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Daily Archives: August 29, 2009

New K-9 joins the force in Cheney

K-9 April

K-9 April

Thanks to a new police program in Cheney it’ll soon be easier and faster for officers to find missing people or track down criminals.

Members of the Cheney Police Department arrived at Spokane International Airport just before noon Friday to officially greet their newest rookie officer … April the bloodhound.

“It’s uncommon in the state of Washington, there’s only two agencies in the state that I know have done it so far, one in a suburb of Seattle, the other in Chelan County has done this,” Cheney Police Chief Jeff Sale said.

Chief Jeff Sale, Cheney PD

Chief Jeff Sale, Cheney PD

The Cheney Police Department has been knocking around the idea of adding a bloodhound to its force for about two years and thanks to the generosity of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina the city of Cheney now has one more officer on the job.

April is the department’s first K-9 in a decade and as a bloodhound she’s specifically bred to track people, usually in a rural setting, so it’ll be an experience to have her training in a urban setting like a college town.

“The bloodhound is a non-aggressive animal. It wont bite, it just wants to find you and when it finds you it’s more likely to lick or get hair and slobber on you is the worst it’s gonna do so for our setting in a college down that’s more ideal for us, a non-aggressive dog,” Chief Sale said.

Chief Sale says April will stay in Cheney until she’s about one, then she’s be sent back to South Carolina to finalize her training after which she’ll be available any agency in Spokane County.

LINK

FOP Asks For Donations For Paralyzed K-9 Bosco

The local FOP has established a fund to help with an injured K-9’s medical care.K-9 Officer Bosco was shot in the line of duty Sunday, Aug. 23 as he was protecting his handler Zanesville officer Mike Schiele.

Schiele was attempting to arrest a Zanesville man on a misdemeanor warrant.

Schiele was shot in the leg and was treated and released from Grant Medical Center.

Bosco was shot through the neck and suffered multiple injuries.

Bosco currently is paralyzed, although he does have some movement in his back legs.

After several days of medical care and pain management, Bosco has shown some improvement.
Bosco has started daily rehabilitation sessions in hopes of regaining more movement as his body starts healing from its wounds.

Bosco is monitored 24 hours a day and is surrounded by dedicated caregivers at the Ohio State University Veterinarian Hospital in Columbus.

Capital City Lodge No. 9’s Fraternal Order of Police Foundation has established a fund to assist in defraying the costs of the medical care.

Bosco has received an outpouring of support from both the police and the public.

The Zanesville K-9 unit is paid for entirely by donations.

If you would like to contribute to Bosco’s care, make a cash donation to FOP Foundation’s “K9 BOSCO FOP Relief Fund” at any Central Ohio National City Bank location.

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Atlantic City’s sidelined police dog controversy inspires county K-9 demonstration

Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford pulled K-9 patrol dogs off the streets pending the outcome of an investigation into citizen’s complaints that the dogs were being used improperly during the apprehension of suspects.

This has K-9 police officers concerned for their safety and the safety of the public. The highly trained animals are sitting at home on official suspension.

Citizens have also complained that they want the dogs back on the streets.

A kerfuffle has broken out between the mayor and Atlantic City Police Chief John Mooney over investigative reports on alleged police brutality and K-9 dogs.

The mayor wants the hard data on the reports and Mooney said he is working on delivering the reports in the manner it was requested.

Mooney also said he is waiting for a report from the prosecutor’s office regarding the release of internal documentation.

In the meantime, Police K-9 dogs are getting a bad rap.

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson announced Friday that a Police K-9 demonstration will be hosted by the county. The county training academy comes under his jurisdiction.  He wants to reassure the public the dogs are properly trained. The community is invited to the demo.

Atlantic County Public Safety Director Vince Jones directly oversees the K-9 police dog training academy. He strongly supports the use of well trained, well maintained police dogs in apprehension, bomb detection, search and rescue, and crowd control.

Jones’ academy graduates have won numerous national awards in competition. He added that officers and their dogs come from throughout New Jersey for the specialized training they receive, including the K-9 dogs in Atlantic City.

“Sgt. Kevin McKnight from Atlantic City is in my opinion the best K-9 instructor in the country,” Jones said. “Not all the dogs that come to the academy graduate. Some are too aggressive and if they are, they wash out and do not go on to become K-9s”

The Atlantic County K-9 Training Academy will hold the demonstration at the AnthonyCanaleTrainingCenter, 5033 English Creek Avenue, EggHarborTownship at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 4.

