Florida Department of Corrections, Florida
End of Watch: Sunday, March 18, 2012
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 6 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 3/18/2012
Weapon: Edged weapon; Shank
Suspect: In custody
At approximately 10:00 pm he was checking on an inmate in one of the prison’s dorms when the inmate attacked him. He was stabbed in the neck several times by the inmate who was armed with some sort shank. The inmate, who was serving a life sentence for murdering a college student, then struck another officer in the eye with a sock filled with a heavy item before being taken into custody.
Sergeant Thomas was transported to Shands Lake Shore Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
Sergeant Thomas had served with the Florida Department of Corrections for six years. He is survived by his young daughter and fiancee.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Secretary of Corrections Kenneth Tucker
Florida Department of Corrections
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 488-5021
Chicago ILMarch 19 2012 At least six people were killed and 17 others wounded during a bloody Saturday and early Sunday throughout the city, police said.
Saturday’s fatal shootings started about 3:40 p.m., when a 6-year-old girl — identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as Aliyah Shell — was shot dead outside her house in the 3100 block of South Springfield Avenue, police said. A pickup truck approached and somebody inside began shooting, striking the girl in the abdomen, police said.
The little girl’s sister was inside the house when she heard a popping sound outside.
“They started shooting but I thought it was fireworks. I heard like five or six gunshots. I thought they were fireworks,” said Desiree Valzquez, Aliya’s sister. “I ran outside, and my mom was holding my sister. My sister wasn’t talking anymore. She wasn’t breathing.”
Detectives recovered a gun and are questioning two males.
That evening, somebody inside a vehicle fatally shot a 24-year-old man standing in the 5900 block of South Fairfield Avenue about 7:04 p.m., police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was initially taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Adrian Cruz, 24, of the 5900 block of South Fairfield Avene, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County at 8:17 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
At 7:50 p.m., police found a 21-year-old man dead with a gunshot wound to the head in the 800 block of East 79th Street, Zala said.
The victim was identified as Vincent Fitts, 22, of the 4100 block of West Cermak Road, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The last fatal shooting Saturday happened at 10:30 p.m., when man is his 20s was shot in the back while inside a vehicle in the 6300 block of South Ellis Avenue, police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said. He may have driven himself to nearby University of Chicago Medical Center where he was dead upon arrival.
Jeremy Anthony, 24, of the 6400 block of South Ellis Avenue, was pronounced dead at University of Chicago Medical Center at 10:50 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
After a few hours without reports of any fatal shootings, more murders ensued early Sunday.
About 1:20 a.m., a 36-year-old man was fatallly shot in the 7500 block of South Wolcott Avenue, police said. The man was in the backyard at a party when shots were fired into the yard from a passing vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Bert Lindsey, 36, of the 7500 block of South Wolcott Avenue, was pronounced dead at Christ at 2:16 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
At 1:55 a.m., one person was shot dead and two others wounded during a shooting in the 1400 block of West 53rd Street, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said. Two people were taken to Stroger and one other was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.Saturday and Sunday saw numerous other serious but non-fatal shootings.
At 3:22 p.m. Saturday, an 18-year-old man was shot in the arm and a 20-year-old man was shot in the body in the 5200 block of South Albany Avenue, police said. Both men were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, according to Fire Media Affairs.
About 3:35 p.m., a 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg in the 100 block of East 107th Street, Zala said.
Paramedics took the teen to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in serious-to-critical condition, according to Fire Media Affairs.
About the same time, an 18-year-old man was shot in the arm during a drive-by attack in the 4600 block of South Michigan Avenue, police said. The man drove himself to Provident Hospital of Cook County and was listed in good condition.
About 7:30 p.m., two men were wounded in a shooting on the Eisenhower Expressway near the 2900 block of West Congress Parkway, Zala said. State Police are investigating, but a spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.
One of the men, 37, was shot in the head and back, Zala said. Information on the other wounded person was not immediately known. The fire department said it took two men from the scene to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious-to-critical condition.
About 9:05 p.m., a man and two teenage girls were standing on the sidewalk in the 8300 block of South Kedzie Avenue when several males fired shots, police said.
One 14-year-old girl was shot in the left leg and the other girl, also 14, was shot in the right leg, police said. Both girls were taken in good condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and Holy Cross Hospital. A man in his 20s was also shot in the chest and taken in serious condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
At 9:50 p.m., a 28-year-old woman was shot in the face when she opened the door of her apartment in the 5000 block of North Mango Avenue and a male shot her, police said. The shooting was possibly domestic-related. She is in “stable” condition at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
A 33-year-old man was in the 6300 block of South Richmond Street at 11:30 p.m. when a male approached, produced a handgun and demanded money, police said. He was taken in serious condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with gunshot wounds in the back and leg.
Sunday at 12:05 a.m., a 20-year-old man was sitting on the porch in the 5900 block of South Laflin Street when he heard shots and felt pain, police said. He was taken in “stable” condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County with a gunshot wound to the groin.
At 12:55 a.m., a 22-year-old man was walking on the sidewalk in the 800 block of East 66th Street when a dark-colored sedan drove by and fired shots, police said. He was taken to St. Bernard with a gunshot wound to the left shoulder.
A teenage boy was hospitalized in serious condition at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County after suffering multiple gunshot wounds on the South Side. The boy, 17, was shot in the back and face in the 500 block of East 67th Street about 2:17 a.m., police said.
A male shot multiple times on the West Side early Sunday is hospitalized in serious condition. He was in the 3300 block of West Evergreen Avenue about 4:20 a.m. when an unknown offender fired gunshots, hitting him in his chest and legs, police said. The unidentified male victim was taken in serious condition to an unknown hospital, police said.
Since 5 p.m. Friday, at least seven people have been killed and 33 others wounded by gun violence throughout the city.
