Executive Director of international Christian ministry death possible suicide www.privateofficer.com
Tom White had been reported missing last Tuesday, the same day police in Bartlesville received a report about the alleged molestation, said Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings. White was the executive director for The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit headquartered in in the city 50 miles north of Tulsa that says it provides medical supplies, food and clothing to persecuted Christians worldwide.
Police found the 64-year-old’s body at the organization’s Bartlesville headquarters Wednesday. Employees discovered a letter in White’s vehicle indicating he was “suicidal or possibly fleeing to avoid investigation” and turned it over to police, Hastings said.
“You can take it either way,” Hastings said. “It was kind of a goodbye letter. You don’t know if he was talking about himself.”
Hastings said police are awaiting an autopsy report by the state Medical Examiner’s Office. A message seeking comment was left with the office Monday.
In a document filed last week in Washington County District Court, police had asked a judge to order White’s cellphone carrier to provide them with “real time GPS pinging” of the phone to determine where he was. To support the request, officers stated in the document that White “had been reported to have molested a 10-year-old juvenile female” and that he disappeared when police began to investigate.
Hastings could not say Monday if the child was believed to be involved in the ministry or how White is believed to have come in contact with her.
In a statement posted on its website, the ministry where White had served as executive director for more than 20 years said its board of directors did not know about the accusations at the time of White’s death. It went on to say that “rather than face those allegations, and all of the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry and himself, Tom appears to have chosen to take his own life.”
“There is no doubt that Tom cared about his wife, his children and his grandchildren. And there’s no doubt that he cared about VOM,” the statement said. “We are deeply saddened by these events. Our hearts are broken.”
Ministry spokesman Todd Nettleton said he could not comment beyond the statement.
No telephone listing for White’s family could be found Monday.
LAS VEGAS NV April 25 2012 - A Las Vegas man wished to have his wife murdered as a birthday present to himself, but wound up pinning his hopes to an undercover Metro police officer.
That’s according to an arrest report for 32-year-old Jorge Victorino-Vazquez, who is charged with burglary, conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder in connection with the alleged plot.
The crime was scheduled to take place on Monday, which was also Vazquez’s birthday, according to police.
“He went so far as to say it would be his birthday present,” officials wrote in the report.
Police said an informant tipped them to Vazquez’s plan to have someone break into his house, beat him up, steal some belongings and kill his wife.
That led to an April 19 meeting between the husband and an undercover officer at the Triple Play casino-restaurant on Decatur Boulevard near Sahara Avenue, according to police.
For a $2,000 fee, “Vazquez explained he wanted his wife killed because she was cheating on him, took his money, took his vehicles, wouldn’t sign papers for him, and always threatened to call INS to have him deported,” officials wrote in the report.
According to police, the officer requested a photo of Vazquez’s wife, Marisela Sandoval, along with a diagram of the couple’s home at 3309 El Cortez Ave., and half the money up front.
Neighbors are in disbelief.
“It’s kind of scary, it’s horrible, I’m really sad to hear that,” said Barbara Deamin, who lives two doors down from the couple.
“That’s horrible, I don’t really believe it,” said Van Anderson, who lives across the street from their home.
Vazquez met with the officer again on April 20 and 21, where he delivered the cash in two payments along with the photo and a diagram showing “possible paths of entry and escape,” officials said.
Vazquez was arrested following the third meeting.
As he was being taken to jail, police said, Vazquez blamed his wife’s abusive tendencies for his actions and, “stated several times that he has no regrets in what he did.”
However, the report states that detectives caught Vazquez wrapping his belt around his neck while in custody. He was stopped before harming himself, police said.
Deamin told FOX5 she believes the couple has three small children, and she had noticed trouble at the home in the past.
“I think the police were called several times… but I assumed it was just on big happy family really,” Deamin said.
Emilia D. Tehonica, 33, of 33 Madison St., West Carthage, faces nine felony counts of first-degree falsifying business records and 20 misdemeanor counts each of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny.
The charges were contained in a grand jury indictment handed up Thursday in Jefferson County Court.
It is alleged that from April 11, 2011, to Oct. 26, Ms. Tehonica, a registered nurse, made false entries into the hospital’s automated medication dispensing system by entering an invalid reason for dispensing controlled substances in an attempt to conceal that she was stealing the drugs. It further is alleged that she dispensed more controlled substances from the system than called for in valid dispensing orders.
According to the indictment, she did so to obtain morphine, Percocet, Vicodin and Ativan IV, all pain medications.
