BLUES Police Newspaper
“Guardian of the Badge and Keeper of the Pride”
Vol. 35, No. 8 * August 2017
“Justice will only be achieved when those who are not injured by crime feel as indignant as those who are”
King Solomon, 10th century B.C.
Funeral held for slain San Antonio police officer
San Antonio police officers follow a caisson with the casket of fellow police officer Miguel Moreno, Friday, July 7, 2017, in San Antonio. Moreno died of wounds suffered when he and his partner were shot by a man they intended to question about a vehicle break-in last month.
(AP) SAN ANTONIO — Speakers at the funeral last month for a slain San Antonio police officer included Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the officer’s brother, who had been inspired by his sibling to join the force. The service for Officer Miguel Moreno, 32, was held at Community Bible
Church in San Antonio. Moreno died June 30, a day after he and his partner, Officer Julio Cavazos, were shot by a man they intended to question about a vehicle breakin. Cavazos, who was released from the hospital, was among those attending Moreno’s funeral. “Today we celebrate Officer Moreno’s
life, we honor his commitment to service and we pray that we are worthy of his sacrifice,” said Abbott, who noted he’d originally planned to spend the day in Dallas to remember the one-year anniversary of the shooting there in which five law enforcement officers were fatally shot. “I was going to have a signing cere-
mony of a new law, a new law that makes today, July 7, fallen law enforcement day in Texas. On a day that will forever commemorate fallen officers in Texas, we find ourselves at yet another service of a law enforcement officer lost in the line of duty,” Abbott said. (Continued on page 3)
The BLUES Newspaper
Dallas police in 'crisis situation' fueled by low morale, pension mess, veteran exodus Community leaders in Pleasant Grove tell anyone calling 911 to say they saw a gun or a knife — whether they did or not. It’s a tactic Bonnie Mathias learned from a police officer to trigger a quicker response from authorities. And as the Dallas Police Department continues to shrink, the chairwoman of the Texas Organizing Project of Pleasant Grove said her neighborhood is bracing for slower response times. “When we make specific requests about increased patrols, we really haven’t seen any problems,” Mathias said. “But our officers are spread so thin that response times are just ridiculous.” At 3,139 officers, the department is smaller than it was 10 years ago, when roughly 100,000 fewer people lived in Dallas. While the department searches for a new leader amid mounting crises — a deadly ambush, a failing pension, 911 call center failures — officers have been quietly leaving. There’s no immediate fix to stem the flow of resignations and retirements, and the department hasn’t been able to hire enough officers to replace those leaving. Since October, 317 officers have left, and 67 more have told their bosses they plan to leave in the coming months. During that time, 118 officers have been hired. The reasons vary: the troubled police and fire pension fund, low morale, poor pay and a perceived lack of support from city leaders for public safety. “We’re in a crisis situation, and it’s going to require some council and mayoral leadership to turn it around,” said Gary Griffith, a former City Council member and president of Safer Dallas, a police booster group. Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, who sits on the City Council's public safety committee, said the pension issue, suffering morale and an aging department have created "the perfect storm." "And I think we were responding," she said, referring to city leaders. "I just don't think anybody realized how quickly the rhetoric around the pension would impact the numbers." In the weeks after five police officers were killed last July in an ambush down-
town, Dallas cops felt the love. Donations poured in, the city manager pledged to add millions in pay raises for first responders, and the police chief guaranteed he could recruit more than 500 new officers. The raises weren't as much as the police associations had hoped — starting pay still lags behind other Texas police departments — and within months, the city manager called the plan to hire hundreds of officers "extremely difficult, if not impossible." The City Council has set aside money in this year's budget for the Police Department to hire 449 new officers. But the department has hired less than a quarter of that so far. Gates said it will be up to the next chief to decide what to prioritize and how to rebuild the department, with hiring and retention likely to top that list. "We've got to hire somebody and then be open-minded of the way that they're going to organize and structure," Gates said. Police associations have warned city leaders for years that low morale, poor salaries and the troubled pension fund are driving officers to leave. Frederick Frazier, vice president of the Dallas Police Association, compared it to alerting city leaders to a growing fire. Neighborhood groups have also been critical of city leaders. "The City Council created this mess, and the lack of accountability is astounding," Mathias said. City staff recently conducted a survey of residents to ask where they want city funds to be allocated in the budget. Residents responded that they want money put into the Police Department. Their second priority was repairing neighborhood streets. The city manager's office is aware of the survey's results and is evaluating the police force's needs for the next fiscal year, Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune said in an email statement. The office plans to present a proposed budget to the City Council in August. But several police groups point to park projects as being a bigger priority to city leaders than residents’ safety.
“What good is it to have the most beautiful park in all of the world and nobody will go to it because you can’t adequately protect it?” asked Lt. Thomas Glover, president of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas. “In order to have a world-class city, you have to have a world-class police and fire department.” Glover said officers simply aren’t paid enough to stick around. Most Dallas officers received 10 percent raises this year, and starting pay for rookie cops will increase each year until 2019, when it will rise to $55,288. Current starting pay for Fort Worth police officers is $54,312, and in Houston it's $53,369, numbers that are sure to rise by 2019. Other cities have grappled with the same problem. A decade ago, Houston was losing officers and unable to replace them because of low pay. The city boosted officer pay and created a lateral program to bring in officers from other cities and pay them based on their experience level. “But it’s not an overnight solution,” said Lt. Denise Davis, who oversees the recruiting division at the Houston Police Department.
To help fill some of the gaps, Houston initially hired retirees to work as civilians in recruiting and investigative roles. It didn’t last long — many of the civilian jobs were cut after the economy took a hit in 2008 — but it did help in the short term, Davis said. Arlington officers who retire or resign have the option of entering a pool of parttime officers the department can call on to fill roles as needed. The officers, some of whom work as court bailiffs, are paid hourly and don’t have the same work benefits as full-time officers. It’s a win-win option for officers and for the department, said Sgt. VaNessa Harrison, an Arlington police spokeswoman who worked part-time for two years to raise her family. “We're able to use it to meet the needs of the department,” she said. “We don’t have to do background investigations. We already know what standing the police officer was in and the skill set they have.” There have been talks in Dallas of hiring retirees to fill certain roles as civilians, similar to cities like Arlington. “It’s seems to me they've kind of cracked the code,” said Steve Brody, who (Continued on page 4)
The BLUES Newspaper
COUNTIES QUESTION NEED OF SPECIAL COURTS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT There’s one new law on the books intended to help police in Texas that has gotten less attention than several others in a year when lawmakers touted their “back the blue” bills. It’s a measure that will allow counties to create pretrial diversion programs for first responders who commit crimes because of job-related mental health issues. The law, inspired by similar courts available to veterans, was pushed by one of Texas’ largest police unions, and it sailed through a Legislature eager to help law enforcement in the year following a Dallas shooting that left five police officers dead. But at least a few county judges and experts say the courts seem unnecessary or concerning, and many large counties don’t appear interested in setting them up anytime soon. Starting in September, counties will be able to establish a specialty court for law enforcement officers, firefighters, prison guards, county jailers and paramedics charged with any misdemeanor or felony. The law focuses on those who suffer from a brain injury, mental illness or a mental disorder — such as post-traumatic stress disorder — that they got from their job. Eligible defendants could bypass criminal prosecution and instead go into a treatment -based program specific for each case. Counties can choose to limit what types of crimes are eligible, and both the prosecution and judge in each case must sign off for a defendant to be eligible. Participants in the program who are able to pay can be charged up to $1,000 plus the costs of any testing, counseling or treatment. “I think this allows our first responders, if they’re suffering from a mental disorder, it allows them to get the help that they need so they can get back in society rather than send them through the criminal system,” said state Rep. Charlie Geren, RFort Worth, who authored the bill. "Their circumstances are different" Specialty courts are a way for the justice system to keep high-risk individuals out of jail or prison and into treatment that looks to solve the deeper issue that led to crime. Drug courts are the most common specialty court in Texas, which seek to
treat addiction rather than jail people for drug-related offenses. Other specialty courts focus on DWIs, mental health and prostitution. The bill to create courts specifically for law enforcement was pushed by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), in an effort to mirror a similar law passed in 2009 that allowed counties to create specialty courts for war veterans who suffer from brain injuries or mental issues like PTSD. Those courts work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide treatment. “Since we’re treating soldiers similarly, we thought that it would be a good idea to put forward to the Legislature that we do the same for officers because their circumstances are different ... from anyone else’s,” said CLEAT executive director Charley Wilkison. Lawmakers were happy to take it on. House Bill 3391 passed out of both chambers this year with a large majority of votes and little controversy, only drawing public comment from some Tea Partyaligned Republicans. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, questioned the constitutionality of creating a “special class of persons,” and Sen. Konni Burton, RColleyville, wrote in the Senate’s journal that the bill language was too broad, allowing the possibility for murder cases to be sent through the diversion program. Wilkison said he didn’t expect any controversial cases, such as shootings by police, to go through these programs because the judge and district attorney who would have to sign off on the diversion are publicly elected officials. “The justice system that is dominated by electoral politics, I don’t see it taking some sort of secret back road to treat an officer,” Wilkison said. “... These [courts] are for substance abuse, for people experiencing trauma, and I think this is our sense of getting to some sort of justice.” Comal County District Judge Dib Waldrip, president of the Texas Association of Specialty Courts, said he thinks the new programs could be a good thing because specialty courts have been proven to make a difference and lower recidivism for (Continued on page 7)
(USPS PE 16618) 5230 Woodleaf Dr.
