Latest News

ICAP awarded monumental grant from DOJ

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 15:12

By PoliceOne Staff

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The International Association of Chiefs of Police announced that they have received a $7 million award from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

The funding will allow the IACP and other prominent law enforcement associates to create the Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center, also known as CRI-TAC, according to the IACP. The CRI-TAC will provide quality, customizable technical assistance for state, local, territorial and tribal LE agencies.

The CRI-TAC is built around the philosophy that local involvement and accountability are vital for ensuring that agencies can meet the needs and expectations of the communities while also being prepared to face modern issues in LE. This will allow agencies to enhance their organizational, public safety, crime reduction and community policing effectiveness.

Technical assistance will also be tailored to each agency to ensure that it meets their specific and unique needs.

The law enforcement associations formally involved in the project include:

Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy Associates (FBINAA) International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA)
Categories: Latest News

Officer turns own brother in for deadly hit-and-run incident

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 15:06

By PoliceOne Staff

FRESNO, Calif. — When officers arrested a suspect in a deadly hit-and-run incident, they were led to him in an unusual way.

KFSN-TV reports that Kong Yang, 33, was likely walking across a road when he was struck and killed by a vehicle that fled the scene. No one knew what happened until a passerby saw his body in the bushes.

Hours after the crime, Fresno police officers were briefed about the crime and provided specific details about the driver and car. The descriptions sounded familiar to one officer.

The officer called his brother and asked him if he was involved in a collision the night before, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. His brother, who worked at a nightclub, said he was driving home from work when he hit something that “he thought was either a dog or a sign.”

The suspect, Cody Sanders, reportedly went back to the scene and didn’t see anything unusual, so he left. But the officer knew the right thing had to be done.

The officer was able to convince Sanders to speak to detectives, leading to his arrest.

Sanders faces one count of felony hit-and-run. Chief Dyer said Sanders and his brother remain on good terms despite the outcome.


Categories: Latest News

Grand jury to Pa. state police: Give up trooper shooting probes

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 13:21

By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

EASTON, Pa. — The “arrogant” Pennsylvania State Police should stop investigating shootings by its own troopers to ensure such probes are transparent and “free from potential bias or conflicts of interest,” a grand jury said in a scathing report released Tuesday.

The grand jury urged Gov. Tom Wolf to force the agency to step aside and allow for independent investigation when a shooting involves one of its own, citing a national climate of “distrust of law enforcement” over police shootings and whether they’re investigated thoroughly.

State police have long insisted on retaining jurisdiction over probes of line-of-duty shootings by its troopers.

“PSP leadership have a somewhat arrogant opinion of their own superiority over any other law enforcement agency, which has contributed to their recalcitrant position,” the grand jury said.

Spokesman Ryan Tarkowski said state police will review the grand jury’s report and “respond as appropriate.” Wolf’s spokesman, J.J. Abbott, said the governor has confidence in the state police “but he is also open to feedback.”

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, who has been sharply critical of the state police policy, released the 38-page report. He sought the grand jury after state police refused to allow his detectives to take the lead on a probe of a fatal trooper shooting near Easton. Troopers shot and killed Anthony Ardo on May 20 after he ignored their commands and attempted to light the fuse of a firework mortar around his neck.

The grand jury concluded that Ardo’s shooting was justified. At Morganelli’s behest, the panel then began investigating state police procedure on trooper-involved shootings, concluding after months of study that one of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies is going about it the wrong way.

State police continued to insist that its policy works.

“The Pennsylvania State Police remains confident that the necessary protocols are in place to conduct all investigations in a fair, impartial, and transparent manner,” Tarkowski said Tuesday. “The department has a breadth and depth of resources available 24 hours a day, seven days a week that is unsurpassed by any other law enforcement agency in the commonwealth.”

Even though the grand jury ruled that troopers were justified in shooting Ardo, the panel said it had “serious questions and concerns” about how state police conducted the probe.

“The involved troopers were given special treatment by the investigating team ... not generally afforded to others who are the subject of a criminal investigation,” the report said.

The grand jury also revealed that cameras in the troopers’ patrol cars were not running when the troopers first began interacting with Ardo, hindering the investigation. The panel recommended that state police outfit all troopers with body cameras. State police ignored a similar recommendation made by another grand jury in 2014.

The grand jury’s recommendations are not binding on state police.

State police went to court in an unsuccessful effort to quash the grand jury, arguing it had no authority to investigate its internal procedures. A judge overruled state police in November and said the panel could continue its work. Northampton County Judge Stephen Baratta accepted the grand jury’s findings on Dec. 27 and ruled its report could be released to the public.

“We viewed the filing by the Pennsylvania State Police ... as an attempt to obstruct the grand jury,” the panel wrote. “The filing represented an arrogant attempt to intimidate the grand jury.”

PA State Police Grand Jury Report by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

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Categories: Latest News

Off-duty NC cop fatally shoots alleged shoplifting suspect armed with knife

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 12:40

Associated Press

GREENVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina police department says an off-duty officer shot and killed an alleged shoplifting suspect at a sporting goods store.

A news release from Greenville police sent to local media outlets said the officer was shopping at the store on Tuesday when another shopper told him about a shoplifter.

The news release said the officer confronted the alleged shoplifter, identified himself and displayed his credentials. The man tried to attack the officer with a knife before the officer drew his weapon and shot the suspect.

Police Chief Mark Holtzman said the suspect died at the scene. The identities of the officer and suspect were withheld.

Holtzman has asked the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation conduct the primary investigation, and Greenville police will look into the incident as well.


