Featured Articles
Jury awards victim $31.5 million E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

A jury awarded a catastrophically injured man and his wife more than $31.5 million recently in a ruling against Caltrans, finding the state agency responsible for a dangerous roadway condition on a section of California State Route 138. The accident occurred at the intersection of SR 138 and Mountain Road on April 29, 2009, causing severe brain and spinal cord injuries to David Evans, who will require 24-hour nursing care for the rest of his life.

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Private security boom times- courtesy of the taxpayer E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

One might think that with the billions upon billions of tax dollars spent over the last decade in order to “secure the homeland,” that suspicious devices are being taken very seriously and that sketchy foreign nationals are no longer training at flight schools. You know, like the 9/11 hijackers? Sadly that just doesn’t seem to be the case. A new report from the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security rips the handling of an improvised explosive device found outside a federal building in Detroit in 2011.

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A for rescue effort E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

At least 18 cops in China risked life and limb to save a woman they thought was drowning. Turns out she was floating, not drowning, because the “victim” was an inflatable sex doll.

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One point three million E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made more than 1.3 million requests for cellphone records in 2011, according to carriers' responses to Congressional representative to Ed Markey’s (D-Mass.) letters. The requests include those seeking location data and the contents of text messages as well as wiretaps.

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Mayor focus of graft investigation E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

FBI agents recently searched offices in Trenton City Hall in New Jersey just one day after the feds raided the home of Trenton's mayor. Trenton Mayor Tony Mack’s two-year administration of New Jersey's impoverished capital city has been the source of the allegations of nepotism, mismanagement and reckless spending.

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Feds surge into city E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

If it’s good enough for Iraq, Afghanistan and whatever's next, it’s good enough for Philly. According to the Wall Street Journal, the crime-plagued streets of Philadelphia are about to get some federal attention. Federal authorities and Philadelphia City officials say they’ve started a law-enforcement "surge" strategy to combat high rates of murder.

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Illinois wiretapping update E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to an article from PR Newswire, a controversial use of Illinois' eavesdropping law - prosecuting civilians for audio recording police officers conducting their public duties in a public place - cannot be enforced against the ACLU and its employees for the foreseeable future. This order, issued by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, will remain in place until the district judge makes a final ruling.

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Skateboarding is not a crime E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

There’s an infamous YouTube video of a cop and a group of kids on skateboards that’s a great example of how not to call attention to yourself and your agency. A much better approach can be found in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Officer Jenny Jenkins knows that skateboarders probably look at her with apprehension when she rolls up. It doesn’t take her very long to win the kids over.

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Homeless man to "police" cemetary E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Are you a city official in a cash-strapped municipality that’s in serious danger of bankruptcy? Do you have distressed properties in your town that are magnets for drugs and violent crime? Well instead of expensive police officers or security guards, you might want to think about hiring the homeless.

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Social Media for cops E-mail
Written by Alejandro Alves and Yael Bar-tur   

There is an important discussion picking up speed these days on how police departments should enter social media.  But before we think about how, let’s think about what, as in “what is this social media thing?”  Because to use it well you have to understand the culture and tone of social media dialogue.  Respecting this culture is critical to getting the most out of social media for your department, and so we begin with a discussion of what social media is, and what it isn’t.

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Mayor fires cops that arrested him E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to KIROTV.com, four police officers in the small King County town of Pacific in Washington State were on patrol recently despite the mayor’s attempts to fire them. The mayor’s attempt to terminate the four officers’ employment was met with protests from local citizens who picketed outside city hall. Pacific Mayor Cy Sun would not even meet with the officers so they could appeal their firings.

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Golf outing controversy E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to a recent article in The Missourian newspaper, an investigation conducted by the Columbia Police Officers Association found that incidents of misconduct took place at its golf tournament held last June. The inquiry began after Columbia media received an unsigned letter claiming that female employees from Truman's Bar and Grill "were clothed in bikini bottoms only" during the CPOA event at A.L. Gustin Golf Course.

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Monkey business E-mail
Written by Cohutta Police Dept.   

We were sitting back reading your most current edition of APB magazine and we read the article about the man who was arrested in Florida for DUI and later charged for possession of illegal wildlife (a monkey). We had a run in as well with a wild monkey during a roadcheck and we have the pics to prove it.

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Crisis center E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Seattle where the city has opened a 16-bed crisis center facility designed for adults experiencing a mental-health crisis, including those accused of minor crimes. The Crisis Diversion Center will give police and paramedics a place to bring people where they can connect with mental-health experts and Americans are nothing if not adaptable.

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Reserve officers get huge raise E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

In Costa Mesa, California the police are getting a well-deserved raise. Actually it’s just some of the police officers—the reserves. According to a recent article in The Los Angeles Times, a massive $6 an hour raise proposed for Costa Mesa's police reserve officers has quickly turned into a controversy.

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Firefighters to write tickets E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Why are firefighters in Oak Ridge Tennessee now able to issue $25 parking tickets in their capacity as designated "special police officers" under a resolution approved by local officials recently?
Seasoned observers say it’s probably because it’s easier to layoff public safety professionals if you can convince taxpayers that they’re all the same and that it’s cheaper to hire one guy that wears two hats than two guys with their own hats.

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Recording policy hailed as national model E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

While there are plenty of stories about cops getting into hot water for the way they handle citizens recording them in the course of their duties, precious few agencies have an actual policy about how these incidents should be handled. In Washington D.C., the D.C. Metro Police have released their official policy on recording of members by the public(GO-OPS-304.19) The policy is being hailed as a national model- both by law enforcement leaders and organizations like the ACLU. If your agency is trying to craft a policy on dealing with members of the public who are trying to record officers in the course of their duties, the approach DC Metro has taken might be of some help. Click "read more," for the policy.

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Court rules against officer using Pepperball gun E-mail
Written by Muna Busailah and Robert Rabe   

Timothy Nelson, a UC Davis student, was shot in the eye by a pepperball fired by a UC Davis officer’s gun, when UC Davis and City of Davis police attempted to clear an apartment complex of partying students in 2004.  The officers didn’t properly warn the students prior to shooting, nor did they explain to Nelson’s group how to exit the complex prior to the police use of force. 

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Cops level charges of corruption E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Five Lafayette, Louisiana police officers are suing their superiors and asking for temporary restraining orders. The plaintiffs claim the LPD has a culture of corruption that has led to physical threats and racial discrimination. The lawsuit, filed in the 15th Judicial District Court, alleges the police department had a de facto policy of not creating written policies to avoid possible liabilies.

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Real cops are worth paying for E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

In a recent issue of American Police Beat we’ve got a story about university officials in Pennsylvania thinking about contracting out public safety to the private sector. But based on the difference in the training, competence and performance of certified cops as opposed to security guards it seems like kind of a shortsighted way to cut costs. In a recent article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a Marquette University Department of Public Safety officer who saved two people from a smoldering bus after it collided with another vehicle said he was just doing his job.

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Soft on crime much? E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

“I wouldn’t exactly call that ‘throwing the book at him’ your honor.” According to a report from the Associated Press, a man charged in an undercover sting operation in Northern California that ended in gunfire has been ordered released on bond. But there’s a catch. The guy that shot at law enforcement officers must read books and submit book reports.

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