Cumming, GA 30040
If your department has over 10 officers and would like to receive copies of The BLUES, send us your request on department letterhead and we will be happy to add your agency to our growing readership...FREE!
THE STAFF Shaun Harpstrite ............. …………….Publisher Deputy Bill Wolfe, Llano SO…………..Chaplain Sgt. Buddy Williams, HPD, Ret……..Contributor
E-Mail: email@example.com Visit our website at
The BLUES is published monthly by Sharp Publishing, LLC, 5230 Woodleaf Drive Cumming, GA 30040. Subscriptions are available at $29.95 to cover printing and handling for twelve monthly issues. The opinions expressed in The BLUES do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication or its staff. The BLUES neither endorses nor accepts liability concerning any advertisements within this publication. No material becomes the property of The BLUES unless prior arrangements have been made in writing. The BLUES reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. The BLUES is copyrighted and nothing appearing in it may be reprinted wholly or in part without permission of the publisher. Periodicals postage paid at US Post Office, 525 Tribble Gap Road, Cumming, GA 30040. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Blues Police Newspaper at 5230 Woodleaf Drive Cumming, GA 30040
The BLUES, Texas’ Oldest and Largest Police Newspaper, is looking for current and retired Officers or their family members to serve as area advertising sales representatives. All you need to do is simply refer a business to us for advertising, then every month they advertise, you get paid!
Call or email us for more information... Phone: 936-827-4828
MORENO (Continued from page 1)
Moreno, who grew up in San Antonio, was a 9-year veteran of the department. San Antonio police Chief William McManus, who called Moreno “a cop’s cop,” said, “To those who have disdain, disdain for or would advocate violence against police officers, I have a message for you: There would never be a legitimate reason that would justify such a warped point of view.” The man who shot the officers died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officer Joshua Flanagan said the always-smiling Moreno was confident, ath-
letic and “quick with a joke.” Moreno had one brother and three sisters. He graduated from high school in San Antonio in 2002. Moreno’s brother, Officer Arturo Moreno, said his brother always looked out for him when they were growing up and his family was “extremely proud” when Moreno became a police officer after attending the University of Texas at Austin. Arturo Moreno said his brother inspired him to follow in his footsteps. Hundreds of law enforcement officers participated in a procession to the church that started at the Alamodome. About 20 Dallas police officers volunteered to work in San Antonio so that officers who worked his shift could attend the funeral.
The BLUES Newspaper
By Chaplain Bill Wolfe Llano County Sheriff’s Dept. (ret.)
(Continued from page 2)
Live Wire Hello, and welcome once again to the Chaplain’s Corner. What’s that? What’s up with the “(ret.)”? Well, it took 18 years to reach the decision, but I decided it was time. Now, the challenge: to figure out how to continue to make ends meet. If you stop by Lowe’s Market in Llano, you’ll likely find me working somewhere in the back room or amongst the shelves. However, I am NOT retiring from The Blues. <smile> So, with that out of the way, on to this month’s conversation. “705, Llano…tone for Llano Fire, we have a powerline down and it’s catching the grass on fire…” So much for a quiet Sunday morning. I think it was about 0730 and I was about 12 miles out of town, so the VFD beat me to the scene. A small power line had broken and fallen across the main street on the west edge of town. 705 and 703, the city officers, already had traffic diverted by the time I arrived, so I was detailed to the side street where the live wire was to make sure traffic went the other way and around the block. I blocked the street (which already had a brush truck parked in it) with my truck and after standing there for some minutes, I decided to drop the tailgate and be lazy. <smile> Sitting there with very little to do except point every so often, I would be distracted when the wire would start a loud humming and the raw end would suddenly pop and burst into a large ball of intense white light. (I was probably some 40 feet away.) As I stared into the fireball, several things went through my mind. One was that I probably shouldn’t be staring at it – like you don’t stare at a welder’s flare. And, of course, I thought “there’s a sermon in there somewhere.” Well, maybe not a “sermon” in the strictest sense, but here goes… “Like a moth to a flame.” That expression was probably the first that floated through my mind as I stared at the fireball and I thought, too, about how it’s human nature (unless you’re an old hand in the wilderness) to stare into a campfire on a dark night and when you look away you can’t see anything but darkness. In a moment or two your gaze returns to the light as you hope there’s nothing out there
that’s gonna eat you. And along the same line, after I stared into the bright white light and then looked around me, I still saw an “image” of the light wherever I’d look. But as you know, that phenomenon gradually fades until you don’t see it any more. That experience was followed by remembering the Apostle John recording Jesus’ words referring to Himself as the “Light of the World” in John 8:12 and John 9:5. And I though how often we look intently at Jesus in a time of worship and then go about our day and we see God with us everywhere... for a time. Sadly, it doesn’t take long and the image starts to fade. As I was typing that, an old old chorus came back to mind: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace. Thinking back to the campfire for a moment… before you stare into the fire, the night may not seem all that dark, not all that “bad,” but after looking into the fire the night is very dark – you don’t see all the “shades of gray.” The same is true in a spiritual sense. The enemy of our souls likes to point out all the things that the Bible identifies as sin, and he says “they’re not so bad really” or “just try it and you’ll see.” But once you take a sincere look into The Book and into the face of Jesus, and then look around, the things which were once gray disappear into blackness – we get a glimpse of things from God’s perspective. The Apostle John says that God is Light and in Him there is no darkness. (1 John 1:5) As I tried to not look back at the reappearing ball of light lest it actually be harmful to do so, I was reminded of the brightness of God’s glory. You may remember back in the Old Testament, when Moses went to the mountain to talk with God, God had to protect Moses and only allow him a little glimpse of His glory. I started on this article a while back, and the other day, as I was driving down a county road that had patches of shade, I thought about how the light from the sun was bright enough that it even illuminated (Continued on page 6)
oversees the Dallas department's reserves unit. Even if officers in Dallas stop quitting, it could take years to grow the force to the authorized strength of 3,600. Once hired, it takes nearly two years for a recruit to be fully trained and patrolling the streets. The department has ramped up recruiting efforts, and applications have increased 21 percent in the past year because of an "aggressive recruiting campaign," said Deputy Chief Scott Walton, who oversees personnel. But a lot hinges on who's picked to run the department. Interim Chief David Pughes has been the top cop since former Chief David Brown retired in October. Pughes didn’t apply for the permanent job. City leaders plan to interview eight chief candidates — including five from out of state — in July. Griffith of Safer Dallas said he hopes that when a new chief is chosen, officers will decide to stay in Dallas and applications will increase. “We’ve had a rough patch in Dallas,” Griffith said. “With all of that now behind us, we’ve got a real opportunity to reconnect with the department and reconnect with the people.” Gates said rebuilding trust between city leaders and the department will take time, but it's a challenge that is surmountable. "There's a lot of healing that has to happen," she said. "There's a lot of trust
that needs to be established between the officers and the city and elected officials." Patrol divisions aren't the only ones suffering amid the resignations and retirements. The losses are spread throughout the department, from investigative units to neighborhood officers tasked with community engagement. “We all have to work with less,” said Assistant Chief Paul Stokes, who oversees patrol assignments. “We have to share the load.” That means officers in specialized units are answering 911 calls. And department officials are developing an online crime reporting system that residents can use to report property crimes, such as bike thefts or stolen phones. Online reporting could free up officers responding to petty crimes to handle higher-priority calls, such as assaults and domestic violence incidents. And some community groups are patrolling their own neighborhoods to fight crime. Residents in Oak Lawn want to expand their volunteer patrol program to keep their area safe. "It's very peaceful right now, and we want to keep it that way," said Lee Daugherty, co-chair of Take Back Oak Lawn. Daugherty said he worries that most Dallas residents don’t realize how a shrinking department might affect them. "If this trend continues, we're going to have to wait longer. We're going to have to take a hit in the service a little bit,” he said. “In the neighborhood, we're going to have to do what we can to buffer this.” Dallas Morning News
