SPARTANBURG, SC Jan 17 2013 (AP) – A former chaplain for the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department has been arrested on a sex charge involving a 15-year-old girl.
Deputies have charged 71-year-old William Hughes of Boiling Springs with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Investigators say Hughes was a volunteer at Restoration Church in Spartanburg and took the girl to his home after a Jan. 9 service. Warrants state that Hughes gave her alcohol and had sex with her.
A sheriff’s report says the girl told her boyfriend and he told her father, who called deputies.
Sheriff Chuck Wright says Hughes had worked as a volunteer chaplain for the department until January of last year.
It was not clear if Hughes has an attorney.
Suffolk County NY Jan 7 2013 There was rarely a single tragedy — or triumph — among the brethren of the Suffolk County Police Department over the last half-century that “Father Ed” was not there for, former Police Chief Joe Monteith said.
Edward A. Wisbauer Jr., a chaplain for the department from 1967 until his death Wednesday at the age of 83, “was a constant presence to us,” said Monteith, who led the department from 1989 until 2000. “He has a unique place in Suffolk County history.”
Wisbauer was born in Brooklyn in 1929, and raised in Cunningham Park, Queens.
He studied journalism and English at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and in 1958, he became a priest, graduating from the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan.
The following year, he moved his family to Lake Ronkonkoma to lead St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, said his daughter, Susan Rydzeski, 56, of Setauket.
During his tenure at St. Mary’s, he added police department and county jail chaplain to his duties. He retired from St. Mary’s in 2002, but in the next decade, he filled in as priest when vacancies opened up in other local parishes.
His daughter recalled him driving around Long Island tuned in to a police radio. He was ready, at a moment’s notice, to comfort a wounded officer; often, the family in the emergency room.
At funerals, Wisbauer became a familiar comfort, eulogizing slain police officers.
“His compassion, his ability to say the right thing, to be able to reach the families of the officers . . . He was just a gem,” Monteith said.
On a few occasions, Wisbauer advocated for increased police staffing, often to the chagrin of public officials. After a 2010 memorial service speech on behalf of fallen officers, County Executive Steve Levy called the chaplain’s staffing remarks “highly inappropriate.”
But, to Monteith, the advocacy from the pulpit was welcome.
“He spoke his lines and the cops loved him for it,” he said. “He said a lot of things we couldn’t.”
He is predeceased by his first wife, Joan, who died in 1990; his second wife, Doreen Zakary, who died in 2002; and his daughter, Joan Kate, who died in 1986. He is survived by three other daughters: Mary Pepe of East Quogue; Sally Ruscito of Stony Brook; and Jane Lauria of Miller Place. He also leaves behind 11 grandchildren, and his sister, Jeanne Lewis, of Myakka City, Fla.
A funeral is planned for 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Huntington. Burial is at St. James Episcopal Church in St. James.
MORRISVILLE NC Jan 3 2013 - In the past year, firefighters throughout the Triangle have faced criminal charges ranging from driving while impaired to armed robbery and child pornography.
