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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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    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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    Chaplain's Corner: In The Words of the Song

    Hello, and welcome once again to the November edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Well, I wanted to wait until after the election to write to you since it was so close to the first of the month. I had hoped to be basking in the glow of a McCain/Palin victory. I’m very sad that the good Governor had to endure what ...
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    A World of Risk

    There is a tremendous amount of hoopla about how the world is now a global economy. While that statement is undeniably true, the problem is that the world is still a very big place. Finding a reliable vendor that can deploy and perform in some far-flung locale remains a challenge. What PortGard brings to the table is a historical lineage of ...
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    Restraint of Autistic Student doesn’t Seize “Excessive Force” Standard

    A difficult issue in the school setting is use of force to control students and maintain a safe environment. This issue is more difficult when dealing with students who have disabilities that place them in special education. A recent case from Mississippi provides an example of how courts will analyze such uses of force under state law. In Pigford v. Jackson ...
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    The Shocking Truths about Lightning Deaths

    In the aftermath of a severe mid-summer thunderstorm, a rookie police officer is dispatched to the scene of a dead body. A citizen walking his dog has discovered the corpse of a young adult female in some bushes near a sidewalk. The woman appears to have been beaten and her clothing violently torn. The young officer believes he has encountered his ...
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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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    Persons with Disabilities

    Each and everyday, law enforcement officers throughout the United States come into contact with persons who are suffering from some disability. Some of these persons are suffering from a disability that would make them eligible for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). i Some of these individuals would not meet the criteria for protection under the ADA but do ...
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    Supreme Court Update: ~ Qualified Immunity ~

    An individual officer’s greatest shield in a lawsuit that alleges a violation of civil rights is qualified immunity. A decision by the United States Supreme Court in December, further clarified the strength of this immunity. In Brosseau v.Haugen, 543 U.S.___; 2004 U.S. LEXIS 8275 (2004), the United States Supreme Court examined a case involving the use of deadly force by Officer ...
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    Advancement: Sergeant

    h4. Description Sergeants have supervisory responsibility over an entire squad or unit, which may include as many 15 – 20 officers, depending on the size of the agency. h4. Testing Requirements Written Exam, Oral Interview, Assessment Center, Department Merit and Seniority The phases of the exam are weighted which create a composite score when added together. Weighted values will vary from ...
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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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    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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    Do You Invite People to Lie to You?

    No one wants people to lie to them. Yet, I have encountered numerous parents, teachers and investigators who regularly invite deceptive answers from people they question. I am certain they do not do this intentionally. Rather, these individuals have little understanding of the psychology of deception. This web tip is written for individuals who are not dealing with rapists and murderers ...
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    Chaplain's Corner: The River Runs Over It

    Chaplain's Corner: The River Runs Over It
    Hi and welcome once again to the Chaplain’s Corner. It’s June already…time to think about fishing and swimming. Around here a lot of folks head out to the “slab” for both. It’s a good place to get sunburned or a citation for driving in the river bed. I guess the first thing I need to do is to describe “Scott’s Slab” ...
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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Use of Deadly Force Based on Perceived Threat

    Police officers sometimes subjectively perceive suspect action as a threat and react in accord with that threat. In many of these cases, the so-called “furtive” motion turns out to be simple movement and not a threat at all. Sample v. Bailey, 337 F.Supp.2d 1012 (N.Dist. Ohio 2004) provides a good example of how courts view these cases when deciding whether an ...
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