Missouri Passes Bill Requiring Hospitals to Offer Rape Kits

All Missouri hospitals would be required to provide rape kits under a bill focused on the rights of sexual assault survivors that lawmakers passed Tuesday.

Few Missouri hospitals currently have staff certified to gather DNA samplings and other evidence of sexual assault through rape kits, which can be used by law enforcement and prosecutors to catch and convict rapists. There are only 27 sexual assault nurse examiners in the state, according to the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

“Survivors of sexual assault deserve justice, care and comfort,” Democratic Sen. Jill Schupp said in a statement. “Unfortunately, too many Missouri hospitals do not have the resources needed to properly respond to these traumatic situations.”

Schupp pushed to add the requirement that all licensed hospitals provide rape kits by 2023 to the broader bill on sexual assault and rape kits, sponsored by Republican Sen. Andrew Koenig. Schupp said the change will mean survivors “will no longer be faced with the difficult decision to forgo a rape kit or to drive great distances to obtain one.”

Spokesman Dave Dillon said the Missouri Hospital Association is “absolutely supportive” of speeding up the process of conducting and testing rape kits. But he said requiring all hospitals to conduct rape kits “doesn’t make it easier to actuate on the ground.”

Dillon said hiring properly trained nurses will be difficult amid a nursing shortage, and cash-strapped hospitals now have to prioritize which specialty training they can afford.

There are workarounds in the bill to help hospitals that might struggle getting nurses with the training needed to perform the exams.

The measure would give hospitals access to virtual and in-person training on how to perform rape kits. If a hospital does not have properly trained staff by then and a victim asks for a rape kit, a doctor or nurse with the statewide training program would be available to virtually coach them through an exam.

The requirement that all hospitals be able to provide exams would only take effect if the statewide training is available. The health department could also issue year-long waivers “sparingly” if certain hospitals don’t have adequate internet access to the statewide training services.

The bill also would enact a “Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights” that says victims don’t have to pay for rape kits and can get a free shower after an exam, if that’s available.

Rape survivors would have the right to have a support person and a rape crisis center employee or volunteer present during interviews with police, prosecutors and defense attorneys. They could choose whether to speak with a male or female officer.

Other provisions in the bill would require the state to create a central storage center for unreported rape kits and require those kits to be stored for at least five years.

“Thousands of untested kits have been sitting in hospitals and police departments for years,” Koenig said in a statement. “This is unacceptable, and my legislation puts a stop to it.”

Republican Rep. Justin Hill questioned holding on to rape kits from victims who don’t want to pursue charges that “we essentially don’t need” because “there’s no crime since there’s no prosecution.”

“Do we just hang on to this DNA of Missouri citizens who were never charged with a crime?” he said on the House floor.

The measure now heads to Republican Gov​​. Mike Parson, who has not said whether he will sign it.

House lawmakers also on Tuesday sent Parson a wide-ranging bill that  would limit what are called punitive damages, which are awarded as a way to financially punish defendants for causing harm.

If signed by Parson, who typically supports limiting lawsuits, the bill would only allow punitive damages if the person suing “proves by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff without just cause or acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others.”

The measure passed the House 98-51.

Associated Press | Molawyersmedia.com

Fallen Law Enforcement Officers to be Honored During Virtual Candlelight Vigil on May 13

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is centered in the 400 block of E Street, NW, Washington, DC and is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.

 

The names of fallen U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty will be formally dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during a virtual Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Traditionally held on the National Mall with more than 30,000 first responders, surviving families and law enforcement supporters in attendance, special remarks and the names of each of the men and women who died in the line of duty during 2019 will be read aloud during the virtual Candlelight Vigil, which will be live streamed. The names of fallen law enforcement officers who died earlier in history, but whose sacrifice had not been previously documented, will also be read during this time.

“The current crisis that our nation and the world is facing has resulted in the cancellation of public gatherings in DC during National Police Week 2020,” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto. “We will not let this crisis deter us from honoring the fallen. We plan to march forward in solidarity with a virtual Candlelight Vigil and the reading of the names that can be watched from anywhere in the world. Then, as the future becomes more certain and the end of the crisis is near, we will begin to make plans for an in-person reading of names to honor our fallen officers.”

