MOBILE, Alabama March 4 2012 – A Mobile police officer who was shot at the Midtown Winn-Dixie last night is out of surgery and has been stabilized, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said today.
Rich said that Officer Chad Wynne is scheduled to undergo a third surgery tomorrow at University of South Alabama Medical Center.
Rich said investigators are “very optimistic that he will pull through.”
Meanwhile, a robbery suspect who was shot in the exchange of gunfire with police is in the intensive care unit at the hospital, Rich said.
Wynne was shot in the chest and critically wounded last night as he and other officers intervened in a robbery at the Winn-Dixie grocery store at Catherine and Government streets.
Police say two suspects entered the store after it had closed and held employees inside the store at gunpoint. One of the employees was able to call 911 and report the robbery.
Wynne was one of several off-duty police officers working jobs in the area who helped on-duty officers respond to the call at 11 p.m., according to police.
“As the investigation unfolds, it will be clear that this was a planned robbery, and it could have happened anywhere,” Rich said, when asked about public concerns over crime in the Midtown neighborhood. “I don’t think the residents of Midtown need to fear or feel like they have been targeted in any way.”
Rich declined to immediately release any details of the ongoing investigation.
Authorities have not released the name of the suspect who was shot.
Meanwhile, a second suspect, 18-year-old Jackieth Harrison, was arrested and charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree robbery. He is in jail with no bail. He is scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Monday morning.
Court records show no previous adult criminal charges against Harrison.
Earlier this morning, Mobile Police Chief Micheal T. Williams said the two suspects were able to enter the grocery store after it had closed and held several employees hostage.
Williams declined to say what kind of guns the men were armed with, although he did say two guns were recovered from the scene.
Wynne graduated from police academy in 2006. He was named Officer of the Month in April 2007 after making 19 felony arrests in one month, including a group of burglars.
He is a graduate of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School and served in the U.S. Army.
The shooting occurred nearly a month after Mobile police Officer Steven Green was stabbed to death outside Mobile County Metro Jail. The assailant in the Feb. 3 incident, Lawrence Wallace Jr., shot another officer in a standoff before being shot and killed by police.
Officer Mark Johnson was injured in the arm and survived.
In 2010, the Winn-Dixie grocery chain undertook a $4 million makeover and expansion of the store at Catherine and Government streets, touting the work as a key template for renovations of many of its more than 450 supermarkets.
Winn-Dixie then-Chief Executive Officer Peter Lynch told the Press-Register in October of that year that the store, with its focus on fresh and local fare, would become “a showplace for the direction Winn-Dixie is taking the company.”
FULLERTON CA March 4 2012 – A Fullerton police employee was arrested on suspicion of grand theft Thursday after authorities allege she stole from the department’s property room.
April Baughman, 52, was arrested after a sworn employee discovered that she stole money from the property room over a two-year period, said Dan Hughes, Fullerton’s acting police chief, in a written statement.
Hughes indicated he had been informed of the theft about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, after a discrepancy in a cash count from a money supply kept in the property room was discovered. The other employee had reported the discrepancy to his division commander after discovering it, police said.
“When there are violations of public trust or actions which result in the reduction of confidence in the police department, disciplinary action will be taken swiftly and decisively,” Hughes said in the statement.
Authorities say the money is believed to have been stolen between 2009 and mid-2011, but they did not comment on how much cash was missing.
Authorities did not comment on how they linked Baughman, a 22-year Fullerton Police Department employee, to the theft. She was reportedly booked into Orange County Jail after her arrest.
Tulare County CA March 4 2012 A Strathmore High coach has been arrested on suspicion of distributing child pornography.
Tulare County sheriff’s officials report that Paul Corona III, 25, of Porterville was arrested Wednesday after an investigation that began after a cellphone reportedly containing explicit images was turned over to school staff.
Corona, a coach and campus supervisor, is accused of exchanging images and texts with a student between late October and early November, according to sheriff’s reports.
