Monday, December 18, 2017

TSA adds 1,400 officers, including canine teams, to screen passengers

Washington DC Dec 18 2017 The Transportation Security Administration announced that its officers are prepared to screen more than 40 million passengers and crew during the winter holiday period, one of the busiest times of the year to fly.
TSA is expecting anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 additional travelers at checkpoints nationwide each day from Dec. 15 through Jan. 2. Busy travel days are also anticipated Tuesday through Friday after Christmas (Dec. 26 through Dec. 29) and Tuesday after New Year’s Eve.
"Passengers flying during the holiday travel season should plan to be at the airport two hours prior to a domestic flight and three hours prior to an international flight so that TSA can accommodate the large volume of passengers needing to be screened," TSA stated in a press release.
Up to 1,400 additional TSA officers are working at the top 50 airports, in addition to use of overtime and extending hours for part-time officers. Passengers flying out of the nation’s busiest airports, including the Salt Lake International Airport, may expect to see canine teams working at the checkpoints as well.

TSA is offering holiday-related travel tips, such as transporting snow globes, pies, cakes and toys, on its blog. Travelers with questions may submit them at @AskTSA via Twitter or Facebook Messenger from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.

Colorado College safety officer dies in crash

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo Dec 18 2017- A Colorado College safety officer was killed after crashing into power poles near campus late Saturday night.
The identity of the person involved in the crash has not been formally released by authorities, but our news partners at The Gazette obtained an email sent to students and faculty that identified the driver and sole occupant as longtime security guard Kevin Morgan.
"We received a notice from Maggie Santos, Director of Campus Safety, that the driver was Kevin Morgan, a member of the CC Campus Safety officer team," Alex Hernandez-Siegel, chaplain and associate dean, said in the email.
 "We are in both denial and shock that we have lost this young man so suddenly."
Morgan reportedly crashed his red SUV into a utility pole on Glen Avenue, then hit a telephone pole. A Springs officer who unwittingly witnessed the crash reported seeing "a large electrical flash" just to the east of I-25 and Uintah and went to investigate. Morgan was badly injured and died after being transported to a nearby hospital.
Power was restored to all late Sunday morning.
CSPD's Major Accident Unit is investigating the crash. Speed is a suspected factor.

Morgan had been a safety officer with the school for more than eight years.

Saginaw nightclub security guards shoot and kill two men during confrontation

SAGINAW, MI Dec 18 2017- Two men were shot and killed by armed security early Sunday morning outside a Saginaw club, police said.
Officers with the Saginaw Police Department responded to the first calls of gunfire at the business but were soon joined by the Michigan State Police.
Officers were called out around 2 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 to the 700 block of Federal Avenue, for multiple shots fired.
When police arrived, officers found a 25-year-old man dead outside the building from at least one gunshot wound.
Another man, 22-years-old, was discovered with a critical gunshot wound and transported to St. Mary's Hospital for treatment but he also died.
Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser said that there was an argument inside the club between a group of people that were asked to leave, but some of the group later returned and got into an "altercation" with security at the club formerly known as Terry's Place.
The club is now known as Platinum Lounge, according to a social media site. 
Police do not know or are not saying why security guards shot the men but said that the security guards are cooperating with law enforcement and no one is in custody.
Police also have not said if the deceased men were armed.
The incident is being investigated by Major Crimes Unit, a coordinated effort by the Saginaw Police Department and Michigan State Police.
A Michigan State Police traffic crash reconstructionist has been called to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Detective Sgt. Matthew Gerow at 989-759-1251 or report a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL (5245) or online at

Verizon Store robbery, carjacking and police pursuit ends in arrest

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Fairfax County VA Dec 18 2017 Detectives are investigating a series of crimes that took place Saturday night beginning around 10 in the Fairfax County section of Alexandria.
It started with a commercial robbery at a Verizon store in the 6100 block of Little River Turnpike where employees were forced into a back room by two suspects who stole several dozen cell phones and left the scene. The employees were not injured.
The suspects were then spotted by officers nearby while attempting to leave the area in a car.
A pursuit was initiated, but lasted only a couple minutes before the suspects crashed into citizen's car and then into a creek bed. The citizen was not injured.
Officers arrested the driver of the car, 24-year-old Darrius Berry of Washington, D.C. The second suspect, his passenger, ran from the crash scene. It is believed he ran to a nearby shopping center and stole a car from a woman who was leaving work. She was not injured, but her white 2006 Toyota Sienna is still missing. It has Virginia plates VSJ-8268.
The outstanding suspect is described as a black man around 6 feet tall, between 215 and 230 pounds.
Berry has been charged with robbery, abduction for pecuniary benefit, felony speed to elude, felony hit-and-run, driving without a license, and driving without insurance. Additional charges are pending. Mugshot not available at this time.

