Latest News

Ford to fix carbon monoxide issues in police SUVs

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:35

By Joseph S. Pete The Times

Ford pledged to fix an issue that's been caused by after-market modifications to the Calumet Region-made Police Interceptor Utility.

Police departments have reported smelling carbon monoxide inside the top-selling police vehicle, which is manufactured at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewish. Ford said the issue doesn't affect Explorer SUVs that haven't been souped up for police use and that the odors were caused by the installation of police equipment after the vehicles left the South Side factory on the Calumet River.

"When a police or fire department routinely install customized emergency lighting, radios and other equipment, they have to drill wiring access holes into the rear of the vehicle," Ford said in a statement. "If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin."

Ford said it will cover the cost of repairs for carbon monoxide odors "regardless of age, mileage or aftermarket modifications made after purchase." The automaker said any police departments with issues should take the vehicle into a Ford dealership and technicians will seal off the rear of the vehicle, calibrate the air conditioning to bring in more fresh air during acceleration and check engine code for signs of a damaged exhaust manifold.

"There is nothing we take more seriously than providing you with the safest and most reliable vehicles,” Ford Executive Vice President Product Development and Purchasing Hau Thai-Tang said.

Ford, one of the largest automakers in the Calumet Region, reported last week that it turned a profit of $2 billion in the second quarter, up nearly 4 percent year over year, though higher steel prices ate into its margins. It made a pre-tax profit of $2.2 billion in North America, and the automaker expects its North American profit to be down as compared to last because of the higher commodity costs and engineering expenses related to the development of autonomous vehicles.

“This quarter shows the underlying health of our company with strong products like F-Series and commercial vehicles around the world, but we have opportunity to deliver even more," President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said.


©2017 The Times (Munster, Ind.)

Categories: Latest News

Ohio officer released from hospital after being shot 4 times

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 07:16

Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio — An Ohio police officer who was shot four times while responding to a domestic violence call last month has been released from the hospital.

At a news conference Monday, Uniontown police Sgt. David White thanked the doctors and nurses who treated him at Summa Health in Akron.

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Uniontown police officer shot in the line of duty released from hospital

Posted by Fox 8 News on Monday, July 31, 2017

The 25-year police veteran was shot July 9 while responding to a report of a domestic disturbance at a home in Uniontown. Police say Ryan Probst opened fire as officers arrived, hitting White four times. Another officer returned fire, killing Probst.

The Stark County sheriff says Probst had a history of confrontations with police.

White will undergo extensive physical therapy and is not expected to return to duty for at least eight months.

Categories: Latest News

2 Calif. officers remain hospitalized after shooting

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 06:50

By Scott Smith Associated Press

LOS BANOS, Calif. — Two police officers remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds after a struggle with a man suspected of breaking into his estranged wife's apartment in central California, authorities said.

Los Banos Police Chief Gary Brizzee said one of the officers, a six-year veteran, was shot in the torso, lower leg and head on Monday. The other officer, who joined the department a year ago, was shot in the torso. Both were in stable condition late Monday at Modesto-area hospitals.

The daughter of the 39-year-old suspect, who has not been identified, called authorities just after 6 a.m. Monday to report her father had broken into the family's apartment through a window, Brizzee said.

An officer entered the apartment and asked the man, who was standing in the kitchen near the front door, to step outside so they could speak. But the man refused and became argumentative and the two started struggling, Brizzee said.

During the struggle, the officer used his stun gun but the man removed the probes from his body and continued to resist. A second officer arrived and tried to help restrain the man and it was during the struggle that both officers and the suspect were shot, Brizzee said.

Helicopters transported them from the small farming community in the San Joaquin Valley to hospitals.

The suspect died at a hospital, Brizzee said.

Brizzee wouldn't say if the suspect was armed with his own gun or was able to use one of the officers' weapons. He didn't offer any other details, citing the ongoing investigation.

"This has been a tremendously tough day for us. But the men and women I work with are resilient and we'll get through this together," Brizzee during a brief news conference.

The man hadn't lived with his family for at least a year. Brizzee wouldn't say if his estranged wife was in the home or who witnessed the shooting.

The department had dealt with the man a few years ago on a drug-related case, Brizzee said.

Crime scene investigators worked all day at the shooting scene where two police cruisers were encircled in yellow crime-scene ribbon.

Categories: Latest News

SC deputy kills himself in patrol car while on duty

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 06:41

By Teddy Kulmala The State

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — A Richland County sheriff’s deputy killed himself using his service weapon in his cruiser while on duty Friday afternoon, Sheriff Leon Lott announced Monday.

Senior Deputy Derek Fish, 28, shot himself with his department-issued gun in his patrol car Friday, Lott said. After finishing his shift, the deputy drove his patrol car back to Region 3 headquarters on Bishop Avenue and parked behind the building, where he is believed to have shot himself between 6:30 and 8 p.m. Another deputy found him.

“We’re all struggling to try to understand why, and we don’t have an answer,” Lott said at a Monday news conference to discuss Fish’s death and suicide prevention, a move approved by the deputy’s family. “He didn’t leave a note, he didn’t communicate with anybody what his intentions were. For all purposes, that shift was a normal shift.”

Fish, who was known as “Nemo” in the department, joined the agency in May 2011, Lott said. He worked his way up the ranks and was promoted last week to master deputy.

Lott said Fish, who was known for his energetic personality and smile, had not dealt with any major or traumatic events recently.

Fish’s death – the third suicide of a Richland deputy in 20 years and the first since 2007 – hits on a dark and often undiscussed issue in police agencies around the country, Lott said.

Each year, more police officers die by suicide than are killed in the line of duty, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Sheriff’s Department has a psychologist and chaplains on staff and requires pre-PTSD training for all its officers that includes a section on suicide prevention. But Lott said the best way to prevent suicides is talking about it.

“The family and I discussed it and said it’s time to stop this,” Lott said.

“We have people amongst us that have issues that we just don’t see,” he said. “Sometimes when they cry for help, we don’t answer that cry. We have to answer that cry.”

Fish’s funeral will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Bethlehem Baptist Church Family Life Center, 1028 Eastman St., Columbia. It is open to the public.

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Sheriff Leon Lott held a press conference on Monday, July 31, 2017 @ 3:00 PM to discuss the tragic death of RCSD's very...

