April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Missouri

​From Gov. Mike Parson ~

As a former law enforcement officer, I understand the devastating impact abuse and neglect can have on a child’s life. It is critical that we continue to raise awareness about child abuse prevention and remind Missourians that children are relying on us to protect them.

I also want to thank the many groups and organizations across the state that provide vital resources to families throughout the year to help keep our children safe.

The Missouri Department of Social Services asks Missourians to be especially attentive to the safety and wellbeing of children during COVID-19 and strongly encourages anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect to call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-392-3738.

The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is answered 24-hours a day, every day, all year round. Callers can report anonymously.

Reporting a concern about a child can connect a family with the support and help they need to keep the child safe at home. Ensuring parents and caregivers have the knowledge, skills, support, and resources they need to care for children are paramount to reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect.

Often, the efforts of local communities and organizations make it possible for families to become stronger and the home safer for the child.​​

Health and Wellness for the Thin Blue Line

Understanding Macronutrients

By Lindsay Chetelat, RD, CDN​ for Working Dog Magazine​

In a profession founded upon dedicating long hours to protect and serve others, it can be difficult for members of the law enforcement community to make themselv​​es a priority. It is all too often that the health and wellness of police officers fall to the wayside as they spend day in and day out working tirelessly to defend their communities against evil.

Optimal nutrition and physical fitness are unique in the law enforcement world. Their lives depend on being fit, yet there are many obstacles to achieve the level of fitness necessary for the job. This three-part nutrition and fitness series will be geared towards providing the information to overcome these obstacles and build the foundation for lifelong health and wellness. The first installment in this issue will detail the ins and outs of macronutrients, while the second and third installments will encompass hydration and fueling for exercise, respectively.

Macronutrients – What you need to know: 

Macronutrients are the components in the diet that provide energy, or calories.
There are three macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Carbohydrate and protein provide four calories/gram and fat provides 9 calories/gram.
Each of these macronutrients confer a unique benefit to the proper functioning of the human body.
There are foods and beverages in each of these macronutrient categories that you should limit or avoid.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are chains of simple sugar building blocks that the body prefers to burn for energy. Examples of “short” chain carbohydrates include lactose, which is found in milk, and sucrose, which is table sugar.  “Long” chain carbohydrates can be found in starches, such as bread, pasta, and rice.  Regardless of the chain length, all carbohydrates are broken down into the basic sugar building blocks to be used as fuel for your brain and muscles.

Fiber is an indigestible form of carbohydrate that is found in plant based foods. It has beneficial implications in heart and gastrointestinal health. Fiber helps you feel fuller longer, and therefore proves to be an essential tool in weight loss.

Carbohydrate is stored in the body as glycogen in the liver and muscle. As needed, the body breaks down glycogen and releases a simple sugar building block called glucose. Glycogen stored in the muscles is readily available for use during exercise, while glycogen in the liver is used to maintain normal glucose levels in the blood and provide fuel for the brain.

Based on Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, the average 150-lb male has 1800 calories of carbohydrate stored in the body.  Of these 1800 calories, 1400 calories are stored in the muscle to be used during exercise, 320 calories are stored in the liver to be released into the bloodstream, and 80 calories exist in the plasma and bodily fluids (1).  This same man also has 60,000-100,000 calories of stored fat. Technically, this amount of calories would be sufficient to run hundreds of miles, but muscles need carbohydrate to function properly and fat cannot be used as the sole fuel source (1). 

The American College of Sports Medicine cites carbohydrate needs for physically active adults as 3-5g/kg of body weight per day for low intensity or skill-based activities, 5-7g/kg for moderate exercise (~1 hour/day), 6-10g/kg for endurance exercise (1-3 hours/day), and 8-12g/kg for extreme exercise (>4-5 hours/day) (2). 

If you do not eat enough carbohydrate, this will translate to inadequate glycogen stores and, therefore, suboptimal mental and physical health.  Making sure the patrol car and the police canine are well fueled are essential job functions that ensure efficient and effective job performance. Maintaining a consistent intake of nutrient dense carbohydrates to promote adequate glycogen storage is of equal importance to the law enforcement officer.

Choosing the right carbohydrate sources also yields the benefit of receiving a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.  Vitamins and minerals, or micronutrients, play a multitude of roles including promoting optimal brain health and energy metabolism, and even reducing cancer risk in some cases.

The best sources of carbohydrate include whole grains, beans and legumes, starchy and non-starchy vegetables, and fruits. Dairy products are unique in that they are a good source of both carbohydrate and protein (see the protein section for more information). Carbohydrates dense in added sugar should be limited or avoided. These foods include sweets and desserts, soda, fruit juice cocktail, and fruit canned in syrup.