The BLUES Newspaper
Texas border city considers helping US jail immigrants El Paso is caught in an immigration conundrum. The summer heat has reduced the river separating El Paso from Juarez, Mexico, to a dry, brown plain, allowing hundreds of people to run across the riverbed recently to embrace their relatives and take pictures. The four-minute visits were approved by border authorities on both sides, as part of an event called “Hugs Not Walls.” Meanwhile, each night El Paso’s jail — under contract with the federal government — takes in hundreds of immigrants awaiting deportation. “It sends mixed messages,” said El Paso County Commissioner Vincent Perez, who wants to end the county’s detention contract with the U.S. Marshals Service. “Our local jails can be used to enforce federal immigration law if they’re brought in by Border Patrol and ICE,” referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Trump administration’s immigration crackdown and a new Texas effort to aid federal agents have forced El Paso to
grapple with whether its county jail is being used to facilitate policies its residents vigorously oppose. Most El Paso residents trace their heritage to Mexico, and many U.S. citizens born and raised in Texas’ largest border city have family on the other side of the Rio Grande. El Paso’s leaders say they have great sympathy for immigrants living in the U.S., legally or not, and yet the city plays an important role in the enforcement of immigration laws. The U.S. marshals typically use El Paso’s jail space to hold inmates awaiting federal court hearings in El Paso, most of them from the surrounding region, as part of a longstanding agreement with the county. Top local officials and some advocates say detaining immigrants in El Paso is more humane than pulling out of the contract. They argue those who are held locally have better access to lawyers and their families instead of pushing them to distant county jails or private detention facilities. Two facilities that might take inmates in El Paso’s place are more than 80 miles away, making them nearly inac-
cessible to families without a car or a driver with a license. “We are fighting for ending immigrant detention, but this proposal doesn’t accomplish that,” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, the El Paso-based nonprofit group that organized the “Hugs Not Walls” event. El Paso is also among the cities and civil rights groups that are suing the state over its new law targeting so-called sanctuary cities. The law requires police officers to ask about a person’s immigration status during routine stops. Police chiefs and sheriffs who don’t cooperate with federal requests to hold criminal suspects without legal status for possible deportation could be charged with a crime. Federal judges in San Antonio and Austin heard arguments in the case in June. Those suing the state are seeking to stop the law before it would go into effect in September. The law was especially unpopular in El Paso. El Paso’s population is more than 80 percent Latino. But of the cities and coun-
ties suing Texas, El Paso takes by far the most federal inmates on contract in its county jail — typically around 700 people on a given day. That fills one-third of El Paso County’s available jail space and supports hundreds of jobs at the sheriff’s office. According to figures provided by Perez, the contract brought in $21 million in revenue during the last fiscal year. It’s next up for renewal for an additional three years in 2018. Based on his study of the inmates’ cases, Perez estimates that about 90 percent were arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol and ICE. About 70 percent are charged with crimes related to re-entering the U.S. illegally after a previous deportation or similar immigration-related offenses, he said, as distinguished from someone facing a deportation order. But so far, Perez is alone on the county commission. His motion at a June 12 meeting of the commissioners’ court to end the contract did not get a second commissioner’s support and failed without a vote. Waco Tribune
The BLUES Newspaper
TWO ICE PROGRAMS LET SHERIFFS CASH IN ON IMMIGRATION CRACKDOWN
After an embarrassing jail escape that was blamed in part on inadequate facilities, Walker County in 2012 issued $20 million in bonds to build a new jail. It was a hefty price tag for the county of fewer than 70,000 people north of Houston, and officials pledged to search for new revenue streams to help pay for the jail. This year, they found one: The Walker County sheriff’s office is getting into the immigration business. “One of the things we said we were going to do when we told the taxpayers we were going to build a new jail is that we would always look for ways to make additional revenue. That is what we are doing,” Sheriff Clint McRae told the Huntsville Item this spring. Walker County is seeking to join a small but growing group of local governments across the country that simultaneously participate in two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement programs that, when combined, create a profit incentive for local law enforcement agencies to aggressively pursue unauthorized immigrants in their communities. If so-called sanctuary cities are on one side of the spectrum when it comes to immigration enforcement, these counties are the polar opposite — an ICE spokeswoman referred to them as “an invaluable force multiplier” for federal immigration authorities. One program, known as 287(g) for its section in federal statute, allows police and sheriff’s deputies to be trained and certified as immigration officers and gives them the authority to enforce some aspects
of federal law. The other, an intergovernmental service agreement for immigrant detention, allows ICE to place suspected unauthorized immigrants in county jails for a fee. Mary Small, policy director for the Washington-based Detention Watch Network, said the arrangement amounts to a “perverse financial incentive.” “It allows them to control the pipeline of people into the detention facility where they’re then paid per day to detain people,” Small said. ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez said the two programs aren’t connected, and she pointed out that ICE decides how long a detainee is held in a particular county jail, not the local sheriff. “The agreements for 287(g) cover only the enforcement program and do not extend to detention operations, nor does having a 287(g) program act as a bridge to a detention contract with ICE. The two processes are distinct and governed separately,” Rodriguez wrote in an email. “There are facilities with an operational need for both programs, in which ICE has established both a 287(g) (agreement) and a detention contract; however, in all situations, ICE ultimately makes the determination of all enforcement actions, to include detention.” The 287(g) program, she said, is “an invaluable force multiplier for ICE’s public safety mission, allowing the agency to take custody of criminal aliens.” At least 16 counties across the country already have both, according to a list of 287(g) agreements posted on ICE’s website and a list of ICE detention facilities from April. Lubbock County in West Texas, which recently started its 287(g) program and collects $65 a day for each ICE detainee it houses, is the only Lone Star State jurisdiction among them, but three others are aiming to join. Smith County in East Texas, which already has a detention agreement, is pursuing a 287(g), county officials have said. The ACLU of Texas reported in April that the Houston area’s Montgomery County, which already also has a detention agreement, has applied for a 287(g). And (Continued on page 15)
Bossier City Police Dept Chooses Battle Rifle Company (Bossier City, LA) – The Bossier City Police Department has taken delivery of 50 Battle Rifle Company Trooper Carbines specially designed to meet the departments needs for its patrol and tactical use. The rifles are equipped with ambidextrous controls including selector switches and magazine releases. The rifles also are setup with Streamlight Protac 2L lights and 2 point slings, 3 magazines and tactical bag- all part of a complete package supplied to the department. The Bossier City Police were very thorough in their selection process, and spent 2 days at Battle Rifle Company’s facility in Houston Texas before ordering the rifles. Sgt Daniel Haugen, the Firearms trainer for the department spent time going over the build methods, construction and selected the design for the final gun. The Gun was test fired on the range on the second day and was vetted for the build. The rifles will be issued to officers assigned to traffic and patrol. The Rifle was selected because it was a solid build, with quality components and excellent function. Located right across the river from Shreveport in Northern Louisiana, Bossier City is known as one of the fastest growing cities in Louisiana and is a tourist destination for millions of people each year who enjoy gaming as well as all that the outdoors have to offer. Bossier City is a modern, growing department and the new rifles are a welcome addition. If your department has a need for rifles, please give us a call at Battle Rifle Company. We can provide cost effective solutions for your rifle needs. This program is also available to Foreign Law Enforcement and Government Agencies under ITAR Compliance. Battle Rifle Company is a custom builder of AR style rifles for law enforcement, tactical shooters and government agencies. To learn how we can build something for you, contact: Chris Kurzadkowski Battle Rifle Company 17313 El Camino Real Houston, Texas 77058 281-777-0316 866-804-3049 fax firstname.lastname@example.org For more information on Battle Rifle Company, visit www.battleriflecompany.com.