Posted by Richland County Sheriff's Department on Monday, July 31, 2017


©2017 The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Categories: Latest News

Police: Man at Dunkin' Donuts with son overdoses in bathroom

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 02:00

Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire police say a man ingested heroin in a bathroom at a Dunkin' Donuts during a visit with his 9-year-old son and had to be revived with an opioid-overdose antidote.

Manchester police say the boy told an employee on Saturday that his father had been inside the bathroom for a long time. Police say the employee went into the bathroom, found the man unconscious and called 911.

Police said city firefighters and ambulance personnel administered naloxone.

Police identified the man as 26-year-old Christopher Morrissey, of Boston. He was taken to a hospital.

Morrissey was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He's scheduled to appear in court Sept. 6. It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Police say the boy was placed in his grandmother's care.

Categories: Latest News

Calif. deputy killed in plane crash that also killed fiance

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 16:30

Associated Press


ABC7 News is reporting that Rebecca Joan Raymond's fiance Brian White, a pilot in the U.S. Army, had rented a single-engine Cessna 172 for a weekend getaway. They had gotten engaged the day before, friend Debbie Payne told ABC7.


BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was identified Sunday as one of two people killed when a small plane crashed into a Southern California mountain.

The bodies of Rebecca Joan Raymond, 28, and an unidentified man were found Sunday morning after searchers found a downed plane in a remote part of Big Bear Mountain, about 95 miles northeast of Los Angeles, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy had been w/ dept since September 2016, assigned to Barstow Station

— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) July 31, 2017

A helicopter crew had been looking for the pair after authorities received a call Saturday that they didn't reach their destination at Apple Valley Airport.

The two were aboard a Cessna 172 Skyhawk that had taken off from Big Bear City Airport and crashed under unknown circumstances, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

Raymond had been with the department for almost a year and was assigned to the sheriff's station in Barstow.

"It's a tragic and sad day for all of us," the department said. "May God watch over her parents."

Feels like yesterday that sheriff JOHN McMAHON swore Rebecca in. It's a tragic and sad day for all of us. May God watch over her parents.

— SB County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) July 31, 2017

The man's name has not been released pending notification of next of kin. A friend told KABC-TV he was Raymond's boyfriend.

Debbie Payne told the station the couple had rented a plane for the weekend to go to Big Bear to celebrate their anniversary, and he had proposed to her.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Categories: Latest News

What’s driving complacency in police pursuit training?

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 14:59

By Chuck Deakins for PoliceOne BrandFocus

What a tragic year 2016 was for law enforcement line of duty deaths involving ambush, violent assaults and firearms. Depending on the source that you use, LODDs due to firearms are up a staggering 61 percent to 83 percent over 2015, while overall LODDs are up 12 percent to 18 percent over 2015. It is a reminder that we must all stay alert, plan ahead and keep vigilant with calls involving firearms. It is also a time where we must rise above the media hype, maintain our professionalism and stay the course on reducing “all” LODDs across this country.

When looking at the 2016 LODD statistics, it is notable that we continue to lose officers and deputies in vehicle related incidents. The majority of those losses involve pursuits and emergency response to calls for service. LODD numbers that are identified as “traffic-related” are significant. In 2016, we lost 51 officer/deputies to these incidents (up 11 percent) while we have lost 61 to firearms-related (up 61 percent). In years past, we have lost almost as many, and in some cases more, officer/deputies to the “automobile” incidents than to the “firearm” incidents and yet, our recognition of the safe and tactical operation of the automobile is so much less than that of the firearm? It is a pitfall that many law enforcement officers and deputies, tacticians, and trainers fall prey to our own profession’s hype that officer survival only involves physical conditioning, aggressiveness and a command of firearm skills. But, in fact, a more accurate personal officer survival program should include driving skills, good judgment and decision making skills, as well as mental conditioning and interpersonal skill that include deescalation in all situations.

Let’s talk a bit about the 51 officers and deputies that we lost in 2016 to traffic-related incidents and what we as a profession are doing and training about it?

1. Changes in policy and culture

In the old days, we practiced pursuits on graveyards and nightshifts, where finding a pursuit was like taking a lunch; if you wanted one, you took it. However, today the Chief’s and Sheriff’s, along with community and LE leaders have reduced the number of pursuits and emergency responses through more restrictive policy, law changes and an overall cultural change. There are basically three types of Police Pursuit policies in our country: the threshold policy, the balance test and the zero pursuit policy. All are authored with the best of intentions in mind, however the real question is how is the policy actually followed in practice and is our training applicable to the policy?

2. Shifting focus in training

Don’t take this the wrong way; I do believe it is the right thing to reduce unnecessary pursuits and emergency responses in light of how dangerous they can be. The real question is are we still training proper driving, judgment, decision making, and de-escalation skills required of the pursuits and emergency responses that are still authorized and required of our profession. Look back at the numbers again; the contemporary training focus is on the 61 firearms-related deaths, yet we still lost 51 officers and deputies to “traffic-related” incidents. As trainers, shouldn’t we respect driving as much as we respect shooting!

If we can all agree, much like Below 100 advocates, that driving is a critical survival skill, then let’s move forward and discuss how we are actually training to this end.

3. Driving training isn’t just for beginners

In my experience in training throughout this country, I find a very similar mindset within both administrative and line-personnel regarding driver training: it’s for the basic academy recruit and not necessary for the intermediate or advanced officer or deputy because they drive everyday.

It seems that most agencies only consider driving training after a collision has occurred where-in the officer or deputy has been deemed to be at-fault or in some cases if the collision is considered to be preventable. Even in these remedial cases, the remediation of being sent to a high-speed driving class or local cone course often has nothing to do with the real cause of the collision. For example, an officer or deputy may have been driving too fast for the current road conditions and was unable to stop in time for an unexpected conflict and is then sent to a high speed pursuit driving course.

There is also almost no consideration given for close-calls as they are difficult to document and quite frankly, who is going to call a peer out for driving too fast or passing when it was unsafe or not wearing a seat belt? It’s not like they drove up too close on a hot call or put themselves between lines of fire at a hostage situation or chose not to wait for a back-up when one was available and ended up in a bad situation; or is it?

