Friday, October 5, 2012

Officer Saves Crash Victim

In Indiana, it's not about the duty of the job, but the moral duty of a human being that led Officer Bill Smith to save a woman's life. After failing to negotiate a turn, the woman's vehicle crashed down an embankment and landed in a waterway with driver's side down. Officer Smith helped the trapped victim keep her head above water until help arrived.

Police Officer Helps Cancer Patients

A former New Haven (Conn.) police officer diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer was so overwhelmed by the support her fellow officers provided in her time of need that she's spreading the love. Kelly Turner-Cole has started a nonprofit - The C.H.A.I.N. Fund - to help others with cancer meet everyday bills including mortgage or rent payment, utility payments, doctor visit co-pays, and prescription co-pays

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where are the Cops When You Need Them? Fairview, NJ

There's never a cop around when you need one, right? Not the case for a mugging victim in Fairview, NJ.

On Sept. 6, Officer Brian Yannuzzi was on regular patrol when he spotted two men "roughing up" a victim, according to an article on Cliffview The officer snuck up on the scene and collared one of the suspects. The second was apprehended later.

First-on-scene Officer Rescues Swimmers

Too many folks who badmouth law enforcement officers as a whole fail to realize that, in an emergency of any sort, the first official on scene will likely be such an officer. Call the fire department? The cops will be there first unless the fire's right next door to a full-time fire station. Call for an ambulance? Police and firefighters may respond in many communities.

Such was the case in Seaside Heights, NJ on Sept. 9. Seaside Heights Police Detective Steven Korman responded to a call of "swimmers in distress" in heavy surf. Thought lifeguards were on duty, it was Korman who was first in the water. With the assistance of a nearby surfer and the water rescue team, Korman was able to help rescue the 21- and 18-year-old swimmers, according to Berkley Patch.

Building Relationships on Bainbridge Island

In a concerted effort to show the community the human side of its law enforcement officers, Bainbridge Island Police Department officers will be taking part in a variety of upcoming community events.

Events kicked off Saturday with a Cops and Kids tennis tournament where junior tennis players were paired with officers for doubles play. The tournament served as a fundraiser for the local high school's booster club.

"I think it's great," Susan March told Kitsap Sun, after the match. "For these little kids, who haven't had any interaction with police before, they get to see their softer side."

This week, the department's Citizens' Academy kicks off. Many departments provide this multi-session educational opportunity for community members. Typically, the program includes classes on the inner workings of law enforcement, tours and ride-alongs. A town hall meeting will allow public airing of any issues or questions for the community. Officers are also slated to judge a scarecrow contest later in the fall, perhaps a dodgeball tournament, and another town hall meeting this winter.

Paddy Wagon Duty with a Smile

Some duties go without thanks. Some assignments are considered the worst of the worst, given as disciplinary measures to employees who have, somehow, failed to meet expectations. Paddy wagon duty used to be one of those bottom-feeding assignments, but one officer welcomes the duty.

A nice article about Lexington (KY) Police Officer Barry Maggard and the service he provides so patrol officers can carry on with their duties rather than eat up the rest of their shift processing drunks and others who need a ride.

Naples Sargeant Moonlights as Beach Cleanup Captain

Keewaydin Island's (Florida) coastline is accessible only by water, but the 8-mile-long stretch didn't have a regular full-island beach cleanup until Sgt. Dave Bruening came along, according to Naples News.

Each year, Bruening leads a coastal cleanup of the recreation getaway.

"A lot of people have the wrong idea about law enforcement. We're here for more than taking people to jail and writing tickets," Bruening said. "It's not the traditional thing you see law enforcement doing, but I think it's needed."

Weld County Sheriff's Department Raises Funds for Special Olympics

Deputies and corrections officers from Weld County (Colorado) Sheriff's Department donated their time for a Tip-A-Cop dinner function to raise funds for Special Olympics. Nearly $3,000 was raised at the event, and departments across Colorado have raised some $40,000 this year for the program, according to Longmont Times-Call.

Departments across the nation traditionally raise funds for Special Olympics through a variety of fundraisers including the Tip-A-Cop dinners in which restaurants partner with local law enforcement, and all tips from customers go to the cause; pledges toward the Special Olympics Torch Relay; fun runs and more.

To find out if your local law enforcement agency supports Special Olympics, give 'em a call, and consider volunteering.

Community Stands Up for Fallen Officer

In Westfield, Mass., the community is giving back to the family of a fallen law enforcement officer. According to WWLP, fitness instructors held a Zumbathon fitness marathon in memory of Jose Torres, the Westfield officer killed on the job in July. Money raised are destined for Officer Torres' memorial fund account.

