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With an officer named Nugent on the police force, you might think the Daleville Police Department could afford a car without any problem.
But considering that officer is a dog and not a rock star, it’s understandable why the department needed to rely on grants and the generosity of other police departments to fund a new K-9 police car.
The Daleville Police Department was able to purchase a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria in February thanks to a $3,400 grant from the Delaware County Coordinating Council to Prevent Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.
An extra $400 was used to paint the vehicle, and the kennel, siren, radio box and other equipment were donated by the Anderson, Chesterfield and Alexandria police departments. King also got a good deal on the car from Sam Pierce Chevrolet, which dropped the price from $5,000 to $3,000, King said.
Before the advent of computers, many Dallas police officers carried a “hook book” filled with mug shots of criminals who worked their beats. It was an easy way to keep an eye on them in case they were wanted by police or appeared to be looking for more trouble.
Now hook books are making a high-tech return.
Officer Joe King came up with an idea to create color-coded digital charts of burglars recently arrested in the southeast patrol division where he works. Rather than relying on happenstance to catch burglars, officers employ the “virtual hook books” to spot targeted offenders.
Red indicates there’s an active warrant out for the burglar’s arrest. Green indicates a habitual burglar. Yellow means the burglar is in jail.
“It’s a way to track them,” said King, a 13-year-veteran. “Do they have an active burglary warrant? Are they a habitual burglar? Are they still in jail? Where do they live?”
Now, all seven Dallas patrol stations have been instructed to adopt King’s approach. And officials placed copies of the charts on the department’s internal Fusion Center Web site.
Eventually, the virtual hook books could be available on the computers in patrol cars, providing constant updates to officers in the field. This would make it easier for officers to monitor known burglars in their patrol areas.
Police also are in the process of entering the name of every offender into a system that would automatically notify authorities of arrests.
First Assistant Police Chief David Brown called King’s idea “amazing police work” that will help shut down repeat offenders by “finding a way to circumvent their behaviors.”
King came up with the idea after noticing that many patrol officers couldn’t readily identify the burglars preying on their beats.
In a city where property crime drives much of the crime rate, officers know that the chances of catching a burglar in the act are slim to none.
So King spent weeks coming up with the concept and combing through arrest records to compile the names, pictures and other information of all burglars arrested since January 2009 in the southeast patrol division.
“He’s such a breath of fresh air of innovative ideas,” said his commander, Lt. Regina Smith.
“It’s our job to take them off the street. Each time we take them off the streets, that’s one less house or business getting burglarized.
King updates the boards in southeast, which divide offenders into geographic areas, on a weekly basis.
Take the board for southeast’s “310″ sector, encompassing portions of South Dallas.
It lists information on and displays the mug shots of felons such as Joseph Dunn, 46, who has been convicted of burglary, theft, attempted vehicle burglary and aggravated robbery in Dallas County. Or Dwayne Allen, a 54-year-old felon with a long Dallas County rap sheet that includes repeated convictions for burglary, theft and possessing drugs.
At southeast patrol, the charts have been placed on the walls of the detail room where officers assemble before each shift. Officers take printouts into the field.
Commanders have also decreed that any officer who arrests a targeted offender will receive a departmental commendation.
In recent weeks, southeast officers have arrested more than 20 offenders who were in the “hook book.” Smith, who frequently accompanies her officers in the field, snagged one herself.
At northeast, the charts showed their worth on the first night they were in use after an officer immediately recognized a wanted felon.
“The deployment detective said, ‘Wait a minute, I know that guy,’ ” said Lt. Mike Black, a northeast patrol commander. “Within an hour or two, we had an arrest.”
At south central, they’ve identified nearly 200 burglars arrested in the division since the start of 2009. Officials plan to also compile a list of paroled burglars living in south central.
“We’re making them all targeted offenders,” said Sgt. Louis Felini, supervisor of a deployment unit. “We have a very large Walmart in our division. Several off-duty officers who work there said pretty much everybody on this board shops at Walmart. They’re going to take the wanted list for when they’re in their off-duty capacity.”
Department officials recognize that many of these offenders won’t stay long behind bars in a county jail constantly struggling with overcrowding.