CHAPLAIN (Continued from page 4)
the shady areas under the trees and my thoughts were drawn to the Book of Revelation where it describes the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City. Revelation 21:23 says that there will be no need of sun or moon because of the glory of God and The Lamb will be the “lamp of the city.” That’s going to be some light. And of course, that reminds me of the chorus to another good ole church song: In that city where the Lamb is the light, The city where there cometh no night; I’ve a mansion over there, And when free from toil and care, I am going where the Lamb is the light. I was trying to find a closing thought and I went back over what I’d written and saw again the title “live wire.” I paused for a moment and thought about how at the
beginning I was preoccupied with the bright light. I just realized the second part of the illustration: the light is the manifestation of the power flowing through the wire. The unseen power. We can’t see the power of God, but we can experience it. If we were to get close to the ball of light at the end of the electric cable, it would have a life-changing effect on us… or perhaps a life-ending effect would be more accurate. When we come to the Light of God and get close enough to experience His power first hand, it will change us and rather than bringing physical death, His power brings eternal life. I don’t have time to dive into that too deep now, but we have a choice: we can stay well away from Jesus and His Light or we can come to Him and let Him change us. As always, thanks for listening and “be careful out there.” Chaplain Bill email@example.com
The BLUES Newspaper
COURT ORDER OVER LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCESS TO ACCOUNTS WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook is fighting a court order that blocks the social media giant from letting users know when law enforcement investigators ask to search their online information, particularly their political affiliations and comments. Major technology companies and civil liberties groups have joined Facebook in the case, which resembles legal challenges throughout the country from technology companies that oppose how the government seeks access to internet data in emails or social media accounts during criminal investigations, The Washington Post reported . Facebook is arguing in the D.C. Court of Appeals that the order violates First Amendment protections of the company and individuals. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment. Many documents have been sealed in the case and hearings have been closed to the public. The timing of the investigation and references in court documents that have been made public suggest the search war-
rants relate to demonstrations during President Donald Trump's inauguration, when more than 200 people were charged with rioting, the newspaper reported. The search warrants at the crux of the case seek "all contents of communications, identifying information and other records" and designate three accounts for a threemonth period in each request, according to a Facebook court filing. A D.C. Superior Court judge in April denied Facebook's request to end the gag order and directed the company to turn over the records covered by the search warrants to law enforcement. Facebook appealed and the appeals court allowed the company to share some details of the sealed case to seek legal support for its cause from other businesses and organizations. They have since filed public legal briefs supporting Facebook. In the last six months of 2016, Facebook reported about 41,000 requests for information from the government and said it provided data in 83 percent of those cases.
FARMERS OFFERS DISCOUNTED RATES FOR POLICE OFFICERS! Hi, I am Karen Wylie, a local Farmers insurance agent. Please call us to see how we can save your family on personal and business insurance. Also ask us about our life insurance policy that continues after retirement. You can reach us anytime via phone, email, fax or text.
Karen Wylie Insurance Agency 12215 Heatherwick Cypress, TX 77429 (281)379-4820(work) (888)616-0476(fax)
Auto Home Flood Life Health Commercial
COURTS (Continued from page 3)
high-risk individuals. But he added that he hadn’t heard of a specific need for first responders and that existing drug and DWI courts could possibly handle cases involving first responders, as well. “If there is a special need in some community somewhere, I’m all for it. I do think that probably the traditional approaches from the drug court model, in general, can suffice,” Waldrip said. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill in June, along with a handful of other bills that focused on helping police and first responders following the Dallas shooting. The bills include one that will create a $25 million grant program to provide bulletproof vests to law enforcement agencies and one Abbott personally lobbied for that classifies assaults against police and judges as hate crimes. A question of need Before specialty courts for former military were available in Texas, judges had sought alternatives to help the uptick in veterans streaming into their courtrooms. There doesn’t appear to be a similar need for police and other law enforcement officials, said Kathy Mitchell, the sentencing campaign coordinator for Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, who specializes in police practices. “I don’t really understand why [the law] is necessary. Police officers generally have good benefits if they need treatment,” Mitchell said. “Specialty courts typically have been designed for folks who are sort of desperately in need of services.” Generally, specialty courts are created in counties after judges see a need for a certain offense or population. The judge will approach the county, and the county’s commissioners court, led by the county judge, can then start the process of establishing a diversion program. Several judges in large Texas counties
said they have not heard of anyone who has asked for a public safety specialty court, but some added that didn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t a need for it since the law hasn’t been enacted yet. CLEAT couldn’t list any counties wanting to create a new court either, though Wilkison said he didn’t ask counties about it. Geren said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley expressed interest in establishing a public safety specialty court. Several phone calls to Whitley for this story were not returned. Judge Susan Brown, Harris County’s administrative judge of criminal courts, said she was aware of one case of an officer who might fit the criteria for these courts, but she didn’t give specifics. She added that it was not something she had seen personally in her 18 years on the bench. “I’ve had very few cases against police officers ... and I can’t think of any [when] it was brought to my attention that this behavior was due to an injury that occurred or something that happened while employed as a police officer or fireman,” Brown said. And in Dallas, County Judge Clay Jenkins said he has not been approached about new courts either. He also expressed concerns that a diversion program could further divide the community from police officers. “A specialty court could have the unintended consequences that there is special treatment — that there is less justice for law enforcement personnel than [a citizen’s] own family,” Jenkins said. The judge emphasized his admiration for law enforcement and said he sympathized with the “toxic stress” first responders deal with every day but said they must be held to a different standard than veterans on the street. “We want to be compassionate when people are hurting, but first you need to be held accountable for your actions,” he said. Texas Tribune
The Blues Police Newspaper
The BLUES Newspaper
Advertising space in this section is offered at a discount and strictly limited to bona fide law enforcement agencies.
Hedwig Village Police Department
Memorial Villages Police Department
Is accepting applications for
Bunker Hill • Piney Point• Hunters Creek
POLICE OFFICER 5+ Years Want to receive the Highest Pay in the Houston Metropolitan Area? Want to work with New and Modern Equipment? Want to work in one of the Safest Communities in the Country? Want to work in a Community where Police Officers are Appreciated each and every Day? Want to work in a place where you can actually practice genuine Community Policing?
Starting Salaries: $62,527 TCOLE Basic $67,216 TCOLE Master Up To $68,779
Hedwig Village, one of the six Memorial Villages on the west side of Houston, is seeking TCOLE certified police officers. Benefits include: Starting pay $53,803 Additional pay for TCOLE certifications, shift differential, longevity 9/80 work schedule (work only 9 days in a two-week period) TMRS 2:1 match Vacation leave, sick leave Health, dental, life insurance Uniforms and duty weapon provided
(with specialized skills)
Located in suburban West Houston, Memorial Villages Police Department offers a salary and benefits package that is second to none. Benefits include: Healthcare Insurance, DHMO Dental, Vision – 100% paid for employee, 50% for spouse/ dependents. Paid long-term disability and life insurance for employee, with additional life insurance available for spouse/dependents. Health Savings Account with substantial annual Department contributions. TMRS Retirement, 7% 2 to 1 matching and optional deferred compensation plans. Annual salary increases subject to performance and market adjustment Annual Step Increases Shift Differential, 12 hours shifts Added incentive for ECA Certification (Emergency Care Assistant). If you have what it takes to join our team, contact us for this rare opportunity. To learn more or apply, visit our website at www.mvpdtx.org Or contact Lane Owens at 713-365-3711 or firstname.lastname@example.org 11981 Memorial Dr. Houston, Texas 77024 EOE/M/F/D
Applicants must pass an extensive background investigation, to include criminal history, personal credit record and past work ethic. Applicants must possess a valid Texas Driver’s License and high school diploma or equivalent GED certificate. Veterans much have received an Honorable Discharge. Please email or fax resume to: Hedwig Village Police Department 9000 Gaylord Hedwig Village, Texas 77024 Fax # (713) 461-4801 email@example.com For additional information, please contact Captain Paul Warner at (713) 461-4797
Is your department hiring? Running a police career ad in The Blues Police Newspaper is an inexpensive and easy way to get the word out to the most qualified candidates all over the Lone Star state!
