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U.S. and Japanese divers have discovered wreckage and remains of five crew members from a U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft that crashed last week off southwestern Japan, the Air Force announced Monday.The CV-22 Osprey carrying eight American personnel crashed last Wednesday off Yakushima island during a training mission. The body of one victim was recovered and identified earlier.The Air Force Special Operations Command said two of the five newly located remains have been recovered but their identities have yet to be determined. The joint U.S.-Japanese search operation is still working to recover the remains of three other crew members from the wreckage, it said.The search is continuing for the two people who are still missing, it said.“The main priority is bringing the Airmen home and taking care of their family members. Support to, and the privacy of, the families and loved ones impacted by this incident remains AFSOC’s top priority,” it said in a statement.The U.S. military identified the one confirmed victim as Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday.Galliher, who was stationed in Japan, was a 2017 graduate of Taconic High School in Pittsfield, the city police department said in a statement Friday morning. He left behind his wife, 2-year-old and 7-week-old sons, and a loving family in Western Massachusetts.In a statement, Galliher’s family called him “an amazing father, son and brother dedicated to his family and friends.”“During this period of immense grief, we kindly ask for privacy and understanding as we navigate this unimaginable loss,” the family said. “Our thoughts and support are with the families of Jake’s fellow crew members who are dealing with this tragedy as well.”On Monday, divers from the Japanese navy and U.S. military spotted what appeared to be the front section of the Osprey, along with possibly five of the missing crew members, Japan’s NHK public television and other media reported.Japanese navy officials declined to confirm the reports, saying they could not release details without consent from the U.S. The U.S.-made Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but can rotate its propellers forward and cruise much faster, like an airplane, during flight.Ospreys have had a number of crashes, including in Japan, where they are used at U.S. and Japanese military bases, and the latest accident rekindled safety concerns.Japan has suspended all flights of its own fleet of 14 Ospreys. Japanese officials say they have asked the U.S. military to resume Osprey flights only after ensuring their safety. The Pentagon said no such formal request has been made and that the U.S. military is continuing to fly 24 MV-22s, the Marine version of Ospreys, deployed on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.On Sunday, pieces of wreckage that Japan’s coast guard and local fishing boats have collected were handed over to the U.S. military for examination, coast guard officials said. Japan’s military said debris it has collected would also be handed over to the U.S.Coast guard officials said the recovered pieces of wreckage include parts of the aircraft and an inflatable life raft but nothing related to the cause of the crash, such as an engine. Local witnesses reported seeing fire coming from one of the engines.Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, Japanese authorities are not given the right to seize or investigate U.S. military property unless the U.S. decides otherwise. That means it will be practically impossible for Japan to independently investigate the cause of the accident.The agreement has often made Japanese investigations difficult in criminal cases involving American service members on Okinawa and elsewhere. It has been criticized as unequal by rights activists and others, including Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki, who has called for a revision.
1 day ago
Massachusetts Police News
There were two winning $100,000 tickets sold in Sunday night’s “Mass Cash” drawing, according to the Massachusetts State Lottery.One winning ticket was sold at Jenny’s Market, located at 992 Middle St. in Weymouth, while the other ticket was sold at Tewksbury Convenience Store in Tewksbury, according to the lottery. The winning numbers in the Dec. 3 drawing were 1, 3, 8, 20 and 29.Read More: $1 million ‘Mega Millions’ lottery prize won from liquor store in Mass.“Mass Cash” drawings occur daily at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $1 to play. A player must choose five numbers between 1 and 35, and there are three available prizes to win.If all five numbers match the numbers drawn, the “Mass Cash” player wins $100,000. If they match four numbers, the prize is $250, and if they match three, the prize is $10.Read More: Mass. State Lottery: $25 million winner plans Christmas in ArubaOverall, there were at least 140 winning lottery tickets worth $600 or more won or claimed in Massachusetts on Sunday, including five in Springfield and Worcester.The Massachusetts State Lottery releases a full list of all the winning tickets each day. The list only includes winning tickets worth more than $600.Read More: Massachusetts State Lottery winner: 3 $100,000 prizes won across commonwealthThe two largest lottery prizes won in the state of Massachusetts so far in 2023 were $33 million and $31 million Mega Millions jackpot prizes. The tickets were each sold a week apart.The $33 million ticket for the Tuesday, Jan. 24 drawing was purchased from a Stop & Shop in Belchertown. The winner came forward to claim the prize on March 1 through the Skylark Group Trust.The $31 million Mega Millions jackpot ticket was won on Jan. 31. The winning ticket was bought in Woburn from a Gibbs gas station, and the winner claimed the prize on March 8 through S & L Trust.
Drive cautiously during your Monday morning commute, Bay Staters. The National Weather Service is predicting fog across Massachusetts through 9 a.m., which could impact visibility on the road. The rest of the day is expected to be mild, with highs in the upper 40s or low 50s across the state and breaks of sunshine towards the late morning, according to the weather service. Read more: Here’s when the Geminid meteor shower is expected to reach its peakThere is a chance of snow overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, especially in the eastern parts of the state. The weather service predicts a 50% chance of snow in Boston Tuesday night, which drops to 20% in the morning. Meanwhile, there is only a 20% chance of snow in Worcester, and Springfield is expected to escape the precipitation altogether. Still, the weather service expects little to no accumulation. It is predicting less than an inch of snow in Boston. Read more: Princeton firefighters, dispatchers awarded for saving 2 teens in March nor’easterTemperatures across the state are expected to drop day by day through Thursday, going from highs in the low 40s on Tuesday to highs in the upper to mid 30s on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the weather service. Lows overnight are expected to be in the low 30s and then in the mid to low 30s. Bay Staters should also expect a cloudy week, especially in the afternoons, according to the weather service. Massachusetts should begin to warm again on Friday, with highs going back into the mid 40s, leading into a milder weekend, the weather service predicts. “Our next shot at widespread precipitation not until next Sunday and/or Monday,” the weather service wrote on its website.
A beluga whale living at Mystic Aquarium since May 2021 is in critical condition.The aquarium took in five beluga whales from Marineland in Canada in May 2021 after Marineland faced challenges and scrutiny, including the death of animals and concerns about water quality, Mystic Aquarium said in a Facebook post on Friday.
WESTFIELD – More than 100 visitors participated in “A Storybook Holiday,” a wine tasting fundraiser on Dec. 1 at the Westfield Athenaeum, according to athenaeum Trustee Jayne Mulligan.The fundraiser featured hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Westfield Technical Academy Culinary Department, live music by the Third Millennium Trio, with plenty of wreaths and centerpieces raffled off during the two-hour event.Patrons sampled more than 20 wines that were supplied by Super Phipps Liquors which served as a major sponsor.Proceeds from the event will be used to renovate the Grand Hall as part of the Rise to Knowledge Campaign.
