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Fayette County K-9 Unit Helps Locate Autistic Child

An autistic child is safe at home thanks to officers with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit.

Sheriff Steve Kessler said at approximately 5:13 p.m. on Wednesday, they were notified an 8-year-old child with autism had run away from home in the Victor area of Fayette County.   It was reported that this child had gotten into trouble at school and ran away from home to avoid getting into further trouble at home.



Wildlife officer saluted for valor in West Memphis showdown

Mike Wintroath/Associated Press Wildlife officer Michael Neal (right) speaks with West Memphis Det. Jimmy Evans after a ceremony Thursday in Little Rock in which Neal was presented the state's Medal of Valor for his part in stopping two suspects in the shooting deaths of two West Memphis officers.

The Arkansas wildlife officer who rammed the vehicle carrying the suspected killers of two West Memphis police officers on May 20 described the horrific firefight that left the two gunmen dead.

“I saw the need, and I reacted upon it,” officer Michael K. Neal of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Thursday.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe presented Neal with the Medal of Valor on Thursday for his heroism following the fatal shootings of West Memphis police Sgt. Brandon Paudert and officer Bill Evans on Interstate 40.


Mississippi Slain Troopers Honored

Some state troopers and family members gathered to remember the life of James Hillman Tingle.

“He didn’t get to serve but one month,” said Martha Neal, the sister of Tingle.

Tingle, a slain Mississippi State Trooper that didn’t live to receive his uniform.

“He and his buddy were checking driver’s licenses and a fellow run up and hit the patrol car and shoved another up into him and broke his legs and from that he took phenomena and few days he died,” Neal said.`

Tingle’s sister Martha Neal, her husband and sister-in-law say he won’t be forgotten and his deeds, along with other patrolmen around this state will not go unnoticed. Mrs.Neal says her brother was following in the footsteps of their father that once served as the Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff. Tingle was 27 when he died in 1950. Mrs. Neal says she’s only missed one ceremony for the past three decades.

“Well everyday they lay their lives down for us and this is the least we can do for them; to let them know we miss them and love them and wish the best for the other patrolmen,” Neal said.

Public Affairs Officer, Sergeant Malachi Sanders says Tingle is one of three troopers honored from the Meridian district that covers nine counties. The other two men were from Smith County. Sgt. Sanders says these troopers paid the ultimate sacrifice and this ceremony was a small token of appreciation.

“To sacrifice your life for someone or a group of people is an honor and a good thing,” said Sgt. Malachi Sanders of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

“I think we should be all thankful that we have somebody watching and protecting us,” Neal said.


Tulsa Officer walking again because of fallen Dallas Officer

Wow! What an amazing story.


Tulsa Police Officer Ron Neal

Tulsa Police Officer Ron Neal

Tulsa Police Officer Ron Neal thought his law enforcement career might be over when he suffered a severe knee injury while arresting a combative drunken driver last year.

But later he would learn that a Dallas police officer who died in the line of duty could give him a second chance.

In October, a surgeon reconstructed the torn ligament in Neal’s knee using an Achilles tendon from an organ and tissue donor.

“At that time, I knew nothing about the donor. I was just happy to have the surgery,” Neal said.

Neal learned the story of the donor in November, and as he learned more about him, it seemed that fate had brought their two families together, he said.

Dallas Police Department Senior Cpl. Victor Lozada died on Feb. 22, 2008, in a motorcycle accident. At the time of the crash, he was part of the motorcade protecting then-Sen. Hillary Clinton during a presidential campaign visit to Dallas. Lozada was 49 years old.

Senior Corporal Victor Lozada, Dallas

Senior Corporal Victor Lozada, Dallas

His wife, Theresa Lozada, reached by phone at her Texas home on Wednesday, said she and her four children, ages 9 through 22, unanimously agreed to donate his organs and tissue. They relied on his belief in helping others and doing the right thing.

“When my husband passed, at the hospital bed, they came to us and asked me if we would want to do that,” Lozada said. “I told my children that I was not going to do it unless we all agreed.”

The older children all said yes, but the 9-year-old boy hesitated at first.


he agreed, saying, ‘That is what Daddy would want,’ ” Lozada said.

