Latest News

6 Mass. cops treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after officer crash

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 09:40

By Scott J. Croteau MassLive.com

AUBURN, Mass. — A total of six Auburn police officers have been recommended for medical treatment after unsafe levels of carbon monoxide were found in their blood.

All but one have returned to duty, authorities said, after several police Ford Explorer SUVs tested positive for carbon monoxide.

An Auburn police officer rear-ended a vehicle on Auburn Street Wednesday morning after town officials believe he lost consciousness due to carbon monoxide poisoning inside his department Ford Explorer SUV with the Interceptor package.

After the incident, Auburn Police Chief Andrew Sluckis Jr. had the entire department of 37 tested for carbon monoxide. Five additional officers were treated.

Sluckis said the officer injured in the crash has not returned to work. The other five have returned to duty. The officer injured in the crash had lost consciousness and complained of headaches.

A total of 10 police department Ford Explorer SUVs with the Interceptor packages tested positive for carbon monoxide and were removed from the fleet. In addition to the police department vehicles, there were two fire department vehicles and a public works vehicle removed from service after testing positive for carbon monoxide.

Jacobson said the fire department and public works vehicles were Ford Explorers but did not have the Interceptor packages.

The town is working with Ford engineers who are testing the 13 vehicles. All the Ford Explorers used by the town have been tested.

The loss of 10 of the department's 28 SUVs has not impacted police's ability to respond to calls, Sluckis said.

"It hasn't had a negative effect on our ability to respond to calls," he said.

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These are photos of the two involved vehicles from the earlier crash involving our officer who suffered a carbon...

Posted by Auburn MA Police Department on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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©2017 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.


Categories: Latest News

Teen broke into patrol car, ransacked, doused it with bleach

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 09:04

By Laurie K. Blandford Treasure Coast Newspapers

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A 15-year-old boy is accused of breaking into a Fort Pierce police cruiser, ransacking it and dousing it with bleach.

The teen, arrested Tuesday, was charged with armed burglary to a vehicle, grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, felony criminal mischief, unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor, resisting officers without violence and violation of probation, said Master Sgt. Frank Sabol of the Port St. Lucie Police Department.

Police officers went to an undisclosed address about 2 a.m. March 26 after they got a report of shots fired in the area, Sabol said.

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Teen arrested for breaking into police cruiser. On August 1, 2017, Port St. Lucie Police arrested a 15 year old male on...

Posted by Port St. Lucie Police Department on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Officers found a Fort Pierce police cruiser parked in the officer's driveway with its doors open. The front driver’s side window had been busted out, and the inside of the car was ransacked and bleach had been poured into it.

The Fort Pierce police officer told Port St. Lucie police officers what had been stolen: a gun rack that held his Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and a Glock handgun, two rifle magazines with ammunition, two Glock magazines with ammunition, a tint meter and a laptop computer.

The teen likely had fired guns stolen from the vehicle, Sabol said. He didn't know what was used to break the window.

Crime scene investigators found blood samples from inside the driver’s side door where the teen had cut himself on the broken glass, Sabol said, and DNA results came back matching him.

When police detectives went to the 15-year-old’s house, the teen ran out the back, Sabol said. Detectives chased him, caught up with him and arrested the teen, who was on probation for a previous arrest.

The teen was taken to St. Lucie Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Pierce, Sabol said.

Treasure Coast Newspapers, while customarily doesn't name juveniles accused of crimes, does name some juveniles depending on the seriousness of the crime, their age, aggravating circumstances and other factors.

———

©2017 the Treasure Coast Newspapers (Stuart, Fla.)


Categories: Latest News

Dear Europe’s Most Wanted fugitives - the Police want you back home this summer!

EUROPOL - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 07:44
Police across Europe send summer postcards to dangerous criminals on the run. However, their exact addresses are still unknown to us. Can you help us find them? While most of us are enjoying a well-deserved summer break, criminals are not taking time off from crime. Holiday destinations have proven to be popular hiding places for criminals on the run from law enforcement. They might even have chosen the same destination as you…
Categories: Latest News

Ohio attorney general awards $2.7M for drug use prevention

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 07:10

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's attorney general says he is awarding $2.7 million in grants to help with drug abuse awareness and prevention programs in public schools.

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that the funds will go to numerous law enforcement agencies for drug use prevention education programs in the schools.

A total of 130 sheriffs' offices and police departments will receive a portion of the money. The funds must be used to establish or maintain drug abuse prevention education and awareness programs for students during the upcoming school year.

Grant recipients also are required to include over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse prevention education in their programs.

