Latest News

Suspect in Mass. officer's killing held without bail

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:05

Associated Press

BARNSTABLE, Mass. — A man charged with killing a police officer and described by authorities as a violent career criminal was ordered held without bail Friday.

Thomas Latanowich hung his head throughout his brief arraignment in Barnstable District Court, speaking only to answer "yes" when the judge asked if he understood the proceedings.

Not-guilty pleas to charges including murder were entered on his behalf, and the judge said she would appoint a lawyer to represent him. Court records showed Latanowich had been charged with more than 100 crimes in the past and was on probation after completing a prison sentence in 2014.

Latanowich shot Yarmouth K-9 officer Sean Gannon on Thursday while he and other officers were serving an arrest warrant for a possible probation violation at a home in Barnstable, on Cape Cod, police said.

Gannon, 32, was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Gannon's dog, Nero, also was shot. Dennis Veterinary Hospital posted on Facebook that Nero was shot in the face and neck but had been stabilized and faced surgery Friday.

The loss of Gannon has stunned the picturesque community of Yarmouth, next to Barnstable.

"Sean, remarkable young man. We refer to him as the Tom Brady of the Yarmouth Police Department," Chief Frank Frederickson said outside court. "He's gone. He died doing what he loved. He's going to be sorely missed."

Gannon, an eight-year veteran of the force, was married and a graduate of Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth and Westfield State University. He previously worked for the Nantucket and Stonehill College police departments.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he conveyed his condolences in a phone conversation with Frederickson on Friday.

"The sadness and heartbreak that carried in his voice says it all," Baker said. "This is an incredible tragedy and a huge loss, and we all expect justice to be served for this heinous crime and trust that our judicial system will hold his murderer accountable to the highest degree."

Baker held a moment of silence for Gannon before a news conference on Friday in which he signed a bill that calls for major reforms in the state's criminal justice system. Baker also ordered all U.S. and state flags on state buildings lowered to half-staff in honor of the fallen officer.

A steady stream of residents arrived at the police station Friday to offer condolences. Many placed flowers in front of the station and on Gannon's cruiser. The Yarmouth Police Foundation appealed for cash donations to help the officer's family.

According to Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe, Latanowich's last known address was in Somerville, outside Boston.

Latanowich, 29, has been arrested numerous times, according to police and court records, though many of the charges were later dismissed.

O'Keefe said the last prison time Latanowich served was a four- to five-year sentence on gun charges. The prosecutor expressed frustration that prior charges had not resulted in more lengthy sentences.

Latanowich's next court date was scheduled for June 26.


Categories: Latest News

Video shows police talking to YouTube shooter hours before attack

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 13:42

By Teri Figueroa The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A Bay Area police department on Friday released police body camera images of interactions between two of its officers and a woman who would open fire inside the YouTube campus hours later.

The footage shows Mountain View police officers approaching Nasim Aghdam, 38, asleep in her car in a shopping center parking lot after 1:35 a.m April 3 and letting her know that she has been classified as a missing person out of San Diego County.

The woman in a pink hoodie and black yoga pants appears to be calm and cooperative, answering questions and shaking her head slightly when police ask whether she is suicidal, or wants to hurt herself or others.

During the interaction with police, Aghdam gives no overt indication of the terror that she will inflict less than 12 hours later. Authorities say she slipped onto the tech company’s grounds the next afternoon and opened fire, injuring three people before turning the gun on herself — taking her own life.

“In this instance if an individual is cooperative and does not present any sort of threat, continuing to unnecessarily question or delay them can lead to an unwarranted detention,” Mountain View police said in a lengthy statement regarding release of the footage release and an explanation of actions by the officers.

Mountain View Police Department released body camera footage and a statement regarding officer interactions with Nasim Aghdam. Watch and read it here

The department released more than 30 minutes of recordings, including Aghdam’s interactions with both officers who spoke with her, and the call from a department dispatcher to a San Diego County sheriff’s dispatcher to discuss Aghdam’s status as a missing person.

In the video, Aghdam tells police she left home because “We don’t get along together, so I left them.”

She later says she left San Diego two days earlier, driving directly to Northern California. Eventually, one of the officers asks her why she chose Mountain View. Aghdam replies first that she needed to sleep, then expands her answer.

“I wanted to get out of those areas, out of San Diego,” Aghdam said. “I have memories I don’t want to have. Somewhere new.”

Near the end of the interaction, police tell her that they have to notify her father that she has been found and does not wish to contact her family.

Her family members, who live in Menifee in Riverside County, have said that they did get that early-morning call from police, but called them back to say that they thought Aghdam might be in the Bay Area because she had been angry with YouTube over its policies.

Aghdam had her own channel, posting sometimes bizarre videos, focusing on workouts and veganism.

In releasing the body camera footage, Mountain View police said the department had confirmed that San Bruno authorities no longer needed the video as part of their investigation into the attack.

“We understand the public interest in MVPD's footage, and we believe that sharing our officers' footage is tantamount to our constant pursuit of transparency,” department officials stated. “To that end, we are now able to provide the content… and we thank you for your patience.”

©2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune


Categories: Latest News

Video of cop’s bravery during YouTube HQ shooting goes viral

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 13:15

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Video captured from a bystander that shows an officer’s response to the shooting at YouTube’s headquarters has gone viral.

KRON 4 reports that the video shows an officer running towards the property where shots were fired at the headquarters in San Bruno, California. The LEO is being credited for his bravery of running toward danger in an attempt to stop the shooting.

On April 3, police said Nasim Aghdam came to the company’s property and opened fire, wounding three people before dying by suicide.

Police have not identified the officer in the video. Most PDs in California are trained to go straight to the threat instead of waiting for backup to arrive.


Categories: Latest News

Policing Matters Podcast: Responding to reports of child abuse

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:09
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Police are among the people who are “mandatory reporters” of suspected abuse or neglect. Abuse can take many forms — from physical harm to emotional damage. One relatively unknown form of child abuse is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) — the practice of the removal of a female’s clitoris and labia. Women in places like Dijibouti, Egypt, Guinea, Mali, Northern Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Somalia have undergone this brutal “procedure.” Astonishingly, this brutal form of child abuse is becoming prevalent in the United States. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss how police should respond to reports of FGM.


