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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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    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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    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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    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 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    The Scariest Duty – Part 1

    Hello, and welcome back to the Chaplain’s Corner. Hang on a second while I turn the A/C down a bit. Tad warm this time of year. I’ve had this title rattling around in my head for some time now, and I think now is perhaps the time to get it out so we can look at it. I heard that…Tom over ...
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    Advancement: Major (Assistant Chief / Chief Deputy)

    h4. Description The major or chief deputy is the second-in command in generally has the entire agency to oversee. They are the chief or sheriff’s right hand person and are often the “hatchet” person. They make things happen and take on unpleasant duties for the agency’s chief executive. They oversee the captains and report directly to the police chief or sheriff. ...
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    Part 2: And Let There Be Light…

    Part 2: And Let There Be Light…
    Last March I wrote about the importance of having a quality light source or illumination device in addition to the other pieces of equipment we carry on our utility belts when we go out on patrol. A good flashlight will not only help you to do your job effectively but can aid in your survival should things take a turn for ...
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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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    10 Tips for Talking with Kids

    When responding to calls for police service, children can at times be our best sources for information. Whether they are sought out as the only English speaker in a foreign language speaking household to give an account of an incident or they're a victim you need to speak with, the junior members of our society can be a powerful addition to ...
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    Building Rapport During an Interview

    Interviews in the popular television show Dragnet were often preceded with the admonition, "Just the facts ma'am." The emotional detachment displayed by Sgt. Friday, however, is generally not conducive to eliciting meaningful information from a subject. People are more comfortable telling the truth to someone whom they trust and can relate to. This is precisely why an investigator should spend the ...
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    Retention of ID During a Consensual Encounter

    Golphin v. Florida, No. SC03-554 (December 14, 2006) The Supreme Court of Florida recently decided an important case regarding consensual encounters. In Golphin v. Florida , two police officers were on patrol in an area of Daytona Beach that is known for prostitution and narcotics traffic. The police officers were specifically in that area to conduct field interviews with individuals in ...
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    A Date with Destiny - Part III

    On Duty Tactics Officers responding to a call of an active shooter must realize they have been thrust into a position that calls for decisive action and what they decide to do can save lives and minimize casualties. Training can help prepare the first responding officers for the moment they arrive at the scene of such an incident. This is a ...
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