12 Career Tips for Cops

Story By Calibre Press | calibrepress.com

 

When it comes to navigating a career in policing, sometimes even the seemingly smallest pieces of advice from those with years of experience can have a major impact on your job and your life. In his co-authored reference guide, Pocket Partner, which is packed with helpful informational tidbits that span a stunning range of topics, Dennis Evers shares 12 tips that can prolong and improve your career. We felt they were worth sharing.

If you have any additional advice you would like to share worth fellow officers, let us know! We may share them in an upcoming newsletter.

Here are the 12 keys to a longer, safer and healthier career Dennis shared:

1. Attitude: Attitude is everything. If you bring your personal problems to work, or simply fail to remain focused, you, your partner, or a citizen could pay the price.

2. Lifestyle: Not only is adequate rest important, but overall physical fitness as well. If a foot pursuit kills you, get in shape. Mom’s right – eat more fruits and vegetables.

3. Equipment: You are only as good as your equipment is functional. Keep a clean weapon, fresh ammo, and know how to use it in high stress situations. Fresh batteries in your flashlight and radio are a must. Maintain and know all of your gear. Wear a vest.

4. Intuition: After working the field you should develop a “sixth sense” that intuitively alerts you to the possibility of danger. If you don’t, consider a different line of work. If your inner voice tells you something’s not right, don’t shrug it off.

5. False bravado: If you need back-up, call for it. Never be afraid to admit to yourself that a situation is bigger than you are. Denial can hurt.

6. Position is everything: Never, ever, under any circumstances, let anyone you are questioning get into a better tactical position than you. On traffic stops, takedowns, domestics, and life in general, maintain the most advantageous position you can.

7. Dropping your guard: Treat all false alarms as real, all domestics as critical, all arrests as hazardous and no call as routine, and you should finish your shift.

8. Vigilance: Always watch a suspect’s hands and be aware of “suspicious” moves. “Tune in” to the entire scene, ambushes, hidden suspects and on and on and on…

9. Handcuff when justified: Always properly handcuff when appropriate. Love isn’t the tie that binds, it’s a half pound of cold steel.

10. Search: Weapons come in all shapes and sizes. Thoroughly search all suspects and use proper personal protection against needles, razors, etc. A ball point pen stuck through your eyeball can ruin your day.

11. React: Many cops that have been shot and survived stated they just couldn’t believe it was happening to them. Gun, knife or fist, BELIEVE IT, react immediately, and with appropriate force. Bad guys are called bad for a reason.

12. Think cover. If all else fails, leave yourself an out. Avoid open spaces. Remember the three “Cs”—COVER! COVER! COVER!

Have additional wisdom to share? What’s the key to making a career in policing better, safer, more emotionally survivable? We’d love to hear your tips. We may share them in an upcoming newsletter.

E-mail us at: editor@calibrepress.com

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Sober Apps: New Tools to Help Those in Recovery

Addiction counseling, in-person meetings, new hobbies – all of these activities are used by those in recovery. You can now add smartphone applications (apps) to this list. This technology is now being used by many as a tool to help an individual maintain their recovery. 

Check out a few of the apps* – all free and available to download on both iPhones and Androids – below:

 

Connections App

The Addiction Policy Forum teamed up with CHESS Health to launch Connections. According to their website, this app supports patients in recovery by reducing relapse and promoting pro-social engagement. 

Through the app, you can track your sobriety, message trained counselors, receive clinical support, and much more.

Learn how you can download the app.

 

IAmSoberApp

The IAmSoberApp is an ad-free motivational companion app that tracks sobriety (milestones, how much money saved and more).  In addition, the app reminds users to commit to staying sober through daily pledges, and allows them to document their activities throughout the day (making them aware of any possible triggers).

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thehungrywasp.iamsober&hl=en_US

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/al/app/i-am-sober-sobriety-counter/id672904239?mt=8
 

Sober Grid

Sober Grid is an app that connects individuals in recovery. Its features include: a “Burning Desire” button, which someone can press to let friends on the app know when they‘re facing temptation and need help; a GPS locator that can connect you to nearby app users and more.

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sobergrid&hl=en
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sober-grid-sober-social-network/id912632260?mt=8


Sober Tool 

This app, developed by a certified alcohol and drug counselor, focuses on preventing a person in recovery from relapsing. Some of the materials the app includes are related to mindfulness training, 12 step practice, stress reduction techniques and more.

Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.osu.cleanandsobertoolboxandroid&hl=en
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sobertool-alcoholism-addiction/id863872931?mt=8


Nomo – Sobriety Clocks 

This app, created by two people in recovery, tracks the number of days a an individual has been sober. In addition, a person can track the money saved by not buying drugs, share milestones on Twitter and Facebook, and share their sober clock with others. The app also includes exercises to help refocus the person in recovery when he or she is feeling tempted.