“We can’t control the county and how they let the revolving door swing,” Smith said. But she added, “We can control what we have the authority to do and that is to make the appropriate arrest.”
By Tanya Eiserer
Corey King and Dak have been together for just over a year, and it’s been a slobbery affair.
The law enforcement officer and his young partner, a German shepherd, are both rookies in the Redondo Beach Police Department’s K-9 unit.
Next month, their relationship – honed by extensive training and rounds of catch in King’s backyard – will be put to the test on a global stage. The two are set to embark on their third competition for trained police service dogs and their human partners at the World Police & Fire Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.
King is joining three other local K-9 teams in preparation for the event, a sort of Olympics for cops that’s held every other year.
“When you’re nervous, it makes the dog nervous. It’s a lot of pressure,” King said recently at a training session in Torrance’s Columbia Park.
King is working alongside two other Redondo officers – Ken Greenleaf, a police dog trainer, and Kevin McCamy – to prepare for the games. Veteran Palos Verdes Estates Senior Cpl. Joe Hall, who trains with Greenleaf, will also compete.
“It gives us a chance to show what we’ve got,” Hall said. “The camaraderie is there. You get to meet cops from all over the world.”
Hall will retire at the end of the year, along with his K-9 partner, Grim.
The four officers are raising money for their trip, which is not covered by their respective cities. They expect to pay about $2,000 each. Donations for
the four competitors can be addressed to the Redondo Beach POA (put “K-9 team” in the memo field for checks) and sent to 401 Diamond St., P.O. Box 639, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.As for King, he said he’s adjusting to his new life with a furry, 24-hour-a-day partner. Dak lives with King and his family, a relationship that’s still developing.
“The hard thing to balance is – he’s not a pet. He’s a tool….It’s a lot of work. That 82 percent is gone by 9 in the morning,” he added, referring to the salary bonus K-9 officers receive.
“He’s had four apprehensions so far – biting suspects. But yet my kids go out there (in the backyard) with a biscuit and they get slobber all over their arms.”
Dak had this to say: “Ruff.”
A Pullman (WA) man motivated by the shooting of a Spokane police dog has given the department a German shepherd puppy.
Nick Lungu breeds and trains the dogs for his business, I-Guard International. He sells the animals for as much as $2,500 each but gave the Spokane Police Department first pick of his latest litter after reading of the March shooting of Var, a longtime police dog.
Police say Officer Dan Lesser shot and killed Johnnie Longest, 22, after Longest shot Var.
The puppy, named Ajax after the mythological hero, will be raised by Officer Jay Kernkamp as part of the Spokane police K-9 unit’s puppy program.
“This program, due to its careful selection process, has been extremely successful in producing some of the region’s finest police service dogs,” according to a news release prepared by Officer Kevin King.
Details on the return of Bear, a Chicago Police K9 who was found Sunday morning after close to four days of searching, were shared at a press conference yesterday afternoon. Howard Overton spotted the 2 1/2 years old German shepherd “near a cemetery on the border between Evergreen Park and Chicago,” according to Chicago Breaking News. Realizing the tan and black K9 looked like “the dog on the news,” Overton got the attention of a nearby police car.
Within minutes the officer had found the police dog, but Bear needed a little coaxing. Once he heard his name, Officer Ann Jaros said, he approached her. Jaros said Bear recognized the squad car and “jumped right in.” Using a scan of the microchip in his neck confirmed that the dog was indeed Bear. The 74-pound dog was reunited with his handler Canine Unit Officer Rick King Sunday afternoon, “dirty” and “shaggy” but no worse for the wear, King said at the press conference.
While there were a few reports of Bear sightings, no one is sure what the beloved dog was up to during his four-day adventure. King speculated the dog was probably hunting for small animals in the woods of the Far Southwest Side. King said he had slept little since the dog ran way after a clap of thunder Wednesday evening spooked him. We’re glad the duo has been reunited, especially our intern.
What a wonderful thing to do!
Carol and Maury Phillippi loved their dogs like they might have loved their children, if they’d had them.
There was Dusty, a puli that looked like mop strings, and Puff-n-Stuff, a furry black mutt with tufts of white.
Kismet was the last – “a little black, fuzzy ball of life and love” – who died after 17 years and left them broken-hearted.