“These dogs are highly trained, disciplined and well maintained,” said Levinson. “They are a valuable law enforcement tool.”

Levinson said it is critically important that the public understands how the dogs are trained and how they are handled. He said he is particularly interested in the safety of the officers, who are often put in harm’s way.

“They are a valuable law enforcement tool”, Levinson said. “I believe that the citizens of Atlantic County are well served by having these dogs on the street and that the more they understand how the dogs are trained and deployed, the more they will respect and appreciate this resource.”

LINK

Award for hero policeman who stopped man from committing suicide

geoffreyrobinson_britishtransportofficer
A POLICEMAN who risked his life to prevent a man committing suicide on the railway line at Flint Station has been awarded one of the country’s top life-saving honours.

The man had been released from a psychiatric hospital and was standing in front of an oncoming train making a mobile phone call to his mother to say goodbye.

British Transport policeman Geoffrey Robinson, of Holywell, said: “I was waiting near the far end of platform one at Flint Railway Station when I noticed in the distance my train approaching from the direction of Prestatyn, I was also aware that another train was heading in our direction on the ‘down’ line.

“Without warning I saw a man in the distance climbing over the fence near the public foot bridge. He stood facing the train and had his right hand pressed against his ear holding what I believed was a mobile phone and his left hand was held outwards pointing towards the sky.

“The train’s horns were sounded and at this point I ran towards him, shouted ‘Police’ which was initially ignored, I heard the train braking and the man who had now seen me approaching  made off alongside the still moving train.

“I continued chasing after him fully aware that the other line also had a moving train on it. I eventually stopped and detained him.

“As I was only in plain clothes I asked for assistance as I was unaware how volatile he may be. Fortunately the man was calm and gave me his name.

“I escorted him off the lines and asked what he was doing and he said he wanted to die and had been telephoning his mum at the time to say goodbye.

“He said he had been released for the weekend from the psychiatric hospital at Bodelwyddan after being treated there for three weeks.”

Geoffrey, who is based at Chester Station, is to receive a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Parchment.

The Society’s secretary, Dick Wilkinson, said: “The man stood between the tracks facing the oncoming train apparently intent on killing himself.

But for the brave actions of this alert police officer this incident could very easily have ended tragically.

“He saved a life, spared a train driver a traumatic experience, and thoroughly deserves this award.”

LINK

Ford preparing cops for life after Crown Vic, has police sample Taurus

crownvicQuick quiz: What vehicle transported Paris Hilton to prison? If you answered Ford’s Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, you took the easy route and you were correct. The older than thou Crown Vic accounts for about 85% of the 75,000 police vehicles sold each year – a market where styling, amenities and new safety features have little to do with the vehicle’s success.

The CV’s body-on-frame construction helps the ubiquitous cop cruiser stand up to the punishment doled out by the guys and gals in blue. Body-on-frame platforms are generally also easier to repair, and anyone who has been in a police parking lot can plainly see that these vehicles take a big-time beating in the name of public safety. The CV is also rear-wheel drive for better handling, it’s large enough to fit even the biggest of felons (and cops), and its column-mounted shifter enables the fuzz to have plenty of room for a laptop. But alas, the Crown Vic is also older than dirt. We’d joke that Henry Ford himself had a hand in the creation of the CV, but chances are that Henry II actually did, and he retired as the head of the Blue Oval when Pong was state-of-the-art video gaming technology.

According to The Detroit News, in June, Ford hosted police personnel from some of America’s biggest cities to discuss the future of the police cruiser. The Dearborn, MI-based automaker told the police departments that the Crown Vic would be gone by 2011. That’s bad news for departments like the LAPD, which has a shop set up specifically to deal with the CV. Some police departments told the Motown newspaper that rear-drive vehicles like the Charger can’t hold up to the abuse of police work. Others are looking into the Impala, though the front-drive Chevy hasn’t gained much traction with law enforcement. One ray of hope could come in the form of the Carbon Motors E7 purpose built police cruiser, but it isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, and it’s likely to be significantly more expensive than the equivalent Blue Oval cruiser.

