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Friday, June 30, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Tennyson
Maury County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee
End of Watch: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Age: 64
Tour: 30 years
Incident Date: 5/5/2017

Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Tennyson succumbed to injuries sustained in a single vehicle crash the previous morning at approximately 7:30 am.

He was en route to a local high school when his patrol car left the roadway on Iron Bridge Road, near Running Deer Drive, in Columbia. The vehicle went down an embankment and struck a group of trees. He was transported to a local hospital before being transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He succumbed to his injuries on May 6th, 2017.

Deputy Tennyson had served in law enforcement for 30 years and was assigned as a school resource officer. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Mark Burbridge
Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office, Iowa
End of Watch: Monday, May 1, 2017
Age: 43
Tour: 12 years
Badge # 78-10

Deputy Sheriff Mark Burbridge was shot and killed at the Pottawattamie County Jail, in Council Bluffs, as he and another deputy returned two inmates to the jail after a court appearance.

As the deputies began to take the inmates into the jail one of the inmates attacked them. The inmate was able to disarm one of the deputies and shot them both. He then stole the transport van and fled from the jail. He shot a citizen nearby when he attempted to carjack the man. He then abducted another citizen and forced her to drive him from the scene in her vehicle.

The subject was located by Omaha, Nebraska, police officers after releasing the woman. He was taken into custody following a high speed pursuit and charged with numerous felonies related to the carjacking and weapons possession. The man had just been sentenced to 55 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder.

Deputy Burbridge had served with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office for 12 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Justin L. Beard
Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana
End of Watch: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Age: 26
Tour: 3 years, 6 months
Badge # 2276

Deputy Sheriff Justin Beard was killed in a vehicle crash while responding to a burglary alarm during a severe thunderstorm at approximately 6:00 am.

He was traveling on Louisiana Highway 34, south of West Monroe, when his patrol vehicle left the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned. Deputy Beard, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered fatal injuries.

Deputy Beard had served with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office for 3-1/2 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Officer Down

Sergeant Meggan Lee Callahan
North Carolina Department of Public Safety - Division of Prisons, North Carolina
End of Watch: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Age: 29
Tour: 5 years

Sergeant Meggan Callahan was killed after being assaulted at the Bertie Correctional Institution at approximately 5:30 pm.

An inmate service a life sentence for murder initially set a fire inside the prison. Sergeant Callahan responded with two other offices. She was using a fire extinguisher to put out the fire when she was attacked by the inmate that set the fire. He gained control of the fire extinguisher and struck Sergeant Callahan in the head with it, seriously injuring her.

Medical staff at the prison and other first responders provided medical aid but she succumbed to her injuries approximately one hour after the attack.

Sergeant Callahan had served with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety for five years.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Officer Down

Corporal Stephen J. Ballard
Delaware State Police, Delaware
End of Watch: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Age: 32
Tour: 8 years, 6 months
Badge # 1305
Cause: Gunfire

Corporal Stephen Ballard was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious vehicle at a gas station on Pulaski Highway, near Salem Church Road, in Bear, Delaware.

He made contact with two people he observed in the vehicle, at which point one of the men began struggling with him. The man pushed Corporal Ballard away from him and began to run. After taking several steps he turned around and opened fire on Corporal Ballard, wounding him. The man then chased Corporal Ballard as he sought cover behind a vehicle. The man shot him numerous times, including several times after Corporal Ballard fell to the ground.

Responding officers apprehended one of the subjects at the scene. The second subject fled to his home where he barricaded himself inside. After a long standoff, the subject exited his home and opened fire on officers, who returned fire killing him.

Corporal Ballard had served with the Delaware State Police for 8-1/2 years and was assigned to Troop 2, Glasgow. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and parents.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Again, this is why we don’t rush to judge an event.

I’ve been hosting this blog for 8 years and the post that got the most traffic was on another incident where the cop was seen to be in the wrong. I’ve learned over the years to wait this out, you have to see all the evidence in an event.

In 2016, we were introduced to the latest Youtube/BLM celebrity, Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile. When I first saw this video, my first thought was “How cold…her boyfriend is bleeding out and all she is concerned about is getting on Facebook live.” Well, after the officer was put on trial and found not guilty, the video from the officer was released. A few things I would like to point out.

1:05 Starts talking to him

1:39 Officer Yanez tells Castile, “Don’t reach for it man!”

1:40 The officer loudly tells Castile, “Don’t pull it out!”

1:42 Officer Yanez pulls his weapon

1:43 Officer Yanez fires

2:07 He calls for assistance and medics

5:00 The supervisor talks control and moves Officer Castile away.

6:11 Back-up officers pull Castile out and start chest compressions.

8:50 Ambulance arrives.

When I first watched Ms Reynolds video, I had a question of why didn’t the officer call for medical support. But I also knew this was one side of what happened, so I should hold judgement until we see the dash cam video and other evidence is presented. Now that I see this I can say Officer Yanez acted quickly and properly, asking for backup and medical assistance. The back up arrived within three minutes and relive Yanez, and conduct first aid on Castile. In less than seven minutes an ambulance.