Located in Washington, DC, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is a living monument to ensure the men and women who died in the line of duty will never be forgotten. The names engraved on the Memorial’s walls represent fallen officers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia,  U.S. territories, federal law enforcement, and military police agencies.

HISTORY

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.

The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. In that spirit, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 sponsors receptions each afternoon and evening during Police Week. These events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.

Watch recorded coverage of the 2019 Memorial Service at the U.S. capitol by clicking on this link.

US Attorneys Announce St. Louis Task Force

Federal, state and local law enforcement are teaming up to create a new drug and organized crime task force in St. Louis, U.S. attorneys for the region announced Tuesday.

Officials say the goal of the Gateway Strike Force is to combine resources to investigate drug trafficking, murders and other crimes committed by gangs and cartels in the St. Louis area, both in Missouri and in nearby Illinois.

The strike force is under the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, which is an independent component of the U.S. Department of Justice. Similar strike forces are in place in 18 other cities, including Kansas City, which announced its program in December.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Delworth said the strike force will initially get $600,000 for the program, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He said the strike force also will have greater access to tracking devices, wiretaps and undercover agents.

Gateway Strike Force investigations are geared toward federal prosecutions but officials say it could also lead to criminal prosecutions in state courts.

Groups participating in the strike force include the DEA, FBI, St. Louis County and city police, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Missouri National Guard.

 
​Associated Press | News Tribune​

Stress Awareness and Management in COVID-19 World

In our day to day life, no matter what our profession is, or if you’re a student, fast-food worker, parent, care-giver, etc. – it doesn’t matter. Each of us has an average day-to-day stress load we’re used to dealing with. Some people deal with that daily stress better than others, and some folks deal with greatly increased levels of stress with ease. What we need to address is how the added stress of a pandemic can negatively impact your usual stress management skills and alter how you behave. There is nothing wrong with this adjustment in behavior, but you need to at least be aware of it and do what you can to minimize it for your own health and wellness.

In the law enforcement world, we deal with daily stressors that many if not most folks can’t imagine dealing with at all… ever in their lives. The necessity of on-going situational awareness, while it might stress “normal” people, helps law enforcement professionals reduce the stress they perceive or feel. That reality for law enforcement doesn’t apply to all professions though and even those of us with high stress management skills might feel a bit overwhelmed. Why? Because of the add on stress of the unknown.

This morning it was observed in one conversation that there’s a distinct difference between the stress of potentially being shot / shot at, and the stress of not knowing whether or not you’ll be infected by or exposed to COVID-19. Why would that be? For law enforcement, simple situational awareness and the practice of good officer survival skills can reduce your chances of being shot or shot at. It’s a known risk. It’s relatively minimal (depending on where you work). The chance of surviving it even if it happens is high. It’s an accepted and recognized part of the job. It exists in whatever minimal form from day one of the job until you retire and possibly even after that dependent on your outlook toward lifestyle in retirement.

COVID-19 on the other hand… You can’t see it. You don’t know where it is. You can exercise good risk management practices 100% and still not know whether or not you’ve been exposed. If you happen to get infected, symptoms might not show up for as much as ten to fourteen days – or they might not show up at all. At present, there seems no end in sight for how long this threat might be actively part of our day, or if it will ever be mitigated by vaccine or cure.

Let’s take a look at the Stress Continuum Model. This image is available from about a hundred different online sources and resides in the public domain of every social media outlet this author can find. All things being equal, most officers operate in the green, even while at work. With the addition of the daily stress from the COVID-19 concerns and changes in operations, we might find ourselves in the Yellow space instead. That’s not terrible and if we’re aware of it, we can mitigate or resolve it during our off-duty time or with proper self-care (to the best of our ability) on duty.

