Rapid City Police Department, South Dakota
End of Watch: Sunday, August 7, 2011
Tour of Duty: 2 years
Badge Number: Not available
Incident DetailsCause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: August 2, 2011
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Shot and killed
Officer Nick Armstrong and Officer J. Ryan McCandless were shot and killed as they and another officer questioned four suspicious subjects at the intersection of East Anamosa and Greenbriar Streets at about 4:30 pm.
After several minutes a male subject in the group pulled out a concealed handgun and opened fire, striking all three officers before being wounded by return fire. The subject was shot and fatally wounded.
All three officers were transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Officer McCandless was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the hospital, and Officer Nick Armstrong succumbed to his wounds five days later.
Officer Armstrong had served with the Rapid City Police Department for two years and had previously served two years with the Spearfish Police Department.
Agency Contact InformationRapid City Police Department
300 Kansas City Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 394-4131
San Diego Police Department, California
End of Watch: Sunday, August 7, 2011
Tour of Duty: 4 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: August 6, 2011
Weapon Used: Shotgun
Suspect Info: Shot and killed
Police Officer Jeremy Henwood was shot and fatally wounded while stopped at a traffic light. While Officer Henwood waited at the red light near University Avenue at 45th Street, a vehicle pulled up along his driver side. A suspect in the passenger side of the other vehicle opened fire with a shotgun, wounding Officer Henwood. A citizen used Officer Henwood’s radio to report he had been shot.
The suspect vehicle was found in an apartment complex, and the suspect was reentering the vehicle as responding officers arrived. The suspect, who was linked to an earlier shooting, was shot and killed after he grabbed a shotgun.
Officer Henwood was transported to Scipps Mercy Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. He served three overseas tours as a United States Marine and was a four-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department.
Agency Contact InformationSan Diego Police Department
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 531-2000
Denver police received a call about 6:45 a.m. Sunday asking them to respond to the baggage scanning area in the main terminal of DIA.
Transportation Security Administration agents found an undeclared, loaded pistol during a routine screening of checked baggage, administration officials said.
Following normal protocol, the TSA agents contacted local police.
Denver police were not familiar with that particular kind of gun, so they used a device called a clear barrel, said Lt. Matt Murray, a spokesman for the Denver Police Department.
The device is lined with cement. Officers can shoot a gun into it to remove bullets if they aren’t familiar with the gun, Murray said.
No one was injured.
Murray said Denver police presented a criminal case to both the Denver District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and both declined to press charges.
TSA regulations allow passengers to carry guns in checked luggage if they declare their guns with the airline, unload them and place them in locked, hard-sided containers. Guns are not permitted in carry-on bags.
“Most passengers do understand the rules of carrying on firearms, but our officers do, in fact, intercept several guns a day at U.S. airports,” said Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman.
TSA regulations say that people who violate the gun regulations could face criminal charges or up to $10,000 in fines per violation.
Airlines may have their own, additional rules for checking guns
Denver CO Aug 8 2011 A pregnant woman says Transportation Security Administration agents refused to allow her past a security checkpoint because she was carrying insulin for her diabetes and ice packs while boarding a plane.
The alleged incident occurred Thursday at Denver International Airport. The woman, a frequent flyer, did not want to be identified for news reports for fear of retaliation but recounted her experience to TheDenverChannel.com.
“He’s like, ‘Well, you’re a risk.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse me?’ And he’s like, ‘This is a risk … I can’t tell you why again. But this is at risk for explosives,’” the woman told the channel. (She eventually managed to sneak a small amount of insulin past security, she said.)
She told the channel that when she started to ask for TSA agents’ names, they “scattered” and “left me crying at the TSA checkpoint.”
TSA agents have been widely criticized for what many in the public perceive as an abuse of power. And TSA appeared to have made some efforts to assuage concerned passengers.
The alleged incident occurred just days before the Denver airport introduced a new scanner that will obscure details of a passenger’s body. In the old system, a TSA worker would sit alone in a room and observe the nude image with blurred face, The Denver Post reported.
The TSA apologized to the woman for the episode, but questioned the woman’s memory of the events, TheDenverChannel.com reported. The spokesman said the agent’s “didn’t touch the insulin” and the reason that her icepack was confiscated was because it was not completely frozen.
“I talked to the supervisor, who said she was upset. She calmed down and (said) she needed ice and (the TSA agent) told her how to get ice from the concourse and went on,” Pat Ahlstrom told the channel.