Anyone with information on last night's incidents is asked to contact us at 703-691-2131. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by visiting, or calling 1-866-411-TIPS. They can also be sent in via text by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES (274637). Text STOP to 274637 to cancel, or HELP to 274637 for help. Message and data rates may apply. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest.
Fairfax County Police Media Relations Bureau

Milwaukee Crossing Guard becomes first non-officer to receive Purple Valor Award

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Milwaukee WI Dec 18 2017 A 71-year-old Milwaukee Crossing Guard killed in a hit and run crash was laid to rest Saturday.
More than a hundred friends and family members filled All Saints Catholic Church on Milwaukee's northside, to say goodbye to Andrew Tyler.
Tyler was hit by a car while walking to his post near Kluge Elementary on November 10th. The driver never stopped.
 "It's been a nightmare," says his daughter Sharon. "One minute, you're having dinner with him, and the next minute he's in the hospital fighting for his life. And he fought, until the very, very end, he didn't want to give up."
After numerous surgeries and weeks in the hospital, Tyler passed away on December 7th.
At his funeral Saturday, he received the Milwaukee Police Department's Purple Valor/Purple Star Award.
   "It's a medal we give out to people that have been injured or wounded in the direct performance of duties," says Police Chief Ed Flynn. "This is the first time we've bestowed this award on a non-police employee."
Flynn presented the award to a standing ovation, including about a dozen crossing guards who came to show support.
   "We want to make sure his family sees that we see the importance of his sacrifice, and that we honor him in the same way we would one of our police officers," says Flynn.
Flynn says police are still searching for the driver involved in the incident.
 “The person who did this would be well served to step forward because certainly coming forward and taking responsibility will have an impact on how your conduct is charged," says Flynn.
Tyler's family says they're hoping that will happen soon.

    "Do the right thing, and be a decent human being."


At Norfolk apartment building, underground cash vault operator uneasy with new neighbors

Bank of America building and skybridge

NORFOLK VA Dec 18 2017
For years, trucks with thick, bulletproof shells motored around the blocks north of Waterside Drive. Maybe some downtowners have taken notice. Maybe they’ve even mused about where those hefty vehicles came from or were headed.
One thing’s for sure: It’s not a mystery that could be solved easily. Most vendors in the discreet world of cash storing, sorting and moving don’t post neon signs advertising their places of business. Imagine a map pointing directly to where the dead presidents are buried.
But what lies beneath an apartment building in the center of Norfolk is a high-security vault that handles tens of millions of dollars in cash, coins and checks. Daily.
It’s a fact that likely would have escaped common knowledge without the airing of a dispute in state and federal court between Marathon Development Group and the tenant it inherited when it bought the Bank of America tower in early 2016. The 24-story building at 1 Commercial Place, now known as “Icon,” is at the tail-end of an overhaul to become 269 luxury apartments.
The first renters are getting their keys this month.
It might not be a household name, but GardaWorld is one of the largest privately held cash services companies in North America. It delivers money and valuables for banks, jewelers and other private clients. Claiming its Norfolk landlord has failed to maintain its space and created security issues, the company filed a lawsuit, under the name “Garda Supplies, Rental & Services Ltd.,” in U.S. District Court on Nov. 13.
Since construction began, the company said, its facility, which is in the building’s basement, has had power outages, water leaks and heating and cooling problems. Construction contractor trucks have blocked armored vehicles – you know, the ones hauling the money bags – from getting to the loading dock, it claims.
The case accuses Marathon of breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy to harm the business. GardaWorld is asking a federal judge to excuse it from the lease.
The relationship has been rocky for months. In September, Marathon asked a Norfolk Circuit Court judge to get involved after accusing the tenant of preventing construction contractors from immediately entering to make repairs. The conflict was resolved with an access agreement.
Frank “Buddy” Gadams, Marathon’s owner, believes what GardaWorld wants is a way out of its contract. He provided The Virginian-Pilot with emails from March he said will be included in his company’s response to the complaint.
In the emails, GardaWorld asks the landlord if they can discuss a buyout of the lease. Justin Uditsky, GardaWorld’s real estate director, wrote that the company conducted a market analysis and determined Norfolk “does not allow for the potential growth we are looking to achieve.” The “change in direction” of the building – converting from commercial to residential – wasn’t a good fit either, he wrote.