Categories: Latest News

Colo. cop shot in New Year's Eve ambush in 'tremendous' pain but recovering

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:55

By John Bear Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

DENVER — When Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle's son, Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Pelle, was considering pursuing a career in law enforcement in high school, the two had many conversations regarding the high stakes that come with police work.

"When he was making a career decision and deciding what to do in college, we talked about it a lot," Joe Pelle said.

Jeff Pelle was one of four Douglas County sheriff's deputies shot — one of them fatally — on Sunday morning while responding to a domestic disturbance call at a Highlands Ranch apartment.

A Castle Rock police officer was also shot, as were two civilians, and police later shot and killed the gunman.

Jeff Pelle, 32, is continuing to recover from a gunshot wound, but remains in "a tremendous amount of pain," his father told the Daily Camera on Tuesday evening.

"He is hurt and he is hurting," Joe Pelle said. He added his son is still recovering from a collapsed lung, but is expected to recover from his injuries.

"They got him up today with a lot of help and he walked around the ICU," Joe Pelle said. "The bullet missed his heart by an inch."

Although he is happy his son survived the incident, Joe Pelle said a "mixed bag of emotions" exists, because his son's colleague, Deputy Zackari Parrish, was fatally shot in the incident.

"It could have been our funeral, so there is a relief," Joe Pelle said. "There is also a tremendous sadness for the family of Zack and his little girls."

Parrish, 29, is survived by a wife and two young daughters.

Joe Pelle said that he and his family have received a great deal of support from his church, the community at large and his colleagues at the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

"It's been wonderful," he said. "It's been overwhelming. We haven't been able to respond to everyone."

He said that when his son, a Longmont High School graduate, finished his education at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, he attended the Weld County Law Enforcement Academy.

He said his son took his first police job in Pueblo County — far enough from Boulder County that he could make his own reputation as a police officer. Jeff Pelle, who has been a police officer for about seven years, eventually took a job at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

"He couldn't have gotten hired or promoted (in Boulder County) without everyone second-guessing him," Joe Pelle said. "His start in Pueblo was good. None of his coworkers knew who I was. He was down there making it on his own."

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Family picture update from Sheriff Pelle: Sheriff Pelle (Boulder SO), Deputy Pelle (Douglas SO), and family, earlier this afternoon. #CopperCanyonOIS

Posted by Boulder County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, December 31, 2017

©2018 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)


Categories: Latest News

5 commitments police officers should make for 2018

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:32

By Lawrence Lujan, P1 Contributor

Resolution | re-z?-?lü-sh?n | a decision or determination Commitment | k??mitm?nt | the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

The New Year is here and many people will make resolutions that while verbalized, are never kept or even started. Instead, resolve to start off 2018 with five commitments that will set the foundation for the year to come.

1. Get functionally fit

If you do not regularly take part in some type of physical activity, commit to doing so on a regular basis. This could be a defensive tactics course, running, lifting, functional fitness or yoga for first responders.

When you can’t get to or apply your tools in law enforcement, your safety will come down to going hands on. Strength, skill and endurance are what get police officers through these physical events. Do yourself a favor and take care of your health and get fit.

2. Regularly qualify

Run your agency qual course for all weapon systems (pistol, patrol rifle and, yes, shotgun) and for your off-duty carry.

Do some real-world weapons practice such as weapons transition, reloads, shooting on the move and shooting from cover.

Here are 50 round pistol, rifle and shotgun courses that run you through these types of drills.

3. Clean your guns

Guns are a police officer’s first and in some cases, last line of defense.

Start the New Year off by conducting a thorough and complete breakdown, inspection and cleaning of your weapons.

Check for broken gas rings and other broken or damaged parts. If you don’t know how to do this, take your guns to someone who knows how to do so for you (all agencies have that one person).

Use Frog Lube, Mirachem, Hoppes #9 or your favorite cleaner and lubricant to make sure your weapon will function when called upon to do so.

4. Check your gear

Take a look at your Sam Browne and your TAC vest. Make sure your current set up still fits you and your needs. If not, take it apart and set it up so that it does. Under stress, your hands should naturally go to where your kit is on your belt or vest.

Team leaders should have their teams safely unload their side arms and remove the TASER cartridge from their TASER, then run them through dry runs.

Call out the tool, for example, “Baton.” Officers should immediately deploy the tool called out without having to search and rummage with both hands while looking to retrieve it. This is a great monthly drill.

Replace the batteries to your flashlight, pistol and rifle light. Replace your old nitrile gloves with new ones. Inspect your tourniquet and other medical equipment to make sure they are in working condition. Practice applying your tourniquet.

If you carry a window punch, make sure it functions and isn’t fouled with debris.

Clean, disinfect and lubricate your handcuffs.

5. Commit to serving and surviving

Start the New Year and every day by committing to survival and service. Write yourself a note and post it where you will see it. Repeat and commit to what it says each time you suit up: I will serve my community – no matter what may come, I will overcome and I will survive!

Team leaders can remind everyone of why they serve by having them recite their oath of honor, agency mission statement and core values.

Stay ready and be the one that brings the others back.

About the author Lawrence Lujan is a field and training sergeant with 27 years of service with the El Paso Police Department. A long-time member of the SWAT team, he served as both member and team leader. He brings a unique set of skills to the law enforcement arena and has a varied background in leadership, firearms, international training and operational tactics. He is the editor-in-chief for Tactical Solutions Magazine (Journal of the International Tactical Training Association).


Categories: Latest News

How to measure the effectiveness of police training programs

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 10:54

Author: Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

What percentage of your police training budget is intentionally designed to make your officers better at serving and protecting?