4. Who is driving complacency?

It is examples like the above where I see complacency towards driving and ask the question: who is driving complacency?

First, are you as an operator of an official authorized emergency vehicle driving complacency by taking your driving for granted, not wearing a seat belt, pushing the speed and most of all, believing that you could stop on a dime at any time?

Second, are you the training officer, Sergeant or Administrator/Chief that is driving complacency by not requiring, providing or encouraging driving training that supports safe operation, good judgment and proper decisions while operating an emergency vehicle? Would you not agree that both groups are driving complacency?

So, the point here is that we should examine what we are training for and how much time we are dedicating to high liability, low frequency training? Are we looking at the facts and numbers to base our decisions on? Have we separated “driving training” too far from force options, judgment, decision-making and de-escalation training? If we’re losing almost as many officers to traffic-related incidents as to firearms-related incidents, shouldn’t our driving training remain a high priority for us?

About the Author

Chuck Deakins is Public Safety Specialist for FAAC. Deakins is a retired officer from Santa Ana (Calif.) whose knowledge of simulator training strategies, tactics, and techniques, has led to his success in all applications of simulation instruction.

Categories: Latest News

'Unabomber' show offers inside look at FBI tactics, forensic linguistics

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 13:07

By PoliceOne Staff

In 1978, a homemade bomb exploded at a Chicago university.

Over the next 17 years, three people were killed and 24 were injured after the suspect mailed bombs to universities and airlines.

An FBI-lead task force, in collaboration with the ATF and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service was formed the next year. The case was nicknamed the “UNABOM” case after the “UN”iversity and “A”irline “BOM”bing targets. After years of investigations and no luck, a manifesto led to a breakthrough. For the first time, the FBI used forensic linguistics to identify and arrest a suspect.

On Aug. 1, the Discovery Channel will air “Manhunt: UNABOMBER,” an eight-episode scripted series providing an inside look at the FBI tactics and the ultimate arrest of the deadliest serial bomber in history.

Specifically, the series focuses on FBI agent and criminal profiler Jim Fitzgerald, who pioneered the use of forensic linguistics.

Check out the trailer below.

Categories: Latest News

Sheriff Joe Arpaio convicted of ignoring judge's order

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 11:56

By Jacques Billeaud Associated Press

PHOENIX — Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted of a criminal charge Monday for refusing to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, marking a final rebuke for a politician who once drew strong popularity from such crackdowns but was ultimately booted from office as voters became frustrated over his headline-grabbing tactics and deepening legal troubles.

The verdict from U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton represents a victory for critics who voiced anger over Arpaio's unusual efforts to get tough on crime, including jailing inmates in tents during triple-digit heat, forcing them to wear pink underwear and making hundreds of arrests in crackdowns that divided immigrant families.

Arpaio, who spent 24 years as the sheriff of metro Phoenix, skirted two earlier criminal investigations of his office. But he wasn't able to avoid legal problems when he prolonged his signature immigration patrols for nearly a year and a half after a different judge ordered him to stop. That judge later ruled they racially profiled Latinos.

The lawman who made defiance a hallmark of his tenure was found guilty of misdemeanor contempt-of-court for ignoring the 2011 court order to stop the patrols. The 85-year-old faces up to six years in jail, though attorneys who have followed the case doubt that someone his age would be incarcerated.

Critics hoped Arpaio's eight-day trial in federal court in Phoenix would bring a long-awaited comeuppance for lawman who had managed to escape accountability through much of his six terms.

Prosecutors say Arpaio violated the order so he could promote his immigration enforcement efforts in an effort to boost his 2012 re-election campaign and even bragged about his continued crackdowns.

He had acknowledged prolonging his patrols but insisted it was not intentional.

He blamed one of his former attorneys in the profiling case for not properly explaining the importance of the court order. His defense also focused on what his attorneys said were weaknesses in the court order that failed to acknowledge times when deputies would detain immigrants and later hand them over to federal authorities.

Unlike other local police leaders who left immigration enforcement to U.S. authorities, Arpaio made hundreds of arrests in traffic patrols that sought out immigrants and business raids in which his officers targeted immigrants who used fraudulent IDs to get jobs.

The efforts are similar to local immigration enforcement that President Donald Trump has advocated. To build his highly touted deportation force, Trump is reviving a long-standing program that deputizes local officers to enforce federal immigration law.

Arpaio's immigration powers were eventually stripped away by the courts and federal government.

The contempt-of-court case marked the first time federal authorities had prosecuted Arpaio on a criminal charge, though his office had been the subject of past investigations.

Federal authorities had looked into Arpaio's misspending of $100 million in jail funds and his criminal investigations of political enemies. Neither investigation led to prosecution of the sheriff or his employees.

Arpaio's criminal charges are believed to have contributed heavily to his crushing defeat in November to little-known retired Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone.

Arpaio was ousted in the same election that sent Trump to the White House. Trump used some of the same immigration rhetoric that helped make Arpaio a national figure in the debate over the U.S.-Mexico border.

Categories: Latest News

From RICO to analytics: How technology can speed up gang investigations

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 09:07

By Captain Stephen G. Serrao, PoliceOne Contributor

Curbing shootings, drug trafficking and other gang-related activities that plague U.S. cities requires adding modern tools to the law enforcement arsenal.

Attacking a gang’s social networks and organizational hierarchies using racketeering statutes helps law enforcement and prosecutors combat such problems, but can be labor intensive.

Using advanced analytic techniques like text analytics, entity extraction, entity resolution, social network analysis and geospatial analysis may super-charge the racketeering approach by automating the identification of relationships and key players in networks in a fraction of the time currently required.

Augmenting with analytics can speed the process of uncovering gang networks

The FBI’s Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force program rallies 160 task forces across the country to pursue violent gangs using traditional law enforcement activity. Wire intercepts, consensual monitoring and financial analysis complement other techniques to reveal the networks and relationships within a gang.

Although racketeering laws allow prosecutions against criminal groups, the investigation methods are time consuming. Modern analytics technology can reduce the time required to identify networks, operatives, criminal activity patterns and other indicators of organization.

While the FBI’s task forces are an effective threat to gangs, gang activity continues to thrive in most midsize to large cities. According to the FBI, some 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs with about 1.4 million members are criminally active in the U.S. and Puerto Rico today.