Salt LakeCounty Utah March 19 2012 A 15-year-old boy died Sunday after a shootout with police officers, leaving Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder thankful no one else was hurt and wondering what might have been done to prevent the terrible tragedy.
The boy’s mother called police around 8:40 a.m. after her son, identified as Sean Morrison, broke into a locked storage box at their home on Westgate Circle in Magna and removed a .45 caliber hand gun, Winder said.
Morrison, wearing a bullet-proof vest, black trench coat and ski mask, then left the home after obtaining the gun, telling his mother he was leaving because he did not want to “hurt everyone,” police said. At some point after leaving his home, Morrison also threatened a neighbor, police said.
As an officer arrived on the scene, he spotted the youth walking near the intersection of Miriam Way and Miriam Circle, brandishing the handgun, Winder said.
Adam Sheppick was inside his home on Miriam Way when heard two gunshots shortly before 9 a.m. Sheppick said he looked out his bedroom window and saw a person wearing a black ski mask and black trench coat calmly walking along the street. He could see a large, silver handgun in the person’s hand.
As Sheppick watched, Morrison continued walking toward a police vehicle that was turning around in Miriam Circle, which is across from Sheppick’s home. As the police vehicle drove toward Morrison he raised his gun and began firing, Sheppick said. The police vehicle appeared to swerve toward the teen and then sped through the four-way intersection, while the boy continued walking, Sheppick said.
“He was calmly walking like he was out for a Sunday stroll,” Sheppick said. “It was very alarming, especially with my wife and daughter in the house with me.”
At that point, more officers appeared at the scene and Sheppick left his home to tell them where he’d seen the teen go. Unified Police also received a call about a suspicious person hiding in a yard at 3791 S. Paine Road.
As officers approached, Morrison left the yard and hid behind a vehicle on Paine Road. Charlie Johnson, who was taking a walk through the neighborhood, said he heard officers yell to the teen to put down his weapon. Instead, Morrison began shooting and officers returned fire.
Sheppick said he heard four or five gun shots about 20 minutes after the boy disappeared down Paine Road and then watched as paramedics loaded the teen into an ambulance.
TOLLESON, Ariz. March 19 2012- A Kohl’s store near 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye was evacuated following an officer-involved shooting Saturday night.
Police say a Kohl’s security guard followed a suspected shoplifter into the parking lot and called authorities for backup.
By the time a Phoenix police officer arrived at the scene, the male suspect was in a sport utility vehicle’s passenger seat while a female was driving away.
When the officer tried to stop them, he reached into the vehicle and that’s when the suspect began to struggle with him over his gun.
The suspect was somehow shot once. Police are not confirming where his injuries are, although we were initially told he was shot in the head.
The suspect was transported to an area trauma center and at that time, the entire store was evacuated.
Neighbors who live near the Kohl’s store were shaken by the gunfire and Phoenix police say there’s good reason.
“I was actually kind of nervous on what was going on because it’s such a peaceful area…all of a sudden you hear all these sirens and you’re not sure what was going on..what you should be doing..if should you be getting in your house…’cause you couldn’t tell where they were coming from..it was scary,” said Kerri Maitlen.
“You never know when you make these calls and you don’t know what the motive is for the suspect..a simple shoplifting can turn tragic or turn deadly very quickly,” said a Phoenix Police Sgt. Marty Nickel.
The suspect’s condition is unknown. No police officers were injured.
Police are talking to the female driver that was in the car at the time of shooting.
The parking lots near the store, along with Lower Buckeye Road between 99th and 101st Avenues will be shut down during the investigation.
No names have been released in this case.
Canadian police arrest 66-year-old man for sexual assault and abduction charges www.privateofficer.com
OTTAWA Ca March 19 2012 — A 66-year-old man who police allege tried to lure a 15-year-old boy over the Internet into meeting with him in person is facing sexual assault and abduction charges.
Officers arrested Marcel Vincent on Friday. He is facing several charges, including sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, luring via a computer and abduction of a person under 16 years of age.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Sunday.
Police started the investigation after the boy’s parents complained to police.
Investigators are asking anyone with more information about this case to call them at 613-236-1222 ext. 5944.
COLUMBIA, S.C. March 19 2012
A former security guard has filed a lawsuit alleging that there are lapses in security surrounding SCANA’s hydroelectric plant at the Lake Murray dam.
The State newspaper reports Sunday that the lawsuit filed in Lexington County says SCANA and Coastal International Security “have failed to provide adequate security” from terrorist attacks that could breach the dam.
The lawsuit filed by Douglas Humphrey says the former security guard was repeatedly ignored when he tried to bring unspecified security problems to the attention of Coastal International Security.
Federal records show that the earthen and rock walls that make up the dam undergo periodic security inspections.
SCANA disputed the charges in a statement. Federal officials and the president of Coastal International Security declined to comment on the lawsuit
Phoenix AZMarch 19 2012 Maricopa County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Trowbridge said he felt obliged to obey a lieutenant’s command to take part in a four-hour photo shoot in December 2010.
The photo shoot was set up to promote Lt. Travis Anglin’s side business, which uses off-duty sheriff’s deputies to provide security services to Valley businesses and executives, department reports show.
The shoot at the home of one of Anglin’s clients included frames of Trowbridge in his patrol car. He was on duty throughout, later telling investigators he grew anxious as emergency calls went out in his area.
Anglin was demoted after that and other incidents, but he still operates his private-security company using off-duty deputies.
Countless officers in the state provide private-security services during their off-duty hours, earning millions of dollars each year patrolling construction sites as well as street fairs and other events. Often, officers run their own firms and employ co-workers and subordinates. They often work in uniform, using taxpayer-funded equipment and vehicles.
For municipalities and policing agencies, these off-duty security jobs can be a benefit and a crime-deterrent, as they result in a greater show of police force on the streets without taxpayers covering the cost of the extra hours. Outside of isolated incidents, few have questioned the work officers do in off-duty patrols.