The Drug Use Prevention Grant money will go toward creating or maintaining programs such as D.A.R.E., Too Good for Drugs and Stay on Track.


Categories: Latest News

Justice Dept threatens anti-crime aid to 4 sanctuary cities

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 07:03

By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved Thursday to again punish so-called sanctuary cities, this time threatening to deny federal crime-fighting resources to four cities beset by violence if they don't step up efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally.

The Justice Department sent letters to cities struggling with gun violence, telling them they will be ineligible for a new program that aims to root out drug trafficking and gang crime unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice before releasing someone in custody who is wanted on immigration violations. The cities — Baltimore, Albuquerque and Stockton and San Bernardino, California — all expressed interest in the Justice Department's new Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents, analysts and technology to help communities find solutions to crime.

"By taking simple, common-sense considerations into account, we are encouraging every jurisdiction in this country to cooperate with federal law enforcement," Sessions said in a statement that accompanied the letters. "That will ultimately make all of us safer_especially law enforcement on our streets."

In the letters, the department asked the four prospective cities' police departments to show proof of their compliance by Aug. 18.

The threat marks Sessions' latest effort to force local authorities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, part of a push to reduce crime he believes is linked to illegal immigration. Sessions has pledged to make fighting street crime the Justice Department's top priority, but the strategy is putting him at odds with some city leaders, who say the best way to fight crime and build community trust is to keep local police out of federal immigration matters.

Sessions last week told jurisdictions they needed to meet the same conditions or lose out on millions of dollars from a separate program that aims to send grant money to support law enforcement. That move made some local officials only more defiant.

The Justice Department in June tapped 12 cities to receive aid through the Public Safety Partnership, and officials said the four cities that were sent the letters had expressed interest in the next chance at participating. Cities were chosen based on higher-than-average rates of violence and willingness to receive the help and training. Cities that want to be involved going forward will have to show they allow unfettered communication between police and federal immigration authorities, give agents access to jails in order to question immigrants, and provide them 48-hours' notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.


Categories: Latest News

Police officer wounded, suspect fatally shot near Atlanta

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 06:48

Associated Press

DECATUR, Ga. — Authorities say a suspect is dead and a police officer wounded after both were shot just outside Atlanta.

News outlets report four DeKalb County police officers confronted the suspect shortly before midnight Wednesday after responding to several calls of a "demented person" with a weapon in Decatur. Police Chief James Conroy says the suspect tried to get into a vehicle and gunfire erupted.

One officer was shot in the hand and the suspect was struck multiple times. It is unclear who first opened fire.

Both were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the suspect later died. The officer is listed in stable condition.

The suspect hasn't been identified.

The officers involved are on routine administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.

Both a DeKalb County police officer and a suspect are in the hospital this morning. https://t.co/ACyKzqpfSu#MorningRushATL pic.twitter.com/ELgSdZiX8O

— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) August 3, 2017


Categories: Latest News

5 quotes police leaders can use to increase officer safety and departmental success

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 04:43

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Last year I wrote a column on historical quotes that can help officers on patrol. I was recently inspired to apply that same concept to quotes that can help law enforcement leaders improve their departments and the services they provide to their cities and towns.

Consider how these quotes can guide leadership of your troops, improve your relationship with your community, and execute your vision for enforcing the law and keeping the peace.

Add your own quotes in the comments section below.

1. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch

One of the most important things a law enforcement leader can do is enhance the services cops provide to the citizens of their jurisdictions through a rigorous and thorough in-service training program. Training should be continual, ongoing and exceed – by a wide margin – any statewide standards, which are the bare minimum.

Great police leaders find ways to ensure that no learning opportunity is missed, no matter how big or how small.

Finally, police leaders must insist that training budgets are the last thing on the chopping block, not the first.

2. “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” — General Colin Powell

Policing is about solving problems – cops are constantly dealing with street crimes, drug crimes, gang activity, drunk driving, domestic violence, property crime…the list goes on. Police leadership deal not only with those law enforcement matters, but an array of problems like dysfunctional community relations, an acrimonious city government, understaffing and other matters.

A good leader takes each of these problems seriously, devotes adequate resources to achieve resolutions, follows up after actions have been taken to ensure that success is sustained, and then moves on to the next problem with the same level of energy and commitment.

3. “A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward.” — Ovid

All too often we hear stories of people in positions of leadership “throwing a cop under the bus” when they’ve done something that brings criticism on the department. When this occurs, police leaders do more to undermine their own authority with the troops than “fix” a problem officer.

Discipline is necessary, but it should not be overly punitive. This reminds me of the adage, “punish in private and praise in public.” When it is necessary to discipline an officer, it should be done in a way that does not belittle them, but offers achievable next steps to build them up. Embarrassing an officer in front of the troops makes you look bad.

4. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” — General Dwight D. Eisenhower

This quote is about how to articulate your vision both internally and externally, so you can move toward the outcomes you wish to see occur, guiding all of the participants to want those outcomes as much as (if not more so) than you.

There is an element of natural charisma here. There is also the learned skill of communication.

Troops will follow the best leaders into hell with nothing more than a bucket of water and a good, solid plan.

5. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” — Publilius Syrus

There is not a single police leader in America today who cannot in an instant be thrust into the national limelight by the surfacing of a video that is perceived by the press and the public to reveal improper use of force or some other “ugly-looking” incident. You can easily become the national narrative, as people who were not present or know much about policing take to social media to viciously deride your department.

When such an event takes place, it is the job of the police leader to go before the cameras and address the critics head on. This will test you, but you can pass the test – success requires a level head and the ability to articulate complex concepts to people who may not necessarily want to understand them or your explanation does not fit their chosen narrative.

It is important in such times to also address the troops. Do this privately and directly in groups as small as is manageable given the size of your department. Don’t leave out the non-sworn support personnel. Include your call takers and dispatchers. You will get less sleep for a while, but the extra investment in time will pay dividends.

Conclusion

Policing is hard. Leading the police is also hard. Use these (and other) quotes to help you achieve the success you desire.


Categories: Latest News

What SC is doing to prevent future officer suicides

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 02:00
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Teddy Kulmala The State

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — Last week’s suicide of a Richland County deputy is something police experts say happens all too often. But recent legislative changes may help prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.

Senior Deputy Derek Fish’s funeral services are Wednesday. He shot himself with his service weapon Friday evening at the Sheriff’s Department Region 3 headquarters. Sheriff Leon Lott said he didn’t leave a note and gave no indication to anyone that he was planning to end his life.

Experts say law enforcement officers are twice as likely to die by their own hand than be killed in the line of duty.

“You look like you’re tough and strong, but the reality is, it impacts you,” said Robert Douglas Jr., a retired Baltimore city officer and founder of the National Police Suicide Foundation, told The State newspaper on Tueday. “The communities need to somehow understand we’re not talking about robots here; we’re talking about human beings.”

In announcing Fish’s death Monday, Lott said his agency has made changes since the last suicide of a Richland County deputy in 2007, including the addition of a full-time psychologist and chaplain service and implementation of pre-PTSD training that includes suicide recognition.

“We still need to do more,” he said.

More training to recognize PTSD

Agencies are not required to have mental health professionals on staff, according to Jarrod Bruder, executive director of the S.C. Sheriffs’ Association, who said state law has very little to say on what mental health services law enforcement agencies are required to offer.

“A lot of agencies are implementing chaplaincy programs,” but they can’t require officers talk with chaplains, he said. “It’s an option available to them if they want to talk.”

Last month, the board that oversees the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy voted to mandate a psychological screening for all aspiring law enforcement officers. Such screenings are already required for accredited agencies, Bruder said, but only 59 of the state’s nearly 300 law enforcement agencies are accredited, according to the academy’s director, Jackie Swindler.

In May, Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill into law that, among other things, allows the S.C. Law Enforcement Training Council to mandate the academy’s continued training of officers to recognize PTSD and other trauma and stress-related disorders in other officers. A course already taught at the academy educates new officers on the impact stress has on their lives.

“We put our law enforcement out on the street every day to deal with situations, and many times those situations deal with folks who are mentally ill or deal with situations that can cause mental strain or trauma,” said state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, who authored the bill. “We don’t equip them to handle those situations.”

The new law also allows the council to recommend counseling offered through the S.C. Law Enforcement Assistance Program for officers involved in an incident that causes death or serious injury.

Changing culture

Founded in 1997 initially to serve four state agencies, the Law Enforcement Assistance Program – or LEAP – now provides its services, upon request, to more than 17,000 sworn officers in all 46 counties, according to program manager Eric Skidmore.

Skidmore said the program’s peer support groups are “the tip of the sphere” in their response to a traumatic event.

“When we reach out to cops, our first line of defense is other police officers who received training from us in peer support techniques,” he said. “They often become the conduit to assist officers in seeking further care.”

In a profession that has them constantly running toward danger, officers might feel like they’re expected to be stronger than others, according to Dr. Gregg Dwyer, an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science.

“You’ve got folks that are used to being the ones that are helping everybody else,” he said. “They’ve got to be the one that’s strong physically and psychologically.”