A spacious historic house located at 52 Hammondswood Road in Chestnut Hill has a new owner. The 5,021-square-foot property, built in 1929, was sold on Nov. 8, 2023, for $4,000,000, or $797 per square foot. This three-story home offers a spacious layout with four bedrooms and seven baths. On the exterior, the house is characterized by a hip roof design, featuring roofing made of slate. Inside, there is a fireplace. The property is equipped with forced air heating and a cooling system. In addition, the house comes with an underground/basement two-car garage, allowing for convenient vehicle storage and additional storage space. The property's backyard also boasts a pool.Additional houses have recently been sold nearby:On Hammondswood Road, Chestnut Hill, in September 2023, a 4,042-square-foot home was sold for $2,400,000, a price per square foot of $594. The home has 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.A 2,429-square-foot home at 38 Wachusett Road in Chestnut Hill sold in August 2023, for $1,810,000, a price per square foot of $745. The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.In October 2023, a 2,408-square-foot home on Manet Road in Chestnut Hill sold for $2,200,000, a price per square foot of $914. The home has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.Real Estate Newswire is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to generate analysis of data from Propmix, an aggregator of national real-estate data. See more Real Estate News
The man who died after he was stabbed outside Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus Saturday is being remembered as “a loving father and husband, brother, son and loyal friend to many,” according to his family.Patrick Kenney Jr., 42, of Milton, was found with a knife wound in the parking lot of Kowloon, located at 948 Broadway, after 9 p.m. on Dec. 2, Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker and Saugus Police Chief Michael Ricciardelli said Sunday.Read More: Patrick Kenney Jr. ID’d as man stabbed to death outside Kowloon in SaugusKenney was pronounced dead a short time later at Mass General Hospital. Authorities believe the stabbing was accidental, and that no one else was involved. Kenney was reportedly killed by a knife that was attached to something he was wearing around his neck, according to WCVB.“Our family is mourning the loss of Patrick,” the family said in a statement. “[We are] focused on his wife Lauren and two young children, and trying to make sense of this horrific tragedy.”Read More: Man stabbed with knife outside Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus dies at hospitalThe Wong family, who owns Kowloon, has known Kenney and his family for years, WCVB reported.The 42-year-old reportedly took a bus from the South Shore to Saugus with family and friends to have dinner at the Route 1 restaurant on Saturday, the Wong family told the outlet.“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family,” the Wong family said in a statement according to the outlet. “We ask that people don’t jump to conclusions until an investigation is completed.”Read More: Saugus police to charge 4 people for Kowloon brawl involving glass bottleThe incident is under investigation by the Essex County District Attorney’s Office State Police Detective Unit and detectives from the Saugus Police Department.This stabbing comes just two weeks after a Thanksgiving-Eve brawl at the popular Chinese restaurant around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 22, according to previous reports. Saugus police said in a Wednesday news release that four people will be charged in Lynn District Court in connection with the fight.
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Ted Cassell, president of Park Square Realty, announces that Danielle Alves has joined the West Springfield office as a sales associate.Alves recently received her real estate license from Freedom Trail Realty School. She is also licensed in cosmetology and has previous work experience in customer service.
December 4, 2023
By Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D One of the guilty pleasures in my early days working in the same college town where I was a young officer was arresting criminal justice students. There was something about having taken a few classes that made many of them have the confidence of a seasoned attorney. More than one would smugly state that any charges will be dropped because I didn’t read them their rights. Surprise! I don’t have to! I have nothing against criminal justice students, having spent many years as one myself and many years teaching since. The problem was that many of these young citizens learned more from television and movies than anywhere else, something they had in common with most Americans. The myth that any contact or arrest by a police officer must be immediately accompanied by an advisement of their Constitutional rights per Miranda comes from many a dramatic scene where these rights are being recited in the middle of a struggle with a fictional suspect on our favorite cop show. To be sure, many officers will spontaneously recite the Miranda warning as soon as practical to avoid being accused of getting an unlawful confession, but it isn’t necessary unless it meets the requirement that arose from the Miranda case (Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), which was part of a cluster of cases that reached the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the 5th and 6th amendments. The era of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren entertained cases that expanded the understanding of Constitutional rights as the 14th Amendment was finally being applied in criminal justice matters. The core issue of these cases was to keep law enforcement from coercing confessions from suspects while they were kept from getting legal counsel. Just a few years earlier, the Court had decided in Gideon V. Wainwright that the right to an attorney meant little unless the government provided such counsel to those who could not afford one. The Miranda ruling did not precisely prescribe what the warning would look like but did give instructions on what such warnings must contain. The standard Miranda rights advisement evolved and was endorsed in subsequent cases. The insistence of the Founders on prohibiting government abuse of its citizens was based on their knowledge of history. Coerced confessions through torture was common in the world, as were secret trials and summary punishment. In throwing off the oppression of their European predecessors, the authors of the Bill of Rights wanted to ensure that persons accused of crimes would be free from torture, had public trials, the oversite of objective magistrates, and access to advocates on their behalf to ensure due process and counter the power of the government. The 5th and 6th Amendments addressed these vital concerns, along with rules for searches and due process. These Warren era court decisions changed law enforcement that had long operated free from federal concerns. The Exclusionary Rule was now employed and ruled that evidence that violated Constitutional standards could no longer be used at trial. These changes gave rise to claims that criminals were being let go on legal technicalities and eventually gave rise to a new emphasis on victim’s rights as well. The new caution exercised by police officers in protecting suspect rights and ensuring that evidence collected would be useable at trial resulted in the common portrayal of police immediately reading from the ubiquitous Miranda cards on every arrest (we are taught Some departments were so cautious that warnings were given even to witnesses. It became a standard component of dramatic media portrayals of suspects being told their rights between blows in a fight or while applying handcuffs. In real life, Miranda applies only to persons who are in custody (not free to leave), and to questions that are guilt-seeking. It does not include general on the scene inquiries, answers to standard booking questions, or spontaneous voluntary statements. My criminal justice arrestees don’t get a free pass just because I didn’t whip out the card. Refer to your Intro to Justice class,, not TV cop shows.
November 29, 2023
Police National US News
