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Nine months after her father was gunned down in his police uniform outside his home July 18, an emotional Jada Bailey and her mother carefully retired his badge to the Superintendent’s Honored Police Star case at Chicago Police headquarters Tuesday morning.
If the young woman gets her way, Michael Bailey’s star number 13970 will soon be replaced on Chicago’s streets with her own.
The 24-year-old revealed her courageous plan to follow in her slain father’s footsteps and take the police entrance exam after hundreds of brother officers in dress blues and Mayor Daley honored her father in a somber ceremony.
Two Gwinnett County police officers who rescued a couple from a burning home last month were honored for their heroics Thursday.
Officers Jeremy Bailey and Darin Mitchem were working their normal shift in the Lilburn area July 12 when they heard about a house fire from dispatchers.
The police officers arrived at the home, located off of U.S. Highway 78, before firefighters arrived, and working together, pulled the elderly couple to safety.
“We just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Mitchem said after the incident.
Mary Ann Wilkins called the officers “angels” for helping get her terminally ill husband, Lamar, out of the home. Neither of the Wilkins was injured in the fire, but Lamar Wilkins lost his battle with cancer two days later.
The Ride to Remember began six years ago with about 120 motorcycles. Currently, the police event has grown to about 900 men and women.
The bike ride kicked off on the West Side at Area 4 police headquarters Sunday. It’s purpose is to raise money for the families of police officers killed in the line of duty.
“It’s especially very moving because two days ago, we buried one of our own,” said Phil Cline of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
Officer Michael Bailey was Chicago’s third officer killed by gun violence in the past two months.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve had nine officers killed in the line of duty, which is tough. But when it’s compressed in a two-month period, it drains the life out of you,” said police Supt. Jody Weis.
Ten police officers and firefighters were honored Wednesday night for their service to their communities and as soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The men were awarded as “Heroes Among Us” and received a special medal at the annual dinner of The Hundred Club of Massachusetts, a charity that supports the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
Chief Warrant Officer-3 James L. Bailey, Jr., United States Marine Corps and Arlington Fire Department –
Bailey served as platoon commander of the personnel security detail, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, from April through October 2006, according to the state Department of Fire Services. During this time, he led the personnel security detail on more than 150 combat patrols and counter insurgency missions. For his actions, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for Valor.
Somewhere in between her duties as a Fairfax County police officer and raising a 15-month-old daughter, Michelle Humphries manages to touch the lives of hundreds of combat veterans every month through her nonprofit ministry.
A 16-year veteran of the county police department, Humphries, 39, started Arms Outstretched Ministry in 2006 after participating in several overseas mission trips.
“I realized that there was so much need right here at home that needed to be addressed in the same way,” she said. The ministry is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation with nine board members.
Partnering with Gary Bailey, a fellow county police officer who is the founding pastor of Foundation Christian Fellowship Church in Stafford, Humphries’ independent ministry heads up nine outreach programs that supply aid to active and wounded soldiers, as well as local foster children, the homeless, inmates and the elderly.
Newburgh Police Department officer Chad Bailey hides a plastic bag containing a small amount of marijuana in an air-conditioning vent.
“This won’t take long,” the 31-year-old man says as he puts the leash on Rex, the department’s police dog.
The German shepherd sprints into the room, barking loudly. In less than five seconds, it sniffs out the weed.
“This is one smart animal with a very good memory,” Bailey says.
Bailey and Rex will be featured at National Night Out activities on Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. along the riverfront at the Old Lock and Dam in Newburgh.
Law enforcement canines must be certified on an annual basis. Bailey had some concerns about 3-year-old Rex a few weeks ago when they went to Franklin, Tenn., for field tests.
“It was my bad, not his.”
Bailey, a jiujitsu student, tore his ACL working on some moves in September and was off the force for seven months while rehabilitating the injury.
“I couldn’t do any training with Rex at all. I mean, I was on crutches and braces for three months,” he says. “I’m always the kind of person who likes to be prepared. I felt like we went in at a distinct disadvantage. If Rex failed, I’d have to find another place to qualify and that would have been expensive.”
Bailey didn’t have to worry. Rex easily passed agility, obedience and distance-control events, finishing near the top against 30 other police dogs.
Bailey has been on the Newburgh force four years. He needs a few more classes for a criminal justice degree.
“A larger police operation might have a kennel for its dogs, but most pair the dog with a handler and they come to the station together,” Bailey says. “On my shift, I’m like any of the other officers except I have Rex in the back seat.” At home, Rex enjoys fetching tennis balls and taking long walks.
“I’m unmarried, so that helps in terms of having a police dog at home,” Bailey says, grinning. “Rex can tell it’s time for him to go to work when he sees me grab my gunbelt and handcuffs. He’s always very eager and a good judge of the situation.”