As a result, seeking help for PTSD, depression or suicidal thoughts could be viewed as a sign of weakness in law enforcement, Dwyer said. That culture appears to be changing, he added, citing the increased number of police agencies with mental health professionals on staff and the wider availability of counseling and peer support services for officers, many of which are provided by LEAP.

“South Carolina is extraordinarily progressive in this area,” he said. “That’s not done everywhere, and states have looked at South Carolina and copied that model.”

Many of LEAP’s more-than-1,500 peer program volunteers are dispatchers, law enforcement spouses, mental health professionals and chaplains. But Skidmore said the core of the group is officers, and he’s encouraged after seeing more officers over the years consider becoming licensed counselors after retirement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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©2017 The State (Columbia, S.C.)


Categories: Latest News

Are 'smart guns' the answer for improved policing?

PoliceOne - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 02:00

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Ahead of a conference on ‘smart guns,’ a small survey of police officers shows some LEOS are interested in firearms that can only be operated by the authorized user. However, concerns remain about how secure smart guns are in light of recent hacks of the firearms.

Of the 400 law enforcement professionals surveyed, 84 percent indicated that gun grabs are a primary concern, while 27 percent of respondents had actually experienced a gun grab firsthand.

The survey, administered by the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Department, found 29 percent of the professionals who took part had a “very strong/extreme interest” in smart guns.

LE professionals from the sheriff’s department, the Seattle City Police Department and the Montgomery County (Md.) Department participated in the survey.

One issue the survey did not raise is the concern about hacks of smart guns. The Armatix IP1 smart gun says it will not fire unless it’s in range of a watch that transmits the signal to unlock the gun. But last week, a hacker named “Plore” detailed how to hack the gun — using store-bought magnets — and bypass the watch.

He said he was able to use the $15 magnets to remove the metal plug that locks the firing pin, CNET reported. The plug is usually removed by an electromagnetic signal transmitted from the watch, but it’s easy to duplicate by holding the magnets to the pistol at a certain angle.

He said the simple hack shows how smart guns are still “immature.” Armatix, the company who developed the smart gun, told CNET that they spoke with Plore in April, but the hardware flaw can likely only be fixed with a recall.

The results of the small survey of LE professionals are being presented at the Law Enforcement and Smart Gun Symposium in D.C.

Leave a comment below: What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of smart guns?

Editor’s note: This story has been modified from its original form as a news release. We have removed the news release in its entirety and instead quote portions in the article.


Categories: Latest News

Tenn. K-9 fatally stabbed by suspect during pursuit

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 13:28
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — A K-9 has died after he was stabbed multiple times by a suspect.

Police were pursuing a stolen semi-truck Wednesday morning when the truck crashed into another vehicle before swerving into the path of a police car, WBIR reported. The truck continued to flee until it crashed into a tree.

The driver, Dustin Lee Dixon, fled on foot into the woods. K-9 Cain was sent into the woods to detain the suspect. When he emerged, a lieutenant noticed multiple stab wounds to Cain’s chest.

Cain was transported to a local veterinarian hospital with serious injuries. He later died at the hospital.

Dixon, 28, was arrested and faces multiple criminal charges. An investigation is ongoing.

Dustin Dixon, 28 yr old w/ "lengthy" criminal history is the man arrested in connection to K9 Cain's death in Cumberland Co @wbir pic.twitter.com/QOPbxAWj1t

— Madison Wade (@madisoncwade) August 2, 2017


Categories: Latest News

What a Wis. cop's brush with death tells us about the will to win

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 12:20

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

On July 11, 2016, Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department Deputy David Dawson hit the road for his 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift. He knew the 10 inches of rain his county had received in the last 24 hours would be his primary concern as rain was still coming down.

Dawson’s mission on this night was to navigate the county and find washouts before they could trap unsuspecting motorists. Halfway through his shift, he located a major road washout and culvert collapse so he set up a detour around the area.

He then cautiously wound through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin only to discover Camp Eight Road Bridge was gone. He notified dispatch of the hazard, turning off to find a detour around the washout. As he maneuvered his squad through the forest, the heavens opened once again, making visibility a distant memory.

The last washout

As Dawson cautiously drove through the dark, wet shroud that enveloped him, he was stunned to see water suddenly washing over his head lights and sensed his squad was floating. Dawson had found another washout - the hard way.

Water rushed into the passenger compartment through the passenger window. He tried to force open his door, but was initially thwarted by the wall of the flooded ditch his squad was in.

With great effort he forced open the driver’s door and, as it swung out, the rushing water braced it wide open. It seemed the cascading water was inviting the deputy to join it on its journey.