That’s according to clinical psychologist Janet Savia, a member of the Fire Chaplain 101 training team who specializes in tracking effects of stress on emergency responders and health-care professionals. Firefighters have stressful jobs, and that stress could lead to poor decisions if they don’t handle it properly, Savia said.Her message to Morrisville firefighters was part of a new training program offered by Fire Chaplain 101. The Morrisville-based nonprofit was founded in 2010 to provide training for fire department chaplains, because there was no agency in North Carolina performing that service. Fire Chaplain 101 has extended its program to firefighters. In November, the group launched a day-long seminar with units on suicide awareness, stress management, cultural diversity and living wills that is available to fire departments across the state.Morrisville is one of the group’s pilot locations.“You have to address the stress,” Savia said. “It has been around and no one wants to talk about it. We joke around, we say we’re going to go home and drink a beer or watch porn. But people have been crossing the line. You can’t ignore it.”When stress isn’t addressed, Savia said, some people might cope by “yelling at the kids, hitting the wife, kicking the dog.” Savia recommended firefighters use relaxation techniques like deep breaths and mental diversions. She also suggested they talk to someone they trust.When people are stressed, they often have trouble concentrating, Savia said. That can also be deadly for firefighters, who operate heavy machinery and often find themselves in high-risk situations. Some Morrisville firefighters and emergency-services workers already know how important it can be to talk about their experiences. When a 12-year-old girl died after being hit by a van in 2007, emergency workers were deeply affected.“Most of them had children the age of the little girl,” said Pastor Ted Edwards, founder of Fire Chaplain 101 who also serves as the Morrisville Fire Department chaplain. He helped emergency responders work through their grief after the accident.“It gave them the opportunity to vent, to cry – to get it off their chest and to listen to others,” Edwards said. “A lot of them were asking, ‘Should I have done this?’ or ‘Should I have done that?’ ” The purpose of the seminar was to be proactive instead of reactive, said Morrisville Fire Chief Todd Wright, a trainer and member of Fire Chaplain 101.He said the stress firefighters face is very real – both on the job and on the family front.“We’re out at wrecks, suicides. Sometimes we are with people as they are dying,” Wright said. “A third of their life is spent here away from their families. They miss holidays, birthdays and special family events. We want to help anyone to get the resources they need.”The seminar was a good reminder to handle stressors effectively, said Capt. Kevin Rohrer. For him, playing golf and talking things over with co-workers are helpful.“We’re like a family,” Rohrer said. “The things that happen in the fire station stay in the fire station. You can talk over things with each other that other people just wouldn’t understand.”
Des Moines IA Sept 4 2012 A pastor who volunteered as a Des Moines Police Department assistant chaplain was arrested on Friday for felony theft.
Sherman Brown, 70, was charged with first-degree theft and dependent adult abuse by financial exploitation. It is unknown how much money Brown is accused of taking, but for that charge it had to be a minimum of $10,000, said Sgt. Chris Scott with the Des Moines Police Department.
Brown was power of attorney for a dependent adult man in a care facility. The police department was notified of suspicious activity with the dependent man’s finances by the Iowa Department of Human Services.
An investigation began in late July, at which time Brown voluntarily resigned as a volunteer chaplain. Brown also cooperated with the investigation, Scott said.
Exeter CA May 10 2012
An Exeter Police Department volunteer chaplain was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse, the sheriff’s office said.
Alton Dorrough, 62, was booked into the Tulare County Main Jail on suspicion of several counts of sexual battery. His bail was set at $ 1 million.
The sheriff’s department said deputies responded to Exeter police, where they learned about the allegation. Dorrough was arrested following an investigation.
The female victim’s name was withheld because of allegations being made.
College Station TX April 29 2012 A Walmart employee who shot and killed an armed shoplifter after the suspect fired his gun during a scuffle has quit his job, company officials said Tuesday, four days after the incident in College Station.
Dustin Batson, a 25-year-old who worked as a loss-prevention officer, was not asked or encouraged to resign, according to Walmart spokesman Greg Rossiter.
Batson, a former U.S. Marine who served in the Middle East, couldn’t be reached for comment.
He had escorted accused shoplifter Michael Bradshaw to a private office inside the Walmart at Brothers Boulevard and F.M. 2818 just after 4 p.m. Friday when Bradshaw tried to leave, then tussled with Batson as well as at least two other Walmart employees, police said.
Two of those in the room told The Eagle last week that Bradshaw pulled a gun from the pocket of his pants and fired one shot, which hit a file cabinet as the employees wrestled with him. The pair said they took off, leaving Bradshaw and Batson.
The loss-prevention officer later told police that he was able to get the gun from Bradshaw but that Bradshaw quickly pulled out a knife, prompting Batson to turn the suspect’s gun on him.
Bradshaw, who was shot once in the mid-section, died several hours later at The Med. The Robertson County resident was 47.
The sound of gunshots sent hundreds of anxious customers out the exits, including many who rushed to the back of the store, witnesses said.