Our concern should be raised if we feel that we’re already operating in the Yellow space day to day and the addition of the COVID-19 situational impact drops us into the Orange space. This can have a longer term impact as well as impairing our function during our day-to-day life and duty. The most common and obvious way to address such stress matters is, “Talk to someone; seek professional help.” The additional challenge of COVID-19 restrictions is that they may well prevent such face to face counseling opportunities.

Just this morning (as this is published) this author was talking to a police psychologist headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who is conducting counseling and therapeutic sessions virtually by using the ZOOM meeting app.

What we must do is stay aware and take appropriate action to avoid dropping into the RED space. For all of us who normally exist and function in the Green space, dropping into the Yellow during this prolonged time of additional challenge isn’t out of the ordinary. We need to be aware of it and make sure we practice good stress management / mitigation behaviors while off-duty. If we feel ourselves getting overwhelmed and potentially dropping into the Orange space we must immediately seek assistance and support BEFORE it negatively impacts our behavior and our performance on duty.

Here are a few things you can do to assist in maintaining a positive outlook and/or reducing the impact of all the negative “news”:

  • Minimize the negative saturation in your day. Look at infection numbers no more than twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Make sure that when you look at the COVID-19 infection data you pay attention to the number of negative tests and recoveries as much as, if not more than, the numbers of infected or deaths.
  • See between the sensationalistic headlines and commentary to the actual facts. News media outlets habitually use language and sentence structure that makes things sound worse than they are. It’s how they keep people coming back or staying glued to the TV screen. It’s how they increase their ratings and therefore advertising revenues. Don’t buy into the hype, but pay attention to the data reported that is supported factually.
  • Assess your own health and risk. The risk of serious challenge from a COVID-19 infection is much higher for those over 60 years of age or who have other pre-existing health conditions. Be realistic about your own risk, both positive and negative.
  • Set the example in your community by practicing the recommended prevention protocols related to COVID-19: wash your hands frequently; avoid touching your face, particularly any area with mucus / moist membranes. Maintain a six foot minimum space when talking to people (haven’t we always done this as “reactionary gap?”).
  • Don’t feed the hype or panic. As you serve your community, be the voice of reason.

We are all in this together and we can all come out of it together if we support one another and maintain ourselves properly. That doesn’t just mean avoiding infection but also taking care of yourself emotionally, mentally and physically.

Stay safe.

By Lt. Frank Borelli, the editorial director for the Officer Media Group. Frank brings 20-plus years of writing and editing experience in addition to over 35 years of law enforcement operations, administration and training experience to the team. 

Governor Orders Capitol Dome to Shine Blue in Honor of Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

In honor of Missouri’s law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, Governor Mike Parson has ordered the Missouri State Capitol dome and the Law Enforcement Memorial to be lit blue through Sunday night, May 3.

This year, organizers of the annual Missouri Law Enforcement Candlelight Vigil and Memorial Service are not able to hold the traditional ceremonies because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial Board organized a small ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial on the north side of the Capitol on Thursday evening, April 30. Photog​​raphs of the ceremony and the Capitol lighted in blue last night are available for use at this Flickr album link.  

“Each year, the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial ceremonies bring comfort and strength to this state’s law enforcement community as they gather to remember our brave fallen,” Governor Parson said. “While we will miss the ceremonies this May, I have ordered the Capitol and the law enforcement memorial to shine blue to honor all of our law enforcement heroes who have paid the ultimate price. They will never be forgotten.”    

“For the last 25 years, we have gathered at the memorial to find strength, solace and support from our Missouri law enforcement community,” Missouri Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said. “This year, attendance at our commemoration was forced to be smaller than in the past, but our appreciation of the sacrifices of our fallen comrades, and the strength of their survivors is not diminished. We will always remember those who lay down their lives for their fellow citizens.”

This year, two names were added to the memorial’s Wall of Honor for those who died in the line of duty:

Wayne M. Niedenberg – On June 6, 2019, Lakeshire Police Department Chief Wayne M. Niedenberg was en route to his home when he came across a rollover crash. He radioed for assistance and provided aid to the crash victims. He then suffered a fatal heart attack after arriving at his home.