With few options available, he accepted the invitation and stepped from his car, plunging instantly into the now deep, raging waters. Dawson sensed himself being swept under his squad by the front driver’s side tire. He was dragged along the bottom by the current, and tossed about like a twig in rapids.

Dawson managed to fight his way to the surface twice for air over a quarter-mile stretch. Sensing inaction would be the end of him, he engaged his brain. After reorienting himself he determined he was no longer in the creek, but in the water that had swept over the creek’s bank. He became aware of being catapulted past logs and trees, so he decided it was time to act.

He reached out into the unforgiving nothingness of the floodwaters and later said, “I slammed hard into a tree and managed to hold on to it.”

As Dawson came up gasping for air he became aware of the powerful roar of raging water that was trying to tear him from the tree. He tightened his grip and held fast.

The Call for Help

Now in survival mode Dawson said, “I managed to remove my radio and, in the dark, change the channel to WISCOM, the emergency channel for multiple agency operations my dispatcher was monitoring. The 911 dispatcher couldn’t copy my first transmission, but my friend Deputy Michael Kastern knew I was in trouble.”

Hearing help was on the way, Dawson tied his radio above water to a branch using his lapel mic cord. Amazingly, his Motorola radio worked throughout the night. In follow-up transmissions, Dawson directed rescuers to his remote location. Constable Kevin Johnson was the first person to arrive and call to David from the distant shore.

The Ordeal Continues

David’s ordeal was far from over. It was no easy task for Bayfield County to assemble personnel and equipment to respond because of county-wide washouts. Dawson had to hold on to the tree for hours, with fatigue his constant companion. He fought through the pain by picturing his wife, Heather, their 2-month-old son, Dane, his 5-year-old boy, David Jr., and his 10-year-old daughter, Mallory.

When Dawson felt his physical reserves were nearly depleted, the words of his academy trainer, Sam Lenda, became Dawson’s mantra. He repeated over and over, “I’m not dead until I stop breathing. I will never give up!”

As Dawson approached total muscle failure he had to improvise and overcome. He later explained, “I knew I couldn’t physically hold on much longer, so I tied my tourniquet around the tree and then around my left wrist. So whenever I lost my grip on the tree, the tourniquet held me there.”

The Rescue

When his fellow officers and fire rescue personnel arrived, they jerry-rigged ropes and adapted an inflatable rescue raft designed for ice rescues to traverse the water to reach Dawson. During the difficult water crossing a firefighter was swept away, but was unharmed as he was equipped with a Mustang rescue suit.

Dawson’s Lieutenant, Thomas Renz, and firefighter Dan Arens were the first to reach Dawson and free him from his precarious perch. Before he was transported to hospital, Dawson called his wife. As her voice came over the phone, for the first time in four hours, Dawson felt reassured he had the rest of his life ahead of him.

Aftermath

“Due to the extreme conditions and physical exertion, I arrived at the hospital with only three percent kidney function,” said Dawson. “They told me I suffered from rhabdomyolysis, which causes a total break-down of muscles and kidney failure.”

Even though Dawson was able to return to work shortly after the incident, his kidney function did not return to 100 percent for six months.

Since his experience, Dawson has decided to become a trainer. He explained, “I'm still a ’rookie,’ but I have a passion to teach. The end game is to inspire others. I’m still creating my legacy and, if I can pass anything on that will save their life, I'll know that I made a real difference.”

Dawson says his experience made him realize that a police officer must always:

    Be resilient; Be aware of their surroundings; Be prepared to think outside the box; Be relentless.

Dawson also shared these words echoed by so many critical incident survivors: “You must never give up!”


Categories: Latest News

Sessions: US prosecutors will help addiction-ravaged cities

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 10:01

By Sadie Gurman and Andrew Welsh-Huggins Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Justice Department will dispatch 12 federal prosecutors to cities ravaged by addiction who will focus exclusively on investigating health care fraud and opioid scams that are fueling the nation's drug abuse epidemic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday.

He unveiled the pilot program during a speech in hard-hit Ohio, where eight people a day die of accidental overdoses.

"In recent years some of the government officials in our country I think have mistakenly sent mixed messages about the harmfulness of drugs," Sessions said. "So let me say: We cannot capitulate intellectually or morally unto this kind of rampant drug abuse. We must create a culture that's hostile to drug abuse."

Sessions said the group of prosecutors he has dubbed the "opioid fraud and abuse detection unit" will rely on data in their efforts to root out pill mills and track down doctors and other health care providers who illegally prescribe or distribute narcotics such as fentanyl and other powerful painkillers.