We would all like the answer to be "100 percent of course," but the reality is that a significant number of training hours focus on:

    Politically mandated courses, or training that addresses public perception concerns (oh yes, Ms. Citizen Activist, since that drug raid we've all had puppy CPR training); Risk management (oh yes, Mr. Insurance rep, we had backing out of the parking lot recertification); Officer motivation (we can't afford a pay raise but look, we're sending you to training!); Buffet style (hey, look at this flyer that came in the mail on underwater fingerprint processing, let's send somebody!).

Maybe it's time to audit your police training program based on three major components: the subject matter, the instructor and the medium.

As with any triangulation, three fixed points will define the parameters used to measure training effectiveness. If the 16th-century mathematician Rheticus was right, what gets measured gets managed. Here are some ideas for formulating an assessment of your police training program.

The subject matter

The basic question of what to train is most effectively answered by data. Merely asking police officers what they'd like to see on the training calendar is not enough. Here are some strategies to identify what police training should focus on:

Talk to prosecutors to discover patterns in cases that are quickly pled out or fail to get prosecuted. Talk to victim advocates to hear patterns of complaints about how officers interacted with citizens. Conduct satisfaction surveys from citizens, including violators and arrestees, to see what your officers are doing right so that a positive culture of service can be reinforced. Use notes from incident debriefings to find gaps in training and performance. And do incident briefings regularly, not just on the headline-making operations. Examine performance evaluations and question supervisors about systemic deficiencies. Consider learning communities to keep important dialog about training and performance a regular part of management.

Once the subject matter needs are assessed, the temptation is to assign a "block of instruction" to address the need. That may not be the most efficient approach.

The training medium

Once your evaluation has identified training needs, the next step is to determine how training deficits are addressed.

Be specific in determining the learning outcome. The prosecutor may say that officers need more training in police report writing. The reality may be that problems are largely around evidence descriptions, describing suspicious behavior justifying a contact, or another narrow issue. The training medium may be a memo stating the problem, and meeting with supervisors to encourage review of that particular issue when approving reports. Make learning outcomes measurable. We all have written lazy lesson plans. "The student will learn…, the student will know…the student will discover" tells the student, instructor and evaluator nothing. My favorite definition of learning is a change in behavior. When we know what we want the officer to do as a result of training, we can construct a learning objective and measure how well that goal was met. Learners should know what they are expected to know, and not be surprised on what they are evaluated at the end of the course. Testing should be a learning experience as well. Consider using short evaluations frequently throughout a class rather than a big final exam. Ditch measuring training by hours. With specific and comprehensive learning objectives, we can rid ourselves of hundreds of personnel hours of mandated training. If objectives can be met in an hour of discussion, then class dismissed! How many times have we been prisoners of an instructor who had to tap dance for the last two hours of an eight-hour course for lack of relevant material? Don’t train in a vacuum. Police activities don't occur in a vacuum. We have law classes, traffic stop classes and use of force classes as stand-alone instruction. But the officer must integrate those subjects into a single incident. Why not integrate them during instruction? Insert a learning objective in a course already being conducted that addresses a training need that doesn't require its own class. Get your skills instructors together to coordinate lesson plans. Individual training may be the most efficient answer to a training need. When one officer errs, is it necessary to mandate the whole department undergo training? I had an officer who wounded himself slightly with an unintentional off-duty firearms discharge. I arranged for re-training for all officers. I could have addressed that particular officer's need, but decided that the incident might reflect a risk among other officers, and a high liability. Those are decisions leaders must make, but the default of everybody getting re-trained may not be necessary Enhance your program with supplemental training. Online and recorded training can be efficient, effective and economical. Supplement individual learning experiences with a group discussion about the course, webinar, or video at briefings or other training events. Use scenario training. Students retain information better if they use all of their sensory tools, engage the material with others and the information is relevant to their experience. Using case studies and scenario training can be very effective, but scenario training must be carefully constructed to reinforce the desired behaviors in the learner and avoid creating adverse training imprints, as well as injury to participants. Develop mini-lessons. PoliceOne roll call training is a perfect example. The police trainer

Although ultimate responsibility for learning rests upon the student, the single most important component is who leads the learning process. Characteristics of outstanding police trainers include:

They understand the value of subject matter expertise. This means that a trainer knows the subject well enough to be honest when he or she doesn't know the answer to a question. A subtle sign of lack of expertise is the inability to acknowledge the limits of knowledge about a limitless subject. They are student-focused rather than trainer-focused. Lots of police instructors have good reasons to be proud of their accomplishments, but no one wants an eight-hour commercial about how great their teacher is. Use war stories to emphasize a learning objective, not to walk down memory lane. They have credibility. Whether it is years on the force, specialized training, or hero awards, an instructor's bio should be available to learners and decision makers. When I get a training announcement, I am just as interested in who is teaching as I am on the subject matter, because both are critical to success. They are intuitive and professional. Being an instructor is like being a leader in that some seem to be born for it, some have it thrust upon them, and some are educated into it. The best trainers know how adults learn and how the brain works (maybe they've read my book). They pay attention to instructor evaluations and other effective trainers.

Training is more critical to success in policing with each passing year. Is your agency making the most of it?


Categories: Latest News

Kan. chief: Department has no policy, specific training on 'swatting'

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 08:59

Author: Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

By Tim Potter The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — The Wichita Police Department has no policy or specific training on “swatting” – a hoax that involves officers being dispatched to faked emergencies, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Tuesday.

Ramsay said he is getting calls from police chiefs around the nation after a Wichita police officer shot and killed an innocent man Thursday when responding to a fake emergency call.

But Ramsay said the department is determined to learn from the tragedy in which Andrew Finch, a victim of swatting, stepped onto his front porch Thursday night and was killed by a Wichita police officer. Police thought that they were responding to a violent hostage situation at the home.