Numerous recent episodes, though, raised questions about whether policing agencies do enough to track the significant time and money involved in off-duty patrols: Officers have been accused of collecting off-duty pay for patrols they did not perform or performed while on duty, and one officer was murdered during an off-duty job last year. The incidents spurred some agencies to re-evaluate whether they are doing enough to regulate the work.
Cities have an interest in ensuring that outside pay doesn’t compromise officers’ roles as legal enforcers and that officers aren’t working so many hours that they undermine their on-duty abilities.
Law-enforcement experts say many off-duty job arrangements are rife with potential for abuse or misuse of public resources, and they recommend that agencies track the work to limit liability.
An Arizona Republic review of 18 of the state’s largest police agencies shows that many lack adequate systems to track or even be aware of officers’ off-duty jobs, sometimes in spite of the agencies’ own policies that require they limit such work. And for agencies that do track officers’ work closely, that oversight comes with a taxpayer cost.
The examination of policies and employment records showed:
Twelve of the 18 agencies could not account in detail where their officers were working, how many hours they were working or for whom they were working. Only seven could track off-duty payments to officers. Just one-third could provide an exact tally of off-duty hours worked.
Wide variance in off-duty work policies. Some agencies have programs in place that require businesses to reimburse them for off-duty officers’ use of patrol cars and other equipment. Other agencies, like the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, forbid such use, but lack of oversight leaves it open to abuse, often sticking taxpayers with the tab for the use of public equipment like squad cars instead of the businesses that contract for the work.
Departments increasingly are assuming the costs of administering off-duty work programs for their officers in order to get a grip on how many extra hours they are working and to control whom they work for. But that comes at a taxpayer cost. Some departments now control the payroll functions for off-duty officers. The Chandler Police Department goes so far as to include off-duty pay in their officers’ public paychecks, meaning it also counts as salary in their retirement calculations.
A national accreditation group considers it crucial for agencies to monitor off-duty work. “It lends itself to the potential for some sort of corruption,” said Steven Mitchell, a program manager overseeing Arizona law enforcement for the National Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Last year, off-duty work tracked by large agencies around the Valley and state totaled more than 200,000 hours and earned officers more than $4 million. But the true total is unknown because of poor tracking practices.
An increasing number of police agencies and at least one state lawmaker are trying to bring more control to the largely unregulated off-duty police industry following a series of events in the last year involving off-duty Valley police officers.
“You’re using taxpayer-funded vehicles to get to your private-security duties — and the taxpayer shouldn’t be funding it,” said Sen. Linda Gray, R-Glendale. Gray last year sponsored a bill to bar police officers from acting as private investigators, and she is sponsoring legislation this year that, though currently stalled, would similarly bar officers from operating private-security firms.
“It’s an unfair advantage to any other private security out there,” Gray said. “And when you have a supervisor who owns the security company asking subordinates to do surveillance, that is simply wrong.”
In the last year, other concerns have arisen those some officers working off-duty jobs have been wounded and murdered, criminally indicted and accused of improprieties:
One Buckeye officer was killed and another is still recovering from injuries in a shootout while the two officers were working security at a mercado in southwest Phoenix last spring. Even though the officers were off-duty at the time, Officer Rolando Tirado’s family received a full line-of-duty death benefit because he was taking police action at the time he was killed.
After an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, three Phoenix police officers and a former officer were indicted in 2010 on suspicion of fraud and theft for alleged roles in a scheme to get paid without performing security work at a south Phoenix housing complex. The case was later sent back to a grand jury, and though charges against the three officers were dropped, the former officer, George Contreras, was reindicted.
Two Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies were placed under internal scrutiny last year as investigators explored the relationship between the deputies, their security companies and work they performed for the Fiesta Bowl. Part of the probe focused on whether the deputies allowed sheriff’s personnel to work the after-hours jobs while they were still on the clock for Maricopa County. The investigation cleared sheriff’s Lt. Aaron Brown, a security-firm owner, of wrongdoing. But it led to Anglin’s demotion after investigators found he had abused his authority and county equipment by sending subordinates on hours-long errands related to his security firm. Investigators said Anglin harassed another subordinate, who also owned a security firm, by trying to get the other deputy to sell his firm to Anglin.
Anglin said last week that he’s proud of the work he’s done with his security firm and that the company allows him to utilize skills he’s gained in law enforcement to fill a need for private businesses and the community.
“The ability and desire for anyone to create and grow a business in this economic time embodies the American, entreprenurial spirit and should be fostered, praised and appreciated,” Anglin wrote in an e-mail. “A peace officer using a knowledge base to create a company does not directly translate to a conflict of interest, it solves problems.”
But the nature of some of problems off-duty work has caused was enough to force some law-enforcement agencies in the Valley to reassess policies governing the work.
Those policies are important to police accreditation organizations, which examine every department’s policies as a part of the accreditation process. Five Valley police agencies — in Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale and Surprise — have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, which endorses based on criteria including policies and standards; financial management and oversight; and adherence to constitutional requirements. The agencies reapply for the endorsement every three years.
Accreditation official Mitchell said tight controls on off-duty employment are among the factors considered. Accreditation is viewed as a seal of approval in that it gives taxpayers and other agencies confidence that the organization is well-managed and professional. It also can reduce liability.
“The tighter control they have over it administratively, the better off they are,” Mitchell said. “And if something goes wrong there, you got somebody to point to.”
Accusations of impropriety involving off-duty security work for the Fiesta Bowl were among the factors that prompted the Sheriff’s Office to revisit its off-duty work policies, Deputy Chief Brian Sands said. The agency is examining whether deputies should be allowed to operate private-security firms.
“Do we have a policy failure? I’m not going to say we do,” Sands said.
“What we’re looking at is, is there a propensity to create conflicts like you’re talking about? Already in our policy it says you’re not supposed to do this private business stuff on the job,” he said. “Those kinds of safeguards have been built into this in a lot of areas. We’ve got to look at each one of those areas.”