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.parkerstech.day&hl=en
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nomo-sobriety-clocks/id566975787?mt=8


Sober Time – Sobriety Counter

Similar to “Nomo,” this app helps individuals in recovery track their sober days, see how much money they’ve saved by not buying drugs, share progress with others, and more. This app also offers daily motivational messages to its users.

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sociosoft.sobertime&hl=en
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sober-time-sobriety-counter/id1158895079?mt=8

 

Important note: These apps should be used in addition to a professional treatment program. If your loved one is battling addiction, please also take/refer them to a facility. Get started here.

*The inclusion of these links on this website does not constitute an official endorsement, guarantee, or approval by Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Homicides Fall 26 Percent to Pre-COVID Levels in St. Louis

By Erin Heffernan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Shared on Police1.com

 

St. Louis police Chief John Hayden’s phone lights up — day or night — when there’s a homicide in the city.

Heading into 2021, after the city had seen a history-making surge in murders in 2020, the chief was bracing for another year with his phone abuzz with bad news.

But sometime last spring, the surge began to wane.

St. Louis criminal homicides fell about 26% last year — to 195 from 263 in 2020. That returned the city’s total to near its average in the five years before 2020. In each of those years, the city’s homicide rate led the nation’s big cities.

Still, 2021 moved in the right direction. For that, Hayden is thankful, he told the Post-Dispatch this week.

“That surge was definitely noticeable. I had a lot of sleepless nights.”

Meanwhile, St. Louis County police — the area’s next-largest law enforcement agency — investigated about 28% more murders last year within the department’s jurisdiction, which covers more than a third of the county. The 55 killings marked the most in the county police jurisdiction since at least 1984, according to department and FBI crime data.

There were an average of 36 homicides in the same area in the previous five years.

St. Louis County police Sgt. John Wall, of the robbery and homicide investigations unit, said personal feuds, domestic killings and the prevalence of guns may be driving that trend.

“There’s parts of North County where just about everybody over 12 has access to a gun,” Wall said. “So that’s part of the problem.”

Comprehensive law enforcement data on homicides for the entire county is not available, as many of the more than 55 police agencies in the county have not submitted final totals to the Missouri Highway Patrol, which compiles the state’s crime stats.

But there were at least 89 killings in the county in 2021, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s homicide tracker, which launched online this week and is derived from news coverage of killings in the region.

That compares with 114 murders reported countywide in 2020, and an average of 78 annually in the five years before that, according to Missouri Highway Patrol police data.

THE CITY DROP

St. Louis fared better than many other large cities in 2021.

Homicide totals returned to pre-pandemic levels here, while other big-city departments saw killings continue to rise following the 2020 spike.

The warmest months, which typically spark the most homicides, drove the city’s drop. From May through August last year, the city’s murder count fell by more than half to 63, compared with 136 in 2020.

Hayden said his department’s work targeting the most violent areas and people, as well as an easing of some desperation and anxiety caused by the pandemic, may be factors behind the reduction in murders.

“I think they’ll be studying that for a long time, but that’s at least one explanation,” he said.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones told the Post-Dispatch in an interview that changes her administration made in policing have moved the city’s homicide totals in the right direction.

Her public safety director, former St. Louis police chief Dan Isom, introduced new policing strategies over the summer, adding more officers on duty during high crime times and in areas where crime was spiking.

The department continued to support the “Cops and Clinicians” program launched by previous Mayor Lyda Krewson’s administration in January 2021. The program puts mental health professionals in police cars with St. Louis officers to provide resources to people in crisis at crime scenes. The program has logged more than 3,700 interactions since it was launched, according to city data.

The mayor has said the goal of the program is to improve community relationships with police and help defuse crises before they escalate to violence.

“I’ve said over and over and over again that this is an all-hands-on-deck effort that is going to take everybody doing their part, not only in law enforcement, but also in the community,” Jones said. She added: “But again, one homicide is one too many. We know that we have a long way to go.”

This year, Jones said, her administration plans to dedicate $5 million to expand Cure Violence, a violence-reduction program that hires people from high-crime areas to works as “interrupters.” They help people to find jobs and get other support while also de-escalating conflicts before guns are drawn.

Neighborhoods for the expansion have not yet been selected, Jones said. The program launched in 2020 and is operating in parts of five neighborhoods: Walnut Park East, Walnut Park West, Hamilton Heights, Wells-Goodfellow and Dutchtown.

Overall, homicides have dropped in the Cure Violence neighborhoods. Totals from all areas went from 54 in 2019, to 55 in 2020 and 30 in 2021.

CASES CLEARED

The homicide rate wasn’t the only improvement in the city in 2021.