And after seeing this, I see no issue with the officer’s actions. It’s my opinion, but to say the least I’m in doubt the sincerity of his girlfriend after her only though of after her boyfriend was wounded was to get this on live stream. And it is also the judgement of the jury. Does this make the man "innocent," no. It means, in the eyes of the law, he is not guilty.

One other point I would make about this. I carry a pistol pretty much everywhere I go. If I am pulled over, the first thing I do it put my hands out of the window and announce, "Officer, my hands are where you can see them. I am armed." I present my ID and he knows he has a "friendly." Carrying a weapon is a responsibly and you must think of things such as what to do when confronted by a law enforcement officer. I have to wonder if Mr. Castile ever thought that situation through. I would think that should be on his mine seeing he had been stopped for traffic over fifty times.

To anyone who carries a weapon, or wants to, think before you do. To all my fellow cops, be safe out there.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Officer Down

Agent Benjamín De los Santos-Barbosa
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Age: 32
Tour: 5 years, 6 months
Badge # 36373
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 4/16/2017

Agent Benjamín De los Santos-Barbosa succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained four days earlier following a vehicle pursuit in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

He and three other officers attempted to stop a vehicle for having illegal window tint. The driver, who was on parole for narcotics charges, led officers on a pursuit until he encountered a broken down vehicle in the roadway on Callejón Comercio. He then backed into the patrol car and opened fire as he exited his vehicle, striking Agent De los Santos-Barbosa in the head. The other officers, as well as a bystander, returned fire and wounded the subject.

The man was taken into custody and charged with 15 counts including murder, narcotics violations, and weapons violations.

Agent De los Santos-Barbosa remained on life support so that his organs could be donated.

Agent De los Santos-Barbosa had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 5-1/2 years. He was predeceased by his sister, who also had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department but was slain in 2010 while off duty. He is survived by his nephew, who he obtained custody of after his sister's murder.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff David Wade
Logan County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Age: 40
Tour: 3 years
Badge # 221

Deputy Sheriff David Wade was shot and killed at approximately 8:30 am as he attempted to serve an eviction notice at a residence near the intersection of CR 66 and Midwest Boulevard, outside of Mulhall, Oklahoma.

He encountered three subjects at the residence and began checking their identifications. One of the subjects opened fire on Deputy Wade, striking him multiple times. The man then stole Deputy Wade's patrol truck and fled the scene. He then abandoned the vehicle and carjacked a citizen in a nearby town. The subject was taken into custody several hours later.

Deputy Wade was able to radio for backup after he was shot. He was flown to a hospital in Oklahoma City where he passed away several hours later while in surgery.

Deputy Wade was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Logan County Sheriff's Office for three years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Kevlar from cornstarch...

One of the great inventions of the last century was Kevlar, a relatively light weight composite that could stop bullets. Originally invented by a Dupont chemist named Stephanie Kwolek. Her invention has saved countless cops and soldiers over the decades. Now it looks like we have the next generation of body armor, from of all things corn starch.

Air Force cadet creates bulletproof breakthrough

The cadet developed a cake-like batter that hardens with massive force

Air Force cadet Hayley Weir had an idea that turned out to be a game changer. "It was just the concept of going out there and stopping a bullet with something that we had made in a chemistry lab."

The 21-year-old Weir approached Air Force Academy Assistant Professor Ryan Burke with the idea. He was skeptical.

"I said, 'I'm not really sure this is going to work, the body armor industry is a billion-plus-dollar industry," he noted.

Weir's idea was to combine anti-ballistic fabric with what's known as a shear thickening fluid to create a less heavy material to use in body armor. She demonstrated the principle to Burke by combining water and cornstarch in a container and asking the professor to jam his finger into the paste-like goo.

"I jam my finger right into this bowl, and I almost broke my finger! Hayley's laughing because I've got this finger that I'm shaking and I'm saying, 'You know, that's pretty impressive stuff.'"

Convinced, Ryan worked with Weir for several months in a small lab at the Air Force Adacemy in Colorado Springs. They were helped and advised by Dr. Jeff Owens, Senior Research Chemist at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

They tried combining several different ingredients to come up with the exact formula for the shear thickening fluid, and the correct way to layer it with ballistic fibers.

"The pieces are not new," Weir explains, "everything that we've used in there has been researched (before) in some capacity for ballistics protection."

They tested their combinations on the firing range, failing time and again, until one day their quarter-inch thick design repeatedly stopped a round fired from a 9mm handgun.

Weir and Ryan's excitement was tempered by the range safety officer who pulled his .44 Magnum and told them bluntly, "This will fail."

Ryan says, "We loaded it in and it stopped it. And it stopped it a second time, and then a third time."

They realized they had hit on something special, that could potentially lighten the average 26-pound body armor kit worn by servicemen in the field by as much as two thirds.

"This is something that our competition doesn't have right now," Weir explained. "And with this advantage our soldiers, if they wear this body armor, will be able to move faster, run farther, jump higher."

Body armor for the military and first responders may not be the only thing that can be improved by the new fabric. It could possibly be used to reduce or replace the thick metal plates that protect military aircraft, tanks and other vehicles.

"And there's some significant gravity and weight behind that," Ryan said. "And what it could mean for people like my friends who are still active duty in the military, that are going downrange, serving overseas...."