“There will be a thorough review of this,” Ramsay said in a phone interview Tuesday evening. “We want to do everything we can so nothing like this never happens again, ever.”

He called Finch’s death a “terrible tragedy” for Finch’s family, adding, “Now we have staff whose lives are forever changed by this incident.” And the community is in mourning, he said.

His understanding, Ramsay said, is that it is the first such fatal swatting shooting in the nation.

Ramsay also provided new details about the shooting and the hoax call that led to it: None of the officers at the scene of the faked emergency were members of the police tactical team, known as SWAT, that is specially trained to handle hostage situations like the one that was called in Thursday and led to Finch’s death.

It was too early in the emergency call for the SWAT team to arrive “or even be called,” Ramsay said.

The initial hoax call that came to the police desk at City Hall showed up as a local call, from the 316 area code, Ramsay said. “The information I have, it was a spoofed number,” Ramsay said, meaning the number was faked.

Police have released some limited video of the incident because “it’s the one .. that provides the most visual details” of the shooting, he said.

“We believe what it shows … his (Finch’s) hands go up and down and around his waistband, and the one arm goes out at about a 45-degree angle.”

The video provided was worn by an officer next to the officer who fired, Ramsay said.

The body camera worn by the officer who pulled the trigger was apparently on his head and didn’t show as much, Ramsay said.

Asked whether police will release all the video, Ramsay said: “I want to release all that I can. It has got to be in conjunction with the prosecuting attorney’s office. … When this is done, we will release all the video. But the decisions … now have to be done in conjunction with prosecutors and state law.

“And it’s still an active investigation,” he said. “We don’t want to influence witnesses; we don’t want to influence jurors.”

©2018 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)


Categories: Latest News

Man on his way to drug deal asks Calif. cops for directions

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 08:50
Author: Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

By Benjy Egel The Sacramento Bee

ANDERSON, Calif. — Crime doesn’t pay. If it did, maybe he would have bought a GPS.

A Redding resident is behind bars after allegedly illegally parking next to two uniformed police officers, then asking them how to get to the site of a planned drug deal.

Around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, police say Chris Meng Lee parked his black BMW in front of a red-painted curb and fire hydrant near the intersection of Church and North streets in Anderson. The 40-year-old Redding man then walked over to two Anderson Police Department officers sitting in their squad cars and asked for directions to a mobile home park at the crossroads of two streets that don’t intersect, according to an Anderson Police Department media release.

The officers asked in return if they could search his car. He agreed. They found two bags containing about a pound-and-a-half of marijuana of Lee’s trunk and a loaded gun in the driver’s door pocket, according to the police report. As a convicted felon, he is barred from owning a firearm and live ammunition.

The police then asked and received permission from Lee to search his cell phone. Text messages between Lee and another phone number allegedly indicated he had been on his way to sell the pot before getting lost.

Lee was booked into Shasta County Jail on suspicion of possesssion of marijuana for sales, possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed loaded firearm in a vehicle and driving without a valid license.

“It should be noted that our officers are always willing to assist the motoring public with directions when they get lost, however we would encourage the public not to illegally park their vehicles and approach our officers in their parked vehicles,” the police department said in its media release. “Especially while illegally possessing loaded firearms and drugs.”

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Felon With Firearm Asks APD For Directions to Drug Deal On January 2, 2018, at about 1:45 AM two Anderson Police...

Posted by Anderson Police Department on Tuesday, January 2, 2018

©2018 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Categories: Latest News

VA document: Man who killed Colo. deputy had fled mental ward

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 08:39

Author: Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

By Dan Elliot Associated Press

DENVER — The gunman who killed a Colorado sheriff's deputy escaped from the mental health ward of a VA hospital in Wyoming in 2014 but was located and returned, according to a Veterans Affairs document obtained by The Associated Press Tuesday.

The document was provided to the AP by a congressional aide on condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to release it. The document was first reported by The Denver Post.

The gunman, Matthew Riehl, fatally shot Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish and wounded four other officers on Sunday, Colorado authorities said. Riehl was killed by a SWAT team.

The VA document said Riehl was hospitalized at the veterans medical center in Sheridan, Wyoming, in April 2014 after a psychotic episode. The document said he escaped but was found and brought back.

The VA issued a statement saying it "cannot ordinarily discuss the specific care of any veteran without a privacy release." A spokeswoman for the Sheridan VA hospital did not respond to an after-hours phone message and email.

In addition to Riehl's hospitalization in Sheridan, the VA document said he had an "urgent contact for mental health" with another VA facility in July 2015. It did not describe the nature of the contact or say where that facility was, but it was in the department's Eastern Colorado Health Care System, which includes a hospital in Denver and nine clinics in other cities.

The document said Riehl was on multiple medications in 2015 stemming from an earlier hospitalization, but it did not say what those medications were or why they had been prescribed.

The document identified Riehl as an Army veteran who was honorably discharged. It said his records did not list any military service-related psychiatric disorders.

Colorado authorities said Riehl served in Iraq.

Officials said Riehl, 37, was armed with a rifle and ambushed the officers at his apartment in Highlands Ranch, 16 miles (28 kilometers) south of Denver.

Four deputies, including Parrish, were shot in the initial gunfire. A police officer was wounded later.

The wounded officers managed to get away but had to leave Parrish behind because of their injuries and the ongoing gunfire. Two people in nearby apartment units were also wounded.

The SWAT team arrived about 1 ½ hours after the confrontation began, and Riehl was killed in a gunfight. Authorities said Riehl fired more than 100 rounds during the prolonged standoff.

Before the shooting, Riehl made videos showing himself calling 911 and then opening his apartment door and talking to responding officers.