Protein

Protein is a building block for repair, growth, proper immune function, and many other vital bodily functions. The simple unit of protein is an amino acid.  Amino acids unite in different combinations to form protein chains of varying lengths. Our bodies can produce some amino acids, but we must obtain other amino acids from the food we eat (these are called essential amino acids).

Adequate protein intake is crucial for muscle growth and repair after enduring strenuous exercise. Equally as important is the role of protein in supporting basic bodily functions such as the immune system – your body’s defense mechanism against germs.  Protein rich foods also contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.  The body prefers to use protein for the functions described above.  If you do not consume adequate carbohydrate, your body will break down protein to produce glucose for energy, therefore distracting protein from its primary functions. Stay tuned for the third installment in this series on nutrient timing for recovery!

The average, inactive adult requires 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day, while active adults require 1.2-2.0 g/kg (2). The ultimate goal is to incorporate a variety of nutrient dense, lean protein sources throughout the day.  Excessive protein intake on a gram per kilogram of body weight basis or consumption of more than 20-25 grams of protein at one time does not equate to more gains (1). There is no storage capacity for protein in the body. The excess protein will be burned for energy or converted to triglycerides, a form of fat. Excessive protein intake also puts a person at risk for dehydration as the body seeks to eliminate urea, a waste product of protein breakdown.

Protein supplements have surged in popularity in the health and fitness world, but there is no evidence to indicate that providing these protein supplements in an already nutrient sufficient diet provides any benefit (1). Protein supplements can be used to achieve adequate protein intake in a person unable to meet their protein needs solely through food. 

Lean proteins are the best food sources to choose. While animal sources of protein are denser in protein and contain a complete amino acid profile, it is possible to meet protein needs through plant-based foods. These plant-based proteins must be consumed in larger quantities to match their animal-based counterparts.

People who completely avoid animal products (i.e. vegans) must compensate for the incomplete amino acid profile in plant-based proteins. Combining grains with beans or legumes and legumes with seeds will help ensure that a vegan obtains a complete amino acid profile (1). Adding soy products to all meals will also improve protein intake in this population (1).

High fat and highly processed proteins should be limited or avoided. These foods include meats with significant marbling, fried fish, fried chicken, highly processed cheeses (i.e. American cheese, Colby jack cheese), and highly processed deli meats (i.e. salami, bologna).

Fat

Fat is an energy packed nutrient that insulates the body and cushions our organs. Fat is important for the body to work properly in that it forms a protective layer around cell membranes and even serves as a carrier for vitamins A, D, E, and K. Choosing healthy fats (unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids) has been shown to promote heart health. In contrast, high intakes of saturated fat and trans fat contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have even shown that saturated fat contributes to high cholesterol. For the most part, saturated fats are solid at room temperature and unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature.

Fat sources to limit or avoid include deep fried foods, butter, hydrogenated shortenings, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, full fat dairy and cheese products, and fatty red meats.

Fat intake at 20-35% of total caloric intake is regarded as healthy. Saturated fat should be limited to less than 7% of total calories and trans fats should be avoided at all costs. Food sources of fat should be primarily mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

The Registered Dietitian’s Macronutrients Tips for Success

A nutrient dense whole grain/starch should be consumed at every meal. For those involved in strength training and endurance exercise, half of your plate should be a nutrient dense whole grain or starch on tough workout or competition days.

Aim to include one green, red, yellow/orange, blue/purple, and white fruit and/or vegetable daily. Have fruits twice per day and vegetables at least three times per day.
Choose a lean protein at all meals and snacks. Protein intake should be evenly distributed throughout the day.
Include at least one healthy fat source at every meal.
Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables have the same nutritional quality. If opting for canned vegetables, choose low-sodium and run water through them before cooking.  When selecting canned fruits, choose fruit canned in water, not syrup.

For someone who does not typically eat fruits, two cups per day of 100% fruit juice is an acceptable method to obtain adequate fruit intake.

Compare food and beverage products using the nutrition facts labels.

References
(1) Clark, N. Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook Fifth Edition. Champagne, IL: Human Kinetics; 2013.

(2) Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2016;48(3):543-568.http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2016/03000/Nutrition_and_Athletic_Performance.25.aspx.   Accessed November 15, 2016.