In all, 61 recipients received donations from her husband, she said. She perceived the news that one of the recipients was a police officer as a sign that came to her during a troubled time, she said.

“It was right before Christmas. I was upset, and it was a hard time with the holidays. I prayed and asked Victor to give me a sign that everything I was doing was right — that it was what he wanted,” she said.

That is when she got the phone call informing her that Neal was a police officer and that he had agreed to her request to meet the recipients.

“That, to me, was like Victor was saying I was doing the right thing and everything was all right,” Lozada said.

Neal said he had mixed feelings when he learned that the donor was a police officer.

“I am happy that the program exists to give people a second chance of resuming normal activities, but I am also very sad that an officer was killed in the line of duty,” Neal said.

On Sunday, Neal will travel to Dallas to meet with the Lozada family and to attend a dedication ceremony his department will have Monday marking his death a year ago. Lozada’s picture and a plaque will be hung at the station where he worked.

“It is going to be emotional. This happened to a fellow officer, and it is a daily reminder of the dangers that we face as police officers,” Neal said. “Hopefully, his wife and her family will see that even though he passed away, he still lives on and his duties as a police officer are carried on through me.”

Neal, who worked 20 years on patrol without any previous injury, is working light duty now. He will find out next week whether he is well enough to return to patrol.

Every year the company that handled Lozada’s organ and tissue donations, RTI Donor Services, chooses a donor family to represent it in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day. Last year the company chose the Lozada family, and Theresa Lozada rode on a float in the parade.

“It is a wonderful experience that people are being able to use things that he is not able to use right now,” Lozada said. “But it is also bittersweet.”

Moved by the experience, both Neal and his wife signed up to be organ donors. And as they get to know the Lozada family more, they are learning that they have more in common than law enforcement, Neal said.

“It was a strange coincidence that the date of his death was also my wedding anniversary,” he said.

Also, Lozada joined the Dallas police force on Neal’s wife’s birthday.

“We agree that it was like fate intervened in some way,” Neal said.


Related video

Some Shawnee PD D.A.R.E. Officers being removed from schools

Some D.A.R.E. officers are being removed from some schools and parents are upset.The Shawnee Police Department would love to keep the D.A.R.E. officers in the classrooms but they are needed on the streets and public safety has to be the top priority, a spokesman said.Nefrun Washington has two children in the Shawnee Mission School District. One attends Broken Arrow Elementary in Shawnee, and she said she and fellow parent Kay Brand hate to see the D.A.R.E. officers cut at the school.

“I think it’s sad, ” Washington said. “Kids need to learn about drugs.”

Brand said she had the D.A.R.E. program when she was in school.

“I do think it helps a lot. It helps educate the kids on what’s going on out here in the real world,” Brand said.Shawnee police spokesman Lt. Bill Hisle said police agree that D.A.R.E. officers are important.

“We’ve been doing the D.A.R.E. program for almost 20 years now. We feel that it has a positive effect just having police officers be with students, so it was very difficult to do,” Hisle said.

But it’s simply a matter of staffing, Hisle said. The police department is down four officers, so the D.A.R.E. officers must now dedicate themselves full time to public safety, he said.So far, Shawnee is the only Johnson County police agency to cut D.A.R.E. officers completely. Prairie Village police went from having two D.A.R.E. officers to having one. Overland Park police continue to use three D.A.R.E. officers in the classroom, but they said they’d have to watch state funding and re-evaluate the commitment.

Shawnee Mission School District spokeswoman Leigh Ann Neal said they value D.A.R.E. officers but understood the budget constraints.”School districts and public agencies alike are struggling with issues with budget and staffing, so we recognize that,” Neal said. Shawnee police are keeping school resource officers in the middle and high schools, and they said they are hopeful they can get their staffing back up in time to restore the D.A.R.E. officers next fall.


Teaming up with the Rhea County Sheriff’s D to assist seniors

Rhea County sheriff Mike Neal really cares about senior citizens in our rural Tennessee county. So much so that he’s allocated 4 or more sheriff’s cars to be used by volunteers who regularly call on 4-5 seniors in the area. He’s also appointed a staff member as laison for the effort. The program Mike sponsors is called S.C.A.N. (Senior Citizens Awareness Network). Each volunteer couple is assigned 3-5 seniors who are shut-in or just in need of company.