Thank you LT Weir. If this works out, that's a major load off my back every day. And more people saved.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Officer Down

Master Police Officer Jason G. Harris
Spartanburg Police Department, South Carolina
End of Watch: Thursday, April 13, 2017
Age: 39
Tour: 12 years
Incident Date: 4/11/2017

Master Police Officer Jason Harris died of injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident while on patrol.

Officer Harris was responding to assist an officer at the scene of a burglary. He was traveling east on Union Street when his motorcycle struck the right rear side of a westbound car as it was turning left into a private driveway. Officer Harris was thrown from his 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle and seriously injured.

He was taken to Spartanburg Medical Center where he underwent multiple surgeries before succumbing to his injuries two days later.

Officer Harris had served with the Spartanburg Police Department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Officer Down

Trooper Anthony J. Borostowski
Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin
End of Watch: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Age: 34
Tour: 3 years
Badge # 2603

Trooper Anthony Borostowski was killed in a single vehicle crash at mile marker 89 on eastbound I-90/94 in Sauk County.

He was on patrol at approximately 4:00 am when his patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Trooper Borostowski was a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard and had served with the Wisconsin State Patrol for three years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

China and her navy....

China has come late to the concept of naval power projection. But she is coming on strong. China just launched her first nationally developed carrier, after launching a refitted carrier. Now to add to this, we have a submersible "arsenal" ship.

China is developing a warship of naval theorists' dreams

An arsenal ship that can be submerged in water.

The Chinese navy is taking arsenal ships in a new direction—as giant submersibles. Post-Cold War naval theorists have long dreamed of recreating the old battleships' power through massive "arsenal ships," or warships carrying hundreds of guided missiles that could fire at land and sea targets. Now it looks like China wants to make that dream a reality...

The submersible warship has four stages: submerged, partial exposure of the superstructure, raising the hull to the 'waterline' and as a low draft, and operating as a high-speed hydroplane.
...What's the big deal about an underwater arsenal vessel? Well submerging all or even most of a large warship would reduce its radar and visual signature, as well as protect it against most missile threats.

There are two concepts in circulation: one is a high-speed warship with much of its hull submerged but otherwise has a functional superstructure with defense weapons and radar, the other is almost completely submerged arsenal ship with two conning towers. The scale of the designs are significant; either ship would displace roughly about 20,000 tons at full load...

...For stealth operations, the arsenal ship would have most of its hull inherently submerged, with only the bridge and a few other parts of the ship above the waterline, reducing the radar cross section. But when traveling with a high-speed naval taskforce, the arsenal ship will sacrifice stealth to use its flat hull bottom to hydroplane at high speeds, cutting across the waves like a speedboat or amphibious armored vehicle.

The second design is more conventional, it is essentially a giant, conventionally propelled submarine with two conning towers stuffed with snorkels, periscopes, and communications antennae. Given its need to keep up with high-speed surface ships and its lack of high-speed endurance underwater, this arsenal ship design would operate similarly to WWII submarines; the majority of its voyage will take place on the surface, and will submerge only during combat and under attack.

Chinese research institutes have been testing sub-models of both arsenal ship configurations since 2011, including open-water tests for the hydroplane arsenal ship and laboratory tests for the arsenal submarine. Unverified rumors on the Chinese internet claim that a full-scale, proof-of-concept is under construction at Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industrial Corporation, to be launched after 2020.
An arsenal ship can rely on the carrier's airwing and surface warship escorts to protect it against airborne threats, while providing the carrier group hundreds of extra missile launchers holding anything from air-defense rockets to land-attack cruise missiles.

I remember a great quote from the movie, The Hunt for Red October:

Skip Tyler: When I was twelve, I helped my daddy build a bomb shelter in our basement because some fool parked a dozen warheads 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Well, this thing could park a coupla hundred warheads off Washington and New York and no one would know anything about it till it was all over.

Conceivably this could park itself off of coast of Japan or South Korea and devastate a target area. There is no guarantee the missiles will only have conventional warheads.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

For cops, Must Have, Should Have, Good to Have.

PoliceOne was good enough to publish an article I wrote on police patrol equipment. To the cops out there, please, let me know what you think:

A cop's guide to the supplies you will want on patrol 
While there is no one way to do the job, this is a list of basics for every cop on the street 
Jun 5, 2017