Categories: Latest News

Deputy’s ill son receives own patrol car

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:01
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — A Colorado deputy’s son received a special gift thanks to a sheriff’s office.

Three-year-old Wyatt Gentry, the son of Deputy Billy Gentry, received a special edition Power Wheels patrol vehicle on Wednesday, the Coloradoan reports. The gift idea came from Trooper Jerry Sharp, who wanted to do something special for Wyatt after learning that he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in 2017.

Sharp set up a GoFundMe account for donations, according to a Larimer County Sheriff’s Office press release. Sharp also collaborated with several vendors to turn the Dodge Charger Power Wheels car into an LCSO patrol car.

The patrol vehicle is equipped with lights, sirens, a push bumper and a PA system. The Gentry family was also given a check for nearly $4,000 for medical expenses.

“Needless to say, Wyatt was thrilled to receive his patrol car and had a blast riding it through the halls at LCSO headquarters and around the parking lot,” LCSO spokesman David Moore said.

Deputy Gentry said his son drove his new patrol vehicle “for at least three more hours after getting home.”


Categories: Latest News

5 steps to improving your performance as a use-of-force trainer

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:06

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Jerrod Hardy, P1 Contributor

The Patriots don't practice getting Brady sacked, being off side and throwing interceptions. If that happens as a result of their normal practice, they identify why it happened, how to fix it and repeat the drill as necessary to get the desired outcome.

However, when a use-of-force scenario or training session ends with the police officer failing, losing or struggling, that officer rarely gets follow-up coaching or feedback on how to prevent the failure, and they never get another rep or 10 to create a positive muscle memory.

Coaches are able to deliver feedback on their team’s performance to identify deficiencies, encourage improvement and foster belief that the players will be able to perform during the game. This model also works for police officer use of force or defensive tactics training, creating confidence and trust between students and instructors.

The value of a coach

All of us have been influenced by that one person who always seemed to have the right answer, said the right thing at the right time and genuinely cared about our success in whichever sport or activity we were involved in.

This person would hold us accountable, help us see where we could improve, pick us up when we were down and make us realize how good we could be. They were invested in our performance because they were also evaluated, judged and respected based on our success.

They did not just go through the motions in our preparation. They did not cut corners to save time and get us to our performance, game or event sooner than we were ready. Doing any of those things would increase the risk of a poor performance or a loss. Both of these outcomes would be detrimental to the overall performance of the group or team. Whether you realized it or not, you were being “coached.”

In law enforcement we spend much more time emphasizing instruction and not nearly enough on the actual coaching of our officers to improve their decision-making. If we view officers going on shift as the event in which the outcome of their decisions equals wins or losses for our agencies, communities and us as coaches, would we prepare them differently? Would we spend more time ensuring they had success with their skills in training before sending them out to the streets?

How to become a coach instead of an instructor

The first step in transitioning from being a coach to an instructor is recognizing the difference:

An instructor can be highly skilled at teaching the “what” or the “thing” of the class. They may also be able to cover some of the “why” of the techniques. They have a very “nuts and bolts” approach to the training delivery and applications. A coach can do the above, but what separates them from an instructor is an ability to reach the heart and spirit of their students or players. They have the ability to leave students with a deeper meaning and purpose for the what, why, how and when and, most important, a firm belief they can be successful using the skill when it matters most.

Here are five steps to improve your performance as a use-of-force trainer, the relationship you have with your students and their performance when it counts.

1. Lose the ego

One of the quickest ways to lose your class is to make the class about you, your skills and how great you are! There is a good quote among coaches, “Players don’t care how much you know until they know how much your care!” This is especially true of police officers, who are cynical by nature. The students already recognize you as someone who is skilled or you would not be in the front of the classroom. So start the class by remembering it is about them, their skills and returning them home safely to their families after every shift.

2. Be prepared

Set up and prepare for your class before the first student arrives. Your preparation sets the example for the effort you can expect from your students. Paying attention to small details in the classroom creates an expectation that small details are important in all things. These types of behaviors are non-verbal indicators to the students about your passion, knowledge and dedication to your role.

3. Know the why

Take a moment in each class to incorporate a video or group discussion to get students mentally and emotionally involved. Here are two good exercises to do:

Have students write down their personal why. This needs to be something that is deeply personal and not a superficial answer. Have students share their initial reasons for getting into police work and then ask which of those reasons no longer exists. Usually the things that drew them to the job are still present; it’s just our attitude toward the job that changes over time.

Ask students who is counting on them to learn from this training session; usually they’ll come up with wife, husband, mom, dad and kids.

These exercises help personalize the training session for the students and create an atmosphere where they want to perform.

4. Provide honest feedback

A good coach can tell you where you need to improve and how to improve, saying it in a manner that makes you want to try again and again until you get it right. Our officers deserve this same treatment. They need to know in a safe training environment what they are doing well, where they need to improve and, most important, how to improve. Then they need to be given opportunities to do it successfully before the training session ends.

5. Practice handling failure

Any tool or skill we use in police work has a failure rate. Some are higher than others, and the rates may vary from report to report, but one thing is certain, nothing is 100% effective. So we need to train officers on what to do next in the event a technique is ineffective, or a tool fails to solve the problem. We need to have discussions, expectations and drills that reinforce what we want to see them do next. We want to see them do this in training so we know they are prepared for when this failure happens in the field.

I know these steps work from first-hand experience. As a longtime coach to many law enforcement officers, I was recently paid the highest compliment. A young officer I had trained was involved in a shooting after a man with a knife tried to attack a fellow officer. After going through the lengthy investigative process, I received a text from the officer that said it was my voice she heard in her head, coaching her through the appropriate response to the situation. Never underestimate the impact you can have on the officers you “coach” to success.

About the Author Jerrod Hardy is a 20-year law enforcement officer and an Air Force veteran. Over his law enforcement career he has served as a member of the SWAT team, field training officer, school resource officer, lead defensive tactics instructor and training academy coordinator Outside of police work, Jerrod owns one of the largest mixed martial arts gyms in Colorado and coaches many professional and amateur fighters and citizens interested in self-improvement. Contact him at www.teamhardy.net or Jerrod@teamhardy.net.