About the Author

Lindsay Chetelat, RD, CDN is an NYC-based registered dietitian who focuses on empowering individuals to take charge of their bodies through utilization of evidence based nutrition guidelines and theory based physical training techniques. Her approach is rooted in helping others gain an appreciation for their bodies and creating a mindset that transformation is about the progress one is willing to make in their journey, not quick fixes.

The AAR: An Effective Assessment Tool for Law Enforcement

By Dan Murphy, Lieutenant in the Special Operations Section, Arlington County (VA) PD and Vice-Chair of IPSA’s Rescue Task Force Committee      

Today, most public safety organizations struggle to procure funding for their training budgets. One underutilized tool available to everyone is the After-Action Review (AAR). This process, originating in the US military, is an extremely effective method of conducting a professional review of what occurred and how to improve performance in the future. I’ve seen it work in groups as small as four individuals and as large as 160. This article focuses on the informal AAR, conducted as soon after the event as possible. This process differs from a formal AAR or report which is much more resource and time intensive.

The value of the AAR process cannot be argued. By sharing the experience of everyone involved in the incident with personnel who were not there or did not see or hear exactly what other personnel experienced, everyone gains a better understanding of what transpired. The AAR provides immediate feedback so everyone has a better understanding of what actions were taken and why. Results of the AAR should be used to resolve questions pertaining to policy application, process clarification and/or updates can be addressed. During the process, leaders can collect teaching points and trends. Training gaps and deficiencies can be discussed and identified. Future training plans can be modified to improve future performance.

CONDUCTING AN AAR

Ideally, the optimal time to conduct an AAR is immediately following the incident, when details and questions are fresh on everyone’s mind. This is especially true because you want to include just those who were directly involved. If you wish to include the entire squad (group), it is best to wait until the end of your shift. When possible, ask the oncoming supervisor to relieve your squad early, to ensure employees do not stay over their scheduled time to conduct the AAR. If leaders do not accommodate personnel schedules, poor participation is often the result because people want to leave on time. At shift change there is usually an overlap of time to help facilitate the early relief. When supervisors embrace a spirit of reciprocity between all shifts, this is usually not a problem.

Leaders should take brief notes to facilitate upcoming training adjustments or policy review. It is important to highlight that significant events may require an administrative or criminal investigation making an informal AAR inadvisable or against policy. Depending upon the incident, there may be value in delaying the AAR until after the investigation. In the event of a delayed AAR, the detailed notes of the leaders are very important. The AAR will likely take on the format of peer support, rather than training performance, based on the length of the delay.

If you are not conducting AARs on a routine basis, begin by conducting small AARs following lower-profile incidents. As your personnel and leaders become more comfortable, they will be familiar with the format and able to facilitate AARs with larger groups. This familiarization with the process prepares everyone for the larger scale, higher-profile event AARs. Everyone benefits from a well-executed AAR.

Less experienced personnel can gain experience faster by learning how to correctly respond to an incident before they are faced with a similar call. Note, leaders must demonstrate that actions, mistakes and thoughts of participants will not be used in professional evaluations. Allow the rank and file to respectfully discuss what occurred and what they were thinking as the scene unfolded. When they observe a senior officer admit to a mistake or that he could have done something better they gain respect for their senior officers for being authentic – a common area for improvement among first responders.

The AAR is an optimal time for supervisors to listen. The goal is to create a respectful environment where people can admit mistakes and improve future performance. The focus must remain on the action (improving performance), not the person. Depending on the incident, it may be beneficial to utilize a moderator who was not there. He or she may be able to ask difficult questions without offending the participants. Senior personnel benefit by gaining a keen insight to the preparedness and professionalism of the squad. Just by listening and observing how the squad interacts can provide valuable information about employees.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

There are specific rules of engagement when conducting an AAR. The spirit in which the AAR is conducted is paramount. When a safe environment is created employees are more likely to admit mistakes. Every employee must feel comfortable in being honest about what occurred. Open and frank discussion is encouraged but must be done respectfully by all participants. Again, the focus is on the performance/action, not the employee. Rank has no place in the professional discussion.

Accountability is universal, it must be applied at each level. It is OK to disagree with methods as long as they are legal and tactically safe. Pride is the enemy and humility rules the day. Admitting mistakes or shortcomings gains the trust of subordinates for real leaders. I recently had two discussions with different peers where I admitted fault/mistake in past scenarios. Both claimed they gained great respect for me following the admission. I’ve never had a perfect boss or employee. Those that were close to perfect admitted when they made a mistake.

The U.S. Army has a standard format (pictured), but the process can be modified. Trusting the process usually leads to positive results.