Raffaele Allen, Marathon’s director of assets, had responded, saying the lease would be enforced.
This year, the company paid a base rent of about $5,890 per month, according to the contract, with increases staggering up to $6,829 in 2022. GardaWorld took over the lease a few years ago after acquiring certain Bank of America assets, which included its cash vaulting services.
In the prior state case, Marathon’s attorney John Lynch wrote in a letter to a judge that GardaWorld owes more than $1 million in common area maintenance fees.
GardaWorld’s attorney, Tom Branigan, disputes those maintenance charges and said the company “absolutely denies” that the lawsuit was manufactured to back out of its lease
Recently, the tenant has moved out of the basement. Marathon’s decision to redevelop the building into apartments, according to the lawsuit, “directly conflicts with Garda’s need for safety and security.”
Gadams said Marathon wasn’t trying to push the business out.
“We very much wanted Garda to stay,” he said.
Flip through the slick brochure for Icon, and you’ll see all the finery of the cultured class.
Young, fresh-faced friends clinking glasses. The Norfolk night skyline shimmering in the river’s reflection at night. A baby boomer with the sensibility of a millennial (he’s holding an electronic tablet).
A temperature-controlled wine cellar, on-site spa and rooftop bar are just a sampling of the amenities. It could be yours for $1,100 to $2,400 per month.
But who knew the most cinematic thing going for the $90 million project wasn’t the floor plans named after Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor but the underground lair that required secret passcodes, security clearance and a pat-down?

Sounds like the next Ocean’s 11 movie.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

New TSA Scanner Testing Underway To Spot Concealed Explosives

ctm 1215 tsa screening camera New TSA Scanner Testing Underway To Spot Concealed Explosives

WASHINGTON D.C. Dec 17 2017 A new security screening technique is being tested a week before what is expected to be a record-breaking holiday travel season.
The scanning system is designed to spot hidden explosives and suicide vests, similar to the one used in Monday’s botched terror attack in a pedestrian tunnel in New York City.
The TSA equipment is now being tested in Los Angeles, and it’s been tested at rail hubs in Washington.
The video of Monday’s pipe bomb attack in New York City makes clear the danger as it goes off in a crowded tunnel. It’s the kind of suicide bomber style attack the system is designed to try to stop.  It uses cameras to scan people entering the transit system for dense items concealed under their clothing.
“We’re really looking for those alarm indicators. And so as that bar turns from green to red, we know we’ve identified an individual that may need a little closer scrutiny,” said Alex Wiggins, head of security for Los Angeles’ transit authority. “If we can encounter that person as they enter the station in the mezzanine, we can very, very quickly isolate them and move to an area where if there is a threat we can contain that much better.”
The technology is currently being tested at Los Angeles’ busy 7th Street metro station where four of the region’s commuter lines connect. More than 86,000 people pass through there each weekday.
The scanners are designed to operate in the background, passively scanning people walking by in real time without using radiation.
“There is no silver bullet, no technical silver bullet to prevent all acts of terrorism, but clearly as part of a layered defense, it can play a role in at least making it harder for the bad guys,” Homeland Security expert Frank Cilluffo of George Washington University said.
TSA is hopeful that new technology will lead to better detection be it at a train station or an airport.
One scanner is currently being tested at a TSA facility outside Washington, D.C. The hope is eventually it can scan people as they pass by.
“Can just keep walking, and they don’t even really notice they are being screened while they’re doing it,” said Andy Lee, director of test and evaluation for TSA.

Amtrak in D.C. used the scanners over the Thanksgiving holiday, and an earlier version was used in New Jersey to screen people heading to the Super Bowl in 2014. TSA said more testing will be needed.
CBS Miami

Georgia man arrested for killing crossing guard near school

COBB COUNTY, Ga. Dec 17 2017- A man is in jail after he struck and killed a crossing guard near a Cobb County school, police say.
Channel 2 Action News received the mugshot of Lamonte Whitaker, who has been charged with vehicular homicide.
Police said he hit Edna Umeh in late November near Lindley Middle School along Veteran's Memorial Highway in Mableton.
Police said Whitaker aggressively went into the center lane in heavy traffic in a designated school zone where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour.
According to an arrest warrant, Whitaker was driving recklessly and going more than 20 miles over the speed limit.
"I'm very angry, but the Lord says you have to forgive, so I forgive him," said the victim's son, Rahim Tarver. "I forgive him, but I'm not going to forget what he did to my mother."
Umeh’s family said they are pushing for safety changes, but police and elected officials aren't moving fast enough.
"Mr. Whitaker was more protected than my sister was out on that highway," the victim's sister, Toni Hunt, said.
Tarver said he'll be out with a sign every day to remind people to slow down
"We're not going to let this die down until it's done," he said.

County officials said a safety audit is scheduled for January.

Bleeding Kingsport shoplifter charged with a felony for damaging merchandise

 Jessica L. Atkins
KINGSPORT TN Dec 17 2017— A woman’s misdemeanor thefts at a pair of Fort Henry Mall stores quickly bled into a felony charge, according to police, after she sliced her hand while trying to remove security devices and smeared blood on $1,600 in clothing.
Jessica L. Atkins, 30, of 319 Cannon St., Kingsport, was arrested Wednesday night.
 According to an incident report at the Kingsport Police Department, mall security received complaints about Atkins and stopped her as she left Rue 21.
Atkins was allegedly found to have stolen $50 in merchandise from that store, while employees of Hibbett Sports reported she had earlier swiped $216 in goods from them. Police records do not indicate how she concealed the items, but all were recovered.
Back at Hibbett, an employee added that Atkins had approached him with a bleeding hand, stating that she needed to “go clean herself up.” After she hastily departed, approximately 50 pieces of athletic clothing and sports team apparel were found stained with blood, making the merchandise unfit to sell.
When questioned, Atkins reportedly argued that she shouldn’t be charged with vandalism, as it was a tag from Hibbett Sports that cut her and caused the bleeding. However, a box cutter was allegedly located in her purse, and police believed that she injured herself while trying to cut anti-theft devices from merchandise.