“You’d think,” Carol said, “it would get better with experience and practice.”
It didn’t, and the loss was so painful they decided they couldn’t endure another. But what if they could help a dog without having one of their own?
The idea struck the Phillippis late last year as they watched a news program about a company that made bulletproof vests for police dogs.
“That’s what I want to do,” Carol said. “I want to buy a police dog a vest.”
Maury turned to her and said: “Why don’t you do that for Christmas for me?”
Carol thought, “OK.” She never mentioned it to Maury after that and quietly went to work.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” Carol said. She contacted the Chesapeake Police Department and spoke to a sergeant, who wasn’t sure either.
“We all figured it out pretty quickly,” Carol said.
The department would order the vest from Diamondback Tactical, a company in Phoenix that sells all sorts of tactical gear for law enforcement officers.
Carol donated the cost for the canine vest – $700 – and in return received an appreciation plaque, a picture of Chesapeake’s canine officers and their dogs, and a photo of Axel, the German shepherd who would don it in dangerous situations.
She packaged everything up and put it under the Christmas tree for Maury, who didn’t suspect a thing.
He loved it.
The big surprise, though, came for Norwood King, a canine officer since 2003. Axel is his second German shepherd, an intense and obedient dog with a glossy coat and ears that stand up more often than not. Axel works with the SWAT team sometimes. He searches buildings and walks into situations with the potential to turn violent.
King got the call a few months back: Axel would be getting a vest, thanks to a donation. Only one other dog on the force has one, King said. Six go without.
“It’s unusual for somebody to go out of the way for the police department,” King said. “Usually, we’re the bad guys.”
Carol doesn’t think of it that way. “When you’re really in trouble, who’s coming? The police. I think they deserve the help.”
The Phillippis put the photos and the plaque up in the kitchen, where they spend most of their time.
“I thought maybe I was helping a dog,” Carol said. “I think it goes further than that.”
It’s how he conducts himself and his deputies on the isolated West End that caused Sgt. Brian King to be named Employee of the Year in the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Bill Benedict awarded King with the 2008 title during a Feb. 21 annual awards banquet at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary in Port Angeles.
Benedict and his commanding staff also gave dozens of awards and commendations to those in his department and the community who demonstrated bravery under fire, exemplary service and a high degree of excellence in their duties.
“All of the 2008 awards and nominations to those awards were well-thought-out and each individual truly deserves this recognition, if not more,” said Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin.
“This county would not be the same without their service.”
Only one award was not given out at the ceremony – the Medal of Valor award.
“That award went to Deputy Matthew Murphy and Deputy Andrew Wagner last year because we wanted to give them respect for their service immediately and not wait for the banquet,” Peregrin said.
Murphy and Wagner shot and killed then-suspected murderer Shawn Roe after he drew a firearm on them in Blyn on Sept. 20. Roe had killed a U.S. Forest Service officer and a Sequim resident earlier the same day.
Other officers from the
Sequim area to receive awards were Deputies Mark Millet and Kenneth Oien, who shared Merit Awards with Deputy David Ellefson, retired, and Sgt. Grant Lightfoot.
“The Merit Award is a bit like the Meritorious Service Award, where the officer has risen above the command of duty and reflected excellence in their job in doing so,” Peregrin said. “But the Merit Award is given to those that did this task with an element of personal danger involved.”
Oien reportedly confronted a suspect with a large knife in a domestic violence case, chased him down when he ran and deployed a Taser when the man turned to challenge deputies with the knife.
Millet reportedly helped talk down a despondent man who was threatening his own life and those around him with a .45 caliber handgun.
The department’s command staff gave Meritorious Service awards to 18 individuals from the Sheriff’s Office as well as the Olympic National Park, Washington State Patrol, the Clallam County Correctional Facility, Clallam County Department of Community Development, the local stress management team and Clallam County Fire District 3.
The sheriff personally gave the Sheriff’s Star Medal to retired Sgt. Dave Lenahan, Port Angeles, Police Sgt. Glen Roggenbuck, State Patrol Lt. Kenneth Noland, Chief Criminal Deputy Ron Cameron and Deputy Michael Dick, of the east end.