Ads start at only $75 per month! Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or Call Toll FREE 1-866-45-BLUES for more information
The BLUES Newspaper
CARBON MONOXIDE ILLNESS LINKED TO FORD SUVS HITS AUSTIN POLICE HARDEST Eight days before Austin police Sgt. Zachary LaHood was poisoned in his patrol car, city staffers had returned his Ford Explorer Police Interceptor to the road after addressing manufacturer worries of carbon monoxide leaks. Ford Motor Co. had issued a “technical services bulletin” — a notice that they are aware of a possible issue in a car — to the city about the car. By March 10, the company had serviced the SUV and told the city it was ready for the road. A few hours into his night shift on March 18, LaHood became seriously ill with dizziness, headaches and nausea and says he almost hit a bus before navigating his car off the road. He was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, leading to neurological injuries, and has never returned to work. “I’m lucky to be alive, I believe that,” LaHood told CBS News, which did a national story on the issue last week focusing on Austin. “And I’m lucky I didn’t kill someone else and their family that night.” Since LaHood’s incident, the Austin Police Department has become a hot spot in what now seems to be a national problem with carbon monoxide in Ford SUVs made for law enforcement. Since the beginning of the year, Austin police have complained of 10 incidents involving carbon monoxide in department vehicles, with LaHood believed to have suffered the most significant injuries. In Newport Beach, Calif., an officer — who said he was overcome by fumes — passed out behind the wheel of his SUV and crashed into a tree. An officer in Henderson, La., also blamed carbon monoxide for her accident, saying she blacked out and flipped her vehicle. But Austin’s troubles seem more extensive than those seen elsewhere, and it’s unclear why. Five Austin police officers were recently treated for possible carbon monoxide poisoning over a four-day span that ended last month amid escalating concerns that their city-issued SUVs could be exposing them to the deadly gas. After LaHood’s accident, the department immediately began installing carbon monoxide alarms in each of the cars,
spending about $27,000 on the project, which was recently completed. As they did so, the alarms activated, with more than 40 activations between March and last month. All 40 were taken to Ford. Of those that came back, 10 have been returned to Ford by the city because of ongoing concerns. Four have been returned to the road. Though generally referred to as Ford Explorers, law enforcement agencies use what are technically called Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles. They look like Explorers, but are designed to allow departments to add light bars, radios, consoles and other police equipment. “We have investigated and not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of our Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles,” Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said. “We know police modify these vehicles, which can contribute to exhaust-related issues. We have provided instructions to help seal these modifications and are ready to inspect any vehicles with this concern.” But Ford Explorers purchased off car lots by the public have had their own problems.
Austin police Ford utility vehicles are parked on East Eighth Street outside police headquarters.
The Helfman Family of Fine Automobiles
Class-action settlement Between 2011 and 2015, there have been 154 drivers across the country who reported trouble with their Explorers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is now investigating. In those cases, drivers largely complained that their SUVs smelled like exhaust fumes when they accelerated while using the air conditioning. The greatest number of complaints, 29, came from Florida. Texas was second, with 25. Three of those complaints came from Austin, while two came from Round Rock. In a 2015 complaint, one Round Rock driver reported that “the fumes have caused headaches, nausea and fatigue. These incidents have occurred during acceleration and sustained highway speeds.” The driver’s children could also smell the fumes from the second and third (Continued on page 11)
SALUTING TEXAS PEACE OFFICERS HELFMAN DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP RAM
HELFMAN RIVER OAKS CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM
Steven Wolf 713-533 -6100 7720 Katy Frwy @ Silber Rd. next to I KEA *Ask about our low price guarantee!
Jeff Smith 281-240-3673
Alan Helfman 713-524-3801
Helfman FIAT-ALFA ROMEO-MASERATI
The BLUES Newspaper
A year later, fallen Dallas officers' families are 'just still trying to figure it out' At their son’s grave on the family farm near Corsicana, Brent Thompson’s parents often find flowers, full bottles of Shiner Bock and coins. Each coin — left by those who knew Brent before he and four other police officers died in the Dallas ambush last July 7 — comes with a message, in accordance with a police and military tradition. Officers who trained with him leave a nickel. Those who served with him, a dime. The quarters come from those who were with him when he died. On a recent Sunday, the Thompsons found a bouquet of roses and four quarters on his headstone. In Redford Township, Mich., near where Michael Krol was laid to rest last summer, his mother’s home is full of afghan blankets, crosses, Bibles and other gifts from all over the country. There have been memorials in cities large and small, scholarships created and trees planted to honor the fallen. Some survivors from the officers’ families have befriended one another, sharing a common grief. For some during this year of firsts — first birthday, first Father’s Day, first anniversary, first Christmas with an empty seat at the dinner table — comfort comes in the prayers and well wishes. For others, none comes at all. Michael Krol His nephews know Uncle Mike is a guardian angel now. Amie Schoenbaechler, Krol’s little sister, says her sons remember the last time the whole family was together, Thanksgiving 2015, when Krol stepped in the way of a mugger in downtown Detroit. The family was walking to their hotel when a homeless man, strung out and angry, confronted Schoenbaechler’s husband. “Mike just came out of nowhere,” Schoenbaechler said. “Like Superman.” Krol was armed, but he never reached for his gun. His fellow officers in Dallas said this was his M.O. — to de-escalate a dangerous situation by talking it out. That night in Greektown, with Uncle Mike the protector in harm’s way, that’s what Schoenbaechler wants her boys to remember most. In the wake of the Dallas shooting, the Krol family chose not to speak at length
and closed his services to the media. Last month, his little sister spoke for the first time about her brother and the past year. “We’re all just still trying to figure it out,” Schoenbaechler said. “You’re supposed to be strong and thankful he served, and we are, but it’s such a big loss for our family.” Susan Ehlke, Krol’s mother, traveled the country, from the first funerals and services in Dallas, to the visitation and funeral in Michigan, to a National Police Week ceremony in Washington, D.C., to a memorial dedication at Krol’s high school in Massachusetts. She and the family returned to Dallas for the Weekend of Honor events. “It has been really nice to hear all the memories,” she said. “A lot of tears, but a lot of good memories and I don’t want to miss it.” Lorne Ahrens This spring, William Thomas Ahrens walked along the intersection of Main and Lamar streets downtown as a retired Dallas police officer detailed how Ahrens' son died. He heard how Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens yelled out to a woman frozen in shock that she needed to run — even as he fell after he was shot. “Though it was painful, it was better for me to be there and know exactly what happened,” the father said. “Absent that, it can be agonizing just imagining the worst over and over again. The truth was very different. They said he saved that woman’s life.” Ahrens came to Dallas in May for the city’s annual ceremony honoring fallen officers. He met with friends and colleagues of his son who shared their memories of the 6-foot-5, 300-pound officer affectionately known as “Meat.” Ahrens, a retired engineer, spent the week in his quiet Alaskan town, away from the memorials and ceremonies. He follows the news in Dallas closely, particularly when it comes to the financially strapped police pension system. He’s even written to Mayor Mike Rawlings, urging him to protect the benefits for those who protect the community. Despite the way his son died, Ahrens said memories of Texas are always with
him. And usually they are ones that give him peace — especially support he saw when hundreds lined Lorne’s funeral procession. "There was one older woman I saw kneeling with her hands over her heart and her eyes closed, praying for my boy,” he said. “I'll never forget that image and the sensitivity and love from the Dallas people." Brent Thompson Thompson’s name is on the back of a red leather chair at an Oak Cliff diner. His fellow DART officers pass his untouched locker, now covered with Plexiglas, as they begin their shift at headquarters. And in his hometown of Corsicana, yard signs in his honor are still planted in lawns. Away from those tributes, his two brothers, parents, wife, six children and stepchild have had to learn how to carry on. His wife, Emily, continues to work as a DART police officer. She recently marked what would have been their first anniversary. Their marriage license from their wedding, about two weeks before his death, is stamped July 7. His family holds on to memories of the brother who grew up but never stopped pulling pranks, the father of six who taught himself to play guitar and the patrol officer who wrote citations but also carried cash for needy families and stickers for kids. They buried him at the family farm, where the three Thompson boys used to fish and camp. Lowell Thompson has found some comfort in how his brother continues to touch lives. He made a list of the good things that have come out of the tragedy: a fund to support fallen officers’ families, a scholarship for a police academy student, a statue planned for a main street in Corsicana, and a friendship with the family of Patrick Zamarripa, another officer who died in the ambush. Zamarripa’s mother and siblings met the Thompsons at memorials after July 7. They went to the high
school graduation party of Brent’s son. “Every time I go somewhere, someone asks me how we’re doing or how my parents are doing,” Lowell Thompson said. “It’s been support and prayers every day since this has happened. It really has.” At Norma’s Cafe in Oak Cliff, a wall is covered with mementos for Brent, who used to stop by and order bacon and eggs. General manager Pam Spell attached a plaque to his chair. When people sit there, she makes a point of telling them they’re in a “power chair,” and then she tells them about Brent. Patrick Zamarripa Patrick Zamarripa's daughter, Lyncoln, was just 2 years old at the time of the ambush, too young to understand what happened to her father. She used to ask about him in the beginning. "She'll tell you he's sleeping now," said Valerie Zamarripa, Patrick's mother. The family has attended several memorials, including one in May in Washington, D.C., to honor the ambush victims. Zamarripa's mother said all she wants to do now is keep his memory alive by talking about him in public settings. "I'm not doing this to be in the spotlight," she said. "I'm doing this to keep his name in a positive way. I want to make him proud of me." When she tells his story, she describes how her son — nicknamed “Tom Landry” by his grandfather because of his calm, serious demeanor — dreamed of becoming an officer as a young boy. She talks about his eight years in the Navy, which included several tours in Iraq. But the one person she wants to share his story with the most is still too young to understand it. "Dada, Dada," Lyncoln exclaimed, pointing at an image of her father's face, smiling. It was a picture of a painting of the officers who died in the ambush, a gift from a 911 call-taker from Shreveport. (Continued on page 11)
The BLUES Newspaper
FORD (Continued from page 9)
rows of the vehicle, the complaint states. Ford recently settled a class-action lawsuit out of Florida in which the company agreed to reimburse people across the country for the cost of their repairs. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness and other ailments. More serious cases can cause neurological problems, brain damage or death. The gas is tasteless, odorless and colorless, making it nearly impossible to catch without a detector. When carbon monoxide gets into the blood, it prevents oxygen from spreading through the body, said Chris Ziebell, chief of emergency medicine at Dell Seton Medical Center . “It basically suffocates you,” he said.
