Cops Speak Out
Cop collector ALERT! E-mail
Written by APB staff   

Hi everyone, we are a little less than six months out from the 2012 National Police Collectors Show and have sold 75 percent of the 241 available tables. Things are going well with table reservations and we hope to be sold out within the next 2 months. If you are considering reserving a table next to other collector friends we ask that you do it soon so we can accommodate your request.

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My private prison investigation E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

Follow the money. Those famous words by "Deep Throat" in the book, All the President's Men, are worth living by. I personally came to realize this in 1997 when I started looking into correctional privatization in Florida. Little did I know that my investigations would lead me into what I call the "black-hole" of prison privatization.

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Make an impression on kids with stickers E-mail
Written by Tom Wetzel   

Police officers have a lot of opportunities to interact with kids during a tour of duty. Some of these contacts may initially involve a negative environment such as a domestic violence call where children are under stress. But our actions, however slight or simple, during those incidents and other personal interactions can form opinions about us for these little ones that go well into adulthood.

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Response to article “Policing the flash mob” by Cynthia Brown E-mail
Written by Steve Rabinovich   

After reading an article by Cynthia Brown in a recent issue of the American Police Beat, titled “How do we police the flash mob”, I wanted to chime in with a few points and perhaps facilitate a discussion. I hope not to so much discuss the root of the issue, but ways to address it, as in the years to come it will continue to be a problem through which civilians and cops are injured. As usual, Ms. Brown is right on with many key observations. I have had numerous opportunities in the last ten years to watch this trend develop first hand, and to be in a position along side other professionals who address its outcomes. In my opinion, neither the “flash mobs”, “roving mobs”, nor “gangs of thugs” are a new phenomenon. What is new, is the ways in which the offenders communicate, gather and disseminate information, and the level of violence they bring to the streets.

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OIS support from agencies is lacking E-mail
Written by James Lewis   

High risk incidents are scary things. After one officer-involved shooting at a local agency, the officer involved told me one of their top administrators made a statement that made him concerned. Once the investigation was over and the books closed, showing my friend was justified, the administrator stated something along the lines of “Well, now that it’s over, let’s hope it never happens again.” My friend solemnly informed the admin that even though he understood the sentiment of his statement, the chances are high that something like this would happen again.

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Confronting Police Suicides E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
When it comes to the issue of police suicides, there are many that would rather just avoid the topic altogether. Sadly, that's one of the reasons that suicide is more prevalent among cops than most other groups.

For the loved ones left behind when a cop takes his or her own life, talking is one of the few things that actually has a chance of reducing the number of future police suicides.

In the London riots this past summer, three people died. In the period between June and August of this year, four police officers took their own lives in Connecticut alone.

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We built it and they came E-mail
Anyone who has ever visited Virginia City, Nevada knows that this little mountain town of Northern Nevada is drenched in gold- and silver-mining history.

Mark Twain penned many of his stories from this little town, and the Comstock Lode brought men from all over the world to seek their fame and fortune.

Dennis McMahon and Thomas Reed, both Virginia City police officers in 1863, were shot and killed by a local bandit just north of town.

In fact, Mark Twain wrote of hearing the shots from his home and the sadness he felt at the loss of his two good friends and protectors. Lives were lost at the famous Suicide Table, and Julia Bullette brought comfort to the miners. The stories never end in Virginia City.

Today, historical buildings and museums, along with small shops, line the main street. It is easy to spend an entire day there and not see everything it has to offer.

Those old enough to be hitting retirement age about now may recall the Cartwright boys riding to Virginia City from the Ponderosa Ranch at beautiful Lake Tahoe in the television show "Bonanza."

Now there is a new museum that stands out as one of the jewels of Virginia City.

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Baca supports Secure Communities E-mail
Written by Lee Baca   

Consider the following case: In January, a local police agency arrested a man for driving with a suspended license. A subsequent fingerprint screening revealed that he was also a convicted felon illegally in the United States from Mexico. His record included three prior drug trafficking convictions and six deportations in 11 years. Or consider this one: Recently, a 32-year-old man was booked into the Los Angeles County Jail on DUI charges. His fingerprints revealed not only that he was in the United States illegally but that he had previously been deported after his conviction for killing a child in 1997. Both men were identified through the Secure Communities program.

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Policing? Yeah, there's an app for that. E-mail
According to FOX News, a Massachusetts police detective was recently spreading the word at a law enforcement technology conference about a phone app he developed.

Detective Peter Olson from the Peabody, Massachusetts Police Department handed out flyers to attendees with a simple message: "Corporate America is using apps, why not the police?"

Olson was at the Social Media, Internet and Law Enforcement conference, SMILE for short, where law enforcement officials from across the country and overseas spend days sharing ideas and strategies about how to harness the power of social media and technology.

Olson's invention is an iPhone app that will be marketed to police departments that want to create a more user-friendly image with citizens.

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New age bad guys E-mail
Written by Timothy Long   

Gang crime is an epidemic that keeps law enforcement slogging uphill with long and tiresome investigations. The gang investigation itself has grown more complex due to technology and the way gang members utilize increasingly more sophisticated gadgets. Gangsters are younger and more tech-savvy than many investigators today. The days of pagers and pay phones are long gone.

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Soldiers rescued by police E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
Sometimes even the Army calls 911. A daring NYPD helicopter rescue in the dark featuring dangerously high winds is responsible for the safety of two West Point cadets. Here's the report:

On Sunday February 20, 2011 at approximately 0005 hours the New York City Police Department's Aviation Unit was requested to assist in the rescue of two United States Military Academy Cadets at West Point who became stranded on a cliff during a training exercise. The details are as follows.