By Stephen Owsinski Although there is a severe shortage of law enforcement officers, there is no deficiency in the requisite bravery of our troopers out there combatting crime amid perilous velocity of traffic…with the safety of everyone as the staple ingredient, despite the risk to their own lives. With several major holidays in the last quarter of 2023, safe-driving campaigns kick it up a few notches, with state police organizations and troopers trying to blanket the thoroughfares with cruisers to be seen and heeded. The visual reminder for all motorists: Driving, although heralding freedom and fun, is not to be taken lightly and ill-concentrated. With Florida’s burgeoning population of those who fled states that watered crops of anarchy, it is increasingly palpable and death-defying to go out and about in automobiles for the continuum of sustenance and life choices. In that regard, traffic crashes are a dime a dozen, each requiring a law enforcement officer to piece together a chain of events and map out the entire scene, thereafter documenting details in a police report. (Photo courtesy of the California Highway Patrol.) Every cadet selected to train at the police academy undergoes intense blocks of traffic crash investigations training, mandated by the respective state Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC). All the nuances in this form of law enforcement responsibility are studied until blue in the face. Once state-certified by the CJSTC and out there doing The Job, in-service courses are offered in advanced studies such as Traffic Fatality Investigations (formerly known as Traffic Homicide Investigation or THI). These specialized courses engender principles pertinent to automobile maneuverability —centripetal force and centrifugal force— and are convened for extraordinary traffic investigations involving the deaths of motor vehicle occupants and/or pedestrians. Although the advent of drones helps law enforcement by safeguarding investigators photographing/mapping scenes aerially, supplanting the former method of law enforcement officers physically standing in a traffic crash scene, they still largely exit police cruisers and risk getting bowled over by any of many moving vehicles. Traffic stops carry multiple dangers for LEOs: malice from armed motorists and injury from inattentive drivers, primarily. And there’s plenty of the latter to ruin lives… Any “local” trip I take nowadays is extraordinarily fraught with heavy traffic flow and invariable wrecks set in motion by some self-centered drivers operating tonnage without a care in the world—certainly not for anyone around them. All it takes is one person’s poor decision to cause a chain reaction resulting in a bad day for many. Wreckage Having served as a policeman, working wrecks is a typical part of The Job. Like everyone else on the pavement, I turtle-crawl forward until I see the blue lights, the telltale signs of troopers working yet another otherwise avoidable traffic crash, braving the open-air elements (hip-close cars and trucks) to gather everyone’s documents and testimonies, safely return to the office (cruiser), and piece it all together, finding fault(s), and distributing some bad-news docs requiring signatures. Yet even in the confines of a brightly lit, clearly marked police car, troopers working the wrecks epitomize the phrase “sitting ducks” (respectfully). But, but, but…the Move Over Law. We here at the National Police Association have covered the nuances of the Move Over Law several times. Although it is one among many laws relegated to keeping our nation’s road-borne cops safe while they lasso speeders, investigate traffic woes, and implement safety feats, it still seems to fall upon deaf ears (PSAs) and self-blind eyes (overhead marquees and a litany of signals to heed, all dismissed). The chronology of police cruisers smashed into accordion-like hunks of mostly metal is a dime a dozen, a telltale sign that some auto operators’ minds are on everything but driving carefully. Over the Thanksgiving Day week, I read several social media posts echoing how police families are typically unsettled when their sworn-to-serve loved one’s primary duty is enforcing traffic codes as a trooper, whose playing field is not the Indianapolis Speedway but a close replication. Spouses, children, and parents of troopers must be an unrested bunch, understandably so. In all of this, troopers uphold one another and carry on the fight against the aggressiveness of reckless drivers creating traffic tragedies resulting in fatalities on the asphalt, with troopers always in the crosshairs due to the very nature of their inherent duties and where they are performed. Some of the horrific fatalities are troopers whose lives were abruptly concluded while bravely serving in a space known for speed and inattentive motorists. In that extremely sad context, our cover photo today portrays troopers from various states standing shoulder to shoulder, attending Honor Guard training school, wearing their respective colors while also implementing cadence and cohesion, brimming with bravery in the face of chronic perils. Although any law enforcement agency Honor Guard contingent performs at various events —police academy graduations, promotions ceremonies, athletic events, dignitary presentations, to name a few— it is more commonly employed at law enforcement officer funerals. From state troopers to county sheriff’s deputies to city cops, Honor Guard cadres train the same and exhibit acute skills akin to solid soldiers marching without one iota of a misstep, all in reverence to the fallen whose bravery was maximized. The San Diego Police Department’s Honor Guard credo is to “keep the remembrance of fallen officers alive in the memories of all law enforcement personnel, their families, friends, and the communities they serve” and “will represent and honor the Department and its members with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity at all times” and whose training manual shall “constitute the nucleus for the conduct and operation of the Honor Guard.” Textbook directives translating to precision police training comprising agency tributes on behalf of those who forged forward bravely…for the final time. (Photo courtesy of the NC Trooper’s Association K9 Search and Recovery.) Troopers chronicling attendance at police funerals are thus starkly reminded of the myriad pitfalls and inexplicable carnage transpiring on America’s highways and byways, yet bravely suit up and step out of cruisers to pursue order in the torrents of traffic.
November 28, 2023
By Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D The mysteries of homicidal attackers in public and sacred spaces have garnered attention and study. From the local school’s threat assessment team to the FBI and Secret Service, researchers and psychologists have attempted to draft a profile of those who threaten our safety and sense of peace and predictability. Such a profile is still elusive. Although the news seems to announce a new shooting event daily, the occurrences are rare enough that studying the attackers and slicing and dicing their traits for commonality has yet to yield an answer in the quest for predicting who will be the next mass killer. The science of behavioral profiling boils down to the science of statistics. When we see a pattern or patterns repeated, we can begin to chart probabilities. But as anyone who has baked a cake knows, there are so many variables that getting the exact same product every time is never completely in the baker’s control. We also know that concurrence is not causation. If we find in retrospect that most mass killers had oatmeal for breakfast, baking oatmeal illegal is not likely to reduce murders. So what can be done to identify potential killers and increase the probability of intervening before they act? While there is emphatically no profile of attackers or their targets, there are some commonalities that safety experts can learn from. Two of these are that there is a planning phase for many potential active shooters and a motivation that evokes a desire to carry out their destructive plans. Those two elements can often be found in a plotter’s manifesto. The classic definition of a manifesto, according to Webster, is “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” That sounds innocuous enough, but the connotation in common use is a declaration of something sinister. Recent revelations of vile manifestos are that of Connor Sturgeon, the man who fatally shot five coworkers at a Louisville, Kentucky bank in April, and critically injured a police officer who was shot in the head. Another was that of the diary of Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran, an activist who died after exchanging fire with police near the site of the planned public safety training center near Atlanta, Georgia. Robert Card the 40-year-old gunman in the mass shootings that killed 18 people and injured 13 others in Lewiston, Maine left no known lengthy document but did prepare a note giving some final instructions to a loved one. Card was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Retired police lieutenant Dan Marcou, a nationally recognized police tactics trainer, cites as one of many reasons to study the diaries, journals, and manifestos of plotters and killers is to serve as a training aid. Another is for use in evidence of a surviving plotter or killer, to prove intent and forethought. Therefore, the release and analysis of these documents is critical to the prevention of future tragedies. Manifestos can often be found on social media platforms. Authorities in Virginia were alerted this past September to disturbing Instagram posts by Rui Jiang showing potentially violent intentions toward a church in Haymarket, VA. Officers attempted to contact Jiang at his residence on a Sunday morning. When they were unable to find him, police began patrolling the Park Valley Church as services were about to begin. They found Jiang had entered the church through a side door, armed with a loaded gun and extra ammunition. “This was a thwarted diabolical plot to kill churchgoers in Haymarket, Virginia — and local law enforcement stopped it,” Chief Kevin Davis of the Fairfax County Police Department told reporters. Finding manifestos of plotters and studying those left behind by active shooters is an important piece of the puzzle in understanding prevention and response to mass killers.