When most agencies are faced with reduced staffing and reduced budgets, it is difficult to deny the inherent value of the informal AAR. The AAR can be done anywhere at any time. First responders work in a time-compressed environment – by slowing things down an​​d allowing them to self-analyze, everyone benefits. Peers enhance their perspective and leaders better understand their personnel/unit capabilities and shortcomings. Training assessments drive the specific training needed to improve overall performance and safety.

 

About the Author

Dan Murphy has been involved in public safety for over 35 years, working in a wide variety of positions in the law enforcement field, military and civilian. He served as an operator on a law enforcement tactical team for over 18 years, serving eight years as a SWAT Team Leader. He was instrumental in the early development and fielding of Rescue Task Force Operations and Critical Emergency Tactical Training for law enforcement. Dan privately consults in the corporate environment and serves as a subject matter expert in Active Shooter Response for the US federal government. He is a retired Senior NCO from the US Army Reserves. Dan is currently a Lieutenant in the Special Operations Section, Arlington County (VA) Police Department.

About the author

The International Public Safety Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit public safety association, represents all public safety verticals: law enforcement, fire service, EMS, telecommunications, public works (water, sanitation, transportation), public health, hospitals, security, private sector, and emergency management.​
 
Editor’s Note
This article is from the International Public Safety Association’s May 2018 release of the “Acts of Mass Violence: Public Safety Response and Recovery” ebook.​

Tips on How to Improve Report Writing

By Joshua Lee | Police1.com​

Last year, I attended a weeklong regional technical training course tailored for first-line supervisors. The course covered best practices in managing large-scale chaotic scenes and conducting after-action reviews. After the training, I spoke to one of the instructors, a retired LEO, for more information on after-action reports. I was quickly met with an interesting and borderline discouraging comment: “Officer’s don’t care about reports; they care about tactics. Focus on tactics, and someone else will do the after-action report.”

“Officers don’t care about reports; they care about tactics.” Was that statement true?

I returned to work and decided to review my internal training records. I had plenty of advanced defensive tactics, active shooter and mass casualty response training but to my surprise, I had nothing related to law enforcement report writing. My external training records were just as slim – lots of courses on teaching, fraud investigations and accounting, but very few on how to write a better police report.

My colleagues were in the same boat: lots of tactics training with little to no police report writing training.

Tactics keep you alive, but a well-written police report keeps you out of trouble; however, report writing is something most agencies dismiss as an important officer survival skill.

Luckily, there are three techniques you can do to instantly improve your police report writing, avoid case dismissal and protect yourself as an officer. And the best part is that you do not need formal training and it only takes minutes a day.

1. DON’T WRITE WHEN YOU ARE TIRED

OK, I hear you: “I am always tired, so how can I write when I am not tired?”

Police exhaustion is such a major concern for police agencies that Police1 dedicated an entire podcast segment to fighting fatal fatigue in law enforcement. Unfortunately, being tired is part of the career. So, let me rephrase the heading: Write when you are less tired.

Writing while alert is necessary because the police report-writing process is mentally taxing. An officer starts by reviewing their mental and physical notes, then progresses through a series of prewriting, writing, responding, revising, editing and publishing (sending the report to a supervisor for review). When an officer is mentally exhausted or physically tired, this will lead to mistakes. Note I didn’t say, “this may lead to mistakes.” Being tired will lead to mistakes.

Most police agencies make bad report writing worse with write-it-before-you-go-home policies. After a 10+ hour shift, the last thing any officer wants to do is sit down and write a shoplifting or found property report. Of course, some investigations should be written before going home because of due process rights, immediate follow-up, or investigators are still on scene. But most police reports can be held until the officer returns the next day.

Having a small break between shifts gives an officer’s mind time to process the information and organize their thoughts subconsciously. When an officer is alert and their thoughts are organized, they will be prepared to write accurate accounts of what happened.

Time helps the mind process information.

Even if your agency requires same-day reports, there is a little trick to help mitigate mistakes. In these cases, try to write your report directly after the incident but wait two to three hours to proofread it. You will be surprised at how much extra information your brain will naturally find during that short break. If you think of any additional information after you submitted your police report, just write a supplemental report when you get in the next day.

2. USE SPELLING AND GRAMMAR CHECKERS

Over the past five years, I have read thousands of police reports from around the United States. Many of these reports are packed full of simple grammar and spelling mistakes that a word processor’s spellcheck would have caught.