Reports of violent crimes — homicides, manslaughter, rape and aggravated assaults — were down about 11% overall in the city through October compared with 2020, according to the most recent available data published by St. Louis police. City police changed systems for tracking crime statistics in 2021, but the Bureau of Criminal Justice Statistics found the change should typically account for about a 1% increase in violent crime totals.

St. Louis police also registered the department’s highest murder clearance rate since 2012.

City police had a clearance rate of 55% last year. That puts St. Louis on par with the national average of about 54% of homicide cases cleared, according to FBI statistics. In 2020, the city’s rate was just 36%.

Clearance rates divide the number of homicides in a year by the cases cleared that year, regardless of what year the solved cases occurred. That means the high number of unsolved homicides in 2020 could contribute to the higher clearance rate in 2021.

Fifteen cases in which police made an arrest but St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner’s office declined to file charges in 2021 are included in the 108 homicides considered cleared by police.

Hayden said he thinks improved cooperation from witnesses helped the department close more homicide cases.

“We’re getting seemingly more cooperation with folks that are telling us more information,” he said. “And so again, I think that all goes toward showing that the relationship between the community and the police is improving, when people are willing to share more.”

Average caseloads for homicide detectives also fell in the city from 10 each in 2020, to eight in 2021. Hayden redirected the department’s six gang unit detectives to help homicide investigators this year to ease the workload, he said.

Since 2016, St. Louis homicide detectives had handled an average of nine to 13 cases a year, far higher than the three to six recommended by policing experts, the Post-Dispatch reported in 2021.

Homicides in the city continue to be concentrated in north St. Louis, which encompasses eight of the nine neighborhoods with the most killings last year. About 91% of homicide victims in the city last year were Black. A gun was the sole weapon used in 95% of the killings.

Fifteen of the city’s homicide victims were younger than 17, a drop from 17 the year before.

While St. Louis trends improved, homicides were up about 6.5% through 2021 in the nation’s 99 largest cities, according to the most recent data collected by crime analyst Jeff Asher, a co-founder of AH Datalytics.

Murder was up last year in 65 of those 99 big cities.

SELF-DEFENSE CLAIMS

Within the last four years, St. Louis police have seen a jump in a category of killings not counted in the city’s criminal homicide total: self-defense.

There were 26 killings classified as justifiable by police last year. The large majority of those did not involve a law enforcement officer but rather a claim of self-defense made by a civilian, according to department data.

Before 2018, the city had averaged about seven justified homicides a year. The number increased to 10 in 2019 and 16 in 2020.

Hayden said Missouri’s self-defense and gun laws are driving the upward trend.

Over the past 15 years, the state Legislature has repealed requirements for gun permits and safety training to carry a concealed weapon. At the same time, legislators expanded legal safeguards for use of a gun in self-defense, including in 2016 removing the requirement that people attempt to back away from trouble in public before using deadly force if there is fear of bodily harm.

“People are more comfortable with making a challenge,” Hayden said. “A lot of our homicides are personal disputes and the challenge (of) self-defense is something that I think has been offered quite a bit more often.”

Adding self-defense killings into the city’s homicide count, total homicides would still have dropped 22% in 2021 from 2020.

COUNTY POLICE INCREASE

As in the city, homicides in St. Louis County are intensely concentrated to the north.

The Post-Dispatch homicide tracker found 85 of the 89 killings recorded in 2021 occurred north of Interstate 64 ( Highway 40) and more than 70% of them happened north of Interstate 70.

Wall, the county homicide sergeant, said that beyond the prevalence of guns, he thinks the rise of social media may play a role in disputes growing so heated that they end in violence.

“People are angrier. It’s getting to the point of pulling out a gun faster,” he said.

Despite the rise in killings in 2021, the county police jurisdiction’s homicide rate — about 14 murders for every 100,000 residents — remained far lower than in St. Louis. The city saw about 65 murders for every 100,000 residents last year.

The Post-Dispatch homicide tracker shows county homicides in 2021 clustered in communities near the city.

Police leaders acknowledged an increasing number of crimes spanning the city-county border when they launched a pilot program in 2020 to combine efforts in Jennings in the county and the city’s Walnut Park West neighborhood.

“Crime doesn’t know geographical boundaries, which is why it’s in the region’s best interest to address public safety together,” then-Mayor Krewson said at the time.

About 80% of 2021 homicides investigated by St. Louis County police by early December were committed with a firearm.

In recent years, Wall said a new category of cases has emerged with parents charged after their young children were killed or seriously injured through contact with the drug fentanyl.

Parents were charged with exposing their young children to fentanyl in at least four cases in St. Louis County last year, including at least one homicide. One-year-old Emya Woods died in August from fentanyl exposure.

County homicide detectives handled an average caseload of 10 to 12 cases each, and their clearance rate was high — 96%, according to department statistics.

“We put in an extreme amount of hours. That’s what people don’t understand the most,” Wall said. “These guys are canceling vacations, missing off days, missing birthdays. You work until the work is done.”