He was being held on $35,000 bail Friday in the Tulare County Main Jail on suspicion of distributing harmful matter with intent to seduce a minor and possessing matter depicting a minor engaged in or simulating a sex act.
TOMS RIVER NJ Mar 4 2012 — Two young men have been arrested in connection with a drug incident after a woman began hollering in a restroom at the Ocean County Mall on Hooper Avenue.
Officers Shan Ruiz and Frank Bopp were working a security detail at the mall around 6 p.m. Friday and responded to a family-designated restroom near an employee entrance after hearing a woman yell for help, police said.
An investigation determined that a 21-year-old Toms River woman, whose name was not released, had arranged to meet a man in the restroom to purchase Roxicet pills, a painkiller that includes oxycodone, police said.
A second man then entered the restroom and provided a bag of pills; the female suspect determined they were fake and tried to leave, but the suspect blocked the door and was attempting to take the money from her when the officers entered the room, police said.
As a result of the investigation, John Hafner, 20, of Toms River, was charged with conspiracy to possess an imitation controlled dangerous substance, and released.
Nicholas Mayer, 18, of Woodview Road, was charged with attempted theft and conspiracy to possess an imitation controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, police said. Mayer was being held Saturday on $15,000 bail at Ocean County Jail in Toms River, police said.
It was the second time in three weeks the teenager was arrested drug charges, police said. Mayer was arrested on Feb. 16 after a two-month investigation and charged with possession of oxycodone, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and forgery, police said.
His brother, Michael, 22, also of Woodview Road, was arrested at the same time and charged with possession of oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, police said.
Former Wissahickon Middle School teacher had inappropriate contact with two school students www.privateofficer.com
Lower Gwynedd Township PA March 4 2012 A former teacher at Wissahickon Middle School has been arrested and charged with several offenses related to allegations that he had inappropriate contact with two school students prior to his retirement.
Lower Gwynedd Township Police announced the arrest of Dr. Ronald Goldberg in a statement sent to media this afternoon. Police said Goldberg, who retired in 2009, surrendered to authorities and was charged with corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, and indecent assault.
Police said school authorities “immediately contacted the police” upon learning of the allegations from students.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a student who is now 15 years old reported last Oct. 20 that she had been inappropriately touched by Goldberg, her sixth grade teacher. During the subsequent investigation, a second student, now 20 years old, reported to her parents and police that she was also inappropriately touched by Goldberg while in his sixth grade class in 2004.
During interviews with police, both students described how Goldberg “touched their breasts, butts and other parts of their bodies,” according to police.
Both students told police touching occurred at the school during school hours and said Goldberg gave them food or money during the year.
The 20 year old former student said Goldberg began to touch parts of her body at the beginning of the 2003-04 school year. She told investigators that eventually, the touching progressed to her “breasts, butt and front area” on two different days in the teacher’s lounge. He continued to touch her in his classroom until she reported it to her parents in February 2004.
The now 15 year old student said she was touched inappropriately by her sixth grade teacher beginning around the middle of the 2008-09 school year. According to the affidavit of probable cause, “Goldberg touched [the student's] breasts, butt, and put his hand near her vagina during class hours.”
The student also reported that Goldberg once put his hand inside her pants and underwear and touched her bare buttocks.
The school district issued the following statement:
The Wissahickon School District was notified by local authorities that a former teacher, Dr. Ronald Goldberg, has been arrested on charges related to the indecent contact of two female students which allegedly occurred while he was employed as a District teacher. Dr. Goldberg retired from the district in 2009 and has not been affiliated with the District since then. The Wissahickon School District will continue to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the future regarding this situation.
A spokesperson for the district declined to comment further on the situation when reached by telephone Friday.
Goldberg was arraigned and released after posting 10 percent of $50,000 bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 27 at 1:30 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Robert Sobeck in the district court at 653 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell.
Anaheim CA March 4 2012 After tens of thousands of park guests were stuck in parking garages for three hours Saturday, Disneyland and California Adventure will each stay open an extra hour as consolation for gigantic entry lines caused by a bomb scare, park officials announced today.