The grand jury also determined that there was not evidence to indict Joseph D. Margrey, 32, of 120 S. School St., Carthage, on any felonies, but did return a prosecutor’s information charging him with eight misdemeanor counts each of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny.
No further information was contained in the prosecutor’s information, but Mr. Margrey, a licensed practical nurse, was charged along with Ms. Tehonica in November with stealing medications following a joint investigation by state police and the state’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, Department of Health.
In a second indictment handed up Thursday, Daniel B. Olley, 46, whose last known address was 4679 County Route 289, Ellisburg, was charged with first-degree sexual abuse. It is alleged that on July 14 in the town of Ellisburg, he had sexual contact with a 28-year-old woman who was unable to give her consent to the contact because she was physically helpless at the time
Source:watertown daily times
Atlanta GA April 25 2012 When her mother was battling cancer, Adina Parson cut her long hair short as a show of support. At her church, she’s the go-to woman who will get the job done, her friends say.
But two days after turning 40, attorney Parson’s life almost came to a horrific end. She was shot eight times, including three times in the head, and left to die in the breezeway of her apartment complex.
Three days later, Parson remained in critical but stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital, a close friend told the AJC Monday.
While her family and friends are hopeful for a complete recovery, they can’t help but wonder who would a harm a woman known for her gentle spirit. And Sandy Springs police say so far, there are few clues to go on.
“Adina is very loving person so we’re all baffled,” Lisa Baker, Parson’s friend, said by telephone from Grady. “It just doesn’t fit. We’re just dumbfounded.”
Baker said Parson had just left her apartment and was heading to pick up her husband when she was shot around 11:45 p.m. Friday. Police have interviewed Parson’s husband, but he is not a suspect.
Monday afternoon, investigators had no information on a possible motive or suspect, Capt. Steve Rose with the Sandy Springs Police Department said. Parson’s shooting doesn’t appear to be related to a shooting just over a week ago in the same complex, Rose said.
It was not known whether Parson’s work was related to the shooting.
Baker said Parson is passionate about her work as an attorney for the state Department of Public Health, which combines her legal skills with a love of children. Prior to her current job, Parson spent more than a decade as a lawyer for the state Division of Family and Children Services.
Beyond work, Parson is heavily involved with her church, Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta. Some in the congregation were shocked to learn during Sunday services that Parson was the victim of a violent crime, church leaders said.
“I’m still trying to get my mind around who would do this to Adina,” Annette Black, a church volunteer, said Monday afternoon.
Black and Lisa Childers, executive assistant to the church pastor, said Parson is always willing to help others and spent countless hours volunteering.
“She’s just a jewel,” Childers said.
Sunday night, friends and relatives held a vigil at the Residences of Morgan Falls complex off Roswell Road, where Parson has lived several years with her husband. Another vigil is planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the church’s Smyrna campus on Spring Road.
Until then, those who know Parson best are hopeful investigators will quickly find the person responsible, her friends said.
“She’s an attorney,” Baker said, “but she’s our sister, she’s our friend.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Sandy Springs police at 770-551-6900
Another trap was designed to trip a passer-by into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes, authorities said.
Two men arrested over the weekend on suspicion of misdemeanor reckless endangerment told authorities the traps were intended for wildlife, but investigators didn’t believe the story.
The suspects built a dead-wood shelter as a possible lure for hikers who could step inside only through the two booby-trapped entrances, Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.
“This is a shelter put together by people, visited by people — anything that would be impacted by their device would have to be humans,” Cannon said. “It took some time to build these traps. They took rope, heavy-duty fishing line, and they intended what the traps were going to do.”
The structure was easy to see, Cannon said, but the booby traps could have been overlooked by everyone except a military-trained officer like James Schoeffler of the U.S. Forest Service, who was on a routine patrol along Big Springs Trail last week when he noticed the trip wires.
“A lot of people go up there after dark, as well,” Cannon said. “We’re very, very fortunate that it was Officer Schoeffler who found it.”
The U.S. Forest Service has not made Schoeffler available for an interview. Authorities said he disabled the traps after taking photos and video of the site.
The area is located in Provo Canyon, a popular hiking spot a few miles from downtown Provo. Cannon said the traps were just a half-mile from a busy trailhead.
“Who goes up this trail thinking, I’m going to have to look out for booby traps?” Cannon said. “A kid could say, ‘Oh cool, a shelter,’ and run right across the trip line.”