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Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report Released 2021 Was Deadliest Year for Law Enforcement Officers in History

The number of law enforcement professionals nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2021 increased 55% over the previous year, according to preliminary data provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), the leading authority on officer fatalities.

NLEOMF announced in its official 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report that as of December 31, 2021, 458 federal, state, county, municipal, military, campus, tribal, and territorial officers died in the line of duty during the past year, representing a 55% increase over the 295 officers who died in the line of duty in 2020. In the category of “Other” causes, which includes 301 Covid-19-related deaths, the number of fatalities is 338, an increase of 63% over 2020’s line-of-duty fatalities in this category.

“This time of year always reminds us of the sacrifice of law enforcement and the importance of our mission to honor the fallen, tell the story of American law enforcement, and make it safer for those who serve. The year 2021 will go down as the year of the most line-of-duty fatalities since 1930 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and increases in traffic fatalities and firearms ambushes,” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto.

Most significant in the 2021 Fatalities Report are the number of officer deaths in the category of “other” causes, which increased 63% over the number of deaths from other causes in 2020 due to officers who died from contracting Covid-19 in the line of duty.

In addition to the 301 Covid-19 deaths, 37 officers died from other causes, including 25 officers who died in the line of duty from health-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, strokes, and 9/11-related illnesses. In addition, 4 officers were beaten, and 4 officers drowned in 2021. There were 2 officers stabbed to death, 1 was killed when their patrol vehicle was swept away by floodwaters, and 1 was killed in a tornado.

Firearms-Related Fatalities

Firearms-related fatalities claimed the lives of 62 officers in 2021, a 38% increase compared to the 45 officers killed in firearms-related incidents in 2020.

Of the 62 firearms fatalities:

  • 19 were ambushed and killed
  • 8 were investigating suspicious activities or persons
  • 7 were attempting an arrest
  • 7 were killed responding to domestic disturbance calls, which led to a tactical situation and an ambush
  • 7 were disturbance calls, which led to a tactical situation
  • 3 were killed during traffic enforcement, which led to an ambush
  • 3 were fatally shot responding to burglary or robbery in-progress calls
  • 3 involved drug-related investigations
  • 2 were killed during tactical encounters
  • 2 were inadvertently and accidentally shot and killed
  • 1 was killed during an encounter with a suicidal subject.

Traffic-Related FatalitieTraffic-related fatalities increased 38% with 58 deaths in 2021 compared to 42 deaths in 2020.

Of the 58 traffic-related deaths:

    • 19 were automobile crashes involving a collision with another vehicle or fixed object
    • 9 were single-vehicle crashes
    • 27 were struck-by fatalities
    • 3 officers have been killed in motorcycle crashes

Top 6 States with the Largest Number of Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities

  • Texas experienced the largest number of law enforcement officer fatalities of all U.S. states with 84 line-of-duty deaths
  • Florida had the second highest number with 52 officer deaths
  • Georgia had the third highest number with 39 officer deaths
  • California had the fourth highest number with 24 officer deaths
  • North Carolina had the fifth highest number with 21 officer deaths
  • Tennessee had the sixth highest number with 18 officer deaths

In addition, 45 federal officers, 7 territorial officers, and 3 tribal officers died in the line of duty this year. Only 10 states and the District of Columbia did not lose an officer this year.

There were 417 male officers killed in the line of duty, and 41 female officers. The average age of the fallen officers is 48, with 17 years of service. On average, officers left behind two children.

There are currently 22,611 names of officers killed in the line of duty inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, dating back to the first known death in 1786. The deadliest year on record for law enforcement was 1930 when 312 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.

The statistics released are based on preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and do not represent a final or complete list of individual officers who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2022.

NLEOMF CEO Marcia Ferranto and Troy Anderson, Executive Director of Officer Safety and Wellness, addressed the public via Livestream at 8:00am Eastern today, January 11, about the findings. To watch the Livestream, tune into the NLEOMF Facebook page or watch on YouTube.

For a complete copy of the 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report, go to: LawMemorial.org/FatalitiesReport.

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2021 Year-End Fatality Report to Release January 11, 2022

This year, hundreds of names were engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, bringing the total to 22,611 officers killed in the line of duty. Photo courtesy of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund NLEOMF.org

 

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced that its proprietary 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report, which will encapsulate the data and causes surrounding line-of-duty deaths in 2021, will release on Tuesday morning, January 11. When released, the report is expected to show that Covid-related line-of-duty deaths display a marked increase over the same period in 2020. In addition, struck-by traffic deaths, officer ambushes, and firearms fatalities also increased over 2020.

NLEOMF CEO Marcia Ferranto and Executive Director of Officer Safety and Wellness, Troy Anderson, will be addressing the community via Livestream at 8:00am Eastern on January 11 about the findings. To watch the Livestream, tune into the NLEOMF Facebook page or watch on YouTube.