November 27, 2023
The Wounded Blue Shows Kim Frankel She’s Not Alone. By Steve Pomper Here we are again, back to learn more about betrayed Washoe County Sheriff’s Detective Kim Frankel’s, as she calls it, “journey” (she’s being kind). On the day her life inexorably changed, she was assigned to the Crimes Against Persons Unit, specializing in sex crimes against children, for which she’d been nationally recognized. But let’s dig further into her malicious-betrayal-turned-hope filled-crusade to fix the worker’s comp system. And let’s also try to understand what her employer appears to be doing to her and, again, ask why. And let’s also see who’s stepped up to help her. If you haven’t read our first article in this series, you can find it here at the NPA website. This story began simply enough (for a cop) and should never have evolved into this catastrophic abuse of an exemplary public servant. Kim was out investigating a case, driving an unmarked sheriff’s office car when a driver, high on drugs, crashed into her from behind before speeding off. Despite initially suffering whiplash, a concussion, and a lumbar strain, she chased down and apprehended the suspect before he could hurt anyone else. He was later tried and convicted. The deputy received medical treatment and immediately returned to work on light duty. Again, this case should never have dragged on for over three years, now. If anything, some local reporter should have been able to write that the sheriff, her husband’s friend, assured Kim, “Don’t worry, whatever you need, we’re here for you.” Reporters might have also written, “The state workers’ comp system fully backed Det. Frankel, providing timely and proper medical care, and she returned to work full-time helping Nevada’s victimized children.” But that didn’t happen—not even close. And that her permanent disability was preventable is the saddest and most maddening thing about this tragic story. It appears the prevailing medical diagnosis and prognosis determined Kim would likely recover from her injuries and return to duty. But she says her employer and third-party administrator ensured that didn’t happen. Why? Instead, it appears Washoe County and the third-party administrator were immediately adversarial, having Kim’s back only so they could repeatedly stick a knife in it. The original collision happened in June 2020 and since then it’s been nothing but obstruction, neglect, delays, and lies, including official false allegations against her and private investigators spying on her family with zero evidence of wrongdoing. This former professional extreme athlete now struggles with mundane tasks, tormented by dystonia, which causes sometimes painful involuntary muscle spasms, and also by an associated TBI. This condition is her constant, unwanted companion every single moment of every single day. Link While having the disease is heartbreaking enough, even worse, the county’s denying the same dystonia diagnosis made by physicians on Kim’s behalf and doctors for the county is nothing short of malicious. But she perseveres and forges ahead on her mission to help others caught up in a vicious system. We remain baffled by the monumental, mysterious, and maddening why that hovers over this case like a sadistic, sinister specter. The why evokes equal parts confusion and anger. But, while the sheriff and other officials try to beat Kim down, she does have allies helping her not only cope but also thrive in her crusade to find justice and fix the system. In our last article, we mentioned Kim’s advocate from the Washoe County Sheriffs Deputies’ Association (WCSDA), Leslie Bell. Kim speaks highly of Bell, as she’s been present with Kim through many of her battles. This included working with Kim in her mission to change how the state treats injured workers by passing new legislation. Something we’ll cover in more detail in an upcoming article. Another immensely effective ally is Lt. Randy Sutton, retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) after 24 years, and his organization The Wounded Blue. He’d previously also served 10 years as a cop in Princeton, New Jersey. In the 90’s, he appeared on the popular TV show COPS, has written several books, and is a spokesperson for Blue Lives Matter. The waitlist for his new book, Rescuing 911, is available here. Lt. Randy Sutton LVMPD (Ret.), The Wounded Blue founder The Wounded Blue’s mission is to address injured and disabled cops’ physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The NPA’s own Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith sits on their board of directors. In April, Sutton interviewed Kim in a heart-rending nearly one-hour Rumble video at America Out Loud. Kim said something poignant to Sutton that cuts through the crap and gets to just how profoundly this betrayal has affected her. Link She said, “I truly believe, if I dropped dead today, they would celebrate” (not just sigh with relief, but “celebrate”). Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not, but does it get worse than feeling this way about people you counted on to be there for you at such times—about your boss? Sutton said, “It’s almost unbelievable for the layperson to get their head around the way police officers are often treated by the very agencies and the cities and the counties that they have served. “In my work with The Wounded Blue, I see this every day. But I have to tell you…, your story touches me deeply, personally. But it’s also, I believe, one of the most egregious cases that I have seen.” Officers were present to support Kim at a legislative hearing to restore the “bad faith” element in the workers’ comp law. Some recounted similar stories of workers’ comp abuse. Even so, Sutton said he could tell these cops were shocked at what “the system” was doing to Kim. Link It’s easy for cops like Kim to feel abandoned. Often, we think others know more about us and our lives than they do. But people are naturally consumed with their own lives. We can’t assume they know what’s happening to us because then we may take that to mean they don’t care when they just don’t know. Sutton also testified at the legislative hearing about his experience being denied health benefits while with the LVMPD. In a Calibre Press Training Network article Sutton said, “I had a stroke in my police car after 34 years on the job, right there on the Las Vegas Strip. It was the scariest thing that ever happened to me, and I’ve seen some scary shit. My department didn’t want to pay, even though they knew they had to legally. I had to go to court, and after a year, I won. But they nearly ruined me inside of that year. So, I got a taste of it. They hope you’re either going to die or give up.” He told Calibre Press, “The final straw, for me, came from a young guy in South Dakota who’d been in a terrible fight—both arms ripped out of the sockets, his head smashed. The department took away a third of his pay, and his wife had to quit her job to take care of him. They couldn’t feed their kids. They were relying on bake sales to make it through. I knew then we had to do something.” There’s a reason so many officers tell their families, “If anything happens to me on duty, and I can’t communicate or I’m killed, I do not want the (fill in the blank- chief, sheriff, mayor, governor, etc.) anywhere near my hospital room or funeral service.” When I was an active cop, I told this to my wife—a retired firefighter and cop’s daughter. She understood the significance. Leaders betraying officers is not limited to denying workers’ comp benefits. It also applies to the policies and laws they create that put cops at increased risk. According to ABC News, back in 2015, NYPD officers turned their backs on the then-worst mayor in America Bill de Blasio “as he spoke during a funeral for [killed in the line of duty] officer Wenjian Liu despite a warning from their boss,” because of his anti-cop stances. Sutton asked Kim why she wanted to be a law enforcement officer. Kim answered, “I loved—I loved—being a cop. It’s been the hardest part about this journey.” She spoke about “never ever being able to hear that Velcro of my vest [body armor] being put on and torn off at the end of a shift.” Most civilians won’t understand this, but it will spark visceral images for cops. After I wrote this, in the video, Kim noted that officers would know what she means by “the sound.” After listening to Kim recount her case, Sutton hits on an issue we’ll also explore in a future article. Retaliation. I spoke with Sutton about this nightmare Kim’s suffering. During their April interview, I’d heard him say he’d seen a lot during his career and then after founding the Wounded Blue. But he said Kim’s case was the worst he’d ever seen. Why is this case so different? Sutton told me, “Because they could have fixed it and didn’t.” Sutton wondered how the sheriff could be so “cold and calculating.” He said the most challenging part is that doctors, even those retained by the county, said they thought Kim’s prognosis looked promising for a full recovery, if she got the proper care she needed and in a timely manner. While watching the interview, it struck me that this is where Kim got most choked up—that she could have been cured, and it appears they took that away from her intentionally—maliciously. Sutton said, “They sentenced her to life in a personal prison from a disease.” I asked him who he felt was the villain in all this. Despite the sheriff and county being significant players, without hesitation, Sutton said he believes it’s the, “The third-party administrator,” which in Kim’s case is CCMSI. Link Sutton said the system seems to operate in such a way that some insurance companies make money by denying claims. This may seem cynical, but other possibilities are elusive when looking at the apparent abuse in Kim’s case. Especially when the sheriff, county, and CCMSI won’t provide an explanation. Frustrated with the lack of compassion for Kim by her former command staff, the county, and CCMSI, I told Sutton, “I’m stuck on the why.” Why would normally decent people do this to Kim—to anyone? Sutton, a master at distilling the complex down to the understandable, even said, “That why may be unanswerable.” He repeatedly described Kim’s tormenters’ actions as, “evil.” After what I’ve learned, how could I not agree with his description? I asked Kim what support from Randy Sutton and The Wounded Blue has meant to her. Her answer reveals the essence of her nightmare contrasted by receiving the lifeline she so badly needed. Link Kim wrote, if you want a ‘brief comment’ or understanding of Randy/TWB relationship with me here it is: “If you don’t know the value of loyalty, you will never understand the damage of betrayal.” (author unknown) Randy contacted me after he observed one of Kolo 8 news journalist Ed Pearce’s stories about my quest to make Nevada a Bad Faith [state] at the 2023 Nevada Legislative Session, after approximately 2 years and 7 months of enduring egregious pain and suffering by the hands of my own blue family [link added]. Upon first contact, Randy told me ‘you’re not alone anymore’. You see, it’s not the industrial injuries that almost killed me, it’s the betrayal of the ones I believed in that if I did my job well and made it home, they would be there to take care of me and my family. Not only did that not happen, but to find out they were the ones intentionally and maliciously causing me and my family unnecessary pain and suffering and denying medical treatment to one suffering a TBI; that’s a death wish! After I sent Randy a LAST MINUTE text informing him I was going to be testifying at the Nevada legislature, he hopped on a plane, supported me, and also testified. After the hype and successful passing of SB274, my family and I continued to endure significant retaliation and ramifications from Washoe County that started to lead me back into a very dark hole. Randy was adamant David and I attend the 3rd Annual Law Enforcement Survival Summit and I was adamant not to attend. This is where my healing began! David and I both had been holding on to survival by a thread and unbeknownst to us TWB team, sponsors, speakers, and attendees provided such a profound safe, secure, and empowering environment David and I began to heal [links added]. To say the least, TWB was an