College Station officers have not revealed what type of gun or knife Bradshaw was carrying. Nor have officials made public whether security cameras captured the incident. Detectives have turned the case over to the Brazos County District Attorney’s Office. Officials there said it’s standard procedure to review such shootings to determine if charges are warranted and whether Batson acted in self-defense.
The front page of the College Station police report, which is public record, states that Batson said he shot Bradshaw out of “fear of serious bodily injury or death.”
A Walmart policy, which isn’t much different from those of many large retail chains, states that loss prevention officers — who do not carry guns and are not law enforcement officers — should apprehend shoplifters but may not use force to defend themselves, except as needed to get out of the situation.
Last week’s shooting in College Station puts Walmart’s policy of dealing with shoplifters in the spotlight.
An incident in early 2011 in Utah involved a man who was being detained by a Walmart loss-prevention officer and two other employees pulling out a gun and threatening to use it, court documents state. The suspect was disarmed by the employees and taken into custody by police, according to the documents, which outline how authorities told the employees they did a good job.
However, the following week the three were terminated.
Utah Attorney Lorraine P. Brown filed a wrongful termination lawsuit on behalf of those former employees.
“They practiced their right to self-defense,” she said. “As loss-prevention officers, those workers had an obligation to apprehend and detain shoplifters. That’s their job. They do it all day long. When, along the way as they’re doing their jobs, they interface with someone with a dangerous weapon, they have a right to act in self-defense.”
Brown declined to comment on the College Station case, saying she didn’t know the details.
She has two other lawsuits filed in Utah against Walmart. Court documents say that two employees from a different store were terminated after attempting to detain a shoplifter, who then pulled out a knife, prompting employees to hold her arms while a customer at the McDonald’s inside the store came to the rescue by plucking the knife from her hands.
The other case involves a Walmart manager who helped a fellow employee being shoved by an irate spouse, Brown said, adding that the manager physically removed the man from the store and soon after was fired.
Those cases spanned a matter of months between late 2010 and early 2011.
Attempts to reach Bradshaw’s family have been unsuccessful. A private family service will be held at a later date, according to Callaway-Jones Funeral Home and Crematory, which is handling arrangements.
MARIETTA GA Feb 26 2012 — A former high school football head coach and Atlanta Falcons chaplain was killed after he was struck by a pickup truck.
Cobb police spokesman Mike Bowman says the 66-year-old Charles H. Collins died after attempted to cross a road on Thursday in suburban Atlanta.
Police say the driver, 25-year-old Nicholas Bryant, is not expected to be charged.
McEachern Athletic Director Jim Dorsey says Collins was the head football coach at McEachern in Powder Springs from 1976 to 1982. He also was the chaplain for the Falcons in the late 1980s.
A memorial service for Collins is set for Monday next week at Smyrna First United Methodist Church, according to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
HATTIESBURG, Miss.Feb 2 2012 — The city of Hattiesburg and a former employee of the police department have settled a lawsuit for $55,000.
Former Hattiesburg Police Department Chaplain Richard Tapp filed the suit in March. Tapp claimed he was unjustly fired to avoid an investigation that may have uncovered alleged illegal activity within the police department.
The parties reached an agreement Jan. 18 in a settlement conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker.
V.K. Smith III, the city’s attorney, said the Mississippi Municipal Service Co. paid the plaintiff a $55,000 sum, but did so outside of the usual confidentiality agreement involved in such settlements.
Tapp’s attorney, Robin L. Roberts, told the Hattiesburg American he would not disclose the settlement amount, but that he and his client were happy with it.
V.K. Smith III, the city’s attorney, said the Mississippi Municipal Service Co. paid the plaintiff a $55,000 sum, but did so outside of the usual confidentiality agreement involved in such settlements.
BETHANY, Okla. Jan 22 2012 – Bethany police identified the man killed in an auto-pedestrian accident late Thursday night near Northwest 39th Expressway and Rockwell Avenue.
Wallace “Wally” Renegar, 70, who served six years as a chaplain for the Bethany Police Department, died after he was hit by a van while crossing the street near Southern Nazarene University.
