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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Racism

    One o'clock in the morning. July. You're a white cop patrolling an affluent section of town. As usual there isn't a car on the road. Typical. Inaction waiting for action. You notice a Mercedes 300D pull into a large colonial and observe a man, woman, and two children exit, open the trunk and begin to take out suit cases. "Back from ...
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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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    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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    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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    Some words for police officers who were on the front lines of terror

    9/22/01 Like most Americans I watched in horror as we experienced this centuries Pearl Harbor. This was an unprovoked attack to the very heart of our values and what we hold dear. There is no way that I as a therapist who has worked with hundreds of "stressed out" police officers can offer much sage advice to readers who have suffered ...
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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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    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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    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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    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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    Training at the Speed of Knots

    With the recent updates in funding in Homeland Security, one can only help wonder how evenly the funds will be distributed. Currently upgrade to the maritime port security initiative have stepped up with awesome and new technology however, we must begin to prepare for old history that tends to show itself over again. In this day in age, the piracy in ...
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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 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 ...
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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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    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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    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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