In 40 years of driving, Stephen Carroll said he’s never been in a car crash and never worn a seat belt.
“I’m a kid growing up in the ’60s and I don’t like being told what to do,” Carroll, 57, said Tuesday. “I made my kids put ‘em on, and they always questioned me, I just never wore a seat belt, never.”
Then, one day in early June, Carroll’s habit caught up to him. He was in a Chrysler minivan heading to a doctor’s appointment as Port St. Lucie police conducted a routine traffic enforcement initiative focusing on seat belts.
Carroll got pulled over, and Sgt. Kacey Donnell issued him a citation.
“He wasn’t happy, but he was understanding and seemed to take it to heart,” Donnell said.
Carroll, who imports computer parts from China, said he doesn’t make a lot of money, so the $130 fee that came with the citation wasn’t easy.
Not wanting to get another ticket, Carroll said he buckled up after that.
The Arnold Police Department’s K-9 team, Bikkel and his handler Officer Jason Layne, was among the top finishers at
the American Working Dog Police Academy Olympics.
The Olympics are held annually at Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind. More than 100 local, state and federal agencies had teams at this year’s event, which was held Aug, 23-27.
Layne and Bikkel, a 4-year-old male Belgian Malinios, placed first in vehicle exterior search and vehicle interior search. The team won second place in the open area search and third place in an event called the scramble.
“The scramble consists of probably a two-acre parking lot that had probably 500 … just miscellaneous small items scattered out everywhere,” Layne said. “They told us we had, I believe, eight minutes to conduct your search on the whole parking lot.”
Layne said it was his first time to compete with Bikkel. His first time at the Olympics, in 2008, he won two second place awards with Aerospace Testing Alliance’s (ATA) previous dog, Astrid.
When K-9 Officer Quanto of the Clear Lake Police Department is on the job sniffing out drugs, he has no idea he’s helping to catch criminals.
He’s just looking for his favorite red chew toy.
During training, police dogs are conditioned to associate the smell of drugs with their favorite toy.
Clear Lake Police Officer Cory Gute, Quanto’s partner, practices narcotics tracking with him by hiding the toy in a bag full of drugs.
Gute and Quanto demonstrated this technique Sunday during the Humane Society of North Iowa Fall Festival in Mason City.
The German shepherd, who turns 3 next month, pawed and scratched and bit the bag until he got it open and retrieved his toy.
“He’ll be in heaven now,” Gute said as Quanto lounged on the floor, chewing the toy.
Gute joined the Clear Lake Police Department in 2009. Quanto joined in February of this year.
Quanto had some police dog training when he arrived in Clear Lake. Gute took a five-week course on how to work with a dog.
If you spot an out-of-town SWAT convoy rolling through Downtown Pittsburgh this week, it’s probably not an emergency, but it would be best to get out of the way.
The 27th annual National Tactical Officers Association conference made its Pittsburgh debut yesterday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where 750 police officers from 46 states will hone their tactical training and mingle with 200 vendors showing off heavy weaponry and everything from armored vehicles to self-expanding street barricades.
“For some departments, this is the most (SWAT) training they’ll get all year,” said Rob Cartner, the conference’s training director. “Some don’t have the resources.”
For a registration fee of $550, officers can take in five days of training seminars, equipment demonstrations and incident “debriefing” sessions that evaluate how law enforcement officers responded to major emergencies such as the Fort Hood, Texas, massacre on Nov. 5.
Dallas Police Officer Cat Lafitte is only 31, but she longs for the 1950s, when the nostalgic public image of law enforcement was the friendly neighborhood patrol officer.
It’s different now, she said. People spit or glare when she and her partner pass in a patrol car.
So when Lafitte spotted artists painting pillars under the freeway at Deep Ellum, she asked for her own pillar to paint the portrait of a police officer with the message “Dallas Police Department Welcomes You to Deep Ellum.”
“I know the law-abiding people don’t hate us, but just dealing with the criminal element, we get a lot of hate,” she said. “If I could plant one little seed in someone’s head that the police are the good guys, I would consider myself to be successful in this deal.”
Three police officers will be taking on new roles following a promotion ceremony held Friday at town hall. The newly promoted officers are Lt. Sean Lydon and Sgts. Michael Want and Edward Querzoli.
Police Chief Paul Frazier praised the three officers, calling them “the best of the best. They were successful due to their performance as police officers.”
Studying for promotional exams is time-consuming for the officers and “quite a burden” on their families, Frazier said.
The promotions were made by Mayor Joseph Sullivan, who swore in the three officers individually.
“We’re very proud of you and look forward to your continued efforts,” Sullivan said. “The town of Braintree supports you.”
While rain forced the police to suspend testing Saturday morning, Ford, which has long dominated the police car market with its rear-wheel drive Crown Victoria, faced many skeptics as it introduced a front-wheel drive Police Interceptor based on the Ford Taurus.
“They will have a tough time,” said Terry Sweezey, public safety officer from Leoni Township. “It is a whole different driving system.”
Ford has long led the police car market with about 70% of the 75,000 police cars sold annually.
However, the Dearborn automaker will stop producing the Crown Victoria next August and is replacing it with the more modern Police Interceptor.
Upper Darby Officer Raymond Blohm was one of 39 heroic public servants honored by the National Liberty Museum this week.
The 10-year veteran, 32, received the Award of Valor for heroism.
Recipients were selected from documented incident reports submitted by Philadelphia area police and firefighter commanding officers.
“I was surprised to be honored,” Blohm said. “It was very nice.”
Blohm, a decorated officer named Upper Darby’s 2008 Officer of the Year, was shot in the line of duty 12:42 a.m. May 21 while on routine patrol after initiating a pedestrian stop.
Despite wounds to the hand, hip and back, he returned fire and single-handedly captured the gunman until backup officers arrived.
The newest member of the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office brings experience and a big bite.
However, residents won’t see her behind the wheel or guarding inmates at the jail because the deputy is a canine. Deputy Tinka is an 8-year-old, 40-pound Belgian Malinois (or shepherd dog), whose resume includes a few years serving with the U.S. Border Patrol.
Tinka has been on duty in Churchill County for the past two months and assisted in several drug searches, including the drug bust on Thursday morning netting eight arrests.
When St. Johns County deputies arrived at a hostage situation in a St. Augustine South neighborhood on Sept. 7, they brought with them a device that only two other law enforcement agencies in the nation possess.
Known as the Rook, the new piece of machinery with bulletproof armor, battering ram attachments and cameras, went into the house of an armed gunman instead of SWAT team members.