The footage, livestreamed on Periscope, was obtained by Denver's KUSA-TV. The station broadcast clips from two videos in which Riehl says he would not hurt anyone except to defend himself before calling authorities.

"Maybe I bought over 1,000 rounds of ammunition from Walmart. It's not illegal," he says.

When authorities arrive at Riehl's suburban Denver apartment, the footage shows him talking to at least two officers, telling them he wants to file an emergency restraining order against his domestic partner. He is upset when one officer offers to give him a phone number to call, and leaves the doorway to go back into a room.

At another point, Riehl is seen holding a glass in his hand and says he's had two scotches. He is heard saying that drinking would help him defend himself if someone bothers him.

The TV station said Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock verified the authenticity of the videos and said the 911 call made by Riehl was the second one from his apartment in Highlands Ranch on Sunday.

The first 911 call was made by Riehl's roommate, who told authorities Riehl was acting strangely and might be having a mental breakdown. Responding deputies to that call found no evidence of a crime and left.

The footage shows the shooting but the station did not air that footage. A clip purporting to show it has been posted elsewhere online.

Riehl, an attorney, previously posted videos criticizing Colorado law enforcement officers in profane, highly personal terms.

Riehl attended the Wyoming College of Law in Laramie. Law college students had been warned about Riehl because he criticized law professors in social media posts.

A Nov. 6 email from Assistant College of Law Dean Lindsay Hoyt told students to notify campus police if they spotted Riehl or his car near campus, according to KTWO-AM in Casper, Wyoming. In addition, security on campus was increased for several days.

Campus officers called police in Lone Tree, Colorado, in mid-November to warn them about Riehl, suggesting his rants were indicative of mental illness, UW Police Chief Mike Samp told The Denver Post.

Samp said it's possible that Colorado authorities faced the same issue as Wyoming officials when an apparently mentally ill, dangerous person makes indirect threats.

Riehl was licensed as a lawyer for five years in Wyoming and voluntarily gave up his license in 2016, said Wyoming Bar Association executive director Sharon Wilkinson.

He practiced at a law firm in the small city of Rawlins and later opened his own practice but withdrew from the bar in October 2016, making him ineligible to practice law in the state, Wilkinson said. That's the same year records indicate he moved back to Colorado.

Wilkinson says the bar received no complaints about Riehl.


Categories: Latest News

Man threatens to kill, eat Mass. officer’s family

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 15:02

By PoliceOne Staff

ORANGE, Mass. — A Massachusetts man faces several charges after reportedly punching an officer and threatening to kill and eat his family.

The Greenfield Recorder reports that Jeffrey R. Liimatainen, 26, reportedly threw a boot and punched Officer Adam Cooley in the chest. Afterwards, the suspect was being transferred to a jail when he threatened to kill and eat the cop’s family.

Cooley and his colleague Officer Jonathan Cole were initially dispatched to a home on Christmas Eve after receiving a report about a woman who wanted her intoxicated son removed from her home. Officers noticed Liimatainen’s bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

When a friend declined to take Liimatainen home, officers put him into protective custody. After arriving at the police station, Liimatainen reportedly told officers he was going to fight them and run away. Police said the suspect became aggressive when the officers tried to transfer him to a jail and threw one of his boots at Cooley, missing the officer by a few feet.

Liimatainen then punched Cooley’ before being apprehended by another officer. The suspect was in the booking room when he told Cooley he was going to tie up his family, kill them and eat them while the officer watched.

The suspect also spat in the booking room and in the back of the police cruiser.

Liimatainen faces a slew of charges, including assault and battery of a police officer.


Categories: Latest News

Trooper dies from 9/11-related illness

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 15:00

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A New York State Trooper died from an illness stemming from his assignment at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

WABC-TV reports that Trooper Michael J. Anson, 56, died from the disease on Tuesday. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Anson was one of the many first responders who aided in the search and recovery efforts. The disease he had has not been disclosed.

Anson served the state police for his entire 31-year career. Anson leaves behind a wife and three children.

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New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II is saddened to announce the death of Trooper Michael J....

Posted by New York State Police on Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Categories: Latest News

8 best tactical knives for police officers

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:17

By PoliceOne Staff

Every police officer knows that the tools they carry on the job can drastically change the outcome of a situation. A quality tactical knife is one example of an important and versatile tool.

Tactical knife brands engineer knives for heavy duty use in a variety of conditions. You’ll find that many offer, for example, combination smooth and serrated blades, textured grips, additional protection against wet conditions, etc.

These combinations of different features can make it difficult to choose which tactical knife is best for you. Here’s our round-up of some of the best tactical knives for police officers.

1. GERBER 06 AUTO KNIFE

Price: Around $100

The Gerber 06 Auto Knife is a fully automatic knife, ready to deploy in an instant. This particular Gerber pocket knife is crafted with premium stainless steel, S30V. This knife also has some unique and useful features, like its over-sized release button which for the times you wear gloves while working. Its aluminum-handle has comfortable contours for a reliable grip, and a convenient lanyard hold.

Only available (through the Gerber site) to military and law enforcement members.

2. SPYDERCO TENACIOUS G-10 BLACK

Price: $69.95

Spyderco named the Tenacious G-10 for its “tough and tireless” features. Steel liners strengthen the laminate handle while keeping the knife light and convenient. The handle itself comfortably follows the natural contours of the hand to reduce grip fatigue. There are several edge options to choose from (plain, combination, and SpyderEdge), so you can choose the blade that best suits your field requirements.

3. 5.11 TANTO SURGE

Price: $89.99

The 5.11 Tanto Surge tactical knife’s claim to fame is its designer, blade expert Mike Vellekamp. This is a full-sized blade (4.25”) suitable for both defensive and tactical use. Its black oxide finish is ideal for environments where minimizing visibility is important. It comes with a custom polymer sheath, and can also be used with the 5.11 ThumbDrive Thigh Rig.