Ford is in a bit of a predicament in that the Crown Vic has the police (and cab) market to itself and, as Ford President Mark Fields points out to The Detroit News, the CV gives Ford a presence in just about every municipality in America. One vehicle that Ford gave to police to drive during their stay in Dearborn was the new Taurus, which is almost as big and roomy as the CV, but with far more safety tech, improved fuel economy and the (costly) option of an Ecoboost V6 under the hood in the form of the SHO model. The Taurus may not be the ultimate answer (at least it won’t be outrun by a Toyota Camry or Nissan Altima), but Ford insists that it isn’t giving up its police share without a fight.

LINK

RELATED STORY

High-Tech Equipment Is The Star At CT Swat Challenge

Retired cop Gary Lenk recalled his own SWAT work this week as he watched police teams compete in hostage rescue drills during the opening of the two-day CT SWAT Challenge, the largest in New England.

“We were in the Stone Age, pretty pathetic compared to these guys today,” said Lenk, a 24-year veteran of the West Hartford police force, who retired in 1998. “They’re lightyears ahead of where we were in equipment and training,”

Think Extreme Cops and Robbers. Many of the estimated 400 officers on the 37 SWAT teams at the Nod Road firing range grounds had high-tech, cyborg-like gear. Many had 60-pound exoskeletons of protective body armor, wore stealth camo outfits and carried powerful assault weapons painted no-nonsense, non-reflective flat black.

“It’s very different from the first unit I was on years ago,” said James Strillacci, chief of the West Hartford police force, which sponsors the event.

The North Central Services Unit (Farmington, Avon, Bloomfield, Simsbury, Canton, Granby and Windsor) finished first Thursday night during an awards ceremony in West Hartford. Connecticut State Police Team No. 1 Western Region was second, and Central Region Emergency Response Team (Bristol, Southington, Simsbury) was third.

Connecticut State Police troopers Jeff Dubuc, left, Mark Wyler and Rob Girard carry colleague Joe Voket on the last leg of the hostage rescue challenge at the 2009 Connecticut SWAT Challenge. Teams from New England, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania competed in the West Hartford Police Department sponsored event. (MICHAEL McANDREWS/HARTFORD COURANT / August 26, 2009)

Connecticut State Police troopers Jeff Dubuc, left, Mark Wyler and Rob Girard carry colleague Joe Voket on the last leg of the hostage rescue challenge at the 2009 Connecticut SWAT Challenge. Teams from New England, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania competed in the West Hartford Police Department sponsored event. (MICHAEL McANDREWS/HARTFORD COURANT / August 26, 2009)

Many municipal SWAT teams have special armored vehicles to safely move officers in dangerous situations. Most teams train to use sniper rifles, stun grenades or other weapons. A few deploy radio-controlled robots to scout for hostages, suspects and weapons. There were special all-terrain vehicles for sale that would fit nicely on a “Mad Max” movie set.

About a dozen vendors offered glimpses of new high-end equipment. There is the special mirrored vehicle inspection system whose makers say it can tell a wad of chewing gum from a clump of plastic explosive, to the 1-pound horseshoe crab of a robot that can crawl almost anywhere and transmit video of what it “sees” to the video screen on the operator’s hand-held control unit.

However, SWAT success still depends on teamwork, training and a minimum of human error.

SWAT teams competed in marksmanship and on a complicated course that simulated an attempt to free hostages, disable gunmen, avoid trip wires linked to explosives and carry a comrade to safety after rescuing civilian captives.

In that case, the bad guys were targets of orange plywood and metal, the faux trip-wires strands of fishing line thumb-tacked to a wooden obstacle course and the “wounded” a volunteer from each squad. Even with inanimate “enemies,” the course was tough, said James Viadero, a captain on the Bridgeport Police force and a commander of its SWAT unit.

“The drills are an effort to simulate the wild cards that occur, to test some things the officers might not run into every day,” Strillacci said. “For example, it’s better to find out here that when you lie down to shoot your rifle, your vest pushes up into your helmet, which pushes down and hits your glasses and obscures your vision. “

Judges observed, scored and in some cases filmed teams to help rank entrants and give them information to improve their training.

LINK

Arrest of kidnap suspect Phillip Garrido hinged on instincts and dilligence of two members of UC Berkley police force

Ally Jacobs and Lisa Campbell (Cathy Cockrell, NewsCenter photo)

Ally Jacobs and Lisa Campbell (Cathy Cockrell, NewsCenter photo)

Alert action by two members of the UC Berkeley police force played a key role in Wednesday’s arrest of kidnapping suspect Phillip Garrido and the return of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who in 1991 at age 11 was abducted from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood.