The woman finally boarded a flight to Arizona and managed to have additional insulin delivered to her
COPLEY, Ohio Aug 8 2011(AP) — A family argument Sunday in Ohio ended in the shooting deaths of eight people in two places, including an 11-year-old, and two more people were wounded, authorities said Sunday.
One person shot five people to death in one location, then two more were killed nearby before police killed the gunman, police Chief Michael Mier told WKYC-TV.
The shootings happened in a wooded, residential neighborhood of older homes outside Akron, Copley Township officers said. The neighborhood remained blocked off by police Sunday afternoon.
Jeff Kirby of nearby Norton said he was visiting his mother’s home a block from the shootings at mid-morning when he heard gunfire — about 15 shots with several pauses between them.
Kirby, 53, said the last gunfire he heard occurred about the same time he heard sirens in the neighborhood.
Copley police Sgt. Eric Goodwin said he did not know the conditions of the wounded but said he believed there were no more victims.
“As far as I know, everyone’s accounted for,” he said.
He gave no more details, including how the shooter and victims were related, their names or what led to the argument.
“That’s still under investigation,” he said.
Copley Township is a town of about 14,000 people outside Akron in northeast Ohio
NEW YORK Aug 8 2011 – Tens of thousands of unionized Verizon Communications Inc. workers from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., went on strike early Sunday after they failed to agree on a new labor contract with the telecommunications company.
The Communications Workers of America said negotiations in Philadelphia and New York stalled Saturday night after Verizon continued to demand more than 100 concessions from workers and the unions refused to budge.
Mark C. Reed, Verizon’s executive vice president of human resources, called the outcome of the unions’ actions “regrettable” for customers and employees.
“We will continue to do our part to reach a new contract that reflects today’s economic realities in our wireline business and addresses the needs of all parties,” he said in a statement.
The contract that expired midnight Saturday covers 45,000 workers, including 10,000 represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who serve as telephone and repair technicians, customer service representatives, operators and more.
“Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families,” CWA said in a statement Sunday.
Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless carrier, has 196,000 workers; 135,000 are non-union.
At the center of the contract negotiations, which began June 22, are the costs of health care, pensions and work rules.
The CWA said the concessions are unjustified and harsh, given that Verizon is highly profitable — the company’s revenue rose 2.8 percent to $27.5 billion in the second quarter. Its growth was largely attributed to its wireless business.
But Verizon said its wireline business has been in decline for more than a decade, and that it is asking for changes in the contract to strengthen the unit. The company said union employees contribute nothing to their health care premiums.
Verizon activated a contingency plan to ensure customers experienced “limited disruption in service” for the length of the strike.
“Tens of thousands of Verizon managers and other personnel have been trained to step in and perform emergency work assignments,” Verizon spokesman Rich Young said.
A customer satisfaction survey released in May showed Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. ranked highest among the Big 4 wireless carriers. The survey polled 8,000 households in the first quarter of this year.
Verizon added 1.26 million wireless subscribers under contract in the April to June period this year, a result that flies in the face of the slowdown in new subscribers across the industry in the last two years. A year ago, Verizon added just 665,000 subscribers under contract.
Verizon ended the last quarter with 106.3 million devices connected to its wireless network. No. 2 and chief rival AT&T is trying to leapfrog Verizon in size by buying No. 4 T-Mobile USA for $39 billion.
Cab driver Jack Rainey was killed early Sunday morning and police said they still don’t know who killed him.
All day, the phones have been ringing off the hook at Day and Night cabs in College Park.
“He had a bald head, but a big boy,” Dispatcher Joe Darin said, remembering his friend and fellow co-worker.
Darin told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas he had been answering calls for service and sympathy all day Sunday.
“Normally he worked during the day. I don’t know what he was doing out,” Darin said.
Darin told Thomas, Rainey called in on his radio early Sunday morning, saying he’d been shot. Then no one could reach him.
As police scoured the south side of Atlanta looking for his blue and gray cab, a woman walking her dog near Oak Knoll Elementary School spotted his car with Rainey dead inside, investigators said.
Channel 2’s Cameras were there as the cab was hauled away, damage to the cabs front end could be seen. That was the only indication of what happened.