integral part of saving my life. Link It’s not enough to sympathize or even empathize with what the workers’ comp system is putting Kim and others through. There must be a solution—there must be change—there must be action, which is what Kim and her allies have done and are doing. This also includes changes to the malicious delays in her care that have turned what was initially treatable into what appears to be a lifelong debilitating condition. Though I’m frustrated and angry with Kim’s story, being solution oriented, I’ve been thinking about how the state could fix it. The best argument for the other side, the government and insurance companies, for fighting some claims, is workers’ comp fraud. It exists and is something which companies like CCMSI must fight but also, perversely, seem to rely on to deny legitimate benefits to injured claimants like Kim. It seems there needs to be a two-prong approach. What if workers’ comp emphasized a people-centered protocol in which claimants’ injuries are presumed legitimate so the proper, necessary medical treatments can be promptly provided, especially with serious injuries like Kim suffered? The state can deal with fraud by bolstering existing laws or creating effective new laws with strict enforcement. Also increase penalties (fines and prison sentences) for those convicted of defrauding the system. Make even thinking about committing workers’ comp fraud Kryptonite to potential fraudsters. And I mean make it prohibitive like—oh, I don’t know—punishment just short of cruel and unusual. The sense of propriety in me would like to believe that the sheriff’s office, county admin, and CCMSI have a valid explanation for their hurtful actions in Kim’s case. But my sense of justice wonders what that explanation could possibly be. Why won’t he tell voters what Kim asks? He seems like a decent guy, reading Storytime to the kids, or is this gesture simply a politician’s performance? However, in this time of criminal justice leniency by George Soros-funded or -styled prosecutors and other politicians, it can only make Kim’s battle(s) more difficult. Many jurisdictions’ current criminal justice systems aren’t infatuated with making things tougher for criminals, but they don’t mind making things rougher on cops. But that’s not likely to stop Kim—or Sutton and The Wounded Blue. With Kim, CCMSI seems to be relying on the fraud issue, which, again, is a legitimate concern, costing taxpayers gobs of money annually. But, as with Kim’s case, the system’s default setting seems to be set to fraud rather than patient care, especially when the cost of care will be high. It has become a guilty until you prove yourself innocent system (and, in Kim’s case, it seems even proof of innocence is not enough). The Washoe County, NV Sheriff did not respond to a request for comment. CCMSI forwarded a request for comment to a “point of contact,” who has not responded as of publication.
By Stephen Owsinski The anti-police movement is inescapable for everyone, especially America’s law enforcement officers confronting the evils of society while also being hounded by negativistic mouthpieces chanting the abolition of public safety heroes. As antithetical as it gets. As is customary in law enforcement circles, for good and bad duty days, positive reinforcement is crucial for resetting/recharging before and after each shift. Proverbial Attaboy! and Attagirl! pats on the back, albeit simple, may not always make it to the troops fighting the good fight on America’s beats. Every effort should be made to change that. I started seeing a burgeon of uplifting narratives lavishing praise for police personnel, mostly written by cops, trying to uplift cohorts in an increasingly declining society. Some psychologists have taken to social media spaces, imploring law enforcement leaders to stand up for and stand with officers, deputies, and troopers operating out in the vast field of chaos, confronting crisis after crisis, with utopia nowhere in sight. (Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Reserve Corps.) A post from Truleo Police portrayed Nishant Joshi, former assistant police chief at the Oakland, California PD, and current police chief at the Alameda Police Department, opining on the virtues and values of positive reinforcements for all cops: “Police officers are resilient but they’re human beings. And if we are not paying attention to their wellness, that’s where the deterioration happens. That way the [body-worn camera] technologies, in my opinion, gets ahead of that…is when it flags when an officer experienced a traumatic incident or something as little as they’re spoken to poorly by a member of our community, when you can call them in and say, ‘Hey, I watched the video. It flagged that last car stop that you did where you were spoken to in a way that I don’t think anyone should be spoken to. “’But I appreciate your professionalism. I appreciate that you maintained the reputation of this organization.’ And that’s that pick me up.” The technology to which Chief Joshi refers is what Truleo calls “Automated Body Camera Review and Analysis,” whereby police executives and/or their designees sit and assess the performances of their patrol officers to ascertain the nuances of beat cops engaging with the community, predominantly how they are solving problems and the potential toll it takes on doing so. As Chief Joshi noted, cops are resilient…but they are human, and our species can take a lot. But the psyche files it away. It heaps, though. A mature, humanistic pep talk can go a long way to alleviating some of the mental burdens mounded by doing The Job. Frankly, some police administrators are better at this than others. As one may suspect, politics have a lot to do with this. However, superb police supervisors help recalibrate officers under their watchful eyes and listening ears, weighing in when it seems obvious to do so (and maybe not so obvious, but intuition compels a chat and a pat). Any law enforcement agency’s primary ingredient for shaping cops and ensuring their wellness is its cadre of field training officers. Newly hired cops fresh out of a police academy are automatically assigned to a field training officer (FTO) whose responsibility is to mold newly minted, inexperienced law enforcement officers into crimefighters and wearers of all the other hats for which public safety pros are known to demonstrate proficiency. (Photo courtesy of the Cobb County Police Department.) FTOs are usually selected by upper-echelon administrators and graduate police academy courses tailored to optimize the training of new cops, foisting tons of mutual responsibility upon the duo. When I attended FTO school, a large chunk of time was spent on recognizing officer stress and how to mitigate it as it materializes…and thereafter. After every call, after each shift, both trainee and trainer dissect the calls for service, the people involved, the mechanics of meeting needs, and the lessons learned (both good and bad). DORs, or Daily Observation Reports, are composed by the FTO, containing areas requiring improvement while also recording accolades for stellar police performance. The last part ordinarily soothes the former part containing some splintery actions. We all learn on the job, in every profession, but police work has very little room for error (hence a mighty stressor requiring positive reinforcement to offset the sting of hard lessons). So-called rookies do not get to choose their FTOs. Agency mid-managers overseeing the field training program compose the FTO rosters, decide assignments, coordinate everything involved in building up new cops, and maintain records of it all. FTO ringleaders are charged with instilling requisite leadership skills to pass on to the fresh batch of police officers engaged in building street experience which, before long, will take a toll on the psyche of rookies. That is why a field training officer dons the psychologist hat: to discern the impacts of contentious calls/individuals/suspects and offset the emotional sway inherent in enforcing laws. The Other Side of the Radio Anyone who has worked as a public safety dispatcher or knows someone who has filled the hot seat rife with stress, can likely attest to how relieving it is to have a department head walk through, peer over shoulders, and convey gratitude for a thankless job performed behind the scenes. Top cop Colonel Gary L. Howze leads the many men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol, visiting the state law enforcement agency’s seven operational hubs located in the Sunshine State’s major cities, spending time with civilian dispatchers fielding gobs of calls from motorists throughout its 67-county jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy of the Florida Highway Patrol.) “An impromptu visit by Colonel Howze at the Tampa Bay Regional Communications Center, supporting our Communications Staff,” wrote an FHP spokesperson. Having been one before being sworn in as an LEO, public safety dispatchers amass stress due to the imperative role that many opt out of doing. Burnout is not uncommon and police executives checking in with their troops staffing the mics and answering myriad calls for service offer a motivational boost in between 9-1-1 responses. How It’s Done In public safety circles, sometimes positive reinforcement comes without words, just actions…a display of a seasoned professional whose breadth of lifesaving feats is awe-inspiring. Our friends of Prepared to Fight Fire: “You’ll never replace years of being into the job and having experience. Learn to listen more than you speak when surrounded by the people who have been around the block. Watch their actions. They move in a manner that fitness nor toughness can replicate.” (Photo courtesy of Prepared to Fight Fire.) From the look on that fireman’s face, those eyes have experienced a lot, which equates to a lot to pass on to the newer flock of firefighters joining the battles. It’s the same in police culture…. Veteran cops assigned to Patrol Divisions have a knack for showing up on calls, sizing up situations, assessing potential danger zones, and battening down the hatches…all for largely inexperienced LEOs to take it all in…for future use. From a beat cop’s perspective, the icons of police prowess come in rather silently, displayed many years of tried-and-true tactics, strategized and adapted to changing environments, and did the job seemingly effortlessly. To a novice police officer observing, it was akin to a law enforcement textbook on two legs. So much to glean from such legends, tacitly conveying positive reinforcement that it can be done…here’s how. Gestures Add Positivity After Negative Circumstances Recently, two deputies in my county were mowed down by a male whose intentions were malicious, not accidental whatsoever. Two of several deputies on the scene were sent careening like bowling pins. Here is a snippet of what transpired a few weeks ago: [embedded content] With that came the community’s love and respect and a personal brand of medicine for these downed law enforcement heroes. On November 21, 2023, days before we sat and partook in being appreciative on Thanksgiving Day, the life-altered deputies involved in this horrific call for service were granted gratitude by the people they serve. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister revisited the injured deputies and handed each a $20,000 check. That may not completely overcome what each brave LEO experienced but it assuredly conveys positive reinforcement from the community members grateful for their valorous service. Per Sheriff Chronister: “[On Tuesday], I visited Corporal Brito and Deputy Santos and presented each with a $20,000.00 check on behalf of the community, whose generosity has been overwhelming. While Team HCSO is covering the medical expenses, these funds will help alleviate the additional financial burdens as they continue to recover from their injuries.” No matter the circumstances, good will always prevail! Spontaneous or planned, positive reinforcements for LEOs always have applications, especially nowadays in a climate rife with monstrous behavior and rampant hatred for public safety professionals guarding the gates with their lives…an increasing number making the proverbial ultimate sacrifice.