Days after Schoeffler made the discovery, a tipster alerted authorities about comments on Facebook that mentioned the traps and the shelter. Detectives then tracked down the suspects, Cannon said.
Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, of Orem and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, of Provo were booked in the Utah County Jail on Saturday and released on bail.
Prosecutors believed the misdemeanor reckless endangerment allegations were the strongest claims they could pursue without anyone being injured. Charges have not yet been filed.
Rutkowski’s father, Steven, declined comment. No phone number was listed for Christensen, and it wasn’t immediately clear if either suspect had an attorney.
NEW ORLEANS LA April 25 2012 - A BP engineer intentionally deleted more than 300 text messages indicating the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico was much greater than what the company later reported and that BP’s efforts to control the spill were failing, the U.S. Justice Department alleged Tuesday in its first criminal charges related to the deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.
Kurt Mix was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence sought by federal authorities.
The charges came a day before a federal judge in New Orleans was to consider a motion granting preliminary approval of a $7.8 billion civil settlement between BP and a committee of plaintiffs in a civil case. Shrimp processors have raised objections, saying the settlement does not adequately compensate them.
Criminal penalties that could be levied against BP and its partners in the operation would be based in part on estimates of the amount of oil that spilled from the Macondo well.
In an emailed statement, BP said it would not comment on the case but is cooperating with the Justice Department and other investigations into the oil spill. “BP had clear policies requiring preservation of evidence in this case and has undertaken substantial and ongoing efforts to preserve evidence,” the statement said.
Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, was scheduled to appear in federal court in Houston on Tuesday afternoon. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The statement did not say whether Mix had a lawyer.
The engineer deleted more than 200 messages sent to a BP supervisor from his iPhone in October 2010 containing information about how much oil was spilling out – and then erased 100 more the following year after receiving numerous legal notices to preserve the information, the Justice Department said in a news release.
On the very first day in May of 2010 that BP began to use the “top kill” method to plug the leaking well by pumping heavy mud into the blown-out well head, Katy estimated in a text to his supervisor that 15,000 barrels of oil per day were spilling – an amount greater than what BP said the method could likely handle.
The BP-leased rig Deepwater Horizon exploded the night of April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and setting off the nation’s worst offshore oil disaster. More than 200 million gallons of crude oil flowed out of the well off the Louisiana coast before it was capped.
Atlanta GA April 25 2012 A woman has been charged in the theft of tens of thousands of dollars from the PTA and school foundation at E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead, Atlanta police said Monday.
Maryam Arjomand, 48, turned herself in to Atlanta police on Monday after being notified on Friday. She has been charged with felony theft by taking for allegedly stealing $57,000 in donor checks and deposits over a three-year period, said Sgt. Paul Cooper, head of APD’s major fraud unit.
Arjomand was a member of the E. Rivers PTA. Investigators allege that Arjomand would pick up donations in person, then deposit them into her personal bank account, Cooper said. Police believe she acted alone. She was booked into the Fulton County Jail Monday morning. She is scheduled for a first court appearance at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Police have turned the case over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
PTA Co-President Elise Lowry alerted Atlanta police to the missing money on March 7, according to an incident report obtained by the AJC. Lowry reported that an account audit by the PTA discovered missing check payments from Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
Lowry told police that she confirmed checks in excess of $20,000 were deposited into a bank account at Signature Bank, and that a person suspected in the theft worked at the bank, according to the incident report.
Attorney Steven Dunlevie, a spokesman for Signature Bank, would only say that Arjomand worked at the bank from March 1, 2005 to April 9, 2012. He said her position was director of sales and marketing at the time that she left the bank. Dunlevie, with the Womble Carlyle firm, would not comment on why Arjomand left the bank.
Molly Epstein, a parent and PTA spokeswoman at the school at 8 Peachtree Battle Ave., had little to say about the arrest of Arjomand. “We are aware that an arrest has been made and will continue to work with authorities, investigators and our donors to account for all missing funds and ensure they are recovered,” she said. Because the investigation is ongoing, we have no other comments at this time.”
Knoxville TN April 25 2012 A state Court of Criminal Appeals judge from Nashville was arrested Monday night in Knoxville and charged with driving under the influence.
Judge Jerry L. Smith was on Cumberland Avenue in Knoxville shortly before midnight when a Knoxville police seargent spotted his car with its rear hatch open, court records show.
A piece of luggage was on the verge of falling out of the 2010 silver Subaru Forester and the officer made a traffic stop, court records show.
The driver had a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech and was unable to perform standard field sobriety tests. He refused a blood alcohol test, according to court records.