Police say Renegar was leaving a SNU basketball game when he was struck by the van.
Police say the driver was following the speed limit.
Renegar was a retired Nazarene minister who was very involved at First Nazarene Church in Bethany.
The Mercer Adams Funeral Service is making funeral arrangements.
Rescued from an early life of drugs and jail time by faith and kindly ministers, Paul, 60, now dedicates his time to helping prisoners learn to live after their releases, with the goal of never seeing them behind bars again.
“When God rescued me, I wanted to go back and help them,” he said.
Paul, who heads up Interfaith Outreach Association’s progressive release program at the Lynchburg Adult Detention Center, takes particular pride in the low recidivism rate of inmates who go through the 12-week, life skills program.
Out of 141 who have participated in the program, only five have been incarcerated since. Paul doesn’t believe that’s a coincidence, pointing to two factors the program emphasizes.
“One is that we have a message of hope, that a person can change,” he said. “Second, there are people and resources that can help you.”
Paul said his own history helps him in ministering to inmates, particularly once he realized the flaw in his way of thinking during the years he was strung out and intermittently behind bars.
“I used to think I had street smarts,” he said. “But I began to realize — if I was so smart, why did I keep getting arrested? Why am I broke?”
Through the program, he said, he aims to help people fix flawed thinking, with a special emphasis on the Bible’s admonition that “a man reaps what he sows.”
“You can’t sow negative and reap positive. It’s impossible,” he said, adding that, conversely, “You can’t sow positive and reap negative.”
Paul knows something about sowing negative seeds. In the four years after he graduated high school, playing drums in rock ‘n’ roll bands, he said,
“I was on drugs every day for four years, at least four years. I got so messed up, I didn’t know what I was or where I was going.”
That changed after an encounter on the beach with an old woman who told him about Jesus, and he accepted God’s forgiveness.
From then on, Paul said, he’s wanted nothing more than to help those who were in his same situation.
He became a chaplain for a jail in West Palm Beach, Fla., and eventually moved to Lynchburg with his wife and two sons to pursue a degree from Liberty University. After retiring from his career as a postal worker in 2009, Paul came on full-time with Interfaith Outreach.
“I feel I’m doing what he called me to do. It’s energizing. I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning.”
Patricia Young, of Goode, who volunteers with the group’s women’s program, said she sees that passion evident in Paul in the way he handles the ministry.
“He’s done a lot of research and he has a heart for the people,” she said. “It really warms my heart.”
Young, who volunteered with the program before Paul took over, then stopped for a time, said she started volunteering again for the most recent session.
“I truly believe it’s just but by the grace of God I could be sitting right next to those girls,” she said.
“You just sit there and cry with the people. You feel their pain and they’re just human beings that want to be loved and need a helping hand.”
The upshot, Paul said, is that he sees himself as a kind of “divine connector.”
“I know I can’t fix anybody myself, but I do see God do miracles. I do see God comfort people and encourage people, that only he could do, through me.”
Sonoma County CA April 19 2011 As a police officer, Katie Close is grateful for the volunteer chaplains she can call upon to help her in a crisis situation, such as comforting someone whose loved one has died.
Now, Close is returning that favor.
The 28-year-old Healdsburg police officer recently graduated from the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service training in Sonoma County.
She is the first active-duty police officer to become a chaplain in the program’s 12-year history.
As dedicated as they are to public service, not many cops would want to volunteer on their off-time to be a chaplain, given the stresses they already encounter on the beat.
But Close said it’s important to her to show support for her fellow officers. And she said going through the training to become a chaplain felt “therapeutic.”
“I never knew there were people who were so dedicated to wanting to help law enforcement officers,” she said.
Every law enforcement agency in Sonoma County can call upon a chaplain at any time of day or night, 365 days a year.
There currently are about 65 chaplains, each of whom underwent six months of training before being added to the list. Close, like other chaplains, will be on-call for two 24-hour periods every month — one as the primary contact and the other as back-up.
Warren Hays, the chaplaincy service’s executive director, said he wasn’t sure at first that an active-duty police officer would be a good fit for the program.