Michael V. Langsdorf – On June 23, 2019, North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael V. Langsdorf responded to investigate a call about a man attempting to pass a bad check at a Wellston business. During a struggle, the man pulled a handgun from his waistband and fatally shot Officer Langsdorf.

Appeals Court Turns Down CCW Argument

The Court of Appeals Eastern District ruled April 21 that a man whose felonies would be just misdemeanors in some other states still can’t get a concealed carry license.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department denied Tonie M. Townsend a permit because he had pleaded guilty in 1999 in Missouri to two felony counts of criminal non-support. Though he had completed his probation — and was pardoned in 2016 by Gov. Jay Nixon — the fact that Townsend had pleaded guilty to the felonies remained on his record, disqualifying him from a concealed carry permit.

On appeal, Townsend argued that Missouri’s concealed carry law makes an exception if the​​ person’s crime is “classified as a misdemeanor under the laws of any state.” At least seven other states treat non-support as a misdemeanor even if it carries a sentence greater than one year, and Townsend argued that his prior crimes should receive similar treatment.

The appeals court, however, said Townsend’s interpretation was “illogical.” The concealed carry permit law, Judge Gary M. Gaertner Jr. wrote, “includes no intent to require the Sheriff to search the laws of all 50 states to determine the effect of a Missouri felony guilty plea on a CCW permit application.”

The case is Townsend v. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, ED107660.

By Scott Lauck  | molawyersmedia.com

Photo by KY3

Cold Case Resolutions: More than One Clue

A latent thumbprint from the crime scene (inset) was matched to this IAFIS record. Federal Bureau of Investigation


​​I bring you this column out of my pure fascination with cold cases, forensics, police work, and all things mysterious. As an active duty Police Officer, I hold an interest in all cases especially those that bring justice to light in the end. The purpose of this column is to tell the story of how technology and forensics can play a key role in solving a case even if it has been cold for decades, giving hope to those who may be in the middle of a tough case that has lead to sleepless nights. I have been there, and have experienced the constant thought process of how a case could be solved, questioning what is missing and going over the evidence numerous times. I hope you find these cases as intriguing and motivating as I do.

Cold Case Resolutions #3: More than One Clue

October 17, 1978. Carroll Bonnet, an employee of Clarkson Hospital, in Omaha Nebraska, failed to show up for work two days in a row. Knowing Bonnet lived alone, a friend of contacted the manager of Bonnet’s apartment complex and asked him to check on his friend. After not receiving a response at the door, the manager peeked through the mail slot and observed Bonnet lying face down on the floor. Concerned for Bonnet’s health, the manager called for an ambulance. The Omaha Fire Department arrived at the scene and gained entry to the apartment. Upon entry they observed Carroll Bonnet, naked, face down, with a stab wound to his torso, deceased.

The Omaha Police Department arrived and secured the scene for investigators. The normally tidy apartment was in shambles, showing clear signs of a struggle. The telephone cord had been severed, seemingly in an effort to prevent Bonnet from calling for help. Newspapers were strewn about on the floor and coffee table, and three towels sat next to the victim. A note taunting police was found near the body. It read “I am leaving this crime with only one clue. Find it yourself Pig!!! Die Pig. -Helter”. Investigators collected, the note, the towels, cigarette butts, beer cans, the newspapers, as well as fingerprints and palm prints from various locations around the apartment. However, with all the evidence collected, there was still no certainty about the “one clue” mentioned in the note. It was also discovered Bonnet’s car was stolen. The car was found days later in Cicero, Illinois. Fingerprints were collected from the vehicle, with some belonging to Bonnet, and others unidentified. After processing the prints and finding no match, the case went cold.