“The taxi came to rest in a wood line. That’s how the taxi came to be damaged to the front of the cab. It did leave the road and ended up in a gulley,” Lt. Cliff Chandler of the East Point Police said.
Police said Rainey died of multiple gunshot wounds and was likely shot from inside the cab.
“The call was a Charleston Apartments. We get a lot of calls there, but we don’t know whether he had picked up the call he was assigned to or he picked up a flag which we call on the street,” Darin said. “What can I tell you, we hadn’t lost a driver in a while. He had three kids, one in college and two youngsters, 11 and 9.”
The shooter or shooters still remain at large. Police continue to investigate this case.
1,009 lawsuits have been filed against private security so far this year!
Security agencies, security clients and in-house security departments have all been included in these lawsuits.
The headline says it all. Security officers and companies are being sued left and right and in many cases justly so.
The break down of the lawsuits filed so far this year are:
47% Excessive Use of Force or Assault
23% False Arrest-Detention or Unlawful Restraint
18% Failure To Provide Adequate Security
12% Misc./ Other
One reason for this jump in filings is the steady increase of the use of private security to perform more proactive duties including stopping and detaining suspected shoplifters, trespassers and criminal offenders. Another reason is that our society is becoming increasingly lawsuit happy and general filings are up all across this country, said Bill Frost, a Florida law professor.
Private security companies must make every effort to train their employees, document each training module and then supervise and manage their staff to insure that each security officer is in compliance and following company standards and protocols Frost said.
Security officers CAN and ARE sued individually, separately or as a party to the complaint!
A judgement is good for 20 years and can be “re-certified” in many states for another 20 years!
So, if you think training, education and experience in the private security industry is not needed or something for someone else to worry about- THINK AGAIN!
Private security duties and boundaries continue to expand, duties are becoming much more proactive and less Observe and Report and security officers are becoming more involved in the actual hands on approach of securing their clients property and this change of security roles will continue to put officers and companies in a higher liability category according to Bill Watkins, Vice President of Training Services for Private Officer International.
While it is almost impossible to shield a company completely from the possibility of a lawsuit, it is possible to defend against one.
Good training, having policies and protocols in place, documentation of training and supervision including officer disciplinary actions and re-training, officer supervision and communication, and a hands on approach by the security company and management team will go a long way in providing evidence of a clear training program and written policies, Frost said.
Visalia CA Aug 8 2011 Police say they recovered more than $6,000 worth of jewelry they suspect was stolen after officers witnessed a woman run out of the Visalia Kohl’s department store Friday afternoon and flee in a waiting car driven by a man.
Detectives with the Visalia Police Department’s Property Crimes Unit were conducting surveillance of the store in response to thefts there when they saw a woman run out at about 2:30 p.m.
After she got in the car and it pulled away, the officers conducted a traffic stop and detained the two people in the car, identified in a police report as David Snipes and Elizabeth Wood, both 51, of Bakersfield.
Inside the car, police reported finding stolen jewelry and a list of additional businesses.
Police said they recovered all the items stolen from Kohl’s, although it wasn’t clear in the report if all the jewelry in the car came from the store.
Wood and Snipes were arrested on suspicion of burglary and other counts not specified by police.
Investigations are under way to determine if the two may have burglarized other businesses on the list, according to the report.
Sukhwinder Sohi of San Pablo was arrested on his 32nd birthday at 3:37 p.m. at the Seafood Peddler restaurant, San Rafael police Sgt. Lisa Holton said. The arrest came after a call about a shoplifting incident from the Rite Aid pharmacy at the Montecito Plaza shopping center, she said.
Sohi was recognized as someone who had stolen items from Rite Aid in the past, so security personnel watched him as he loaded his backpack with several hundred dollars’ worth of liquor and tried to walk out of the store, Holton said. According to the police report, Sohi dropped the backpack outside the store and walked away, then was located shortly thereafter at the Seafood Peddler, a half-mile walk from Rite Aid across the San Rafael canal.
Sohi, who was cooperative with arresting officers, was booked on felony counts of burglary, petty theft with a prior jail term and possession of a controlled substance.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Aug 8 2011– A former Huntersville teacher will spend at least 18 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl.
Ernest Nichols apologized in a Charlotte courtroom Friday morning, after he pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape.
“I pray most every night that you and your family find true peace and healing,” Nichols said as he turned to face the victim and her family.
Nichols’ plea deal comes eight months after a Charlotte judge rejected another deal that would have had him serve 12 years.