Using analytics technologies, resource-strapped law enforcement agencies can go from being buried under individual shootings, drug offenses or robbery cases, to identifying and interdicting the networks that underpin so many of those crimes. Technology can help identify entities and reveal hidden relationships between entities, filling in the intelligence gaps and exposing the larger criminal network.

Entity Extraction/Resolution

By applying techniques such as entity resolution to large data sets like CAD, RMS, real estate and telephone records, social services data, arrest records, case notes from other law enforcement agencies and other sources, the relationships and activities comprising a criminal network are revealed.

Entity resolution gives investigators a consistent single view of an offender or suspect. They can know that the Jimmy Williams in one database, the J.J Williams in another and the James Williams in a third are the same person, based on resolving the entity using non-obvious data points. When combined with commercially available transactional data, previously unknown connections can surface quickly for further investigation.

Text Analytics

Another useful tool is text analytics, which can be applied to unstructured data such as case narratives and notes, interviews and web and social media content to uncover names, phrases and descriptions that could identify and link crimes and perpetrators.

Word cloud technology and tile maps can be used to surface the high-frequency crimes and suspects involved in them. This can instantly provide investigators with insight into what is occurring and who is perpetrating it without having to read a single report.

Automated Temporal Social Network Analysis

All of this information can be presented to investigators in a visual view that shows the complex, spiderweb-like network of a gang. As more of the network is filled in, the “hot spots” or individuals and locations linked to the prevalent gang activity become clearer over time.

An investigator can focus on just one person or entity and quickly click through previously unknown relationships that are generated automatically by the technology. As more suspects are identified, they become loci in a previously undetected network.

Automated Geo-Spatial Analysis

Finally, using geospatial tools to view crime can decrease the time required to identify and understand trends and patterns. A geographic view of gang-related criminal activity overlaid with suspects and known gang activity locations can speed the development of an investigative strategy. This can also help guide preventative tactical patrol decisions to deter open and flagrant violations of narcotics and other quality of life crimes.

Using geospatial tools, analysts and intelligence officers can gain better insight into clusters of gang activity. (Photo/SAS Communications)


With gang violence on the rise, local law enforcement agencies need to follow the blueprint laid out by the successful weakening of the traditional Mafia. An approach to dismantling the organization using racketeering approaches and employing advanced analytics to uncover previously unknown social networks and associations can help overcome a frequent lack of resources to tear down the networks that perpetuate so much violence in this country.

About the author Captain Stephen G. Serrao is a former New Jersey State Police Counterterrorism Bureau Chief. He now serves as a Law Enforcement Industry Consultant for SAS, a leading analytics software provider.

Categories: Latest News

How software systems can help PDs manage evidence

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 08:57

By Hilary Romig, PoliceOne Contributor

When it comes to managing evidence and securing chain of custody, police departments are increasingly relying on software systems. Though there may be some type of paper trail retained, technology has taken over the days of a ledger.

Over time the type of software implemented has evolved, and many police departments have intricate databases that track each piece of evidence and who has handled it, down to who is viewing the report connected to each item.

Challenges that often arise relate to minute inadequacies some products have, as well as the struggle to incorporate an older software system with a new one while still maintaining chain of custody.

How to develop a software system that suits your needs

At the Lubbock (Texas) Police Department (LPD), one of the obstacles the agency faces involves its evidence software program, which was a beta version based on its previous system.

“It is an add-on module to our current RMS,” said Sergeant Anthony Gribben. “We face challenges as it was not made for our specific needs.”

In order to overcome the shortcomings, LPD worked with the manufacturer to research problem areas and develop new ways to manage evidence using their current system, said Gribben.

An additional challenge involves creating inventory reports.

“Our department is currently proposing an evidence management system that will integrate with our current one,” said Caleb Murillo, LPD property room attendant.

Murillo says each report has to be manually created – a time-consuming process – and the system could be improved by having a hold date function. This would allow the department to input a disposition date for each item for proper disposal dates.

The key to a good system and a well-managed evidence room is efficiency. “The more efficient our system is the more efficient we are,” Gribben said.

Having an integrated software program enhances the effectiveness of property searches and the tracking and maintaining the order of the chain of custody.

Gribben says advanced software programs help not only law enforcement agencies, but also court systems and local district attorneys: “It helps the justice system as a whole.”

Key components of evidence management software systems

Companies that generate technology for public safety are molding their systems in order to meet departments’ needs. In addition, evidence software is becoming easier to use and more efficient. Considering a system that has the ability to work with the one your department has in place is a great option.

Stephen Englund, Public Safety Application Specialist for File on Q, says the company’s product has the ability to properly capture evidence right from the beginning of the process. “It is simple to use and maintains chain of custody well in the field,” Englund said.

A unique feature is that the product is able to alert users when items need to be disposed of, saving an immense amount of time for property and evidence custodians.

When developing its product, Evidence on Q took into consideration each element of the evidence storage process. Additionally, while a stand-alone product, it may be integrated with RMS systems departments are already using.

“It can be used with RMS, court systems and lab systems,” Englund said.

Though each police department has its own core code, EvidenceonQ is able to customize software according to a department’s current use or needs.

Report generation is a priority

Another challenge facing departments is the process of generating monthly, quarterly or annual reports. Consider this feature when finding software that is the best fit for your department.

Kimberly Cesna, Property and Evidence Officer II at the Indio (Calif.) Police Department, says the department likes the simple way in which its evidence unit allows the input of important facts needed for evidence entry. These include storage location, item details, and case disposition.

“There is no need to go to the actual case, when all of the information we need is right at our fingertips,” Cesna said, saving time for the officer, as well as the evidence staff.

Cesna says the system allows reports to be run based on field information, speeding up the process when someone calls regarding a case. Before using EvidenceonQ, the department was unable to look up reports if only limited information was available or add information that needed to be updated.

Keeping clean, updated records, as well as having the ability to run inventory reports using the retention field in the software, allows for better access to the chain of custody and documents each item that is checked in. Accuracy not only maintains the chain of custody, but also keeps evidence organized, avoiding erroneous circumstances.

Censa says efficient software has cut manual time spent on each case in half for evidence personnel: “The amount of time it takes to get from when evidence is entered and checked in to when it is disposed of is minimal. Even officers who have been around for a long time and fight change have realized how easy this system has made their life.”