Park entrances were closed for three hours when bomb squad experts examined a “goodwill spirit message” left in a tree near the ticket booths, which triggered a security lockdown and stranded tens of thousands of people in line at the park’s mammoth parking garages.
Resorts spokeswoman Suzi Brown told City News Service that Disneyland will close at 1 a.m., and the California Adventure park will close at 10 p.m. Each park had been scheduled to close one hour earlier than that.
An additional “World of Color” show at Disney California Adventure has been added at 10:15 p.m., and an additional “Fantasmic!” show at Disneyland has been added at 11 p.m. tonight.
The whole incident began when a park security officer discovered a “suspicious object” in a tree near the ticket booths to California Adventure and Disneyland at 7:10 a.m., “during the normal walk-through prior to the arrival of guests,” said Anaheim police spokesman Sgt, Bob Dunn.
Police later said a man had placed a “goodwill spirit message” in a tree outside the main gates to Disneyland and California Adventure. The main gates to the two amusement parks remained shut until 10:30 a.m., and the handful of guests who could enter through two adjacent hotels had the run of the parks for three hours.
Meanwhile, Anaheim police were questioning the “free spirit” who called them to say he had left “some rolled up paper that contained, basically, a goodwill spirit message,” said Anaheim police spokesman Sgt. Bob Dunn.
“First he called us, and then we made contact with him,” Dunn told City News Service. “He explained it to be a good message that he placed in a tree, and we’re in the process of speaking with him.”
A park security officer discovered the object at 7:10 a.m. As bomb squad technicians were called in, Disney officials began holding guests away from the Esplanade area between Downtown Disney and the gates to California Adventure and Disneyland.
“The safety of our guests and cast members is our top priority,” resort spokeswoman Brown said in a statement. “In an abundance of caution and to allow the security teams to learn more, we are keeping guests away from the area at this time.”
People already inside the parks, or those able to get in through entrances from the Disney Resort hotels, were not affected by the ticket booth closure, Dunn told CNS. The massive parking garages were not closed, but were reportedly full of patrons trying to get onto trams to the ticket booth area.
DOVER DE March 4 2012 Delaware State University Police arrested Assistant Professor Dr. Jahi Issa as they were trying to disperse a crowd of 20 students protesting DSU President Dr. Harry Williams’ management style Wednesday afternoon.
A group of 20 students began protesting Williams at around 1 p.m. Wednesday for a recent, critical report by the state auditor on the university’s business practices and for the increasing number of non-black students at the historically black college, said DSU freshman Victoria Lucas, a member of the student group.
“Providing full scholarships to non-blacks and raising tuition it makes it harder for black students to attend the university,” she said. “This movement progressed to the Administration [building] where a representative of the student body voiced our concerns to the Board of Trustees.”
Issa, a faculty member of the DSU Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, joined the protest.
However, Delaware State University Police informed the crowd, which had drawn many onlookers, that their gathering had not been properly organized, DSU spokesman Carlos Holmes said Friday.
“DSU is just like any other municipality,” Holmes said. “You cannot go and have a parade in Dover unless you have a permit [et cetera]. We have the same rules at DSU. You cannot have an event unless you go through the proper channels.”
Police informed students and Issa that they had to disperse, at which point the faculty member became very uncooperative, Holmes said. When he became verbally abusive, police arrested Issa.
As they escorted him away, Issa dropped to the ground and requested an ambulance, Holmes said.
He was taken to the hospital and later released, Holmes said. At that point, DSU police charged him with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, offensive touching of a law enforcement officer and inciting a riot. He was released on his own recognizance by the magistrate judge in Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7.
DSU police then issued Issa a no trespass notice and was told he could only enter campus with permission from the police, Holmes said. College of Arts, Humanites and Social Sciences Dean Dr. Marshall Stevenson will decide how to handle Issa’s courses in the interim.
