Rochester Mn. July 3 2010 Premier Security, a Rochester security firm, has been providing protective services for VIPs for years, but within the last year and a half, a new demand has emerged: The ability to conduct searches of private property for explosives and thus prevent an assassination attempt on a high-level official.
Enter Rocky, one of three Belgian Malinois dogs that the Rochester firm has purchased in order to offer that service to its customers. Rocky is a bomb dog, trained to sniff out and detect a multitude of trace smells related to explosives.
Premier Security is believed to be the first private security firm in Minnesota to use dogs as part of the services it offers. It is now one of a handful in the Midwest.
Dan Walker, Premier’s president and CEO, said confidentiality agreements prohibit him from identifying its high-level clients, but he said such VIPs include both those within the United States and abroad. He said some come from the Middle East, where they may not necessarily occupy an official government post but still have “quasi-government status.”
Apart from responding to the new security environment, Premier sees the dogs as an opportunity to pursue new business opportunities. Two of the dogs are drug-sniffing dogs. Within the last year, about eight businesses or manufacturing firms have hired the firm to search its premises for drugs, he said. Eventually, Premier hopes to expand its customer base to include schools.
“We were busy to begin with. This brings in a totally different niche market,” Walker said.
The security firm has experienced impressive growth in the last several years, growing two-and-half times within the last decade. It employs about 100 people, with offices in Minneapolis, Owatonna, Winona, Mankato, Red Wing and Albert Lea, with its corporate office in Rochester. First formed in 1995, Premier Security was purchased by Walker in 2000.
Walker described the new service it is providing businesses and schools as a deterrence measure, a “visual cue” that conveys a zero-tolerance attitude toward drugs to employees and students. He said businesses that have hired Premier to search their properties with drug-sniffing dogs have not uncovered any narcotics.
“It’s more of an educational process to both employees and the students that facilities are taking a strong stance. And hopefully with that strong stance, it would keep the material out,” he said.
All three dogs — Rocky, Tosca and Bull — were imported from Europe and were trained at the Global Training Academy outside San Antonio for as long as 18 weeks. The dogs work fast. During a couple of demonstrations, the dogs, lunging and straining, quickly found a pouch of gun powder and a bag of marijuana during a workout in the basement of University Square, where Premier’s offices are located.
“She loves to work,” said John Roux, a K-9 handler who was hired this year, speaking of his dog Tosca.
Walker acknowledged, however, that schools are expected to be a tougher sell. It still runs counter to the culture of most schools to use dogs to roam school hallways searching for drugs, although some districts in the Twin Cities have begun to use them, he said.
Instead of calling in police, using a private firm would give schools more flexibility in dealing with a potential issue, Roux said.
“It’s a proactive piece,” he said. “They are very passive, friendly dogs. They’re not just being turned loose in the school. They’re always leashed. There is a protocol that is very strict, but it’s very effective and it works.”
STANFIELD, AZ July 3 2010- Authorities say a Stanfield teacher was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old former student.
According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Andrea Martinez was expected to be booked into jail Thursday afternoon, and charged with child molestation and sexual conduct with a minor.
Authorities say the two were caught around 10:40 p.m. when a white SUV pulled off the roadway near where officers from the Gila River Police Department were working as part of a multi-agency detail.
Using night vision goggles from a distance, officers saw two individuals appearing to be having consensual sexual intercourse, officials say.
Before officers could contact the people in the vehicle, the male and female reportedly got out of the vehicle and began to argue.
Officers later learned the male subject was only 14 years old and the female was identified as Martinez. Authorities say Martinez is a school teacher with the Stanfield Elementary School District and a former teacher of the victim.
Authorities say both admitted to having sexual intercourse with each other before being contacted by officers. The teen reportedly also told officers that he had sexual intercourse last month with Martinez.
The school district was notified of the arrested and is cooperating with the investigation, according to authorities.
By: Brett Davis/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
A security officer attempting to detain Jerome L. Young, 29, of Port Norris, was assaulted and Young arrested early Friday on the charge of robbery.
Police say that Young had been caught by the security guard at the East Broad Street Rite Aid as he attempted to steal three cartons of cigarettes from the drugstore.