Atkins was arrested and transported to the Kingsport city jail on a charge of vandalism of more than $1,000. Police told store personnel how to seek a criminal summons against Atkins for shoplifting.
Time News

2 men indicted on murder charges in killing of witness

JACKSONVILLE Fla Dec 17 2017 The grand jury also returned first-degree murder charges for two men accused in the killing of a witness that was ordered from jail.
The State Attorney's Office said public documents show Hercules Bowers and Aaron Gregory were "instrumental" in the 2016 shooting death of 62-year-old Michael Wright, a security guard who was scheduled to testify against Quintae Hudson.
Hudson, who was already behind bars awaiting trial on an aggravated assault charge, ordered the hit on Wright after Wright saw Hudson throw a concrete block into a car with a family inside, prosecutors said.
While in jail, Hudson -- a high-ranking member of the NeighborHood Bloods Rollin 20s gang -- had phone conversations with Bowers in which he asked that Wright be killed so he could not testify, prosecutors said.
Bowers, the regional leader of the gang, facilitated the killing that was executed by Gregory, a member who then received a promotion in the gang, according to prosecutors.
Hudson was previously indicted, convicted of ordering the murder of the witness and sentenced to life in prison.
In addition to first-degree murder, Bowers is also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder (with gang enhancements).
Gregory is also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder (with gang enhancements) and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

“A known criminal gang orchestrated the murder of a witness poised to testify against one of their own,” Nelson about the indictments of Bowers and Gregory. “Their actions are an affront to the justice system itself.”

Supreme Court Rules: Fights at school can disturb the peace of security officers who intervene

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LINCOLN NE Dec 17 2017 — Sief Mahagoub breaks up his share of fights as a school security officer.
But one violent struggle a year ago between two girls at Lincoln Southeast High School stood out. It involved roughly three minutes of screaming, punches and hair-pulling. It was “very intense and very difficult to stop,” he later told authorities.
That’s saying something for a former military police officer who served three tours of duty in Iraq.
A prosecutor later named Mahagoub the victim in a disturbing-the-peace charge against the 17-year-old instigator of the fight.
The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday ruled such a charge was appropriate, even though quelling fights comes with the job for a school security officer.
The Lancaster County Public Defender’s Office appealed the charge against the girl, arguing that school security officers do not have an expectation of “peace and tranquility because of their training and duties.”
The appeal cited past rulings that said directing “fighting words” toward police officers doesn’t disturb their peace. The public defenders argued that police frequently hear offensive language and have been trained to defuse such situations without retaliating.
Connor Reuter with the Lincoln City Attorney’s Office, however, offered three other decisions from Nebraska courts that said police are entitled to protection under disturbing-the-peace laws. In those cases, the courts upheld convictions in which officers were called derogatory names or confronted by angry, threatening people.
Supreme Court Judge Jeff Funke, writing for a unanimous court, said disturbing-the-peace statutes clearly apply to the police.
“Assuming, without deciding, that ... a school security officer and campus supervisor is equivalent to a police officer for purposes of Lincoln’s disturbing-the-peace ordinance, we hold that a school security officer or campus supervisor may be a victim of disturbing the peace,” the judge wrote in the opinion.
In addition, the court found that the fighting student’s actions, although directed at the other student, also “threw Mahagoub’s peace and quiet into disorder, confusion, interruption, or an unsettled state.”
Assistant Public Defender Brittani Lewit said she was disappointed with the outcome. No violence was directed at the school security officer, who got in the midst of the fight because that was his job, she said.
City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick said the fight in a school hallway clearly disturbed the peace of other students and teachers who witnessed it. In part, the prosecutor named the security officer as the victim because it was a more efficient way of prosecuting the offense compared with listing students and teachers.

The court’s ruling says filing a disturbing-the-peace charge should be based on the circumstances of the case, not on a person’s profession, Kirkpatrick said.

“We view it as a more objective standard,” he said. 

