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    U.S. Supreme Court upholds canine sniffs of vehicles

    Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. ___ (2005) In a 6-2 decision published Jan. 24, the Supreme Court ruled that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful traffic stop that reveals no information other than the location of an unlawful substance does not violate the Fourth Amendment. The case arose from a traffic stop made by Illinois State Trooper Daniel Gillette on ...
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    Administration Considerations - Vendors vs Agency Training

    Over the past 10 years I have given many lectures and seminars throughout North America, and have found that there are many differences in how law enforcement agencies run their K9 units. However there is one common factor with the majority of the agencies that I have been to. Budget constraints almost always hit the dog section of any department before ...
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    Totally Disabled Parent Seeks Victim Status: Court: Pluto is less remote to us than the Plaintiffs argument

    Stephen Prescott believes that parents may think twice about attending their children’s school events if the law prevents them from successfully suing the school corporation after being injured on school property. The Connecticut Supreme Court recently heard and rejected Prescott’s argument, finding that schools owed students’ parents no special duty of care. Prescott was injured after his son’s Thanksgiving 1998 football ...
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    Handling too many critical incidents can lead to trouble

    I received a heartfelt letter from a concerned police officer's wife. She was experiencing her what, for want of a better term, could be called spouse's police stress. Her husband had policed far more than his share of critical incidents, including accidents where numerous children were killed. He was withdrawing from her and questioning his belief in God. Why, in essence, ...
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    Immigration and Nationality Act

    The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952. Before the INA, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. The McCarran-Walter bill of 1952, Public Law No. 82-414, collected and codified many existing provisions and reorganized the structure of immigration law. The Act has been amended many times over the years, but ...
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    2005 Use Caution When Expressing The Urgency For A Suspect To Confess

    It is human nature to put off unpleasant decisions. Being in my 50's, I know that I need to eventually get long-term care insurance. Even though I fully intend to do this, I can come up with all sorts of reasons why I do not have to do it today. Many guilty suspects experience the same thought process during an interrogation. ...
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    US Supreme Ct - Randolph v. Georgia

    Police Cannot Use the Consent of a Co-Occupant to Make Entry in Order to Search for Evidence to be used Against the Opposing Occupant who Is Present and Objects to the Entry. Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. ___, slip op. 04-1067 (3/22/06). The United States Supreme Court further clarified the rules regarding consent searches in homes in Randolph v. Georgia, decided ...
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    Police Involvement Does Not Always Invalidate Search

    An issue that is often raised in school search cases is the question as to what level of police involvement will require that a search be supported by probable cause rather than the reasonable suspicion standard allowed for school officials. A case on point was decided by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently. In the Interest of A.D., 844 A.2d 20 ...
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    Investigating Possible Fabricated Claims

    A recent case involving a University of Wisconsin student who falsely claimed that she was abducted highlights some important characteristics of these investigations. This particular case quickly achieved national attention and was followed on a daily basis by morning talk shows. The reason for this attention was probably because the media were able to build suspense by showing surveillance video of ...
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    Improving Reactions To Lethal Force

    The potential for high risk situations is becoming more common as our society continues to deal with an increasing crime rate. As a dog handler, you will be at greater risk for lethal confrontations as a direct result of your K9 applications. There are a number of things that you can do to help you survive such encounters. Many of those ...
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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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    Training Issues With Respect to Warrant Execution

    Officers must be trained for the recurring tasks which the particular officers may face. The training a particular officer must receive will be determined by the officer’s assignment. For example, a rookie officer that is not allowed to draft search warrants would not need to be trained in the drafting of search warrants, whereas a detective that will be regularly drafting ...
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    Blocking Suspect’s Car is a Seizure

    Indiana v. Stickle, 2003 Ind.App. LEXIS 1304 (IN Ct. App. 2003). Members of the Indiana State Police received information regarding a drug deal that was going to take place at a McDonald’s restaurant in Batesville. The tipster provided the names of the individuals involved and indicated the vehicle which would be driven by the suspects. Officers placed the restaurant under surveillance ...
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    Preparing a Defense in Law Enforcement Litigation: A Formula for Law Enforcement

    Any significant law enforcement event has the potential to develop in a claim made against the agency and the officers involved. The likelihood of a lawsuit is enhanced when individuals involved in the event are injured or claim a violation of their rights at the outset. Depending upon the nature of the event and the public interest involved, the media may ...
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    Tasered Spectator Has Potential Case of Excessive Force and Unlawful Arrest

    Following a day of watching races at the Gateway International Raceway, Christopher DeSalvo was watching guests of the Holiday Inn do “burnouts” with their vehicles in the rear lot of the hotel. Approximately 100-150 guests were gathered for the show. The gathering and the vehicle “burnouts” prompted the response of the police. Officer Krug, upon responding a second time to the ...
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    Use of Deadly ForcePre-Shooting Events Impacting Reasonableness of Shooting

    An on-going issue in deadly force cases is how courts will review the totality of circumstances surrounding the shooting and how officer tactics and actions before the shooting may have an impact on the reasonableness of the use of deadly force. Some of the federal circuits view the “totality of circumstances” as only that moment in time where the officer pulls ...
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    The Ticket – Part 1

    Hi, and welcome once again to the “Hot & Dry Edition,” I mean, August edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. I said it last year and I have to say it again; “Here it is almost football season again and still no rain.” At least none to speak of…two years of drought. It’s getting old. Sigh. You know it’s been a while ...
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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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    Training/Documentation “Major Lesson Plan”

    As part of the Liability and Risk Management Institute’s continued effort to further manage the risk and reduce financial losses through lawsuits, each edition of the legal update will include a major lesson plan. This major lesson plan may be used as a method to conduct and document training. How does it work? Supervisors are provided with the legal update for ...
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    License to Use Caution with Vehicle Pursuits

    Many police pursuit proponents read with eagerness of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent case involving law enforcement chases. The 2007 case, Scott v. Harris was interpreted by many road rangers as giving more latitude to the officer pursuing the miscreants of the motorways. Actually the ruling should be examined within the scope of it two points. It also serves as a ...
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