4. COLUMBIA RIVER HISSATSU FOLDER

Price: $99.99

The Columbia River Hissatsu Folder’s spring-assisted opening is one of its key selling points—that, and the Hissatsu name. Special Forces and other service professionals around the world choose Hissatsu knives for their versatility and durability and the Folder is no exception. James Williams, the series’ designer, engineers his blades for safety as well as performance, which is why the Folder features automated liner safety and glass reinforced nylon handles.

5. SMITH AND WESSON BLACK SWAT KNIFE (SMOOTH DROP POINT BLACK BLADE)

Price: $57.95

Smith and Wesson takes as much pride in designing its tactical knives as it does its legendary guns, and it shows in the Black SWAT knife. Many professionals consider this one of the best spring knives at its price point. Slip-resistant grip tape, a safety lock, liner lock, and thumb grip make this a very solid choice as a police tactical knife.

6. BENCHMADE NIMRAVUS

Price: $190.00

The Nimravus family represents some of the Benchmade brand’s best fixed-blade tactical combat knives. Officers looking for an exceptionally high quality fixed blade knife can fully customize the blade style (tanto or drop point), edge (plain or serrated) and handle color (black or sand). Benchmade will even add custom laser marking, making this knife a wonderful gift option. Precision balance and a well-engineered grip ensure this American-made knife feels good in the hand.

7. KA-BAR ORIGINAL TDI

Price: $55.24

KA-BAR designed the Original TDI as an unambiguous defensive knife. A weapon of last resort, this small, matte black blade disappears against a black utility belt in its custom sheath. Its unique short-blade, razor-sharp, design makes it very difficult for a suspect to disarm the officer. It’s exceptionally light as well, ideal for daily carry. The Original TDI is without a doubt one of the premier defensive knives in this price range and a welcome addition to any officer’s toolkit.

8. Zero Tolerance 0562

Price: $250.00

The ZT 0562 is one of the most popular tactical knives by Zero Tolerance.The blade is known for its fast open, and quality steel. The ELMAX® blade is flat-ground so it excels in slicing with efficiency while maintaining a tough point.

You can find more tactical knife options at our tactical knife page. If you’re having a hard time determining which features are most important for your next knife, you also might want to take a look at our article, 4 helpful tips on choosing the right knife.

What is your go-to tactical knife? Comment below.


Categories: Latest News

Cop denied benefits for Superstorm Sandy rescue injuries goes to court

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:22

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York police officer denied disability retirement benefits after being injured rescuing a family during Superstorm Sandy deserves them because he wasn't trained for such rescue work, his lawyer argued Tuesday before the state's highest court.

Attorney Joseph Dougherty told the seven-member Court of Appeals that Orangetown Police Officer James Kelly suffered neck and shoulder injuries in October 2012 as he helped a family trapped in its collapsing Rockland County home. With one resident dead and conditions delaying the arrival of rescue crews, Kelly was hurt as he removed debris off injured residents and deflected a falling rafter from hitting his partner, Dougherty said.

A lower court upheld the state's denial of his application for accidental disability retirement, or ADR, saying Kelly's injuries were a result of "risks inherent to being a police officer." Kelly is appealing that ruling.

Kelly is eligible for the enhanced pension benefits because he was injured as the result of an on-duty accident, Dougherty said. The lawyer argued that Kelly, unlike firefighters and other emergency responders, hadn't been trained for such situations, therefore the falling rafter wasn't a "foreseeable" event.

"My client was never asked to do ... what he had to do that day," Dougherty said.

The court also heard arguments in a similar case in which the state comptroller's office is appealing a lower court's annulment of the denial of ADR benefits for a Yonkers firefighter. The lower court ruled that Pat Sica was eligible for the benefits because he suffered a heart ailment from being exposed to toxic gases while responding to an emergency at a supermarket in September 2001.

The comptroller's office argued that Sica's injuries resulted from risks inherent to his duties as a firefighter and emergency medical technician trained to handle chemical incidents.

Decisions on the cases aren't expected until later this year.


Categories: Latest News

2 Tenn. officers recovering after being shot at New Year’s Eve party

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:16

By PoliceOne Staff

NEWBERN, Tenn. — Two Tennessee officers are recovering after being shot while responding to a disturbance call at a bar on New Year’s Eve.

WHBQ-TV reports that Newbern Officers Alex Martin and Cranston Fisk responded to a disturbance call at a bar where a New Year’s Eve party was taking place. When the officers arrived, shots were already being fired, and both officers and one civilian suffered gunshot wounds, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Both officers are expected to recover, the State Gazette reports. Martin underwent surgery after being shot in the abdomen and is in stable condition. Fisk was shot in the leg and foot and is also in stable condition.

One person has been taken into custody while two more suspects remain at large, according to WREG.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Two Newbern PD officers are recovering tonight after being shot this AM outside a bar. Chief told me Cranston Fisk & Alex Martin were hit. Fisk in the leg and foot. Martin in the abdomen. TBI is investigating. 2 suspects on the run. 1 other victim in hospital. pic.twitter.com/BfZTe4JeeI

— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCFOX13) January 2, 2018


Categories: Latest News

Officer suspended after calling in sick to watch kids during Irma

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:11

By PoliceOne Staff

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Florida police officer was suspended after calling in sick because she couldn’t find anyone to look after her children during Hurricane Irma.

The Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that Port St. Lucie Officer Erika Curry originally requested to use vacation time on Sept. 9 and 10 during Hurricane Irma, which was denied. She instead called in sick on those two days, leading to her suspension. She was suspended for 120 hours, which equates to 12 days of full shifts.