Experts are careful to note that an outright ban on moonlighting could be as damaging to good law enforcement as bad oversight. The practice, they note, provides an opportunity for uniformed officers in high-traffic and high-crime areas to show their presence and potentially act as a crime deterrent even when they are off-duty.
“If we have businesses out there that notoriously attract problems — it could be Circle Ks or parking lots adjacent to nightclubs — largely, it’s not even the business’ problem, it’s trying to keep control of what’s going on around that business, and that affects the whole neighborhood,” Sands said. “There’s obvious public benefits to all this, and it’s not just trying to get guys employed.”
Buckeye Police Chief Mark Mann said when he took over his agency in 2008, changing the department’s off-duty work policy was among the first items he took to the Town Council. Among the changes Mann implemented was a requirement for off-duty officers to wear their police uniforms when performing security work for private companies.
“We’re doing all that stuff where it brings revenue into the town, but it also shows them that they have that presence, that visibility,” Mann said. “Especially when they’re working like traffic details with ADOT.”
The Republic’s examination of agency policies found inconsistencies in tracking where and how often police officers put in extra hours for private pay.
Surprise police Cmdr. Terry Young said a revised off-duty employment policy could help his department’s administrators increase their oversight of officers.
Right now, the Surprise Police Department relies on supervisors to notice fatigue or other signs that suggest an officer’s off-duty work is affecting on-duty performance.
Young said the department is considering updating its policies with more definitive language that would require supervisor approval of every off-duty job, ensuring that officers obey restrictions that limit them to 24 hours of off-duty work each week.
“The performance of the employees, the conduct of the employees, I mean, we’re not going to let them go perform law-enforcement work anywhere unless we’re comfortable,” Young said. “They have to be fully trained and off of their field-training program. So their performance would be based on how we have trained them to conduct themselves.”
Relying on attentive supervisors and the honor system is not always enough.
The Phoenix Police Department was prompted to scrutinize its administration of the program only after some of its officers were indicted in what was alleged to be an off-duty work scam, and after the department was unable to answer certain questions posed by The Republic about top off-duty employers and wage earners.
“The attorney general’s investigation was the catalyst,” said Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman.
“We lacked sufficient internal controls over the off-duty program to administer the program effectively,” Crump said. “It’s hard to do an audit when you don’t have any data.”
The Phoenix Police Department began developing some of its new off-duty policies — including quarterly reports and regular inspections by supervisors — at about the time that the Attorney General’s Office began investigating allegations of off-duty misconduct by a handful of Phoenix officers. The probe was done at the request of Phoenix’s own internal-affairs investigators, who suspected the potential for criminal charges.
Three active officers and a former colleague were indicted in 2010 amid accusations that they pocketed thousands of dollars for off-duty security work that was never done at a south Phoenix housing complex.
The association that manages the complex near 48th Street and Broadway Road was trying to curtail a years-long crime epidemic. Managers contracted with former Officer George Contreras in 2005 to provide security. The complex’s managers filed a complaint with Phoenix police in 2007 alleging that the “off-duty” security force was actually composed of officers briefly checking while still on duty.
The case was sent back to a grand jury in July after a judge found that certain initial testimony might have violated the officers’ due-process rights. Contreras, who has denied wrongdoing, was the only one reindicted in November on fraud and racketeering charges.
The state’s investigation showed that as many as 25 other Phoenix officers were taking money for off-duty hours not worked. Investigative reports indicate they were not formally charged because the amounts involved were minor compared with the cases of officers who were originally indicted.
Crump said the agency’s internal investigation is ongoing. Some of the officers could still be found to have violated office policy, but there are no active officers who are suspected of criminal conduct related to security work at the condominiums.
“We’re not finding, across the board, what I would characterize as misconduct among those officers,” he said.
Monitoring can be costly
As agencies revisit their policies, they — and taxpayers — may find that instituting tighter controls comes at a cost.
The Peoria Police Department, for example, spent $180,000 on a computer system in 2006 to help manage its payroll. The system also makes automatic calls to officers about off-duty assignments, ensuring all officers have equal access to off-duty work instead of allowing a few employees to dole out assignments to favored co-workers or for favored off-duty employers.
It is a trade-off of sorts. Departments seem increasingly willing to spend public money to more carefully oversee off-duty employment of their officers — even providing payroll and accounting services for off-duty work through their departments — if it allows them to ward off abuses and to carefully monitor whom their officers work for and how much extra time they put in.
Phoenix police added new policies and upgraded the department’s technology after the attorney general’s investigation prompted a review. The department in 2009 instituted a policy that prohibits an officer from taking a lump sum from an off-duty employer and dispersing it to other officers who performed the work, said Lt. Tony Lopez, the department’s employment-services bureau coordinator.
In addition, the department requires officers to log in with dispatchers when they report for off-duty job work. It also created an off-duty database that requires dispatchers to enter the information for reports that supervisors review.
In Tempe and Chandler, departments administer payment for off-duty work, which can allow off-duty pay to count toward government retirements. Cities generally justify such costs as part of their oversight role; government watchdogs may disagree.
“It certainly should not count toward the amount of an officer’s pension,” said Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation with the Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank. “This is totally private.”
Many agencies designate employees to coordinate off-duty work as part of their official assignment. But that does not always ensure adequate oversight.
The Surprise Police Department, for example, administers off-duty employment using computer programs and a collection of employees whose duties include coordination of off-duty work. Yet Young said the agency is unable to tell The Republic who the city’s most frequent off-duty employer is or which of its officers earned the most off-duty pay.
Young said private vendors schedule much of the off-duty police work for Surprise officers, and there were too many of them to track.
That was news to Mitchell, whose national association accredits Surprise as a police agency.
“We require the agencies to authorize and control (off-duty work),” Mitchell said. “If our assessors were there and they had a hard time finding records, they would have an issue with us.”