“An officer is in a mode of investigative work, which is very, very focused,” he said. “Frankly, I think an officer needs to avoid any kind of emotion or trauma in that situation. That’s why we have chaplains.”
But he said he’s been impressed with Close, and predicts she will be an “outstanding chaplain.”
Close grew up mainly in Occidental and graduated from El Molino High School in 1999.
She said she had an early interest in public service but didn’t know how to express it until a ride-along with a Sonoma County Animal Control Officer inspired her to become one.
She held that job until a 2006 attack by three pit bulls led her to re-evaluate her career choice.
Close went through the police academy at Santa Rosa Junior College and in 2008 she was offered a job in Healdsburg.
She and her canine partner — Dasha — work the swing shift on weekends from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
The demands of her job and being married would seem to give Close a good excuse to devote her off-hours to herself. But in addition to being a chaplain, Close mentors a girl as a volunteer for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Sonoma County.
“Sometimes I really have a lot on my plate, but I feel a desire to do all this stuff,” she said. “I’m interested in it and there’s no better time than now.”
In addition to responding to emergencies, chaplains participate in the Every 15 Minutes anti-drunk driving program at high schools and also respond as a team to campus tragedies.
Hays said chaplains respond to about 160 calls annually. The non-profit organization has an annual budget of $45,000 that is raised through donations and fundraisers.
Hays said the next training for chaplains is in September. He can be reached at 479-0201. People can also learn about the program, sign up as volunteers or donate money.
PORTLAND, Ore. Jan 21 2011– The Portland Police Bureau has now coupled a police officer with a mental health worker in the hopes of avoiding deadly confrontations between police and people who are mentally ill.
With eight police shootings since the start of 2010 – and most of them involving people suffering from mental illness or addiction – Portland police are trying a new approach with their Mobile Crisis Unit. The idea is to get people help and into treatment before things get out of control and end up becoming a deadly.
One of those confrontations was the shooting of Jack Dale Collins in March 2010. He came at an officer with an X-ACTO knife and he was shot and killed.
Later, it became known that Collins had recently talked to police about getting treatment.
The purpose of the Bureau’s Mobile Crisis Unit is to try and build trust.
“We really want them to be proactive at the front-end, because by the time it gets to be a crisis it’s tough to work it at that point without just having a stabilized scene,” said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese during a Tuesday news conference. “We really want them to be proactive to keep people from getting into contact with police in the first place.”
The unit was formed just before a May 2010 police shooting near the Lloyd Center mall where a mentally ill man, Keaton Otis, was driving erratically and then shot a police officer before being shot and killed himself.
The wounded officer, Chris Burley, is now the officer who’s part of the Mobile Crisis Unit.
“I felt that the community had let Keaton down as a whole, and I felt that this would be an opportunity for me to give back to a portion of the community that because they suffer from mental illness, do not really have a voice,” Burley said.
He said those suffering from mental illness feel by themselves and when “we go out there we tell them, ‘We are in this to help you out.’”
The training for the unit is above and beyond the training every Portland officer gets to deal with the mentally ill. That training is called the Crisis Intervention Team program.
The Mobile Crisis Unit is based on what some officers do in Tennessee but some critics say the way Portland trains every new officer is a waste because they say it is being implemented incorrectly, it’s too broad based and officers are too young.
But Reese defended the training.
“I think we’re being very innovative and creative in our strategies and certainly we took the Memphis model and brought it here and we’ve adapted it, we’ve built a very solid foundation having all of our officers trained with those skills because all of our officers need it.”
The Mobile Crisis Unit will sometimes drive patients to appointments and take them to coffee or lunch.
The unit is working with 60 people so far. It’s a year-long project which Reese said he hopes to expand if there’s money in the budget.
Frederick County MD Jan 13 2011 Jo Rinehart arrived at her parents’ home and knew the empty driveway and locked house were bad signs. When she went inside, she saw that her mother’s cellphone had been forgotten on a kitchen counter. It was filled with worried, frantic and plaintive messages from Rinehart and her siblings, all left in the previous 12 hours.