Master Sgt. Frank Sabol said officers in the department are obligated to work during hurricanes. The officer said she couldn’t find anyone to care for her kids because her firefighter husband was also required to work during the hurricane.

A complaint was issued against Curry on Sept. 20 and was signed and finalized in November. Curry did not deny the allegations.

Sabol said the officer already served her suspension.


Categories: Latest News

Off-duty Tenn. deputy dies following New Year’s Day crash

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:03

By PoliceOne Staff

DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tenn. — A deputy in Tennessee has reportedly died from injuries he suffered from a crash that occurred when he was returning from visiting family.

The Tennessean reports that Davidson County Deputy Joseph Gilmore was off-duty when the crash occurred. Sheriff Daron Hall said that it appears that Gilmore “may have fallen asleep (after) a holiday visit with his family.” He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Hall said before the accident, Gilmore spoke to a fellow officer about how tired he felt. He described the deputy as a “very good officer and good person.”

Gilmore had been with the department since February and had a girlfriend who also works for the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials said they are continuing to investigate the accident.


Categories: Latest News

Quiz: How clean is your cruiser?

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:00

Sponsored by Decon7 Systems

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Every cop has a story (or 10) about the guy who barfed, or worse, in the back seat. Do you know what might be lurking in your cruiser after such unfortunate incidents? Take our five-minute quiz to test your knowledge of various pathogens and what to do about them.
Categories: Latest News

Defend yourself against exposure to drugs and diseases with a ready-to-use decontamination spray

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:00

Sponsored by Decon7 Systems

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

OK, so you’ve busted the drug house or called the medical examiner’s office – or perhaps you’ve discovered that the last guy you arrested left a little something behind in your cruiser ... What now?

Scene safety is a priority for law enforcement, but too often that doesn’t include decontamination to protect officers and bystanders from the toxic effects created by exposure to drugs and diseases. What can cops do to protect themselves when they have to deal with barf in the back seat or a scene contaminated with dangerous narcotics?

Gloves, soap and water simply aren’t enough. You need a solution that will neutralize germs and the toxic properties of drugs, not just remove them from your hands to a towel or sink where they remain a hazard.

Decon7 Systems provides the patented D7 formula, which can neutralize toxic or infectious hazards posed from line-of-duty threats like fentanyl and bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis within minutes. The decontamination solution, developed for the U.S. Department of Defense, is available in the ready-to-use BDAS+ unit as well as bulk liquid.

A READY-TO-USE DECONTAMINATION TOOL

Washing with soap and water can remove contaminants from a surface, such as your hands or the back seat of your cruiser, but it doesn’t eliminate potential threats like bacteria or trace drug residue.

Unlike most decontamination products that must be mixed at the time of use, The BDAS+ provides the detergent, neutralization and accelerant in a single package and mixes them for one-step application. Simply pull the yellow safety tab from the nozzle, point it at the surface to be decontaminated, then pull the trigger.

“Officers have more important things to worry about than spending 10 or 20 minutes preparing and mixing a decontaminant that they need on the spot and not well after the fact,” said Joe Hill, defense product manager for Decon7. “With the BDAS+, you can pull a ready-to-use unit and spray it. There’s no mixing.”

The handheld unit, which weighs less than 2 pounds, can be stored in your cruiser and deployed within seconds. In addition to enabling rapid response, the BDAS+ eliminates potential for human error because it automatically mixes the solution’s three components.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Once the D7 solution is mixed and applied to a surface and in contact with the threat, the neutralization process begins. The formula disinfects, decomposes and partially digests pathogens like bacteria and viruses and breaks down contaminants like fentanyl and other drugs. Positively charged micelles, or clusters of molecules, draw germs and contaminants into the liquid, where the hazard is chemically altered to render the contamination harmless in a matter of minutes.

D7 can reduce the number of germs present by up to 10 million times, and testing shows that the formula eliminates more than 97 percent of fentanyl in five minutes. The formula is not flammable, is minimally corrosive and is biodegradable once mixed.

SAFE FOR FREQUENT USE

While chlorine and bleach solutions will neutralize many biological and chemical agents, the runoff of these solutions is still hazardous. Also, bleach itself is highly corrosive and can cause damage to many surfaces, particularly the plastics common in police vehicles. Alcohol and ammonia present similar inhalation hazards and potential damage to surfaces.

D7 can kill most pathogens – without harmful fumes like bleach – and neutralize dangerous narcotics like fentanyl by breaking them down into nontoxic substances. The formula is safe to apply on a variety of surfaces, including plastics and metals, and it creates no noxious fumes or odors.

Although D7 complies with environmental regulations, D7 is not FDA-approved for skin application. Users should wear gloves and goggles, plus a mask and protective clothing when applying the solution in close quarters.

PROTECT YOUR HEALTH

D7 also eradicates smells, a definite plus for cops who need to clean their cruisers.

“I guarantee you, somewhere in the United States every day, someone is vomiting, urinating or defecating in a car, or bleeding or spitting, so you’re getting some sort of bodily fluid exposure daily,” Hill said. “D7 attacks the source of the smells, whether it’s from vomit, feces or urine, from animals or people, and in doing so neutralizes the health threat officers are being exposed to – because if you can smell it, you are being exposed.”

In addition to instant application with the BDAS+ unit, the bulk D7 solution can be applied with a foaming apparatus, low-pressure sprayer, mop or soaking system as well. Fogging can be especially effective to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

“If you fog your car with D7, in addition to applying D7 to the gross contamination from the BDAS+ or another applicator, not only are you killing the bodily fluid-borne pathogens, you’re also killing anything that has become an airborne pathogen,” said Hill. “Patrol officers live inside their cars while they’re on patrol, and you can do so many things to protect your health – like not just cleaning up what you can see, but also addressing the threats left behind that you can’t see.”