In March of 2009, the Omaha Police Department Cold Case Unit re-evaluated the fingerprints from the Bonnet murder using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS, to once again look for a match. IAFIS was launched by the FBI in 1999 and is designed to house and compare fingerprint data on a national level. Many states have their own AFIS, which are connected to the FBI’s integrated system. This allows vital information to be shared between state, local, and federal agencies, greatly improving the odds of identifying offenders. As any law enforcement officer knows, a great deal of the suspects they deal with are both transient, and repeat offenders. For example, with the IAFIS system, the car thief from several states away, just released from prison and on the move, can be quickly identified when he gets up to his old tricks in your jurisdiction. This system makes paramount the collection of fingerprints, not only to solve your cases, but solve past and future crimes as well.

The decades old unidentified fingerprints were matched in IAFIS to a man named Jerry Watson and the formerly cold case was assigned to Detective Douglas Herout to follow-up on the new lead. Detective Herout had several of the collected items tested for DNA, something which wasn’t an option for investigators in 1978. Detective Herout discovered Jerry Watson was serving prison time in Illinois for burglary charges. It was also uncovered Watson grew up in Cicero, lived a only a few blocks from where the stolen vehicle was found, and in the latter part of 1978, he visited a relative in Omaha. This places Watson in the proximity and time frame of the murder, however more would be needed for a conviction. Detective Herout traveled to Illinois to interview Watson in prison. Mr. Watson confessed to being in Omaha in 1978, however he denied committing the murder. Upon concluding the interview, Detective Herout obtained finger and palm prints from Watson, as well as DNA samples. Laboratory technicians were able to obtain full and partial DNA profiles from several pieces of evidence from the 1978 crime scene, and matched them to Watson. In addition to the fingerprints already matched in IAFIS, another palm print taken from the scene was matched to the palm prints taken by Detective Herout. With a mountain of evidence on their side, detectives were preparing to charge Watson for the murder, but the question remained; what was the “one clue”?

While looking through the items taken from the scene, Detective Herout noticed blue ink scribbled on one of the newspapers found near the body. The scribble was obscuring something written in cursive. Upon further examination, it became apparent the cursive writing was the signature “Jerry W.”. Now armed with what the murderer thought was the only clue the “Pigs” could find, the charges were imminent. On November 15, 2010 Jerry Watson was charged with use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and first degree murder. He was convicted by a jury on August 25 2011, and exactly 33 years after the murder, on October 17, 2011, Watson was sentenced to life in prison.

Watson would go on to appeal the conviction all the way to the Nebraska Supreme Court, arguing due to the three decade delay in prosecution, some key witnesses were unavailable, thus he was not able to confront these accusers as part of his defense. The Nebraska Supreme Court however, upheld the conviction, citing there was indeed sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Watson, thanks in no small part to IAFIS.

By Officer Brendan Rodela for Officer.com

Brendan Rodela has been a patrolman for the Ruidoso (NM) Police Department for over four years. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice as well as certification in Instructor Development. Officer Rodela is also part of the department’s drone deployment team.  

Law Enforcement: Critical Vehicle Safety Recall Information

Ford Motor Co. has announced a recall of approximately 55,000 vehicles, including 2020 Ford Expedition vehicles equipped with a police package for a defect that poses a significant risk to your safety.

CLICK HERE to use NHTSA’s VIN Lookup Tool to see if your vehicles are affected by this recall.

Specifically, Ford filed a recall notice with NHTSA for approximately 55,000 Ford Expedition vehicles for a safety defect with the transmission shift cable lock clip, which can allow the transmission to be in a different gear than selected by the driver. This inaccurate gear position display could cause unintended vehicle movement, increasing the risk of injury or a crash.

Ford will contact affected owners to take their vehicle to their nearest Ford dealership to schedule a FREE repair. As always, NHTSA encour​​ages all officers and their departments to report any safety concerns to the agency online or by calling our Vehicle Safety Hotline (Toll-Free: 1-888-327-4236 / Hearing Impaired (TTY): 1-800-424-9153).

Follow NHTSA on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest recalls and safety campaigns.

NHTSA’s VIN Lookup Tool allows users to enter their vehicle’s VIN or Make/Model to determine if there are any active recalls on the vehicle.