Replacing the Crown Vic The use of SUVs among law enforcement increased when Ford discontinued the Crown Victoria sedan in 2011. Bill Johnson, executive director for the National Association of Police Organizations in Alexandria, Va., said there are no statistics he’s aware of that show which vehicles are most common among law enforcement, but departments have shifted to SUVs “because they carry more equipment, carry more people.” He said law enforcement officials are likely more susceptible to carbon monoxide exposure than other drivers because their vehicles are left idling while they fill out reports, talk to someone or safeguard traffic. “Exposing the occupants and, from our point of view, police officer drivers, to poison is a grave concern of ours,” Johnson said. “You’re endangering the safety and the lives of our officers.” Austin began transitioning from Crown Victorias to the SUVs about seven years ago, and most of its patrol fleet consists of the Ford Police Interceptor with about 400 units that range in model year from 2013 to 2017. University of Texas police have about 15 Explorers, while Round Rock police have 57 and Cedar Park 13. San Marcos uses them, too. None of those departments reported any carbon monoxide issues outside of a minor scare in Round Rock. Ford makes a number of modifications to the Police Interceptors, such as
separating the front and passenger areas for transporting prisoners. Once the car is handed over to the city, fleet workers add bumpers and steel to the exterior of the car and decals to make it look like a police vehicle. Other city workers add electronics and other items to the cars such as radios, shotgun racks, emergency lighting, sirens and mounted in-car computers. Austin police and city fleet workers say that none of the changes should have an impact on their exhaust systems. “We follow industry best practices when we make modifications to the vehicles,” city spokesman Bryce Bencivengo said.
The investigation continues Problems with the Austin Police Department’s vehicles first emerged with LaHood’s case this spring. He was heard on a recently obtained dashboard camera video describing his symptoms to fellow officers. “I just need fresh air,” he said. “I started having headaches, and I can’t breathe. … I almost hit a bus. It scared the (expletive) out of me. My heart rate is low. I thought I was having heart attack. I didn’t know what was going on.” LaHood is now suing Ford. Austin’s additional cases prompted police to renew their efforts to resolve with Ford what might be causing the problem. But authorities added that they are rapidly looking into other emergency measures, such as renting a fleet of vehicles to ensure officers are safe. City officials recently put together a protocol in which fire officials are dispatched to the car to conduct carbon monoxide readings. Under a new requirement, the SUVs then must be towed to a city garage. In recent days, the Police Department has developed a contingency plan in case the department decides to immediately stop using the Police Interceptors. It calls for sedans currently assigned to other units, such as the SWAT team and to detectives, that are considered “pursuitrated,” to be used for patrol. Working with federal highway safety officials, the department also has developed a list of data it wants officers and supervisors to collect, including the outside temperature and whether the air conditioning was running, to see if they can identify any patterns that might lead to a cause of the leaks. Austin American Statesman
COLLIN COUNTY PATROL UNIT "CRITICALLY UNDER STAFFED": SHERIFF Collin County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas. It’s growing so fast that Sheriff Jim Skinner now says his staff is struggling to keep up. In a recent letter to County Commissioners, Sheriff Skinner says the population and calls for service have increased and so have response times. The letter says the department has 33 patrol deputies. The Sheriff wants to increase that number to 48 by late next year by adding deputies and transferring deputies from other departments to the patrol division, which he says is “severely understaffed” in his letter. The 31-page document, obtained by NBC 5, paints a bleak outlook on public safety in Collin County, as it stands. Between 2007 and 2016, the letter states: -The average response time in the county went from 6 to 20 minutes. -Calls that took 40 minutes or more for a deputy to respond grew by 497%.
-Stacked calls -- or calls waiting in line -- grew by 458%. Traffic on main roads like Highways 75, 380 and 121 have become barriers, the letter says, to a deputies’ ability to move about the county. The letter comes just seven months into Sheriff Skinner’s tenure as Collin County's top cop. Right now, he says the county sends one deputy to each of its five districts per day. In an expanding county, he writes, "The risks to public and officer safety under minimum staffing of one patrol deputy per district each day are too high and are unacceptable. The Patrol Section is critically understaffed.” For now, he wants to add eight new deputies to the patrol unit, and is asking county commissioners to pay for one of those positions. Commissioners will consider his request during budget meetings that begin next month.
"The whole helping others actually does help you," she said. Friends say the 55-year-old former Army Ranger, who served nearly three decades with the Dallas Police Department, was known for his leadership, gentle strength and work with at-risk youth. He was tall, too, they said — something you wouldn't know from his official police photograph. This year would have marked 20 years of marriage for the couple. June was always the month the family typically packed their bags for a vacation together and to celebrate the anniversary. "May and June have been tough months," St. John said. "But some days they're OK. They're moving forward." Heidi remains focused on her daughters and continues to teach fourth grade at Mary Immaculate Catholic School. "She really has become very strong," St. John said. "I know Mike would be proud of her." Dallas Morning News
(Continued from page 10)
"That's what breaks my heart every day — to know she won't remember or know her daddy in person," Valerie Zamarripa said. "She's only going to know him in pictures, articles and what we can share with her." Michael Smith Sgt. Michael Smith made a career as a cop helping others. Now in his absence, his widow, Heidi Smith, and her daughters, Victoria and Caroline, are doing the same. Sometimes it's meals hand-delivered to Dallas police and fire stations. Other times, it's consoling the paramedic and rookie cop who were with Smith the night he was shot. "Being able to help others in their grief process, it gives them strength," said Marcie St. John, Smith's former Dallas police partner, who has been at the family's side since the ambush. She said the family declined to be interviewed at this time.
The BLUES Newspaper
ADDISON POLICE GRANT WISH TO NORTH TEXAS WOMAN WITH RARE CANCER
Shorts... Northeast Texas city loses police department due to drop in revenue A Northeast Texas police department has shut down and officials say alcohol sales are to blame. Winfield Mayor Hoyt Scogin says when residents in neighboring city Mount Pleasant recently voted in alcohol sales, revenue in Winfield, a city that already sold alchohol, dropped about fifty percent. Now the area will be patrolled by Titus County deputies. Mayor Scogin said, "Some of the older people, you know, they're more interested in it because they don't feel quite as safe. I say, look out, you're gonna see a deputy's car passing every once in a while and if we need them, we can call them." Titus County Sheriff Tim Ingram said, "If they need somebody, when they call 911, they'll still get us." Winfield's mayor says the city's parttime chief is overseeing details of the police department's closure, which could take months. easttexasmatters.com
Texas police departments can now apply for rifle resistant body armor grants Police departments across Texas can now apply for rifle-resistant body armor. A new program signed into law in May allocates $25 million for 50,000 vests. The Dallas police attack last year that left five officers dead showed that most law enforcement agencies had bulletproof vests, but many were not prepared for rounds from high caliber firearms. "We must do all we can to protect those who protect us," said Governor Greg Abbott. "The men and women who put their lives on the line to protect Texans deserve the greatest protections, and
as Governor I am committed to doing all I can to support them." V i s i t t h e we b s i t e : h t t p s : / / egrants.gov.texas.gov/fundopp.aspx for more information on how law enforcement agencies can fill out an application to be eligible for body armor grants. cbsaustin.com
Marshall officer nabs 5 medals in Texas Police Games MARSHALL, TX (KLTV) - If a suspect runs from Cory Adkinson he’s probably not going to get far. The Marshall Police Officer recently competed in the Texas Police Games and placed in 5 categories, taking first place in three track events. Although we’re not sure how he managed it, we caught up with Cory before he competes in the World Police Games in Los Angeles this August. He’s fleet of feet, and seems to take the same approach with his career. He’s been with the Marshall Police Department for five years and is already known as Sergeant Cory Adkinson. He says running is similar to life. “Kind of how I treat every obstacle in my life is to push as hard as I can, and improve as much as possible.” The 26-year-old has had quite a few foot chases. “I’ve caught most of them. Some of them got away,” Adkinson said. “You don’t think about stretching first?”” I asked him. “No, you don’t get to stretch, you don’t get to warm up,” he replied. He ran track in high school, but says somehow his times are faster now than they were back then. At Union Grove High School he ran the 100 in: “Eleven point three seconds, and this one at the Texas Police Games was 11.2,” Adkinson (Continued on page 15)
Jenny Newman, left, and Addison Police Officer Aaron Krause, during a ridealong, July 7, 2017.