By Mike Thiac, P1 Contributor 
I spent years training new officers as a Field Training Instructor and now as a Field Training Supervisor. A question I often get asked is, "What equipment do I really need on the street?" I’ve usually answered that there is no one way to do this job and the equipment needed varies. I’ve also suggested that as they see other cops working, "adapt what works for you," as there is no copyright on this. Good ideas are best shared. 
That being said, here is a list of some basics for every cop on the street. This is a list organized by the "must-haves" (don’t go out without them), the "should-haves (not war-stoppers, but highly recommended) and the "good-to-haves" (not necessarily needed, but they make life easier), in no particular order. Is it complete? Not really. Everyone has a different situation, but here are some requirements and suggestions. 
Must-have for every cop 
Uniform: Clean, with insignia (badge, name plate, etc.). Look like a professional. Don’t forget haircut, and men, shaved. 
Primary duty weapon: Cleaned, loaded with operable ammunition. Ammunition is cheap, your life is not. Replace your daily load regularly (like every year during your birth month). The odds are you will never fire your weapon outside the range, but a firearm is like blood or a parachute. You don't need it unless you need it badly. 
Comfortable shoes/boots: You will be in them all day and your feet will start to hurt if mistreated. I suggest at least two pairs so you can rotate them. 
Body armor: Wear it, end of discussion. Why anyone would not wear it is beyond me. If you will interact with the public, be prepared that some of the public will not like you, even if you’re working the station desk. More than a few front desk officers have been in a firefight. A friend suggested investing in a ceramic trauma plate to cover your chest. It replaces the Kevlar trauma plate, but they are rated to stop shotgun shells and rifle bullets over a critical area. 
Radio: Have faith, your police computer will fail, or you will be chasing a suspect and you will need to call out locations. Make sure you charge your battery before each shift. 
Flashlight and a backup: Being able to see in the dark is absolutely critical. Believe in bad luck, the bad guys are out there and they will see you. Make sure you see them. 
Baton/Mace/CED: Intermediate weapons, as allowed by your agency. Give yourself more options other than command presence, verbal orders, physical force and deadly force. 
Personal affairs in order: Congratulations, young man or woman, you are in a profession where death or serious bodily injury is a distinct possibility. Is your family ready? Have you set up a will, living will, medical power of attorney and final directives?  Does your family know where they are? Even if you're single, you need to plan for the worst because someone may have to make decisions for you.
If you're a single parent, or both you and your spouse are cops, have you planned for your children if something should happen? If the answer is "Mom and dad will take care of the kids...," do mom and dad know that? Have you discussed this with them? Do they have (or are able to obtain) your kids’ medical and education records? Have you given them a power of attorney for this matter? Have you planned for switching schools, or if you are in a hospital for long-term recovery, will one parent move into your house?
Questions like this should be answered before you get on the streets. LegalZoom offers online services and many police unions or agencies offer assistance in this. Also, if you have a "change of life" such as divorce, marriage or birth of a child, make sure things like insurance policies and pension benefits are updated. 
Should-have for every cop 
Back-up weapon: Assume you need to use deadly force and for whatever reason you cannot use your primary weapon (e.g. strong arm injured, mechanical failure), what do you do?  A backup weapon can be a lifesaver. 
I suggest you orient it to your weak hand (for most of us, the left) so if your strong hand is injured, you still have a plausible threat of deadly force against your target. I recommend something small without an exposed hammer (have faith, it will catch on something when you desperately need it) so you can get it out easily.
Personally, I carry a snub-nose .357 Ruger LCR in my left cargo pocket. No exposed hammer, no parts to jam. I yank the trigger, it will fire. Even if you don't hit your target, you may scare the person enough that he or she runs or you can back off and reassess. Again, whatever works for you. 
Long weapon: A shotgun or rifle – some type of longer range weapon. I carry a Remington 870 and an AR-15. It's a fact there are people out there with more lethal weapons, and the threat has changed with active shooter being a plausible situation. You need something with more effective range than a pistol. And in certain situations, the intimidation factor may help you avoid a conflict. Is there a more intimidating sound than a shotgun being racked? 
Extra ammo: Ammo is cheap, life is not. Extra rounds for anything you carry, preferably in a magazine so it's quick to reload. 
Water: Back in my college Army ROTC days, a very wise master sergeant made a point that has stuck with me since. If you are in a long firefight (for police, see hostage situation, active shooter or barricaded suspect) you need two things to survive: water and ammunition. 
A few bottles of H2O can be a godsend in the middle of a hot summer day while you’re manning a post. For a few dollars you can put a case of water in your patrol vehicle and you're set. It may be warm but at least you're hydrated. And your buddies who didn't think of this will like the fact someone brought the water! 
Long handcuff key: The small key that comes with the set is good as a backup, but a long one will make it much easier to double lock or unlock handcuffs. 
Medical info card: Prepare for the worst, you're going down. Type up a medical information card and put it where it's easy to find (wallet, behind the trauma plate on your body armor). Don't think, "This is personal." If a medic is looking at this you are hurting and they will need to know personal information. What to put on it?  Your info (name, DOB, phone number), blood type, medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure), medications you take (even your vitamins; the doc needs to know), names and contact information of your doctor, and some emergency contacts (name, address and phone number). Assume you will not be in any condition to answer medical questions. That may save your life. 
Leg restraints/hobble: Assuming your agency allows this, have it available. When a suspect starts kicking even though he's handcuffed, you still have to secure/transport him. You may have them at the station, but the sooner he's restrained the better. 
Extra handcuffs: Assume you will have more than one suspect, or a very large one that needs a few cuffs. They are not that expensive and most companies give you a lifetime warranty: They break, they exchange them. 
Change of underwear/uniform/shower stuff: If you are stuck at the station for a very long shift (emergency, natural disaster, etc.), your uniform will get icky. A shower and just the change of underwear and socks will make you feel much better. If you can spare a uniform, keep a backup in your locker or car. 
Phone/fax numbers for every office and emails you will need:  Your station, the investigative branches you deal with, the DA, any courts you will deal with, etc. Have them in your smartphone.  Make sure they are the phone numbers that get picked up, not the ones with voicemail. 
Required forms and a file to carry them in: This includes booking forms, vehicle tow slips and evidence submission forms. Waiting on forms or filling them out later only delays getting your job done. Have your paperwork ready. 
Gloves: Nitrile exam gloves, like the EMTs and paramedics wear. You don't want to be exposed to a suspect's bodily fluid and dirt. 