Surprise’s example notwithstanding, Mitchell said he believes centralized control of off-duty work makes sense, even when there is a taxpayer cost.
“From CALEA’s point of view, you want central control over what’s going on there — the officers are working the authorized amount of hours, for example, and their behavior on the job has some supervision going on there — all the typical administrative things you would want,” he said. “If they dedicate a person full time to do that, so be it.”
By contrast, the lack of reliable internal controls in agencies like the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office makes it nearly impossible for supervisors to enforce off-duty work policies, including those designed to keep deputies from working more than 24 hours each week in an off-duty capacity.
At The Republic’s request, the Sheriff’s Office produced more than 6,000 off-duty work permits filed by employees during the past five years. Sheriff’s deputies are supposed to seek approval for every off-duty job by filing a permit with their supervisors that includes employer name, insurance information, location and hours.
An examination of those records showed that deputies often simply wrote “varies” in the field where they were supposed to list the hours they worked or planned to work. Those permits were often valid for six months, leaving supervisors to trust that deputies were following the office’s loosely enforced policy.
Some of those who did list their hours accurately were clearly in violation of the agency’s policies. For example, Deputy Jeff Hanson filed permits several times a year showing he put in 40 hours a week working security at a Cave Creek arts festival after working 30 hours that week as a sheriff’s deputy. He was clearly in violation of agency policy limiting weekly off-duty work to 24 hours.
“That’s a supervisor’s failure there,” Sands, the sheriff’s spokesman, said. “If a sergeant has five to nine people working for him, he’s got to manage all their scheduling.”
Sands said there are benefits to the community when off-duty deputies and officers work at venues, such as Chase Field, because it allows the team or venue to pay the costs of having a professional police force.
“The side benefit is, our deputies earn a little bit of additional money, which they all need,” Sands said.
Anglin told the sheriff’s internal investigators his company, which recruited fellow deputies to work security jobs, grossed about $600,000 in fiscal 2010. The deputy Anglin was found to have harassed about selling his security company told investigators his business grossed between $150,000 and $200,000 a year depending on demand.
Fiesta Bowl records show payments to a company run by Brown, another sheriff’s lieutenant, started at $62,000 a year in 2005 and peaked at $500,000 a year in fiscal 2010. At that point, bowl officials terminated their contract with Brown’s company and began their own internal investigation into bowl spending.
A balance sought
Agencies re-examining their policies hope to balance the need for more control against the freedom of law-enforcement personnel to pursue off-duty work.
“We don’t want to bring in a policy that prevents guys from working off-duty, because that doesn’t do anybody any good,” Sands said.
Control, Sands said, should rest in the hands of a third party who cannot benefit from the largesse of off-duty employment, a conflict that has led to allegations of corruption in other agencies around the country.
“What you don’t want to have is one guy flagging all the off-duty jobs,” Sands said. “He becomes an illegitimate power broker.”
Sen. Gray sees the danger of creating illegitimate power brokers in law-enforcement personnel who occupy dual roles of police officer and security-firm owner. A legislative solution could be on the horizon, she said.
“It is a conflict of interest. Part of that is that if you’re a private investigator, you also, as a law-enforcement officer, have access to taxpayer-funded equipment,” she said. “There’s a demand for certified police officers to work off-duty, and that’s what it should be: off-duty.”
Portland OR March 19 2012 An 18-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau apparently committed suicide on Friday.
The bureau announced the death of Lieutenant Arnold Warren at his home in a Saturday evening press release. It said the death was being investigated by the Oregon City Police and Medical Examiner. No reason for the suicide was given.
“This is a tragic loss for the Portland Police Bureau and City of Portland, our thoughts and prayers are with Lieutenant Warren’s family and friends during this difficult time,” Mayor and Police Commissioner Sam Adams said in the release.
“Lieutenant Warren spent 18 years serving the Police Bureau and the Community. We are all saddened by this terrible news,” said Reese, who asked Portlanders to keep Warren’s family and friends in their prayers.
DETROIT MI March 19 2012 (AP) — For nearly two decades, Carol Bart’s untested rape kit collected dust in a police evidence room. Her attacker, who kidnapped her from outside her Dallas apartment and repeatedly raped her at knifepoint, had spent time in prison by coincidence, but not for sexually assaulting Bart.
Bart, now a 52-year-old mother of four, fears that among the thousands of backlogged, untested kits pulled from a Detroit police evidence room are stories of women similarly violated only to be forgotten by a justice system that seemingly has placed its priorities and resources elsewhere.
“Women go to the hospital and their bodies are a crime scene and treated as such,” said Bart, who still lives in Texas. “For these kits then to just to sit in a laboratory or in police vaults or wherever they sit, denies victims of sexual assault any opportunity for justice. I just wonder how many more there are?”
Bart and other rape victims spoke recently to The Associated Press in hope that other women about to go through the same painful process in Detroit learn from their experiences and know they are not alone. Detroit has begun testing some of its rape kits.
The women – who agreed to use their names for this story – know testing years-old rape kits holds no guarantee the attacker will be found and brought to justice. They also know the tangled legal process can reopen wounds that took years to heal and send horrific memories of the assault flooding back.
According to some estimates, between 180,000 and 400,000 rape kits remain untested nationwide, despite DNA technology that can swiftly link rapists to crimes.
Michigan State Police stumbled upon between 9,000 and 11,300 rape kits in Detroit police storage rooms two years ago. The kits are being documented and tested in batches as part of a National Institute for Justice project. Initially, about 400 were chosen. Another batch of about 1,000 has been identified for testing so far this year.
The kits – 10-inch-long boxes containing swabs, evidence envelopes and information sheets detailing the examination, complications and a list of 24-hour rape crisis centers – can cost $1,200 to $1,500 to test.