The Addison Police Department helped a North Texas woman battling a rare form of liver cancer knock an item off her bucket list last month when they agreed to let her ride along with an officer before hitting the gun range. Jenny Newman, 26, said she grew up watching crime shows and reading mystery novels and wanted to get a real-life perspective of what a police officer does -- compared to what she's seen dramatized in television or film. "I was curious to see what a typical day for a police officer looked like. Did they really run into the crazy situations I'd seen on TV? Or was it all a hoax? What really happens when an arrest is made?" Newman said. Newman said that though she didn't get to see any high-speed chases or standoffs while riding with officer Aaron Krause, she's come away with an appreciation that police officers are just like the rest of us -- though they have the added stress of putting themselves in harm's way, every day. "I listened to stories outlining situations the officer had dealt with in the past. I was surprised at how much they sounded like an episode of CSI or something off of Blue Bloods. But I also learned there's a lot more paperwork than TV shows," Newman said. Newman, whose turned 26, said the ride-along was a birthday surprise from a friend who set up an entire day of fun events. The ride along, including a little time with the officers at the gun range for she and her family, were all part of the plan. To cap it off, Newman was treated
to dinner at Chamberlain's Fish Market Grill where Chef Richard Chamberlain prepared a special menu in her honor. The Addison Police Department published a number of photos from the day to their Facebook page, saying it was a privilege and honor to help make one of her wishes come true. "The APD officers I met and interacted with are really good people with kind souls and I feel blessed to have met them," Newman said. Of the cancer, Newman said she was 20 and attending Texas Christian University in 2012 when she was diagnosed with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer that shows up in adolescents and young adults who have no history of liver disease. In the last five years, she's tried chemotherapy three times, including two clinical trials, and has also endured six surgeries to remove tumors or to remedy other complications from the cancer. The most recent surgery was last February. Also in the last five years, Newman has graduated from TCU with a Bachelor of Science degree and Colorado State University with a Master of Science degree. She's now back in North Texas, working as a Health Fitness Specialist in Fort Worth. With no known drugs or therapies that effectively fight her rare type of cancer, she's currently not receiving treatment. Newman said she's waiting for other clinical trials that she may be a candidate for, but in the meantime she hopes to keep chipping away at her bucket list -knocking off adventurous experiences like zip-lining, horseback riding or archery, or maybe just enjoying a relaxing mud bath and makeover. One day, Newman said, she hopes to eat sushi in Japan ... maybe after flying there on a private jet. If you'd like to help make that a reality, her sister Clare started a GoFundMe account to help her sister experience all of the adventures on her bucket list. nbcdfw.com
The BLUES Newspaper
The BLUES Newspaper
After string of tragedies, programs aid police, fire personnel In 15 years at the San Antonio Police Department — plus 14 more as a consultant — psychologist John Price has helped countless officers through distress, anger and sorrow. Every person, including officers, experiences grief in a different way. “There’s no set timeline for grief. It’s two steps forward and one step backward for most of us,” said Price, the SAPD’s director of psychological services. “When the adrenaline wears off, that’s when the emotions set in. When they reintegrate back into their life, things pop up.” Price was interviewed in June, shortly after he helped counsel San Antonio firefighters after their comrade Scott Deem died in a Northwest Side fire. Since then, tragedy struck again: SAPD Officer Miguel Moreno was killed and Officer Julio Cavazos was injured in a shootout north of downtown. Just eight months ago, the Police Department, and the city as a whole, mourned the death of police Detective Benjamin Marconi, who was ambushed in front of police headquarters. It has been the deadliest period of time for civil servants in San Antonio since late 1988 and early 1989, when four police officers and one firefighter were killed in the line of duty, according to the city’s website. In the wake of the recent deaths, both the police and fire departments are working to support the city’s roughly 4,000 public safety workers with an assortment of services, including counseling sessions, chaplaincy and peer support. Both departments have seen an influx of officers and firefighters seeking mental health services. Some first responders have found solace through good deeds or personal tributes. Police Officer Tom Fields, for example, handcrafted three leather wallets for an auction to raise money for officers’ families, according to the department’s Facebook page. The wallets are crafted with Moreno’s badge on the front, with a thin blue and black line beneath. Another group of officers, while having dinner at a local restaurant, ordered a beer and hamburger for their fallen comrade. The meal rested on the table, uneaten. Recently, a group of firefighters gathered at a local gym to work out “like
Scotty would.” Another group attended the first-grade graduation for Deem’s son, 7year-old Tyler, just days after Deem died. “What happened the night Scott was killed was the greatest tragedy that has happened in any of our careers,” said Joe Arrington, a paramedic and department spokesman. Yet when the next call for service comes in, department personnel have to be ready to respond, no matter what. “These programs are huge in making sure that we are still able to provide the highest level of customer service that the city expects from us,” Arrington said. “Without that, there would be lapses.” ‘This is survivable’ The police and fire departments have support services that are similar but adapted to fit the culture of each agency, Price said. Any police officer involved in a critical incident, such as an officer-involved shooting, must see a department psychologist for an evaluation. Because it is standard practice for everyone, Price said, officers won’t feel like they’re crazy for talking with a psychologist. The police chief can also require an officer to see a psychologist or attend mandatory counseling sessions after the death of a fellow officer, a family disturbance, or complaints of criminal or behavioral wrongdoing. The police department also offers voluntary counseling services, spiritual guidance through the chaplaincy program and peer support. Created in the early 1990s, the peer support team consists of officers who have experienced difficult situations, such as the death of a partner, a serious injury, depression or alcohol abuse. All the members are trained so they can provide appropriate advice. After a high-profile incident, a coordinator will often reach out to an officer involved and ask if he or she wants to be paired with a peer support officer. Then the two officers can meet on their own, in a more comfortable setting. “Having … that police officer or firefighter tell them the same thing the doctor is saying adds credibility,” Price said. “It also lets them know, ‘This is survivable.’” At the Fire Department, counseling has always existed, albeit more informally in
the past. Firefighters called it “the tailboard”: sitting on the back of the truck, talking about the most recent run, veteran firefighters and newbies comparing stories. James Gonzales, a fire engineer and paramedic who works at the dispatch center, said he remembers one of his first calls as a young firefighter. It was a difficult scene, and his supervisor approached him afterward to make sure he was OK. In the late 1990s, the department implemented the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team — trained firefighters who provide help immediately after a particularly stressful or traumatic call. Typically, one team member leads the session, while another takes a secondary role, chiming in only occasionally. The second person observes the participants and their body language to see if there’s anyone they should follow up with later. The leader will ask a few questions, but usually the conversation will progress on its own. The discussions are a good way for firefighters to hear from their peers, to learn that they are not alone in their emotions or grief. “We are all uniformed personnel,” said Gonzales, a debriefing team coordinator. “Chances are we’ve probably seen it, in varying degrees.” About 10 years ago, the department initiated a peer support team, which emulated the Police Department’s program. Now, the Fire Department’s program has 17 members who train with the Police Department. Initially, there was a stigma in the pro-
fession against seeking mental health services. “I help people,” firefighters would commonly say. “They don’t help me.” Slowly, that mentality changed, partly because of participation of the command staff in the debriefings. On the night Deem died, Fire Chief Charles Hood took part. New ground For the Fire Department, Deem’s death was particularly painful. Many had never experienced such a tragedy: Deem was the first city firefighter in 20 years to die in the line of duty and the only one to ever die at the scene of a fire. (Other firefighters have died later as a result of injuries suffered in a fire or while working.) Accordingly, Fire Department officials are assessing and adjusting counseling services to better serve grieving firefighters and paramedics. “With this one, we realized the grieving process is going to be extended. Everyone’s going to go through it differently — the denial, the bargaining, the acceptance, all that stuff,” said Capt. Raul Chapa, coordinator of the San Antonio Fire Academy and a licensed professional counselor. “This was new ground for us, too.” Moving forward, coordinators for the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team would like to recruit more firefighters to volunteer for it. Yvonne Garcia, a paramedic and licensed professional counselor intern, said she hopes to reach out to the larger San Antonio mental health community in an effort to coordinate services. “I see the need to educate the commu(Continued on page 15)
RIVER OAKS CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM Call Alan Helfman for a SPECIAL DEAL 713-524-3801 Kirby at Southwest Freeway
The BLUES Newspaper
Bringing the Trunk Back to the SUV: Pro-gard Cargo Security Cover INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – Pro-gard, a leader in law enforcement vehicle product manufacturing, is announcing the launch of the Cargo Security Cover for the Cargo Barriers. Pro-gard’s Cargo Security Cover conceals equipment, weapons, tools, electronics, gun racks and any necessary officer gear that is kept in the cargo area. Fleet managers, installers and officers need a means to safely stow away a wide range of equipment in the cargo area of their SUV. This new security solution will help prevent theft by keeping items out of sight, essentially creating a trunk in the SUV. In addition to added security, the Cargo Security Cover provides additional mounting surfaces for accessories and electronics. Designed to keep the installation quick and easy with a no-holes-drilled installation, the Cargo Security Cover is bolted to the rear of Pro-gard’s Cargo Barriers and is securely mounted to the body of the vehicle using existing OEM mounting points and support brackets. Constructed with a steel frame and topped with a heavy-duty rubber mat extending the full width of the vehicle’s trunk, the Cargo Security Cover is available for the Ford Interceptor Utility and Chevrolet Tahoe PPV.