The prosecutor, Kelly Miller, said she offered the plea deal to spare the girl and her family the pain of going to trial, including public viewing of videos Nichols had made of the two having sex.
“I believe this sentence makes a statement that this community will not tolerate sex offenders who prey on children,” Miller said after the hearing.
Nichols’ attorney, John Ross, said he agreed to the plea rather than have his client face a longer sentence if he had gone to trial.
“I think everybody was at peace with the decision and knew that this would be the last day they’d have to come to court for it, and I think all of the parties were satisfied with that,” Ross said.
Nichols’ family and the victim’s family left court without commenting.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Aug 8 2011 — Search crews found the body of a missing 16-year-old in the woods near Crown View and Tower Point Drive Saturday afternoon
Crews pulled 16-year-old Rianna Johnson’s body out of McAlpine Creek at about 3:30 p.m.
Police said Rianna, her mother 43-year-old Gracie Johnson and another woman were shoplifting in the Burlington Coat Factory on Independence Boulevard and Sardis Road North Friday. One woman was caught in the store, but Rianna and her mother left the store and ran towards the creek.
A loss prevention officer chased after the two women into a wooded area, where the creek was rising because of heavy downpours, and apparently got lost in the water.
The officer managed to make it out of the creek.
On Saturday, Eyewitness News spoke with Gracie’s boyfriend Stephen Johnson. He didn’t want to go on camera, but he was full of grief over the loss of his girlfriend and the teenager he called a daughter.
Johnson said Rianna was very smart and full of joy. He said she and her mother were supposed to go school shopping with a friend Friday.
“She had money. She had $3,000 in her pocket,” Johnson said.
Emergency workers found Gracie Johnson’s body at the bottom of McAlpine Creek Friday night. They used a police issued, electronic monitor she was wearing to find her body.
Eyewitness News checked and found that Gracie Johnson was released from jail in July on burglary charges.
Crews found Rianna’s body several yards from the store where she had entered the water.
Johnson said he didn’t understand why they would steal.
“You don’t steal when you have money,” he said.
He told Eyewitness News that he wanted to meet the loss prevention officer who he said tried to save their lives.
“He stuck a branch out to Gracie and she told him to get her daughter.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have not released the name of the loss prevention officer.
Investigators said they will be questioning him and other witnesses in the investigation.
It happened around 1:30 a.m. Saturday at Club Desperados in the 9400 block of north Lamar.
Police said Harrison Serrato-Gomez, 25, was causing a disturbance at the club when a bouncer attempted to throw him out.
An arrest affidavit states that Harrison grabbed a beer bottle and hit the bouncer in the head causing injury.
Gomez then went to his car and grabbed a pick axe, police said.
The arrest affidavit goes on to state that Gomez returned to the club, threatened the bouncer and repeatedly swung the axe at the bouncer’s head but missed.
When police arrived with their sirens on, officers said Gomez tried to run away but officer chased him down and arrested him.
The pick axe was found behind a dumpster, the affidavit states.
Gomez is now facing a second degree felony aggravated assault charge.
He is being held on $10,000 bond.
Chattanooga TN Aug 8 2011 Despite a consultant’s recommendation, Erlanger Health System outsourced police jobs to a private company at nearly twice the cost and disregarded a pledge that former security officers would get first consideration if their department was restructured.
“We wouldn’t leave you hanging out there and say, ‘well, you’re on your own,’” Chief Operating Officer Charlesetta Woodard-Thompson told a gathering of officers, according to a videotape obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “That’s not right. We’re not going to do that.”
Added Vice President of Government and Corporate Affairs Doug Fisher at the same meeting, whose date could not be verified: “This is an administration telling employees, ‘We’ve got your back; we’ve got you covered.’”
Erlanger dissolved the entire department in March, the same month it concluded a search for private security companies to replace the officers. In its request for proposals, Erlanger promised to award a five-year security contract “to the Proposer who submits the lowest and best proposal,” records show.
On March 24, hospital trustees unanimously went along with a management-backed proposal to outsource to Walden Security, a Chattanooga-based company that offered its services at an annual rate of $2.3 million — more expensive than all but one bid. SEI Inc. submitted the lowest bid at $1.5 million a year.
Bid coordinators at SEI Inc. last week declined to discuss the matter with the Times Free Press.
