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    Witnesses: A critical element in administrative investigations

    When your law enforcement agency conducts an administrative investigation you usually have a complainant and your agency employee. Frequently, the complainant has a witness or two. Your employee often has other agency employees, such as a partner or back-up officer, supervisor and the dispatcher. Other witnesses with little or no allegiance to either the complainant or employee are commonly referred to ...
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    Major Lesson Plan - Doctrine Seizure

    Target Audience: Law Enforcement personnel who may be faced with the task of plain view doctrine seizure Objective: Provide officers with essential knowledge of the law relating to plain view Format: Roll-call/ supervisory training. Time: Five to ten minutes, but this may be expanded where agency resources allow. Materials: Law Enforcement Risk Management Legal Update and any agency policy relating to ...
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    Defensive Demeanor Profile

    All our individual behaviors are learned through the trial and error process from our life experiences. If a behavior is successful during a stress period, it’s likely it will be used again. If it fails, we adapt our behaviors to overcome the failed attempt to relieve stress. This unique cluster of stress response is what we call the “Defensive Demeanor Profile” ...
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    Two Rulings Related to School Detention: (1) Detention w/o Notification & (2) Detention by SRO

    Detention w/o Notification OK In the first case, Wofford v. Evans, 390 F.3d 318, (4th Circuit 2004), school officials twice detained a 10-year old after her classmates told their teacher that the girl, M.D., had brought a gun to school. Students at Colonial Elementary School in Botetourt County, Va., reported to their teacher that they had seen M.D. in possession of ...
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    Issues to Consider Regarding Possible Suicidal Suspects

    It was about 4:00 in the afternoon when one of our regular clients called and requested an "emergency" polygraph examination for a 19-year-old female employee they suspected was stealing jewelry from a kiosk in their store. In pursuing the urgent nature for the polygraph examination, it was learned that the suspected employee had been unsuccessfully "mildly" interrogated over the last two ...
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    Doing the right thing and being treated "wrong"

    Sometimes law enforcement officers who are suffering from police stress avoid seeking counseling, often for good reason (see my article "The Ugly Shrink"). But sometimes stress builds up to a point where they have an episode either of depression or panic that is so disturbing or so blatant that they reluctantly see a therapist. Often spouses convince their partners to get ...
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    Drunk Tank Suicide May Lead to Liability

    Coleman v. Parkman, St. Francis County Sheriff, No. 03-1611 (8th Cir. 2003). In November of 1999, Captain Leary of the St. Francis County Sheriff’s office began investigating Billy Coleman regarding his involvement in the commission of several misdemeanors. While interviewing witnesses, Leary was allegedly told that Coleman was “mental,” “a risk to himself and others,” and “would kill himself if jailed.” ...
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    Officers not Liable for Excessive Force in Arrest of Paraplegic

    Brant v. Volkert, 72 Fed. Appx. 463 (7th Cir. 2003). Officers are often faced with circumstances involving persons with physical disabilities. As such it is necessary to train officers for such circumstances. Mr. Brant, a paraplegic was stopped by the police while operating a three-wheeled scooter erratically and with no lights. A computer check revealed that Brant’s right to operate the ...
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    Roll-Call Training: Duty to Intervene

    Hypothetical: (Sergeant should use names of officers at the roll-call to emphasize the reality of such hypothetical situations): Officer X, let’s suppose we have a high-speed pursuit this evening. The pursuit travels some distance and the suspect makes several aggressive actions toward police cruisers. Let’s further suppose that the suspect finally bails out of his vehicle and proceeds to flee on ...
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    K9 Officers Approach To Blood Contaminated Scenes - Cautions re: Source of Odor

    On an early fall morning, the 911 dispatcher for the Langley R.C.M.P. Detachment in British Columbia received a frantic call from an elderly woman saying a man had just broken into her home. While she was talking to the emergency operator, patrol members were dispatched to the scene. Corporal Haworth and police service dog Smokey responded to the call to back ...
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    Roll-Call Training: Duty to Intervene

    Hypothetical: (Sergeant should use names of officers at the roll-call to emphasize the reality of such hypothetical situations): Officer Boehm, let’s suppose we have a high-speed pursuit this evening. The pursuit travels some distance and the suspect makes several aggressive actions toward police cruisers. Let’s further suppose that the suspect finally bails out of his vehicle proceeds to flee on foot. ...
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    It Doesn’t Work That Way

    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner. Have you heard this one before? “The best laid plans of mice and men...” My Dear Ol’ Dad used to say: “There’s the easy way and the Wolfe way.” I guess my motto sorta follows the same logic: “WAEF-RTM: When all else fails, read the manual.” You’ve probably never been one of those who’ve ...
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    Importance of Privacy During an Interview

    We have all had the experience where a person tells us something in private that he never would have told us in a public setting. It is well accepted that it is easier to talk about sensitive matters with only a single person present. Yet, how many times are victims interviewed in the presence of a family member, or a witness ...
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    More Than Just A Sleeve

    It is difficult, if not impossible, to train or maintain a patrol dog by yourself. At some point you will need someone to search for, apprehend or act as the aggressor to allow the dog to protect you. Over the years this other person has been known by a variety of titles. He has been called an agitator (because he gets ...
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    Roll-Call Training: Exigent Entry

    **Hypothetical:** An officer sees a man carrying an open alcoholic beverage on a public street. Public drinking is an offense in the jurisdiction and carries a penalty of a one hundred dollar fine. When the man sees the officer he runs down the street and into a house. +Question:+ Can the officer pursue the man into the house under the exigent ...
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    Am I Stressed Out?

    Signs and Symptoms of Police Stress: Headaches - Fatigue - Pounding Heart - Digestive Upsets Teeth Grinding - Light Headedness - Lowered Sex Drive Irritability - Short-tempered Backaches - Muscle Aches - Over-eating - Insomnia Restlessness - Muscle Tics - Rashes - Drinking too Much These are all common physical, behavioral and emotional reactions to prolonged stress. The stress that causes ...
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    Types of Polygraph Used in Sex Offender Testing

    The polygraph community, in conjunction with therapists and probation/parole officers, has identified the following types of tests to deal with areas of concern: 1) Instant Offense Disclosure - Specific issue dealing with denial. Sex offenders frequently deny or minimize their behavior both about the index offense and past behaviors. According to Trepper & Barrett (1989) there are four types of denial ...
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    The Scanner

    Hello, and welcome back to the Chaplain’s Corner. July 2011… only 16 more months! I only hope this country lasts that long. I have to wonder: “What part of ‘NO’ don’t Senators understand?” And of course, too, when you read the headlines on Drudge, you keep seeing things proposed and pending that are straight out of the Book of Revelation. But ...
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    Municipal Insurance Pool Not Liable:Robbery and Murder by Police Trainee

    When a police employee acts outside the scope of their employment for purely personal purposes the employer and its insurer will not be liable. A case from the Court of Appeals of Georgia, 2nd Division, decided on April 21st provides an example of the ultimate bad case. Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency v. Godfrey, 2005 Ga. App. LEXIS 413 (GA. Ct. ...
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    Victim Intervention Techniques

    M. Silbert (1976) has described a ten-point checklist of techniques for officers to use in field management of victim situations. Frederick (1986) lists twelve intervention responses that are of use to police officers. We have combined and edited these two lists as follows: 1. **Officers should introduce themselves by full name and title.** This is important in any police encounter with ...
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