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    Whose Pond Is It Anyway?

    The common phrase used in our mission for protecting our homeland is, "The tragic events of September 11th have made us re-think new ways of defending our homeland." This short phrase is one of many statements that are being made by the government or private training and consulting firms time and time again with the end result being no forward progress ...
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    U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit and Federal Liability forEmergency Vehicle Operation

    An area where few federal lawsuits have occurred has been where a collision occurs at the result of a police officer’s emergency vehicle response to an in-progress radio call. A new case from the United States Court of Appeal for the 8th Circuit may expose public safety agencies to further liability in federal court based upon non-pursuit emergency vehicle operation. In ...
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    United States Supreme Court: Anticipatory Search Warrant: United States v. Grubbs

    Anticipatory Search Warrant Valid Though Triggering Event Not Included in Warrant. The United States Supreme Court held that an anticipatory search warrant, that described the triggering event for execution in the affidavit, but not the warrant or the attached schedules that were given to the suspect at the residence, still met the particularity requirement of the 4th Amendment. United States v. ...
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    Companion with Gun May Provide Reasonable Suspicion for Pat-Down

    In Rajaee El-Amin v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2005 Va. LEXIS 17 (2005), the Supreme Court of Virginia considered the authority of a police officer to conduct a pat-down of a subject based upon their association with a subject found to be in possession of a firearm. While the court declined to adopt an "automatic companion" rule, the court found that the ...
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    The Ticket – Part 2

    Hi, and welcome to the… well, I started to say “Back to School Edition,” but I guess most everyone starts back to school in August anymore. Gee…it’s been six years since I wrote “Can Anything Good Come Out of Baylor?” Well, on the 15th of August something good did…we got to watch our daughter receive her PhD diploma! Elisabeth once wrote ...
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    I Live to Nap, and I Nap to Live

    No discussion of police stress and dealing with shift work can be complete without looking at the universal need for sleep, and the consequences of both not getting enough sleep or having irratic sleep patterns. Police stress and shift work go together. Sleep news: scientific news related to sleep. It was reported last week in a reputable magazine, Science, that researchers ...
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    A Date with Destiny - Part II

    Five Phases of the Active Shooter A simple view of the active shooter was developed and is being trained by Lt. Dan Marcou retired from the La Crosse, Wisconsin Police Department. He developed the program while working for the La Crosse Police Department and was able to apply the philosophy with real world success. One of the successes earned Officer Bob ...
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    DUI and Motorcycles

    Alcohol intoxication is a leading factor in motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Law enforcement officers have been trained to identify driving patterns that indicate a probability that a motorcyclist is driving while intoxicated. The driving patterns that police typically look for have been outlined by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA has delineated a number of "cues" that police ...
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    Statute of Limitation Thwarts Sex-Abuse Claim

    A former parochial school student who was sexually abused by a teacher cannot proceed with a lawsuit because a Nebraska state statute prevents the filing of claims after a specific time period. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that, although there was enough evidence to find that T. Mark Kraft was sexually abused by teacher Arlen Meyer in the ...
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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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    Use of Force-Policy and Training Considerations

    The law enforcement community has been scrutinized and criticized on a regular basis for incidents involving use of force. Perhaps part of the lack of understanding on police use of force comes from the fact that most people get their perspective on police use of force from television. The reality of police use of force is that it is not the ...
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    Supervisor Liable for Failure to Provide Medical Care?

    In a case with a fact pattern similar to Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378 (1989), the United States Court of Appeal for the 6th Circuit concluded that a police supervisor was not entitled to summary judgment or qualified immunity where a woman in police custody had died. The case, Carter v. City of Detroit, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 9717 (6th ...
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    Jesus Indicted for DWI?

    Come on, cool weather! Oh, I mean: “Hi and welcome back to the Chaplain’s Corner.” In our part of Texas it has cooled off about 10… maybe 15 degrees. That only means that 95 now feels like 105 did. I’m about ready for it to be in the upper 70s for highs again. For the last several months I’ve kept coming ...
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    Hidden Compartment in Motor Vehicle Can Provide Probable Cause for Search

    United States v. Concepcion-Ledesma, 447 F.3d 1307 (10th Cir. 2006) Just the Facts… On May 16, 2006 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the above case, held that the presence of a hidden compartment in vehicle, taken with the totality of the circumstances, provides probable cause for a warrantless search. In this case, a Kansas State Trooper observed a group ...
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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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    Supreme Court: Police Have No Liability for Failing to Enforce a Restraining Order

    A question that is often raised in law enforcement is whether there is any duty to protect citizens from the harm they suffer at the hands of a third party. For example, is a witness to a crime entitled to some protection by law enforcement so that no retaliation occurs; and, if the police fail to protect the witness and the ...
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    The Best and The Bravest

    Welcome to the June 2009 Edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. This is one of those months when the words just don’t seem to jump out of my fingers. I’m writing my June column just days after the conclusion of Police Week and just days before I have throat surgery to regain my voice. (Everyone seems to delight in telling me how ...
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    Domestic Disturbance Response: 10 Tips for Winning at these Volatile Calls

    Domestic Disturbance Response: 10 Tips for Winning at these Volatile Calls
    Around ten years ago, as a patrol division deputy sheriff with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I walked up some porch stairs to knock on the door of a mobile home. Suddenly, I was tackled on the front porch by a 175-pound sheet rock hanger who was annoyed that I responded to the repeat domestic ...
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    Major Lesson Plan: United States Supreme Court Update 2

    Target Audience: Law Enforcement personnel who may be faced with decisions that are impacted by the law from the United States Supreme Court. Objective: Provide officers with training on new legal standards announced by the United States Supreme Court. Format: Roll-call/ supervisory training. Time: Five to ten minutes for each of the hypothetical sections, but this may be expanded where agency ...
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    Chaplain's Corner: What If Jonah Had Been a Cop?

    Chaplain's Corner: What If Jonah Had Been a Cop?
    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner. I believe that God is to be revered, respected, and worshiped in keeping with His awesome majesty. But I also believe that He has a sense of humor and that He doesn’t mind if we take a light-hearted look at Bible characters as long as we’re respectful. I’d been thinking about God understanding the ...
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