Smith, 58, faces driving under the influence and implied consent violation charges, Knoxville police said. He was released on his own recognizance.
The judge did not immediately return a message today left at his office. There was no phone listing for his home address.
Smith has been on the Court of Criminal Appeals since 1995. Prior to that, he served as a deputy attorney general from 1989 to 1995 and an assistant attorney general from 1982 to 1989, according to his biography posted on the state Administrative Office of the Courts website.
Security officer Nick Valdez, 31, was on duty about 2a.m. when he saw a male who appeared intoxicated standing next to a wall in the 2800 block of Forest Avenue, a police report said. The officer believed the male was urinating and approached him.
When Valdez approached, Judge Rissman, 19, “became belligerent” and allegedly poked the officer in the chest with his hand, the report said
Riviera Beach police detective Lee Ann Schneider acquitted after “three years of hell” www.privateofficer.com
Palm Beach fla April 25 2012 It was more disbelief than rage running through Lee Ann Schneider’s mind last week as she listened to prosecutors detail the charges against her again.
Forgery. Official Misconduct. A whopping 152 charges in all.
Schneider, 44, a Riviera Beach police detective, said she knew the charges against her were untrue. Still, she had a jail bag packed beside her Friday as a jury came out with verdicts after four hours of deliberating her week-long trial.
Facing at least 20 years in prison if convicted, she started crying as soon as she heard the first “not guilty.” She was still sobbing when the clerk read the last acquittal.
“It was almost three years of hell, and finally, some vindication.”
Schneider said Monday, sitting in the West Palm Beach office of her attorneys, Tom Gano and Donnie Murrell.
In December 2009, Schneider became one of the central figures in a wave of arrests within the Riviera Beach Police Department.
Investigators accused Schneider of forging her supervisor Detective Sgt. Pat Galligan’s name on dozens of arrest affidavits and other paperwork so that Galligan could claim and justify his overtime. Schneider said she had signed Galligan’s name because he was her supervisor and asked her to do so, but there was nothing criminal or illegitimate about the hours claimed.
Her case quickly became one of the biggest targets of former State Attorney Michael McAuliffe’s public integrity unit, which he created to target public corruption.
By then, Schneider had been removed from the detective bureau and placed on administrative duty. She had been a detective for nearly five years in August 2009, when she had fallen asleep after working a late shift only to be awakened by the sound of FBI officials knocking on her door.
Federal officials at the same time were executing warrants at department headquarters and Galligan’s house. Galligan was never charged in the case but retired during the investigation.
In the years that followed her arrest, Schneider said the black and white world she lived in as a police officer showed her colors she never thought she would see.
“That process, getting arrested twice and being booked into jail, those were the most humiliating experiences of my life,” Schneider said.
Schneider, who wanted to be a cop ever since she was 15, said she had a disdain for criminal defense attorneys. But with her arrest imminent in 2009, Schneider found herself frantically searching for one.
She found Gano and Murrell, who said they believe prosecutors slammed Schneider with 96 charges so she would take a quick plea and give them information against other officers.
When she refused, they added charges and arrested her again, they said.
“What they did to her was just wrong,” Murrell said. “I honestly think that they didn’t think the case would go to trial.”
The case went to trial last week with Chief Assistant State Attorney Paul Zacks and fellow prosecutor Daniel Funk at the helm. Zacks on Monday said Gano and Murrell’s claims that they piled on charges hoping for a quick plea were speculation.
“We can never speculate on why a jury comes back with a particular outcome,” Zacks said. “All we can say is we respect their decision.”
“We do, too,” Gano said.
The criminal case is over, but
Schneider is awaiting the results of an internal affairs investigation.
Source: Palm Beach Post
Barnstable police say Marc Cheek, 38, of Hyannis stole $500 worth of Ralph Lauren Polo shirts from Macy’s on Sunday and authorities were searching for him Sunday night.
Sgt. Ben Baxter said Cheek returned to Macy’s on Monday and allegedly stole five more shirts, each priced at $89. Mall security tried to apprehend him, but he jumped into a getaway car.
Barnstable police Officer Ed Cronin arrested Cheek and the suspected getaway driver, Christopher Speid, 24, at a home at 800 Bearse’s Way.
Cheek has 17 cases currently open, Baxter said, including assault and battery, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a Class B drug, forgery and carrying a dangerous weapon.
Speid was charged with one count of larceny for more than $250. Cheek was charged with two counts of larceny for more than $250 and he was held on $2,500 bail at the Barnstable Police Department Monday night.