Categories: Latest News

P1 Photo of the Week: Cops and Curls

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 04:00

Author: PoliceOne Members

This week's photo comes from Corporal William D. Pickering Jr. of the Norfolk Police Department. This photo shows a group of young girls and officers dancing during the 3rd Annual Cops and Curls event in Norfolk, Virginia. Throughout the event, the "Curls" get to experience dancing, food, and fun with the Norfolk Officers. Nice moves!

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

Mass. officer fatally shot serving search warrant

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 15:31

Author: PoliceOne Members

By PoliceOne Staff

BARNSTABLE – A Yarmouth K-9 officer was shot and killed while executing a multi-agency search warrant Thursday afternoon.

Multiple Massachusetts police departments expressed their condolences and extended their sympathies to the family of K-9 Officer Sean Gannon and the Yarmouth Police Department, which also changed it's Facebook profile photo.

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With deep sorrow and heavy hearts the Yarmouth Police Department reports the loss of Officer Sean Gannon. Officer Sean Gannon was killed in the line of duty today.

Posted by Yarmouth Police Dept. on Thursday, April 12, 2018 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Procession held for officer shot, killed in Barnstable, Mass.

A procession is being held for a Yarmouth Police Dept. officer who was shot and killed while serving a warrant in Barnstable, Massachusetts. https://goo.gl/TzDvue

Posted by WMUR-TV on Thursday, April 12, 2018

Officer Gannon's K-9 partner was also shot during the incident and was taken to a veterinary hospital.

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The men and women of Plainville PD join our brothers and sisters from Yarmouth PD in mourning the loss of Yarmouth...

Posted by Plainville MA Police Department on Thursday, April 12, 2018

The suspect, who has a lengthy criminal record, was taken into custody following a long standoff with authorities.

The officer was taken to Cape Cod Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to WCVB5.

Heartbroken to hear that Yarmouth Police Department Officer Sean Gannon has passed away after being shot this afternoon while serving a warrant. Our condolences go out to @yarmouthpolice and Officer Gannon’s friends and family – both blood and blue. pic.twitter.com/XHuE6VDwqu

— MIT Police (@MITPolice) April 13, 2018

@yarmouthpolice Officer Sean Gannon was killed and his K9 partner wounded serving a warrant on the Cape Thursday night. Our prayers for the family and for our brothers and sisters with the Yarmouth PD. pic.twitter.com/mbofu72VQ2

— Bristol Sheriff Dpt. (@BCSO1) April 13, 2018


Categories: Latest News

3 officers charged in Laquan McDonald case to opt for bench trial

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 12:10

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Megan Crepeau Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Lawyers for three Chicago police officers charged with impeding an investigation into the fatal police shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald said Thursday they plan for a Cook County judge to decide the officers’ fate, not a jury.

Judge Domenica Stephenson set the trial tentatively for July 10.

The charges against former Detective David March, ex-Officer Joseph Walsh and Officer Thomas Gaffney allege that the three officers lied to exaggerate the threat posed by 17-year-old McDonald, who had PCP in his system and had damaged a police car while armed with a knife.

The video showed Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shooting McDonald 16 times as the black teen walked away from police.

Van Dyke, who separately faces first-degree murder charges, and other officers had alleged that McDonald lunged at him with the knife.

The special prosecutors appointed to handle the case told Stephenson on Thursday that they anticipate the trial for all three will take less than a week. They face charges of obstruction of justice, official misconduct and conspiracy.

Judge Vincent Gaughan, who is presiding over Van Dyke’s case, said last month that he wants that trial to take place this summer, but no date has been publicly set.

By contrast, even though the charges date to November 2015, Van Dyke’s lawyers have yet to disclose whether the suspended officer will let the judge or a jury decide his fate.

The court-ordered release of the shooting video sparked widespread protests, the firing of Chicago’s police superintendent and a damning report of police practices by the U.S. Department of Justice.

A special prosecution team led by former Judge Patricia Brown Holmes was appointed in 2016 to investigate the conduct of other officers at the shooting scene, including whether department higher-ups assisted in an alleged cover-up.

The grand jury convened to investigate those allegations, however, disbanded in November without charging any department supervisors, to the disappointment of local activists.

March was the lead detective in the shooting’s probe; Walsh was Van Dyke’s partner on the night of the shooting; and Gaffney was among the first officers on the scene. All were charged in June and have pleaded not guilty.

March and Walsh left the department after city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson recommended their firing following his investigation of the shooting. Gaffney, still with the department when the indictment came down, was suspended without pay.

©2018 Chicago Tribune


Categories: Latest News

Teacher, reserve officer, who accidentally fired gun in class resigns

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 11:42

Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

SEASIDE, Calif. — A teacher who accidentally fired a gun inside a Northern California classroom while teaching firearm safety resigned his administration of justice teaching job, school officials said.

Dennis Alexander submitted his resignation to the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District on March 29. It will be effective at the end of the school year, district spokeswoman Marci McFadden told KSBW-TV.

Alexander last month was pointing the gun at the ceiling to make sure it was not loaded when the weapon discharged. No one sustained serious injuries but some students were hit by fallen ceiling debris, police said.

Alexander remains on administrative leave while the internal disciplinary process continues, McFadden said.

Alexander, who is a Seaside City Council member, was also a reserve Sand City police officer but he resigned that position after the incident.

Police officers "are obligated to handle firearms safely. They are not supposed to display firearms unnecessarily. You are not supposed to allow other people to handle your firearm," said Sand City Police Chief Brian Ferrante.

While California has a state law banning teachers from bringing guns to school, Alexander was legally allowed to carry firearms on campus because he was a sworn peace officer.

Alexander has not responded to several requests for comment but he made an emotional apology during a city council meeting last month.

Many students in the coastal community about 115 miles (185 kilometers) south of San Francisco supported their well-liked teacher, organizing rallies and circulating a petition to keep Alexander at Seaside High School.

"We know Alexander's worth and meaning, that's what truly matters. He will always be a part of our Spartan family, no matter what," student Cleve Waters told KSBW.