November 25, 2023
By Stephen Owsinski How politicos think and render decisions on behalf of many citizens is crucial to an environment’s welfare and public safety successes, both mainstay ingredients for all other aspects to prosper. Yet it is bewildering to see city figureheads going about governance with antithetical initiatives that, although seemingly likable, undercut core responsibilities such as crime abatement. Look anywhere and you will find astronomical scores of malevolence in the Big Apple, its core being excised by chiseling away at the number of police officers in a metropolis overrun with mayhem…despite mayoral assertions that all is well in Gotham. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, whose electronic gadgets were recently seized by FBI agents investigating potential campaign-related corruption involving the Turkish government, announced plans to cleave the NYPD and other essential city services (Sanitation workers) as crime soars significantly and free-roaming rats feast on piles of refuse. (It sounds like the newly appointed “nightlife mayor” will have his hands full and feet raised.) Sigh… (Photo courtesy of the NYC Police Benevolent Association.) Per a New York Times header, the first-term Hizzoner who is a former NYPD cop “announced painful cuts to the New York City budget that would freeze police hiring and close libraries on Sunday. He warned that more cuts would be necessary without additional federal funding to manage the migrant crisis.” Where does one begin to dissect that statement? [embedded content] If the “painful cuts” stem from unwarranted spending on the sanctuary city’s campaign to overpopulate the five-county jurisdiction’s chronic hemorrhage of south-of-the-border invaders why, then, should the hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens be pierced by that otherwise avoidable hook? He “warned” residents and merchants? Wasn’t he warned not to commit such an egregious abuse of power? Does We the People carry no weight anymore? Doesn’t an elected official work for the bona fide citizens who somehow put him in City Hall…and not for immigrants whatsoever? Perhaps Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R- NY) said it best in her rebuke of Mr. Adams’ threats to pulverize the police budget in the name of outsiders who could care less for going about citizenship legally, waving them in like a pit-stop boss (tuning them…with permanency in the plan). “This is what you call MISPLACED PRIORITIES: Taking away services from hardworking taxpaying citizens to provide free housing and services to citizens of other countries who didn’t follow the rules and never contributed a dime,” Congresswoman Malliotakis exclaimed. In a TV interview blitz, Rep. Malliotakis threw more truth bombs: “To cut services from citizens to provide services to illegal immigrants is WRONG and a slap in the face to citizens and immigrants who work hard, pay taxes & follow the rules.” The common denominator in the NYC metro region is reflective of the political pool that seems to salivate over doling out hard-earned dollars toward social experiment risks such as massive waves of migrants, many of whom made NYPD cops contend with ungrateful and unruly behavior. Sanitation workers have been cleaning up the messes made by these non-legalized invaders, too. I don’t know how many slaps to the face the members of the NYPD can take but this one, like many others before it, will hurt and further challenge the already depleted sworn strength (officer safety is a critical component in the life-saving biz). (Photo courtesy of the NYPD Police Commissioner.) Concentrating on the NYPD whose job it is to safeguard 7.8 million residents (it declined…wonder what caused that drop) and gobs more among the tourist crowd, it is reprehensible to cancel academy classes whose cadets endured a lengthy vetting process and lives sifted by NYPD background investigators. Speaking of background investigations, NY Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law the state’s “Clean Slate” legislation, “sealing criminal records of previously convicted New Yorkers,” reported the New York Post. Go ahead and pinch yourself. I had to do the same thing to make sure all this nonsense was happening. Incidentally, the “Clean Slate” law is also embraced in other states. The self-explanatory Clean Slate Initiative identified those dozen states. I wonder if there is anything they all have in common. But the nonsense never ends… Among the press release regarding the “nightlife mayor,” whose salary one can only imagine is way above that of most NYPD cops, is a curious find having to do with minimizing fines/fees of businesses caught violating regulations, saving them (not the city) “millions of dollars” that could surely afford public safety professionals: “This administration is focused on making it easier for this city’s small businesses to grow and thrive, and the bills passed today exemplify that. With the passage of Intro. 845, we have now cleared the path for over 100 reforms to be implemented that will reduce fines and fees for this city’s small business community, saving them millions of dollars a year.” What a dead giveaway giving everything away is. As Ms. Malliotakis noted, “Misplaced priorities”!