I know that many of these agencies, including mine, use Microsoft Word’s spellcheck feature. So why do we continue making basic spelling and grammar mistakes? I decided to do some digging, and each time I read an exceptionally bad report, I called the agency, not to complain or call them out, but to ask questions. I found that most poorly written reports from 2010 to the present day share three traits:

  • The officer wrote the report directly in the agency’s records management system (RMS);
  • The officer did not configure spellcheck; or,
  • The officer wrote in UPPERCASE.

RMS spell checkers are improving, especially in the new AI integrated RMS 3.0 versions. But as of right now, even the most basic version of Microsoft’s Word spellcheck outperforms any RMS spellchecker. Try to write your report in a word processor first, then copy and paste it into your agency’s RMS.

(If you want to learn more about how to set up spellcheck correctly, read the next article in this series, How to set up spellcheck to proofread your police report, available for Police1 members only.)

Writing in uppercase is an unnecessary annoyance. If you are writing in uppercase, please stop. Your boss, your prosecutor and all the agencies reading your report will thank you. Writing in uppercase is an old technique used to correct bad penmanship, but since we are writing in a word processor, all uppercase writing is not needed. Spellcheck also must be configured correctly for it to catch mistakes in uppercase.

3. READ YOUR REPORT ALOUD

The best advice I ever received in school is to read reports aloud. Even if your spoken grammar is not perfect, reading your report aloud will help you catch many small grammar and sentence mistakes not caught by spellcheck. If a sentence sounds weird, change it. Nine times out of 10, you will be correct.

Just remember, you don’t need to read LOUD, just aloud. Be courteous of those around you by just whispering.

GOOD REPORT-WRITING SKILLS PROTECT OFFICERS

You don’t have to become a novelist or a professional writer to be a good writer. But you should put a little effort into becoming a better writer than where you are now. These three techniques are simple and easy to apply and more importantly, they work. Good police report-writing skills will not only protect you on the street from overzealous anti-police lawyers but also in the courtroom, internal affairs investigations and school.

BONUS CONTENT: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR EAR TO CATCH WRITING MISTAKES

If you spend time training your ear for writing, you will catch even more mistakes. An excellent way to train your ear for good sentence structure and grammar is to read good literature aloud. I recommend “The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov” not because it is an enjoyable read but because his sentences are as close to perfect as they come, and he really focuses on the sound of a sentence. Read one page a day aloud. Ignore the content, just listen to the words and sounds. Your mind will automatically notice sentence parallelism, assonance, rhythm and alliteration – all critical features of a good sentence. When you read your police report aloud, your ear will suddenly pick up the smaller mistakes in your writing.

About the Author

Joshua Lee is an active-duty police sergeant for the City of Mesa (Arizona) Police Department. Before promoting, Joshua served five years as a patrol officer and six years as a detective with the Organized Crime Section investigating civil asset forfeiture, white-collar financial crime and cryptocurrency crimes.

Joshua is a cryptocurrency, money laundering and dark web consultant for banks, financial institutions and accountants throughout Arizona. He also serves as one of Arizona’s subject matter experts on cryptocurrency crimes and money laundering.

Joshua holds a BA in Justice Studies, an MS in Legal Studies and an MA in Professional Writing. He has earned some of law enforcement’s top certifications, including the ACFE’s Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) and the IAFC’s Certified Cyber Crimes Investigator (CCCI).

Joshua is also an adjunct professor at a large national university and smaller regional college teaching, law, criminal justice, government and English courses. He instructs police in-service training and teaches at the regional police academy.

New App Detects Fake Missouri IDs

The Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control announced this week it has partnered with the MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Division, to launch a free app to aid retail employees and other users in verifying the authenticity of IDs simply by scanning the ID with the camera on a mobile phone or tablet. The “Show-Me ID” app became available to all Missourians on Thursday, April 1.

“Underage drinking is a danger to Missouri’s young people and others on the road, and the new Show-Me ID app makes it easier than ever for all those who sell alcohol to verify the authenticity of any state-issued identification to aid in the prevention of alcohol being sold to minors,” said Dottie Taylor, state supervisor of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. “While this is in no way a replacement for the physical checking of an ID and comparison to the person providing it, it is certainly another powerful tool to aid retail employees. While there are other apps available and none that are fool-proof, this is the best that we have used.”

The app can be found in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Users search for it by typing “Show-Me ID” in their search once they have opened their app store.

Taylor said Show-Me ID automatically signals the user when a scanned ID is fraudulent. The app includes a calendar feature to alert whether the bearer of a legitimate ID is of legal age to purchase alcohol or tobacco products. There is also a guide on the app that reminds the user of the proper steps for checking whether the ID is valid and the prospective purchaser is of legal age. The Show-Me ID app does not store the information from IDs it has scanned.

