Friday, September 22, 2017

Virginia State Police Launches Abbreviated Academy Program


RICHMOND, Virginia Sept 22 2017  -- An acute shortage of Virginia State Police troopers has prompted it to initiate an abbreviated academy program for existing law enforcement officers.
“It’s really gotten to a critical stage probably in the last two to three years,” said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller of the trooper shortage.
Through Aug. 31, Virginia State Police had 237 vacancies and a sworn force of 2,138, according to Geller, which includes troopers, special agents, commercial vehicle enforcement officers and supervisors. She was unable to break down the vacancies by division.
From Jan. 1, 2016, through Aug. 31, 262 sworn personnel have left the department — 157 in 2016 and 105 in 2017, Geller said.
The 2015 Virginia State Police’s Manpower Augmentation Study, based on calls for service and investigation caseloads, calls for an additional 932 sworn personnel in order to provide 24-hour coverage throughout Virginia.
The study showed that in Division V, which covers James City and York counties, much of the Peninsula, south Hampton Roads and Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the state police needs an additional 139 troopers.
The study noted that James City County is authorized to have 11 troopers, but needs 14, while York County is authorized to have 12 troopers, but needs 11.
The abbreviated state police academy program, which will run eight weeks instead of the normal six months, is unprecedented in the department’s 85-year history, Geller said.
Law enforcement officers who are Department of Criminal Justice certified and have at least three years’ experience, are eligible for the accelerated program.
Even with the 2017 General Assembly approving salary increases, Virginia State Police Superintendent Stephen Flaherty said in a news release that many of its field divisions across the state have vacancy rates approaching 50 percent.
“Despite the salary increases provided by the Virginia General Assembly this year, state police continue to struggle to prevent our sworn personnel from leaving for other agencies and then to fill those growing agencies in a timely manner,” Flaherty said.
Trooper starting salaries had been $36,207 before the General Assembly action. The new starting salary is $48,719, except for beginning troopers in Northern Virginia, who make $60,587.
In the 2017 session, the General Assembly approved extra funding to hike the starting salary to make it more competitive.
Also, the General Assembly approved a 3 percent raise across the board for state workers, including troopers, and it also increased compression pay, which provides an increase in salary for existing troopers.

“The pay raises have not sustained, so you’ve got folks who have been with the department for an extended period of time almost making as much, or less than, someone who is starting new,” Geller said.
The previous starting salary, according to Geller, did not allow the state police to compete with localities or with other state police agencies across the country.
Geller said the 30 troopers in the academy set to graduate in October is one of the smallest classes the state police has had in a decade. Typically, she said it graduates 60 to 80 people in an academy class.
“We’re just having a difficult time, as is everybody right now, hiring to fill our vacancies,” Geller said.
Virginia State Police are not only seeing fewer applications, the department is also not getting enough people to meet its standards, Geller said.
But with a multitude of priorities — combating a rise in traffic deaths, investigating drug and violent crimes — Geller said troopers are foregoing vacations and time off to cover for one another.
“We need the people in order to fulfill our whole mission,” Geller said. “A lot of folks think we’re just troopers who work crashes and write tickets.”
Virginia State Police began accepting applications for its new accelerated lateral entry program Sept. 1, with the next academy class to begin in April 2018. Those selected for the program, Geller said, will be hired to a specific vacancy somewhere in Virginia.
A scheduled academy class to begin in October, Geller said, was canceled because ir wasn’t full.
“We’ve still got to fill the vacancies, not only on our uniform side, but our investigative side as well," Geller said.

For information on becoming a Virginia State Police trooper, visit
The Virginia Gazette 

1st Armor security firm emphasizes local hiring, community relations

Private security company 1st Armor Protection Services makes community service central to its approach and, so far, leadership says, it ...