Security officers were taking him into custody when he began to fight one officer punching him several times.
Police apprehended Young in the wooded area between the drugstore’s parking lot and the Elks lodge at Willow Street and South Avenue after he had fled the store.
Also served a Bridgeton failure to appear warrant, Young was lodged in Cumberland County Jail on $75,000 bail.
The security officer suffered minor injuries.
MODESTO, Calif. July 3 2010
A Modesto pharmacist has been arrested after he was caught stealing hundreds of prescription pills and drinking on the job, according to police.
Police arrested 61-year-old Dennis Zetter of Stockton after being called to a Rite Aid Pharmacy on Oakdale Road in Modesto on Wednesday to investigate a theft. Zetter is one of the store’s pharmacists.
Store security guards started watching Zetter after getting tipped that he may be drinking on the job. The officers watched as Zetter allegedly made several trips out to his car while he was working. While in the car, he would drink for a few minutes from a travel coffee mug then return to the pharmacy.
After each trip, the security officers noticed that various prescription pills and pill bottles in his car. The security officers eventually detained Zetter when they saw him steal a bottle of alcohol from the store.
When Modesto police officers arrived, they found hundreds of stolen prescription drugs including Diazepam, Acetaminophen codeine phosphate, and Alprazolam, as well as several bottles of Promethazine codeine syrup. Police say Zetter’s coffee mug was filled with an alcoholic beverage.
Zetter was booked into the county jail for possession of controlled substance, possession of uncontrolled substance, and burglary.
Palm Springs CA July 3 2010 A reputed gang member was acquitted today of charges stemming from the robbery and beating death of a 66-year-old security guard in Palm Springs.
Darius Lee, 21, was found not guilty of first-degree murder and other charges stemming from the June 9, 2007, attack on Bower Security Co. guard Wallace Brown near Rosa Parks Road and El Dorado Boulevard.
The six-woman, six-man jury received the case Wednesday morning, following a week of testimony.
During their first day of deliberations, the panelists asked to see transcripts of Lee’s in-custody interviews with detectives.
Lee’s co-defendants, Jerrett Lewis, 20, and Jamar Thomas, 21, were previously convicted of first-degree murder.
A jury rejected a death sentence for Thomas, who was sentenced last week to life in prison without parole. Lewis, who is awaiting sentencing, was a juvenile at the time of the crime and faces a no-parole prison term.
Murder and other charges were dismissed against a fourth defendant, Akil Williams, when a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to hand the case
over to a jury.
In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney Manny Bustamante said the victim’s attackers were Gateway Posse Crips street gang members who snuck up on Brown’s van.
He claimed Lee acted as a lookout as Thomas and Lewis hurled rocks at the van, shattering the windows, before pulling the guard from the vehicle and beating him for his wallet and cell phone.
Brown, a 66-year-old retired Marine, died at a hospital three days after being attacked, without regaining consciousness.
Lee’s attorney, John Patrick Dolan, argued that the prosecution’s gang expert presented no evidence that Lee was a member of the Gateway Posse Crips, and did not present any forensic evidence that he was at the scene of the beating and robbery.
At 7:30 a.m., security officers at Montage reported a suspicious-looking Honda Civic on the property, which drove away when the security officers approached.
Fifteen minutes later, police officers located the vehicle near the resort and stopped the vehicle, which had four young men inside. Police allegedly found numerous items which appeared to have been stolen, including iPhones, iPods, bicycling equipment, Mercedes Benz entertainment headphones, phone chargers, and exercise equipment with an estimated value of $2,500.
Police say Michael Allen, 41, of Shaker Heights, arrived at the hospital where he announced he wanted to kill himself.
Hospital security officers stepped in and tried to talk to him, Bova said. Then Allen went outside, sat on a guardrail, and pulled a gun from his waistband.
Hospital security officers immediately called the Warrensville Heights police. Then Allen pulled the trigger and shot himself in the chest.
The hospital staff immediately began working on him, Bova said.
Allen was taken by LifeFlight to MetroHealth Medical Center where he was reported to be in critical condition as of Friday night.