A press release from the protesters, provided by Lucas, demanded more African American tenured professors. The group claimed that only 20 percent of 43 tenured, full professors are black.
The group also demanded that DSU “stop the constant decrease of admitted African American students.”
“It is understood that by the start of the 2012 fall semester, Delaware State University will be less than 50 percent black,” the press release stated. “The sudents of this historically black institution find this unacceptable and believe the culture of their university is fading away.”
With regard to business practices, the student group was referring to the recent state audit that stated DSU broke state bidding and procurement laws. Holmes said their protests were puzzling since DSU had expressed its concerns with the state audit on bidding and procurements while also improving its business practices in response to the report released by Auditor of Accounts R. Thomas Wagner Jr. in February.
With regard to diversity, 73 percent of DSU’s students are African American, 11 percent are white, 5 percent are Hispanic, 3 percent are Asian and 8 percent are classified as “other,” Holmes said.
“Sounds like a predominantly black institution to me,” he said. “Having said that, diversity is one of the core values – as identified by the Blue Ribbon Commission established by Dr. Williams in early 2010. [And] we have a richly diverse faculty.”
Holmes pointed to the group’s small size of 20 as not represented of DSU’s 4,400 students.
Saratoga Springs man arrested for terrorist threats against President Barack Obama www.privateofficer.com
SARATOGA SPRINGS NY March 4 2012 — U.S. Secret Service agents and local authorities collaborated to arrest a 33-year-old Saratoga Springs man on charges he made terrorist threats against President Barack Obama and Saratoga County elementary school children, the district attorney said.
Brent G. Dickinson of Maple Avenue was charged with two counts of making a terroristic threat after he allegedly sent two communications to a White House message board at around 11 p.m. Friday, county District Attorney James A. Murphy III said in a prepared statement. Dickinson named two intended targets: the President and an unspecified elementary school children at an unnamed school, Murphy said. The Secret Service intercepted the messages, he said.
“In both instances, it is alleged that the defendant intended to murder the intended targets,” Murphy wrote on his office’s website. He could not immediately be reached for further comment.
Due to the coercive, intimidating and influential nature of the communications, the Secret Service contacted the Saratoga Springs Police Department, located where they were made from and identified Dickinson as a suspect, Murphy said.
City police arrested the defendant Friday without incident. Dickinson was arraigned in Saratoga Springs City Court and taken to Saratoga County jail on $50,000 bail, prosecutors said.
Bail was recommended in that amount because Dickinson has failed to appear for numerous court dates, causing judges to issue 11 warrants for him and law enforcement to search for him, Murphy said. Dickinson has no significant ties to the area. He faces up to seven years in prison, Murphy said.
Dickinson intended to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping,” according to Murphy.
“While the threat was not specific as to which elementary school, I believe we can never be too careful, especially in light of the recent case of the horrific school shooting in Ohio,” Murphy said. “The attorneys in my office and the police officers who worked together just on this one case well past midnight were gratified to know that because of their efforts and the efforts of the U.S. Secret Service agents, no harm came to anyone.”
Saratoga Springs Lt. John Catone said, “Once we were made aware of the nature of the threats, we were in constant contact with the schools and school administrators to make sure they were aware of the threat and they could take whatever security precautions that were needed.”
A county grand jury will hear the case soon, Murphy said. Dickinson is due back in City Court at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Tempe AZ March 4 2012 Fourteen people were shot late Friday night during a rap concert in Tempe and one of three suspects is in police custody, officials said Saturday.
Two people were transported to hospitals in serous condition and police are seeking the public’s help in locating the other two suspects who fled on foot from the scene.
During a briefing Saturday afternoon, Tempe police Lt. Mike Horn confirmed that detectives were probing whether the shooting, which took place outside the Clubhouse Music Venue on Broadway Road between Rural Road and McClintock Drive, was triggered by gang-related activity.