Dorchester MA Sept 22 2017 Private security company 1st Armor Protection Services makes community service central to its policing approach and, so far, that philosophy seems to be working. The minority-owned and operated company reports that in the past four years no shots have been fired on any of the 1,000 or so properties it protects, and there have been only two arrests.
Several members of the firm’s leadership team sat down with the Banner at 1st Armor’s Dorchester-based headquarters, near the Field’s Corner T stop.
1st Armor provides ongoing security patrolling and services to more than 1,000 properties through contracts with roughly a dozen property management companies. Matt Breveleri, operations director, likens the firm’s role to that of university campus police, only in their case, they work on any property that hires them. Under Boston Police Department policy, such private firms have the same legal power to make arrests and function much like police.
Larry Celester, director and co-founder, says that one advantage to hiring 1st Armor is that while a more minor issue such as a residential noise complaint may be lower priority on the BPD’s long list of situations to which it responds, that complaint still matters to residents. Because it focuses only on its properties, 1st Armor can respond quickly. While residential security forms the bulk of the firm’s work, the team also serves commercial clients such as Hen House, McDonalds and Victoria’s Diner. It also provides event security.
While there are other private security companies, its focus on community service sets 1st Armor apart, according to Breveleri and Celester. The business only hires employees who live or grew up in Boston’s neighborhoods, in order to recruit those who understand the communities.
“We police a little differently because we were those kids,” Celester said. “It’s not that these [so-called gang member] kids are criminals or violent — they’re bored. … I was that poor kid in that neighborhood, bored with nothing to do. When security came around, then I had something to do.”
This summer, to keep kids out of trouble, 1st Armor used its 14-seater van to take youth to the beach, while staff continued to hold barbecues and seek out other events for kids to attend, Celester said.
Bringing ice cream or refreshments to community parties, hosting cookouts and helping out locally — for instance, offering to fix an off-kilter air conditioning unit — are critical parts of company strategy, as is getting out of the cruiser and walking or biking the areas, both Celester and Breveleri said.
Security officers need to establish positive relations and not be known locally only as impersonal figures that are there to lay down the law, Breveleri said.
“You can’t just show up and put handcuffs on people and leave, and then come back and expect to be well received,” he said.

While the BPD is a leader in its practice of community relations, especially in districts B2 and B4, Celester said, it lacks the type of resources that 1st Armor can provide.
the Bay State Banner

Washtenaw Community College establishes police force

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ANN ARBOR TOWNSHIP, MI Sept 22 2017 - After nearly two years of debate regarding the role of public safety at Washtenaw Community College, and one final contentious debate on Tuesday, Sept. 19, its Board of Trustees voted to establish a law enforcement agency for the college.
Trustees also approved a resolution that established a public safety advisory committee and granted law enforcement authority to WCC campus resource officers. The motion establishes an agency consisting of four armed on-campus police members was approved by a 5-2 vote, with members Dave DeVarti and Ruth Hatcher dissenting.
After nearly an hour of debate regarding the language of the resolutions and whether WCC needed armed, on-campus police, board members voted to move forward with the process of hiring three campus resource officers, in addition to reactivating WCC's current Chief of Campus Safety Scott Hilden's sworn status through the state of Michigan.
Board of Trustees member Richard Landau said a law enforcement agency is necessary for WCC, which currently is "a soft target" without one.
"Every day that goes by, we are the only higher education institution in this county without this presence," Landau said. "I am terrified if an incident happens and we have not done something as a board. It's been almost two years that we've been discussing this."
DeVarti set the tone for the meeting prior to the vote during general discussion among the trustees when he made an impassioned speech against the establishment of the police force, pointing to the deaths of young black men at the hands of police officers.
A proposal to create an armed campus police force at Washtenaw Community College will move to a vote, despite some urging the board of trustees to scrap or alter the plan.
At the conclusion of his remarks, he put on a black T-shirt with the words "I Can't Breathe," in reference to the words of Eric Garner, who died after a New York City Police Department officer put him in what has been described as a chokehold while arresting him.
Devarti said racially-motivated discrimination among law enforcement is a potential concern for him on campus.
"WCC does not have on-campus residents, we are not a 24/7 institution, we are not located geographically urban environment infested by crime," he said. "It remains to be demonstrated to me that there exists any need for police on our campus."
At one point in the discussion, Landau and DeVarti had a heated exchange with Landau accusing DeVarti of filibustering the issue to avoid voting on the creation of an agency.
"We have due-processed you to death - you have filibustered this issue and put on a T-shirt for goodness sake," Landau said. "This isn't a publicity stunt."
"I'm a grown man, you don't have to patronize me," DeVarti countered, prior to the motion eventually going to vote.