Rex is trained to sniff out methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine and heroin. He’s also good at attacking.
“Rex will basically bite the first body part that’s presented. Usually that’s on the arm or leg, but if somebody makes the decision to stick his face out, that would be the target. I’ve never heard an instance of that happening.”
Rex received 10 weeks of training before jumping into the K-9 car. The dog cost $11,000. “The force got a lot of money in donations,” Bailey says. “This one guy saw us stop a guy for narcotics in his neighborhood, watched the dog do his thing and contributed $100 on the spot.”
Bailey says Rex bit a man who wouldn’t let a woman leave her house and later tried to flee on foot. In another case, the dog grabbed hold of a man who turned down a street and attempted to run away.
“It hasn’t been necessary yet, but I have a device on my belt that will open the car door automatically if I’m not there. Should I get in a fight with someone, I can push that button and have Rex by my side in a matter of instants.”
The average life span of a dog this size is about 9 years.
“The way I feel now, I’ll sign up to be with Rex’s replacement,” Bailey says. “I’ve gotten really accustomed to having him around. It sounds funny to say, but he’s almost like a partner.”
The Evening News & The Tribune
New Albany police officers practice driving skills via obstacle course
New Albany Police Department Sgt. Todd Bailey sat behind the wheel of his police cruiser examining the obstacle course ahead of him, as firefighters finished dousing the area with an added layer of water.
With Capt. Rick Denny in his passenger seat — who also is the training coordinator for the department — Bailey eased his way through the course for a test run.
The course was created to simulate icy road conditions on the way to responding to an emergency. Because issues arise while heading to a call, dozens of orange cones were strategically placed to reflect situations where a child may run out on the road and more.
All officers with the department have to complete this EVO, or Emergency Vehicle Operations, training every year, Bailey said.
“This is to improve their driving skills under stressful situations,” Denny said, adding that this has gone on for about 25 years.
To add to the stress, officers have to make a certain time while not hitting too many cones.
“We’re not trying to make race-car drivers out of them. We’re trying to teach them how to be better, safer drivers,” Denny said.
He said courses like this teach officers the limits of the cars as well as their skills, so that they don’t lose control before reaching their destination.
“They aren’t going to do any good if they don’t make it [to the scene],” Denny said, adding that this also helps to protect the safety of others.
Every year, the course is changed to test different driving skills, Bailey said. This year, it is set up behind Sodrel Truck Lines in Jeffersonville. Denny said the asphalt behind the building does not have sand in the sealer, so adding water to it creates a black-ice effect.
“It’s real slick,” Bailey said after his second timed round through the course, coming in at 1 minute and 46 seconds — 18 seconds below the maximum allowed time.
Bailey said each time he completes his training, he learns something new. He added that this training allows officers to practice skills — such as driving on ice — in a structured environment.
Denny said by allowing officers to test the limits of cars and their skills, sometimes things don’t always go as planned.
“We’ve had some excitement,” he said, laughing. “We’ve had one run off the course and go into a field and another in a mud puddle, very close to a river.”
Though, so far this year, things have gone pretty smoothly, he added.
Police officers will go in shifts to complete the training, which started Wednesday and will continue for about another two weeks, Bailey said.
Drake, Helo and Vinnie are German shepherds that may look mean at first glance.
But the Beckley Police Department wants to let law-abiding citizens — particularly young people — know the dogs and the officers who handle them are their friends and protectors.
Cpl. Will Reynolds, a Beckley K-9 officer and Helo’s handler, said the department’s K-9 officers are available for demonstrations. Upon request, an officer/dog duo can visit schools, youth organizations, scout troops, churches, retirement homes, after-school programs — practically any Beckley-based organization.
Reynolds said K-9 officers get frequent requests for demonstrations, and they want to give back to a community that has helped the K-9 unit. When Reynolds’ original partner, a Rottweiler named Merlin, died in March, donors paid $6,000 of Helo’s $10,000 price tag.
During the demonstrations, Reynolds said officers will show people what the dogs do, what their capabilities are and how important they are as officers fight crime. Officers particularly want to reach young people because these demonstrations are also part of an anti-drug campaign — and the demonstrations have shown they have impact on youngsters.
“Our kids are the future of this world,” Reynolds said. “They’re the ones who will be soon making important decisions out there. I’ve done demonstrations four years ago, and the kids still remember the dog and what the dog does. I’ll hear them say, ‘Hey, this is the officer who brought the big dog.’ …If we can change one kid’s life, we’ve done something.”
Reynolds said any interested person can call Beckley P.D. at 304-256-1720 and leave a message for him. He will then get back in touch and schedule a day and time for either himself or one of his two fellow K-9 officers, Cpl. R.E. Redden (Vinnie’s handler) or Cpl. David Bailey (Drake’s handler), to visit.