The Cleveland Clinic issued the following statement late Friday:
“The safety of our patients, visitors and employees is of utmost importance and hospital security forces are trained for these types of events.”
“At South Pointe Hospital, security officers are present in the emergency department and throughout the hospital at all times. In this situation, our staff and security personnel followed procedures, responded quickly, and took appropriate action to ensure the safety of everyone at the hospital.”
Fort Myers Fla July 1 2010 Police are looking for a woman who stole undergarments from Sears at the Edison Mall, then struck a security officer with her car when he tried to stop her.
The woman was in the department store with a young child when the loss prevention security spotted her taking the undergarments, according to the Fort Myers Police Department.
The officer followed the woman outside to the parking lot, where she got into her car.
The officer stepped out in front of her car and ordered her to stop, but she instead hit the gas and struck him, throwing him onto the hood of the car, then to the ground.
He was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The car is described as a late1990s gold Oldsmobile missing a right front hubcap.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police department at 321-7700, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637), keyword FMPD
The Zales Jewelry store at the Edinburgh Outlet Mall off I-65 is missing cases of watches, necklaces and gold after three robbers used a stolen white Oldsmobile and a red service truck to ram through the front of the store and bend the steel gate protecting the store inside. It happened Friday morning at 3:57am. The front doors made of glass were broken and the frames removed.
“They were in there about four minutes, it was a big heist,” said Det. David Lutz, with Edinburgh police.
Police say the robbers made away with a large amount of jewelry by 4:01a.m. he says they were out of the store. They made several attempts to break in using the stolen cars.
“The oldsmobile wasn’t big enough, so they used the truck to smash into the front of the store,” said Det Lutz.
Numerous cases had been broken, though police say the thieves did not get into the safe.
“They had masks on and wore gloves and went in with white bags,” said Det Lutz. “The alarm went off at 4:10am but the security company(Westec) dismissed the call so police were never called.”
An Edinburgh mall employee saw the condition of the store Friday at 6a.m. and called police.
Fox59 contacted Westec but their spokesperson said they were still looking into what happened. Their command center where operators monitor alarms from across the country is based in Des Monies.
The red truck used in the heist was stolen from the nearby Harley-Davidson parking lot. The truck is a service truck the store uses. It was left running along with the white Oldsmobile behind the Zales.
The truck’s steering wheel was broken along with the Oldsmobile which was hot wired and stolen from a nearby apartment complex. The olds was also left running behind the Zales. The thieves apparently had a getaway car.
The Suspects were caught in the act on surveillance video from a cosmetics store right next to Zales. Police are hoping the video will lead to tips in the case. Zales also has some video equipment but so far police have been unable to obtain the tape.
Lt. Shane Whitaker, 41, of Syracuse, was one of eight men arrested after Layton police placed a prostitution ad on a website, said Layton police Lt. Quinn Moyes. Undercover officers scheduled appointments with johns, then set up a female decoy at a local hotel. The eight were arrested after offering money for sex acts.
Six of the eight were booked into the Davis County jail. Whitaker was not booked because he has brought people to that jail as police officer, and he may not have been safe there, Moyes said. Whitaker was arrested about 1:30 p.m. He was cited for patronizing a prostitute, a class B misdemeanor,fingerprinted and released. One other john, a Salt Lake City man, was also cited and released because police were arresting another man.
Whitaker is now on paid suspension until an internal affairs investigation determines what consequences will come from the charges, said Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen.
“We’re just in total shock and dismay,” he said.
The Farmington Police Department has only 18 officers, and Whitaker’s actions “rocked the whole department.”
Whitaker has been on the squad for 18 years, and served as interim police chief for about two months in 2001 when then-chief Jeff Jacobson died. Hansen took over afterward.
“We’re all really close,” Hansen said. “It’s been devastating.”
New Orleans La July 3 2010 Sherrif Newel Normand announced that a Kentucky man was arrested and charged with false personation of a peace officer and aggravated assault after police learned that he pulled a Metairie woman over and forced her out of her vehcile by gunpoint. Herman Justice, 56, of Louisville pulled over the unidentified 41-year-old woman on I-10 at Causeway Blvd and ordered her to put her hands on her car and spread her legs.