Over the past two years, WCC has looked into better addressing issues of safety on campus at a time when conduct-related cases processed through the Dean of Students have nearly doubled from 112 in 2013 to 232 in 2016. These cases can include everything from claims of harassment and stalking to larceny.
Since arriving at WCC in November 2016, Hilden analyzed security practices at peer institutions and gathered input from around 400 faculty members, staff and students, ultimately recommending the college revamp its current Campus Safety Department to include four additional campus resource officers.
WCC currently spends around $1.5 million to employ 27 full and part-time security staff members, which includes clerical and support personnel in addition to officers who provide "customer service" on campus, including assisting motorists and helping out in the event of minor car accidents.
Washtenaw Community College is moving forward with plans to implement a school resource officer model, in which the college would recruit, hire and manage a staff of professional, full-time sworn school resource officers.
Under the new law enforcement agency, the college will recruit, hire and manage the staff of professional, full-time sworn school resource officers who would patrol campus from around 7 or 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
"It's all about public safety and ensuring that this campus is an environment that our students can focus on their education and not have to worry about anything else," said Hilden, a 25-year veteran of the Canton Police Department, who has first-hand experience as a school resource officer.
"Probably one of the most important things is going to be hiring people with the qualities and characteristics that will work well in a school environment," he added. "People with diverse backgrounds, life experiences, being able to treat people fairly and equally and bringing in the highest quality people we can possibly get (will be important)."
Hilden will now begin an extensive recruiting and vetting process that could take up to nine months.
WCC, which had previously considered contracting with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department and private security agencies, set aside $330,000 in the 2016-17 budget year to hire two sheriff's deputies to contract as resource officers with the school. Instead, the school hopes to train its own officers with the same funds.
Hilden said WCC must now work with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards before hiring its first sworn-in law enforcement officers.
Unlike its current security patrol officers, who have no authority to deal with threats of violence, weapons or criminal matters, hired campus resource officers would be certified law enforcement officers under the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, meaning their authority would be identical to an officer working for a city or county police agency. They also would be able to carry a weapon on campus.
Hatcher was concerned about the language of the board's policy to create the agency.

"It's very, very important that these (officers) do develop a relationship with the people on our campus," she said. "That they know our students and faculty. I don't want a young, black faculty member, like my son to be accosted like he was by security here - because he was here, he was young, and he was black, and, 'What the hell are you doing here?' And it wasn't polite, and I don't want that to happen again. So I want to know what those procedures are."
Other members of the board the establishment of a police force as a means of safeguarding the campus in the event of an emergency and were supportive of its creation.
According Hilden, having trained campus resource officers on campus could reduce response time during an emergency from 9 to 15 minutes to significantly less, because officers will be thoroughly familiar with all the buildings and locations on campus.
"There is plenty of talent out there and there's the ability to select the people that have the right skills and the right sensitivity. There will be no oppression, abuse or people singled out," board member Bill Milliken Jr. said, noting that language of the policy states there will be training on diversity for officers ranging from the autism spectrum to implicit bias.

Prior to passing the resolution to create the agency Tuesday, the WCC board held two public hearings on the matter on April 25 and May 23.

Two Tennessee State University students kidnapped Classmate

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NASHVILLE, TN Sept 22 2017 — Two Tennessee State University students forced another into a car at gunpoint and then drove him to Centennial Park where he was beaten brutally, according to police.
Around 12:30 Tuesday morning, Ar'Mon Hickson and Robert Crisp, both 19, forced another student into Hickson's grey Mazda at gunpoint, according to a police report. Crisp remained on campus while Hickson drove the victim to Centennial Park. Once there, Hickson and a second group in another car allegedly assaulted the victim.
Afterward, the victim was left at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was treated for serious facial injuries. He told investigators his clothes, cell phone and student ID were in the trunk of Hickson's car.
Around 10 p.m. Tuesday, police saw Hickson and Crisp walking towards the grey Mazda. In the trunk: clothes, a cell phone and ID as the victim described, investigators say. Officers also discovered a handgun which had been reported stolen out of Alabama.
Hickson is charged with aggravated kidnapping, theft of property and carrying a weapon on school property.

Crisp faces resisting arrest and aggravated kidnapping charges. Investigators are still searching for the people in the second car at the park.

Man charged with using car to assault two Wake Forest University police officers

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Wake Forest NC Sept 22 2017 A 28-year-old man is accused of using his car to assault two Wake Forest University police officers while they were conducting an investigation on campus Tuesday, Winston-Salem Police said in a news release.
Thomas Gillespie Eshelman III, of 202 Wake Drive, is charged with of two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon on campus police, misdemeanor assault on a government employee, hit and run and aggressive driving.
Winston Salem police became involved when they were called about 4:15 p.m. to a vehicle crash involving a green Honda passenger car and a Dodge minivan at the intersection of Polo and Reynolda roads. The driver of the Honda fled on foot before officers got there, the news release says.
Upon arriving, city officers heard from Wake Forest police that one of the vehicles in the crash matched the description of a car that had just been used as a weapon against two campus officers. No details were available about the initial investigation at Wake Forest.
City and campus officers collaborated to determine that Eshelman was the driver of the green Honda that assaulted the officers and the driver of the car in the crash, according to the news release.
Officers learned that Eshelman was at his residence, which is near the crash site. They attempted to make contact with him, but he refused to comply with officers’ instructions, or otherwise communicate with the officers, the news release says.
Members of the Winston Salem Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team who were on duty at the time responded to the residence and took Eshelman into custody without incident. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the vehicle crash.

