Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Friday, August 13, 2021

Officer Down


Sergeant Gilbert Polanco

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California

End of Watch Sunday, August 9, 2020

Age 55

Tour 34 years

Cause COVID19

Incident Date Thursday, July 2, 2020


Sergeant Gilbert Polanco died after contracting COVID-19 during an outbreak among staff and inmates at San Quentin State Prison.


Sergeant Polanco was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 34 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


Beginning in early 2020, due to the requirements of their job, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the United States contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic. Hundreds of law enforcement officers died from medical complications as a result of contracting the virus while remaining on duty and interacting with the community.


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, August 11, 2021


Deputy Sheriff Philip Kraverotis | Effingham County Sheriff's Office, Georgia                                                                        Effingham County Sheriff's Office, GA


Deputy Sheriff Philip Kraverotis

Effingham County Sheriff's Office, Georgia

End of Watch Thursday, August 6, 2020

Age 59

Tour 15 years

Badge 4191

Cause COVID19

Incident Date Monday, August 3, 2020


Deputy Sheriff Philip Kraverotis died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 while on duty at the Effingham County Judicial Complex.


Deputy Kraverotis had served with the Effingham County Sheriff's Office for 15 years and was assigned to the Courts Division. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter, sister, and two brothers.


Beginning in early 2020, due to the requirements of their job, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the United States contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic. Hundreds of law enforcement officers died from medical complications as a result of contracting the virus while remaining on duty and interacting with the community.

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.  


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

What's Going On In The World Today 210809


Carrier Strike Groups

  • CVN 70: The USS Carl Vinson is underway in the Pacific Ocean for a large-scale exercise.
  • CVN 72: The USS Abraham Lincoln is underway in the Pacific Ocean for a large-scale exercise.
  • CVN 76: The USS Ronald Reagan is underway in the Arabian Sea.

Amphibious Ready Groups/Marine Expeditionary Units

  • LHA 6: The USS America is underway in the Coral Sea for a large-scale exercise with Australia and seven other countries.
  • LHA 7: The USS Tripoli is underway in the Pacific Ocean for qualification trials.
  • LHD 3: The USS Kearsarge is underway in the Atlantic Ocean for routine training.
  • LHD 7: The USS Iwo Jima is underway in the Persian Gulf.



Evidence points to secret Indian navy base on Mauritian island

Analysis of data suggests construction of airstrip and jetty for military use as India expands influence towards Africa.

Satellite imagery, financial data and on-the-ground evidence obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit point to India building a naval facility on the remote Mauritian island of Agaléga.

Military experts who have analysed Al Jazeera’s evidence say an airstrip under construction will almost certainly be used for maritime patrol missions by India’s navy.

Rumours and media reports about the military base first surfaced in 2018 but both Mauritius and India have denied that the construction project is for military purposes and say the infrastructure is only to benefit the islanders.

Satellite pictures reveal how Agaléga, located about 1,100km (684 miles) from Mauritius’ main island and home to about 300 people, is seeing the construction of two large jetties and a runway that is more than 3km (1.84 miles) long...

Egypt receives fourth German S-44 submarine at Alexandria base

Egypt received the fourth German-made S-44 submarine at its Alexandria naval base on Monday, the Egyptian Navy announced. The model 209/1400 mod 4 sub was shipped from the German port city of Kiel. “This latest addition to Egyptian naval forces represents a huge reinforcement for the capabilities of the Egyptian army, which will contribute to the protection of the country’s economic resources in the Mediterranean and Red seas, as well as the Suez Canal,” Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson Gharib Abdel Hafez said in a statement...


U.S. approves potential sale of howitzers to Taiwan - Pentagon

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of 40 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer artillery systems to Taiwan in a deal valued at up to $750 million, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

This comes after arms sales last year that included drones and coastal missile defenses meant to upgrade the island's capabilities and discourage a Chinese invasion. The Biden administration has approved other direct commercial sales of arms to Taiwan since taking office. 

The package would include the howitzers, 1,698 precision guidance kits for munitions, spares, training, ground stations and upgrades for Taiwan's previous generation of howitzers, the Pentagon said..




Tracking Mexico's Cartels in 2021


Largely Static Cartel Drivers, From 2020 to 2021 and Beyond

Despite pandemic-related changes in the last 18 months — which include U.S. border closures, travel restrictions, lockdowns and curfews — the strategic forces behind cartel violence in Mexico have changed very little since 2020: larger groups continued to fuel local conflicts by controlling trafficking routes and territory through cooperation with local gangs, and in many cases using COVID-19 lockdowns to assert territorial control. Important drivers of violence and insecurity in Mexico in the next 18 months will be cartel revenue streams, political relationships, the U.S.-Mexico security relationship, cartel technological and military capabilities, and cartel rivalries. Criminal groups also will continue to experience fragmentation and infighting that leads to sporadic upticks in violence, such as the events in Reynosa on June 19, when civilians were killed as a result of Gulf Cartel infighting. Other notable cartel-driven risks for the coming 18 months include: 

  • Volatility along the U.S.-Mexico border — vital turf for cartel activities including drug- and migrant-smuggling — which could lead to sporadic shutdowns and delays at ports of entry and border crossings.
  • An increased threat of indiscriminate violence in important areas where cartels are vying for control, such as the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Queretaro and Zacatecas.
  • Ongoing extortion and theft threat to businesses that focus on natural resource extraction — such as oil, mining and timber — given the lucrative nature of these businesses. 



Taliban Rampage Puts Afghan Journalists in Crosshairs

HERAT, Afghanistan—Across Afghanistan, as the Taliban ramp up atrocities in the areas under their control, journalists are fleeing for their lives, terrified the insurgents will make good on threats to kill them and their families unless they start pumping out favorable copy.

The exodus is a potential death knell for one of the true success stories of the last 20 years, when Afghanistan fostered the region’s freest press. But in just the past four months, 51 media outlets have closed, according to Afghan journalism watchdogs, and hundreds of news professionals have left their jobs. In some parts of Afghanistan, newsrooms have been destroyed or looted, and many journalists say they receive messages threatening consequences unless they start reporting about the insurgents positively. Many believe it is only a matter of time before the Taliban make good on those threats…  


China moves quickly to replace America in Afghanistan

As the United States withdraws its forces from Afghanistan, China is not hesitating to move in. Earlier this week, nine Taliban leaders accepted Beijing’s invitation and met in Tianjin with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi. One of those leaders was the group’s co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Wang told his visitors that China expects the Taliban to play an important role in the “process of peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan” and described the group as a “pivotal political and military force” in the country. It appears to be only a matter of time before China recognizes the Talban’s de facto control of the country even as Washington remains formally committed to supporting the Kabul government.  


Amid Stalled Nuclear Talks, Iran Reasserts Itself at Sea 

Iran appears to be ramping back up its naval harassment activities in order to gain leverage in negotiations with the West and display strength at home. Such aggressive behavior, however, risks upending those talks altogether by threatening regional security. A hijacking and deadly attack within days of each other near the strategic Strait of Hormuz reflects a higher risk tolerance akin to previous periods of frequent Iranian naval harassment. On Aug. 3, hijackers seized the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess tanker while it was transiting the Gulf of Oman and demanded that the vessel set sail for Iran. The hijacking of the vessel, which is owned by a Dubai-based firm, comes only days after a suspected Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) killed two sailors on board the Israeli-linked Mercer Street tanker. While the details of its involvement in both incidents may never be confirmed, Tehran is likely the culprit based on past precedent, geographic proximity and probable motive...   

Iranians Fear Turning Into Another 'North Korea' If Draconian Internet Censorship Bill Passes

Iranians are warning of public anger and drawing parallels with the world's most oppressive regimes as legislation makes its way through the country's parliament that could intensify online censorship and further restrict Internet access. Iranian authorities already block tens of thousands of websites and regularly throttle or cut Internet connectivity during crucial periods, including a near-total shutdown for nearly a week amid antiestablishment protests following a disputed election in 2019. On July 28, the draft of a bill to hand control of Iran's Internet gateways to the armed forces and criminalize the use of virtual private networks (VPN) was sent for review to a parliamentary committee, despite fierce public criticism.

Iran warns of response if security threatened after ship attack -TV

Iran will respond promptly to any threat against its security, the foreign ministry said on Monday, after the United States, Israel and Britain blamed Tehran for an attack on an Israeli- managed tanker off the coast of Oman. Tehran has denied any involvement in the suspected drone attack on Thursday in which two crew members - a Briton and a Romanian - were killed. The United States and Britain said on Sunday they would work with their allies to respond to the attack on the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.


Shah’s son urges West to drive ‘nail in coffin’ of Iran clerical state

Reza Pahlavi, the son of Iran’s last shah, believes the clerical state that toppled his father is on the brink of crumbling. What Iranians need now, he says, is stronger support from the West. As ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi was endorsed Tuesday as the eighth president of the Islamic republic, Pahlavi, who lives in exile near Washington, pointed to an election turnout rate of 48.8 percent, the lowest since the 1979 revolution, as well as demonstrations first triggered by serious water shortages…

Iran Guards Deploy Aircraft Detecting Radar in Western Syria

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps factions set aircraft-detecting radar in Syria’s al- Mazare area, around al-Mayadeen city in the eastern sector of the Deir Ezzor countryside. According to sources from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Iranian military experts have monitored the process of fixing and operating the radar. The area is strategically vital for its geographic altitude that overlooks al-Mayadeen city and regions held by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and coalition forces east of the Euphrates River… 


Iraq calls on Syria to increase water releases due to shortfall

Iraq called on Syria to increase water releases to compensate for the lack of rainfall and high temperatures that have caused a shortfall in revenues, Iraq’s state media reported on Monday. The Minister of Water Resources, Mahdi Rashid Al-Hamdani said he “held a closed-circuit televised meeting with the Syrian Minister of Water Resources, Tammam Raad, to review the measures taken regarding the signed accord during Al-Hamdani's visit to Syria” Last month, both countries signed a joint agreement to exchange data related to the imports of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers “periodically and in emergency situations."

Two rockets fired near US embassy in Baghdad

Two rockets were fired early Thursday against Baghdad's fortified Green Zone which houses the US embassy, without causing any casualties or damage, an Iraqi security source told AFP. The dawn attack came as Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhemi was flying home from Washington after White House talks in which President Joe Biden announced an end to US combat operations in Iraq.

Iraq military: Many feared dead in terrorist attack in north

An attack on a funeral procession in northern Iraq has claimed a number of victims, Iraq’s military said in a statement Friday. The military said the “terrorist” attack in the province of Salahaddin resulted in a “number of victims” but did not provide specific figures. An Iraqi security official said eight people had been killed, among them police and civilians, and that armed militants had opened fire on the crowd.   


For Israel, Attacking Lebanon Risks Triggering a Multi-Front Conflict 

Israel’s attempt to deter rocket fire from Lebanon risks triggering a greater conflict with Beruit and Hezbollah on its northern border, while also inspiring Gaza militants to resume attacks on its southern border. Israel launched airstrikes on southern Lebanon on the night of Aug. 4, targeting the launch sites from which rockets had been fired at northern Israel the day prior. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the attack was “meant to send a message” to a Palestinian faction in Lebanon that he believed launched the recent rocket strikes against Israel. Gantz also cautioned that Israel “could do much more,” but hoped it wouldn’t come to that. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) warned Lebanon to avoid “further attempts to harm Israeli civilians” as well. 






Islamic State Group Smuggling Boys to Desert Training Camps

More than two years after the collapse of its self-declared caliphate, the Islamic State terror group appears to be trying to rebuild its army in the eastern Syrian desert on the backs of boys and teenagers, many smuggled out of the displaced persons camps that dot Syria's northeast. The revelation, based on U.S. military intelligence, is part of a report issued Tuesday by the U.S. Defense Department's inspector general on American and allied operations in Syria and Iraq. In particular, the report warned that despite a series of crackdowns by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, IS, also known as ISIS or Daesh, retains significant influence in many of the camps, as well as freedom of movement, allowing it to target "the most susceptible" for recruitment.  


New destructive Meteor wiper malware used in Iranian railway attack 

A new file wiping malware called Meteor was discovered used in the recent attacks against Iran's railway system. Earlier this month, Iran's transport ministry and national train system suffered a cyberattack, causing the agency's websites to shut down and disrupting train service. The threat actors also displayed messages on the railway's message boards stating that trains were delayed or canceled due to a cyberattack. 




Al Qaeda launches 1st public campaign in 4 years to encourage lone wolf terrorist attacks

More than 10 years ago the I-Team uncovered Al Qaeda's plans for "Open Source" Jihad against the Chicago skyline. Now they're back with a new high-gloss publication for radical followers and a new video, encouraging violent attacks on America by one-person jihadists and lone wolf terrorist. Hundreds of people were killed and injured by truck-ramming attacks from terrorist groups in the past decade. The one-man rampages were encouraged by Al Qaeda and ISIS leaders targeting cities worldwide.

FBI investigating 41 cases of eco-sabotage in Washington

Since Jan. 19, 2020, the FBI in Washington state has been investigating at least 41 incidents of eco-sabotage, specifically direct action against railways and rail lines connected to oil production. In one instance on Dec. 22, a train was derailed and caught on fire in Custer, Wash.... For some groups, climate activists were once considered opponents to some Indigenous communities; The Guardian cites GreenPeace opposing the Inuit seal hunt as one example. But now the intersection of environmental protection and Indigenous rights are at the forefront of many activist groups.  

Gun-wielding masked men shoot 10 in New York City attack, speed off on mopeds

A pair of masked men unleashed a fusillade of gunfire on a crowded street in a New York City neighborhood Saturday night, wounding 10 people before getting on mopeds and speeding away, police said. New York Police Department investigators said the episode appeared to be tied to gang violence, but that seven of the shooting victims were innocent bystanders, including a 72-year-old man.


Scientists Launch Privately Funded Hunt For Unidentified Space Objects

Nearly 400 years ago, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei published a book that built a case for an alternative view of the Solar System, one that revolved not around Earth but the Sun…

…Hoping for a more open- minded outcome, a group of scientists is borrowing Galileo’s name to marquee a research project as controversial as any pursued by Galileo himself—a systematic survey for evidence of extraterrestrial technological artifacts.

The Galileo Project is intended to build a public database of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP). “Our goal is to [have] transparent analysis based on physics as we know it,” Harvard University astrophysicist Avi Loeb said during a July 26 press conference.

“The scientific community needs the determination to systematically, scientifically and transparently look for potential evidence of extraterrestrial technological equipment,” he added in a statement about the project. “The impact of any discovery of extraterrestrial technology on science, our technology and on our entire world view would be enormous.”

The privately funded Galileo Project follows the June 25 release of a Pentagon report to Congress that outlined preliminary analysis of 144 UAP sightings from military and intelligence sources. The report determined that most sightings were likely physical objects, rather than optical or atmospheric illusions. However, the data was not good enough to provide additional details. “That’s quite an unusual admission by the government—the most conservative organization that I know of—saying there are objects in our sky that we don’t fully understand,” said Loeb…

…The Galileo Project plans three research initiatives: obtaining high-resolution, multidetector images of UAPs; scanning for interstellar objects, similar to the 2017 discovery of the cigar-shaped interstellar object Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout,”); and searching for potential extraterrestrial satellites around Earth.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Officer Down

United States Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection 
United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government 
End of Watch Wednesday, August 5, 2020 
Age 49 
Cause COVID19 
Border Patrol Agent Marco Gonzales died after contracting COVID-19 while on duty at the Brackettsville Station in Brackettsville, Texas. Agent Gonzales was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the United States Border Patrol for 15 years. 
He is survived by his wife, three children, and his parents. Beginning in early 2020, due to the requirements of their job, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the United States contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic. 
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch 
Nemo me impune lacessit

Friday, August 6, 2021

Police Training in Washington state.

Between my years in the Army and my time in law enforcement, I have no question of the necessity of training in law enforcement. Initial, continual, realistic, and stressful. When I was a field trainer (and FT supervisor), a goal was to make rookies uncomfortable. Welcome to the job, you will be dealing with people in very bad situations. They don't look like you, sound like you, have different backgrounds and upbringings. Deal with it.

Now I found this article a bit off putting, if you will. I doubt the writer has any experience in law enforcement. 

'71 gets a gun': Graduates of Washington's police training academy unprepared to patrol streets, law enforcement leaders say

          Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY 

There's a tale as old as time in law enforcement: The first day on the beat, new officers are told by training officers to disregard everything they learned in basic training because it has little to do with the realities of policing.

In Washington, that may very well be true.

For at least a decade, the state's law enforcement academy has trained new sheriff's deputies and police officers according to standards largely not based on evidence or research-based best practices, with inconsistent instruction and tests that fail to ensure students have learned what they need to do their jobs. That's based on a 2019 review conducted on behalf of the state agency that runs the academy...

...Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said deputies routinely come out of the four-month academy not knowing how to write reports that will hold up in court, unable to communicate with people, and with little understanding of how to handle someone having a mental health crisis.

We used to say, "70 and a badge!" But no one has ever believed a civilian is put through a 4-6 month academy and is ready on day one to patrol by themselves. I'm sorry Ms. Abdollah, not true. Why do you believe that?

I've been employed with two police agencies, one a major city police department, and the other a smaller constable's office. The police department has its own 6.5 month academy, the constable's office (like many smaller offices) hired graduates of university police training programs, or people with previous law enforcement experience. But both had a field training program, were they were paired with senior officers, taught how to take what they learned in the classroom, and apply it on the streets. 

Sheriff Knezovich, I feel your pain. I take it you have a field training program. Is it failing your agency? Do you need improve it? Fine, get on that mission. Remember, you are in charge, never forget it. 

Poor training, decades in the making

In 2018, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, which runs the state's law enforcement academy and certifies officers, hired North Carolina-based FORCE Concepts Inc. to review and revise its basic training curriculum.

The company, founded by Jon Blum, a former cop and nationally esteemed curriculum developer, discovered serious deficiencies in what recruits were taught.

Some learning objectives contradicted best practices or were too advanced for rookies, like the differences between various types of homicides, Blum said.

Meanwhile, the academy taught key skills such as communication so broadly that it didn't account for people of different races, cultures or ages, or those with mental or sensory impairments....

Basic tenants of the highest level of crime are "too advanced" for rookie cops who will be handling these scenes on the street? You are joking I pray. If a 21 year old man or woman cannot understand the difference between murder, homicide by abuse, manslaughter, excusable homicide, or justifiable homicide, I don't want them on the street with a gun. And the fact someone has to challenge you on this brings your qualifications into question. 

But I think I see the template here:

...Washington is emblematic of the problems with law enforcement training across the U.S, experts said. Because there are no national standards for training at the 18,000 departments in the country, requirements vary widely, said Randy Shrewsberry, executive director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform.

Gregory Gilbertson, a police practices expert based in Washington, has encouraged attorneys suing police departments in the state to consider whether the commission is liable for the officers it trains...

..."The officers are killing people or shooting people or using other levels of force based upon their state training," Gilbertson said. "Well then, surrender your curriculum, surrender your course outlines, your lesson plans, your lecture notes, your PowerPoints."

In other words, the author and the lawyer want a one size fits all approach to training of police over thousands of police agencies, from New York City to Mayberry AZ. I might remind these people anything the feds get involved with gets screwed up (See education, health care, energy, etc). And it's a  know fact the left in this country wants to federalize police agencies in the US. 

That brings up a simple question. Are the feds up to that? Show me Minneapolis MN, I'll show you Ruby Ridge. You bring up any questionable use of force by local agencies, I can show you multiple examples of federal overreach. And lack of accountability. The sniper who shot Ms. Weaver still has not been held to account criminally (although the federal government settled a law suit). I wonder why the usual suspects are not concerned about that? I think we know the answer. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Christopher Michael Cunningham, Sr.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Wednesday, August 5, 2020

  • Age 48
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge 7687
  • Military Veteran
  • Incident Date Thursday, July 2, 2020

Lieutenant Chris Cunningham died after contracting COVID-19 as the result of a confirmed exposure while on duty.

Lieutenant Cunningham was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for 22 years. He is survived by his wife, five children, and three grandchildren.

Beginning in early 2020, due to the requirements of their job, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the United States contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic. Hundreds of law enforcement officers died from medical complications as a result of contracting the virus while remaining on duty and interacting with the community.

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.