Officer Torres was struck and killed by a dumptruck while performing his traffic directing duties on July 26, according to Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP). He left behind a wife and two children.

In 2011, 173 law enforcement officers were killed in the U.S. while on duty, up from 171 in 2010 and 139 in 2009. In 2012, already 79 officers have suffered life-ending injuries while on duty, according to statistics collected by ODMP. Their data shows 3,470 law enforcement officers have been killed over the past 20 years while providing for the safety of their communities.

Santa Barbara Reinstitutes Campus Police

Santa Barbara (Calif.) Schools welcomed Officer Christina Marshall to serve in the capacity of school resources officer. According to Noozhawk, she began her four-year assignment with a walkthrough of each campus to let students and staff know she'll be around if they need her.

School resource officers across the nation provide community oriented policing, provide an authoritative presence on campuses and are more readily available in case of on-campus emergencies.

Retired Officer Randy Meier Continues Volunteerism into Retirement Years

The Clinton Herald in South Clinton, IA provided a positive profile of law enforcement officer Randy Meier, now retired and a volunteer with the community's Seniors vs. Crimes Program. Many members of our law enforcement agencies volunteer with their communities throughout their employed years and well into retirement.

“Service to the community is important to me. I thought this was an avenue where I’d be able to pursue that,” Meier told the Herald.

Chances are really good your community department also includes countless volunteers among their sworn officers. Check it out and let us know what you find!

School District Institutes Regular "Lunch with the Cops" Program

Children in Houston will have ample opportunity to enjoy meals with local law enforcement after Houston Independent School District introduces a lunchtime program that will bring together district police officers and elementary school students.

"The officers will sit with the students at their tables in an effort to transcend the perceived boundaries between law enforcement officers and civilians, showing children the humanity behind the uniform and creating an environment for positive change," reports the Houston Chronicle.

The opinion piece continues, "As you can well imagine, many children view the police in a negative light, a mistaken association arising from ignorance. By allowing kids to interact with officers at the light-hearted level of the lunch table, HISD hopes to not only mold a generation of respectful, law-abiding citizens, but also breed future policemen and women to protect our society."

The police officers' association is footing the bill for officers' lunches to support the program.

Anyone else doing such programs? What good news have you heard about your local law enforcement officers?

Massachusetts Police Departments Honored

Massachusetts law enforcement agencies who demonstrated "successful efforts to reduce  motor vehicle-related fatalities, injuries, and economic loss by combining traffic enforcement with public information, education, and training" were recently announced by the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Challenge.

2012 results posted on the site:

Award of Excellence - First Place Overall Winner :
Massachusetts Department of State Police

Award of Excellence - Municipal Police Department Winners :
First Place Winner - Brookline Police Department
Second Place Winner - Hingham Police Department
Third Place Winner - Amherst Police Department

Award of Excellence - Gold Category for Municipal Departments :
Wilmington Police Department
Fitchburg Police Department
Tewksbury Police Department
Wareham Police Department
Dennis Police Department
Douglas Police Department
Walpole Police Department

Award of Excellence - Silver Category for Municipal Departments :
Oak Bluffs Police Department
West Newbury Police Department
Wayland Police Department
Hull Police Department
Mansfield Police Department
Blackstone Police Department
Reading Police Department
Abington Police Department

Award of Excellence - Bronze Category for Municipal Departments :
North Attleboro Police Department
Beverly Police Department
Lincoln Police Department
Salisbury Police Department
Fall River Police Department

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Positive Youth Interactions

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum (Santa Maria, California) published a very warm "thank you" on its social networking page after Santa Maria Police Department's Commander Craig Ritz spent some time interacting with museum visitors. Among the activities was a code-breaking memory game.

"There was so much fun, laughter and learning going on," Museum staff wrote.

Perhaps its not newsworthy when peace officers get out and mingle. It's certainly helpful for youth, who are otherwise so inundated with negative images of law enforcement, to learn that cops are people, too.

Child Seat Installation Help - Another Public Safety Service

Is Your child in the Right Seat?

Child Passenger Safety Week / National Seat Check Saturday
September 16-22, 2012

Law enforcement officials across the nation regularly host public safety education programs: bike rodeos to teach children cycling safety in a fun, safe setting; first aid; community watch programs; seatbelt education programs; DUI education programs; and more.

Today, Kernersville, NC police will hold a Child Car Seat Safety Check.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.

