gov. Rick Scott.

“He just wanted me to know that he appreciated my tough stance against this heroin epidemic and that he stands with me and that he was going to make this a priority of the great state of Florida,” Grinnell said. “I think those were his exact words: ‘great state of Florida.’”

Grinnell, who heads the department, said his public-service announcements aren’t meant to be controversial but only to build the Sheriff’s Office presence and serve Lake residents. When he made the video in early April, he said undercover deputies who are passionate about their work requested to be a part of it.

Earlier this week, the Sheriff’s Office made five arrests in Groveland through undercover work and anonymous tips, seizing more than 6 ounces of cocaine, two AR-15 rifles, 500 ecstasy pills and two pounds of marijuana. Since October, Lake had 24 opioid-related overdoses resulting in four fatalities. Grinnell said he wants to train his officers to use Narcan, a fast-acting treatment for opioid overdose victims.

Grinnell said he doesn’t expect every video to spark the same outrage.

“Time changes, technology changes,” he said. “We need our public’s help.”

On the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page alone, the video garnered 1.3 million views by Friday and 3,500 comments.

Corey Pendergraft, the agency’s digital media manager, said of the roughly 40,000 likes the post fostered, only 636 were negative with Facebook’s “angry face.” About 24 percent of the views in the video came from Florida residents.

“I read every single comment,” Pendergraft said. “Positive feedback tended to be from this area.”

“Way to go!” wrote one Facebook commenter on the video post. “Thank you for protecting the citizens of Lake County.”

But to others, the video's ski masks and eerie music score was bizarre. Many mistook the video for a joke or the echo of a militarized police force.

“Is this an SNL skit?” one commenter wrote. “That was ridiculous.”

“You look either like little boys playing soldier or masked thugs,” wrote another.

“This really smacks of police state,” wrote one.

Grinnell, who was born in the area, said, “I’ll be straight up with you — I only care what people in Lake County think.”

The sheriff was elected by two-thirds of the vote last November. The former Marine — who served in the Persian Gulf War — was also a participant and winner of a local “Dancing With the Stars” competition that is a fundraiser for the Educational Foundation of Lake County.

Since being elected, Grinnell said he has pushed for a stronger social-media presence, more policing against DUI and aggressive drivers and bringing back the Drug Abuse Resistance Education to elementary schools.

Ralph Smith, owner of Lake Tire & Auto in Tavares and a Republican state committeeman, said he liked the risk Grinnell took with the video.

“I understand a few people … to be a little bit offended,” he said. “The simple reality of it is I like out-of-the-box thinking.”

Smith said he doesn’t think the issue is liberal or conservative, but in knowing — or not knowing — the role heroin has in the county.

“Maybe in hindsight it’ll be a misstep,” he said. “But by golly I like guys who take chances."

———

©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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A message from the Lake County Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Unit.

Posted by Lake County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 7, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Critical incident stress management interventions help heal first responders

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 13:45

Author: Linda Gilbertson

By Dr. Chuck Russo, Program Director, Criminal Justice at American Military University, and Carrie Kahn Courtney

First responders are trained to utilize tactical strategies in crisis situations, so they can quickly protect lives and property. However, high-crisis incidents can overwhelm normal coping mechanisms and trigger traumatic-stress disorders for first responders.

Officer-involved shootings, line-of-duty deaths and injuries, child victims, employee suicide, and mass-casualty incidents are all events that can trigger traumatic-stress disorders for first responders. Common effects of traumatic stress include:

Concentration impairment Eating and sleeping disturbances Psychosomatic symptomology Addictions Depression Irritability Avoidant behaviors Changes in libido Increased personal and professional conflict

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the many mental health disorders associated with traumatic stress. Such disorders often hinder a first responder’s ability to return to a pre-event “normal” status. If post-traumatic stress is not addressed, it can often lead to faulty decision making, increased disciplinary problems, tardiness, on-the-job accidents, citizen complaints, and officer turnover.

While post-traumatic stress is the normal reaction to an abnormal event, PTSD does not have to occur. If post-traumatic stress is left unchecked, unaddressed, and untreated, the results can often lead to PTSD.

Help First Responders with CISM Interventions

Critical incident stress management (CISM) is a short-term, psychological first-aid intervention strategy that can help mitigate long-term mental health issues for first responders.

CISM interventions encourage individuals to emote the impact of the cognitive, emotional, and psychological symptoms that manifest as a direct result of exposure to traumatic stress, especially repetitive traumatic stress. CISM aims to return those involved to a pre-event “normal” status quicker than if left to their own devices and deter PTSD.