Police Sgt. Mark Buschena tells the Bismarck Tribune that airport security officers saw the outline of a handgun in the man’s carry-on bag with X-ray.
Police say the man had two magazines with him and both were loaded. One of the magazines was in the .45-caliber pistol.
Police arrested the man for a misdemeanor concealed weapons violation. He was taken to the police department where he was processed and released. The man had been scheduled to board a United Airlines flight to Denver.
Nashville TN April 25 2012 Metro’s police chief has sent a blistering letter to the city’s transportation licensing director after vehicle inspectors allegedly used police badges, carried guns and put blue lights on their cars while making their rounds.
“Violations of law, multiple misrepresentations, an apparent lack of accountability and a general propensity to act in a non-responsible manner have affected the credibility of your agency,” Chief Steve Anderson wrote to Brian McQuistion, director of the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission, in a four-page letter dated April 20.
Huffington Post reported on April 6 that inspectors had worn police badges, which McQuistion said they had done for 35 years under what he understood to be commissions issued by the police department.
In his letter, Anderson said he learned of the practice on April 3 and contacted McQuistion that day. He wrote that McQuistion “emphatically denied” that he or his inspectors had police badges and said the agency was using “inspector” badges.
“These assertions were not truthful,” Anderson wrote.
The chief then proceeded to detail how McQuistion subsequently turned over five badges inscribed with the words “Metropolitan Police” or “Nashville Police,” then two more and, finally, another three – which had been cut into pieces by an inspector.
McQuistion could not immediately be reached for comment. There was no answer at the licensing commission’s office, and he did not immediately reply to an email.
Pearsall Independent School District teacher accused of sex with several students www.privateofficer.com
Pearsall TX April 25 2012 A 31-year-old band teacher is behind bars accused of having sex with young students.
Noel Morales Navejas has resigned as assistant band director with the Pearsall Independent School District.
Police say he had sex with two female students — one thirteen, the other fourteen.
They claim the encounters took place on campus after school in the band hall.
Investigators are now making sure there aren’t more victims.
Navejas is married with a child.
He’s been charged with sexual assault of a minor, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, and two counts of inappropriate behavior between educator and student.
Bond was set at eighty thousand dollars for each count.
Albuquerque police arrested Steven Gunther last week on child solicitation charges.
Instead of meeting up with the “teen,” Gunther was greeted by an undercover officer.
Gunther is a part-time chemistry teacher at CNM. He was placed on leave Friday.
St. Louis MO April 25 2012 - A man has been charged for throwing a flaming object at the Robert A. Young building in downtown St. Louis early Monday.
Jeremiah Merello McGee, 33, of Fairview Heights Illinois has been arrested and charged with attempted destruction of United States property by fire or explosion.
According to court documents, the suspect approached the Robert A. Young Federal Building at 1:11a.m. and parked his car close to the guard shack.
A security guard watched the suspect walk up to the building, then return to his car to retrieve some sort of object.
As the guard got closer to the suspect he saw the suspect light the object on fire and throw it against the northwest corner of the building. An explosion, big flash, and brief fire scorched the wall of the building and sidewalk.
Police officers were able to recover a broken glass bottle from the scene.
If convicted, McGee faces between five and 20 years in prison, and fines up to $250,000.
TUSCALOOSA, AL April 25 2012 - Tuscaloosa police say 12 students were arrested for getting into a fight in the Northridge High School gym Monday morning.
The fight broke out between two students around 7:45 a.m., then five more students on each side got involved, according to Sgt. Brent Blankenly.
“Officers were told the fight was over an alleged theft that occurred the previous week,” Blankenly said. Some students told FOX6 they believed the fight was over a pair of “Beats by Dre” headphones.
School resource officers arrested 11 juveniles and one adult on misdemeanor charges of starting a riot. The students have been suspended and could face other disciplinary actions.
One of the students involved in the fight suffered minor injuries, possibly including a broken nose. Blankenly said the juveniles charged in the fight were released at the front desk of the police department on an appearance agreement.
University of Northern Iowa public safety director retires aftermore than 40 years with school www.privateofficer.com
Cedar Fallas IA April 25 2012 University of Northern Iowa is accepting applications for the position of chief of police and director of public safety to replace David Zarifis, who is retiring after more than 40 years with the school.
The position was posted on April 19 on HigherEdJobs.com. Zarifis’ last day is April 30, according to a report in the UNI student newspaper.