Law enforcement agencies often have strict budgets. However, more evidence software manufacturers are implementing systems that save time thus making police officer and evidence personnel responsibilities easier and more efficient.

About the author Hilary Romig has extensive law enforcement and forensic training. She has been a professional writer for several years with a focus on public safety protocol, products and technology. She is currently employed by the Lubbock Police Department.

Categories: Latest News

NM police fatally shoot suspect who took hostages, hit deputy with vehicle

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 06:51

By Elise Kaplan Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A one-man crime wave Friday morning that investigators say involved a home invasion, the taking of two hostages and injuries to a deputy hit by a stolen escape vehicle ended with death of the suspect at the hands of Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies.

The event concluded on a pastoral road south of Albuquerque after at least one deputy opened fire on the suspect after they say he pinned a deputy between the car and a light pole.

The injured deputy had sprains, a fractured toe and possible head injuries, but is expected to be OK, said Chief Deputy Ray Chavez in a Friday morning news conference.

“He’s very shaken up, very traumatized, by this event,” Chavez said. “It’s very traumatizing and not just to him, but to his family and the law enforcement community.”

He said the two hostages, who are both adults, are also very shaken up, but were not harmed. They didn’t know the suspect.

Chavez didn’t release the name of the suspect or any of the deputies involved.

Captain Andi Taylor, a BCSO spokeswoman said the whole incident started around 6 a.m. when deputies were called by the Isleta Police Department to help them catch a man trying to steal golf carts from the course near Interstate 25 and 2nd Street.

“Deputies go to assist them and see a man is running across the golf course and into an open field,” Taylor said. “They lose sight of him.”

But a short time later, a retired police officer called 911 to say someone had tried to break into his car at his house nearby and he had chased him away, she said.

Then deputies heard the sound of a window being broken and went to respond at a house on Las Garzas Lane off 2nd. That house, a spacious, gated home at the end of a dead-end street, remained cordoned off with crime tape for much of Friday.

Deputies said that as they were setting up a perimeter they saw the garage door open and a car drive out.

“The offender flees with the homeowner’s car and takes the two homeowners hostage,” Taylor said. “The deputies could see them banging on the window and screaming for help.”

Taylor said that as the stolen car sped down 2nd, deputies were able to perform a maneuver to stop it and ordered the suspect to surrender. She said he instead accelerated forward pinning the deputy between the car and a light pole.

That’s when at least one deputy fired, killing the suspect, Chavez said. He didn’t know if the hostages were in the car when shots were fired, but said the hostages were not harmed.

He also didn’t know if the pinned deputy was the one who fired, how many deputies opened fire or how many times they fired their weapons. He said at least one deputy is on paid administrative leave, but he didn’t know if others were.

Chavez said more details will be made public after deputies have been interviewed over the next couple of days.

A multi-jurisdictional team of local law enforcement agencies will investigate the shooting, as is standard in these cases.

This is the third time this week that a deputy has discharged his weapon, and the fourth time this month. It’s the second fatal shooting in which a deputy was involved this month.

On July 4, deputy Charles Coggins shot and killed a man who fled from a traffic stop near a South Valley car wash. Miguel Gonzales, 28, who also went by Miguel Gonzalez, had been driving a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo that had a stolen license plate when deputies say they tried to pull him over. They say he fled to his nearby family’s home and was running through the backyard when he was shot and killed. A gun was found on the scene.

On Sunday, deputies opened fire after a suspect in a stolen vehicle rammed into their cruisers. No one was struck in that shooting.

And early Tuesday morning, Coggins again shot and injured a man who is suspected of breaking into cars in a South Valley apartment complex parking lot. Deputies say Charles Chavez, 26, refused to show his hands and said he had a gun before he was shot. No gun was found at that scene and Chavez is expected to recover.

Chief Deputy Ray Chavez said he talked to Sheriff Manuel Gonzales, who was on a pre-planned vacation Friday when the most recent shooting occurred, and the sheriff told him he is concerned about the safety of his deputies and the community.

“We’re number one in the nation for stolen vehicles, and we’re number one on other lists that we don’t want to be number one on,” Chavez said. “But it’s not stopping our deputies from doing their job or hindering our deputies from going out there, making contacts, and making sure the citizens of Bernalillo County and Albuquerque are safe.”

He said he is grateful for the support from the community and asked for thoughts and prayers for the injured deputy as well as the suspect’s family.

“We understand that this individual did something really harmful to our deputy but we still want to give our condolences to his family,” Chavez said. “A loss of life is a very tragic event and no deputy wants to be a part of it.”


©2017 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Categories: Latest News

Off-duty Ga. officer shot, suspects at large

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 06:47

By Lauren Foreman The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — Police are searching for two people after an off-duty Georgia State University police officer was shot Sunday night in southwest Atlanta.

The officer was walking with her friend on Donnelly Avenue when two men came up to them and tried to rob them about 9:30 p.m., Atlanta police Officer Donald Hannah said.

At the time, one of the men was on a bike, and the other was walking in the 1400 block of Donnelly Avenue, police said.

“At some point, one of the males told them to give it up,” Atlanta police Sgt. John Chafee told Channel 2 Action News. “A struggle ensued between one of the females and one of the males and the male on the bicycle produced a firearm and fired at least one time at the female.”

The off-duty officer returned fire, but the men ran away, Hannah said. It is unclear if they were hit.

The officer was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds to the hand and torso, but is expected to be OK. The woman with the officer was not injured, Hannah said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Atlanta police. Tipsters can also remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting


©2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

Categories: Latest News

Judge in Ohio officer's second mistrial: 'Justice was done'

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 02:00

Associated Press

CINCINNATI — The Ohio judge who presided at the second mistrial for a white police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black motorist says the justice system worked, despite two juries deadlocking.

"Justice was done because the jury made a decision and that decision was: We can't reach a decision," Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz told a WLW radio talk show host on Thursday.

Ghiz was judge for the retrial of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, who was charged with murder in the July 2015 shooting of Sam DuBose during a traffic stop. She replaced the first trial judge, who recused herself after a November mistrial.

Tensing, who was fired after the shooting, testified at both trials and said he feared he was going to be dragged or run over as DuBose drove away.