Categories: Latest News

3 ways cops can take their physical performance to the next level

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:38

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Amir Khillah, PoliceOne Contributor

Every professional can benefit from ongoing training to hone the skills they need to succeed on the job. Police officers are no different – in fact, LEOs need specific training to help them stay safe on the streets, including strength training for the more physically demanding aspects of the job.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “sport-specific” or specificity of training. You haven’t? You’re probably not alone. That’s fancy talk for “train like you fight and fight like you train.”

Here are three exercises that will take your toughness and performance on the street to the next level.

1. Strengthen your back to prevent lumbar pain One of the most common job-related injuries for police is lower back problems. I don’t know if the culprit is climbing in and out of a low patrol vehicle or carrying 20 pounds of gear around your waist for 12 hours every day (or both), but lower back pain plagues many officers.

Core stabilization exercises can help prevent lower back problems. Back hyperextensions can be done without any equipment. Lay flat on your stomach, place your hands on the back of your head and interlace your fingers (I’m sure you are familiar with the position), then arch your head and shoulders up as high as you can while keeping your feet on the ground. Make sure you move in a deliberate and controlled manner to prevent injury.

2. Tighten your grip We’ve all had a suspect bolt on us as soon as we placed hands on them. Weak grip strength and adduction muscle groups were probably to blame. The pull up is one of the best upper body exercises you can do to build grip strength and the adductor muscle groups.

Don’t stop reading now. “Pull ups? I can’t do pull ups.” I know, I know. But there is a modification you can do to get started, and before you know it, you’ll be knocking out sets of five, 10 and eventually 15.

If you struggle to do one pull up, invest in a thick resistance band, loop it on itself on your pull-up bar in the middle of your grip, step on the other end of the band and use it to rebound yourself up on the bar. Gradually reduce the rebound utilized and eventually eliminate the use of the band.

3. When did my legs turn into Jell-o? Here we go on a 22-city block foot pursuit. You’re feeling good for the first couple of blocks, closing the gap, and then the suspect goes over a fence. You’re not sure if you can make it over that flimsy rusted fence, but you don’t hesitate and you hit the fence, sailing over.

You think to yourself, “That was easier than I expected.” You take a few more steps – and then it happens. Apparently your legs decide to check out and take a break. You wonder what contributed to the gelatinous state of your legs as you watch the suspect round a corner and lose sight of him.

We’ve all been there before, no shame in that. But here is a great exercise you can do to ensure suspects’ legs decide to quit before yours do. Plyometric box jumps will give you explosive power, as well as more endurance than traditional weight training or cardio alone. Think of plyometric training as a hybrid between strength and endurance training.

Start with a lower box (a step aerobics box works just fine), and position yourself in a good athletic stance with your feet shoulder width apart. Jump onto the box with both feet at the same time. Focus on landing softly on the box and on the ground. Work your way up to a higher box – a weight bench works great.

If you are just starting out, use the step-up modification. Step up one foot at a time, alternating the initiating foot, then step down. Once you are comfortable with the step-up modification, you can transition to jump variation.

Challenge yourself, but focus on quality over quantity

Your current fitness level will dictate the number of sets and repetitions for your individual exercise prescription. Make sure you are doing enough to challenge yourself without compromising form. If you focus on quality of execution instead of quantity of repetitions you will be able to avoid injury.

As your body adapts to the number of sets and repetitions, you will need to adapt to continue to see results. If you were barely able to do seven pull-ups when you started, and now you are knocking out seven without a problem, it’s time to go to eight or nine repetitions while taking care to maintain good form.

To see and feel the best results from your workouts, keep track of your progress. A training journal is a valuable tool to help you push through your “limits” and reach new heights. Keep track of sets, repetitions and how you feel during your workouts.

Gut it out, toughen up and sweat in training so you don’t bleed on the street.

About the Author Amir Khillah is a retired professional fighter and holds a master’s degree in human performance, a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology/kinesiology. He is a police academy subject control instructor and a full time police officer. Visit his website at www.CenturionMSC.com.


Categories: Latest News

7 ways to win the case before the trial begins

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:27

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Dupree R. Foster, P1 Contributor

Police officers spend hours preparing for court, but often overlook the power of officer presence.

Here are seven ways for officers to win the case before the trial begins:

1. Shine your boots (or at a minimum, clean them). There’s nothing worse than seeing an officer walk down the aisle with a trail of dirt and mud behind them. You may have heard the excuse, “Dirty boots are the sign of a hard-working officer.” Clean, shiny boots show the defense you are a hard-working, professional officer.

2. Clean and press your uniform. I get it, sometimes you get to court right after clearing from directing traffic, arresting someone, or taking a burglary report, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for why you didn’t have your uniform pressed before wearing it to work – let alone court.

3. Wear your necktie. Most departments require officers to wear their necktie to court only if they are wearing their long-sleeve uniform shirt. Although your department may allow you to wear your short-sleeve uniform shirt to court, it doesn’t mean you should. Prepare to wear a clean, pressed, long-sleeve uniform shirt and tie to court. Oh, and keep your neck tie clean and pressed. Everyone can tell when you just pulled it out of your trunk and clipped it on right before court.

4. Be mindful of your body posture. Walk into court standing tall, with your head held high. Be relaxed yet confident as you make your way to your seat and, once there, sit up and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Now isn’t the time to start reading your reports as, that can be construed as the sign of an ill-prepared officer.

5. Carry your reports/court documents in a pad folio. If you have spent any time in court, I’m sure you have seen that officer who comes strolling in with one sheet of paper rolled up like a paper telescope, or with no documents at all. When you don’t happen to have any pertinent documents to bring to court, still carry a pad folio, as this exudes the appearance of a well prepared officer.

6. Be well groomed. Ladies, ensure your hair is well kept and gentlemen, ensure your hair is well trimmed. Most trials, if not all, typically start well before 5 p.m. so there should be no excuse for a “5 o’clock shadow.”

7. Make eye contact. Be sure to make eye contact with each person you are addressing, whether the judge or attorney. Look at them as they are speaking to you and not down at the floor or at your notes. Making eye contact shows you are confident and certain of what you are saying.

