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  • +2

    Bite and Hold Canines-Warning Required Before Release

    On May 8, 2003 the United States Court of Appeal for the 8th Circuit joined a number of other sister circuits in deciding that a warning prior to the use of a police canine is an essential component of the reasonableness inquiry on use of force. Kuha v. City of Minnetonka, No. 02-1081 (8th Cir. 2003). On September 22, 1999, Kuha ...
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    Failure to Have Policy on a Critical TaskSearch and Seizure May Lead to Liability

    Solis v. City of Columbus, 319 F.Supp. 2d 797 (S.D. Ohio 2004), provides an example of potential agency liability for the failure to have a policy in place that will protect the rights of citizens in their homes. Solis involved the execution of a search warrant by a SWAT team following an investigation conducted by Detective Cox. Detective Cox was working ...
  • +5

    The Scariest Duty - Part 2

    Heeeeeeeeeeere’s August! Hey! You came back. Wanted to see what kind of “scary” I could dig up this time, eh? Well, right now knowing that there’s a bunch of folks waiting to see what I’m gonna write makes writing this month a little scary. Ok. Scary. “It was a dark and stormy night…” nah, I won’t go there. I’ll leave that ...
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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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    United States Court of Appeal for 6th Circuit Upholds Discrimination Award in Transsexual Promotion Case

    Philip, now Philiecia, Barnes a member of the Cincinnati Police Department filed a lawsuit alleging, among other things, sex discrimination after he failed to pass the probationary period following his promotion to sergeant. In 1999, Phillip Barnes was living as a pre-operative male to female transsexual. When Barnes worked as a police officer during the day, he lived as a male, ...
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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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    Student showing propensity for violence can be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation

    Demers v. Leominster School Dept., 263 F.Supp. 2d 195 (Dist. MA 2003). Michael Demers and his parents filed a federal lawsuit against school officials after he was suspended from school following his refusal to undergo a psychiatric exam. The suit alleged among other things, a violation of Michael’s due process rights. School officials sought to have Michael psychiatrically examined after he ...
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    Hotwall - Coldwall Phenomenon in Building Searches

    On a warm Las Vegas night a muscular German Shepherd searched through a series of dark offices. His deputy sheriff handler followed cautiously behind. At the end of the hallway the deputy saw a large door. He whistled, pointed his flashlight at the wall on the hinge side of the door and said, "Station." The dog immediately obeyed by going to ...
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  • +1

    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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  • +4

    Explosives

    _Note: Ensure responder safety_ *1. General Information* p((. Explosive devices may be designed to disseminate chemical, biological or radiological agents p((. Explosives may produce secondary hazards such as unstable structures, damaged utilities, hanging debris, void spaces and other physical hazards p((. Devices may contain anti-personnel features such as nails, shrapnel, fragmentation design or other material p((. Outward warning signs: p((((. • ...
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    When Suspect is NOT in Custody, Seibert Analysis is NOT Needed

    U.S. v. Courtney, 463 F.3d 333 (5th Cir. 2006) Cherie Marie Courtney testified falsely at the trial of her boyfriend, Shawn Kilgarlin. Two EPA Special Agents conducted two interviews with Courtney. A year later she was indicted, arrested and Mirandized. She waived her rights and spoke with the Agents. She again made incriminating statements similar to her prior statements. At a ...
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    Too Many Choices - Creating Frustration in Interrogation

    If given the time, we could probably come up with a number of reasons a suspect won't confess, a hostile witness won't cooperate or why the victim won't disclose. If we then reviewed our "list" objectively we might find that we have placed a large portion of the blame on our subject and were partially if not fully blind to any ...
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    Interpreting Verbal Phrases

    During an interview a subject freely chooses which words or phrases to use when responding to the investigator's question. This choice is not random or haphazard; it is carefully selected to offer either the most accurate response possible or to avoid the anxiety telling less than the truth would cause. Consider the following homicide example where Bob was found stabbed to ...
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  • +18

    Chaplain's Corner: What If Daniel Had Been a Cop?

    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner. My last column took a look at the Old Testament character of Jonah and the whale and speculated how that might have gone down had Jonah been a LEO. In much the same vein, I want to try relating the account of Daniel in the lion’s den. (Again, let me make the disclaimer that ...
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    The Parable of the Lawnmower?

    Welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner one more time. Well, it was inevitable… yesterday I mowed the grass for the first time this year. If I lived up north in “Yankee Country” that wouldn’t be so surprising, but for central Texas (where in years past I’ve mowed even in January and February), that is a sad commentary on the state of our ...
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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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    Procedural Time Limits In Administrative Investigations - Absolutes

    When you are involved with public employee disciplinary matters and have procedural time limits imposed on your case, failing to meet those time limits will normally result in losing the ability to discipline the employee regardless what the misconduct may be. In essence these limits are essentially a statute of limitations, in other words, bring your discipline within the allotted time ...
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    Shooting At Non-Threatening Fleeing Vehicle May Violate 4th Amendment

    In Flores v. City of Palacios and Officer Kalina, 381 F.3d 391 (5th Cir. 2004), the United States Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit considered a case where an officer shot at a vehicle that refused to stop upon his command. Officer Kalina was on patrol when he shined his spotlight toward a vehicle that was parked on the wrong ...
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    Overview: Concerns of Police Survivors

    Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) is the only organization dedicated to providing support services to the families of America's fallen law enforcement officers. With state and local chapters across the country, COPS members are immediately available to offer support to new survivors during their time of needs. COPS sponsors seminars and retreats to spouses, children, and parents of fallen officers on ...
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    HEY SARGE!

    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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