Impacts of Traumatic Stress on an Agency

Besides taking a toll on the individual, traumatic stress has an impact on the agency. The effects of traumatic stress on organizations often include:

Communication breakdowns. Decreased morale. Deteriorating group cohesiveness. Increased absenteeism. Increased healthcare costs including increased worker’s compensation and disability claims. Decreased ability to retain effective personnel. Decreased employee efficiency and productivity.

These financial and morale costs can cause long-term damage to an agency’s community support, resource budget, and recruiting opportunities.

It is important that agencies address the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms associated with traumatic stress by implementing CISM interventions. Such implementation often includes one-on-one sessions, debriefings, and defusing sessions that are co-facilitated by mental health professionals and peers to combat traumatic stress. Agencies need to take proactive steps to help officers heal and recover from traumatic-stress incidents.

About the Authors

Dr. Chuck Russo is the Program Director of Criminal Justice at American Military University (AMU). He began his career in law enforcement in 1987 in central Florida and was involved in all areas of patrol, training, special operations and investigations before retiring from law enforcement in 2013. Dr. Russo continues to design and instruct courses, as well as act as a consultant for education, government, and industry throughout the United States and the Middle East. His recent research and presentations focus on emerging technology and law enforcement applications, in addition to post-traumatic stress and online learning.

Carrie Kahn Courtney, RCSWI, wears many hats as a grant writer, social worker, disaster behavioral health specialist for adults and children, addictions professional, cadre trainer for the Disaster Technical Assistance Center, Vice President of Volusia Interfaith Networking in Disaster, Outgoing Chair for the Mental Health Association of East Central Florida, and Advanced Responder for the Florida Crisis Consortium.


Categories: Latest News

Facebook developing internet-equipped helicopter for emergencies

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 12:46
Author: Linda Gilbertson

By PoliceOne Staff

Facebook is currently developing a helicopter that could provide “instant infrastructure” during a crisis.

According to the Verge, the company said the small aircraft, named “Tether-tenna,” would be deployed during an emergency, tether to fiber and electricity lines and provide an internet signal to a wide area.

“When completed, this technology will be able to be deployed immediately and operate for months at a time to bring back connectivity in case of an emergency,” manager of Facebook’s Connectivity Lab Yael Maguire wrote in a blog post.

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Posted by Facebook Engineering on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In the past year, Facebook has attempted to make internet accessible for all. The Verge reported that in 2016, Facebook launched Terragraph, a "multi-node wireless system focused on bringing high-speed internet connectivity to dense urban areas,” and Aquila, a drone that beams an internet signal from the air.

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Facebook’s new drone can beam internet from the sky — and it just completed its first test flight.

Posted by The Verge on Thursday, July 21, 2016

“Developing next-generation technology takes a lot of testing and iteration — we know these projects will take a decade to develop,” Maguire wrote. “But if we're going to build communities that work for everyone, that starts with building connectivity that works for everyone.”


Categories: Latest News

NY officer dies in off-duty motorcycle crash

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 10:21

By Heather Yakin The Times Herald-Record

GARDINER, N.Y. — An off-duty Walden police officer died Tuesday in a crash on Route 44-55 in Gardiner, police said.

Ulster County sheriff's Capt. Vincent Altieri said Dustin James, 31, was riding his 2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle eastbound on Route 44-55 when his motorcycle and a 2011 Toyota Camry heading northbound out of Bruynswick Road collided about 10:48 a.m.

James was pronounced dead at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

The Camry was being driven by Alejandra Rodas-Perez, 19, of Bloomingburg, the sheriff's office said.

James is survived by his wife, Maryellen James, according to a news release from the Village of Walden Police Department.

The state police crash reconstruction team is assisting the Ulster County Sheriff's Office with the investigation. The outcome will determine what charges, if any, will be filed in the case.

According to a news release from Walden police, James started with the village department on Jan. 1, 2007 as a part-time dispatcher, and became a part-time officer on Aug. 12, 2007. He went to full-time status in October 2009. He also began working as a part-time officer with the Montgomery village police in December 2015.

Walden Police Chief Jeff Holmes and Montgomery village Police Chief Steven Walsh offered this statement: "Officer James was an exceptional Police Officer that excelled at his job. His many contributions to both departments are too numerous to list. He had compassion for others, a sense of humor and an attention to detail.

"Officer James was loved by all who had the pleasure to know him and work with him over the years. There was nothing that Officer James would not do for his fellow brother or sister. Officer James will be deeply missed by his family and friends here at the Village of Walden and Village of Montgomery Police Departments."

Walden posthumously promoted James to the rank of investigator.

———

©2017 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.


Categories: Latest News

After job frustrations, union files to represent Mounties

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 10:01

By PoliceOne Staff

OTTAWA, Ontario — After weeks of frustration about low wages and working conditions, the Mounties are close to forming their first union.