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Join the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and proudly display your support for your local law enforcement and Missouri sheriffs.
Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way to ensure the office of Sheriff in Missouri remains a strong, independent office answerable to those citizens that it is sworn to serve and protect.

Webinar Agitated Subjects & Ketamine: Working Together to Enhance Safety

Several incidents have made headlines involving EMS administration of ketamine following an interaction between the patient and law enforcement. At least one of these incidents involves criminal charges against EMS personnel.

While ketamine administration is not warranted in most interactions between law enforcement and resisting subjects, it remains a valuable, lifesaving tool for certain agitated subjects in order to facilitate further medical evaluation. Join our panel of experts to learn what public safety agencies can do to mitigate the risk involved with prehospital ketamine use, prevent harm to patients, and develop shared understanding across fire, EMS and law enforcement. 

In this webinar, set for noon Central (1 p.m. Eastern) January 18, 2022 you’ll learn:

  • Legal trends associated with prehospital ketamine use
  • Key findings from an ESO study involving more than 14,000 ketamine administrations, including the importance of post-administration monitoring
  • The role and limitations of law enforcement in such incidents and the latest guidance from national EMS organizations about the law enforcement-to-EMS handoff
  • The necessity of cross-agency (fire, EMS and law enforcement) communication, training and policy development for handling subjects that don’t respond to traditional restraint, de-escalation or use of force tactics

Register now at https://info.lexipol.com/webinar-agitated-subjects-and-ketamine

Registration is free. Can’t make it? Register anyway and we’ll send you a recording after the event.  Questions? Contact Us.

Webinar sponsored by LEXIPOL

Presented by:

Brent Myers, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAEMS
Chief Medical Officer, ESO
President, National Association of EMS Physicians

Mike Ranalli
Program Manager, Lexipol
Chief (Ret.), Glenville (NY) Police Department
Curt Varone
Deputy Chief, Exeter (RI) Fire Department
Attorney and Author, Fire Law Blog
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Dec 2, 2022: 90th Anniversary of One of Bloodiest Days in Law Enforcement History

From the Greene County Sheriff’s Office
It is ultimately our responsibility to maintain the memory of those who gave their last full measure of devotion, losing their lives in service of the public. Their names are etched in stone and memorialized at the Greene County Courthouse, and in decals on a number of marked Greene County patrol vehicles.
 
Today marks the 90th anniversary of the bloodiest day in modern law enforcement history, excluding the terrorist attacks of September 11. On January 2, 1932, six law enforcement officers were murdered in a gunfight with Harry and Jennings Young, outside their house near Brookline, Missouri.
 
Police had arrested Young family members with a stolen vehicle and believed the wanted brothers, Harry and Jennings Young were visiting their mother in the area. Harry Young was wanted for the 1929 murder of Republic Marshal Mark Noe and the brothers were wanted for operating a stolen auto ring. Before the day was over, the brothers would be responsible for the murder of six more law enforcement officers.
 
Sheriff Marcell Hendrix gathered three of his deputies for the arrest team, Ollie Crosswhite, Wiley Mashburn, and Ben Bilyeau. They were in turn joined by Springfield Chief of Detectives Tony Oliver and Officers Owen Brown, Virgil Johnson, and Frank Pike, Sidney Meadows and Charley Houser and a citizen by the name of R.G. Wegman.
 
The arrest team arrived at the Young farm at approximately 4:00 pm. Detective Johnson fired a tear gas canister into an upstairs window with no noticeable effect. The officers took positions around the residence and Sheriff Hendrix, accompanied by Deputy Mashburn and Detective Johnson, approached a back door to the residence.
 
Sheriff Hendrix and Deputy Mashburn forced the door open. Deputy Mashburn was met with a shotgun blast to the face causing him to fall backwards into a stack of firewood. Sheriff Hendrix advanced through the doorway only to be met with second shotgun blast to the chest. Detective Johnson then ran to the front of the residence and took cover amongst the cars seeking shelter from a gunfire emanating from the house.
 
Chief Oliver called out to Detective Johnson to drive back to Springfield for reinforcements. Detective Johnson jumped into a car and was joined by Bilyeau and Wegman. The rear glass of their vehicle was shot out as they drove away from the farm.
 
Deputy Crosswhite was pinned down by gunfire and took refuge behind a sod cellar. Officer Houser, who had sought cover behind a tree was shot between the eyes with a high powered rifle when he looked from behind cover.
 
Deputy Meadows was also hiding behind a tree and was out of ammunition when he was struck in the forehead by rifle fire.
 
Chief Oliver attempted to run to the vehicles and fell, receiving a fatal gunshot wound in the back. Detective Brown fled north from the house and joined Detective Pike behind a tree. They fled eastbound from the house to safety sustaining minor gunshot wounds.
 