Three other security companies — two of which, like Walden, are certified by the International Organization for Standardization — submitted bids below $2 million, Erlanger records show. The hospital sent letters to the losing bidders stating that Walden Security offered “the lowest & best bid” at $2.3 million.
Total expenses for the Erlanger Police Department’s 2008-09 operating budget were $928,579, records show. The hospital spent $1.4 million on security in 2009-10.
Erlanger has reported several monthly losses recently and historically has requested and received annual seven-figure infusions from Hamilton County. This year, the hospital got $1.5 million in tax money.
“Walden Security was the lowest priced agency that met all the selection process qualifications and could most effectively meet the security needs of our campuses,” hospital spokeswoman Pat Charles said in an email to the newspaper.
Hospital executives have at least two stories justifying the change. During the March 24 meeting announcing the Walden bid award, Woodard-Thompson said Erlanger had “difficulty in recruiting and retaining a qualified police force.”
But in an interview last week, Fisher said Erlanger abolished its police department because “the city would no longer commission our officers.”
On Oct. 6, 2009, the Chattanooga City Council adopted a resolution that gave 25 Erlanger officers commissions that didn’t expire until 2050, meeting minutes and police identification cards show.
Interviewed Friday, Chattanooga City Attorney Mike McMahan said a few of the Erlanger officers once left the Chattanooga Police Department “under less than favorable circumstances,” but that otherwise, council members approved the commissions without hesitation.
The City Council did have the power to revoke Erlanger’s police commissions, records show.
“That’s not what happened in this case,” McMahan said, adding that establishing future Erlanger police commissions was “never a problem” for the city.
Dan Johnson, chief of staff for Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the city commissioned Erlanger’s officers until 2050 “as a temporary means for them to have security until they were able to hire their private security force that is now in place.”
Erlanger initially awarded Walden Security a temporary contract to work alongside the hospital’s longtime police force last year.
But the table appeared set for permanence. On April 12, 2010, executives drafted a memo titled “You Should Know: Erlanger Signs Temporary Contract with Walden Security” and named Ben Allen, a Walden employee, Erlanger’s director of security.
Two days later, Allen received a master key for the hospital, a privilege afforded only to top security officials.
On Sept. 2, 2010, employee relations worker Jan Gentry emailed an Erlanger police officer to say Walden employees — presumably Allen — had “the right to write, change and enforce policy in the security department.”
Three weeks later, Erlanger’s bid proposal for security services went out. It was five months after executives drafted the memo about Allen’s directorship. Six companies responded to the request.
On March 24 of this year, Erlanger’s board of trustees unanimously awarded Walden Security the five-year contract at $2.3 million a year. That evening, hospital officials said the transfer wasn’t a cost-saving measure, a position they stand by today.
“The intent [and we were very public about this] was always to provide a safer environment for our patients, visitors and staff,” spokeswoman Charles said in an email.
Unlike former Erlanger police officers who had standard law-enforcement arresting authority, Walden Security employees have no more arrest privileges than private citizens, Charles said in an interview.
In an interview, Fisher said the hospital looked for a security firm “that had the ability to provide commissioned police officers,” an extra that never was mentioned in Erlanger’s request for proposals.
Walden now uses Erlanger money to pay commissioned, off-duty Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies to supplement observe-and-report Walden guards so that there is some kind of arresting authority on scene, Charles said.
Amy Walden and Mike Walden, the Lookout Mountain-based couple who run Walden Security, donated $1,000 each to election campaigns for Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, financial disclosures show.
With the stated goal of beefing up its police force, Erlanger paid $6,000 to Durham, N.C.-based Security Assessments International Inc. to conduct a study, now considered confidential. The Times Free Press obtained a copy.
The Feb. 5, 2010, study lauded the Erlanger Police Department’s officers, calling them “knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated police and security personnel.”
It noted a tight annual security ledger and a small staff, praising the officers for maintaining order “despite these budgetary and manpower constraints.” The study recommended expanding the existing force and advised against using contract security personnel for several reasons, including a high turnover rate and inexperience.
“The quality of the replacement officers may not be up to the hospital’s standards,” the report states. “[Private security officers] are often drawn from available personnel who do not have experience in the health care setting.”
In its request for proposals, the hospital said former Erlanger Police Department officers would get “first priority” to retain their positions with the winning security bidder.