Medical kit (tourniquet, blood stoppage): Given the lessons from the Boston Marathon bombing and other mass-casualty incidents, you should have a tourniquet and know how to use it. When someone can use a rice cooker to make a bomb, bleeding out is very possible. Being able to stop blood loss is critical, even in a large city with ambulance support minutes away. What happens in a rural sheriff's office where you have a deputy 30 miles from medical support?  Be prepared!  Amazon.com sells the North American Rescue Military Issue Combat Application Tourniquet for around $30. How much is your life worth? 
More than one pen: Sounds amateurish, but I've had to explain to more than one officer (including senior officers) they need a backup pen. Count on it, once you desperately need to write something down, your pen will fail. Personally I carry three in case someone stole (excuse me, borrowed) my second. 
Note pads: A major part of what we do is writing, field notes, complainant's statements, etc. You’re going to need something to write on. Be ready, have your memo and a small pad in a pocket, next to more than one pen!
Wrist watch: Younger people are often not using a wristwatch for various reasons (I have a phone, I don't like the mark it puts on my wrist). Cops aren’t normal young people. You need to know the time so have a wristwatch. 
Hand cleaner: We generally don’t deal with clean people and work like this is dirty. Mike Rowe, you’ve cleaned a sewer, but have you handled a homeless, mentally unstable person who hasn’t taken a shower since the Bush administration or a two week old dead body? Get something that kills germs and use it. 
Map of your area: Again, have faith in technology. Have faith it will fail when you need it. Get a Rand McNally (rookies, ask the old dudes about it) or something similar and have it ready. 
A thumb drive: Old dudes, ask the rookies about it. It can hold documents, video of crimes, digital forms, etc. Police work has moved into the 21st century, gotta go with it. 
Your supervisor's phone number/email: No matter if you’re an officer, sergeant, or chief, you need to be able to contact your boss. At the first meeting with my squad, I sent them a text message with my name, unit number, cell and home number. I’d rather they ask me a question on my time off than have to write letters explaining a mistake later. Also, bad news only gets worse with time. 
Clipboard of some type: A simple wooden one (less than a buck at Wal-Mart) or metal one that can hold forms; you need something to write on. It also doubles as something you can paste cheat sheets to (checklist for DWI, drug cases, etc.). 
Narcotics testing supplies: It can help determine if the suspect you are dealing with got "robbed" by his dealer when his cocaine turned out to be sugar. 
Good to have 
Camera: Photos are great and it’s nice that your iPhone can take them, but thanks to some court rulings, the defense may be able to take your phone. So pick up a cheap digital camera for work. You can get a decent camera from Amazon.com for less than $50 with over 10 megapixels (old dudes, ask the rooks to explain megapixels) for good clarity. Don’t forget a case for it and an adapter for the memory chip to go into a USB port. 
Fingerprint kit: Very old school, but prints are great evidence and they can be easy to take. Most agencies will issue an officer the basics (brush, tape, dust) and go from there. Again, not something you do on every case, but for the more serious cases (aggravated assault) it can make the difference. 
Cheat sheets: Some officers are more attuned to certain things than others. Some officers are proficient at narcotics investigations or DWIs, they can handle all procedures from memory. If you are not that proficient, a quick checklist can really make an unfamiliar call go faster. 
Spreadsheets for tax-deductible stuff: Rookies, get in the habit of filing the long form on TurboTax (or with your accountant). But it’s good to set up a spreadsheet of annual expenses for work (e.g. ammo, weapons, range cost, mileage to authorized extra jobs or training at the range). Like many professions, you will be "self-funding" for a lot of your equipment and other costs. You can get some of that back on your tax bill, but have the documentation ready when the IRS comes calling with a word that strikes fear into the heart of any tax-paying citizen: "audit." 
Disinfectant spray for back seats: Again, you’re not dealing with the cleanest people on earth and you will be amazed at how far the smell travels up wind from the back seat to the front seat, even at 60 mph with the windows open. Lysol or something similar can help (don’t forget to list it on your spreadsheet). 
Plastic bags for suspect's items: A good way to know a suspect doesn’t have anything on him is to take it out of his hands and pockets. However, you have to put it somewhere. A cheap Ziploc bag can hold everything and you can just hand it off to the jailer as you book him. 
Paper bags and rubber bands for suspects involved in shootings: A shooting suspect will need his hands swabbed for gunpowder residue. Keep them covered with paper bags (large lunch bags). Do not use plastic bags – paper reduces sweating and allows testing. 
Paper clips to test drugs: When you test cocaine, it’s easier to dip the end of a paper clip into the testing liquid and touch it to the sample. 
Phone apps: Get apps for drug recognition (iPharmacy), decibel reader (Decibel 10: Noise dB Meter) or even a police scanner to listen to nearby agencies during an emergency, saving your radio.
Pre-formatted reports for repeated calls: Every station will have a place that calls multiple times a week, such as the grocery store with the shoplifter, etc. A lot of the report will be the same, why reinvent the wheel. Just have the basic data saved on a Word file, copy and paste, and then make the updates (e.g. the date and time) needed.
Masks for spitters: Not often, but on occasion you have a spitter. A simple mask, like they wear in the emergency department, is a useful spit blocker. 
Pocket knife/multifunctional tool: The Leatherman was the original multifunctional tool, but there are others, plus countless pocket knives. Being able to cut something is critical at times, and a tool that cuts wires can also be of great help. 
Tablet with a map program: While many police cars have computers with map programs, a tablet (iPad, Surface) can be very useful. If you are serving a warrant or planning officer deployment around a disturbance, having a map of the area will allow you good situational awareness of your manpower. 
Blank CDs: Often data needs to be tagged into evidence. Blank CDs are inexpensive and you can download a large amount of data and tag it for later investigation/court. 
Binoculars: Being able to see at a greater distance than your normal eyes can be a great help if you are searching for a suspect, a lost child, etc. 
Pain reliever, eye drops, cold medicine, etc.: Working nights or evenings, in hazardous conditions (floods, etc.) is part of the job. When everyone is home because of the weather, cops, firefighters and EMTs are working (yes, you are the essential employees – you don’t get flood/snow days) and, you will get headaches, colds, etc. Have something to help you when you’re on the job. Keep aspirin, eye drops, and cold medication in your locker or duty bag. 
Digital audio recorder: Again, don’t use your smart phone but allow someone to talk into a digital recorder and download it and tag it. Digital recorders can be picked up for less than $20. Remember you just need a basic recorder, not something for a concert. Nothing will incriminate a defendant more than their own words.
This is not intended as an exhaustive list. Adapt it to how you work on the street. Remember you don’t have to buy everything at once. Observe how others do the job and use their knowledge and experience to ensure you accomplish your greatest goal: Go home at the end of the watch.