Deputy Crosswhite was still maintaining his position of cover behind the sod cellar when one of the suspects approached him from behind and shot him in the back of the head with a shotgun. When officers returned to the farm with reinforcements they discovered the six deceased officers at the scene and that the suspects had escaped.
 
Harry and Jennings Young were subsequently located in Texas by Houston Police. On January 5, 1932, acting on a tip from a bed and breakfast owner, police stormed the house. A shootout broke out in hail of gunfire. The Youngs were trapped in a bathroom where the two brothers committed suicide.
 
Sheriff Hendrix had known the Young family, both living in the same area and attending the same church as the elder Youngs. Sheriff Hendrix’ wife, Maude S. Hendrix (1858-1952), was appointed to complete his unfinished term as sheriff. His son, Glenn Hendrix (1911-1967), served as a Springfield, Missouri officer then as Greene County Sheriff from 1949 to 1964.
 
Interred: Eastlawn Cemetery.
Deputy Mashburn was survived by his wife, Maude. Interred: Eastlawn Cemetery.
 
Deputy Crosswhite had served in law enforcement for 10 years He served as constable in Polk county for five years, as Ash Grove city marshal for two years and as Greene County Deputy Sheriff for three years. He was survived by his wife, Ethel, four sons, two daughters and his mother. Interred: Brighton Cemetery, Brighton, Missouri.
 
Detective Chief Oliver was survived by his wife, Maud. Chief Oliver had been with the agency for 26 years and had served as Chief of Detective for two years. He was survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons, one of who would later serve as deputy sheriff of Greene County. Interred: Hazelwood Cemetery.
 
Detective Meadows had been with the agency for four years and was survived by his wife, Lillie, and three step-children. Interred: Eastlawn Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri.
 
Officer Houser was survived by his wife, Augusta, and brother, Fred.
Interred: Forest Park, Cemetery, Joplin, MO.
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Operation Survival NY2022: Key Tips for Staying Safe in the New Year

By Warren Wilson for Police1.com

Well, 2021 certainly was another challenging year. There’s no reason to think 2022 will be any easier. We should probably hope for the best while preparing for the status quo.

I suggest a two-pronged approach to surviving 2022: safety and peace of mind. Over the past year, we’ve given the reader items or activities that we believe are good investments of your money or your time.

The following is a blended list of things we believe will help you get the new year started off right.  

The author strongly believes hobbies are the key to emotional fitness for law enforcement officers.
The author strongly believes hobbies are the key to emotional fitness for law enforcement officers. (Photo/Warren Wilson)

PHYSICAL SAFETY

Traditional officer safety is well covered elsewhere. I’d like to address some unconventional aspects of safety for law enforcement officers working in today’s world.

The first recommendation is an investment in your physical health. The average age of heart attack for the general population is 67 years of age. For career law enforcement officers, that number is 49. Since we are many more times more likely to die from heart disease than a line of duty death, my first suggestion is a gym membership. This requires a small investment in time and money, but your most precious asset is your heartbeat.  

Police 1 resource: How to maintain adequate LEO physical fitness

FINANCIAL SAFETY

The vilification of law enforcement hasn’t only threatened the physical safety of law enforcement officers but also our financial security. Bills have been introduced in various jurisdictions around the country to cut police retirements, end qualified immunity and rob funds from agencies that would and have resulted in layoffs.

Like your physical health, your financial health is also in jeopardy. Law enforcement retirement plans are complicated and since most of us who are on a pension plan are not allowed to participate in social security (no matter how much we contributed prior to our cop careers), we need financial expertise from someone who understands law enforcement retirement plans.

Police1 resource: Your pension plan shouldn’t be your only retirement plan

HOME SAFETY 

It’s difficult to focus on your own safety while at work when you’re worried about your family at home. I suggest you spend a little time and money on your home’s physical security.

Many of these improvements come at little or no cost. For example, replacing the screws in your deadbolt lock from what comes with the unit to three-inch versions will vastly increase your security for a matter of pennies.

The days of spending thousands on a monitored alarm/surveillance system for your home are all but over. There are many Internet-based options that will protect your entire home for a fraction of the cost. The one I use allows me to add sensors and cameras one at a time if I wish, which gives me the financial flexibility to build the system over time.

Police1 resource: 6 steps to making your home your castle

HOME PREPAREDNESS

Ensuring your family is set up for emergency preparedness is a must. While most folks are sent home from their jobs during a catastrophe, cops don’t have that luxury. In fact, we are more likely to be required to be at work for long periods of time after a disaster; be it natural or manmade.

Ready.Gov and FEMA have some helpful information on how to achieve preparedness and even a downloadable PDF guide. Get informed and be prepared so you can worry less about what’s going on at home while you’re on the front line of your jurisdiction’s next disaster.  

