The A & E cable network will soon debut a brand new paranormal reality series.
Truth be told, despite my affinity for the paranormal, the majority of these types of shows don’t interest me and I don’t watch most of them. Yet, the television in my home will be tuned in to the A & E cable network to watch Paranormal Cops on Tuesday night.
I’ll tell you why.
There’s a shtick for this new show, of course, but it is a shtick that intrigues me. This team is comprised of Chicago police officers who “moonlight” as paranormal detectives. This new series allows us to “ride along” with the Chicago Paranormal Detectives (CPD).
I trust the “cop intuition” or “blue sense” that many good cops possess. A good cop can sense danger in their environment. A phrase used by cops is generally some variant of: “I just had a feeling in my gut that something wasn’t right.” This feeling allows them to observe evidence or quickly pinpoint suspicious activity to support that feeling.
Don’t get me wrong, a person does not have to choose law enforcement as their day job to possess these skills in order to investigate the departed. A good cop also possesses a specific skill set that helps to evaluate the living. A good cop can function as a human lie detector. They can infer the demeanor, facial expressions, emotions of people to detect lying, or guilt. This skill is crucial when evaluating a potential client before taking on a case. This team (hopefully like every other team out there) will not take a case based solely on a homeowner’s feeling that something “is just not right” about their environment. The homeowner must offer observed evidence and pinpointed examples of paranormal activity to support that feeling.
What makes this team stand out for me is the knowledge that members of this team were heavily screened, trained and certified to perform their day jobs. They successfully passed a battery of tests that predicted that they would be good cops. Predictions aren’t always right. “Bad cops” have been recruited into law enforcement.
Yet, there are no established and uniform screening guidelines for paranormal investigators. Anyone can form or join a paranormal team, and that worries me. Some groups do employ strict guidelines to screen and select team members. These groups are also strict in their screening process of potential clients. Not all groups are as strict. Additionally, there are generally accepted principles and methods utilized during paranormal investigatons, but they aren’t always adhered to. Paranormal teams have been known to split over the disagreement of paranormal investigation methodologies. The research methods, tools and techniques must be uniform across the board or how will we prove anything?
That is what appeals to me about CPD’s paranormal investigative methods. The methods, according to their website, are aligned with the same methods used to investigate crime scenes.
A visit to the Chicago Paranormal Detectives website reveals that pets must be removed from a home prior to an investigation. This is absolutely necessary in order to create a controlled and safe environment.
Yet, with the day job in law enforcement, it would make sense to me to employ a dog on investigations. In law enforcement, K9 units are trained to support officers in a way that’s more reliable than what man and technology can do without their aid. The acute senses of a dog could aid in paranormal investigations. Use the K9 unit in tandem with the K2 meter. If any team could select and train a dog for paranormal investigations, this team would be it. This team doesn’t use a K9, as far as I know, so that’s neither here nor there for this show at the moment.
End of rant.
I can’t predict whether this will be a good show or a bad show. I have this feeling in my gut that the show might be good. I studied the Paranormal Cops website, the Chicago Paranormal Detectives website, as well as the team’s blog. I will examine the last piece of evidence on Tuesday night to decide whether it’s good or bad.
By Cherlyn Gardner Strong
Phoenix officer Mike Burns left his three children on Christmas to go to work, jumping almost instantly into a developing Amber Alert search for a missing 5-year-old girl.
After several hours, he drove alongside a brown Ford Ranger pickup truck matching the description of a suspect vehicle seen leaving the north Phoenix apartment complex where the girl was abducted.
Burns eyed the truck through the nighttime darkness, spotting a male driver and young girl riding shotgun. The license plate and vehicle description were a bit different from the Amber Alert bulletin released hours earlier, but he persisted.
The driver – Larry Jon Ladwig – ignored the flashing lights from the police vehicle, sped up and led officers on a pursuit for nine minutes before wrecking into an apartment complex where he was arrested.
“When I turned on my lights and he sped up I was pretty sure I had the right truck,” said Burns, a Phoenix police K-9 handler honored Tuesday by Mayor Phil Gordon and others for his work in the girl’s rescue.