Security guards hold protest at Advanced Cancer Institute, demand 3-month pay

Security guards hold protest at Advanced Cancer Institute, demand 3-month pay

India Dec 17 2017 Security guards working at the Advanced Cancer Institute today staged a protest on the premises of the institute, seeking the release of their salary of the past three months.
They said a Mohali-based company had not paid their salary for the last three months. Besides, whenever they raised their voice they were threatened with termination of services.
Harpal Singh, a guard, said, “Earlier, there were nine security guards, of which four have been terminated by the company.”
He said the field officer of the company had threatened them that they would be terminated by the company if they held a protest.
Harpal Singh said since he had not been paid salary for the past three months, he was finding it hard to make ends meet.
“I travel from Talwandi Sabo and spend Rs 60 on travel every day. Earlier, we were fearful of raising our voice against the company, but it’s been three months now and we are left with no option,” he said.
Kamaljeet Singh said, “We would intensify our stir. The institute authorities should talk to the company regarding our salary or else we would not continue with our services anymore.”
Institute Director MK Mahajan said, “We are not associated with the company at all. We just forward their attendance to the Faridkot medical college. It’s between the Faridkot college administration and the company.”

He said keeping in view the financial crunch that the guards were going through, they requested the college administration to pay their salaries. After taking approval from the company, the registrar paid their two months’ salary.

Florida Best Buy security officer stymies stroller shoplifter

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Davie FL Dec 17 2017 There was no baby in the stroller. It was instead filled with stolen wares.
Surveillance video recorded Monday at a Best Buy in Davie shows one of two alleged shoplifters bulldozing her way past a security officer as he tried to prevent her from leaving the store at 2200 S. University Drive.
But first, the video captured images of two women as they gathered merchandise and concealed it beneath a blanket in the stroller.
When an alert security guard stopped one of the women at the front door and lifted the blanket to reveal the stolen goods she tried to grab the goods and shove her way out the door.
She was unable to hold onto the purloined merchandise but did manage to get past the guard.
One of the women made it into an awaiting getaway car, which crashed into several vehicles in the parking lot before taking off.
Sheeronnye Pendergrass, 28, of Lauderdale Lakes was apprehended in the parking lot, said Sgt. Mark Leone, of the Davie Police Department.
Marcelous Thomas, 27, of Lauderdale Lakes, and Donald Carter, 28, of Lauderhill — the alleged getaway driver — were nabbed after they sped away and crashed into a sign in a nearby neighborhood, Leone said.

The trio faces charges including theft, resisting, fleeing and reckless driving, among others.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Armored vehicle robbed by armed gunmen outside of Bank of America in Beltsville

BELTSVILLE, Md. Dec 16 2017- An armored vehicle was robbed at gunpoint at a bank Friday morning in Prince George’s County.
The armed robbery happened at around 10:30 a.m. outside of the Bank of America on Baltimore Avenue in Beltsville.
Prince George's County police say the Dunbar armored truck with three guards on duty pulled up to the bank. Two of the guards got out of the vehicle and were standing at an ATM with the door open preparing to load cash into the machine when a maroon van pulled up at the bank.
Two masked suspects approached the armored truck and announced a robbery, police say. The driver of the armored vehicle immediately set off an alarm as well as the tellers inside the bank.
The suspects stole more than $200,000 from the guards and then fled in the van, which was then driven down the street onto the grass next to a mortgage office. The suspects left that vehicle behind and got into a getaway car parked in the area.
Police say no shots were fired during the robbery and there was no one injured.

The Silent Crisis of Police Officer Suicide

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Boston Mass Dec 16 2017 More police officers are dying by suicide in this country than in the line of duty. They are the ones who see the most traumatic of events every day, put up the yellow tape and protect us. But while they are protecting us, who is protecting them?
In 2016, 138 officers died by suicide across the country.
One of them was a long-time sheriff’s deputy. Widow Heidi Harper wants to spread the word on a crisis that could impact every officer in the country, so she shared the 12 minute 911 call she made in October 2016.
"I need a deputy to come to my house. My husband has committed suicide," she told the dispatcher.
Harper had just returned home from EMT training. It was a Thursday night, Oct. 20, 2016, and her four children were sleeping upstairs.
The 911 call is emotional, which is why she shared it. She wanted people to comprehend the anguish of walking into what she did.
"He’s sitting in the garage. I can’t touch him. I’m so sorry. I can’t go in there. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. He doesn’t have a pulse," she told the dispatcher.
The dispatcher asked his name.
"His name is Jesse," she replied softer.
Jesse Peterson
Jesse Peterson was a husband and a father. His widow talked one on one with NBC Boston Investigator Karen Hensel less than a year after his death where she explains, "He ended his life in our garage while our four children slept inside the house."
He was a sheriff's deputy for 17 years. Harper says,
"At the service, there were a lot of deputies that went up to my children and would get down on their knees and tell my kids, 'I know your daddy’s gone, but you still have a dad in all of us here at the sheriff’s office,'" Harper said. "After the casket was closed, they were gone."
In one year, there was not one phone call nor one letter to her or her children.
"It’s their own uncomfortableness they know very well it could be them. By the grace of God, their doorsteps haven’t been darkened by this, this hell. They don’t know what to say," she said.
Heidi Harper is not alone. She was among five widows who shared their stories at a national conference on cop suicide in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Janice McCarthy’s husband Paul was a Massachusetts state trooper who committed suicide after years on the job.