Detroit’s project is funded by grants. Houston, which had a 4,000-kit backlog, has embarked on a similar project. Grants and donations helped Los Angeles city police go through about 7,000 kits.
A team that includes police, prosecutors and Michigan State University researchers is methodically inspecting each kit to determine which still can be taken to court, what protocols can prevent future backlogs and what protections should be included for victims.
“Victims will be contacted at some point,” said Rebecca Campbell, a psychology professor and member of the Detroit Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project. “You have to make sure the way that’s done is appropriate; take into account the victim’s physical needs, support needs, resources and health needs.
“You’re reopening an incredibly tragic event. You just can’t knock on someone’s door to do that.”
Bart was attacked in 1984, and DNA swabbed during a hospital exam was stored in a rape kit. When the kit finally was tested 24 years later, DNA was added to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System and produced a hit on Joseph Houston Jr.
“Four months after he kidnapped and raped me, he attempted to do the same with another young lady and a security guard chased him off,” Bart said.
Houston was sentenced in 1985 for kidnapping and served 19 of 50 years. His DNA was taken while in prison, even as Bart’s rape kit sat forgotten. He eventually was released but now is serving a 20-year sentence in Texas for indecency with a child.
“He could not be prosecuted for his crime against me. The statute of limitations was only five years at the time of my assault,” Bart said. “DNA evidence is tested quickly following a murder, but is not always when a woman has been raped by a stranger.”
About 55 percent of victims never report being raped, according to Scott Berkowitz, president of the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
“When they see stories like this, that’s even more discouragement for them,” he said.
Helena Lazaro also fell through the cracks. She was kidnapped at knifepoint at a self-car wash in 1996 near her Los Angeles County home. For six hours, the 17-year-old was repeatedly raped.
“I did my rape kit. It was just terrible,” said Lazaro, now 32. “It was very impersonal. The doctor disregarded my wishes and examined parts of my body I asked him not to. The police questioned me at the same time.
“They asked, `Why were you at the car wash at night? Are you sure you didn’t know him? Are you sure you didn’t want it?’”
Over time, Lazaro wanted to know the status of the case, but investigators stopped returning her calls.
With the help of the Peace Over Violence advocacy group, she learned in 2009 that her kit was not tested until 2003. Charles Courtney was in jail for another crime when the kit was tested. He is serving a 25-year sentence in Ohio for another rape. When that’s completed, Courtney will serve time in California for raping her, Lazaro said.
Natasha Alexenko was 20 when she was raped and robbed at gunpoint in 1993 in her New York City apartment building. She submitted to a rape kit which “sat on a shelf collecting dust for nine and a half years,” said Alexenko, the founder of Natasha’s Justice Project, which advocates for rape victims.
In 2007, a sample from Victor Rondon matched the DNA from Alexenko’s rape. He is serving 25 to 50 years.
“I felt re-victimized knowing nothing had happened to my kit,” Alexenko said.
Modesto CA March 18 2012 An armored car caught fire inside a Brink’s Inc. warehouse northwest of downtown Modesto on Saturday.
A column of smoke billowed into the cloudy sky as Modesto Regional Fire Authority crews arrived at the warehouse in the 700 block of Kearney Avenue about 5:30 p.m.
Firefighters had to use power tools to cut through a metal door to reach the vehicle, which was fully involved with smoke and flames, according to Battalion Chief Jim Gunn. Other crews went to the top of the building to cut holes in the roof for ventilation.
The fire was contained to the armored truck and was extinguished in less than 15 minutes, Gunn said. No one was inside the warehouse when fire crews arrived.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious, Gunn said.
The Ceres Fire Department and Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District were training with the Modesto Regional Fire Authority at the Regional Fire Training Center near Carpenter Road and Blue Gum Avenue when the fire started, so the agencies went to the scene to assist.
“It’s better to turn them around than ask for them when it’s too late,” Gunn said
Pittsburgh PA March 19 2012 One minute they can be helping a student locate a bookbag. The next they can be racing to a bomb threat or a shooting.
For many of the region’s campus police departments, helping students and responding to minor crimes is a daily occurrence. But like any police department, they prepare for the worst.
“You have to be able to adapt to any situation on any given day at any given time,” police Chief Tom Hart at Duquesne University said. “We train and plan for the worst knowing that 95 percent of our time is not going to be one of those tragic events.”
University of Pittsburgh police officers used such training March 8 when John F. Shick, 30, of Oakland entered Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and shot six people, killing one. Pitt police broke into groups of three and within minutes of the 911 call swarmed the building and killed Shick.
Pitt police Chief Tim Delaney did not respond to requests for comment for this story but said after the shooting that his officers’ training likely saved lives.
University police throughout Western Pennsylvania said their departments are as well trained as any municipal police force.
Campus police officers must graduate from a municipal police academy and be certified under Pennsylvania Act 120, which regulates training and standards. Campus police must be certified in first aid and CPR. They are authorized to carry firearms.
Unlike campus security officers, many campus police officers participate in active shooter training, specialized courses to prepare them for dangerous encounters with gunmen.
“When I first came into the profession, a large majority of campus police departments were security-only in function. In the last 30 years, there’s been a major transition across our country that … campus police departments are the rule,” said Hart, who spent nearly 30 years with the State College Police Department before coming to Duquesne last year.
Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon are two of 75 police departments accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. Duquesne spokeswoman Bridget Fare said on Friday that officials are studying the possibility of cost savings by outsourcing the services provided by the department.
Carnegie Mellon police have trained with ballistic shields, firearms and soon will take a class on entering buildings, Chief Tom Ogden said.
“You’d be shocked at how similar campus and city policing is,” said Ogden, who spent 10 years as chief in Mt. Lebanon. “A college campus is a bustling place and sometimes, like anywhere else, people who don’t have good intentions are there.”
Police said the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School and the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech jump-started their training for such incidents.