November 24, 2023
Indianapolis, November 24, 2023 – As Atlanta suffers from its police department being hundreds of officers short, residents continue to be threatened by a local government that refuses to hold criminals accountable, and a collection of criminal anarchists conspire to halt the new police training facility, the National Police Association’s “Cops are Heroes” mobile billboard tours the city to show support for law enforcement and public safety. The National Police Association (NPA) is a 501(c)3 Educational/Advocacy non-profit organization. For additional information visit NationalPolice.org. ###
By Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D Long before the current shouts for police reform, police leaders and trainers have been considering the efficiency of basic police academy training. Since the New York City School of Pistol Practice in 1895, which grew into a more generalized policy academy by 1909, there was early opposition to the need for training as the notion that prevailed for a long time was that all an officer needed was common sense and enough strength to swing a billy club. J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI training in the 1930s served as an inspiration for police training at all levels. The LAPD under Chief William Parker became a model professional agency in the 1950s after a major scandal when Parker emphasized rigorous pre-service and in-service training. Crime became a national political issue under the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson, with studies encouraging more education and training for officers with some money to help achieve it. It wasn’t until the 1980s that all fifty states adopted minimum training standards. (As a Missouri officer this writer was hired before the state required police academy graduation. I was on solo patrol at age 21 after a three-week field training program, which was more than a lot of small departments got.) There are frequent movements to establish national training standards, but the history of independent, local policing and sentiments against the federalization of law enforcement have prevailed thus far. Training standards are up to each state, and individual agencies may exceed those standards. The two basic models of academy training are the paramilitary model and the collegiate model. The paramilitary model looks very much like military basic training. Physical fitness and mental toughness are emphasized. Cadets are placed under stress in highly formal structures. The collegiate model has a more academic approach with policing skills achieved through less formal means. There is no consensus on which produces a better law enforcement officer, and many – your author included – believe that the field training component after the academy when the rookie practices their craft under the tutelage of an experienced officer is the most important aspect of police training. Pre-service training is available for eligible potential police officers who want to enroll in academy training before being employed and at their own expense. Most of these academies are on college campuses and are made up of self-sponsored pre-employed students and newly employed students on an agency’s payroll whose training is being paid for by their employer. Many agencies require a fixed period of employment commitment, with a promise to repay their training costs if the student leaves the sponsoring agency within a few years. This is to discourage having a small agency pay for certification training of an officer who immediately gets hired by a higher-paying agency. Some law enforcement entities have an interest in perpetuating a unique culture that provides pride, unity, and status. These agencies eschew the blende academies in favor of having all cadets a part of one agency. For the sake of economy, some of these departments have accepted lateral employees from another agency with a shortened version for enculturation and agency-specific training, but the results have been mixed. The irony of the demand for more training among police reform advocates is that some topics that have become politicized have been forced into academy curricula and displaced some of the traditional essentials of real-world policing. Defunding and budget shortfalls are often suffered most in the area of training. For example, New York’s immigration crisis is being partly funded by Mayor Adam’s cutting the next NYPD recruit class, even with a 3,000 officer shortage since 2019 and a 30% rise in crime. The ongoing battle from so-called environmentalists against a new training facility in Atlanta, GA, has slowed progress toward better first responder training being demanded by other critics. Voters in Colorado Springs declined to fund a new training center that would have expanded recruitment and training capacity for an understaffed department in a growing city. In New Hampshire, the recruiting crisis has driven police executives to ask the state legislature to reduce or eliminate mandated physical requirements. In Portland, OR where vacancies have been high, newly hired candidates are waiting up to five months just to get into any of the state’s academies. In Massachusetts, a larger number of cadets already in an academy are quitting after losing the desire to become law enforcement officers. In Cleveland, OH, a city that is more than 200 officers short, the latest academy class had only 9 students, the smallest number in 25 years. To all of those clamoring for police officers to get more training, it should be known that law enforcement leaders are trying, but the profession is taking a beating from critics and activists and budgets are taking a hit. Is this what the reformers wanted?
November 23, 2023
INDIANAPOLIS, November 23, 2023 — An Oregon Judge has ruled in accordance with the NPA’s amicus brief in striking down a magazine ban that would have negatively impacted Oregon public safety. The new law, Ballot Measure 114, required a permit from local police (which may be impossible to get) just to apply for permission from the State Police simply to be allowed to consider buying a firearm. It also outlawed the most common firearms ammunition magazines. These are the magazines that come standard with most modern firearms. The measure limits magazines to 10 rounds. Police officers, who are defending themselves from the same criminals as civilians, carry more, showing why prohibiting civilians from using magazines with more than 10 rounds is unconscionable as well as a violation of the Oregon (and U.S.) constitution. Attorney James L. Buchal stated, “The memorandum filed by the National Police Association emphasizes the results of police experience in using larger capacity magazines to fight crime, and police knowledge concerning the role of citizen heroes armed with such weapons in providing an important supplement to police efforts. The National Police Association continues to believe that a focus on disarming law-abiding Americans, rather than punishing criminals with weapons, is fundamentally misguided as well as unconstitutional.” The Court ruled Measure 114 violates the Oregon State Constitution. The National Police Association is represented by James L. Buchal of Murphy & Buchal LLP. The suit is brought by Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, Joseph Arnold, and Cliff Asmussen. The defendants are Gov. Kate Brown, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and Oregon State Police Superintendent Terri Davie in their official capacities. The case is before the Oregon Supreme Court. The ruling striking down Measure 114 and citing the NPA’s amicus brief (Pg. 38) can be viewed here https://nationalpolice.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Ruling-striking-down-Oregon-Measure-114.pdf The NPA’s amicus brief can be viewed here: https://nationalpolice.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/NPAs-Amicus-Memorandum-1-27-23.pdf The National Police Association (NPA) is a 501(c)3 Educational/Advocacy non-profit organization. For additional information visit NationalPolice.org.###
November 22, 2023
By Stephen Owsinski Deputies with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida encountered a few “sovereign citizens” stemming from a traffic stop for displaying a license plate that was self-manufactured and self-proclaiming non-participation in the laws, rules, and regulations we acknowledge in American society. So, what is a sovereign citizen, and what is their premise? According to the Oxford Dictionary, a sovereign citizen is: a member of a political movement of people who oppose taxation, question the legitimacy of government, and believe that they are not subject to the law: “Sovereign citizens may not respect cops’ authority” Per Court Cam, sovereign citizens also refer to themselves as “American Nationals” or, based on gender, “The living man” or “The living woman.” From the I Am a True Citizen site: “The sovereign citizen movement (also SovCit movement or SovCits) is a loose group of litigants, anti-government activists, tax protesters, financial scammers, and conspiracy theorists based mainly in the United States. Sovereign citizens have their own pseudo-legal belief system based on misinterpretations of common law and claim to not be subject to any government statutes unless they consent to them.” In short, sovereign citizens are deniers of the U.S. Constitution and feel it is their right to go their way. How convenient, to do your own thing (laws be damned) and inform United States law enforcement officers that they have no business righting wrongs stipulated by statutes, written by legislators, where these freelancers may reside and work…using taxpayer-funded roadways, navigating with zero accountability. How do law-enforcing troopers, deputies, and police officers handle such a demographic whose members partake in society while negating our nation’s laws? Volusia County deputies provide a classic example to answer the question. Watch… [embedded content] What you just viewed reminds me of police academy training given to law enforcement cadets. During days of navigating the myriad dynamics involved in traffic stops, lead instructors set it up whereby “actors” (other sworn LEOs on the team of teachers) intentionally throw tantrums, become unruly, disobedient, standoffish, adverse to instruction, and overall turn up the heat/volatility for the recruits who are responsible to process all the brouhaha, predominate of which is officer safety. Having said that, referring back to our footage posted above, the primary investigating deputy who made the stop on a sovereign citizen’s automobile maintained composure and confidence, indicating he was determined to flush the charade of the driver whose stance demonstrated indignance and unwillingness to cooperate/comply with rules with which we are all subject to adhering. Take note of the conversation the lead deputy was having in his cruiser before he exited and walked up to investigate the oddball license plate. I heard him ask his passenger, a seeming new deputy in training mode if she knew what it means when observing a US flag turned upside-down, explaining that it signals a “sign of distress.” Similar to the street-roaming antagonists who seek out law enforcement officers and poke their noses (and cell phone cameras) in police activity, sovereign citizens unfailingly pose contentious encounters with cops. Hence the lead deputy requested a backup unit before getting out of his car. Sure enough, the game was on once he arrived at the driver’s window. From there, it was cat-and-mouse 101. The sworn stars won and put the charade to bed (jail). Following is a redress provided by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO): “Attention sovereign citizens: In Florida, the law is real, and deputies really will enforce it.