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When good cops leave the job E-mail
Written by Ed Stamelos   

When good cops retire and ultimately settle down to what they envision as life of fewer demands.  Naturally, thoughts will revolve around their continued existence, and what the future will hold in store. Before retirement becomes a gleam in the prospective beneficiary's eye, memories revert to the recruitment poster that haphazardly hung in the barbershop, or the words from a respected family member who themselves joined the department long ago.  They remembered a flyer that called for self-starters, those that can work under pressure, with little supervision and ones who are able to make instant decisions that will triumph following the most stringent review.

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Officer’s article is controversial E-mail
A lot of times, when a cop sits down at his desk to write up his or her opinion of a new policy, a recent event, or merely to bark at the moon, the result is what could be described as "an intensity of opinion."

This is certainly the case in Seattle after a police officer writing in his union newspaper lambasted the anti-bias training the city employees are required to take.

Appearing under the headline, "Just Shut Up and Be a Good Little Socialist," Officer Steve Pomper calls the city's five-year-old "Race and Social Justice Initiative" an attack on American values.

He says anyone that supports the training is "the enemy."

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COLORADO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS NEED YOUR HELP E-mail
Written by Dan Stocking and John Marx   

Two Colorado State Patrol troopers face serious felony charges following a duty-related shooting in July, 2010 near Grand Junction, Colorado. Trooper Ivan “Gene” Lawyer and Corporal Kirk Firko are both ten year veterans with the Patrol. The most serious charge against Trooper Lawyer is Criminally Negligent Homicide and against Corporal Firko is First-degree Criminal Trespass.  Troopers were investigating a hit and run accident where witnesses reported that the suspects were possibly intoxicated. The troopers were attempting to contact the suspects at the time of the shooting incident.

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Don’t let your friendships interfere with police work E-mail
I have often told new officers I've had to train, "If you want to know who your real friends are, pin on a badge." I tell them that if you do your job, even when interacting with your friends and acquaintances, the people that you thought were your friends will often kick you to the curb. I caught a glimpse of this while on a recent domestic complaint call.
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The Case Which Changed His Life E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
It's not news to police professionals that bravery comes in many forms. It could be a kid sticking up for a smaller kid on a street corner. It could be police officer rushing on to the tracks to pull someone out of the way as the commuter train is bearing down.

Frequently people associate bravery with spectacular acts of heroism.

But there is another kind of courage - one sorely lacking in American life these days. That's the courage required to look deep into ourselves and ask hard questions about how we were raised and what we believe.

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You got a problem? Just dump it on the cops! E-mail
As a street patrol officer in Boston, I was recently summoned by radio call to a housing development for a matter pertaining to "the electricity was out."

Upon arrival, I discovered that the building was fully electrified and all appeared to be in good working order. Checking further with the woman who had initiated the call, I discovered that she was calling because the light on her phone had gone out.

I informed the woman that I had absolutely no expertise in this field and could not repair her phone and asked her why she had thought to call the police for such a matter.

She replied that she had been told to always call the police for everything; whether the cable TV was out or the toilet wasn't working. It didn't matter. "You call the police when you need help."
"Help" has a different connotation in 2010 America than when I was growing up in the 60s.

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Statue honors police officers severely injured in line of duty E-mail
In an effort to recognize sacrifices made by Chicago Police officers severely injured in the line of duty, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation recently dedicated a statue that pays fitting tribute to these often overlooked heroes.

The statue is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation and sits along Chicago's lakefront at the Chicago Police Memorial.

The statue features an officer in uniform, sitting in wheelchair surrounded by his children, his wife and his partner. Chicago's five major sports teams played an instrumental role in raising funds and awareness about the effort, which began in late 2009.

"Chicago is a city defined by our heroes in uniform, be they sports uniforms or police uniforms," said Foundation executive director Philip J. Cline.

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Following the Flags of 9/11 E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
When Mike Simler, a former police officer in Washington, D.C. and Colorado, was searching for a way to have a special ceremony at the US Air Force Academy football game on September 11, 2010, he came across something interesting on the internet.

He landed on the Post 9/11 Foundation site and read a story which first appeared in American Police Beat about the first flag raising at Ground Zero just 24 hours after the attacks on September 11, 2001.

He contacted veteran NYPD Detective Rich Miller, who along with Richie Hartigan, raised the flag just hours later in the midst of the catastrophe that became known as Ground Zero. Mike and Rich put their heads together and came up with a plan to incorporate the Foundation's "Follow the Flag" campaign. Mike's dad, a 4-Star General in the U.S. Air Force, and former Athletic Director and founder of the Falcons Foundation at the USAF Academy, died in 1972 in a plane crash.

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Are You Sure You'll Get Your Pension? E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
Tony Capria was a law enforcement officer who was injured in the line of duty, so he was legally entitled to full pay while on the job, and 75 percent of his salary upon retirement.

But he never received them, and his battle for justice has lasted more than two decades, exposing a dangerous technicality that could lead to other New York state workers losing their benefits, as well.

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The problem is leadership, not our pension system E-mail
Written by Steve Remige   

There is no "pension system crisis" in California but the state as well as many cities and towns do have ongoing budget deficit problems and most are suffering from a shortage of skilled leadership. The stock market declines in 2008 caused significant shortfalls in the projected earnings of many pension systems triggering an increase in government's obligations to keep the fund balances at a healthy level. Of course this shortfall would have been more than covered by the excess earnings of prior years had those now crying saved some of those dollars for the current downturn. But this does not point to a pension crisis.

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