At about 11:30 p.m., police responded to the clubhouse where Los Angeles rap artist Nipsey Hussle, a self-proclaimed Crips gang member, according to a New York Times article two years ago, was performing, Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Steve Carbajal said early Saturday.
Seventeen fire trucks and ambulances from Tempe, Chandler and Phoenix responded to the scene, said Mike Reichling, a Tempe senior fire inspector, who was briefed by city officials.
Tempe police secured a perimeter around the neighborhoods for several hours with the help of Mesa and Arizona State University police and Mesa Air, he said.
“Tempe police were out in full force,” said Michael McShane, who lives on the south side of Broadway Road, across from the club. “They were telling people on the bullhorns not to go outside because they were looking for a suspect.”
Witnesses told police that two males wearing dark clothing opened fire on people standing outside the clubhouse.
“Some tough guys came in and started spraying the crowd with gunfire,” Reichling said.
Carbajal said the suspects then took off southbound on foot.
“Its the biggest shooting in my 11 years here,” Reichling said.
Carbajal said detectives are trying to find out what took place leading up to the incident.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness at 480-948-6377.
No further details were immediately available.
MILWAUKEE WI March 4 2012- Milwaukee County Sheriff’ David Clarke wants to put part-time security guards in charge of courtroom security — and county supervisors slammed the plan.
Milwaukee County supervisors blasted the sheriff during a committee meeting on the courtroom security plan. Sheriff Clarke didn’t show up to the meeting, but county supervisors called his actions pure politics.
“I think it’s cruel. I really do think — it’s ridiculous,” said County Supervisor Eyon Biddle.
But it was County Supervisor John Weishan’s comments — aimed at the sheriff — that are getting some attention.
”Go ahead and do your contract, run a deficit and we’ll be glad to use that deficit around the sheriff’s neck when he wants to run for office,” said County Supervisor John Weishan.
Supervisor Weishan added that if Sheriff Clarke wants to hire private employees, he should hire them out of his budget. “We’re not contracting out, we’re not privatizing these because you’re not gonna get a fund transfer.
“As for Sheriff Clarke’s plan, sheriff’s inspector Richard Schmidt defended it, saying the sheriff has struck a deal with private security firm G4S to speed up the hiring.
Schmidt claims laid-off sheriff’s deputies can apply.”They have all of their names, so if they’re interested, they can certainly make an application,” said inspector Schmidt.
County Supervisor Biddle said he wasn’t offended by Weishan’s comment.
Sheriff Clarke doesn’t have a comment on Weishan’s comment, except for saying “whatever.”
LINCOLN, Neb.March 4 2012 – A man and woman suspected of having sex in the World War II movie theater at the state’s Historical Museum in Lincoln face indecent exposure charges.
Police say a security officer watching the museum’s cameras spotted the couple Thursday afternoon.
Officer Katie Flood says the security officer walked to room to verify the behavior, then retreated and called police.
Police arrested the man and woman on suspicion of indecent exposure.
Flood says the man remained in custody on Friday awaiting an initial court appearance. The woman was released.
ELM CREEK, Neb. March 4 2012– A Wisconsin police chief who faces sexual assault and other charges has been found in south-central Nebraska.
The Nebraska State Patrol says 29-year-old Shay Larson was taken into custody just after 1 a.m. Friday at a truck stop near the Elm Creek interchange on Interstate 80.
Wisconsin authorities had passed along tips that Larson might be driving a semitrailer in the area. Nebraska troopers checked the truck stop and found a big rig with Wisconsin plates. The patrol says Larson was in the truck.
He remains in the Buffalo County jail, awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.
The patrol says Larson is chief in the village of Readstown, Wis. He’s is charged in Vernon County with sexual assault, misconduct in public office, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.
LAKE CITY, SC March 4 2012
Patrolman William “Billy” Tindale of the Lake City Police Department was arrested Monday by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
The arrest stems from an incident that happened in Darlington County, while Tindale was a Darlington County Sheriff’s deputy, and was investigated by SLED at the request of the sheriff’s office, according to a release issued by the state agency.