“Underage drinking is dangerous in and of itself, but coupled with driving it can be dea​​dly,” said Jon Nelson, MoDOT assistant to the state highway safety and traffic engineer. “By preventing underage purchases of alcohol, we can potentially save lives not only of our youth but also other users of Missouri’s roadways.”

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance among young people in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency says excessive drinking is responsible for more than 3,500 deaths among people under age 21 and more than 100,000 emergency room visits by persons aged 12 to 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.

Story by Lake Expo | lakeexpo.com

Policing on the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis

Law enforcement officers play three important roles on the front lines of the opioid epidemic: They are responsible for emergency response and preserving public safety as well as law enforcement. This report from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) discusses the challenge of reconciling the conflicts that can arise among these roles and presents recommendations for alleviating these difficulties and improving law enforcement response to the opioid crisis.

The COPS Office is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.

The COPS Office publishes materials for law enforcement and community stakeholders to use in collaborativ​​ely addressing crime and disorder challenges. 

These free publications provide best practice approaches and give access to collective knowledge from the field. You can find their recent and featured publications, and search the Resource Center or their Community Policing Topics pages for specific issues ​by visiting ​​https://cops.usdoj.gov/recentreleases or by calling the COPS Office Response Center at 800-421-6770.

Photo by camilo jimenez | Unsplash.com

Poll: 82% Don’t Support ‘Defund the Police’ Movement

A new poll conducted by Ipsos/USA TODAY found that fewer than one in five Americans support the ‘defund the police’ movement, according to USA TODAY. The poll, which was conducted over two days last week, surveyed an online sample of 1,165 people.

According to USA TODAY, 18% of respondents supported the movement known as “defund the police,” and 58% said they opposed it. Although the data showed some clear splits along race and party lines, the demographics were not a rule. While white Americans (67%) and Republicans (84%) were much more likely to oppose the movement, only 28% of Black Americans and 34% of Democrats were in favor of it.

When respondents were asked if they thought the police should be abolished or eliminated, 67% overall said they were opposed, including a majority of Black Americans and Democrats, according to USA TODAY.

Respondents were less opposed to the idea of redirecting police funds to social services, but 57% were still against the idea. According to USA Today, those numbers represented a slight decline from August when 53% were opposed and 47% were in favor of redirecting police spending.

Respondent Valda Pugh, 67, from Louisville, Kentucky, believes that the decrease could come from a lexical miscommunication.  

“When it first surfaced, I think people had the wrong definition of what [defund the police] meant,” Pugh told USA Today. “We still obviously need a police force. We need them in full force.” 

Respondent Steve Laskowitz, 73, of Boca Raton, Florida, agreed.

“I think it’s misguided,” Laskowitz told USA Today. “I don’t think anybody wants to defund the police. I think we might want to restructure how the police budget is spent, better training, better analysis of the people who become police and more efforts towards community involvement.”

Ipsos measured the poll’s “credibility interval,” which it put at plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, according to USA TODAY.

By Police1 Staff | Police1.com

About Missouri’s AMBER Alert Program

The Mission
The mission of the AMBER Alert Program is to develop and coordinate the efforts of law enforcement, the media, and transportation in order to increase public participation in safely recovering abducted children through targeted education, increased communication, and effective sharing of resources.
 
Overview

The State of Missouri AMBER Alert Plan is based upon guidelines established by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the summer of 2001. On August 28, 2003, Section 210.1012 RSMO established a statewide program called the “Amber Alert System.” The intent of the Missouri AMBER Alert is to generate a timely alert to a large number of people and to recruit the eyes and ears of these citizens to facilitate the safe return of abducted children. AMBER Alerts in Missouri are handled under the auspices of the Alert Missouri. The success of the system is dependent on the participation of commercial broadcasters, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and other volunteer alert providers. At the request of the Missouri Broadcaster’s Association, the Missouri Highway Patrol became an EAS originator in order to enhance Missouri’s implementation of the EAS system.
 
Disclaimer

The responsibility for the activation of an AMBER Alert rests solely with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the case. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as a requirement for law enforcement to activate an alert, nor to infringe upon the discretion of a broadcaster concerning the broadcast of an alert.
 