“On Saturday, [November 11, 2023], deputies pulled over one vehicle with a sovereign citizen tag and were soon confronted by another.“Detry Wogerman (DOB 3/23/1965) was arrested on charges of driving an unregistered motor vehicle, driving with a suspended/revoked license (habitual), and resisting an officer without violence.” In Florida, “Habitual Traffic Offender” (HTO) status is an automatic arrest and traffic citation.The VCSO public information officer continued: “Laralynne Nabozny (DOB 4/28/1980) was arrested on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.” That is how their cookie crumbled. One can imagine the potential sovereign citizen reboot once the two independents arrived at the county jail for the booking process, likely non-compliant since that is their characteristic behavior. Sovereign citizen or not, anyone arrested for any reason who subsequently acts up at county jail typically gets checked immediately by detention deputies—there is no litany of warnings. Jailers know that one bad actor’s behavior negatively influences other bad actors to join criminal cohorts’ volatility, which endangers everyone in the facility’s Booking section. The more volatile arrestees ordinarily get seated and fastened in a resin-based, low-to-the-ground chair with straps and buckles designed to restrain unruliness. Albeit depicting a serene scene enacted by Indian River County Sheriff’s Office detention deputies, instructing attendees at their Citizens Police Academy, this is what it looks like: (Photo courtesy of the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.) As referenced above, others in jail waiting to be booked get to witness the results of poor attitudes (the occupied restraint chairs are positioned in plain view, serving as an example for others who may have ideations of acting the clown). Is the restraint chair effective enough? With newfound bodily limitations, some guests at the sheriff’s office jail resort to spitting on deputies. The remedy for that ridiculous behavior is a spit sock (portrayed in the photo above). Albeit sparingly back in the day, Patrol officers are also provided supplies of spit socks, since arrestees, especially nasty drunks, do not offer olive branches but, instead, try their aim at spitting on LEOs and other first responders—anyone on scene and in a uniform. “They’re an effective tool,” said former Rockford, Illinois, police chief Chet Epperson, who in the 1990s pioneered policy for his officers’ proper use of the hoods. “You can spit all day, and the spit generally isn’t going to project out.” The one time I did not have a spit sock in my arsenal of equipment, I had a spitter who drank all the vodka in the village and was arrested for domestic battery on his wife and child. Seated in the rear compartment of the police cruiser, he leaned forward and started to launch saliva missiles through the semi-exposed iron grating separating arrestees in the back from cops up front. Riding solo, my duty bag was, perched and belted in the front passenger seat…became disgustingly decorated. I couldn’t completely close off all airflow to the party in the back, so I covered half of the opening with a clipboard, turned my in-car camera around to record the remainder of the 16-mile trip to county jail and made extensive notes of the self-dehydrating behavior (always considering potential trial testimony; providing juries footage to illustrate words). So, there’s that ugly side of policing. And that was years ago. Imagine how cops are grossly mistreated today, thanks to the anti-police waft still circulating otherwise fresh air. Circling back to our sovereign citizens’ arrests, I suspect each of the two arrestees will attempt to shirk any bona fide court of law and exercise self-proclaimed exemptions from any federal or state laws and/or local ordinances. In conclusion, the administrators at Police Legal Sciences cite the “growing threat of sovereign citizen groups” and that “sovereign citizen groups are emerging as a rising concern. While many encounters can seem routine, dealing with a sovereign citizen is a different challenge,” offering online training for all law enforcement officers. I’m thinking the Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies can be guest speakers, offering ideal information on how to mitigate the demographic.
November 21, 2023
By Stephen Owsinski Law enforcement agency social media channels were quite busy for Veteran’s Day 2023, depicting America’s cops embracing military service members who survived combat and all manner of wartime grit and vulnerabilities. On November 11, 2023, many police posts illustrated U.S. Armed Forces personnel who completed a military tour of duty, were honorably discharged, and then sought the doors leading to continued service in law enforcement careers, indicative of staying in uniform to fight the good fight on behalf of those who may feel increasingly vulnerable and defenseless amid the chronic chaos in society. Sometimes it is a combination of these two realms, in which some of our country’s cops serve dual roles as police officers as well as military reservists who, from time to time, are called up to serve military missions abroad, like Jacksonville Beach Police Department Officer D. Threadford… (Photo courtesy of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.) “Jacksonville Beach Hometown Hero Patrol Officer and USAF Reservist Technical Sergeant D. Threadford was activated by the military and has been serving overseas for the past six months.“We are so proud of and thankful for his dedication and commitment to our country and our community,” a Jacksonville Beach Police press release explained. An article published by the National Police Association in December 2020, delineated the duality of military/police service, exposing the foundations afforded by stateside law enforcement combined with cops who, as reservists, are called up for requisite military missions outside of U.S. territory. Although America’s cops handily took the torch in both soldier/police officer roles, there was a time when being called up to again serve abroad was unjustly laden with the potential of losing their law enforcement officer career for doing so. Some were let go. It took a congressional act to overcome that idiocy. Nowadays, all LEOs still serving in the military have protection against oustings. (Photo courtesy of the Irvine Police Department.) Comingled in Irvine, California were cops and soldiers paying tribute to all military veterans, including their own: “Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to all who have served our great country. The Irvine Police Department is fortunate to have almost 40 Veterans serving our City, and we thank them for their selfless service and commitment to helping others.” Many of these service-oriented professionals often fill the roles of trainers and instructors —denoted by red shirts— at America’s police academies, benevolently offering not only wise words of advice stemming from sheer experience but also sharing field-tested tactics and strategies to help overcome the malevolent monsters. The red-shirted, bona fide public safety instructors cater a combo of military experience and police work, instilling insights for the latest batches of the nation’s newest cops to get home after tours of duty. How Broad is the Soldiers-to-Cops Ratio? According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Policing Dispatch, “Military service and service as a law enforcement professional have many similar obligations and responsibilities, and they share the satisfaction of understanding the important role they play in our society. Nearly 25 percent of today’s law enforcement community has a military background.” (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Marshals Service.) The DoJ launched a “Keep America Safe” initiative, expending efforts to increase the number of the nation’s cops by fashioning the transition from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces to lacing duty boots as law enforcement officers serving federal, state, county, and city police organizations. Under the Keep America Safe umbrella is the Veterans’ Transition Forum, whereby the federal government helps fill vacant police officer roles in the nation. The NPA has posted material underscoring the growing number of vacant police roles in America’s law enforcement entities —the proverbial exodus— largely thanks to the abysmal political base leading sheep to gulp from hateful water troughs. Environs ruled by radical liberal governance have been hardest hit, some opining that they are decimated beyond repair. We shall see. However, the Veterans Transition Forum head counters offer some promising numbers to fill the severely declined police roles: “VTF has identified an abundant source of mature and readily trained young men and women: our military veterans. Approximately 166,000 veterans aged 18–44 are currently unemployed; another 200,000 service members will leave active duty this year and each year going forward.” Sounds well-intentioned. But it makes one wonder where we’d be if support for police was galvanized all along. Lately, courageous cops have been devalued, defunded, demoralized, betrayed, brow-beaten, physically assaulted, or murdered during the mayhem promulgated by certain factions. Indeed, trust is an issue…a big one. In all of this, America’s crimefighters continue to suit up and serve well. That circles back to honoring our military vets… Veterans’ Day demonstrates the “I’ve got your back” mantra by recognizing the stalwart police professionals who show out to honor those who fought the good fight and rose victoriously, proudly donning any among various military caps embroidered with survivorship statements indicating where battlegrounds were experienced. For those veteran boots who now walk upon American soil in civilian footwear, perhaps bewildered by the heralded constitutional freedoms for which they fought being wholesaled and dwindled, our salute is heartfelt and rather promissory: Cops of all stripes continue the legacy of fighting the good fight and respect you for painstakingly paving the road upon which we parade in your honor.
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