“Did you make it home?”
“Where are you?”
“We’re coming to your house.”
Rinehart’s parents, William Fresch, 85, and his wife, Betty, 79, had not been seen or heard from since about 5:15 p.m. Friday, when they left Rinehart’s home in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for what was usually a 40-minute drive back to their house in Shippensburg, Pa., 25 miles north of the Maryland border.
The grown children had brokered a deal that might sound all too familiar to adult children trying to protect – and yet, respect – aging parents. The Fresches could keep their car, but drive only to Rinehart’s home or around Shippensburg, and only if they called to say they had made it back home safely.
It was a trade-off, but one that seemed to have worked over the past couple of years, Rinehart said.
After she didn’t find her parents at their house, Rinehart, 54, and her husband called police, who put out a regional alert for the couple. Rinehart and her husband talked to reporters, posted her parents’ pictures on Facebook and searched roadways themselves, even going up in a private helicopter Tuesday to scour the area.
By 11 a.m. Tuesday, their wait was over,
Her parents’ bodies had been found. Authorities think William and Betty froze to death in a steep farm field off rural Gene Hemp Road in Frederick County, Md.
A passerby who had spotted the couple’s red Honda Accord, stuck in a field with a deep pitch and a ravine, tracked footprints and found the bodies a few hundred yards away from the road, said Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department.
The couple overshot the route to their home by about 60 miles, winding up south of where they had intended to go.
Their bodies were lying there, separated by about 30 yards. She was farthest from the car, which she had been driving, as if she had gone for help as the sturdier of the pair, police said. When she didn’t return, her husband of 58 years apparently went looking for her, leaning on a cane he used to get around, said Cpl. Jason West, the lead investigator on the case.
She was still in her peacoat, jeans and pink sweat shirt. He was in a brown suede coat, pants and a blue baseball cap with a canoe logo.
An open gate in the fencing at the field might have looked like a driveway to a lost couple, “but we’ll never know,” West said.
Their bodies showed no signs of violent injuries and were found near the still-upright car, where Betty Fresch’s purse was untouched inside, Bailey said. Given those details, neither foul play nor an accident was suspected, Bailey said. The Maryland chief medical examiner in Baltimore is expected to determine the causes of the deaths after autopsies Wednesday. Temperatures were in the mid-20s overnight Friday in Frederick.
“They went off the road. We don’t know how long they were there or how they got there, but from what we know now, it appears they froze to death,” Bailey said. “We want to bring cases to resolution for families, but this one is so tragic, even for us.”
As she spoke from her parents’ home, Rinehart said once, and then again: “We didn’t realize it was time to do more. We didn’t realize it was time. . . . Oh, the second-guessing that is running through our minds.”
Decades ago, the Fresch family lived in Rockville and ran the Rockville Trading Post. They sold the business and eventually moved to Shippensburg.
During the summer, signs of forgetfulness had surfaced in William Fresch, so his wife started doing more of the driving. They had gotten lost on a trip to see their son Paul, 50, in Ohio, Rinehart said.
The Fresches were almost to their son’s home but drove for hours before asking for directions. Even then, they could not find the house, so they turned around and drove overnight to get back to Pennsylvania, Rinehart said.
That is when the negotiating started.
“It’s hard to get people to do something they don’t want to do,” Rinehart said, “but we thought we had a system.”
For big events, the family would gather at Rinehart’s home, with the three surviving siblings and their families. The Fresches would drive there, and they agreed to call immediately after getting back to Shippensburg.
They made that trip for a quick visit at least once a week. The family can recite which roads and turns they usually took and where and how long they might be having dinner if they had decided to stop on the way home. There had not been any big problems, Rinehart said.
The family had planned a birthday party for William Fresch for Sunday, but the couple got confused about the date and showed up Friday instead, Rinehart said. They played a board game with Rinehart and her husband, one that William Fresch had devised and carved from wood that was similar to Parcheesi, she said.