DuBose's family and civil rights groups wanted a third trial, but prosecutors declined and Ghiz permanently dismissed the charges.

In the interview, Ghiz also defended her decision to bar consideration of the shirt Tensing wore underneath his uniform the day of the shooting, which depicted a Confederate flag. She said it risked prejudicing the jury, who didn't need to be reminded that the case was racially charged.

"They're not stupid," Ghiz said. "They don't live on Mars."

She said the shirt was allowed into Tensing's first trial because the defense didn't object. But when the defense did object before the second trial, she determined it was too prejudicial, especially given the "hype" it received the first time around.

"Every defendant deserves a fair trial and every defendant who comes to my room, whether I like him or don't like him, they get a fair trial," Ghiz said.

Ghiz praised the DuBose family for their civility during the trial despite the all the tension over the case.

"I don't know how they did it," she said. "I don't know if I could have."

The DuBose family is now hoping federal authorities reviewing the case will conclude that DuBose's civil rights were violated.

Categories: Latest News

Police: Woman brought child to armed robbery

PoliceOne - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 02:00

By Michael Williams Orlando Sentinel

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A woman is facing felony charges after deputies say she brought her 10-year-old child to an armed robbery in Marion County Friday night.

Deputies said 30-year-old Christina Gaud was the driver of the getaway vehicle while her accomplice, 33-year-old Rodney Snow, robbed the shop, according to a press release from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies responded to the shop at the intersection of State Road 200 and S.W. 80th Street, they saw a masked man run out of the store and into a waiting car.

The car fled a short distance before crashing at the 7900 block of S.W. 80th Street, deputies said.

Deputies said Snow ran toward a wooded area and shot himself when police surrounded him. Snow is in critical condition at a hospital, according to the release.

Deputies soon discovered that Gaud’s 10-year-old child was in the vehicle during the robbery and pursuit. The child was not injured, police said. It was not clear if Gaud was injured.

Gaud is facing charges of felony child neglect and principal to an armed robbery. The child is in the custody of the Department of Children and Families, police said.


©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Categories: Latest News

Cops react to Trump's 'don't be too nice' comments

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 19:21

By PoliceOne Staff

During a speech on Friday about his administration’s crackdown on the violent MS-13 street gang, President Donald Trump sparked controversy over comments about cops being “too nice” to suspects being taken into custody. Trump told the crowd, “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody — don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”

Whether Trump's comments were said in jest or serious, the reaction was strong – with many police leaders condemning Trump's statements. The IACP was among the first to issue a response, saying “Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect. This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.”

Throughout the weekend, more weighed in from police agencies across the nation.

“Our job got tougher last Friday,” Major Cities Chiefs Police Association President and Montgomery County (Md.) Chief Tom Manger said. “As a cop for the past 40 years, I was appalled when I heard the President of the United States condone injuring an individual in police custody. This violates our Constitution, our department policy, and the public trust.”

The Boston Police Department told the Boston Globe: “The Boston Police Department’s priority has been and continues to be building relationships and trust with the community we serve. As a police department, we are committed to helping people, not harming them.”

Others were quick to defend the president. National Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury said Trump reaffirmed his “very strong support” for LEOs in the speech and his “off the cuff comments on policing are sometimes taken all too literally by the media and professional police critics: the President knows, just as every cop out there knows, that our society does not, and should not, tolerate the mistreatment or prejudgment of any individual at any point in the criminal justice process.”

Detective Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, said in a statement to CNN: "Not surprisingly, (Trump's) comments have been completely taken out of context by the racially exclusive and divisive profiteers seeking to call into question his support of all law abiding citizens and the law enforcement that live and work among them."

Here’s a roundup of reactions from law enforcement professionals. What’s your take on the issue? Sound off in the comments.

[View the story "Cops react to Trump’s ‘don’t be too nice’ comments" on Storify]
Categories: Latest News

NY cop shot in blue-on-blue during fatal OIS of knife-wielding suspect

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 12:29

By Daniel Fitzsimmons The Daily Gazette

GLENVILLE, N.Y. — An altercation Friday night in town left a Shenendehowa Central School District elementary school teacher dead and a Glenville police officer wounded by friendly fire.

Brian J. Skinner, 32, a teacher at Orenda Elementary School, was shot and killed by an officer with the Glenville Police Department.

The incident occurred around 11 p.m. Friday night when Glenville and Scotia police were called to 10 Pashley Road for a report of a domestic disturbance. The caller stated that Skinner had a gun, according to a news release from Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik.

The release said that as officers approached the home they could see movement inside and "a male suspect emerged from the front door and charged officers with a weapon. The suspect was shot by police and subsequently killed."

Police further said, "during the chaotic scene, a Glenville police officer was shot in the abdomen just under his bullet proof vest."

State police, who took over the investigation from the local police departments, said in a news release Saturday evening that Skinner charged at police holding a knife.

“Officers from both departments discharged rounds from their sidearms, striking and killing Mr. Skinner,” the release said. “During the law enforcement weapon discharge, Glenville [Police Department] Officer Benjamin Ferretti was struck in the back/abdomen area.”

Police said it’s unknown at this time which police weapon caused Ferretti’s injury.

#518news #Glenville A Glenville Police officer was shot at 10 Pashley Road and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

— Peter R. Barber (@prbarber1) July 29, 2017

The Glenville Police Department said Ferretti was airlifted to Albany Medical Center where he underwent surgery and is expected to recover.

It’s unclear at this time who made the call to 911, but state police said their investigation turned up no evidence of a domestic dispute.

“There were no other individuals located at the residence at the time of the incident and no evidence was discovered to indicate a domestic dispute had taken place,” police said.

Janik referred all comments to state police. Scotia Police Chief Peter Frisoni did not return a request for comment.

The Shenendehowa Central School District's website said Skinner was an fifth-grade teacher at Orenda.

"We are saddened to report that Orenda fifth-grade teacher Brian Skinner was killed last night in an engagement with law enforcement at his home," said the district on its website.

"The incident had nothing to do with his role as a teacher at Shenendehowa and is still under investigation by the Glenville Police Department."