AMBER Alert Activation Criteria

In order for an AMBER Alert to be forwarded for dissemination via the Alert Missouri program the following criteria must be met:
 
  • Law enforcement officials have a reasonable belief that an abduction has occurred, which meets the definition in RSMo. 565.110 or 565.115
  • Law enforcement officials believe there is a credible threat of serious bodily injury or death.
  • Enough descriptive information exists about the victim and the abductor for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert.
  • The victim of the abduction is a child age 17 years or younger.
  • The child’s name and other critical data elements – including the child abduction (CA) flag – have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
  • Note: Parental disputes do not apply unless a possibility of harm to the child has been determined. Missouri AMBER Alert activation should not be requested for events not meeting the criteria listed above. Events not meeting these criteria may be addressed through the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System and National Crime Information Center entries, assistance from national (NCMEC) and state (Missouri State Highway Patrol) entities and standard press releases.


Law Enforcement

A report must be taken and validated by a law enforcement agency. (Section 210.1012 of the RSMO provides that the person who knowingly making a false report which triggers an alert pursuant to that section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.) The AMBER Alert request needs to be timely. Elapsed time from the incident directly diminishes the usefulness of an alert.

Activation

Trained local law enforcement personnel in the community where the abduction occurred must first determine if all the activation criteria are met.

If so, the local agency should contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F Headquarters at 573-751-1000 and request an AMBER Alert. Troop F Communications will contact the state AMBER Alert coordinator or their designee and initiate a conference call between the local agency, Troop F Communications, and the coordinator or designee. After a brief discussion regarding the abduction and each criteria section, the coordinator or designee will make the decision whether the situation rises to the level of an AMBER Alert. If the decision is made to activate the AMBER Alert system, Troop F Communications will take the abduction information over the telephone from the local agency and initiate the alert process.

If not already completed, the local agency must initiate a Missing Person computer entry in MULES as required in the National Child Search Act (42 U.S.C. 5779, 5780).

The local agency should also fill out the AMBER Alert request form in MULES 5 (type AMBER in the command line). This form sends a message via MULES to Troop F Communications to notify them of the pending AMBER Alert request. If the agency needs assistance filling out the AMBER form, Troop F Communications can assist the agency.

If the local agency does not have access to the AMBER Alert request form in MULES 5, complete a Missouri AMBER Alert Abduction Form found on the Missouri State Highway Patrol website under “Missing Persons” at the top of the page. This form can be emailed to moalerts@mshp.dps.mo.gov or faxed to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F Headquarters at 573-751-6814. Contact Troop F Communications at 573-751-1000 to verify the email/fax was received. Once approved, Troop F Communications will disseminate the alert.

If the coordinator or designee doesn’t feel the situation rises to the level of an AMBER Alert, other options can be explored.

Broadcast

During the first two hours after the initial broadcast of an AMBER Alert, stations are urged to give follow-up announcements at least every 15 minutes. Follow-up announcements should not, under normal circumstances, be a retransmission of the initial AMBER EAS message.

During the second two hours stations that are live on-air are urged to broadcast follow-up announcements at least once every half-hour.

After four hours the station may, at its discretion, continue to broadcast follow-up announcements once per hour for twenty hours.

Missouri Law Enforcement Explain Why No AMBER Alert Was Issued for Missing Father, 2 Sons

Many people across Missouri have wondered why no AMBER Alert was issued for a missing Pleasant Hope father and his two sons.

Darrell Peak and his two young boys, Mayson and Kaiden, were found dead near Warsaw on Monday.

Missouri State Highway Patrol says the case did not meet certain criteria. While no one with the MSHP headquarters would do a camera interview with KY3, the agency issued a statement instead.

“The Missouri State Highway Patrol issued a state-wide Endangered Person Advisory for Darrell Peak, Kaiden Peak, and Mayson Peak,” the statement read. “This advisory informed the media, the public, and law enforcement agencies across the state of the situation involving the Peak family. An AMBER Alert was not issued, as the statutory requirements for the activation of an AMBER Alert were not met.”​​

It was 16 hours after Darrell Peak left his home on Thursday when authorities were notified to be on the lookout.

“Any and every lead that is coming in we’re following,” Greene County Deputy Jason Winston told KY3 prior to the discovery. “We’re exhausting this investigation in every way we know how.”

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office said it asked several times for an amber alert to be issued.

Requirements for issuing an Amber Alert include timely requests, as more time goes by, the usefulness of an alert diminishes. Alert requirements also note parental disputes do not apply unless there is concern that a child could be harmed.

Some wonder why Peak’s history of depression and suicidal thoughts did not merit an AMBER Alert.

”My understanding is the family, the wife or a family member, went on the air and said he would never hurt his children,” Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox said. “My mindset is the family didn’t think he would ever do something like that, therefore it doesn’t meet the criteria.”