The Sheriff’s Star comes directly from the sheriff, whereas all other award recipients are chosen by the department’s command team.
The Life Saving Medal went to corrections officers Mark Raemer and Steven Brooks. The Purple Heart Medal was awarded to corrections officer Howard Blair.
Commendation awards, recognizing a job well done, went to several individuals from different agencies, including Sequim couple Randy and Tracy Kellas.
Randy is a Sequim Police officer and his award stems from his help in Millet’s case. Tracy is the animal control officer for the county and she was awarded for her help in bringing the position back to full force at the county after years of outsourcing the work.
“One Commendation Award I want to highlight is to (Peninsula Communications) for all the work they do behind the scenes. They are the unseen heroes that back all of us up,” said Peregrin of the county’s 9-1-1 dispatch center.
“They handle a multitude of radio frequencies, telephone requests from officers, resource requests and general 9-1-1 dispatch needs.”
The event wasn’t only for law enforcement officers. Volunteers and citizens also were recognized, including Joan Craft and Dave Hull, who share the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Awards and awards
Meritorious Service Award recipients include:
• Judy Dawson, retired from county records
• Christine James, county administrative coordinator
• Bobby Cannon, county deputy
• Mel Kempf, county deputy
• Ralph Edgington, county deputy
• Nick Turner, county sergeant
• Mark Raemer, corrections officer
• Ron Sukert, jail superintendent
• Rich Sill, code officer
• Tony Hudson, county fire district captain
• Sylvia Orth, county records
• Mike Danisiewicz, Olympic Park
• Mark O’Neal, Olympic Park
• Kim Martin, county deputy
• Keith Nestor, state patrol
• Jack Iotte and George Church
• Danielle Patterson, stress management team
Commendation Award recipients include:
• Brian George, state patrol detective
• Gailin Hester, state patrol
• Randy Kellas, Sequim Police
• Josh Ley, county deputy
• Jef Boyd, county deputy
• Mark Millet, county deputy
• Todd Yarnes, county deputy
• Karl Koehler, county deputy
• Bill Cortani, county deputy
• Eric Munger, county deputy
• Michael Backes, county deputy
• Tracey Kellas, county animal control
• Kaylene Sawby Smith, county records
• Mike O’Connor, Peninsula Communications
• Tom Shumway, corrections staff
• Margaret Robertson Burris, corrections staff
• John Alexander, corrections staff
• Kathleen Traxinger, county technician
When Sarasota County deputy Stacey Eve learned about the “Hearts Without Borders” organization, she sent out a mass e-mail to her fellow law enforcement officers to ask if they would help with donations.
“My e-mail box just blew up,” Eve said. “I don’t know if people were just glad to get rid of stuff, but I can tell you thatI got more than one comment saying, ‘I’m glad that you’re doing this,’ and ‘I’m glad that I finally found somebody who feels the same way I do.’”
Much to her surprise, she wound up filling a Ford F450 truck with clothing, toys and household supplies that was personally driven to Wimauma, Fla., by three Sarasota County Sheriff’s employees.
Throughout the year, law enforcement officers are busy fighting crime, tracking down criminals and patrolling at all hours of the day and night. But there is another side to them — a more compassionate side — that many times goes unnoticed by the community.
Typically, police officers are associated with bad news. People don’t think of them as talking to children about bike helmet safety, installing car seats or participating in golf tournaments to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs.
“They’re known for arresting people and giving them speeding tickets,” said North Port Police Capt. Robert Estrada.
But they are more than that.
“Our cops are very caring people,” said Charlotte County Sheriff-elect Bill Cameron.
Each year, for example, the corrections staff at the Charlotte County Jail surprises a family with Christmas gifts and a complete holiday meal. It’s a tradition that warms many hearts in the community, Cameron said. The employees at the Sheriff’s Office also collected 1,700 cans of food this year for community food banks, donated to The Salvation Army, and gave $500 to the For the Love of Kids organization.
“Our guys are constantly giving,” Cameron said. “The way this agency has come together is something I’m really proud of.”
Other police departments share the same spirit of generosity when it comes to the holidays.
Every year, for example, North Port police participate in a Christmas program dubbed “The 12 Days of Giving,” which is coordinated through the North Port Social Services Department. Officers collect toys and canned goods that are later distributed to area families during Christmas.