Such prescription opioids are behind the deadliest drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history. More than 52,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2015 — a record — and experts believe the numbers have continued to rise. Sessions has made aggressive prosecutions of drug crime a top priority, saying the deadly overdoses necessitate a return to tougher tactics.

The Health Department says opioid-related overdoses killed 3,050 Ohioans in 2015, with that number expected to jump sharply for 2016.

In June, the coroner serving the greater Columbus area said overdose deaths through April of this year rose to 173, a 66 percent jump from the same period a year ago.

The prosecutors will be based in U.S. attorney's offices in the Middle District of Florida; the Eastern District of Michigan; the Northern District of Alabama; the Eastern District of Tennessee; Nevada; the Eastern District of Kentucky; Maryland; the Western District of Pennsylvania; the Southern District of Ohio; the Eastern District of California; the Middle District of North Carolina; and the Southern District of West Virginia.

In May, Sessions instructed the nation's federal prosecutors to bring the toughest charges possible against most crime suspects. Critics assailed the move as a return to failed drug-war policies that unduly affected minorities and filled prisons with nonviolent offenders.

The announcement was a reversal of Obama-era policies that is sure to send more people to prison and for much longer terms.

Advocates warned the shift would crowd federal prisons and strain Justice Department resources. Some involved in criminal justice during the drug war feared the human impact would look similar.


Categories: Latest News

Viral video shows officer pointing gun at passenger during traffic stop

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 09:56

By PoliceOne Staff

CAMPBELL, Calif. — A video of an officer pointing a gun at a passenger during a traffic stop has gone viral, but police say the video doesn’t show the full story.

An officer pulled over a vehicle for speeding last week and asked for a driver’s license and additional paperwork, KTVU reported.

The officer said the driver and passenger spent several minutes searching for the paperwork until the passenger reached under the seat. Police officials said that’s when the officer determined there was a threat and drew his gun.

The Facebook video, which has been viewed over 1.5 million times, starts after the officer draws his weapon.

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CAMPBELL COP IS A BITCH!!!!!!!!!! (Niga pulled out a gun cuz I reached for paperwork he asked for Campbell cop on 101 coming from Hollister exit bailey) 7/26/17 with Amanda Galan

Posted by Feo Mas on Saturday, July 29, 2017

Throughout the nearly nine minute video, the passenger can be heard asking why the officer has his weapon pointed at him because his hands are in the officer’s view. The officer said he’s waiting for backup and asks the passenger to calm down. The passenger continues to ask why the gun is pointed at him.

"We understand that it is never a comfortable position to have a gun pointed at you, regardless of whether it is a police officer,” Campbell police PIO Gary Berg said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the length of time that the officer’s gun was drawn lasted much longer than normal based on his location. If this same situation would have occurred closer to back-up officers, it would most likely have been resolved much sooner.”

When backup arrived, both the driver and passenger were issued citations and were allowed to leave.


Categories: Latest News

Helicopter video captures police pursuit, arrest of felon

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 09:54

By PoliceOne Staff

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Helicopter footage captured a high-speed pursuit and arrest of a felon, who was released from jail in January after serving 10 months.

Police attempted to pull over Michael Patrick Laskey, 27, Sunday when he fled, Florida Today reported.

Helicopter video shows the pursuit through neighborhood streets before Laskey jumps out of his vehicle, without putting it in park, and flees on foot. He climbed fences, ran through backyards, climbed under cars and jumped in a pond before surrendering to officers.

Laskey was arrested and charged with more than a dozen offenses, including possession of a firearm by a felon, using or displaying a firearm during a felony, fleeing law enforcement at high speed, possession of cocaine and three counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Court records show that Laskey has a history of fleeing law enforcement. In 2009, he was convicted for fleeing an officer with no regard for the safety of others. He was also convicted of two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and carrying a concealed weapon.


Categories: Latest News

Texas fire captain thanks cops for saving his life

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 09:52

By PoliceOne Staff

PLANO, Texas — A fire captain who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident is thanking the first responders who came to his aid.

Capt. Mark Hardy was riding his motorcycle last August when a box flew off a truck in front of him and struck him in the head, NBC DFW reported. Hardy, who was wearing a helmet, suffered injuries to his brain, face and shoulder. The driver was charged with failure to secure his load.

Interim Police Chief Michael Hill, who was first on the scene, initially thought the wreck was fatal. But Hardy said if it wasn’t for the quick response of police officers, fire and EMS - some of whom he trained - he probably wouldn’t be here today.

“It's very ironic,” Hardy said. “If any hands had to show up and take care of me, if it couldn't be my brothers here, I’m glad it was just somebody that I was responsible for teaching skills that they brought with them that day."