But after the contract was awarded, Charles said those officers would “have an opportunity” to apply for a job with Walden — no guarantees.
Many former Erlanger officers logged more than 20 years at the hospital. They handled 50 assaults, 79 building emergencies and 259 suspicious activity incidents in fiscal year 2008-09, Erlanger records show.
Andrew Stinnett, a Chattanooga attorney who represents seven former Erlanger police officers, hand-delivered a letter asking each board trustee to review the consultant’s study before voting on the Walden contract.
He said none of the trustees responded.
James Worthington, one of the trustees, said he “thoroughly examined the contents” of the study but voted for Walden because hospital executives recommended it and told him the city wouldn’t commission additional Erlanger officers.
“The truth should always come to the surface,” Worthington said Friday. “If I had been told that the city or county would have commissioned other officers so that we had a sufficient amount, I would have voted against Walden. … I’ll stand on the fact that I was not told that.”
SAN DIEGO CA Aug 8 2011 — The investigation into the on-duty shooting of a San Diego police officer continued Sunday, while social networking sites began to fill up with condolences to the officer’s family and his police colleagues.
Police officials have not identified the officer, who they said was “very critically” wounded just after 5:30 p.m.
Social networking sites and police sources identified him as Jeremy Henwood. Public records show he was hired by the Police Department in 2007. He was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. One suspect in the shooting incident was confirmed dead.
Police Chief William Lansdowne is expected to provide more details during a news conference at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The officer is the second in the department to be shot in the line of duty in 10 months.
The shooting occurred when the officer pulled alongside a black Audi at 45th Street and University Avenue in City Heights. Someone in the Audi pulled out a shotgun, pointed it out a passenger window and shot the officer in the head, said San Diego police Capt. Jim Collins. The vehicle is believed to have been involved in a shooting in unincorporated El Cajon earlier in the day.
“As far as we know, it was totally unprovoked,” Collins said. “He was not attempting to stop the suspect vehicle. He had no idea that was the suspect vehicle.”
About a half hour after the shooting, police tracked the suspects’ vehicle to an apartment three blocks away, on 48th Street. One suspect was killed after exchanging gunfire with police, and police believed a second suspect was holed up in an apartment Saturday night while a SWAT team maneuvered outside.
But about 10 p.m., police entered the apartment and found no one inside.
According to police radio chatter, officers were planning to go house-to-house in the neighborhood, where many residents had been evacuated. Over the next two hours, most officers left the area and residents were allowed back into the apartments where the SWAT operation had occurred. University Avenue was reopened except for the block where the officer had been shot.
The fatal series of incidents appears to have started about 5:20 p.m. on the outskirts of El Cajon when police responded to reports of a shooting at an In-N-Out restaurant near North Magnolia and Bradley avenues.
The victim, Martin Hanna, was sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot when he was approached by a man carrying a shotgun, according to the Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the incident. The assailant fired one round at Hanna, striking him in the face, before fleeing in a black Audi with paper plates.
Hanna was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive, sheriff’s Lt. Larry Nesbit said.
A few minutes later, an El Cajon police officer with no knowledge of the In-N-Out shooting saw a black Audi speeding west on Interstate 8. The officer gave chase but stopped pursuit of the vehicle after its speeds topped 100 mph. The car was last seen going south on state Route 15.
At 5:29 p.m., San Diego police were alerted by the Sheriff’s Department to look for a black sedan wanted in connection with the In-N-Out shooting.
Three minutes later, “a female citizen got on the radio of one of our police officers and said an officer had been shot at 45th and University,” Collins said.
Collins said the officer, traveling alone, was stopped in the right lane of University headed east when the black vehicle pulled up next to him and a gun was fired from the passenger’s window.
Besides the driver, there may have been a passenger in the front seat, witnesses said. It’s not clear who fired the gun.
Within minutes, dozens of police cars from San Diego and surrounding jurisdictions filled University. Officers performed CPR, and crowds gathered at all the street corners nearby to watch and tell police what they saw.
About a half hour after the officer was shot, a black Audi was found parked in front of an apartment on 48th Street. A San Diego police helicopter spotted a man getting into the car with what appeared to be a shotgun. As police approached the vehicle, “the suspect produced the shotgun and several officers fired at the suspect,” Collins said.
The black car rolled backward down the street and crashed into a wrought iron fence.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not provide any information about him Saturday night, including whether he is considered the gunman in either of the earlier shootings.
