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    Right Equipment for the Right Environment

    There are many teams that have spent money blindly or ignorantly, and teams that purchase equipment based on find-the-cheapest mentality. These teams do not do service to their responsibility. I have also seen professional teams like MN DOC SOG, CT DOC SOG, San Joaquin SO, Solano CSO, who make the correct decisions, even when difficult, regarding staffing and equipment. These units ...
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    Supreme Court-Violation of Miranda does not Violate 5th Amendment but may Violate Due Process

    In a decision dated May 27, 2003, the United States Supreme Court held that interrogation undertaken and continued in violation of Miranda, does not give rise to a civil lawsuit based on a violation of the Fifth Amendment in cases where the police never attempt to introduce the statement in a criminal trial. Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. ___, slip op. ...
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    Tasered Spectator Has Potential Case of Excessive Force and Unlawful Arrest

    Following a day of watching races at the Gateway International Raceway, Christopher DeSalvo was watching guests of the Holiday Inn do “burnouts” with their vehicles in the rear lot of the hotel. Approximately 100-150 guests were gathered for the show. The gathering and the vehicle “burnouts” prompted the response of the police. Officer Krug, upon responding a second time to the ...
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    Startled Look and Hiding Your Purse are Insufficient to Establish Reasonable Suspicion

    In S.V.J. v. State of Florida, 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 1037 (Florida App. Ct. 2nd Dist. 2005), the Court of Appeals for Florida considered a school search case where the only facts articulated in support of the search was a startled look coupled with the appearance of trying to hide a purse. S.V.J. attended an alternative school for disruptive students. On ...
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    Burglar Alarm Response: Avoiding Danger

    "Oh %%@@##!, not another burglar alarm.!" We've all said it. All working cops know that the vast majority of burglar alarms calls are false. The problem has become so bad that some jurisdictions are levying fines against owners with repeated alarm activations. And of course, any storm with hard rain or strong winds will surely get that dispatcher to call stack ...
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    The First Layer: Policy Establishing Departmental Standards of Performance

    In the previous article titled: "Focus on Liability Reduction and Better Performance" we described the Six Layered Liability Protection Process which requires absolute attention to the development of policies based on the principle of "foreseeability" for the performance of certain tasks, the training in the necessary skills and critical policies, quality supervision, corrective action and remediation, constant review and necessary revision, ...
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    Major Lesson Plan/Dealing with the Mentally Ill

    Hypothetical #1 Officers stop a vehicle for a motor vehicle violation. Upon approaching the vehicle they notice that the single occupant appears to be acting irrationally. The man accuses the officers of being aliens from out of space. Question: What steps should officers take to insure their safety as well as the safety of the subject? Answers: Inform the subject that ...
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    Moving from Riot Troopers to 21st Century CERT Operators

    With more than 3,000 CERT teams in the US and 1,000 teams internationally, this article discusses what it means to be a 21st Century CERT Operator. I’m writing this article in response to a number of inquiries I’ve received from the field by clients and attendees who have heard me speak or have been trained by US C-SOG SOU teams. What ...
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    Congratulations. You made sergeant. At last, the end of police stress. If it suits you, it is potentially the best job in law enforcement. You probably are still in the union, you have status and responsibility over and above what you used to have. You can finally exercise your leadership with the credibility of those stripes, which you worked long and ...
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    Failure of Supervisory Involvement in Pursuit Contributes to Liability

    Clark v. South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 2002 S.C. App. LEXIS ( S.C. Ct.App. 2002), involved a police pursuit conducted by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Trooper Greg Bradley observed a van operating at 57 mph in a 45 mph zone. He attempted to pull the van over but the van took off. At one point the van stopped in ...
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    The Modern CERT Warrior and Self Audit

    You Can Get There from Here! In the April CERT e-letter, you saw a chart that broke down the equipment and operational capabilities of CERT units from levels one to four. We shared that chart with you because during the past two years, our trainers have identified a promising trend in CERT operations: Team self-audits. I am encouraged by the increasing ...
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    Major Lesson Plan: Strip Searches

    Major Lesson Plan: Target Audience: Law Enforcement personnel who may be faced with the task of conducting a strip search during booking. Objective: Provide officers with essential knowledge with respect to some of the current issues surrounding strip search Format: Roll-call/ supervisory training. Time: Five to ten minutes, but this may be expanded where agency resources allow. Materials: Law Enforcement Risk ...
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    Helpful Hints: Drug-Dependent Behavior

    A person who has overdosed should be treated as a medical emergency, and police officers must be able to recognize the symptoms. Acute opiate overdose is characterized by a marked unresponsiveness, in the presence of very slow or labored breathing. Needle marks and/or tracks will be noted. The pupils are pinpoints, and both pulse and heartbeat are extremely slow. If the ...
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    The Death Notification

    Got your attention, didn’t I? Greetings from the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas and welcome to this edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Okay, Okay…Llano is “officially” the Deer Capital of Texas, but we’ve got so many bluebonnets up and blooming already this year it could go the other way. Well, on to “business.” This is something that’s been on my heart for ...
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    Leptospirosis - A Threat to the Police Working Dog? - Bob Wright

    A Serious Threat to Working Dogs? In early 2002 I was contracted to train a number of dogs for a high end Security Company to work in a closed and controlled research environment. The new and interesting part was the very strict medical screening and various quarantines had to be complete. Over the years I thought I had developed a great ...
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    Moving from Riot Troopers to 21st Century CERT Operators

    This topic has both rattled a number of cages in the past and opened the eyes of many agencies in the community. I am writing this article to respond to the more than 2,000 emails I have received from my initial article on this subject several months ago. This article will pick up where I left off. With more than 3,000 ...
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    Between 5% and 10% of people in the United States will, at some point in their life, have a bout with depression severe enough to be of clinical significance. It is estimated that only a third of all those who are clinically depressed receive adequate treatment. It is not unusual for a therapist, or physician, to recommend a trial on an ...
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    Helpful Hints: Myths & Facts During a Disaster

    **MYTH** People will panic. People are unable to cope. Local organizations are overwhelmed and unable to perform effectively. Antisocial behavior (that is, looting) is commonplace. Community morale is low in stricken areas. Firm measures are needed to prevent personal and social chaos. **FACT** They do not panic. In fact, getting them to evacuate is a bigger problem. People react in an ...
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    Canine Sniff of Parked Vehicle Upheld

    Parking Lot Search Valid Under 4th Amendment On April 20th 2004, the Court of Appeals, 1st District of Indiana upheld the use of canines to conduct general exterior inspections of vehicles parked in a high school parking lot. Myers v. State of Indiana, 806 N.E.2d 350 (IN. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 2004). After the Scott County School Board authorized the use ...
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    Renewed Challenges Based on Miranda

    Over the past couple of years courts have seen a renewed number of claims based upon allegations related to violations of the 5th Amendment self-incrimination clause as well as violations of the rule announced in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Two cases decided on June 28th 2004 provide some guidance for law enforcement agencies with respect to the reaches ...
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