Remember, just as we size people up, people do the same to us. Strive to win the case before the trial begins by following these seven ways to enhance and take advantage of your officer presence in court.

About the Author Dupree R. Foster is a police officer in Virginia and has over 15 years of public safety experience to include training, evaluating and mentoring police officers, EMTs and other public safety professionals.


Categories: Latest News

Calif. to join Guard border mission, but with conditions

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:14

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Kathleen Ronayne and Elliot Spagat Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown accepted President Donald Trump's call to send the National Guard to the Mexican border, but rejected the White House's portrait of a burgeoning border crisis and insisted that his troops will have nothing to do with immigration enforcement.

The Democratic governor broke a week of silence Wednesday by agreeing to contribute 400 troops, though not all will be on the border. Brown's commitment brought the pledges from four states that border Mexico to just shy of the low end of the president's target of 2,000 to 4,000 troops.

Trump praised Brown on Twitter Thursday, but did not address the governor's comments on immigration. The president said Brown was "doing the right thing and sending the National Guard to the Border. Thank you Jerry, good move for the safety of our Country!"

Brown cast his decision as a welcome infusion of federal support to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers.

"Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans - Republicans and Democrats," Brown wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Federal law, notably the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, sharply limits military involvement in civilian law enforcement, creating a supporting role for the Guard. The Pentagon said last week that troops won't perform law enforcement functions or interact with people detained by border authorities without its approval.

Brown released a proposed agreement with the federal government that emphasizes the widely shared understanding of the Guard's limited role but explicitly bans any support of immigration enforcement. It says troops cannot guard anyone in custody for immigration violations or participate in construction of border barriers.

The White House praised Brown's decision without addressing his comments on immigration enforcement.

"We're also glad to see California Gov. Jerry Brown work with the administration and send members of the National Guard to help secure the southern border," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Reaction in California was limited, with few of Brown's allies or opponents weighing in.

State Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and author of California's so-called sanctuary state law, said Guard deployment was unnecessary and not a good use of resources. But he said more can be done to combat border crime and that he appreciated Brown's design of "a clear and limited mission focused on real public safety threats."

"I am confident Governor Brown will not use our National Guard to harass or tear apart immigrant families in California," he said in a statement.

Rob Stutzman, who advised former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, praised the decision on Twitter, calling Brown's decision to accept money for using the Guard to fight drugs and human trafficking "good government."

Immigration advocacy groups were critical, saying Brown's support was a boost for Trump's agenda. Lillian Serrano, chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, acknowledged the governor's proposed limits on the Guard's role but said his decision reflected "flawed logic that we need more boots on the ground."

Pedro Rios, director for the American Friends Service Committee's U.S.-Mexico border program in San Diego, questioned why Brown would send troops while rejecting Trump's premise that they are needed to help stop illegal immigration.

"If he's in disagreement with Donald Trump about the justifications for having the National Guard on the border, then why would he accept it?" he said.

Unlike Republican governors in other border states, Brown disagreed with Trump's portrayal of a border spiraling out of control, noting that Border Patrol arrests fell to the lowest level last year since 1971 and that California accounted for only 15 percent of the agency's arrests on the Mexican border.

"Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California," Brown wrote the Trump Cabinet members.

In contrast, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is contributing 1,000 troops, embraced Trump's mission the day it was announced, saying it would promote the rule of law and "help ensure we are doing everything we can to stem the flow of illegal immigration."

Brown said California's troops would join an existing program to combat transnational drug crime, firearms smuggling and human trafficking. About 250 California National Guard troops are already participating, including 55 at the border.

The new contingent of California Guard members being deployed could be posted at the border, the coast and elsewhere statewide, Brown said.

California deployed troops to the border under former Presidents George W. Bush in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2010.


Categories: Latest News

10 ways police officers can turn ideas into action

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:11
Author: PoliceOne Members

By Mark Kollar

“If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less” - General Erick Shinseki

Are your 40+ hours a week in the workplace building your ideal career and department, or are you working hard to help someone else achieve their goals and vision instead?

In public service, we all work for someone else – even the police chief answers to the mayor, city council and, ultimately, the public. However, this does not preclude the possibility of exerting your influence and leadership to effect change within the organization.

Whether it’s an idea for an improved shift rotation schedule, a more comfortable police uniform, a change of duty weapon, a new specialized unit, or a proposal for a more practical cruiser choice, cops are full of great ideas that, if implemented, would make our agencies a better place to work. After all, change is necessary to grow and remain relevant, but how do you get risk-averse decision-makers to buy in to your ideas, particularly if you hold no rank?

Following these 10 steps will increase the likelihood of your voice being heard, with you becoming the “change agent” officer others approach to pitch their ideas to as well:

1. Build capital

This is perhaps the most important, yet most overlooked, key to becoming an effective change agent.

If you are known as the lazy, negative, or otherwise “difficult” officer, your ideas will likely never be given a fair hearing.

Before presenting your ideas, you must first build capital within the organization by doing what you are told, always giving your best effort and remaining positive, even in difficult times. Whether you are in a position of official authority or not, an effective and influential change agent must lead by example, have strong relationships built on trust and ultimately, gain the respect of the administration. If you are lacking in any of these areas, concentrate on changing your own behaviors and improving your reputation prior to tackling larger departmental issues.

2. Pick your battles

Remember the story of the little boy who cried wolf? If you approach the administration on every little issue, you will be dismissed as just another complainer. Instead, don’t sweat the small stuff. Save your voice and influence for important issues facing the agency – particularly if your proposed solution is so innovative and novel that it could meet resistance.

3. Fully understand and research the problem

Look at the problem from all possible perspectives, not just your own. Consider how the problem and solution may affect all of the personnel within the agency. For example, your solution may make your job more efficient, but result in a dispatcher or clerical staff’s work becoming exponentially more difficult.

Think about why things are currently done the way they are – is it just because it has always been done that way, or does it meet some other need of the organization? What obstacles would management face with your solution (or the problems they may face if they don’t make a change)? How would the issue be perceived from a public relations standpoint? What budgetary concerns should be considered?