“He had two little girls with him and they didn’t look right,” Lisa Campbell, manager of the UCPD special-events unit, says of her initial encounter with Garrido on Monday, when he came to her office to inquire about holding a campus event related to a group called “God’s Desire.” He said the event would be “‘big’ and the government was involved,” she recalls.

The man’s behavior seemed erratic to Campbell and the girls “sullen and submissive.” She got his name and made an appointment for 2 p.m. the following afternoon. “I was meticulous in how I treated him,” she says. “I didn’t want him to not come back the second day.”

By the time of the appointment the following afternoon, Officer Ally Jacobs had run a background check on Garrido and discovered that he was a registered sex offender on federal parole for kidnapping and rape. So she made a point to sit in with Campbell when the man returned for his appointment, promptly at 2, the two girls in tow.

Both children were pale, almost gray, they recall, as if they hadn’t had much exposure to the sun. The 15-year-old stood in a peculiar position — stiffly, with her hands on the front of her legs, looking up, while “the little kid was staring at me” with “pale, bright blue eyes,” Jacobs says.

The two girls “looked healthy, not malnourished, but drab. I couldn’t get over the intense stare of the younger girl, like she was looking into my soul,” says Jacobs. It felt, she adds, “like Little House on the Prairie meets cult with kids.” For Jacobs, who has two small children, “police intuition” merged with “mother’s intuition. … I started thinking like a concerned mom.”

The two UCPD employees attempted to engage the girls, asking questions that might help them get a read on the situation without alarming Garrido. What were their names? Why weren’t they in school? What grades were they in? The girls mumbled odd names in reply, Jacobs recalls, and said that they were home schooled. According to Campbell, their responses about their grade levels weren’t consistent, and when the 11-year-old was asked about a bump near one eye, she quickly answered that it was a birth defect. “It sounded rehearsed,” recalls Jacobs. “I was taken aback by her response.”

Garrido meanwhile was talking in a disorganized way, and offered up a booklet he’d written, titled “Origin of Schizophrenia Revealed.” He volunteered that 33 years ago he was convicted of kidnapping and rape, but that now he was “doing God’s work.” At one point he grabbed hold of the older girl, saying “They’re great girls. They don’t even know any curse words!” Jacobs recalls. The girl looked stiff and both she and her sister seemed fearful of any reaction that would displease their father, the officers report.

Jacobs did not have a basis on which to make an arrest. But when the man left, she called his parole officer in Concord, recommending that he check up on Garrido. When she came to work Wednesday morning, she had a telephone conversation with the parole office, who seemed surprised to hear about the girls. Garrido didn’t have any daughters, he asserted.

“My heart dropped. ‘These are kidnapped kids!'” Jacobs recalls thinking. It wasn’t until driving home that she heard the news of Garrido’s arrest.” As the story began to unfold, “I couldn’t believe I was part of something so big,” she says. “People are saying I was a hero. I don’t accept that. I was just doing my job.”

“I’m just grateful to have had an impact,” adds Campbell. “It’s a relief that those kids now have a chance for a life.”

In a statement Friday afternoon, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau commended the two officers and the UC Police Department for “exemplary” work. “Officer Ally Jacobs and Police Specialist Lisa Campbell displayed the intelligence, training, and professional intuition that are required of the best in police work,” he said. “This week that commitment resulted in a breakthrough in an 18-year-old kidnapping, and more importantly, it provided the opportunity for two children and their mother to live a new life, one that we all hope will bring them a full measure of happiness.”

More about the two officers

Lisa Campbell, 40, was born and raised in Chicago, Ill. She worked in the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for four years and gained experience in the juvenile court and corrections at the county jail. For eight years she was also an officer in Chicago, where she worked youth investigations. Campbell next worked with the San Diego district attorney’s office for two years as a welfare-fraud investigator, and spent three years as a background investigator for the Los Angeles Police Department. Lisa joined UCPD in January 2009 as manager of the special-events unit.

Ally Jacobs, 33, was raised in Southern California. She received a B.A. from San Francisco State University and worked for one year as a public-safety dispatcher there. Prior to coming to UCPD, Jacobs also spent one year as a police officer in Concord. She joined UCPD in 2001 and became a police officer in 2002; she is currently a field-training officer.

LINK

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