Tindale, 30, of Woods Road, Florence, was booked through the Darlington County Detention Center on a charge of third-degree assault and battery and misconduct in office, according to SLED arrest warrants.
The incident in question took place March 9, 2011, at 8 p.m. in the Hartsville Police Department, according to arrest warrants released by SLED.
He is accused of striking a DUI suspect “on or about the head” while the handcuffed suspect was walking through the squad area of the Hartsville Police Department offices, according to the warrants.
“Billy is innocent of all charges. We look forward to our day in court and will be asking that a jury trial be scheduled as soon as possible,” defense attorney Rose Mary Parham said through an e-mail Friday afternoon.
Bobby Williams, Lake City assistant police chief, said no information on the charges are available as the department does not yet have a copy of the report.
Tindale joined Lake City Police Department Jan. 3 and is still in the probation period of his employment.
Willaims said Tindale is currently suspended without pay pending resolution of his case.
The state attorney general’s office will prosecute the case, according to the SLED release.
Nolensville TN March 4 2012 A Nolensville Police Department officer was indicted Thursday on charges of accepting payments to not make arrests, according to the United States District Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Kenneth D. Lee, 51, of Nashville, is charged with extortion and mail fraud. Prosecutors say Lee devised a scheme to accept money in lieu of making an arrest for alleged criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin said. Lee surrendered to authorities Friday morning at the federal courthouse in Nashville.
The allegations are said to have occurred between Aug. 17 and Feb. 1.
As part of the scheme, Lee is accused of taking steps to conceal his activity and the scope of his dealings with the individual by directing the person to call him on his personal cellphone while not on duty, to send money to a post office box rented by Lee and by cashing money orders he received.
Also according to the indictment, the individual mailed three Western Union money orders, totaling $200, to a post office box in Nolensville at Lee’s request. These money orders were subsequently cashed by Lee, and in exchange, Lee did not arrest or cite the individual for the alleged criminal activity.
“When a police officer is entrusted with the life and safety of others, it doesn’t matter if it’s $2 or $200,000,” said Aaron T. Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Memphis division.
Nolensville Police Chief Paul Rigsby released a statement saying: “Officer Lee has been placed on administrative leave without pay until further notice. He has served his country and this department for several years. We believe judgment should be withheld until all facts of the case have been heard, and he is innocent until proven guilty.”
Lee is the third Middle Tennessee police officer to be indicted on federal corruption charges in the past year.
The others were John Patrick Edwards of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and Richard Wilson of the Metro Nashville Police Department.
“If you use your badge to commit crimes, we’re going to find out, and we’re going to prosecute you,” Martin said.
If convicted, Lee faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each charge.
LEBANON, Pa. March 4 2012
Police are looking for Christopher Davis, 24, in connection with a Lebanon stabbing.
Davis is from New York and has been living in Lebanon for the past few months using the name Christian Cortez, police said. He is wanted in the Bronx on a parole violation, they said.
Davis was working as a bouncer at Woofer Magoo’s Bar in the 600 block of Cumberland Street on Thursday night, police said.
Jose Pacheco Jr., 34, had been in the bar, left and about 2 a.m. tried to go back inside but the bouncers would not let him in, police said. Davis and Pacheco were in an altercation, they said.
About 2:20 a.m., they met at a parking lot at Seventh and Willow streets and fought, police said. Davis stabbed Pacheco stabbed multiple times, they said.
Davis faces charges of criminal attempt to commit homicide and aggravated assault.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Lebanon police at 717-272-6611.
AMARILLO, Texas March 4 2012— A woman and a man got away with an undisclosed amount of cash after a bank robbery in southwest Amarillo.
Authorities say the pair entered the Amarillo National Bank branch on Friday afternoon. The woman approached the teller, and the man raised his shirt to reveal a handgun in his waistband. The two demanded money, and the teller complied. The two sprinted away.
Police dusted for fingerprints and collected statements from customers and employees.