"I’m here because I’m angry. I’m really angry. I’m angry the policies and the lack of policies that were in place when Paul died. I’m angry about the day they handed me his wallet and his badge in a ripped paper bag," McCarthy said.
Suicide is not considered a line of duty death, leaving most of the families left behind cut off immediately from pensions, death benefits, life and health insurance. Each of the five widows went down the line detailing what happened to them.
McCarthy said Massachusetts State Police "immediately cut off my health insurance."
"I lost my health insurance with four-month-old twins," April Scherzer said.
Harper lost her health insurance with four children within 10 days.
The solution is coming in the power of one person who is efforting change.
Karen Solomon is the wife of a current Worcester police officer and the co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P.
"After hearing one story from a widow, I just decided we need to do something," she said. "Somebody said here my partner had a heart attack and that was caused by the job. Well, that’s a line of duty death right? So why isn’t the trauma to your mind?"
Her non-profit tracks officer suicides. Ninety-three have committed suicide nationwide so far this year, with eight of them in Massachusetts.
However, the Blue H.E.L.P. website is filled with picture-less profiles. No names or faces, just the date of death.
Solomon only posts the pictures or other details if the families agree. However, the stigma of suicide haunts families and the lost loved one.
"It’s the stigma, the shame they feel is attached to it. It’s the fact they’ve been shunned by their friends, family the departments because of suicide," Solomon said.
Police officers spend their careers putting up the yellow tape, shielding us from what they see, but decades of what they see, eventually can become the price they pay.
"Recently an officer reached out for help and needed some psychological help. His department fired him. There’s another officer on that department right now who is also suicidal, we’ve been getting him help and he won’t tell his department because he doesn’t want to lose his job," Solomon said.
While they are protecting us, who is protecting them?
One officer in the audience of the conference told the group he tried twice to commit suicide.
"I now imagine my wife sitting where you are," he told the panel of five widows.

There is a police officer suicide just over every two days in this country. Their names are not added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. because they are not deemed line-of-duty deaths.
As old-school cops and chiefs retire, so does the attitude that mental health and PTSD from years on the job are not real.

The culture is changing, and Massachusetts is taking the lead. Mass COP, the union representing 4,300 police officers in Massachusetts, has the first-in-the-nation statewide peer support program, where police officers can take a confidential, anonymous self-check quiz and then get help from a peer support officer.

2 Desert Hot Springs men arrested on suspicion of stealing purses in Palm Desert

Shyheed Boyd, 18, of Desert Hot Springs, was booked636487031799726719-pds17-1211-grant-ewing.jpg

Palm Desert CA Dec 16 2017 Police arrested two Desert Hot Springs men on Monday in Palm Desert on suspicion of stealing purses.
Grant Ewing, 23, of Desert Hot Springs, and Shyheed Boyd, 18, of Desert Hot Springs, were booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy. Police said Ewing was on active parole for another burglary and placed him on a parole hold.
Police responded within the 73000 block of El Paseo in Palm Desert after victims reported that their purses were stolen while they were sitting in an outside patio area. A security guard for a neighboring business saw the theft, chased the suspects and obtained descriptions for the suspects and vehicle.
Minutes later, police spotted the suspects near Magnesia Falls and Portola Avenue in Palm Desert. Police stopped the vehicle and detained two males who matched the descriptions.

Police later positively connected each man to the thefts. Authorities said the stolen property was recovered and returned.

Two People Arrested for Robbery, Pulling Knife on Target Security Officer

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Pasadena CA Dec 16 2017 Pasadena police officers were dispatched to assist security officers with an armed shoplifter Wednesday.
When police arrived, officers arrested two suspects who pulled a knife on a security officer while attempting to shoplift an item from the Target store located at 777 E. Colorado Blvd at 5:40 p.m. on Wednesday.
Lt. Pete Hettema of the Pasadena Police Department said the incident which started as a shoplifting of merchandise turned into an armed robbery when the subjects pulled a knife on the security agent.
Bots suspects were detained and are Los Angeles residents.
One is a 37-year-old male the other is a female, age 27.

The suspects are currently in custody. No injuries were reported.
Police did not release their names.

Passaic County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Commits Suicide


Passaic County NJ Dec 16 2017 A Passaic County Sheriff’s Office Correction Officer died Tuesday in an apparent suicide at Garret Mountain Reservation, authorities said. He was 49.
Lt. Timothy Carpenter of West Milford was found inside his car in the wooded area of Garret Mountain Reservation in Woodland Park at 6 p.m., the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement. Carpenter died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
Carpenter worked at the sheriff's office for more than 15 years. According to an October 2005 story in The Record, he previously worked as the supervisor for the Passaic County Sheriff's Labor Assistance Program.
Law enforcement agencies in North Jersey have offered their condolences.