PROGRAM (Continued from page 14)
nity and get them to become our allies, to coordinate with them, so we can have more resources,” Garcia said. “It’s really hard to find a place to send (firefighters) where they feel comfortable.”
SHORTS (Continued from page 12)
revealed. The World Police Games are pretty much an officer’s Olympics, with about 8,000 competitors from 65 countries, but Cory doesn’t have a team. “It’s just me,” Adkinson confirmed. He medaled in the 100, 200, 4X100 and long and triple jumps, although he’s giving up jumping at the World Police Games. He says you don’t have to qualify to compete in Worlds but: “If you’re not good at what you do, you’re probably going to get embarrassed,” Adkinson observed. So he’s doing a lot of training; nearly every day Sometimes at the Hallsville High School track, sometimes on a hill
Price, the Police Department’s psychologist, said police officers and firefighters should expect the grieving process to take a while. The one-year anniversaries will be especially hard, he said. “It’s just been a little bit different,” Gonzales said about the Fire Department. “The hugs are just a little bit tighter.” San Antonio Express News
behind the police department where he marked off 400 meters. “I ran a 56 the last time, uphill,” he offered. He figures that will make it easier on the track, and he feels the running is beneficial in many ways. “Helps me in everyday life. It helps me work on the street.” And you know how it is, once you get going it’s hard to slow down, but this speeding officer has a good way to slow it down. "Actually, the parachute is a training tool, but it looks pretty cool, even though it is kind of a drag." Cory says the next competitions after L.A. will be in China, then the Netherlands, so he really wants to compete while it’s in the states. He needs some financial help to make the trip since he has a family to support. kltv.com
ICE (Continued from page 6)
Walker County is pursuing both agreements for the first time this year, McRae has said. ICE didn’t respond to questions about the status of those counties’ applications. The fusing of local and federal authority in these jurisdictions goes well beyond the scenarios predicted by opponents of Senate Bill 4, the controversial new state law that seeks to ban sanctuary cities, which are jurisdictions that decline in some way to assist federal immigration enforcement. Critics, including the top police officials from Texas’ largest cities, have argued that the law, scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, will make it harder for local law enforcement to gain the trust of immigrant communities they police. With the Trump administration cracking down on illegal immigration and calling for a 70 percent expansion of the 287 (g) program in its budget proposal, advocates fear that more counties will seek to combine the two programs. Rodriguez said there has been a nearly 50 percent increase in enrollment in the 287(g) program since February. ICE, she said, is “currently accepting applications and reviewing them on a rolling basis.” Federal duties, local officers Created by the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, the 287(g) program allows ICE to delegate federal authority to local officers who complete a four-week training course in South Carolina. While the law allows ICE to sign 287 (g) agreements delegating the authority to arrest people on immigration charges in the field, the Obama administration in 2012 limited the program to jailhouse enforcement, in which sheriff’s office employees are trained to identify unauthorized immigrants who have already been arrested on other charges. “The 287(g) jail enforcement model operates solely within the confines of a jail, meaning that an alien must first be arrested by local law enforcement on other criminal charges and brought to the facility before any 287(g) screening activity takes place,” ICE spokeswoman Rodriguez said. Recent agreements approved by ICE, including those in Lubbock and Smith counties, have been limited to the jailhouse model.
While not all 287(g) agreements allow local officers to make immigration arrests in the field, Small said departments can bring in more immigrants by targeting their communities or more aggressively pursuing minor charges for those suspected of being unauthorized. Officials who enter their jurisdictions into the sometimes costly 287(g) program have been criticized for taking on a federal responsibility at the expense of local taxpayers. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, for example, cited cost as one of the reasons he ended his office’s agreement this year, noting that the 10 deputies who worked on the program had combined annual salaries of $675,000. Allowing county jails to then make money through a detention agreement is ICE’s way of sweetening the deal for enrolling in 287(g), Small said. The Walker County sheriff’s comments, she said, are the first time she’s heard a local official “explicitly linking the two and saying that they’re planning to use one to make the other worthwhile.” Walker County currently houses some inmates from Hays County to alleviate overcrowding in the jail in San Marcos. Hays County pays $37 per inmate per day for the service. McRae told the Huntsville Item that he thinks the county will do better with ICE. “The federal government tends to pay a little more for services than other counties,” he said. McRae didn’t respond to an interview request for this story. Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe, who recently had two jail employees return from the training and plans to send more, said that it’s unfair to characterize 287(g) as a moneymaking operation based on rounding up immigrants. “These conversations get a little frustrating with 287(g) having something to do with doing work site raids or plucking family members out of their homes,” he said. “We ultimately catch a lot of guys in that net (of checking inmates’ immigration status), but that’s not because we’re out there looking for immigration. We’re out there looking for the hundreds of pounds of narcotics that’s entering our community weekly.” ICE approached Lubbock County about enrolling in the program in the summer of 2016, Rowe said. Lubbock County’s detention agreement goes back years, and county officials didn’t intend to benefit from enrolling in both programs simultaneously, he said. Austin American Statesman
The BLUES Newspaper
Former Police Chief David Brown: Policing is a "people business," not an "enforcement business" David Brown, former chief of the Dallas Police Department, said last month that policing is a "people business" and not an "enforcement business." "If you take away people from this formula, you lose the very nature of what policing is supposed to be about," Brown said. "We're supposed to be protecting people." Speaking on "Face the Nation" one year after an attack on Dallas police killed five officers, Brown said that in the wake of the Dallas shooting and numerous officer-involved shootings of primarily black men, the conversation about the role of policing in the 21st century and communities of color remains divided. "It seems that every time we see some progress take a step there are two steps we take back with another viral video or a
court proceeding that didn't end in the way that I think the public expected," said Brown, who was chief of the Dallas police from 2010-2016. Last July, police say a lone gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, who was angry about a string of fatal police shootings involving black men, ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and wounding seven. The officers were guarding a peaceful demonstration against the killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. During the hours-long standoff, the gunman informed them he was targeting white officers. When asked what he says to people who say that policeman seem to get off free from incendiary events, Brown said that officers are willing to sacrifice their lives for communities they serve, and that
"they give their all." "Particularly white cops," he said. "There's still in many departments a majority white officers are -- are on the police force. And they go into these communities, and they risk their lives." "There's no question that the cop on the beat is sacrificing and -- and committing their life to protect all of us, you know, including communities of color," he said. "But at the same time, and I don't think there's a contradiction in saying that communities of color do get treated differently by those few officers that don't deserve to be in the profession. And there's a small number. But for these communities, this becomes their world view." Brown added that as prison populations continue to suffer from mental health issues, it falls on officers to handle those
with mental illnesses. "The prisons aren't meant to be mental health providers. And that translates to cops having to deal with people who are mentally ill. We don't have the training for that. And we just kind of by default take on that task," he said. He added that "mass incarceration is not first affordable nor is it smart because you have to make a distinction between people who are mentally ill, drug addicted so we can have space in jail for people who are truly violent, and would hurt all of us, and need to be in jail. But if you mix them all in the same bag, you don't have enough jail space. It's just not practical to do that." cbsnews.com