A security guard told the Amarillo Globe-News it was his first robbery in 15 years working at the bank. He said he was at lunch when the robbery occurred.
Richmond VA March 4 2012–Growing up in the Czech Republic, Martin Kriz decided in high school that he wanted to become a police officer one day.
But he never expected he would become a law enforcement officer in the United States. He moved to America at age 24 and worked at a bagel shop and a Lowe’s store in the Charlottesville area.
One day, a local cop told him he should apply to the Virginia State Police if he wanted to begin a career in law enforcement.
Because he was not yet a U.S. citizen, he couldn’t work for the state police, so he started out as a Fluvanna County emergency dispatcher and then a Fluvanna sheriff’s deputy before entering the nine-month Virginia State Police academy.
Kriz, now 31, is among 80 proud new state troopers — 79 men and one woman — to graduate Friday from the 117th Basic Session. It’s the largest number of graduates to complete the state police academy since the agency was established 80 years ago.
The 117th class also is noteworthy for having the largest number of graduates born outside the U.S., including Kriz and five new troopers from Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, the Philippines and South Korea.
Other recruits hail from Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and all across Virginia.
Kriz, who will be patrolling in Louisa County, said he is excited to serve and protect the public and be there to back up other troopers out on the roads.
“That’s the best feeling — not finishing the training, but being able to help those who need it the most,” Kriz said after Friday’s ceremony that drew about 1,500 people to The Meadow Event Park in Doswell.
Actually, a total of 108 men and women became troopers Friday, because 28 of the department’s former commercial vehicle enforcement officers, or CVEOs, completed a 12-week CVEO-to-Trooper Conversion School. The former CVEOs will continue to work at Virginia’s weigh stations, where they assist in vehicle inspections, but they now will be available when needed for highway patrol duties.
One of the former CVEOs, Steve Benson, died of natural causes before he finished the conversion school. He was honored at Friday’s ceremony.
The graduates of the 117th Basic Session completed hundreds of hours of classroom instruction and field instruction encompassing more than 100 subjects. They will report Monday for their first duty assignments, and each recruit will be partnered with a field training officer for at least six weeks.
“We all had one goal in mind,” said trooper Jared Vance, president of the 117th academy class. “We would do whatever it took to wear the blue and gray.”
Col. W. Steven Flaherty the state police superintendent, said Friday that the department, even with 80 new troopers hitting the roads, still has more than 200 unfilled sworn positions. He said the department’s budget has been shrinking since at least 2006.
“We’re still short,” Flaherty said during the ceremony. “We still need some extra resources to do what we’re asked to do.”
The department has an annual budget of about $300 million and approximately 1,800 sworn employees, including the graduates of the 117th Basic Session.
When the agency was established in 1932, the recruits had to go through only a five-week academy, Flaherty said during his speech.
“You paid us to come to school,” he said. “If you didn’t break anything, we’d give you $35 of your $41 back.”
Trainees now are paid a salary while they are in the academy. It costs the state police about $250,000 a month to run the academy, spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
Flaherty explained to the new troopers how important it is that they carry themselves with integrity, fortitude and compassion.
“Every day that you work, the citizens are going to depend on you to be at your very, very best, even though most of the people that you deal with, for one reason or another, are likely to be at their worst,” Flaherty said.
“Only you can determine how you’re going to respond, how you’re going to react to a particular situation, to a particular circumstance,” he added. “You have control of your attitude.
The public will demand your value. They will demand your response. They will expect you to be fair-minded — fair-minded beyond most common expectations.”
Richmond VA March 4 2012 Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-Richmond, tonight spoke out against the arrests of 31 women’s rights demonstrators in a protest at the state Capitol earlier today that drew Virginia State Police in riot gear.
She said the arrests “are just the latest example of government overreach that we’ve seen in recent weeks.”
“The men and women who marched on Capitol Square have a right to peacefully protest without the threat that they will be arrested for exercising that right,” McQuinn said in a news release. “At several recent women’s rights events, there has been an overabundance of police presence. In fact, the Capitol Police tactical team has been at all of the events,” she said.