Check your local law enforcement agencies for upcoming car seat safety checks and make sure your babies' seats are installed safely and properly for ultimate protection.

Astoria, Oregon officer gets good press

Some lovely coverage of an Astoria, Oregon police officer with a clear love for her community and her job. Why don't we see more stories like this?

Kudos to Chelsea Gorrow of the Daily Astorian.

Deputies Rescue Lovebirds Adrift

Law enforcement officers are there for you in thick and thin, come rain or shine or sleet, or even simply unintended consequences of a good plan gone bad.
Huron County (Michigan) Sheriff's deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call from a canoe adrift on Lake Huron to rescue a pair of lovebirds. The couple had paddled onto the lake for a romantic evening which, it turned out, included a wedding proposal. But heavier-than-expected winds pushed them miles off course. Deputies Sid Schock and Matthew Clark rose to the occasion.

Dancing Officer Entertains Dem Convention Crowd

Directing traffic has to be one of THE most mundane tasks for any officer who once dreamed of fighting crime, protecting her community, solving mysteries.

One officer in made the most of his assignment directing traffic during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Strothers, Iowa Moves into 20th Century with First Female Officer

More than 100 years after Los Angeles hired Alice Stebbins Wells, the first female police officer on record in the United States, Struther, Iowa has followed suit.

Recently, 22-year-old Emma Brenoel was sworn in as that community's first.

Best of luck to her in forging a path for future officers.

Things Aren't Always What They Seem - Victim Confesses to Lying

We read lots of stories in our local newspapers, hear tidbits on the television and plenty of speculation in community chatter, and too often the whole story cannot be told. The community is left to speculate.

Recently, one alleged victim finally came out with the truth.

In Clayton, Missouri, an alleged victim eventually  confessed that she made up her story in which she had claimed a police officer, or person impersonating one, punched her in the face after pulling her over.

U.S. Police K9 Trials crowns Officer Mark Reed and Pike

Le Mars, Iowa, police Officer Mark Reed and his dog, Pike, placed first in obedience and criminal apprehension at the United States Police Canine trials in Sioux City recently.

Dogs and their sworn partners from throughout the nation descend upon these annual contests of professional skill by canine/human teams.

Barstow Honors its Finest

BARSTOW • Each year the Barstow Optimists Club sets aside a week to honor and appreciate those in law enforcement by recognizing a police officer and a firefighter of the year.

This year the Optimists Club recognized Nick DiNapoli as firefighter of the year and Tim Heiden as police officer of the year. Both were lauded for their contributions to the local community — a quality Optimist Club leaders look for in each recipient.

Waukegan Police Officer Raises Fire Alarm

What we notice are officers pulling over folks on the side of the road, perhaps questioning folks at the mall or otherwise appearing to hassle people. But much of their time is spent patrolling our communities watching for danger and striving to protect the innocent.

During the wee morning hours, one patrol officer in Waukegan, Illinois this week raised the alarm and rescued five potential victims of a house fire during early morning hours.

Santa Maria, CA Officer Ricky Arias Honored

Santa Maria (Calif.) police Officer Ricky Arias was named the Santa Maria Police Department Officer of the Year at the 41st annual Law Enforcement Appreciation. Keeping his cool and treating people with respect are his keys to success, according to this article.

The positive news is particularly welcome in this community which has seen more than its fair share of bad news on the law enforcement front this year. Arias' effort reflects the core of law enforcement officers' ideals.

Ohio Officer Chosen for Training

In addition to graduating from police academy, most law enforcement officers also hold degrees and receive additional training throughout their careers. It's so common, in fact, that most communities don't see this training as news. Yet it's important to remember that ongoing education is provided most law enforcement officers, whether it be on the range or in specialty units.

This week, North Royalton Police Officer Steve Zahursky has been accepted for training by the Ohio Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program.

Tell a police officer thank you

None of us wants to see those party lights in our rear-view mirror. You know the ones. Red and blue. Sometimes accompanied by sirens or an amplified voice directing us to pull over at the next available safe spot.

But in times of crisis, we anxiously await the arrival of these same lights and the related men and women who risk life and limb to protect our communities, our families, our friends and, yes, our foes.

A columnist in Thomaston, Georgia gets it: Thomaston Times - Tell a police officer thank you.

Express your thankfulness to the men and women who standby in case of your emergency. Send a letter, drop by some healthful snacks, write a letter to your newspaper editor, write a blog post Sept. 15 for National "Tell a Police Officer Thank You Day" led by Wives Behind the Badge.
Indiana “Tell a Police Officer Thank You Day”