With knowledge comes power. If you haven’t done your homework on the problem, your proposal will not be able to withstand the objections that will need to be overcome to implement change. It is your job to educate the administration and to be prepared for the opposing arguments.

4. Take the proper approach

Depending upon how drastic your proposal may be perceived, and your relationship with those you are pitching the idea to, your approach should vary.

For a minor, low-level change your direct supervisor has the authority to implement, an informal proposal can be made during casual conversation without trying to force an immediate decision. Give them time to contemplate your ideas, then a day or two later, inquire if they’ve had an opportunity to consider the suggestion.

For more significant changes, ask for permission to schedule a time to meet with the decision-makers – a captive audience during a formal meeting affords you the opportunity to explore the issue more deeply without fear of your thoughts being immediately dismissed. Look for something the administration has said in the past, and then incorporate that into your approach. For instance, if the chief previously said he was frustrated by the drug problem in your city, start your proposal by reiterating those words: “Chief, a while back you stated you wished there was a solution to the drug problem in our city. I really took those words to heart and after much thought and research, I have a suggestion for a way I think we can greatly reduce the drug problem at minimal cost.” It is hard for someone to argue against their own statements.

5. Propose solutions, not problems

It is not advisable to call attention to a problem without presenting a viable solution, as you may not like the solution management proposes.

If possible, provide multiple options of varying degrees, any one of which would be an improvement over the ways things are now. Be creative and innovative with the solution, but keep it realistic.

For larger problems, a tiered or multi-step solution may be best, affording the opportunity to assess the progress of the first steps prior to committing to further changes (and allowing for an escape or “out” if the solution doesn’t seem to be working out).

Volunteer to do additional work, research, or planning to help make the solution a reality – and don’t insist on being paid or otherwise compensated for your work if it is not offered to you. Think of the long-term benefits the solution will provide and how your “stock” with the agency will rise; the payoff for being an innovative, team-oriented problem-solver will eventually be far greater than the few hours of overtime you may have been paid to work on a solution.

6. Handle objections properly

The best way to handle objections is to first anticipate them, preparing your response in advance. Acknowledge concerns or fears and let your supervisors know you have considered those concerns in your analysis. Explain why your proposed solution minimizes those fears. Being forthcoming about contrasting viewpoints – by you mentioning them prior to someone else using them against you – deflates the adverse impact of the argument.

Cops, administrators included, are adverse to change. We like to be in control at all times, leaving nothing to chance. Change brings fear of the unknown and therefore, administrators are often reluctant to alter the mediocre “known” methods and risk the possibly of the “unknown” being far worse.

Understand that change takes time, patience and polite persistence. It is your job to communicate how the change will benefit the organization with concrete facts and examples, such as case studies of other departments who have already implemented the same change.

Acknowledge the potential risks with humility, but focus on the potential upside and the risks of NOT making the change. Highlight why the issue is currently a problem. Point out any weaknesses or flaws in your plan before your “opponents” do. This takes the wind out of those who are sure to play devil’s advocate. Your honesty about the potential downsides will build further trust and respect with the decision-maker.

7. Remain positive

Do not make “threats” of what will occur if the change is not made. There is a difference between explaining the adverse effects of the problem and threatening what will happen if the administration doesn’t accept your proposal. Be polite and respectful.

Proposing change can be viewed by those in command as criticism for the decisions they have made that may have resulted in the problem in the first place. You must defuse this so they don’t feel they need to defend earlier choices.

Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate to mention how the “thing” once served a viable need, but how changes in technology, perception, budget and crime trends necessitate an updated solution. Avoid being confrontational, adversarial, attacking the ideas of others, or allowing emotions to enter the equation. Keep the conversation positive, professional and forward-looking with a focus on the benefits for those you serve.

8. Allow leaders to take credit

Many times the easiest way to get an idea implemented is to frame the solution so the decision-maker thinks it was his or her idea. Allow them to take credit should they so choose. The best leaders always give credit where credit is due, but it is human nature to wish to “own” things that work out well and distance yourself (or assign fault) to things that don’t go as planned. In the end, the decision is ultimately the leader’s responsibility and they are the one taking the risks by moving forward with the change. Therefore, just accept this for what it is and be glad the department or community is benefiting from the idea.

Knowing in your heart that the change was the result of your suggestion should be reward enough, though an increase in your “stock” within the agency will manifest itself in the long term. If the supervisor does decide to take credit, allow them to do so without gossiping about it in the locker room; such talk risks undoing the positive benefit to you that being an agent of change provides.

9. Be willing to compromise

Remain calm, even in the face of ignorance, uninformed opinions and politics. Understand that for various reasons not every change you suggest may move forward or look exactly how you envisioned. Realize that even the smallest of changes are a step in the right direction. Small changes can lead to big momentum, resulting in much larger changes down the road. However, if you voice frustration by the rejections or slow pace of action in a disrespectful or confrontational manner, you risk sabotaging future projects or improvements. Accept the small changes and after they are in place, work to adjust and refine the idea to make it even better.

10. Keep trying

Don’t be discouraged by ideas that aren’t implemented or given full consideration. While it is easy to fall into the trap of becoming negative, this will not serve your long-term plan. Know when to admit defeat. Becoming a thorn in the administration’s side by continually pushing the issue will generally result in them pushing back against you and your ideas even harder. Wait an appropriate cool-down time before reintroducing the same idea, but attack it from a different perspective or with a new solution rather than pitching the same idea. If a decision is not immediately made or more information is requested, ask for a follow-up meeting and schedule it before any positive momentum you may have achieved is lost.

Becoming your department’s agent of change can be personally and professionally rewarding. Without change and adaptation, we quickly become ineffective and irrelevant. When your influence is used responsibly and in the systematic manner described, changes for the greater good can be well within your reach.

About the Author

Mark Kollar is a special agent supervisor for a state criminal investigative agency and owns Orion LEO Consulting, Ltd., a business dedicated to improving the quality of life for law enforcement officers and their family members. For more information, visit www.lifeonthethinblueline.com or email info@lifeonthethinblueline.com.