EMOTIONAL SAFETY

I believe the first step to emotional safety and fitness is turning work off at the door. For me, that means not watching the news. There’s no way to avoid the big stories, of course, but there’s nothing in the national news cycle that gives me hope or peace of mind. Engage in hobbies that have nothing to do with your job. It doesn’t matter if it’s horseback riding, hiking, driving trails, running or whatever. Just find something that gets your mind off your work.

My next suggestion is to turn off negativity. Avoid conversations about all the terrible things about your work, whether on the local or national level. There is solid research that indicates the more negative thoughts you engage in, the more negative you’ll feel long-term. Focus on the positives in your life and at your work. And don’t be afraid to seek mental health assistance occasionally, even if you’re feeling well.   

Police1 resource: Why your off-duty life is important for stress management   

QUALITY OF LIFE

We really don’t have much control over what New Year 2022 will bring. We do, however, have control over how it affects us and our quality of life. Happy New Year, brothers and sisters.

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Failure to Follow Training Isn’t a Monell Claim

By Ken Wallentine | Lexipol.com

J.K.J. v. City of San Diego, 17 F.4th 1247 (9th Cir. 2021)

Officers stopped a Cadillac with an expired registration and soon learned the two men in the front seat had prior drug convictions. They also learned that Aleah Mariah Jenkins, a back seat passenger, was subject to an arrest warrant. The officers searched the car and found two wallets, one of which was full of cash, and drug packaging material. They did not find any drugs.

As the officers questioned Jenkins, she spoke coherently and showed no signs of distress. They arrested Jenkins, handcuffed her and put her in a cruiser, where she vomited. The officers called for paramedics and asked Jenkins if she was detoxing. Jenkins responded, “No, I’m pregnant.” The officers canceled the call for paramedics.

As the officers drove Jenkins to a station for fingerprinting and processing, she groaned and screamed for help. When she got to the station, Jenkins was hyperventilating. After fingerprinting Jenkins at the police station, officers returned her to the cruiser. Several minutes later they found her unconscious, called for paramedics and began CPR. Jenkins fell into a coma and died nine days later. A surviving minor child sued.

The trial court dismissed the lawsuit because it did not state a valid claim against the defendants. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal. The court granted qualified immunity to the individual officers. The core allegation against the officers was that they failed to recognize and adequately respond to Jenkins’ serious medical need. The court found that right was not clearly established in the specific context of this case. Thus, the officers were entitled to qualified immunity.

The plaintiff also brought a Monell claim against the city. According to the appellate court, “J.K.J. had to plead facts alleging that (1) Jenkins was deprived of a constitutional right; (2) the municipality had a policy; (3) the policy amounted to deliberate indifference to Jenkins’ constitutional right; and (4) the policy was the moving force behind the constitutional violation.” The court held the plaintiff’s complaint did not plausibly allege any city policy or custom “was the moving force behind the alleged constitutional violations Jenkins allegedly suffered.” To the contrary, the court opined that the “moving force was not a failure to train, but the officers’ failure to heed their training.”

This is an example of the challenge faced in suing a government agency under a Monell claim. At the same time, the case reminds officers to call for medical attention whenever it seems reasonably necessary to do so. We all love medics and firefighters, but we shouldn’t hesitate to wake them up and let them make the call on whether an arrestee is in medical distress.

About the Author

Ken Wallentine

Ken Wallentine is the Chief of the West Jordan (Utah) Police Department and former Chief of Law Enforcement for the Utah Attorney General. He has served over three decades in public safety, is a legal expert and editor of Xiphos, a monthly national criminal procedure newsletter. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Death and serves as a use of force consultant in state and federal criminal and civil litigation across the nation.

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Cop’s Career Ended by a $25 Online Donation and ‘Words of Encouragement’

Article by Val Van Brocklin for Police1.com

Last spring, Norfolk Police Lt. William Kelly, a 19-year veteran, made a $25 donation to a crowdfunding website for Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense. Rittenhouse was charged with killing two people and wounding a third with an AR-15 he carried during racially charged protests in Wisconsin following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Rittenhouse is white.

Kelly intended the donation to be anonymous but a data breach shared with journalists linked it to his official email. Along with his donation, Kelly posted, “God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong. Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”

Kelly was transferred to patrol, then placed on administrative leave. An investigation concluded his actions violated city and departmental policies and he was fired. He filed a grievance disputing each of the policy violations and making his own claims, including that his dismissal violated his right to free speech. This article addresses the First Amendment claim.

I have written about the U.S. Supreme Court’s three-part test for when public employees’ speech is protected. Kelly’s lawyer acknowledged that test in his grievance by claiming Kelly’s online speech:

  1. Was made as a “private citizen” (rather than as a public employee);
  2. Was about a matter of “public concern”;
  3. And his interest in the speech outweighed any interest the department had in regulating his speech.