“With those tragedies, I think we all realized that anything could happen anywhere or anytime and we wanted to be as best prepared as we could be,” said Carlow University police Chief Tami Allias. “We’re an inner-city school, and we understand that. We understand that anybody can come through campus.”
The shooting on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg changed federal laws, requiring schools to notify students and employees by emails or text messages during on-campus emergencies. The Columbine shooting led to police training in tactics to engage shooters immediately instead of cordoning off areas and waiting for SWAT teams.
“You can never be complacent and say (a major crime) has never happened here and it never will. In this day and age, you have to be proactive,” said Chief Bob Downey at California University of Pennsylvania in Washington County.
Point Park University police Chief Jeff Besong said his nine officers spend most days dealing with students and the public at the Downtown campus. Point Park expanded its campus police department last year after a shooting during the city’s Light Up Night festivities and a spate of Downtown shootings between 2004 and 2007.
Besong said his officers stay aware of their surroundings because a situation can change in an instant.
“When things go bad and people are panicking, police officers resort to their training,” he said. “Most people run when they hear gunshots. Police officers are trained to run toward the gunshots.”
Campus police departments are required by law to annually publish the crimes reported on their campus.
California University of Pennsylvania
Number of certified officers: 19
Student enrollment: 9,400
Number of officers: 9
Student enrollment: 2,200
Carnegie Mellon University
Number of certified officers: 24
Number of certified officers: 11
Student enrollment: 2,200
Number of certified officers: 33
Student enrollment: 10,400
Number of officers: 0**
Student enrollment: 1,800
Point Park University
Number of certified officers: 9
Student enrollment: 3,900
Robert Morris University
Number of officers: 11
Student enrollment: 5,100
University of Pittsburgh
Number of officers: 75
Student enrollment: 28,000
* Includes reported crimes, arrests and referrals
**LaRoche has a public safety department, not a police department. Its employees are not certified officers and do not carry guns.
Crime stats include murder/non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, forcible sex offenses, non-forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, liquor law arrests, liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action, drug law arrests, drug law violations referred for disciplinary action, illegal weapons possession arrests and illegal weapons possession violations referred for disciplinary action.
BOURBON, Mo.March 19 2012 (AP) — The weekend killings of a woman and three children at a campground and resort in eastern Missouri was being investigated Sunday as a possible triple murder-suicide.
Crawford County Sheriff Randy Martin told broadcaster KSDK that investigators believe the shootings happened Saturday morning in a remote area along a gravel road at the Blue Springs Ranch & Resort and that the bodies had been there for “hours” when a guest found them about 1 p.m. Each victim sustained one gunshot wound, and a handgun was found close to the bodies, he said.
Asked if he believes the woman shot the three children and then herself, Martin told the station, “We don’t know for sure, but it kind of appears it could be that way. But again the investigation is still kind of early.”
He added that investigators weren’t seeking any suspects.
Martin said the victims weren’t guests at the facility, which is south of Bourbon and about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis. Although the woman’s vehicle was found in the vicinity and there was identification with her body, Martin declined to identify the victims or their relationship to one another. He said only that they weren’t from the Crawford County area.
A woman who answered the phone at the sheriff’s department told The Associated Press he wouldn’t be back in the office until Monday.
A business manager at the Blue Springs Ranch & Resort told the AP there would be no comment from the facility until authorities release more information. The resort on the Meramec River has campsites, cabins, trail riding and other activities.
BOYNTON BEACH Fla March 19 2012— Two assailants threw open the door of a home late Saturday and gunned down two sisters with high-powered semi-automatic rifles with two small children nearby, police said today.
“This was a senseless, horrific shooting of innocent people,” city spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said in a release.
The “brutal” murders of Janice Rahming, 54, and Daphne Clemons, 41, took place around 10:45 p.m. Saturday at Clemons’ home in the 1600 block of Northeast Second Court, where Rahming had been visiting Clemons, a mother of three, police said.
The women died at the home.
A third woman, who was across the street, was shot in the leg. She was being treated at a local hospital.
The two young children were in another room at the time of the shooting; neither was harmed, and both are now with relatives, Slater said.
She said the police department’s victim advocate is in touch with family members.
There is no indication that anything was taken from the home, south of Gateway Boulevard and between Seacrest Boulevard and Federal Highway.
“Daphne was afraid something terrible would happen,” Clemons’ sister-in-law, Helen Clemons, said today. She said a teenage relative may have been involved in gang activity.
“They were real friendly. They always helped other people out,” said David Lopez, a neighbor who said he knew Clemons for five years.
Only a few days ago, he said, Clemons had been teaching a young child to ride a bike.
“She was a wonderful woman,” Lopez said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Chris Crawford at (561) 742-6139, First Sgt. Paul Sheridan at (561) 742-6133 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.
Source:Palm Beach Post
DES MOINES, Iowa March 19 2012 — A former Sioux County employee has been charged with theft for allegedly taking over $4,000 in driver’s license fees.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Wendi Kats, of Hull, was charged with second-degree theft on Wednesday. She worked in the county treasurer’s office, which provides driver’s license services for the Department of Transportation.
According to a criminal complaint, the DOT notified the county that five deposits were missing from July 2009 through May 2010. Kats was interviewed in February and told an investigator she found a deposit for over $1,100 in her vehicle and destroyed it by burning it. She said she didn’t know what happened to the other deposits.
Kats’ case is not on the online court system, and it’s not known if she has an attorney
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. March 19 2012– Police who were called to a Walmart store about shoplifting said they found all the ingredients for a mobile methamphetamine lab in a backpack belonging to the suspects.
Travelers Rest police officers said they went to the Walmart on Benton Road on Thursday about a shoplifting that was in progress. The office said they stopped Amy Danielle Collins and Chuck Gilbert Shelton Jr. and caught Ethan Alexander Crouch after he ran from them.
Police said that found the backpack meth lab concealed in a wooded area on Grandview Circle.