Categories: Latest News

Officer who responded to Virginia Tech shooting meets woman he saved

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 08:52
Author: PoliceOne Members

By PoliceOne Staff

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A police officer who responded to the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting reunited with a woman he helped save 11 years later.

WTOP reported that Kristina Anderson, a survivor of the shooting, is now the executive director of the Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools, a nonprofit that focuses on school safety and violence prevention.

Anderson now travels the country to participate in school safety conferences, sharing her experience before and after she was shot three times in a Virginia Tech classroom.

While speaking at a conference, she revealed that she was reunited with Christiansburg Police Department Officer Curtis Brown, who saved her after the shooting.

“Curtis, would you say hello?” she asked during her presentation, and he stood up from the crowd. “Curtis and I met for the first time on April 16 — when he carried me outside of Norris Hall.”

Brown received a standing ovation from the audience and recalled carrying Anderson to safety.

“Since the first time I carried her and handed her to the other guys, this is the first time I’ve seen her,” Brown said.

Brown and Anderson had connected on Facebook and met for the first time at the convention. He said seeing the woman she has become brought a smile to his face.


Categories: Latest News

Police: Wash. deputy's eye gouged 4 times by suspect

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 08:08
Author: PoliceOne Members

By David Rasbach The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — A Whatcom County Sheriff's deputy has blurred vision and abrasions to his face and the cornea of his eye after a suspect "gouged his thumb" into the deputy's eye at least four times trying to arrest him Saturday night.

Deputies were called to 5120 Guide Meridian Road at 10:35 p.m. on a report of a drunken tenant who was causing problems for his roommates, according to Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks. On their way to the incident, the deputies were advised that the tenant had "punched" through a window on a door to the house.

When deputies arrived, Michael Wayne Brown, 50, was already in the backseat of a car that was trying to leave the scene, Parks said. Deputies noticed Brown, who initially refused to identify himself, was bleeding from his knuckles and hands and had wrapped them in paper towels to stop the bleeding.

Brown refused to get out of the car and pushed away a deputy who tried to remove him. During the ensuing struggle, Brown allegedly tried to gouge the deputy's eye with his blood-covered thumb at least four times, as well as attempting to "strike, slap and kick" the deputy, Parks said.

The deputy put Brown in a choke hold, rendering him unconscious, and removed him from the car.

As deputies tried to handcuff him, Brown regained consciousness and again struggled to free himself, forcing the deputy to use the neck hold a second time so Brown could be restrained.

Witnesses later told deputies that Brown injured his hand when he "was knocking vigorously" on the glass of the front door while trying to get someone to answer the door during an argument, and "accidentally" broke the glass, Parks said.

Brown was taken to St. Joseph Hospital for evaluation, where he reportedly threatened deputies, saying "Kevlar does not stop a knife," and "Kevlar does not stop a .50 caliber." He then reportedly glared at a deputy and said "Take a .50 caliber to a head," threatened a deputy's wife and said he "was going to track (the) deputy down to where he lived and make (the) deputy be 'sorry.'"

Brown also refused to allow his blood to be drawn to check for any blood-borne pathogens that may have been transferred to the deputy during the struggle. A county health officer later ordered a blood sample be taken by medical personnel, though it is not yet known if Brown's blood entered the deputy's eye, according to the report.

Brown has since been cleared at the hospital and booked into Whatcom County Jail. He was arrested on suspicion of four counts of first-degree assault, felony harassment for threatening a second deputy, obstructing, resisting arrest and third-degree malicious mischief for breaking the window on the door.

©2018 The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)


Categories: Latest News

Ga. officer fired after not writing a ticket

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 14:28

By PoliceOne Staff

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A Georgia police officer was fired after not writing a traffic ticket following a minor crash.

WGCL reports that Alpharetta PD Officer Daniel Capps was recently dispatched to an accident where one driver, Charles Westover, rear-ended another driver at low speed. Westover said the officer acknowledge “it was a minor fender bender and there was no need to issue a ticket.”

Capps wrote in the accident report that only the bumpers of each car were damaged and that he didn’t write a ticket at the crash scene, which led him to losing his job. Officers are required to charge drivers with a criminal misdemeanor any time two cars bump into each other within city limits, according to an Alpharetta PD memo.

The policy applies to car accidents that result in no injuries and minor damages. Officers also don’t have discretion to give warnings.

If an officer is requested to write an accident report, he or she cannot leave without issuing a ticket.

"I was pretty appalled, I am appalled. That doesn't seem right to put that kind of mark on this gentleman's life," Westover said.

A memo by Lt. James Little said anytime there’s "damage that needs to be fixed with more than a little wax and elbow grease, you need to write the citation."

In a statement, assistant city manager James Drinkard said the officer’s firing was due to “a pattern” of unacceptable behavior.

“While the decision to terminate employment was based, in part, on the former employee’s decision to ignore lawful departmental policy and refuse to properly cite at-fault drivers who caused traffic crashes that resulted in property damage, that behavior was part of a pattern of performance and poor decision making that was simply not acceptable. The City of Alpharetta makes no apology for holding our personnel responsible for properly carrying out their assigned duties, being stewards of the public trust, and advancing our mission to enhance the quality of life of our residents, businesses, and visitors,” the statement said.

Capps’ disciplinary record shows incidents including violating the dress code, leaving his gun unattended on the range during training and charging a juvenile for shoplifting before releasing her to her parent instead of sending her to jail.

Capps was also reprimanded for not writing enough tickets in January. The officer reportedly asked his colleagues if they thought the lieutenant's policy was unfair, which several said it was. Lt. Little considered that incident an attempt to undermine his authority, leading to Capps being suspended and later fired.


Categories: Latest News

How a Va. agency is using sUAS to find missing persons

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 12:16

Author: The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By Michele Coppola TechBeat Magazine

A Virginia sheriff’s office is using a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) with a Project Lifesaver antenna, which provides enhanced ability to track people with certain medical conditions that may wander away from home.

The Project Lifesaver program is an electronic-based locating system for people with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s or autism. Clients are fitted with a wristband transmitter that emits a unique frequency so they can be located if they wander away and become lost.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has been active in the Project Lifesaver program, using ground-based antennas, since 2009. It began using an sUAS equipped with a Project Lifesaver antenna in September 2017. The signal can be acquired by the sUAS at a distance of seven to nine miles.

