Featured Articles
One hell of a police report E-mail
Written by Jose Torres   

According to a recent article posted on Jacksonville.com, an amazing police report was making the rounds inside the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The report, dated Friday, Dec. 14, includes an unusually descriptive account by Officer R.J. Reeves of a 911 call to a home in Jacksonville Heights.

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Arm the teachers? Seriously? E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

After the Sandy Hook Massacre, there have been a lot of calls to arm the nation’s schoolteachers. But according to a recent Associated Press report, that idea may be little more complicated than just handing out firearms and calling it a day. In Vermont, a Bennington high school teacher has been hospitalized following a mental health evaluation that came after he was spotted carrying the same kind of assault rifle used by Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Vanishing police positions E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

In Michigan, where cops and firefighters no longer have “the right to work,” there are 16 percent fewer police officers on the streets than a decade ago. And things are going to get worse. Law enforcement leaders across the state say 2013 will be another tough year. More budget cuts, layoffs and consolidations are on the way.

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LE leaders not sold on new gun laws E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

The problem with calls for tougher gun control laws in the wake of incidents like Ft. Hood, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora, Colorado and the Gabby Giffords shooting is that proponents of these proposals somehow think we can legislate our way to safety. But would tougher gun laws or the ability of law enforcement agencies to share trace and ballistic data prevent more tragedies? Many law enforcement professionals think not.

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Good news largely ignored E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

There's a certain type of person who will believe that the world is going to hell in a hand basket no matter what the numbers say. The ranting and railing is usually accompanied by stories of how things were "back in my day." You hear a lot these days about declining moral values, the breakdown of the "traditional family," and other signs of social and moral decay frequently from older folks.

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Stand your ground controversy E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to a recent story posted on Jacksonville.com, Michael David Dunn will be brought from Brevard County to Jacksonville after entering a not-guilty plea to charges of murder and attempted murder in the recent shooting death of a 17-year-old student at a Jacksonville gas station.

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They stopped the carnage E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Most people remember the horrific shooting after a man walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire. The gunman killed six people that day. But what most people don’t know is that the damage could have been much worse had it not been for the selfless heroism of two cops.

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Courts saying taping cops O.K. E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Generally when citizens complain about surveillance, be it a drone in sky or a security camera in housing project, authorities usually respond with something like, “If you’re not doing anything illegal, what are you worried about?”. On the issue of citizens taping police in the course of their official duties, provided they don’t interfere, the courts are asking a similar question.

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Mirandize all students E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to a story from the Courier Journal, the Kentucky Supreme Court is considering a case from Nelson County that could require school officials to give the Miranda warning when questioning a student with a school resource officer present.

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What stops terrorists from buying drones? E-mail
Written by James D. Ponzi   

On May 15, 2012, 9News.com reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was investigating a “mysterious flying object over Denver” which nearly collided with a Cessna Citation flying at 8,000 feet over Cherry Creek.  This object was in controlled airspace and has not yet been identified, but officials speculated that it was a drone, a remote controlled aircraft, or a large bird.  FAA regulations restrict drones to an altitude of 400 feet since manned aircraft never fly below 1000 feet.  Apparently, if this was a drone, the “pilot” did not follow the rules.

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A deal’s a deal E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

The California Supreme Court has ruled that health benefits for government retirees may not be eliminated if state and local governments had promised workers those benefits. The court’s decision will make it a lot harder for state and local governments to balance the books on the backs of public sector employees by cutting health benefits to retirees.

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Big city murders way down E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

The crack epidemic that began in the 1980s brought death and destruction to the nation’s capitol. At one point D.C. was the official murder capital of the nation in addition to being the regular capital. But after approaching a grizzly 500 slayings a year in the early 1990s, the annual murder rate in D.C. rate has fallen to the point that the city is now on the verge of a major milestone.

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One hundred and seventeen counts E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to reporting from the Los Angeles Times, the office manager for the Anaheim police union has been charged with stealing more than $360,000 of the organization's members' funds by altering her paychecks after they were signed by her bosses. Cindy Ann Su'a, 46, was charged with a whopping 117 counts of forgery, 23 counts of computer access fraud and two counts of willful failure to file tax returns.

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Cops and protestors try to save Det.'s home E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Here’s the deal with the “Occupy” protests and police. Without leadership and discipline political demonstrations tend to spiral out of control. Bottles get thrown, cops and protestors alike get hurt, and any message the protests were designed to get out gets lost in chaotic scenes filled with screaming hippies, zip-tied college kids and large volumes of O.C. spray. Things might have worked out a lot differently if the Occupy protestors understood what’s needed to get the message out while preserving public safety. That would be effective and open lines of communication with law enforcement based on trust and mutual interest.

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Public safety USA not a beltway priority E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

If you think law enforcement budgets have been cut to the bone just wait. You haven’t seen anything yet. According to a recent article in Governing Magazine, the elimination of specialized units and between 20,000 and 30,000 cops laid off nationwide is just the beginning. This all has to do with “sequestration.” That’s the term for automatic spending cuts that will take effect in a matter of months. If Congress can’t work out a deal by January 2, 2013, automatic cuts to military and domestic spending will start. State and local law enforcement officers will be facing layoffs and program closures if the automatic federal spending cuts take effect.

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Fair and Balanced? E-mail
Written by Cynthia Brown   

Moments after the Fort Worth City Council in Texas voted to approve major changes in the city's employee pension plan, the president of the Fort Worth Police Officer's Association said the organization intends to file suit. Sgt. Steve Hall, noted the changes are unconstitutional under the Texas constitution, which bars reductions in vested benefits.

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Facebook and undercover work kind of clash E-mail
Written by Jose Torres   

If you read American Police Beat, you already know that a Facebook account can end your career faster than an ill-advised station-house romance. Cops can risk their livelihood by what they choose to post and upload to social media sites. But it’s harder to imagine anything more dangerous for an undercover officer than a Facebook account.

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Police already pushed off fiscal cliff E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

If you think law enforcement budgets have been cut to the bone just wait. You haven’t seen anything yet. According to a recent article in Governing Magazine, the elimination of specialized units and between 20,000 and 30,000 cops laid off nationwide is just the beginning.

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Here's your weed back citizen E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

At the time this article was written, voters in multiple states across the U.S. had not yet voted on a wide array of laws related to marijuana. But if the recent past is any indication, medical marijuana will be available in states like Massachusetts where possession for personal use has already been decriminalized.

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Fusion confusion E-mail
Written by Jose Torres   

After 9/11/2001, both federal and local law enforcement went on an unprecedented spending spree. Due to the general consensus that the attacks were the result of poor intelligence, officials embarked on the creation of a national network of “fusion centers,” that would allow seamless communications between local and federal law enforcement, the intelligence community and military entities. Now that the system has been up and running for a number of years, people are starting to ask the inevitable question, “what did we get for all that money?”

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Weirdest excuse/alibi ever E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Sometimes when dumb people do dumb things they just admit it. Other times you get incidents like this. According to multiple media reports, a brother-sister team in Springfield, Massachusetts decided that they needed a new television. Their plan was simple — steal the flat screen off the wall of the ladies room at a local sports bar.

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