Would that have changed if authorities feared Peak could hurt his two sons?

”Yes, I believe it would have,” Knox said. “Again I cannot speak for their people, but if you meet all the criteria of the AMBER Alert there is no reason they couldn’t do one.”

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office previously told KY3 about their AMBER Alert attempts.

”We would definitely like for this issue to meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert, but at the same time we realize criteria is in place for a reason,” Winston said.

After this case, Sheriff Knox said many have asked him if the AMBER Alert system should be changed.

“My statement to that would be no,” he said. “The AMBER Alert is set up with criteria that is fairly stringent to keep that very serious when an amber alert goes off.”

Knox fears a change could lead to people ignoring alerts.

”Something we see day in and day out is people fighting, take off with the kids,” he said. “Happens all the time. I think everybody did exactly what they could do with the information they had. If you set off an AMBER Alert for every husband and wife that had an argument and walked away with the kids, people would ignore it. It would be a nuisance instead of something serious.”

Knox said he feels this case does draw attention to the need for more mental health outreach efforts at the state level.

“Society lets these people down,” he said. “We do not have the proper mechanisms in place to deal with mental illness anymore. And at the state level I think there needs to be help for mental illness.”

By Michael Van Schoik | KY3​

Drury Offers New Scholarships for Law Enforcement Officers With ‘Badge To Bachelor’s’ Program

Springfield-based Drury University announced Thursday that it’s offering a new scholarship program for law enforcement officers.

“Badge to Bachelor’s” is intended to give a leg up to law enforcement officers who enroll in Drury GO, the university’s two- and four-year evening and online degree program, said Mike Brothers, chief Drury spokesperson.

Qualifying Drury GO students can receive up to $500 in scholarship aid each semester, while students who graduated from Drury Law Enforcement Academy can receive up to $600 per semester.

Drury GO students often enroll in one or two courses at a time as they pursue their educations, Brothers said. With Drury charging $320 per credit hour, a course often costs $960 per semester, so the discounts offered by Badge to Bachelor’s make taking a class or two more accessible, Brothers said.

Many officers seek degrees to advance careers

While many law enforcement officers already have a degree or obtained significant college credits as a requirement for getting their job, many others are seeking degrees to become eligible for promotions, Brothers said.

That reality is in keeping with a general trend primed by the pandemic, Brothers added: More adults with some college experience already under their belts are looking to get back into school, in Drury’s experience.

The Badge to Bachelor’s aid may be paired with federal Pell Grants and Missouri Fast Track funding, in qualifying situations, Drury said in a Thursday news release. To further aid their path to a degree, Drury said it also plans to offer two courses on ethics and leadership this summer to Badge to Bachelor’s participants at a significantly reduced cost.

The funding is available for officers seeking any of Drury GO’s 30-plus degree programs, but the university offers two degree programs of particular interest to officers.

One program includes an associate’s degree and bachelor of science in law enforcement, with a focus on the latest investigative and procedural techniques as well as effective communication and leadership. The associate’s degree includes 24 credit hours that form the “core” of Drury’s law enforcement academy.

Another program includes an associate’s degree of science and bachelor of science in criminal justice. These degrees explore criminal investigation and conviction, including causes and prevention of criminal behavior. The degree prepares graduates to apply what they learn to real-world problems as they work in community, social or correctional agencies.

‘Welcomed and appreciated’

Regional law enforcement leaders hailed Drury’s move.

“I was notified of this new program last month and have made SPD officers aware,” Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams told the News-Leader in an email relayed through a spokesperson. The chief thanked Drury for offering a new option for police officers working on their degrees and said, “Any opportunity that enhances an officer’s ability to improve their education is welcomed and appreciated.”

In a Drury news release, Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole said, “Although a degree isn’t always required in a law enforcement position, earning my bachelor’s in criminology and psychology and later my master in business administration from Drury University helped me see the bigger picture in my field and set me up for success as I advanced my career.”

Cole added, “The networking, education, legal, social and economic perspectives and lifelong friends have truly blessed me in my career and my personal life. Furthering your education only makes sense as the field is more complex — and more important — than ever.”

Drury encourages officers interested in Badge to Bachelor’s scholarship opportunities and admission requirements to call 417-873-7373 or email go@drury.edu.

Badge to Bachelor’s isn’t the only new educational opportunity tailored for law enforcement to be announced recently.

In January, the United Way of the Ozarks announced an Academy for Inclusion and Belonging aimed at law enforcement and nonprofit workers. Funded by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, that program is intended to address racism, the News-Leader reported earlier.