Hardy spent two months in rehabilitation after his hospitalization. He returned to work in February. He thanked the first responders Tuesday where officers from Howe and Van Alstyne Police Departments and a Careflight EMS crew member received plaques.

“I did my job. I did what I was supposed to do, what I signed up to do,” Hill said.

Plano fire captain thanking first responders for helping save his life. Story 6p @NBCDFW pic.twitter.com/80fRhC3t2x

— Meredith Yeomans (@YeomansNBC5) August 1, 2017


Categories: Latest News

What’s on the end of your patrol rifle?

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 09:50

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Most AR-15 / M4 patrol rifles arrive at the department armorer from the manufacturer with a standard A2 “birdcage-style” muzzle brake. Some armorers make an immediate upgrade. Others do not.

In the event that no upgrade is made, every serious patrol officer or special operator will look at that A2 and say to themselves, “we can do better.” The factory-issued equipment is passable, but we all know that the aftermarket can outperform what comes in the manufacturer’s box.

The question becomes, what muzzle device do you want to put on the end of your AR?

The decision is partly about what you’re trying to do — what problem are you trying to solve? And that gets to the versatility of the AR platform itself.

Why the AR works so well

The M4/M16/AR-15 is probably the most popular weapons system in the United States — variants of this weapon have been used for nearly a half decade. The rifle is easily serviceable. It is light and incredibly reliable.

Another one of the reasons this platform is so popular is that there is little recoil or muzzle rise. But with a good muzzle brake, recoil can be reduced even more. With a good compensator, muzzle rise all but vanishes, even on the rapid fire setting. And while physics dictates that muzzle flash cannot be completely eliminated, it can be significantly reduced with a quality flash suppressor.

Here are a half dozen of options to consider among the muzzle brakes, flash suppressors, and compensators on the market.

Please note: There are countless other options which surely merit consideration but due to restrictions of time and space, will not make it into this roundup. Consequently, please add your favorite flash hiders, muzzle brakes, and comps in the comments section below.

Flash suppressors

Noveske KX3 Flash Suppressor — The Noveske KX3 Flash Suppressor will work on any barrel length, according to the company website. This suppressor features a Nitride finish, and in addition to significantly reducing the muzzle flash, many operators say that it also redirects some of the sound of the shot downrange and away from the shooter. MSRP is $125.00.

Strike Industries Venom Flash Hider — The company says that the Venom FH “nearly eliminates 100 percent of your muzzle flash” in order to preserve your night vision. The Venom — which is considered by many operators to be one of the best flash hiders on the market — has a four-prong design and is manufactured for .223/5.56 cartridges. It is wildly popular as one of the top-sellers on sites like Brownells. MSRP is $44.95.

Muzzle brakes

SilencerCo Saker Trifecta Muzzle Brake — This three-port muzzle brake is conveniently compatible with the Saker MAAD Trifecta mounting system, offering easy attachment and detachment for the operator. This brake offers exceptional recoil reduction and is manufactured for 1/2x28 threads for 5.56, and 1/2x28 or 5/8x24 for the 7.62 version. MSRP is $85.00.

SureFire SFMB-556-1/2-28 Muzzle Brake and Suppressor Adapter — This very popular item features “precision stainless steel construction and an Ionbond DLC coating, deliver superior recoil and muzzle-rise reduction, permitting faster follow-up shots” according to the company. Its patented “Impulse Diffusion” design minimizes side blast and rear-directed concussion effects. It is designed for M4, M16, and variants like the AR-15. MSRP is $149.00

Compensators

Houlding Precision Firearms HPF-15 Curse Muzzle Brake — This option is part muzzle brake and part compensator. The Curse is a dual-chamber, Melonite-coated brake that utilizes lots of relatively small slots to change the direction of the existing gases. This has the effect of reducing both muzzle rise and felt recoil. MSRP is $125.

BattleComp 2.1 — The manufacturer of the BattleComp 2.1 notes that this device is made from heat-treated stainless steel bar stock with a black Melonite finish. The BattleComp 2.1 fits all barrels with 1/2 x 28 RH standard threads. It is designed for 5.56 NATO and .223 ammunition. Like the aforementioned HPF-15, the BattleComp is part brake and part comp, so it’s an excellent choice for operators looking to address muzzle rise as well as felt recoil. MSRP is $165.00.

Finishing thoughts

The modern patrol rifle is sometimes called the “Big Boy’s Barbie Doll” — or words to that effect. Operators dress up their rifle to suit their personal needs and tastes. There are myriad options for optics, sights, lights, grips, and all manner of other accessories available.