At an apartment complex nearby, Cesar Zamora, 16, said that he was watching a movie on TV when the gunfire broke out about 6 p.m.
“The cops were shooting at the black Audi while he was still driving it,” he said. “I went out and bullets were flying. One chipped my (apartment) window on the second floor.”
Cesar said he saw police bullets hit the rear right side of the Audi. He said the driver backed up and hit a fence, then a red car and came to a stop.
Since 1864, 28 San Diego County law enforcement personnel have been shot and killed in the line of duty. The most recent confirmed death was Oct. 28, when San Diego police Officer Christopher A. Wilson, 50, was killed in a shootout after being called to a Skyline apartment to help arrest a man during a probation check.
Three people have been charged in connection with his death, the District Attorney’s Office announced two weeks ago. In late July, Alex Charfauros, 27, Patrick Luangrath, 20, and Melissa Ortiz, 22, pleaded not guilty in San Diego Superior Court to felony charges including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and other drug- and gun-related charges.
Henrico VA Aug 8 2011 A Henrico County police officer faces child-pornography charges after his arrest in Bedford County by Virginia State Police and Bedford County sheriff’s deputies, officials said Saturday.
Allan A. Hoffman III was arrested at a residence late Friday, said Sgt. Thomas J. Molnar, a state police spokesman.
Hoffman was charged with two felonies, possession of child pornography and production of child pornography, Molnar said.
Hoffman has been suspended without pay from the Henrico Police Department, according to law-enforcement sources with knowledge of the situation.
He was taken into custody after investigators consulted with the office of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, said Molnar.
As part of the investigation, police seized electronic material, including thumb drives and computer hard drives, in a May 10 raid on a western Henrico townhouse owned by a Henrico officer.
Molnar said the investigation is continuing; a Henrico police spokesman declined to comment. Details on where he was being held were not immediately available.
Creighton quickly rallied grief counselors to the scene and to police stations around the city.
Two weeks later, another tragedy struck the department when an officer facing trial on DUI and hit-and-run charges committed suicide at his home.
To Creighton, the back-to-back events show why the department’s men and women desperately need a new way to reach out for help.
“This job … takes a real toll. We respond to everyone else’s worse case scenarios, several times a day,” she said. “It has an accumulative effect on people.”
The three-member wellness unit was formed in response to a recent spate of misconduct allegations against officers, with hopes that officers can get help with on-the-job stresses and problems at home before things take a turn for the worst. The services are available to all 1,817 officers and 469 civilian employees on the force.
Creighton, a 27-year department veteran, likened her first few weeks on the job to “drinking water from a fire hydrant.”
“We’re reacting to at least one phone call a day from either somebody who wants us to follow up on an employee or an employee who calls us directly who says, ‘I need to talk. I need help,’” Creighton said. “I’ve been surprised, pleasantly, that people already feel comfortable coming to us, but by the same token very concerned at the level of need that already exists.”
Gaining officers’ trust
The unit’s main goal is to be an advocate for the employee, not to pass judgment. And the only way for that to succeed, Creighton said, is if the employees trust that their personal baggage will remain confidential and not affect their job evaluations.
“We’re not good about seeking help. We’re supposed to be in control,” she said of law enforcement. “We are held to a higher standard, and we should be. We are also subject to human nature, and sometimes officers use the wrong coping mechanisms as anyone else would.”
As the recent misconduct allegations have shown, that behavior can include drunken driving, extramarital affairs, sexual battery or rape under the color of authority and domestic violence. At least eight officers have been investigated since February for such allegations, and some have been charged with crimes.
The scandals prompted Police Chief William Lansdowne to acknowledge that perhaps the department had been paying too much attention to fighting crime and not enough to the well-being of the employees doing the work.
Creighton, a certified hypnotherapist with a master’s degree in human behavior, was the natural choice to head up the effort, Lansdowne said.
Part of the unit’s initial duties has been to offer assistance to the officers being investigated for criminal misconduct. The motorcycle officer who committed suicide on Monday, David Hall, had met with one of the other members from the wellness unit the day before. While officials won’t give details about the meeting, they said his suicide came as a shock.
The death has put the unit on heightened alert because “copycat” suicides are not uncommon.
When Creighton isn’t reacting to immediate needs, she is laying the foundation for a wellness program that she hopes addresses the body, mind and spirit.