Justice then walked back to his vehicle and returned with a pit bull that he used along with the gun to detain her, police say. Justice’s girlfriend who was a passenger in his vehicle called state police for assistance, advising them that her boyfriend pulled a woman over for drunk driving. A Trooper arrived on scene and disarmed Justice of his weapon. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Officers were then called to the scene. The trooper noticed that the woman showed no signs that she was driving drunk.
A JPSO deputy spoke with the Metairie woman who told the officer that she pulled over after seeing flashing red lights. Deputies searched Justice’s vehicle and they found several loaded guns, four knives and a police baton. They also noticed that Justice had two cameras on his dashboard that recorded the incident. Justice’s girlfriend has not been charged in the incident.
TAMPA, Fla. July 3 2010 — A man wanted for in slayings of two Tampa police officers surrendered to police tonight, officials said.
Dontae Rashawn Morris turned himself in at around 10:30 p.m. He faces two counts of murder in the deaths of officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab during a routine traffic stop early Tuesday morning.
Curtis, a Mobile native, graduated from Mobile Christian School in 1997, and worked surveillance at the former Gayfers department store in Springdale Plaza.
“Honestly I can never remember a point in my life where I felt more relieved,” said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor. Morris is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, she said.
Morris’ surrender came after an intense four-day manhunt in Tampa. Hundreds of officers in tactical gear combed apartment buildings, vacant homes and even in waterways to find Morris. Detectives fielded more than 400 tips in the case.
But in the end, Morris walked into a police station — officials would not say where — just hours after a wake for officers Curtis and Kocab drew hundreds of mourners. By 11 p.m., Morris was upstairs at Tampa Police headquarters as officials held a press conference. He was scheduled to be transferred to the county jail later in the evening.
It is not yet known whether Morris has retained a lawyer.
“Tonight, everyone in Tampa can sleep easier because Dontae Morris is off the streets,” said Mayor Pam Iorio, during a late-night news conference at police headquarters.
Around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, Curtis pulled over a man and woman in a red Toyota Camry. He called for backup after seeing that the man — identified as Morris — was wanted in Jacksonville for writing a bad check.
Six minutes after Curtis and Kocab approached the passenger side, a witness called 911 to report they were shot. The officers were pronounced dead at a hospital.
The driver of the car, Cortnee Brantley, was charged Friday night with a federal count of witnessing a felony and not reporting it. She was being transported to the Hillsborough County Jail. It was unknown whether she had retained an attorney.
Earlier Friday, police officers, government officials, relatives and others crowded into a church to pay their respects to the two slain officers.
At the service, photographs of Curtis with his wife and four sons were shown on large screens. Kocab was pictured with his wife, who is nine months pregnant.
Friends, colleagues and members of the public took turns viewing the men’s flag draped caskets. The slain officers’ relatives sat nearby.
Funeral services for the two men — who were both 31 — are scheduled for Saturday.
“It’s just invaluable to the men and women of the Tampa Police Department to have this closure, to be able to go into the funeral tomorrow and give the tribute that officers Curtis and Kocab deserve for their sacrifice, knowing that Dontae Morris is behind bars,” the Tampa police chief said.
RALEIGH NC July 3 2010 — The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association sent out a strongly worded news release Friday blasting a North Carolina Highway Patrol major who resigned last week.
Major Everett Clendenin stepped down after thousands of text messages surfaced that he’d sent to a subordinate, suggesting an inappropriate relationship.
Clendenin has denied any physical contact between himself and the woman – calling the text messages “poor judgment.”
Clendenin was the public face of the Highway Patrol for about nine years – serving as the department’s spokesperson.
The 2,600 text messages Clendenin sent were released to the public on Wednesday.
Click here to read all the text messages
Clendenin’s resignation came amidst a series of embarrassments for the Highway Patrol. Officers have been investigated for everything from inappropriate sex, K-9 abuse, posting inappropriate videos online and drunk driving.