The sUAS carries infrared and thermal cameras to assist with search and rescue operations, and can be used to search for anyone, not just those registered with the lifesaver program. Loudoun has six pilots certified to fly sUAS under Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The office also has approval to fly at night.

“We have a strong Project Lifesaver program in the county and obviously in the past have provided ground support with deputies using the devices,” says Master Deputy Matt Devaney, rescue team lead and UAS coordinator. “Using ground antennas is good but there are limitations of using it strictly from the ground. The sUAS carries the Project Lifesaver payload, and using it we can limit the number of people out on the ground and cover a larger area to help locate people even quicker.”

In December 2017, the sUAS was used to locate a lost 92-year-old hunter in a wooded area of Shenandoah County. Seven members of the search and rescue team responded and used the sUAS to search the area. Devaney was the pilot for that search. “We found him within 20 minutes of liftoff.”

The county’s sUAS was the first in Virginia to be equipped with a Project Lifesaver antenna. The sUAS Loudoun uses has a battery duration of 45 to 50 minutes. The technology allows a search of a larger area quickly and mapping to a grid.

“For the Project Lifesaver side of it, we have tested it on the ground, and with the handheld antenna, our average range is about three-quarters of a mile, whereas with the drone up in the air, we are averaging seven to nine miles in being able to get a signal and directionality as to where the lost or missing person is located,” Devaney says.

Project Lifesaver is a nationwide program, but each jurisdiction maintains clients within its jurisdiction. Currently, Loudoun has 118 Project Lifesaver clients signed up. The county has used the sUAS to conduct search and rescue missions since September, but as of early March had not had to use it to locate a client in the lifesaver program.

Loudoun participates in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and provides mutual aid to jurisdictions in northern Virginia and southern Maryland. Over the years the Loudoun team has traveled to Montgomery County in Maryland and Prince William and Fairfax counties in Virginia to assist with ground searchers for lost persons or evidence searches.

Loudoun County has a population of about 380,000 residents in 520 square miles. The sheriff’s office provides a range of support (e.g., patrol, court security, corrections, special operations, traffic reconstruction, search and rescue, criminal investigation and school security) and has a jail with 600 beds. The department has about 600 sworn personnel.

For more information, contact Kraig Troxell, sheriff’s office media relations and communications manager, and at Kraig.troxell@loudoun.gov.


Categories: Latest News

Boy battling cancer for 3rd time becomes honorary deputy

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:37
Author: The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By PoliceOne Staff

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. — A young boy’s wish has come true thanks to an Indiana sheriff’s department.

WXIN-TV reports that 6-year-old Brantley Taber became an honorary sheriff’s deputy for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday at his school. Brantley is battling cancer for the third time and has maxed out his lifetime of chemotherapy doses, and the only option left for the boy is trial medicine.

After learning that the boy has always wanted to be an LEO, the department made his wish come true. Departments around the state who got wind of the project also went to the school to welcome the young man to the force.

Went to Tri High for Brantley Taber’s swearing in ceremony today. What a great turn out of officers! Thank you to everyone for taking part in it. I wanted to share my favorite moment of the day! #motherandson #ISPcamps pic.twitter.com/UO3htVWzlp

— Sgt. Danielle Henderson (@ISPcamps) April 10, 2018

"It’s such a great cause and such a great thing for him to have just one amazing day and to know he has so many people that support him and are backing him is just a great thing," Deputy Bertrand said.

Brantley received a badge and got to participate in mock arrests.

Kia, Brantley’s mother, said she didn’t expect to see so many LEOs come to the school to watch her son become an honorary deputy.

"I’m fighting back tears walking up and seeing the 50 some police officers that are here and all the police cars outside, it's overwhelming,” she said.


Categories: Latest News

Calif. police chiefs 'dumbfounded' by use-of-force legislation

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:32
Author: The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By PoliceOne Staff

FAIRFIELD, Calif. — Several California law enforcement leaders spoke out against legislation that would significantly restrict when officers can use deadly force.

The bill would change the state standard for police use of force from “reasonable” to “necessary,” the Sacramento Bee reports.

Police leaders criticized lawmakers during a Monday press conference for the proposed change, saying that the legislation has left them “dumbfounded.”

“We find ourselves dumbfounded that legislation of this magnitude was introduced without consulting law enforcement stakeholders,” California Police Chiefs Association President David Swing said at the press conference.

Swing said the legislation would cause officers to second-guess their actions and pull back from confronting threats, putting the community at risk. Swing added that law enforcement groups were blindsided by the proposal, and that they found out about the bill through media reports.

“If legislators had come to us prior,” Swing said, “it’s unlikely that we would be here today.”

Law enforcement has generally followed a standard that was established by several U.S. Supreme Court cases where lethal force is considered acceptable if a “reasonable” officer in similar circumstances would have acted in the same way.

The legislation was announced by Democratic Assembly members Shirley Weber and Kevin McCarty last week. The announcement came following the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark, which sparked weeks of protests and calls for police reform.

Happening Now: The President & members of the California Police Chiefs Association are holding a press conference against proposed Use-of-Force Legislation put out by Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) & Shirley Weber (D-San Diego)... saying it jeopardizes public safety pic.twitter.com/UOhyiLK6Mc

— Doug Johnson (@DougJohnsonFX40) April 9, 2018

Last month, Clark was pursued by officers responding to a call about a man breaking car windows. Clark was in his grandmother’s yard when police saw what they believed was a gun and fatally shot him. Police later determined Clark was holding a cellphone.

Weber said she wants officers to try other less lethal options before resorting to deadly force. Vacaville Police Chief John Carli said there should be more focus on how suspects ignore police commands, which he said puts them in situations where officers have to respond with greater force.

“That’s one of the challenges we’re seeing more and more in policing, is utterly defiant resistant to the authority that police represent,” Carli said. “Our power is vested through a society that trusts its police, so that’s the paramount issue.”

The bill is expected to be published sometime next week and is set to head to the Senate Public Safety Committee, according to CBS Sacramento.


Categories: Latest News

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