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    Thanksgiving In Spite Of

    Hello, and welcome once again to the November edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. What a month this past one has been. I had a second throat surgery (first one was 20 May of this year), was on total voice rest for almost 4 weeks and was off work for nearly 5 weeks all told. We attended a LODD funeral three days ...
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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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    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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    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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    Screening New Employees: Part II

    The importance of a face to face interview with a job applicant to evaluate their recent past behavior was emphasized in the last web tip. One reason employers are reluctant to ask probing questions during a preemployment interview is the fear of a subsequent law suit. This discussion will focus on legal aspects of preemployment screening and cost-effective strategies in making ...
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    Unreasonable Frisk May Lead to Liability

    In Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), the United States Supreme Court authorized police officers to stop and detain individuals where the officer had reasonable suspicion (some facts and circumstance but less than probable cause) to believe that the person to be stopped was involved in criminal activity. Officers were authorized to use force, short of deadly force to accomplish ...
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    Overview of Police Liability

    While police officers may believe that they will be exposed to liability for all of their actions, both proper and improper, the fact of the matter is that most courts have avoided second-guessing police actions and have only sanctioned the most egregious conduct. There are various levels of liability that may exist when an officer’s actions are deemed improper. The purpose ...
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    New Year and Paintbrushes

    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner 2010. New Year’s 2010! Wow. I can still remember back in high school when I thought the year 2000 was so far in the future that it would never get here. (I say that every year, don’t I?) New Year and Paintbrushes. Now, I bet there’s at least one person out there who’s wondering ...
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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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    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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    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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    Seizure at Gunpoint

    Robinson v. Solano County, 278 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2002) In Robinson v. Solano County, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had an opportunity to review whether a police officer’s pointing of a handgun at a citizen without actually pulling the trigger may violate the Fourth Amendment under some circumstances. The plaintiff in this case was James ...
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    The Subject Specific Interview Approach

    In recent years several behavioral science experts have focused their research efforts on reviewing hundreds of investigative interviews and interrogations. There have been two goals of some of these studies. One has been to determine how successful the interviewers are at accurately identifying and analyzing the behavioral signs of deception. The second has been to gain greater insight into the investigative ...
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    History Lesson

    Welcome to the June 2010 Edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Like last year, I’m writing my June column just days after the conclusion of Police Week, but UNlike last year, I can talk – I have a voice! I can even YELL at wayward bull calves in bar ditches when I have to – one of the “little pleasures” of being ...
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    Not Alone in 2011

    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner. Ready or not, 2011 is here! (I almost wish we could skip 2011 and jump straight to 2012, though.) As I’m wont to do, I’m looking at the new year with mixed emotions. I’m sure events will come into our lives in the next 12 months that will be fond memories years down the ...
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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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    United States Supreme CourtSummary of Law Enforcement Cases 2004-2005 Term

    United States Supreme Court Summary of Law Enforcement Cases 2004-2005 Term Each term, the United States Supreme Court decides cases having a direct impact on various aspects of law enforcement operations. During the 2004-2005 term, the Court decided 5 such cases touching on day to day operations in law enforcement. These cases have been detailed in the legal update as they ...
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    Shooting At Non-Threatening Fleeing Vehicle May Violate 4th Amendment

    In Flores v. City of Palacios and Officer Kalina, 381 F.3d 391 (5th Cir. 2004), the United States Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit considered a case where an officer shot at a vehicle that refused to stop upon his command. Officer Kalina was on patrol when he shined his spotlight toward a vehicle that was parked on the wrong ...
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    Chaplain's Corner: A Look at The Book

    Chaplain's Corner: A Look at The Book
    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner. I survived turning 55! Wasn’t such a big deal after all. And March is here again. That means severe storm season will soon be upon us here in central Texas and that could be a big deal. We badly need the rain, but the hail and damaging winds and potential tornadoes I can do ...
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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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