Now, the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association is weighing in on the controversy. It wants the Governor to launch an investigation. John Midgette, Executive Director of the PBA said in a news release that Clendenin was an “embarrassment.”
“PBA hopes that Governor Perdue will act by initiating a complete comprehensive investigation, take action against Clendenin and reform the Highway Patrol into a modern, effective state police agency with new policies and procedures to appropriately govern. Governor Perdue’s work is cut out for her,” said Midgette.
Midgette went further – claiming Clendenin’s role in the investigation of other troopers harmed them. He zeroed in on the 2008 investigation of Sgt. Charles Jones who was fired from the Patrol after being caught on video kicking his K-9 partner.
And, Midgette criticized the report of the Kroll consulting firm that made headlines in 2008 when it found many Highway Patrol officers perceived sex on duty was an expected fringe benefit. Despite that, the report called the department “well-managed.” The PBA has said it did not adequately examine the department’s handling of disciplinary cases.
“PBA has no choice but to call for a complete investigation of Clendenin’s behavior and other misconduct against Troopers,” said Midgette. “The Easley administration wasted thousands of dollars in the so-called Kroll investigation, which was incomplete, inappropriately focused and failed to even consider many of the long term pressing problems within the Patrol. The Kroll inquiry was nothing but a whitewash attempt to protect Patrol management.”
Midgette characterized Clendenin as a “destructive force within the Highway Patrol.”
“Is Mr. Clendenin going to be charged for misuse of state property for his personal use of Patrol equipment? Will he be required to reimburse the taxpayers for his time while playing his titillating little games?” Midgette asked.
On Friday night, Clendenin released a statement to ABC11 Eyewitness News that said, “Midgette’s release is ridiculous and inaccurate as are most of his comments about the Highway Patrol. Midgette is known for offering statements on topics he knows nothing about.”
Meanwhile, Governor Perdue’s spokesperson said this week she is working on a plan for changes in the department with Highway Patrol Colonel Randy Glover and to expect some action early next week.
DURHAM NC July 3 2010 Durham’s police chief is defending his department’s decision to shut down Interstate 40 for hours Wednesday after a bomb scare.
The closure was decided following a phone call. It set an emergency response into motion and hours of gridlock on I-40.
“Don’t panic, I’m going back to look,” a caller told a 911 operator Wednesday afternoon. “It looks like three cylinder objects taped together, laying on the side of the road. The exact placement for what we look for in Iraq.”
On Friday, the object was in Police Chief Jose Lopez’s office, bound by tape with a red elastic cord attached. It turned out to not be a bomb, but Lopez says he still wants to thank the concerned caller.
“I want to say to the gentleman who called, thank you,” he said. “Thank you for the call, because it’s the citizen involvement that keeps others safe.”
Safety is what his officers were thinking of, Lopez says, when they made the call to shut down traffic.
The chief was stuck in the traffic after returning home from a family emergency out of state and did not make it to the scene.
“Even if I wanted to, physically I couldn’t by the time I was on the road getting out of the traffic jam, it was over,” he said.
Lopez says he was in communication with his staff the entire time.
“When I leave Durham, I leave extremely competent individuals behind who are trained to handle any situation I would have to handle,” he said.
But still many residents have voiced concern over how long it took authorities to figure out that the object was harmless.
“What if it had been a little doll, you should see some of the devices in Israel,” Lopez said.
Terrorist defense training in Israel, Lopez says, has taught him unassuming objects can have deadly consequences. It’s a risk he’s glad his officers didn’t take.
“I support my officers and what they did,” he said. “Right now, I’m waiting to see what the review turns out. As always, we hope to do things better.”
Lopez says he’ll be coordinating with the other agencies involved to discuss what worked and what didn’t.
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
Atlanta police have issued a BOLO as they continue searching for a woman who has gone missing from a large convention taking place in Atlanta Georgia.
Authorities have identified the missing woman as Yvonne Ramona Marshall, 53,form Aruba who was in town for the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference.
The woman has dementia according to the GWCC Department of Public Safety and at this time her whereabouts is of great concern.
She was last seen walking across Northside Drive toward the Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority said.