“We laughed and had a good time, and then they decided to go home,” Rinehart said. “Mom always was up for staying for dinner and overnight. Dad was the one who would say, ‘I’d like to get home to sleep in my own bed.’ “
Until Tuesday morning, Rinehart said, “I thought the waiting was the worst part.”
On Wednesday, her father would have turned 86.
WALTERBORO SC Aug 1 2010 — The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the apparent suicide of a city police officer, authorities said.
Cpl. Paul Michael Potts, 32, died around midnight on Constance Street, the apparent victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. He was off duty at the time, said Elizabeth L. Boineau, the city’s marketing and public relations consultant.
A final cause of death has not been determined, and an autopsy is scheduled for this morning at the Medical University of South Carolina, Boineau said.
An autopsy is scheduled for this morning for Cpl. Paul Michael Potts.
Originally from Mogadore, Ohio, Potts lived in Walterboro, where he served on the force for eight years.
Authorities released very few details about Potts’ death, referring all comment to SLED. Jennifer Timmons, SLED’s communication director, said the agency had no comment on the investigation.
State law requires that police agencies complete, and make available to the public, reports detailing the nature, substance and location of crimes and incidents to which officers respond. A report on Pott’s death, however, was nowhere to be found.
Boineau initially reported that the shooting occurred within Walterboro city limits. But after The Post and Courier requested an incident report, she determined the incident actually occurred just outside town, in the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction.
The Sheriff’s Office, however, said deputies only assisted SLED with setting up a perimeter around the crime scene and did not write a report detailing the incident. They referred questions back to SLED, but Timmons said her agency also did not complete a report.
“We are all saddened by the events of last night,” Walterboro Mayor Bill Young said. “The city of Walterboro offers its heartfelt condolences to Corporal Potts’s family and friends. Anytime something like this happens, we’re at a loss for an explanation. This has been particularly devastating for our public safety officers, too, and we ask that you keep them and Corporal Potts’s family in your prayers.”
They are part of a new chaplain program aimed at reaching out to troubled students at Manteca Unified School District campuses.
“The chaplain program we’ve had in place for a long time was to provide help for officers who’ve dealt with traumatic situations or to assist with victims of crime,” Police Chief Dave Bricker. “These chaplains are taking us in a different direction.”
It is part of the Police Chief’s Initiative, a wide community-based repertoire of programs designed to weaken and diminish the influence of gangs on young people as well as to assist troubled youth in the community. The long-term goal is to reduce future crime rates by putting in place programs where youth can get help tutoring, help with problems or wholesome recreational diversions to stay out of trouble.
The chaplaincy program is being developed in partnership with Manteca Unified. They will be assigned to different schools where they will serve as mentors and counselors.
Overseeing the effort is Manteca Police officer Jason Hensley who serves as a gang prevention officer as well as chaplain advisor.
The volunteers are Sr. Chaplain Jim Day, Chaplain Dave Thompson, Chaplain Erik Aguirre, Chaplain Heidi Hensley, Chaplain Guy Romito, Chaplain Aundre Hillery, Chaplain Joe Macias, Chaplain John Hoppis, Chaplain John Syler, Chaplain Tim Kemptner, Chaplain Arabella Whitlock, Chaplain Steve Cole, Chaplain Heather Mahoney, Chaplain Sean Mahoney, Chaplain Rick Lackey, and Chaplain Tim Kennedy.
It is just one of a number of undertakings that range from Junior Crime Scene Investigators programs to efforts to put together a BMX team coached by police officers.
“We keep telling kids to find alternatives to gangs but then we don’t provide them,” Bricker said.
Bricker serves on the Boys & Girls Club board and has been active in other groups such as Give Every Child a Chance.
The Boys & Girls Club has been credited over the years with making a dent in juvenile delinquency rates and providing a safe haven for kids from the influence of gangs. Give Every Child a Chance’s free tutoring services has made a difference in the lives of over 10,000 youth in the last 11 years by improving their grasp of subjects and helping the students succeed in school.
Bricker noted churches have stepped up in other ways. He pointed to the Friday Unity in the Neighborhood operated by Southside Christian Church during the summer as one example.