According to CBC News,The National Police Federation filed an application for certification to represent the 17,945 members of the RCMP.

Over the last two weeks, various Mounties have removed their yellow pant stripe in protest of their working conditions and lack of staffing.

"Human resource levels are continually at sub-par standards putting our members' safety, their families' as well as the public at risk. And what is growing more and more apparent is the government's intention to treat us as public servants and not a police force," NPF co-chair Brian Suave told the publication.

Sgt. Scott Fefchak said it’s not uncommon for members to have 300 or 400 hours on call per month.

"It's cumulative stress that comes from always being on and not having the work-life balance that we're being told we have to try and achieve, but under the circumstances it's really difficult to achieve due to the lack of manpower,” he told CBC.

The RCMP is the only non-unionized police force in Canada. The Canadian Supreme Court allowed the government a year to propose legislation for a RCMP union. If the application is approved, the labor board will hold a secret ballot vote for the Mounties, the publication reported.


Categories: Latest News

Cops, EMT rescue pregnant woman from frigid river

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 08:11

By Robert Allen Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Desperately hanging onto a coat with her teeth to stay afloat in the frigid Detroit River, a pregnant woman struggled to keep the current from sweeping her away Monday night after having second thoughts about ending her life.

The coat was extended to her from atop a seawall in a frenzied attempt to save her. Fast-acting police, an emergency medic and a mail boat crew managed to rescue the woman, about 20 years old, who later received an emergency C-section at a nearby hospital, according to Detroit Police Department.

Officers Brian Gadwell and Steven Rauser arrived shortly before 11 p.m. to the scene at Riverside Park near the Ambassador Bridge. They found a man lying on the wall, about 5-7 feet above the water's surface, reaching out with the coat and a tree branch to help keep the woman from being pulled under.

"I jumped in," Gadwell said at a news conference Tuesday. "I wrapped my legs around her, and I was able to grab, like a rebar or rod, that was sticking out the wall."

Soon, his hands started losing their grip. The National Weather Service reports the river's temperature was about 49 degrees, plenty cold to give everyone hypothermia. The woman told the rescuer she loved him, and he said the same to her.

"I thought I was going to die," Gadwell said. "I told them, 'You better do something. I can't hang on.'"

Rauser jumped in to help. Rauser said he wanted to pull them out of the water, but the wall was too high. So he went into the water, grabbing onto a steel hook in the wall, and held the woman until more help arrived.

"She was definitely fighting for her life, she was scared," Rauser said, adding that he "had no idea" the woman was pregnant.

Ryan Gazdecki, senior captain of the J.W. Wescott mail boat docked next to the park, had just been finishing work that night when he and partner Joseph Buchanan saw the fire trucks and police cars

"We just kind of ran down there to see what was going on," Gazdecki said, adding that they soon learned the situation. "My partner and I sprinted back up to the dock where the boat was."

A Hart EMS emergency medical technician, who's a certified dive rescuer, had jumped into the water to help. The captain untied the boat and approached from downstream as the woman and EMT held onto a chain, against the current, Gazdecki said. They helped both of them into the boat and were back on shore within 15 minutes.

"It was pretty difficult to get the boat situated — the current is extra strong with all the rain we've had," he said.

Chris Ward, the EMT, gave this account of the scene: "A crew member from Detroit Fire had hold of the victim's arm and I had her leg. We knew we had to get the buoy that we got from the mail boat around her somehow and the only way that seemed possible was from the water — physically putting it on her as she was panicking.

"I jumped in with a lifeline tied around me and was able to get her head and her arm through the buoy. At that time the boat crew pulled us over to the boat and they were able lift us both out of the water."

Ward, Gadwell, Rauser and the woman all were taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital and treated for hypothermia. The officers said that as far as they know, the baby is OK.

Police later determined that the woman was attempting suicide. Police Chief James Craig said he's asking the officers' commander to nominate Gadwell and Rauser for lifesaving medals.

After the intense rescue, a moment of levity: "I get in the EMS rig and I'm shaking, they're like ripping all my clothes off," Gadwell said, and they saw the nail polish his daughters, 7 and 10, painted on his toenails.

"I'm like, this is what happens when you have daughters at home. I get to the hospital, everybody's making fun of me. ... They're laughing at me, they go, 'Hey, just so you know, your partner's toenails are done, too.'"

Rauser, who has an 8-year-old daughter, admitted his toenails also had been painted.

Adam Gottlieb, owner of Hart EMS, said he's "very proud" of his crew's involvement with the rescue and medical transport.

"It's very, very unusual for us to do a water rescue like that," Gottlieb said. "It was a big collaborative effort for everybody that was there."

Copyright 2017 Detroit Free Press


Categories: Latest News

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