McQuinn said she had “never seen a similar police presence when guns rights advocates assemble on Capitol Square on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.”
McQuinn called the arrests “a sad reminder that our progress towards equality for all Virginians has not been achieved.”
(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more details as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below. Read more in tomorrow’s Richmond Times-Dispatch.)
Thirty-one women’s-rights demonstrators were arrested this afternoon in a protest at the state Capitol that drew hundreds of protesters and Virginia State Police in riot gear.
Capt. Raymond Goodloe of the Virginia Division of Capitol Police
said 17 women and 14 men were arrested. He did not have a breakdown on charges but said those arrested were likely accused of either trespassing or unalawful assembly.
The arrests took place after some protesters, who had marched on downtown streets before entering Capitol Square, refused to leave the south steps of the Capitol. They were hauled off by officers and taken away in a bus parked nearby while other armed officers held protesters at bay with riot shields.
The demonstration came after the General Assembly approved hotly disputed legislation that requires women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
Shelley Abrams, who runs a local abortion clinic, spoke to the crowd this morning before the march. She said she had an abortion and has never regretted her decision.
“Being in a clinic, people have no idea how many people get abortions,” she said. “Your sisters are getting them, your mothers. There’s a stigma of shame around that and I want that to go away and it starts with people saying, ”I had an abortion.’”
Urbanna resident Louise Friday said legislators are “taking us back to another time with their rules and trying to, in a sneaky way, prohibit women from using contraceptives.”
Along with Friday was Sheila Jones, who was wearing a T-shirt that she said she wore in April 1992 during the March for Women’s Lives at the National Mall in Washington, DC, a pro-choice rally that drew more than 1 million people.
“I thought we’d taken care of these atrocities [on women's rights] back then, and we haven’t,” she said. “So I had to come back down here and do this for all of the young women that now are fighting for the same thing that we thought we had taken care of 20 years ago.”
(Staff writer Holly Prestidge contributed to this report.)
(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more details as they become available. Read more in tomorrow’s Richmond Times-Dispatch. Earlier updates are posted below.)
Virginia State Police in full riot gear held women’s-rights demonstrators at bay this afternoon while officers began to arrest about 40 protesters who refused to leave the south steps of the state Capitol.
After a march that began on 9th Street and onto Broad before winding back to the Capitol, protesters gathered at the steps to the Capitol and about 40 people sat there with locked arms. State police were arresting those protesters individually.
Protest organizers said they had a permit to demonstrate at the nearby Bell Tower on Capitol Square, but some chose to stay at the steps.
Those arrested were put on what appeared to be a refitted school bus that had been parked near the Capitol. A calmed crowd began to disperse, and a smaller group then gathered on the Bank Street.
A total number of people arrested was not immediately available.
(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more details as they become available. An earlier update is posted below. Read more in tomorrow’s Richmond Times-Dispatch.)
About 500 women’s-rights activists gathered on the grounds of the state Capitol today to protest legislation requiring an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
They planned to march to the Executive Mansion to protest House Bill 462 and other legislation proposed by the General Assembly that they see as an assault on women’s reproductive rights.
Many of the women wore red arm bands to show their support. Some carried signs that expressed sentiments like, “Gov. McDonnell Get Out Of My Vagina” and “Mind Your Own Private Parts.”
Shelley Abrams, who runs a local abortion clinic, spoke to the crowd this morning before they marched. She said she had an abortion and has never regretted her decision.
“Being in a clinic, people have no idea how many people get abortions. There’s a stigma of shame around that and I want that to go away and it starts with people saying ‘I had an abortion.’”
On Thursday the House of Delegates agreed to Senate amendments to the ultrasound bill, sending the measure to the governor. The bill has been amended so that a woman could refuse a transvaginal ultrasound. The measure now also would exempt from the ultrasound requirement victims of rape or incest who report the attack to authorities.
Source:richmond times dispatch