Absent Traffic Jams, Drivers Are Getting More Reckless

​​Emptier streets may be encouraging some drivers to flaunt traffic safety laws, including speed limits. Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, state highway safety officials across the country are seeing a severe spike in speeding. Many states have reported alarming speed increases, with som​​e noting a significant surge in vehicles clocked at 100 mph or more.

Being a safe driver should always be a priority, but during the coronavirus pandemic, traffic safety experts at the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) say it is more important than ever. “While COVID-19 is clearly our national priority, our traffic safety laws cannot be ignored,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. “Law enforcement officials have the same mission as health care providers — to save lives. If you must drive, buckle up, follow the posted speed limit and look out for pedestrians and bicyclists. Emergency rooms in many areas of the country are at capacity, and the last thing they need is additional strain from traffic crash victims.”

During the past month, pedestrian and bicycle traffic are reported to have increased exponentially, while motor vehicle traffic is down. Adkins noted that GHSA is encouraged to see so many communities across the country making roadways more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists. To keep roads safe for everyone, traffic safety officials nationwide are pleading with motorists to slow down and respect traffic safety laws.

Here are examples of the reckless driver behaviors reported recently:

  • In Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and Utah, police have clocked highway speeds of over 100 mph.
  • State police in Florida and Iowa are reporting drivers going 20 to 40 miles over the posted speed limit.
  • In New York City, despite far fewer vehicles on the road, the city’s automated speed cameras issued 24,765 speeding tickets citywide on March 27, or nearly double the 12,672 tickets issued daily a month earlier.
  • In Los Angeles, speeds are up by as much as 30% on some streets, prompting changes to traffic lights and pedestrian walk signals.
  • Some states are finding reduced crash rates but more serious crashes. In Massachusetts, the fatality rate for car crashes is rising, and in Nevada and Rhode Island, state officials note pedestrian fatalities are rising.
  • In Minnesota, motor vehicle crashes and fatalities have more than doubled compared to the same time period in previous years. Half those deaths were related to speeding or to careless or negligent driving.



“During the past two months, Americans nationwide have shown that we are all willing to do the right thing to protect ourselves and each other,” said Pam Shadel Fischer, GHSA’s Senior Director of External Engagement and Special Projects. “We must maintain that same sense of urgency when it comes to the road. Drivers need to respect the law and look out for other road users, so that we can prevent the needless loss of life now and moving forward.”

A 2019 report on speeding by GHSA, “Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge,” highlights excessive vehicle speed as a persistent factor in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle-related fatalities, while a 2020 GHSA report on pedestrian fatalities, published in February, finds that pedestrians now account for 17% of all traffic-related fatalities.

Despite the fact that a significant percentage of all crashes are speeding-related, speeding is not given enough attention as a traffic safety issue and is deemed culturally acceptable by the motoring public. To combat this problem, GHSA, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) have partnered to provide up to $200,000 in grant funding to a community to develop, implement and evaluate a speed management pilot program. The organizations are looking for a pilot program that can be scaled nationally and plan to announce the grant winner in May.

About GHSA
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.

Former Crawford County Sheriff Dies

Former Crawford County Sheriff Albert “Al” Charles Engelbrecht, Jr., of Steelville, died on Wednesday, April 8. He served as sheriff for a total of 16 years from 1985​ to ​1988 and​ again​ from 1993​ to ​2004.

He was a graduate of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Academy​, working eight years as a St. Louis city policeman. ​During that time, he and his wife Alice purchased land in Crawford County for their retirement. However, they decided to move sooner than planned, so in 1976 Crawford County became their new home. After living there for a few years, he ran for sheriff and was elected.
 
Engelbrecht died at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife, Alice, and two children.
A post on the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page on the date of his death offered condolences to ​​his family and stated, “We ask for comfort to be given to his family and offer our appreciation of his dedicated service to this community and the citizens of Crawford County. Rest In Peace Sheriff, we have the watch from here.”
 
​The former sheriff was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus with a 4th degree, the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, the Crawford County Republicans and was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
 
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, April 15.