Marshall, who is 5-feet-4 inches and weighs 110 pounds, was last seen wearing a pink blouse with a gray skirt and white sandals.
Authorities are trying to get a picture of the woman to get out to the media.
Anyone with information about Marshall’s whereabouts is asked to contact GWCC officials at 404-223-4911 of Atlanta police at 404-546-4235.
Bessemer Ala. July 3 2010 Alabama A&M University head football Coach Anthony Jones said he is shocked at the early-morning shooting death of football standout Maurice Thomas.
“I think the kind of player he was, was exemplified in the way he played and the longevity of his career,” Jones said today. “I think a lot of people didn’t know the kind of person he was because people can’t see under the helmet. He was a young man who worked hard and believed in his teammates, his friends and his family. He was a kid you can count on.”
Thomas, 23, of Bessemer and two other men were shot about 3 a.m. inside the Getties Boyz Club, a biker bar, on 22nd Street and First Avenue North.
Bessemer police responded to the scene, assisted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office which was brought in to help with crowd control.
Thomas, a defensive back who finished college eligibility after last season, was pronounced dead on the scene. Two others were taken to area hospitals.
Bessemer Police Sgt. Darren Hunter said investigators are still trying to sort out details of the shooting. The other two victims, he said, are expected to survive their injuries and have been able to talk with detectives.
Authorities said the gunfire followed an altercation between two men inside the club. It wasn’t immediately known whether Thomas was involved in the altercation.
Share “Even though people are scattered all of the South and the country because it’s a holiday weekend, they are still calling,” Jones said. “I got a phone call at 6 a.m. and I’ve been getting phone calls ever since. It’s a testament to who he was.”
A graduate of McAdory High School, Thomas was a defensive back at A&M where going into last season he had 114 career tackles, including 77 solo, and two interceptions, according to the university’s media guide.
Thomas was a senior majoring in economics. He had one semester left, his family said today, and had just landed a summer job at Children’s Hospital.
His mother, Letha Thomas, was too grief stricken this morning to talk about her son.
“He was a great student, a great son and a superstar,” said family friend Barbara Gaines who said Thomas was like her own son. “All I know is my baby is gone.”
“Maurice had a sweet disposition. He was a peaceful person,” Gaines said.
His family said they have no idea what he was doing at the club. “It’s not a place for nobody,” Gaines said.
By: Rick McCann/STAFF
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
Police said the incident occurred at the Meijer store located at 1900 E. College Ave., after security spotted the man identified as Matthew Thorne, 18, who listed his address as a Bloomington hotel, stealing several items.
When the security officer approached Thorne he pulled a large knife and attacked the security officer cutting him several times including on the leg.
Security was able to subdue the man while police responded to the store.
Thorne has been charged with armed robbery, a Class X felony and was transported to the county detention center.
Thorne was being held in McLean County jail in lieu of posting $10,000.
The security officer received minor injuries and things got back to normal.
Charlotte NC July 3 2010 A Virginia woman faces federal charges after allegedly telling Charlotte/Douglas International Airport screeners she was carrying a bomb. Federal officials say the incident forced the evacuation of passengers and staff from one part of the airport and delayed the departure of at least one flight.
Danielle Shanese Smith, 25, of Virginia Beach, has been charged by federal authorities with conveying false and misleading information.
The incident happened shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, when Smith and a male friend approached Checkpoint B, according to a federal suit filed Thursday. Air marshals say Smith was planning to board US Airways Flight 930 to Norfolk.
Police said an officer at the security checkpoint detected “three anomalies or images” on Smith’s body as she went through the body scanning machine. A second officer was called to examine Smith again.
When the officer asked Smith if she had anything in her pockets, police said, the woman responded, “I have a bomb.”
Smith repeated that statement, adding an expletive, when she was asked the question a second time, federal officials say.
A supervising officer was called to the scene and asked Smith if she had anything in her pockets.
Police said Smith responded “a bomb, cuz I am a (expletive) terrorist.”
At that point, airport police shut down the checkpoint and evacuated passengers and staff from the Checkpoint B area.
Smith was arrested, and police did not find any type of explosive on her.
The charges against Smith carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison