Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Burglar Alarm Info-Gram

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To account for...life or death on a traffic stop

I initiated a traffic stop on vehicle for failing to stop at a stop sign.  When I was able to curb the vehicle, the driver, female, immediately opened her driver's side door and put one leg out to exit her car.  In response, I kicked open my driver's side door, got both feet on the ground and had my hand on my Glock 22 in its holster.  I ordered her to stay in her vehicle and close the door.  She hesitated then slipped her second leg out of the door and turned slightly to exit her vehicle.  I pulled the Glock out of it's holster and pointed it toward her vehicle but kept it behind my driver's side door and out of her view.  I again ordered her to re-enter her vehicle, which she did, openly startled by both the volume and tone of my voice.  The traffic stop was completed without incident and a citation issued.

At the beginning of the traffic stop this driver was angry and was attempting to come back to my squad to demand why I was stopping her.  She further informed me that she thought that I was rude, mean and should not treat the public in that manner.  She then sped away without giving me an opportunity to provide her with a response.

The following video is one that I have seen many times for training purposes.  I hate watching it, even though through its use many Officers have been made safer.  This is why I try to take total command of a situation and why if I do not get compliance in two commands, I greatly ramp up my response, get control and backup.

I can always apologize to the soccer mom for being mean and yelling at her when her intentions are harmless.  But I can't apologize for anything if I am dead.

My prayers are with Deputy Kyle Dinkheller's family, friends and fellow police officers, while some time has passed since this incident, I do not doubt that the pain is still real.

Andrew Brannan was found guilty on January 28, 2000, for the murder of Dinkheller and was sentenced to death.  As of July 2012, he has not been executed and is still incarcerated in Georgia.  After being captured, Brannan was asked why he killed Dinkheller. His response was, "Because he let me."

It will be a good day when the State finally provides Brannan with the final and complete punishment he is due.  A punishment long over due.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cool Squads

I had to clean up the side bars of the blog, since it was becoming a slow load.  As a result I had to let a couple of pictures float away from the side bar and into this one post.

Lotus Exige Squad Car

Hummer H2

1941 Plymouth Squad Car


Porsche Concept Squad Car

1928 Ford Model A

And to balance out all the coolness...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Two more of the Fallen

Law Enforcement is not a brotherhood of Americans or even North Americans but a world wide fraternity of those who serve with the badge.

PC Nicola Hughes, 23, and PC Fiona Bone, 32 of the Greater Manchester Police, were ambushed and murdered as they responded to a routine call.  One of the unique aspects of our line of work is that every call has to be treated as if it is a potentially life threatening situation but in reality they are rare.  So you go to a hundred, thousand calls and not one is life threatening but you still have to force yourself to be ready to survive this one in a million situation.  The fact that these two fine officers had the bravery, which I do not, to answer the calls in their beats unarmed and undefended is also a testament to them.

Our prayers our with their families and their department.

The Article from the BBC News (BBC News Link)  
Picture from the same source.

Dale Cregan held after policewomen killed in Manchester

He said the house where the incident took place was a council house which had been left empty.

He said there had been some recent activity with the windows covered in whitewash suggesting the house was being decorated.

The police flag at Greater Manchester Police headquarters has been lowered to half mast.

The force has also opened a book of condolence on its website.

Association of Chief Police Officers president Sir Hugh Orde said the deaths were "deeply sad news for the police service".

ACC Shewan said Mr Cregan had been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder in relation to the investigations into the deaths of David Short and Mark Short.

David Short was killed in a gun and grenade attack in Clayton on 10 August.

His son, Mark, was killed in a pub shooting at the Cotton Tree Pub in Droylsden in May.

A second man - a 24-year-old - was also charged last month with the murder of David Short and later remanded in custody after he appeared at Manchester Crown Court.

PC Nicola Hughes, 23, and PC Fiona Bone, 32, were called to Abbey Gardens in Mottram to investigate what turned out to be a false report of a burglary.

Police said it appeared they had been deliberately "drawn" to the scene.

Dale Cregan, 29, has been arrested in connection with the officers' deaths and two previous murders.

He was detained when he walked into Hyde police station a short time after the incident.Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said someone had made a call alleging a burglary had been committed and when the officers arrived they were attacked with a gun and a grenade.

He said: "We believe he has made the call, or somebody else has made the call, and it would appear for the purposes of drawing these two officers to that particular scene, and then he has come out and shot and killed them both.

"Certainly it would appear to be that he has deliberately done this in an act of absolutely cold-blooded murder."

A witness at the scene in Tameside reported hearing 13 gunshots and an explosion shortly before 11:00 BST.

Excellent Bobby

Sir Peter said police believed Mr Cregan had spent the night at the house in Abbey Gardens before the call about the burglary was made.

"This address was not known to us, was not in our intelligence systems [and] had not featured in this particular inquiry," he said.

"As would be routine, two unarmed officers were sent to the scene. When they arrived, it appears Cregan emerged into the road and killed these two officers.

"A firearm was used and a grenade was also used. We are unsure of the cause of deaths until post-mortems are carried out.

"Cregan then went to a local police station and handed himself in."

Sir Peter said the officers exemplified the very best of British policing.

He said Miss Bone was a "calm, gentle woman", an "excellent bobby" and had been in the middle of planning her wedding.

Shocked and Distressed

He paid tribute to Miss Hughes, describing her as a "chatterbox" and a "great bobby" who was "always smiling".

"We are absolutely devastated by this loss and our thoughts and condolences go out to the families of these two officers, their friends and in particularly their colleagues who work with them day in, day out who are shocked and distressed at the events of this morning," he said.Police said one of the officers died at the scene and the second was critically injured and died afterwards.

A statement from Tameside Hospital said its emergency team "strived to save the life of a female officer who was brought to the A&E unit with critical injuries" but that she sadly died.The scene in Mottram has been cordoned off and there is a heavy police presence in the area, including a bomb disposal team.

A police helicopter is also on patrol overhead.

The witness who described the shots, a window cleaner who worked in the area, said the property the officers were called to had been unoccupied for some months.

'Long, dark shadow'The BBC's North of England reporter Danny Savage said he had spoken to an eyewitness who said they saw a police car outside the house shortly after 10:15 BST.

"After that car had drawn up it seems the two unarmed police officers inside the car went into the property which had stood empty for some months," he said.

"Whilst they were inside around a dozen shots were fired and there was an explosion."Those police officers didn't come out of the house again, the police car was left outside with its lights flashing but empty. Emergency services and colleagues were soon here offering assistance."

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "This is a deeply shocking incident and a terrible reminder of the risks that police officers face every day to keep our communities safe."Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said it was "deeply distressing news [and] a painful demonstration of how police officers put themselves in harm's way every day to protect the public".

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said it was "a tragic day" for Greater Manchester Police.

"A long and dark shadow has been cast across Greater Manchester and my thoughts are with the officers' families, friends and colleagues," he said.

Police had been offering a £50,000 reward for information leading to Mr Cregan's arrest as he was wanted over attacks that left a father and son dead.

Sir Peter said looking for him had been a "top priority" for GMP.

He said: "We have some of our best people on this operation.

"We believe that he has been protected by a criminal conspiracy to harbour him and we are absolutely determined to fully investigate that conspiracy and bring the people involved to book."

Speeding Car

Ian Hanson, chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: "What we've got are two young girls who went out this morning and they've got an absolute right to come home to their loved ones.

"This is cold-blooded murder, the slaughter of the innocents."

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, said the killings had "brought shock and disbelief to the whole nation".

Witness Warren Shepherd was up a ladder cleaning the windows of a house nearby when the shooting happened.

He said: "I heard about 10 shots quite close... I knew they were gunshots because sometimes there is clay pigeon shooting in the fields.

"I heard a big explosion about 10 seconds after the shots. I got off the ladder, walked round, saw an empty police car.

"A car went speeding past to the main road."

He said he went back to his van but could see the aftermath through a gap between two houses.

He said the house where the incident took place was a council house which had been left empty.

He said there had been some recent activity with the windows covered in whitewash suggesting the house was being decorated.

The police flag at Greater Manchester Police headquarters has been lowered to half mast.The force has also opened a book of condolence on its website.

Association of Chief Police Officers president Sir Hugh Orde said the deaths were "deeply sad news for the police service".

ACC Shewan said Mr Cregan had been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder in relation to the investigations into the deaths of David Short and Mark Short.

David Short was killed in a gun and grenade attack in Clayton on 10 August.

His son, Mark, was killed in a pub shooting at the Cotton Tree Pub in Droylsden in May.

A second man - a 24-year-old - was also charged last month with the murder of David Short and later remanded in custody after he appeared at Manchester Crown Court.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gangnam Style - Well Why not?

I ran into the "Gangnam Style" song by Psy when a friend sent it to me on facebook, right before it went viral (gotta keep the cred).  My wife just shakes her head at my love of J-Pop and K-Pop, I mean you can't even understand what they are saying! 

There have been so many songs that I hear for the first time, loved, and later had to leave because of their content.  When you listen to foreign language music, the voice becomes just another instrument and there is nothing to reevaluate later.  It also helps that it bothers 2/3 rds of the people you play it around, the rest are just "in the know".

Gangnam Style has a great beat and the little English it contains refers only to "Gangnam Style" and "Sexy Lady" (that part I always flash to Jerry Lewis for some reason).  The video is the right mix of Korean hipster and cheap glam.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Will Mexico Ever Allow US Joint Operations?

I came across this article just now and its another sad reminder that the drug cartels operate in Mexico with impunity.  So many governmental institutions contain so many subverted employees that none stand against these gangs, as seem by their ability to simply tunnel into a prison and release whoever they desire.  The last stand seems to be the Mexican Navel Special Forces, the one agency that has a record of fighting this narco terror.   I have always assumed that the domestic Predator Drone program was not to spy on US citizens, but rather a method to allow US forces to at least observe current conditions across the boarder without have Mexico "loose face".  It seems that the violence has finally reached a point that the Mexican Government is considering allowing joint US-Mexican operations in their territory to combat these armed cartel paramilitary units.  The future will tell.  I do not believe we will be using these million dollar flying machines to run the boarder and catch fence jumpers, the only justifiable use of this expenditure is to help the Mexican Special Forces gain real time operational information for their operations and possibly in the near future ours too.

The Article from the Associated Press
Published: 18 September 2012 08:13 PM

Zetas drug cartel suspected in prison break that freed 131 inmates across border from Texas

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico — Officials said Tuesday they suspect the brutal Zetas drug cartel orchestrated the mass tunnel escape of more than 130 inmates at a northern Mexico border prison, possibly to replenish its ranks after suffering blows from a rival gang.

Jorge Luis Moran, public safety secretary of the northern border state of Coahuila, told The Associated Press that inmates inside the prison reported that those who plotted the escape were Zetas members and that some prisoners not in the gang were forced to go along.

“Clearly, the Zetas are behind this escape,” Moran said.

Police are also investigating whether the prison break might be linked to seizures of empty passenger buses in the region that could have been used to pick up the escapees and an attack on police officers deployed to the prison Monday, he said. Four alleged criminals were killed in that shootout.

State officials said Monday night that 132 inmates had escaped through a tunnel from the prison in Piedras Negras, a city across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.

On Tuesday, Moran revised the total to 131. He said three female inmates initially thought to have been fugitives were found hiding in a prison visiting area, but two other prisoners not initially included in the original tally were discovered to have escaped as well.

The escape tunnel was 21 feet long and 4 feet in diameter, and after passing through it, the prisoners cut their way through a chain link barrier, authorities said.

Federal police units and Mexican troops, including 70 members of an elite military special forces unit, were searching Tuesday throughout the state of Coahuila for inmates who fled the prison.

The Zetas cartel has been fighting a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel in that border state. Moran said the Zetas controlled the drug corridor until 2010, when members of the powerful Sinaloa gang were sent to the state. The Sinaloa cartel is led by Mexico’s most wanted man, Joaquin Guzman.

Moran said the Zetas have also been hit by arrests, fatal shootings and guns seizures. “They are running out of people,” he said.

Collusion between guards and drug gangs has played a role in past Mexican prison escapes. Following the mass break in Piedras Negras, the director and two other employees of the state prison were detained for an investigation.

President Felipe Calderon called the jailbreak “deplorable” in a statement posted on his Twitter account Tuesday. He appeared to re-ignite a long-running dispute between federal and state authorities, writing that “the vulnerability of state law enforcement institutions must be corrected.”

Federal authorities have been pushing to have all state and municipal police and law enforcement officials submit to background and anti-drug checks, as well as vetting for possible links to organized crime.
But state authorities have been dragging their feet. On Monday, federal Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire said that only 180,000 of the country’s 430,000 city and state police officers had been vetted and checked and that about 65,000 of those tested had failed the tests.

Moran complained that Coahuila’s attempts to comply with the vetting process may have been responsible for the low number of guards on duty at the Piedras Negras prison when the jailbreak occurred. Only 12 guards were watching over 734 inmates, after some guards and officials were dismissed after failing background checks, he said.

In February, nine guards at a prison near the northern city of Monterrey confessed to helping 30 Zetas drug gangsters escape. Not only did the Zetas flee, but during their jailbreak, other Zetas slaughtered 44 inmates who belonged to the rival Gulf cartel.

In December 2010, 153 inmates escaped from a prison in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas. Authorities charged 41 guards with aiding that escape.

State authorities complain that their relatively low-security prisons are forced to hold dangerous inmates being held on federal charges like drug trafficking and organized crime.

They have called on federal officials to take federal inmates out of state prisons, and some of the most dangerous federal inmates had been transferred out of the Piedras Negras prison in recent months.
Coahuila Attorney General Homero Ramos said 86 of the escaped inmates were serving sentences or awaiting verdicts for federal crimes, such as drug trafficking, and the rest faced state charges.

U.S. border officials said they were on alert, and Eagle Pass Police Chief Tony Castaneda said his department had received the list of 87 escaped federal inmates. No escapees had been reported crossing the border.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Its been interesting...

Well lets see how this year has gone so far.  Well I got pulled out of the feds where I was a TFO to sit in patrol on midnight's for six months.  I then make it to the day shift and some sleep last month.  I went to the dentist to have a cavity re-filled and find to my pleasant surprise, that I need full reconstruction because I have magically ground off the inside ring of my teeth (eight caps, full rebuild) to the tune of $15,000.  Oh did I say when I was pulled back that my salary went down $20,000?  I went to grab a side job and its looking like the idea situation it would create will not get done because the side job is being weird about the side job paperwork which is an industry standard that my dept uses.  So that's out.  I am my kids cross country coach and two parents went to the principle and insisted that they run the 3rd and 4th graders then blew a fit when I was not coaching them at a meet and of course not one person spoke to me about it.  I was planning on going back to school to receive my terminal degree but my union approached me and asked me not to put in for departmental reimbursement because we are in contract negotiations and the city as not even addressed that provision yet (why remind them of that).  My kids will not practice their stinking piano.  My ebay stuff will not sell.  Etc.  Etc.

All that to say, I really do not have any problems.  I have gainful employment in today's economy.  There are no serious health concerns for the family.  The family finances are stable and not in the red.  But I let the stresses in life ground me to a stop.  I most have spent, hiding from my current situation, eighty hours playing Batman: Arkham City (great game but not the point)

God is always in control and God is always good.  God just has a master plan that does not necessarily take into account my love for comfort and positive job growth.

This I know in my head but right now I do not feel it in my heart.  So this is where faith bridges the gap, I trust in his promises and will go where he sends me.  I just know that he is not currently sending me to my den's couch for eighty hours at a time.

Psalm 119:140
Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.