Several resources are already available to officers, although they haven’t been well-promoted or under the same roof. Some of those resources include counseling and psychological services, peer support following officer-involved shootings, chaplains and an alcohol support group. A peer counseling element was added in the mid-1990s following a rash of officer suicides in the department. Eleven San Diego officers have committed suicide since 1981.
Surveying the troops
Within the next week or so, Creighton and her partners, Sgts. Tod Bassett and Steve Connolly, plan to visit patrol lineups and unit meetings to survey employees on the issues they are facing at work and at home, and to ask whether the resources they are using to cope are effective.
The unit will then work with an advisory board made up of officers, civilian employees, union leaders, psychologists and chaplains to streamline existing resources and add new ones.
“In general, if they don’t have a channel to talk about their issues, they tend not to,” said Dr. Ming Tsuang, behavioral genomics chair and director at the University of California San Diego. He will serve on the unit’s advisory board.
Tsuang, who also directs the Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Genetics, has been collaborating with Creighton on police wellness research for the past three years after a chance meeting at a Chinese New Year’s celebration.
The studies include tracking the health of San Diego police recruits from pre-academy and through their careers, as well as monitoring the well-being of recent police retirees.
The researchers are particularly interested in whether some people are genetically predisposed to post-traumatic stress disorder, and if so how can that be better managed in stressful jobs.
The wellness unit has moved into offices at the Family Justice Center on Broadway and 11th Avenue. Just three blocks from police headquarters, the location is close enough to walk to but far enough away from prying eyes. The unit also encourages meetings in the field or at home.
The police chief shifted resources to form the unit, and any future costs associated with the program will go through a proposal phase or come from grant funds.
Officer Mark Zdunich, a SWAT and field training officer, is a recovering alcoholic who checked himself into rehab and got sober four years ago. He regularly speaks about his experience to police recruits, hoping to get the message across early in their careers that help is available, and that they won’t be penalized for it.
“We never had anything like that when I was in the academy,” said the 18-year veteran, who will sit on the wellness unit’s advisory board. “It was never discussed.”
Zdunich, whose wife and three sons are also local law enforcement officers, predicted the biggest challenge will be changing officers’ attitudes about using the program.
“I’m hoping not only will it potentially help people who are already having difficulties, but it will improve the quality of life of people who are already functional and doing great.”
Knowing the lure of the Iron Bowl to Auburn and Alabama fans, Capt. Van Jackson from the Sheriff’s Office put together one of the most creative stings in recent memory, FOX Sports South reported Friday.
“Because Auburn had such a tremendous season, we thought we’d send letters out telling people we were giving away Iron Bowl tickets,” Jackson said.
But with season tickets for defending national champion Auburn’s home games selling out months ago and individual game tickets not due to go on sale until a few weeks before the games are played, the “priceless” tickets being offered in the “You Have Won!” letters never actually existed.
Nonetheless, the letters went out to local residents with outstanding warrants alleging unpaid child support. To the astonishment of just about everyone, a dozen suspects showed up to collect their prize.
“It was an idea that just grew out of conversations here at the agency,” Jackson said. “We wanted to do something because we had some very large outstanding child-support warrants, and we wanted to come up with a sting operation to lure those people in. Obviously with the [football] season coming up, the timing was important.”
Execution was important as well, and the Sheriff’s Department pulled it off to perfection. In a storefront with balloons and banners in the front and handcuffs and school buses in the back, deputies dressed in Auburn and Alabama shirts cheered as one suspect after another strolled in with their letters and photo IDs.
“They were very excited, right up to the point where we got them in the back and put the cuffs on them,” Jackson said. “We had one guy ask us if he still got his tickets after we’d booked him in. That was pretty funny. We all got stories to tell for the rest of our lives.”
Officers received a 911 call about an assault at Turner Hall early Saturday. The university’s assistant police chief, Jeff Corcoran, tells The Cincinnati Enquirer (http://bit.ly/q3FIuz ) that the teenage boy approached officers in the dorm hallway, appearing agitated and angry.
Corcoran says officers ordered the teen to back off, but he refused. He was then hit once by an officer’s stun gun.
Afterward, the teen appeared incoherent. He went into cardiac arrest after paramedics arrived and was pronounced dead at University Hospital.
The department has suspended the use of stun guns until his cause of death is determined. Authorities are also investigating the original 911 call.