Police officers face numerous threats on the job, including exposure to hazardous narcotics like fentanyl and infectious diseases like hepatitis. Make sure you have adequate protection and decontamination tools so you can protect yourself from these threats.


Categories: Latest News

3 simple ways to protect yourself from drugs and germs on the job

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:00

Sponsored by Decon7 Systems

By Keith Graves for PoliceOne BrandFocus

Until 2014, I had gone 25 years without getting sick from a suspect. I wasn’t a germophobe, but I felt I did a pretty good job at protecting myself from the cooties that infect so many people we encounter on duty. Whenever I encountered someone with TB, I would dutifully put on my mask and wear nitrile gloves. If I searched a heroin addict, I would always clean up afterwards with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

My luck came to an end as I was helping animal control serve a search warrant at an apartment. The suspect was less than clean, and I ultimately contracted MRSA from that suspect during the investigation. MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is an infection, like staph – but it's tougher to treat than most strains of bacteria because it's resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.

I was hospitalized for four days trying to fight that infection.

Beware contaminated surfaces

Back in the day, the worst thing that could happen to you in the field was to get stuck by a dirty needle during a search. Now, we have threats like MRSA, which can survive for weeks on contaminated surfaces, including countertops and steering wheels – which is just about any place a person or contaminated item has touched.

We also have threats other than bacteria. Fentanyl has poisoned a number of officers in the past few months. Just like MRSA, fentanyl can be found scattered on drug paraphernalia, packaging material or in vehicles that you are searching.

Then there are viral threats like hepatitis. Hepatitis is a hardy virus that survives in the open air and can last on surfaces, like the back seat of your patrol car. There are vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, but not for hepatitis C. If you contract hepatitis, you could be afflicted with decreased liver function, cirrhosis or cancer.

In October, California declared a state of emergency over a statewide hepatitis outbreak among drug addicts and homeless individuals – two segments of the population that street cops deal with on a regular basis – after 18 people died from the disease.

These threats attack us on multiple fronts, from skin contact (like MRSA) to inhalation threats (like fentanyl). Now, more than ever, it is important for you to protect yourself. Here are three simple ways you can protect yourself from these threats and decontaminate your equipment.

1. Wear proper protective equipment

Our PPE has changed with these new threats. We used to be satisfied wearing latex gloves, but that doesn’t go far enough anymore. Unfortunately, latex gloves don’t provide enough protection from fentanyl. It’s time to ditch the latex gloves and switch to nitrile, which experts recommend because they are thicker.

You should also wear a fit-tested N95 mask to protect your respiratory system. Not only does it protect you from inhalation threats like fentanyl, it also protects you from TB and other airborne viruses.

2. Decontaminate any equipment that might be contaminated

Say you arrested a suspect that has MRSA and put him in your back seat. The patrol car will need to be decontaminated. So will your handcuffs and maybe even your clothes. How are you going to do that? After getting MRSA, I want more than just soap and water to decontaminate my clothing.

Decon7 Systems makes a suite of products that will decontaminate everything from your car to your laundry. The D7 BDAS+ is a portable, ready-to-use biological decontaminant accelerated spray that is safe to use on a variety of surfaces and neutralizes contaminants from fentanyl to hepatitis in less than 10 minutes. You can use the BDAS+ unit to spray down the back seat of your patrol car to kill bacteria and viruses, as well as to decontaminate your equipment.

You can wash your uniform with D7 Laundry, which is used by the U.S. military, to neutralize any narcotics or germs that you may have picked up. D7 is colorfast, biodegradable and will not degrade fabrics.

3. Be cautious with hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers come in different formulas. When I came in contact with my suspect that had MRSA, I dutifully washed down with my department-issued hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, I did not know that my agency had stopped using alcohol-based hand sanitizer because someone complained about the harshness of the alcohol on their skin.

Not having an alcohol-based hand sanitizer allowed the MRSA bacteria to stay alive on my skin. To avoid this happening to you, make sure that your hand sanitizer is alcohol-based.

However – and this is incredibly important – if you suspect that you are at a scene where fentanyl can be found, do not use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer! Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will accelerate the absorption of fentanyl into your skin by 100 times.

If you need to decontaminate your skin from any unknown substance, including possible fentanyl exposure, you should wash the affected skin with soap and water for 15 minutes. I recommend that officers keep a gallon of water in their trunk, along with soap, for just this purpose. Most officers already have a gallon jug of water in their trunk to decontaminate suspects exposed to OC (aka pepper spray or oleoresin capsicum), so you can kill two birds with one stone with this tactic.

It is a brave new world for officers on the street. We can still do our jobs while we deal with these threats, but we have to be smarter about protecting ourselves and decontaminating our equipment.

Don’t be afraid of these invisible threats – just make sure that you protect yourself while you are out protecting your community.

About the Author

Keith Graves is a retired police sergeant who worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for 29 years. He was named as California’s Narcotics Officer of the Year and is a prior winner of MADD’s California Hero Award. He has years of experience as a narcotics detective and a narcotics unit supervisor and is a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor (IACP #3292). He has developed several drug courses for the California Narcotics Officers Association, California POST and California colleges, and he currently consults with POST on drug investigation procedures. Keith has taught thousands of officers and businesses around the world about drug use, drug trends, compliance training and drug investigations. He is recognized as an international drug expert and has testified as an expert in court proceedings on drug cases, homicide cases and rape prosecutions. Keith is the founder and president of Graves & Associates, a company dedicated to providing drug training to law enforcement and private industry.

Contact Keith Graves


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