Burns, who “hates attention,” credited fellow officers who deployed stop sticks, helped arrest Ladwig and made sure the girl was safe.
“It makes you feel good but it’s not the first one of these things I’ve been involved in,” Burns said.
Radio traffic released Tuesday by Phoenix police detailed the lengthy pursuit that followed after Burns identified the truck.
Court records showed Ladwig was a drug addict twice convicted in the past five years for possession of methamphetamine, including one instance where Phoenix patrol officers found him passed out in a truck parked behind a strip mall, covered in pornographic magazines and “wearing women’s panties and a woman’s halter top.”
Ladwig, 45, who lives in Surprise, was on parole after his July release from the Arizona Department of Corrections after serving a two-year sentence on a 2007 drug conviction. He had missed at least one meeting with his parole officer, according to authorities.
Ladwig made his initial court appearance Saturday. Flanked by two detention officers, he stood silent and stared at the floor as a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ordered him held without bond because of the allegations of sexual contact with a minor under 15.
“During the interview with (Ladwig), he admitted to having the girl in his vehicle and stated he was trying to take her home,” investigators wrote in the probable cause statement for his arrest.
A forensic medical examination showed she suffered an injury consistent with sexual abuse. She also told investigators Ladwig touched her inappropriately, according to court records.
Ladwig faces charges of kidnapping, child abuse, aggravated assault on a police officer and unlawful flight from law enforcement, in addition to child molestation.
by Michael Ferraresi
An empty beer pitcher labeled “donations” sat on the wooden bar and rock music shook the walls Sunday night at Chilkoot Charlie’s in Midtown as a group of local bands launched a five-hour benefit concert for the Anchorage police officer shot Jan. 9.
The event, scheduled to end at 10 p.m., was one of several efforts to help Officer Jason Allen’s family pay expenses or reward tipsters who lead police to his shooter.
Allen was shot five times while sitting in uniform in his squad car at about 2 a.m. in residential Fairview neighborhood. Police believe Allen was targeted because he’s a police officer. As of Sunday, they have not announced any arrests in the case.
“I’ve always felt safe here and to hear something like that happen, it kind of hits home a little bit,” said Chris Cardenas, co-owner of Alcatraz Records, and an organizer for Sunday’s event. Roughly 40 people — some perched on beer-keg stools — watched the band Art of Treason early in the concert. Along with collecting donations, the benefit sought to raise money for Allen’s family by auctioning donated items such as day-spa gift certificates and a night at the Hilton.
The Anchorage Police Department Employees Association is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of Allen’s attackers. The Anchorage Education Association, a teachers union, announced Thursday it would contribute $1,000 to the reward and family funds.
The public can contribute to the Jason Allen Reward Fund or the Jason Allen Family Support Fund at any Key Bank branch, according to APDEA.
By Kyle Hopkins
Over the past two months, police have been in churches mourning and burying seven officers killed in the line of duty.
And on Sunday many were back in church, not to mourn but to get support.
“When you get more than one or two officers in a church it’s for a funeral and now we’re here for an opportunity to find hope and it’s been tremendous,” said Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick.
The Gold Creek Community Church invited all officers to come and find comfort.
Also at the service was Lisa Brenton, widow of Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton, who was shot and killed on duty on Halloween night.
For her and many others the service was a time for healing.
“I think everybody is scared and everybody is worried and everybody looks at us and I think if we as a family can continue on then I hope it makes their daily life a little easier. I know it’s tough but if everybody gave up then where would we be,” she said.
During the service gold coins were handed out to every officer. The keepsake was a reminder that the community cares.
“And it says ‘we have your back, you are appreciated January 17, 2010,’” said Lovick. “What it means is that the community is looking out for us just as much as we feel we need to look out for them.”
As a final touch, the congregation also took a formal oath, promising to uphold the same values as the police – to protect and serve – and while tragedy brought them together they say it is hope that will move them forward.
By Robert Romero