It all began with a library book. John Weist was in the fifth grade when he stumbled on the picture book about the Minnesota State Patrol.
On Saturday, as he is laid to rest, the 22-year-old Plymouth man will be honored as the trooper he so badly wanted to become.
“I believe he will be at peace with what he accomplished and I believe his family will be at peace too,” said Trooper Tiffani Nielson, John’s advisor with the State Patrol Explorer program.
Weist’s bone cancer was diagnosed at age 15, just a few weeks after he joined the Explorer program, designed to give teens an opportunity to explore a law enforcement career.
Six months later, in an attempt to stop the cancer, Weist’s right leg was amputated. His mother still recalls, “That was the first thing he said when he knew he was going to lose his leg, ‘Does this mean I can’t be a trooper?’”
Two Philadelphia police officers got a special delivery today while on patrol in North Philadelphia – a baby girl who was born in the backseat of their cruiser.
Officers Sean McCaffery and Charles Mellon, of the 25th Police District, were driving to a domestic call on Erie Avenue around 11:30 a.m. when they saw a man on the side of the road, waving his arms to flag them down.
The man stood beside a car that had apparently broken down. Inside the car was his wife, clearly in labor, McCaffery said.
Temple University Hospital was only a few blocks away, so the officers helped the woman into the cruiser and headed there. But they were a little too late.
“As we pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, they start saying, ‘The baby’s coming out,’ ” McCaffery said.
A mysterious trip down I-476. An unfamiliar apartment. Worse, his partner is nowhere in sight.
Wolfgang has been retired as a K-9 officer for the Carbondale Police Department but does not realize it yet. His owner and handler, Carbondale Police Officer Trevor Peszko, switched the 6-year-old German shepherd’s police badge for a standard dog tag and shipped him down to Philadelphia this week.
Officer Peszko is beginning a new job with the Philadelphia Police Department next week. Large departments like Philadelphia mandate that they own all police dogs.
So, Officer Peszko decided to take Wolfgang off the job instead of handing him over to the Philadelphia department.
“He just thinks he’s on a day off,” Officer Peszko said. “He’s just relaxing.”
Employed or not, Wolfgang will still have his investigative instinct. The only case he has left to figure out, though, is his own.
K-9s from 10 different Florida law enforcement agencies got special training today with a world renown dog trainer.
Twenty-eight K-9 officers and their dogs are taking part in a two day event working with Thomas Haas.
Haas has been training K-9s in the German Army for ten years, making sure they can find drugs and explosives.
Teams also got a chance to use a new K-9 obstacle course.
French, who is the department’s K-9 officer, will be honored at the organization’s annual awards gala Thursday, March 11, at the Farmington Club in Farmington.
She was nominated for the award by Easton Police Chief John Solomon for her involvement in an investigation at an Eden Hill Road home on March 9, 2009. She received major injuries during the incident.
Bellevue police are getting to know their newest colleague, a canine officer named Harco, who joined the force last week. Harco is part of a hard-working unit of dogs working for local police departments.
Pippen, a Dutch shepherd, is one of the newest members of the Omaha Police Department’s K9 Unit.
“He came from Holland, so I’ll speak some Dutch with him,” said Sgt. Steve Worley, who works with Pippen and takes him home as his family pet.
Detroit Public Schools Police Department officers John Greene and Nitro have been named Police K-9 Team of the Year by Police K-9 Magazine.
The March issue will feature Greene and Nitro, a 5-year-old black and tan Slovak German Shepherd. The narcotic patrol team was honored for their 510 canine uses in 2009, which is considered an extremely high number of uses. Those included 314 building searches, in which he apprehended suspects 65 times. The team had about 90 arrests in 2009.
“During my career I have not seen another team able to match the canine uses and success that John and Nitro have displayed,” Terry Foley, owner of K9 Academy Training Facility, said in his nomination letter.
In one incident last September, Nitro sniffed out three men who broke into an elementary school. Officers on the scene had been trying for an extended period of time to find them and couldn’t. Nitro found the suspects in a cubby hole and they immediately surrendered.
Greene is a veteran police officer who has been with the Detroit Public Schools Police Department for 4.5 years and previously worked at the Detroit Police Department.
Coming to the end of any career can be cause for celebration, and one officer being honored at Edina City Hall on Thursday
Over the years, there have been lots of Kodiak moments with his human handler and police partner Kevin Rofidal.
But after eight years of sniffing out drugs and tracking down bad guys Kodiak is calling it quits.
“A retired police dog is like a retired officer,” said Rofidal. “They still know how to do the job. It just gets to the point where they want to stay home and not come in to work.”
But before his retirement from the Edina police force, Kodiak had time for one last collar after a bank robber crashed his car in St. Louis Park on Wednesday and ran into a nearby apartment complex. Kodiak followed the suspect’s trail and led officers to him.
It’s the moment that police officers are trained to look out for every day of their careers, but never want to carry out — using deadly force.
While police academies across the country teach officers how to respond to stressful situations like shootings, standoffs and high-speed chases, experts say an officer’s judgment is what comes into play when he or she is forced to react.
“These are decisions that are made in a nanosecond,” said Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
Antonio Johnson, of Norfolk, died after a police-involved shooting Wednesday night in Newport News. Officers fired shots at the 34-year-old man after he fired at them, according to police. Ultimately the Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Johnson’s death was a suicide and that he used a handgun found in his car to kill himself, police say.
Instances like Johnson’s prompt police to act quickly and wisely.
“This is not something that officers are comfortable with doing,” Schrad said. “They don’t go to sleep easy after an officer-involved shooting. It affects them just as anyone else.”
Schrad said that during some police academies, officers complete “shoot or no shoot” scenarios, which put them in situations where they have to react based on the tools they are given.
An exclusive investigation by WLKY found on average, one person every other day is stunned by a Taser shot by a Louisville police officer, and in some instances, the Taser has been used for minor offenses like shoplifting or littering.
The department’s use-of-force policy has a somewhat flexible guideline for officers, with seven categories of enforcement options ranging from simply showing up to shooting a gun to kill.
Taser use is right in the middle of that guideline at No. 4, and not everyone agrees it should be.
There have now been more than 200 Taser-related deaths in the U.S., including two in Louisville, but Metro Police Chief Robert White said more lives have been saved, and injuries to both officers and suspects have been prevented, because of Taser use.