“UNI has been home for me for a long time. I will miss it and the people,” Zarifis told the Northern Iowan. “The university has been very good to me, and you just hope that in your own way, you’ve been able to give something back to it.”
Zarifis was at the helm for the controversial decision to arm police on the three Iowa Regents university campuses.
According to the student paper, Milissa Wright, associate director of public safety, will serve as interim director while a search for a new director is conducted.
The position oversees both campus police and parking.
Here’s more of the duties: “Oversees investigations, emergency planning and management, training, threat assessment and response, and parking services; ensures compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, University policies, and Board of Regents, State of Iowa rules and requirements; and serves in the dual capacity of certified law enforcement officer and university official.”
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC April 25 2012 - A man living outside of Tabor City says back on April 16th, he came close to being gunned down.
According to Michael Thompson, two men in a white Dodge Charger fired several shots at him while he was on his private property.
Thompson says the men kept mistakenly calling him Kingston Green, and were preparing to force him on the ground. When Thompson showed the men his ID, and they realized he was not the man they were searching for, they left.
Following the incident, Thompson called the sheriff’s office and reported the men.
According to a sheriff’s office incident report, the county’s communications center located a call where a man name Chris Cherry, a bail bondsman from South Carolina said he would be going to the property looking for Kingston Green.
Thompson still has shell casings he says are from the incident, adding that three years ago, Kingston Green lived on the property where he’s currently living.
Thompson plans to hire an attorney and press charges against whoever fired the shots.
According to deputies, Monday Christopher Cherry 34 and San Baldwin 43 of West Columbia, SC turned themselves at the Columbus County sheriff’s office.
The men are facing misdemeanor charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
It was 1972, and Mellin’s entry into the small police unit would mark the beginning of a 40-year adventure in volunteer community policing.
He is set to be honoured with a long service award this summer for the tens of thousands of hours he has spent working as an auxiliary constable.
And he will celebrate another hallmark next year, when the auxiliary program he has spent his life working in turns 50 years old.
Mellin, also the Honorary Colonel of 407 Squadron, started when the entire Comox Valley RCMP force totaled about 15. There are now over 40. Mellin was one of eight auxiliary members.
“In those days the police cars were black, and there was a single light on the top, and that was it for emergency equipment,” Mellin said. “The old sirens, when you got to an accident, they were still winding down for the first three or four minutes that you got there.”
Mellin says the job of being an auxiliary constable remains fundamentally the same as it was 40 years ago, although he added: “The ‘bad guys’ I think respected the police a little bit more in those days; nowadays, they don’t care about anything, they just do whatever they feel like doing.”
Mellin never pursued a full-time career with the RCMP, initially because of a requirement that officers be unmarried (later dropped), and then later because he had established deep roots in the community and didn’t want to be transferred.
But he said working in the force as a volunteer has been an interesting experience.
“As it is in any police force, there’s lots of stuff that’s really interesting to see and there’s lots of stuff you wish you didn’t have to see,” he said. “It really broadens your outlook on life in a lot of ways, because you see all aspects of life.
“I mean, most people get up in the morning, go to work – and then 9, 10 o’clock, go to bed,” he said. But for police, “From 10 o’clock at night until seven the next morning, they’re in their own little world in those wee hours of the morning.”
An insurance broker by day, Mellin would walk the beat in his spare time. On one seemingly quiet evening, he and his colleagues were called to a multiple fatality car accident, a fire at Comox Legion, and several other mishaps.
“We were just run ragged,” he said. “And in those days, you didn’t have the amount of bodies you have today. What I thought was going to be a routine night turned out to be a very interesting night.”
Then there are more recent events, including this year’s hurricane-level storm and the emergency landing of a Korean passenger jet at YQQ due to a bomb threat.
The RCMP considers Mellin to be a court expert witness in the field of aerial detection of marijuana grow-ops, as well as a skilled aerial photographer and videographer. He is credited with helping to detect and dismantle millions of dollars worth of drug operations, as well as with locating missing persons, suspects and evidence.
“As a long and accomplished volunteer in support of policing, Mr. Mellin has advocated for public safety, working tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of the Comox Valley, said Const. Nicole Hall, Comox Valley RCMP Auxiliary program coordinator. “Our community is definitely a safer and better place to live thanks to his efforts.”
For Mellin, although he is kept busy by other volunteer efforts, he still finds time where he can for the RCMP.
“It’s a very rewarding program, and needless to say, I’ve found it enjoyable, because I’ve stuck with it.”
Source:Comox Valley Echo