Collins, Shelton and Crouch are charged with shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia.
They were being held in the Greenville County Detention Center.
Former evidence technician for the Montgomery County Police pleads guilty to $30,000 theft www.privateofficer.com
Rockville MDMarch 19 2012 A former evidence technician for the Montgomery County Police Department pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing at least $30,000 from the department’s seized cash funds.
Suk “Brian” Ryong Yun, 38, of the 14000 block of Eagle Court in Rockville, pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000 but under $100,000 in Montgomery County Circuit Court before Judge Robert A. Greenberg. The maximum penalty for the theft charge is 15 years and a $15,000 fine, but Yun’s plea agreement states he will not be sentenced to serve more than three years, said Yun’s defense attorney, Patrick J. Smith.
“We are free to ask for even less than that and in fact we believe that the facts of the case call for a shorter sentence,” Smith said.
Yun will also be ordered to pay back the money he stole, another factor that likely led to the sentence cap, Smith said.
“Realistically, if you want to get restitution pay, you’re not going to get that while he’s in jail,” Smith said.
A representative from the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office did not return calls for comment as of Friday afternoon.
Yun, a civilian employee working as an evidence technician for the department, was arrested Oct. 24 after discrepancies between police computer records and actual cash holdings were discovered during an audit of the department’s evidence accounts, police said.
An investigation into the missing money found at least 21 different transactions Yun made to illegally take money from the department’s evidence holdings, which ordinarily go to the county and state once detectives are certain the money was not seized from an innocent person, police said.
Yun was placed on administrative leave after his arrest, but left employment with the county shortly before his plea was filed, said Angela Cruz, a county police spokeswoman.
“Mr. Yun separated from the county on March 9,” Cruz said, explaining she could not specify under what circumstances Yun left or if he was fired.
LONDON, Ontario March 19 2012— Revelers set a large street fire and battled police and fire crews who tried to intervene after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations got out of hand in this Ontario town, authorities said Sunday.
Police in London, Ontario, said at least 11 people have been arrested so far, and more arrests were expected as authorities review video of the disturbance and witness statements. At least 17 police vehicles were damaged. No serious injuries were reported.
The trouble began Saturday night when a crowd of about 1,000 people, many of whom had been drinking, celebrated in the streets in a district near Fanshawe College heavily populated by students which has been the site of previous smaller disturbances.
District Fire Chief Jim Holmes said fire crews were called to the scene after revelers flipped over a TV news van and set it on fire, but were driven back when some people in the crowd pelted them with rocks and bottles.
The vehicle exploded and partygoers fed the street fire with furniture, mattresses, fences, uprooted trees, a large TV set, and even a 20-pound (nine-kilogram) propane tank.
Authorities said the crowd continuously threw bricks and beer bottles at police officers and refused to allow fire crews to douse the blaze in a scene police likened to a war zone.
Police and fire crews made the decision to stand back to avoid escalating the situation further, but eventually moved in around 4 a.m. when the crowd had thinned out. Authorities estimated the damage at C$100,000.
“Going in there with that number of people might not have been good for anybody. So we just kind of stayed back and were patient until we decided it was time to move in,” Holmes said.
Police said they would work with local residents and college authorities to ensure that similar disturbances won’t occur in the future.
“Never in my 32 years as a police officer have I observed behaviors that escalated to the point where there was risk that individuals could seriously be hurt or quite frankly killed,” London’s chief of police Brad Duncan told reporters. “We will not tolerate this lack of respect for our community, our laws and specifically this neighborhood.”
Buffalo NYMarch 19 2012 A Ralph Wilson Stadium security guard, injured when a Buffalo Bills player crashed into him after scoring a touchdown, was thrown for a loss in court Friday.
The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court unanimously upheld a ruling quashing the suit of William D. Austin. Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. had granted the Bills summary judgment in January 2011.
Austin, 54, of Wheatfield, suffered a knee injury while working on-field security Nov. 13, 2005. Standing behind the end zone, looking into the stands for trouble as his job required him to do, Austin was hit from behind by the Bills’ Lee Evans, who made a diving catch of a touchdown pass and tumbled out of the end zone.
Kloch ruled that Austin assumed the risk of being hurt, and the appeals court agreed with him.
Sand Springs OKL March 19 2012 A Sand Springs woman was arrested early Saturday on a rape complaint involving a 17-year-old, jail records state.
The report states that Erin Kathleen Queen, 27, is a teacher in Sand Springs.
Portions of the arrest report were redacted, and the relationship between the two was not clear in the report.
She allegedly met the 17-year-old Friday at Candlewood Suites at 10008 E. 73rd St. The arrest report states that she was arrested early Saturday morning.
Oklahoma statutes define rape “where the victim is at least 16 years of age and is less than 18 years of age and is a student…and engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is 18 years of age or older and is an employee of the same school system.”
Marshall’s employee indicted on theft by deception charge in Raritan Township www.privateofficer.com
Raritan Township NJMarch 19 2012 Marvin Scott, 40, of Hightstown was indicted by a Hunterdon County Grand Jury on March 15. The jury decided that sufficient evidence exists for the prosecution to proceed with the case against him. The defense has not yet responded to the charge. The indictment is merely a formal charge. Scott is considered innocent until proven guilty in court.
He is charged with theft by deception, third degree.
Scott, a Marshall’s employee, was arrested on Aug. 12 and charged with stealing about $2,150 from the store in a gift card scheme, according to Raritan Township police.
A district loss prevention employee reported to police that Scott, an employee at the store on Route 202-31, had been creating false returns and putting the value of the non-existent returned items onto store gift cards that he would sometimes use himself and sometimes sell for cash, police said.
The Marshall’s investigator said Scott had been doing this since the end of June and taken $2,148.54, police said.
Scott was arrested by Patrolman Gary Galoppo and taken to the Hunterdon County Jail with bail set at $15,000, police said.