There really is no wrong answer when it comes to those accessories as long as you select products from reputable companies with good track records, and as long as those products make good tactical sense. This is certainly true for muzzle brakes, flash suppressors, and compensators.

With any of these mods, evaluate your individual mission requirements and tactical needs. Do your homework on available options to meet those needs. Ask the advice of operators you trust. Do whatever testing you can. Then make the call that’s right for you.

Stay safe out there my friends.


Categories: Latest News

Spanish National Police break up ring smuggling Iranians to the UK, supported by Europol

EUROPOL - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 08:21
The Spanish National Police, with support from the UK’s Metropolitan Police and Europol, have dismantled an international criminal network involved in smuggling Iranian nationals into the UK on commercial flights. The network operated from the city of Málaga in southern Spain and used Spain as a transit country. The organisation charged each migrant around EUR 25 000 for supplying fake Spanish passports, travel documents, transfers to and accommodation in their final destinations.
Categories: Latest News

Officer injured, suspect dead in Las Vegas shootout

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 07:11
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Authorities say a Las Vegas police officer wounded in a shooting is in stable condition at a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Police say the officer was shot on the lower side of his chest and is being treated at University Medical Center.

Las Vegas TV station 8newsnow reports that a sergeant arrived at the scene moments after the officer was shot around 5 p.m. Monday, put him in his squad car and drove him to the hospital.

Police say a man involved in the exchange of gunfire has been found dead in his vehicle. His name hasn't been released yet.

Exclusive video of today's officer involved shooting. Watch the full video tonight at 11 on @FOX5Vegas pic.twitter.com/bgmBw206iV

— Abby (@abbytheodros) August 2, 2017

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, police were investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle in front of a business on the 4100 block of West Tompkins Avenue.

The newspaper says as officers arrived, gunshots were exchanged. It's still unclear who shot first or whether the man in the vehicle shot himself or was shot by officers.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo: Officer was wearing bulletproof vest. Hit in the lower left chest area. pic.twitter.com/gRxWR7l04p

— Abby (@abbytheodros) August 2, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Armed customer kills suspect during Ariz. robbery

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 07:02
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Associated Press

PHOENIX — Authorities say a customer at a Phoenix drugstore shot and killed a man who was attempting to rob the pharmacy Tuesday night.

Phoenix police tell the Arizona Republic that a man jumped the pharmacy counter, pointed the gun at people and demanded oxycodone from the pharmacist. An armed customer shot and wounded him.

Sgt. Jonathan Howard said officers found about a dozen workers and customers hiding in the Walgreens from the suspect who was still inside.

After officers cleared the store, a police dog pulled the suspect away from his gun.

Police administered CPR to the man, but he died at the scene.

Authorities have not released the name of the suspect or the customer who shot him.


Categories: Latest News

More details emerge in Calif. shooting at Rastafarian pot farm

PoliceOne - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 06:49

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Sophia Bollag and Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. — A suspect died and two Northern California deputies were shot and wounded Tuesday in a shootout after the officers responded to reports of an agitated man pulling up plants in a Rastafarian church's marijuana farm, authorities said.

Yuba County Sheriff Steve Durfor said three deputies responding to reports of an unclear disturbance arrived separately at the small farm in remote Oregon House, which is about 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) north of Sacramento, beginning at about 8:40 a.m.

A resident pointed out the suspect to two of the deputies. The suspect then fled up a hill behind the farm and deputies lost sight of him after about 100 yards near another home.

The deputies were given permission to search the home and the gunman fired on the two who went inside while the third deputy took up a position at the backdoor. The third deputy raced into the house twice to pull his two colleagues outside to safety.

None of the deputies knew what happened to the shooter and so SWAT teams fired tear gas inside before entering and finding the dead man. The sheriff said they had not identified the shooter nor determined if the deputies killed him or if he shot himself.

The sheriff said the deputies were airlifted to a hospital and both were in serious condition, but each was expected to recover after undergoing surgery.

Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church leader Heidi Lepp said she received a call from church members who live on the marijuana farm saying a newly arrived worker had become erratic, was ripping up plants and holding a gun.

Lepp said she called the sheriff's office and told the men on the farm to leave immediately.

Lepp said she knows the suspect only as "Sawyer" and he showed up at the farm about a month ago. The property is owned by a branch of Lepp's church, she said.

The property is between 20 and 40 acres, Lepp said, and the church considers marijuana a sacrament. It does not have a permit to grow medicinal marijuana in Yuba County.

The shooting occurred a day after two police officers were shot and wounded nearly 200 miles (322 kilometers) south in the central California city of Los Banos during a struggle with a man who broke into his estranged wife's apartment. Police fatally shot that shooter.


Categories: Latest News

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