In the hopes of helping other officers avoid Lt. Kelly’s situation, let’s discuss his case.

PRIVATE CITIZEN

The city contended that when Kelly posted, “Every rank and file police officer supports you,” from his official email without any disclaimer he was speaking in a private capacity, he presented the impression he was representing, giving opinions, or otherwise speaking on behalf of the city.

In Graziosi v. City of Greenville (2015), the city argued Graziosi spoke as a public employee because she invoked her status as a police officer by using words such as “we” and “our” to identify herself as a police officer. The U.S. Supreme Court in Lane v. Franks (2014) said the critical question was whether the speech itself was ordinarily within the scope of an employee’s duties, not whether it merely concerned those duties.

Because Graziosi’s statements were not within the ordinary scope of her duties, the Fifth Circuit held they were made as a private citizen. The same being true of Lt. Kelly, he appears to meet this test.

PUBLIC CONCERN

Courts haven’t provided clear guidance on when speech is about a “public concern.”

The U.S. Supreme Court stated in Connick v. Myers (1983) that matters of public concern are those of ‘‘political, social or other concern to the community.” Factors to be considered include content, form and context of the speech, as well as the manner, time and place of delivery. The speaker’s motive alone is not dispositive but may be a relevant factor.

In Connick, the Court held that speech related to the efficient functioning of government was not a public concern because the context revealed it was largely a personal grievance. But in Rankin v. McPherson (1987), an employee’s statement to a coworker about the attempted assassination of President Reagan that ‘‘if they go for him again, I hope they get him’’ met the test because the speech was in the context of a discussion on the president’s policies.

Kelly has a colorable argument his speech was about a “public concern” – the prosecution of a defendant in the high-profile homicides of two people and wounding of a third while the victims were protesting the police use of deadly force in the shooting of a Black man. He must still meet the third prong for his speech to be protected.

THE BALANCING ACT

In his grievance, Kelly argued: “The City of Norfolk had no legitimate interest in dismissing me because I engaged in this speech and, to the extent it had any interest in regulating that speech, that interest was insufficient to justify dismissal.”

Kelly’s own statements undercut his argument. When Kelly was transferred to patrol, he told news media, “I was told that they had to look out for the department. I didn’t object to being transferred – I understand that public perception is very important in the 21st century and public trust is very important.”

Public perception and trust were of significant concern to the city. The city manager said, “His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve. The City of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable.”

The police chief stated, “A police department cannot do its job when the public loses trust with those whose duty is to serve and protect them. We do not want perceptions of any individual officer to undermine the relations between the Norfolk Police Department and the community.” 

Kelly argued he intended his donation and comments to be anonymous. As previously noted, the speaker’s motive is not determinative. Kelly’s donation and statements did not remain anonymous – a risk he took by posting online, as other headlines about hacked or investigated websites attest. The department must address Kelly’s actions to maintain the public’s trust.

Kelly thanked, praised and donated to a criminal defendant against whom there was probable cause to charge with two homicides and a wounding during a racially charged protest of police use of deadly force. He contended he spoke for all “rank and file” officers. The city manager’s and chief’s concerns about the public perception of whether Kelly could be trusted to protect and serve all citizens in a diverse community equally and fairly are compelling given the critical mission of the department.

Two cases shed light on how difficult it is for an officer to meet this third prong. In Graziosi, the Fifth Circuit found the police department’s interest in preserving loyalty and close working relationships within the department outweighed Graziosi’s individual interest. Quoting another Fifth Circuit case, Nixon v. City of Houston, the court added, “Because ‘police departments function as paramilitary organizations charged with maintaining public safety and order, they are given more latitude in their decisions regarding discipline and personnel regulations than an ordinary government employer.’”

Kelly’s post pitted rank-and-file officers against police leadership. In Nixon, the court also found the city’s interest in promoting and maintaining confidence in the department outweighed the individual officer’s interest in his speech. That public confidence was important, the court noted, because “HPD often relies upon members of the public to provide critical information, to serve as witnesses, to respect law enforcement authority, and to provide financial support.”

THE LESSON


Do you really want to go through what Lt. Kelly is experiencing? The internet is a BIG bulletin board in the sky readable by anyone with an internet connection. Get real about anonymity. Do you know how easy it is to trace an IP address?

Communities are diverse. Citizens have varied interactions with and perceptions of their police officers. Police must be perceived as protecting and serving all, without bias, to maintain public trust. Without that, police work is much more dangerous.

Please, think before you “click.”

NEXT: Do your social media posts pass the bullhorn test?

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Join the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and proudly display your support for your local law enforcement and Missouri sheriffs.
Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way to ensure the office of Sheriff in Missouri remains a strong, independent office answerable to those citizens that it is sworn to serve and protect.