State police crime scene technicians could be seen leaving the white, one-story residence and speaking to detectives Saturday morning. Schenectady County property tax rolls list the home as belonging to Skinner. Yellow crime scene tape cordoned off the front of the residence, and a Glenville police cruiser sat in the driveway.

Neighbors said Skinner was quiet.

John Flower, who lives across the street, said he only met Skinner once when Skinner got stuck in the snow.

"I'm just shocked because the guy was very quiet and he didn't bother anybody," said Flower, who has lived on Pashley Road for more than 30 years. “He wasn’t that social. I mean if you waved to him, he didn’t even acknowledge you. That’s my experience with him, I don’t know about the other neighbors.”

Neighbor Marlene Murphy said her husband heard a shot but didn't know what it was for sure until more police activity occurred.

"Shock," said Murphy, describing her feelings upon learning about the incident. "It's a very nice neighborhood, a quiet neighborhood except for the traffic going through."

Murphy has lived on Pashley Road, also across from the residence where the incident occurred, for nearly 25 years. She also said Skinner was quiet.

“I used to see him out running every now and then but that was it,” she said.

Bill Gallagher lives right next door to Skinner, but said he didn’t really know him. “Not much more than to say hello to,” he said.

“I feel terrible for both the police officer that was shot and the young man who died as a result of whatever happened here,” said Gallagher.

Gallagher said incidents like this are highly unusual in the neighborhood.

“And there certainly will be no level of fear or anything like that. It’s a fantastic neighborhood, safe neighborhood, a great place to raise children,” said Gallagher. “I’ve raised two children here and it’s been nothing but a great experience.”

Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle said nothing like this has ever happened in the town.

“This is the only time in anyone’s memory that I’ve talked to, and many of them go way back, that a suspect has been killed and that a police officer has been shot,” he said.

Koetzle said a number of years ago a Glenville police officer shot a suspect, but that the suspect survived.

“Right now we’re just praying for the speedy recovery for the officer and his family is in our thoughts. Right now that’s what we’re focused on,” said Koetzle. “Obviously this is an example of the dangers that police officers face across the nation every day. And you never think it’s going to happen in your hometown until it does.”

©2017 The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, N.Y.

Categories: Latest News

Chicago giving departing inmates overdose-reversing drug

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 11:47

By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago now gives at-risk inmates the overdose-reversing drug naloxone upon their release from jail and Los Angeles is poised to follow suit, putting the antidote in as many hands as possible as part of a multifaceted approach to combatting the nation's opioid epidemic.

The Cook County Jail in Chicago, which is the largest single-site jail in the country, has trained about 900 inmates how to use naloxone nasal spray devices since last summer and has distributed 400 of them to at-risk men and women as they got out. The devices can undo the effects of an opiate overdose almost immediately and are identical to those used by officers in many of the country's law enforcement agencies.

Sheriff Tom Dart, whose office runs the jail, said addicts are most at-risk of fatally overdosing in the two weeks after getting out because of their time away from drugs while locked up.

"We've got to keep them alive (and) if we can get them through that two-week window, they might get treatment, get off drugs," he said.

Dr. Connie Mennella, the chair of Correctional Health for the county's health and hospitals system, which administers the program, said only inmates are being trained to use naloxone, but that she eventually hopes their relatives and friends can also be trained.

"We are trying to saturate this community with this drug and we are educating them to tell their buddy, mother, father how to use it, where they keep it and, 'If you come home and see me not responding, to go get it and use it,'" she said.

Proponents say such jail programs can be the difference between a former inmate living and dying, as the naloxone often can be administered by an overdosing addict, a friend or family member before emergency responders can reach them.

And Dr. Arastou Aminzadeh, the correctional health-medical director for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, said the kits are particularly important for just-released inmates because the same amount of drugs they once used to get high before they were locked up could now kill them.

"Their threshold has dropped but they may use the amount of drugs they used to use," said Aminzadeh, who is helping Los Angeles jails prepare to begin its naloxone program early next year.

It is too soon to gauge the effectiveness of Cook County's program, but Dart said anecdotal evidence suggests that the kits have saved lives, including a man who was arrested again, returned to jail, and told of how a friend he had trained to use the kit had done so when he overdosed.

In New York City, more than 4,000 kits have been distributed to friends and relatives of inmates at the city's jail at Rikers Island since the program there was launched in 2014.

"We did a survey of their use of the kits after six months and 226 people responded to the survey and found 50 usages (of the naloxone), and found that 87 percent of the overdoses where the naloxone was used, (the victim) survived," said Dr. Ross MacDonald, chief of Medicine, Division of Correctional Health Services, New York City Health and Hospitals.

Others have also seen encouraging results. In Rhode Island, a study of 100 inmates found they were able to successfully administer the drug after being released, with a few using it to reverse their own overdoses. A study in Scotland, meanwhile, found that the number of opioid-related inmate deaths dropped within the first four weeks of release after naloxone kits were distributed.

The growing consensus is that naloxone works. Three years ago, the World Health Organization released guidelines recommending expanded naloxone access to people likely to witness an overdose, including drug users. And the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, which tracked the use of naloxone kits by law enforcement, reported that the number of agencies that equip officers with kits climbed from 971 to 1,217 in about eight months last year.

There has been little pushback against efforts to expand the availability and use of naloxone, but there has been some. Richard Jones, the sheriff of Butler County, Ohio, said this month that he was sticking by his long-standing policy of refusing to allow deputies carry the drug because he says people can become hostile and violent after being revived by it. Naloxone can cause severe opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Dart dismisses the criticism that by giving the kits he is coddling inmates, saying that it is just one piece of a public health effort that includes intense treatment programs to combat the opioid epidemic.

"Treatment is fine, but that doesn't recognize the reality that some will use (drugs) again. We can't get them into treatment if they're dead," he said.

Categories: Latest News

Police disrupt plot in Australia to 'bring down an airplane'

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 11:44

By Rod McGuirk Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia — Police disrupted the first alleged plot in Australia to bring down an airplane and arrested four men in raids on Sydney homes, officials said Sunday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that security has been increased at Sydney Airport since Thursday because of the plot. The increased security measures also were extended to all major international and domestic terminals around Australia overnight.

"I can report last night that there has been a major joint counterterrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane," Turnbull told reporters. "The operation is continuing."

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said details were scant on the specifics of the attack, the location and timing.