About the author 
Michael A. Thiac is a Houston Police patrol sergeant and field training supervisor with over 18 years experience. He is also retired from the Army Reserve, after spending 23 years in intelligence. When not on patrol, he can be found at A Cop’s Watch
Author's note: The statements, opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed herein are solely those of the author and not in any official capacity as an employee of the Houston Police Department and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or official policies of the Houston Police Department. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Longest Day of all Time....

I've been meaning to post this for a couple of days. Last week we passed D-Day, the 73rd Anniversary, and you can't think of that without the worlds of Reagan in 1984:

"We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history...

...Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your ``lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor...''

...Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause..."

I saw this last week and it just shows, incredibly, what a massive effort it was to invade Europe in the summer of 1944. Over 150 thousand men, over 13,000 casualties, and Americans suffered over 3,000 deaths that day. And still they came to retake the continent of Europe from NAZI tyranny.

I doubt there will every be anything to match this from the end of time. If only for the fact you could never hide something this large. And the debt owed the men here can never be repaid.

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Levi Pettway
Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, Alabama
End of Watch: Monday, April 10, 2017
Age: 61
Tour: 12 years

Deputy Sheriff Levi Pettway was killed in a single vehicle crash on Alabama 21 in Hayneville.

Deputy Pettway's patrol car left the roadway and struck several trees. Rescue crews extricated him from the vehicle but were unable to revive him.

Deputy Pettway had served with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office for 12 years and was assigned as the school resource officer at The Calhoun School. He is survived by his wife.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I guess her complaint didn't go over as well as she thought it would....

My agency recently started to field body worn cameras last year and my station was last to get them. The good part of that is they had time to work out most of the bugs, but we still have battery issues. But during training one point was made by the instructor. Before we had a lot of complaints against officers that were looked at by Internal Affairs and found to be "Undetermined." They could not prove or disprove the accusation. With video evidence, more cases are being declared "Exonerated," i.e. the action didn't happen or it did happen and was justified.

I guess this "aggrieved oppressed citizen" didn't realize she was on camera.
Woman who accused Greendale police of profiling has withdrawn her complaint

GREENDALE — A woman who accused Greendale police of profiling her during a traffic stop has withdrawn her complaint. This, after Greendale police completed an investigation into the matter.

Katherine Torres filed a complaint with the police department on Friday, June 2nd. Torres says she was driving back to work from her lunch break on that Wednesday when a Greendale police officer pulled her over. Torres says the officer’s first questions were not the ones she expected.

“The first thing he asked me was, ‘Are you a U.S. citizen?’ Then he asked for my Social Security, then he asked for my license and, finally, he asked for my insurance card,” Torres said in a news conference on June 2nd.

Greendale police say after the complaint against the department, they began an investigation to determine if Torres’ allegations were accurate.

On the date that Torres was pulled over, Greendale police say they had four officers participating in the state “Click It or Ticket” initiative. They say 34 traffic stops were conducted — and 35 citations were issued to motorists with a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

A police sergeant observed a vehicle which did not have a front license plate attached or displayed — a violation of Wisconsin State Statutes. The sergeant stopped the vehicle and identified Torres as the driver. Torres was issued a citation for failure to fasten seat belt and given verbal warnings for two other violations.