"Our thoughts and prayers are going out to Lieutenant Tim Carpenter, his family along with members of the Passaic County Sheriff's Office during this difficult time," the North Bergen Police Department posted on Facebook. "Rest easy sir and hope you find peace." 

Naked man arrested after running amok in highway traffic near Dulles Airport

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Fairfax County VA Dec 16 2017 A man was arrested in Virginia after getting into a car crash, taking off his clothes and jumping on a vehicle near Dulles International Airport, causing major delays during the Tuesday afternoon rush hour, police said.
Officers arrived about 3:30 p.m. at Route 28 and Frying Pan Road after a naked man was reported running in the area, Fairfax County police said.
An investigation showed that Jose Gonzalez Flores, 32, of Sterling was involved in a crash with two vehicles while traveling south on Route 28, also known as Sully Road, in his pickup truck, police said in a statement Wednesday.
Gonzalez Flores then allegedly assaulted one of the drivers involved in the crash before returning to his truck and throwing items onto the road. Police said he then stripped off his clothing and ran into traffic.
While on the road, Gonzalez Flores jumped onto a passing truck and broke a window before leaving the scene, according to the statement. He was arrested in a drainage ditch on Dulles Airport property with the assistance of officers from the Virginia State Police, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, police said.
Gonzalez Flores was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening. No one else was injured during the disturbance, police said.
After his release from the hospital, police said, Gonzalez Flores will be served with warrants charging him with two counts of felony hit and run, throwing an object at a moving vehicle, destruction of property, assault and battery, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana.

Route 28 was blocked during the incident, and delays stretched for up to three miles, according to authorities.
Washington Post

Woman caught smuggling dozen guns into prison

Brazil Dec 16 2017 A woman was stopped by security guards after trying to enter a prison with 12 pistols strapped to her torso.
Multiple weapons were strapped to the woman's body, concealed under a loose t-shirt in Brazil.
Gun violence has reached epidemic proportions in the country where firearms kill approximately 40,000 people every year.
Last year was the deadliest on record in Brazil, which recorded 61,619 violent deaths according to Brazilian Forum on Public Security 2016 data.
Video filmed at the unnamed prison shows security guards methodically remove each handgun strapped to the woman's torso.
When a guard removes the packaging that contained the guns, the camera pans to the floor where multiple automatic weapons can be seen in sharp relief against the white floor tiles.
Many people start their mornings by checking apps and online groups for warnings of gunfights before choosing their commute to work, while teachers in Rio de Janeiro, a city of about 6.5 million people, frequently have to cancel classes because of gun battles nearby The New York Times reports.

Corruption, an economic slump, plunging oil prices and increasingly organised drugs cartels are fuelling Brazil's escalating gun violence, experts claim.

Walmart LP agents and police team up to nab organized retail theft suspects

Authorities bust alleged professional shoplifting ring

HERMITAGE PA Dec 16 2017 – An alert Hermitage patrolman helped catch members of an alleged professional shoplifting ring wanted in connection with cases on the East Coast and in the Midwest, police said.
Police Chief Eric Jewell said Patrolman John Kudelko and the Hermitage Walmart security team nabbed the crew Monday.
Kudelko heard a call at 2:47 p.m. from Walmart security describing a shoplifting incident that had just happened, Jewell said. Store security said that it was the same crew who allegedly stole 41 home security systems worth $11,000 from the store in September, he said.
Walmart security officers said a man and woman had just left the store in a Lexus and were traveling north on state Route 18, the chief said.
Kudelko, on traffic duty in Clark, spotted the car and pulled it over, Jewell said. Greg A. Lestingi, 47, and Sheena J. Snow, 31, both of Tennessee, were arrested.
Police found an open child-safety seat box in the back seat of the Lexus filled with $1,000 worth of electronic devices that allegedly came from Walmart, Jewell said.
Snow is wanted on a Tennessee parole violation for possession of dangerous drugs. She was arraigned in Farrell district court on charges of giving false identification to law enforcement and being a fugitive from justice.
Lestini and Barry K. Dabney, 50, also of Tennessee, hold previous arrest warrants from Hermitage for the September theft, Jewell said.
The two men got away in September, but Hermitage detectives had enough evidence to identify and charge the pair, Jewell said.
Snow and Lestini will answer to charges in connection with the Monday burglary at the Hermitage store before they are extradited to other states for outstanding warrants.
One of Lestini’s warrants is from Virginia for felony larceny and misdemeanor theft for allegedly pulling a knife on a Walmart loss prevention officer, according to court records.
But Hermitage will have to wait to try Dabney, who is wanted on arrest warrants in several states up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest. He was caught in Tennessee, Jewell said.
“We were told by Tennessee officials that numerous other states are in line before us, so we will have a long wait for him,” the chief said.
Jewell said his officers are just beginning to investigate the case.
After obtaining a search warrant for the Lexus, police also recovered counterfeit identification from it.