"In recent days, law enforcement has been become aware of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist attack using an improvised devise," Colvin said.

Deakin University security expert Greg Barton said the first plot to target aircraft in Australia, which is the highest aspiration of many extremists, was a "pretty big threshold moment."

The plotters were apparently making a peroxide-based explosive device rather than using nitrate-based chemicals that can be detected by airport security swab tests, Barton said.

Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi used such a peroxide-based explosive, triacetone triperoxide, better known as TATP, to kill 22 concert-goers in Britain on May 22.

"TATP's called Mother of Satan because it often kills the bomb maker because it's very unstable as it's mixed," Barton said. "But if it's mixed well, it can be very potent and a small amount can be enough to bring an aircraft down if it's done very, very expertly."

The plan most likely was to take the explosive on board in carry-on luggage unless there was a baggage handler involved who could ensure that a stowed bomb exploded near the fuselage where it would be most damaging.

"The speculation is that the bombers would like to put it in carry-on luggage so they can be sure of getting it placed near the fuselage skin," Barton said, adding however that putting something in a suitcase is "a lottery whether it ends up near the outside of the luggage hold or packed near the middle."

There was no evidence that airport security had been compromised, Colvin said.

"We believe it's Islamic-inspired terrorism," Colvin said when asked if the Islamic State group was behind the plot.

Seven Network television reported that 40 riot squad officers wearing gas masks stormed an inner-Sydney house before an explosives team found a suspicious device. Colvin declined to say whether a fully equipped improvised explosive device had been found at that address.

A woman led from a raid by police with her head covered told Nine Network Television: "I love Australia."

None of the four suspects arrested in five raids had been charged, Colvin said. He would not discuss what charges they might face. None of the arrested men worked in the airport industry, Colvin said.

Australia's terrorist threat level remained unchanged at "probable," Turnbull said. He advised travelers in Australia to arrive at airports earlier than usual — two hours before departure — to allow for extra security screening and to minimize baggage.

The plot was the 13th significant threat disrupted by police since Australia's terrorist threat level was elevated in 2014, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said. Five plots have been executed.

Since Australia's terrorist threat level was raised in 2014, 70 suspects have been charged in 31 police operations, Keenan said.

Categories: Latest News

House passes $788 billion spending bill with border wall funds

PoliceOne - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 06:30

By Erik Wasson and Roxana Tiron Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — The House passed a $788 billion spending bill Thursday that complies with President Donald Trump’s demands to boost the military, reduce clean energy programs and start funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The bill, passed 235-192, would fund the Departments of Defense, Energy and Veterans Affairs, the legislative branch and Army Corps of Engineers in fiscal 2018. Republican leaders added $1.6 billion in border wall funding to win the backing of House conservatives.

The bill, HR 3219, has little chance of passing the Senate in its current form. Senate Democrats, whose votes would be needed for passage, intend to block it in the hopes of a deal later this year to increase domestic spending. The bill does, however, set up a bargaining position for House Republicans heading into possible spending talks with Democrats.

"You’ve got a unified position in the House and that’s a good place to be right now," said Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House defense panel.

No schedule for bipartisan budget talks has been set and it is unclear whether Congress can avoid a government shutdown when the fiscal year begins Oct. 1. By including border wall funding that alienates Democrats, Republicans have increased the risk that Congress will be unable to complete the spending bills on time.

That would either lead to a partial shutdown of government services or require Congress to pass a stopgap spending measure. Trump has said a "good" shutdown may be needed to secure funding for the wall.

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican member of the House spending panel, said he fears the current strategy will lead to a stopgap spending bill in late September that would continue current spending levels and policies.

"The lowest common denominator always prevails around here," Rooney said.

New York Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the spending panel, also said Congress would likely have to pass a stopgap bill into December because the bill cannot win bipartisan support.

"You can call it kicking the can down the road, you can call it whatever you want," Lowey said. "This is not the way to do business."

Rooney and other Republicans had initially hoped to vote on a legislative package combining all 12 of the annual spending bills. He said that would give House Republicans the upper hand in any shutdown situation because they could argue they did their work to fund the government.

In that scenario, Senate Democrats "would get the blame for any shutdown," Rooney said.

Republican members weren’t willing to back the 12-bill package. Moderates said the eight bills not in Thursday’s package would impose $8 billion in cuts to domestic agencies from current levels, while some conservatives wanted deeper cuts.

Moderate Republican Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said the House couldn’t pass a bill based on those levels. "That’s why we need a bipartisan budget agreement," he said.

The vote allows Republicans heading into a five-week recess to tell constituents they worked to fulfill campaign promises to increase funding for the Pentagon and border security.

It also represents a unifying moment for a divided Republican House conference, sealed in part by a decision by Trump to bar transgender people from military service. That ended a conservative rebellion against the bill over funding for medical care for transgender troops.

The bill includes a $72 billion increase for defense. It would provide $9.5 billion for 84 Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 aircraft, while the Pentagon requested 70. The measure proposes $1.8 billion for 24 Boeing Co. F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, an increase of 10 planes over the Trump budget. It also includes funding for three Littoral Combat Ships, made in competing versions by Lockheed Martin and Austal USA.

The House adopted a provision that would prohibit the Trump administration from starting another round of military base closures. The Pentagon had asked to start a new round in fiscal year 2021. The amendment was sponsored by Republicans John Ratcliffe of Texas and Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania.

The Pentagon would be prohibited from providing arms, training or other assistance to the Azov Battalion in Ukraine. The Azov Civic Corps is a Ukrainian ultranationalist movement linked to a regiment fighting Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. The amendment was authored by Michigan Democrat John Conyers, Florida Republican Ted Yoho and California Democrat Ro Khanna.

Oshkosh Corp. would see an increase of $30 million for its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program. Oshkosh is headquartered in Wisconsin, the home state of Republican Glenn Grothman, the author of the amendment.

The $37.6 billion energy part of the spending bill would cut the nonmilitary part of the Energy Department by $1.7 billion. That level is still $2.3 billion more than Trump requested in his budget. The bill would cut the Energy Department’s clean energy research division and kill off the agency’s loan-guarantee program for energy companies. Provisions in the bill could boost the nuclear industry’s long quest to open a nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.


©2017 Bloomberg News

Categories: Latest News