The news release issued on Tuesday, June 6th says the Greendale police sergeant asked Torres for her social security number “which is consistent with Greendale policy. Wisconsin law allows collection of social security numbers by law enforcement. The Greendale Municipal Court uses the social security number to assist in the collection of unpaid forfeitures through the State’s Tax Intercept Program.”

Officials says they reviewed the audio and video recording captured on the sergeant’s in-squad video system. The news release says the allegation that the sergeant questioned Torres about her citizenship is false. It says he “asked Ms. Torres for her contact information, insurance information and verified address, consistent with proper procedure. He never questioned her citizenship or immigration status, as alleged by Ms. Torres.”

Again, Torres has withdrawn her complaint...

I wonder why. Could it be that she was shown to be a liar?

A friend who's used these cameras on his department over the last few years said one of the first things he noticed was if someone was being aggressive, refusing to answer simple questions (e.g. name), he would put his camera on and the person would calm down. Knowing they were on camera and their was evidence supporting the officer made them think a bit.

Sergeant, glad that you were exonerated on this matter. Take care.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Even for the Manhattan tabloid New York Times, this response to withdrawing from the Paris Treaty is baaaaad.

I actually disagree with the president on this. He should have simply announced, "The Paris Climate agreement is a treaty and before it can be in effect, it must be ratified by a vote of two-thirds of the Senate. So I've submitted it to the Senate for 'advise and consent,' so until this is approved, it has no binding on the United States." I know, a quaint idea, having treaties approved by the Senate, rolling the Constitution.

But I've seen this and I almost lost my coffee. Enjoy.
Opinion (COMMENT: At least they called it opinion.)

Trump’s Stupid and Reckless Climate Decision


Read his bio. It's classic!
JUNE 1, 2017

People say, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. We should be so lucky. President Trump has a hammer, but all he’ll use it for is to smash things that others have built, as the world looks on in wonder and in fear. The latest, most troubling example is his decision to obliterate the Paris climate accord: After nearly 200 years of scientific inquiry and over 20 years of patient diplomacy that united every nation save Syria and Nicaragua, we had this afternoon’s big game-show Rose Garden reveal: Count us out.

It’s a stupid and reckless decision — our nation’s dumbest act since launching the war in Iraq....
Yo Billy, where have you been the last decade? Obamacare? The Iran Nuke Deal? B Hussein Obama sticking his nose and ears into Syria, Libya and Egypt? The Iranians taking our boats without consequence?
...But it’s not stupid and reckless in the normal way. Instead, it amounts to a thorough repudiation of two of the civilizing forces on our planet: diplomacy and science. It undercuts our civilization’s chances of surviving global warming, but it also undercuts our civilization itself, since that civilization rests in large measure on those two forces.

Slight bit of hyperbole there Billy?
Science first. Since the early 1800s we’ve been slowly but surely figuring out the mystery of how our climate operates — why our planet is warmer than it should be, given its distance from the sun. From Fourier to Foote and Tyndall, from Arrhenius to Revelle and Suess and Keeling, researchers have worked out the role that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases play in regulating temperature. By the 1980s, as supercomputers let us model the climate with ever greater power, we came to understand our possible fate. Those big brains, just in time, gave us the warning we required...

OK Billy, one question. What should the temperature be? If you can say without question it's "warmer than it should be," then you know what it should be. Otherwise, how do you know if the current temp is not the "correct" temp? So please Billy, enthrall me with your acumen.
And now, in this millennium, we’ve watched the warning start to play out. We’ve seen 2014 set a new global temperature record, which was smashed in 2015 and smashed again in 2016. We’ve watched Arctic sea ice vanish at a record pace and measured the early disintegration of Antarctica’s great ice sheets. We’ve been able to record alarming increases in drought and flood and wildfire, and we’ve been able to link them directly to the greenhouse gases we’ve poured into the atmosphere...

I know, a radical few questions. So we never had "drought and flood and wildfire" before we had cars during gas and ships or trains burning coal and diesel? And how were they directly related to "greenhouse gases?" BTY, isn't the largest greenhouse gas in the atmosphere di-hydonated oxide, sometimes know as water?
...This is the largest-scale example in the planet’s history of the scientific method in operation, the continuing dialectic between hypothesis and skepticism that arrived eventually at a strong consensus about the most critical aspects of our planet’s maintenance. Rational people the world around understand. As Bloomberg Businessweek blazoned across its cover the week after Hurricane Sandy smashed into Wall Street, “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”

Science is not consensus, it's observations, analysis, testing, proofs, review by non-interesting reviewers. And Bloomturd as a source, spare us.
But now President Trump (and 22 Republican senators who wrote a letter asking him to take the step) is betting that all of that is wrong. Mr. Trump famously called global warming a hoax during the campaign, and with this decision he’s wagering that he was actually right — he’s calling his own bluff. No line of argument in the physical world supports his claim, and no credible authority backs him, not here and not abroad. It’s telling that he simultaneously wants to cut the funding for the satellites and ocean buoys that monitor our degrading climate. Every piece of data they collect makes clear his foolishness. He’s simply insisting that physics isn’t real.