“That’s indicative of professional shoplifters,” Jewell said. “They run and run, not concealing their faces. They eventually get caught.”
Although a small amount of marijuana was found in the car, Jewell does not think the thefts were drug-related.
“But based on evidence, we believe it was profit-driven,” he said.
And based on interviews with the suspects, police think the crew is using sales on various online sources to reap those profits.
“They made admissions to their criminal involvement, but we’re still working the case,” Jewell said. “It’s a major case, and I can’t disclose the information. I don’t want to compromise the investigation.”
He did describe common practices of those who engage in professional shoplifting.
“It is not uncommon for professional shoplifters to return to the same store,” Jewell said. “They come to the well several times because they got away with it the first time.”
He said it appeared that the suspects did their research and targeted Walmarts that are close to an interstate highway. A GPS system in the Lexus is being analyzed, Jewell said.

“Retail theft is not a glorious crime, but it plagues the retail industry and the loss gets passed on to the consumers,” Jewell said. “Retail theft impacts every citizen. So it’s serious, and we take it seriously.”

Friday, December 15, 2017

Off-duty security agents honored for action during stabbing at San Francisco International Airport

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SAN FRANCISCO CA Dec 15 2017-- The San Francisco Police Department recognized two off-duty airport employees Tuesday afternoon after they sprang into action to prevent a tragedy.
Valerie Schmitt and Vincent Del Rosario, who work as Covenant security screening agents at San Francisco International Airport, were each presented with a certificate of appreciation for their role in helping to save an officer's life.
"I don't think I'm a hero, I think I just did what I had to do," says Schmitt. "I'll do it again, and I won't think twice about it."
In September, San Francisco police officer Reynaldo Serrano was responding to a report of a suspicious person walking around Terminal 1. Police officials say he attempted to engage with the suspect, Doris Johnston, upon arrival in the baggage claim area, but was then stabbed in the knee with a knife.
Both the suspect and the officer wrestled down to the ground during the exchange. The commotion caught the attention of both Schmitt and Del Rosario, who weren't even on the clock. The two of them rushed in to help subdue the suspect and secure the scene.
"It wasn't a thought in my head that I (was) scared... or anything like that, but it was more like this person is in danger, and I'm going to do my best to help out," says Del Rosario.
SFPD Deputy Chief Denise Schmitt is grateful for the duo's quick-thinking actions.
"He (Serrano) was in a fight for his life that day, and without these two, it could've gone another way," Schmitt said.
Johnston was arrested for attempting to murder a peace officer but has been declared not competent to stand trial.

Serrano is currently recovering from his injuries and hopes to return to full duty in the near future.

TSA provides rare look at weapons abandoned at security checkpoint

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Dec 15 2017- Transportation Security Administration officers have had a busy year stopping passengers from carrying guns on planes in Florida.
Across the state, they’ve  found 479 this year, compared 411 last year. At Palm Beach International Airport, they’ve doubled the amount from last year, totaling 28.
But that’s not all.
They’ve found all sorts of threatening, prohibited items going through security and TSA gave us a rare, exclusive look at some of the items abandoned at PBIA this year.
They set up a table with many of those items in front of checkpoint C at PBIA Wednesday afternoon for us to see.
“Brass knuckles, that (mace) gun, and that hatchet. They’re carrying that and those shoes. I’d say that’s a red flag,” Paul Cannavle, who lives part time in Delray Beach, said. Those shoes were zebra colored heels with a fish habitat inside.
“This is all the stuff you’re not supposed to bring on a plane,” Ari Malul said, talking to his 2.5 year old son Adam. They’re in town visiting Ari’s father.
The table drew a crowd.
“That’s incredible. I would never think of most of this stuff,” said Paul Croatti, who’s visiting from Maine.
A TSA spokesperson said the most common excuse for these items is people just simply didn’t know.
“The education part is what’s really sticking out here, everybody coming by here seeing this stuff,” Croatti said.
“The railroad spike, that I wouldn’t have known. That’s good education for me,” Malul said.
And then there’s just the plain obvious.
“I can’t believe somebody is trying to come in with a hatchet, a row of bullets,” Cannavale said.
“Even fake grenades,” Malul said.
They’ve also found weapons hidden inside an everyday item. Like a key with a blade.
“Somebody could do some harm with something like that, that nobody would think of using,” Croatti said.
As for the shoes, they had too much liquid inside.

“This airport thing that we do that we take for granted can easily be exploited,” Malul said. “(TSA does) a very important job.”
TSA says all those sharp items are given to a contracted, out of state company who then are free to do what they please with them, like sell them.
TSA asks that you first check or mail the prohibited item. Last resort is abandoning it at the security checkpoint.

To find out what items are allowed, visit