DeSoto County Sheriff Vernon Keen also encourages his employees to take part in a wide variety of charitable efforts.
“The community gives so much to us. I think you have to give back,” he said.
DeSoto deputies take part in the annual Toys for Children collection drive, which is similar to the better-known Toys for Tots drive, but run by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Auxiliary. This year, deputies distributed 1,850 toys to community children.
“It’s been going since in the ’60s or ’70s … I don’t know the exact year,” Keen said.
Many officers also donate hundreds of hours of personal time to the community. They do things such as coach Little League teams and help run Cub Scout and Boy Scout packs.
“It’s a culture of helping people,” said Community Relations Sgt. Joe King of the Punta Gorda Police Department.
“People need to understand that officers are volunteering their time to make a difference in the community,” he said.
That’s something that often goes unnoticed by the general public.
“They love the firefighters but hate the cops,” Estrada said and laughed.
But Eve senses that’s not always the case.
“I think the public appreciates that we are just people. We have spouses and children and mortgages,” she said.
Officers generally don’t hesitate to bring their families along when they’re doing community volunteer work. King’s wife, for example, often helps with registering bicycles and fitting students with helmets at bike rodeos.
Through the year, some of the PGPD deputies pair up with Big Brothers Big Sisters. They help build homes for Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity and donate to the Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies.
Whatever the event, the police are there to pitch in and help out in the community.
“Hey, as long as it’s a good cause,” King said.
On Monday, the Gainesville Police Department officially retired two of its former police dogs and introduced the department’s newest addition — two Belgian Malinois.
The new dogs, Diego and Anja, joined the city’s police force two weeks ago to replace one German shepherd who died earlier this year and another who retired at the end of October. Both Diego and Anja are from Holland.
Anja, the partner of Officer Darin Vogt, is the first female K9 to work for the police department. Vogt, a former field training officer, gave up his corporal status to become a K9 handler, said Gainesville police Chief Frank Hooper.
As full-service police dogs, Diego and Anja help the department detect controlled substances and track and apprehend suspects.
In his first two weeks on the job, Diego already has detected a controlled substance in three vehicles, said Officer Angel Vargas, his partner and handler.
“As of right now, he’s on the right road,” Vargas said. “We still have a lot of training to do and will continue to do that every day.”
The department purchased the dogs in July for $5,600 each. It took about six weeks to train them with their handlers, Vargas said.
“The dogs are a lot easier to train than the humans are,” he said.
Vargas’ former partner, Argus, died in May after suffering congestive heart failure. The department retired his ashes Monday.
During his tenure, Argus helped Vargas seize almost 41 pounds of illicit drugs, assisted with 64 arrests and successfully tracked 51 people, Hooper said.
The two traveled together to New Mexico and the Netherlands training and showing others Argus’ work abilities. Today, Argus’ ashes are in two separate urns donated by Memorial Park Funeral Home — one in the police department where he worked and the other in Vargas’ home, where Argus lived.
“It really hurt to lose him,” Vargas said.
The department also retired Carto, the German shepherd partner of Cpl. Jason King, honoring the dog for five years of service with the department.
Carto helped the department locate more than 25 suspects who fled from officers, along with missing Alzheimer’s patients and children.
With Carto’s retirement, King was promoted to a field training officer.
KENTUCKY (WFIE) – Dozens of retirements are weakening the ranks of the Kentucky State Police. With fewer troopers, the force is looking for recruits.
It’s definitely making things more challenging. This is the lowest number of troopers in five years because many of them have already retired, and there’s expected to be more to come very soon.
In fact, since January, 31 troopers have retired. So now the statewide force is at 931. That’s way down from 2005 when they had more than 1,000 troopers.
In addition to that, because of the tight state budget, state police may not get a new class of recruits this year.
Troopers say this all has the potential to cause a lot of problems.
“It’s possible your back up will take longer because he or she will be on the other side of the county. So especially at night your going to have less people on the road, which will take longer for them to get to you if you get in a serious situation,” said Trooper Corey King.
On Tuesday, Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer is expected to ask the Kentucky State Police personell board to support a new class.