Are you one of the people who say biology is just a social construct? There are no male or females?

Read the rest if you want, but it's great. Billy here sounds like he's about to loose it, I would actually enjoy watching him have his stroke (tongue in cheek).

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not as bad as Yassar Arafat getting the Nobel Peace Prize...

But at least as bad as B Hussein Obama being awarded, and worse than ALGORE getting one.

The domestic terrorist organization Black Lives Matter (an oxymoron worse than military intelligence) is getting a "peace prize" from a group in Sydney Australia. You can't make this up.
Black Lives Matter Honored With ‘Peace Prize’

Black Lives Matter is set to receive a “peace award” to highlight the group’s work to bring about change in a non-violent way, a foundation announced Monday.

The Sydney Peace Foundation will give the award to the movement’s founders Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza in November, reports the Guardian.

Each year the organization tries to honor people who are “leading global voices that promote peace, justice and nonviolence,” the foundation explained. They chose Black Lives Matter because of the movement’s dedication to its “bold and visionary strategies,” the organization said.

“To turn a radically inclusive message into a rallying cry for millions of people requires vision, leadership, heart and courage. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi and the many other Black Lives Matter leaders challenge us all to rethink, reimagine and reconstruct the societies we live in,” the foundation said about why they selected the Black Lives Matter movement.

The movement’s founders called the award a reminder that their movement is doing the right thing.

“The Sydney Peace Prize is an affirmation and reminds us that we are on a righteous path. Accepting this award is about our people on the ground striving for justice every single day,” Tometi, a co-founder of the movement, told the Guardian. “It’s truly meaningful to be recognized in this way.”

Black Lives Matter is most well-known for its protests against police brutality, though the movement focuses on other issues like transgenderism, globalism and affirming the gay community. The movement has also had violent protests done in its name, with one chapter calling to “fry” cops “like pigs in a blanket....”

Here you go:

Or here:

A good look at what this group is:
5 Things You Need To Know About Black Lives Matter

1. Black Lives Matter pushes a false narrative based on lies.

Leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement have expressed outrage over white cops allegedly targeting and murdering black men in cold blood with racial animus. The movement has depicted such horrors as an “epidemic.”

But such a narrative is false; statistical evidence has wholly debunked these claims and a new study has actually found no racial bias against blacks in police shootings.

Further, even the blown-up stories in the media helping to build the false narrative are built on lies: The Black Lives Matter movement earned its claim to fame by promoting the lie that Michael Brown was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson while he was surrendering with his "hands up..."

2. Black Lives Matter calls for anarchy, and they follow through on it.

Black Lives Matter protesters’ staple chant is “no justice, no peace.” They have also explicitly called to “dismantle this system.”

3. Black Lives Matter has explicitly called for dead cops and the “lynching” of white people.

Black Lives Matter members have disturbingly called for the murder of innocent white people, white police officers in particular...

...A radio host affiliated with Black Lives Matter agrees with an anonymous caller demanding that white people be a "sacrifice" for alleged racially-motivated police brutality. The caller suggests that after black people murder innocent white people, they should "hang them from a tree, take pictures of it and send it to mother f*ckers.”...

4. Black Lives Matter has pushed for segregation, even from Black Lives Matter sympathizers and their own members who are not black.

In November of 2015, Black Lives Matter members openly promoted segregation: "Activists" at the University of Missouri demanded a “blacks only healing space” where white “allies” and sympathizers of their cause were kicked out. This counterproductive move was in response to perceived “racial injustices” and “white privilege” at the college...

5. The Obama Administration has legitimized Black Lives Matter.

Despite all the racist, hateful acts committed and promoted by members of the Black Lives Matter movement, our president continuously legitimizes the group.

As recent as February of this year, Mr. Obama invited race-hustlers and prominent Black Lives Matter figures such as Deray McKesson to speak about race at the White House. He reportedly told McKesson and the other so-called "activists" that they have done "outstanding work" and "made history."

"We've got some young people here who are making history as we speak."
Barack Obama, praising Black Lives Matter supporters
"We've got some young people here who are making history as we speak," said Obama. "People like Brittany [Packnett] who served on our Police Task Force in the wake of Ferguson and has led many of the protests that took place there and shined a light on the injustice that was happening. People like Deray McKesson who has done some outstanding work mobilizing in Baltimore around these issues -- and to see generations who are continuing to work on behalf of justice and equality and economic opportunity is greatly encouraging to me."

As Clint Eastwood said, Swell.

Officer Down

Master Sergeant Carl T. Cosper
Barry County Sheriff's Office, Missouri
End of Watch: Friday, April 7, 2017
Age: 56
Tour: 10 years

Master Sergeant Carl Cosper was killed in a vehicle collision while responding to a domestic violence call in the town of Seligman.

He was traveling south on Missouri 37 at County Road 1060, approximately one half-mile south of Washburn, when his patrol car struck a school bus that turned left in front of him. His patrol car overturned and he was ejected from the vehicle.

Sergeant Cosper was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Sergeant Cosper had served with the Barry County Sheriff's Department for 10 years.

Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.