While some ridicule such efforts, Bricker and juvenile delinquency experts point to long-term studies that show recreational programs and mentoring – even if it is only for three to four hours a week – can have a positive influence o kids plus counter gang pressures.,
Organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club help reduce the impact on crime from after school to 7 p.m. which is when most juveniles get into trouble.
Bricker has noted that the school resource officers have been an invaluable tool in collecting intelligence on gangs, defusing gang violence, and keeping campuses safer. The Manteca Unified School District is cutting funding for the officers in half for the upcoming school year and will drop completely in the 2011-12 budget year.
Bricker has vowed to find a way to keep the school resource officers in place at Sierra, Manteca, and East Union high schools.
Source: SunSentinel.com A rabbi, an Episcopalian priest and a Baptist minister walk into a gym.
No, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke. It’s a new plan by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to train its volunteer chaplains in self-defense and firearms in case the darker elements of their ministries are upon them.
“Self defense is important,” said sheriff’s lead chaplain Jim Shackelford, who started the initiative last year. “It’s better to know what to do.”
Shackelford, a former Ohio state trooper, said it’s during the 15 chaplains’ required monthly ride-alongs with deputies that things can get sticky. Chaplains have seen deputies get into scuffles with suspects, Shackelford said, and the question came up: “If I was needed to help a deputy what would I do?”
So Shackelford worked with the Sheriff’s Office to make the optional training available. There will be a four-hour training block every quarter, he said.
During the self-defense course in February, the men and one woman of the cloth suited up in sweats and sneakers and learned how to throw devastating blows and kicks, all under the guidance of Cpl. Garry Schettini.
“They can utilize these strikes when they leave here today,” Schettini said. “However, just like every other skill, if they don’t practice it over and over, it tends to go away.”
He suggested they practice by shadow boxing.
“I don’t typically go out and beat up my parishioners or beat up anybody else,” said the Rev. Denise Hudspeth, a priest at the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church. “But because we’re in the communities, it’s helpful for us to know how to defend ourselves should we need to.”
Rabbi Robert Silvers, of Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, was glad to receive the training, even though it is counterintuitive.
“The most odd was doing firearm training,” Silvers said. “To have a gun in my hand and shoot it at a target. The last thing I want to do is take a life.”
Broward Sheriff’s Office chaplains do not receive self-defense training.
“That’s not relevant to what we do,” lead chaplain Rick Braswell said. “There’s never been a [self-defense] issue here.”
Palm Beach County chaplains, who are unarmed, respond to emergency situations to comfort victims and deputies who need someone to talk to. Because they’re already ordained, they can officiate over weddings, funerals, baptisms and dedications.
Sheriff’s Maj. Tony Araujo said the chaplains come as a great help during death notifications because after the bad news is left with a family member, they may have no one else to talk to.
“There’s nothing worse than to make a notification and leave that person there,” Araujo said.
The chaplains stay behind and comfort family members.
Hudspeth was one of the chaplains who comforted the Rev. Patricia Wallace when her son, Deputy Jonathan Wallace, was killed in the line of duty.
Deputies Wallace and Donta Manuel died Nov. 28, 2007, when a fellow officer struck them during a car pursuit.
“My motto is: Listen, listen, listen, love,” Hudspeth said. “And that’s the best I can offer.”
Palm Beach County chaplains are trained for their volunteer service through the International Conference of Police Chaplains in Destin. Chuck Lorrain, its executive director, said it’s a unique calling and chaplains have to be ready to see the darker side of humanity, not just hear about it.
“Chaplains can work the pulpit but not all pulpit ministers can do what police chaplains do,” Lorrain said. “You’re out in the mud, the blood and beer, so to speak, and a lot of people can’t deal with it.”
It’s also a different type of spiritual service.
“You’re not there to preach and proselytize,” Lorrain said. “You’re there to balance off the officers and to be a comfort to people and serve people.”
Hudspeth took a break from punches, strikes, kicks and shouts to talk about why she enjoys being a chaplain: “I’m a presence of God, a presence of peace and serenity.”