The two passengers in the Dodge mini-van were treated on the scene for minor injuries.
No Wake Forest campus police officers required medical treatment.
This investigation is ongoing. A bond for the charges against Eshelman had not yet been established.
Anyone with information regarding the vehicle crash at the intersection is asked to contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at 336-773-7700.
Anyone with information regarding the incident that took place on the Wake Forest campus should contact the Wake Forest Campus Police Department at 336-758-5591.

Altoona security officer helps police capture burglar

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Altoona PA Sept 22 2017 Douglas J. McMullen, 39, was arrested early Tuesday after a security guard monitoring the former Bon Secours hospital building, where construction is now underway on the Graystone Grand Villas apartments, called Altoona police.
According to police, it was 2:27 a.m. when Altoona police were dispatched to the site, located on the 2500 block of Seventh Avenue, and found McMullen running from the building.
Police said McMullen ran across Seventh Avenue and was stopped by an officer.
He allegedly thrashed around in an attempt to get onto his feet. McMullen continued to struggle, even after another officer arrived to assist. McMullen was ultimately handcuffed with the help of two additional officers.
Police said McMullen got into the building through a crack in the wall and had stolen 400 pounds of copper wire. He was in the process of taking another 400 pounds of wire when police arrived and he ran.
McMullen was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges of burglary and criminal trespass along with misdemeanor counts of theft and resisting arrest. McMullen was jailed in lieu of $30,000 cash bail.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Sept. 27 at Central Court.
Altoona Mirror

Man charged with robbing Lititz Target, threatening employee at knife-point

Clinton Young III

Lititz PA Sept 22 2017 A Gap man is accused of robbing a Lititz department store and threatening a store employee at knifepoint last week.
Clinton L. Young III, 26, of 838 Circle Dr Apt. 1, is charged with felony robbery, as well as misdemeanor terroristic threats and retail theft for a Sept. 7 incident at Target, 960 Lititz Pike, Lititz.
Young was arraigned Friday morning and is held at Lancaster County Prison on $750,000 bail, court records show.
Store employees noticed Young attempting to remove $59.98 worth of merchandise from the store and confronted him around 8:45 p.m., according to police reports.
When Young tried to run, a store employee grabbed him. Young then pulled a large knife from his pocket and told the employee "I'll (expletive) stab you" according to police reports.
He then fled the scene in a dark-colored Kia Soul, police said.
Police dispersed security photos of the then unidentified man following the incident, asking for the public's help in identifying him.
Charges were filed Wednesday.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 25 before District Judge Edward Tobin.

Jersey City Police Officer Admits Bribery Conspiracy Involving Off-Duty Work Assignments

NEWARK, N.J. Sept 22 2017 – A Jersey City, New Jersey, police officer today admitted paying bribes in order to obtain compensation for off-duty work he did not perform, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Michael O’Leary, 35, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Private contractors and utility companies sometimes needed the services of off-duty Jersey City police officers for certain projects, including work in Jersey City that could obstruct the flow of traffic. O’Leary was an officer who was eligible to perform off-duty work.
From November 2013 through April 2016, O’Leary engaged in a conspiracy in which he made bribe payments to another Jersey City officer who was authorized to assign off-duty work, in exchange for that officer’s official assistance in submitting phony vouchers to Jersey City indicating that O’Leary had completed certain off-duty assignments. As a result, O’Leary was compensated for work he never performed.
O’Leary faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Pursuant to the plea agreement, he must also forfeit $39,587 he made as part of the conspiracy. Sentencing is set for Jan. 3, 2018.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy A. Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation. 
The Jersey City Police Department is cooperating with the investigation.  
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: John Lynch Esq., Union City, New Jersey

Thursday, September 21, 2017

LODD: Trooper Timothy O'Neill

Trooper Timothy O'Neill | Michigan State Police, Michigan

Trooper Timothy O'Neill
Michigan State Police, Michigan

End of Watch: Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Bio & Incident Details
Age: 28
Tour: 3 years, 8 months
Cause: Motorcycle crash

Trooper Timothy O'Neill was killed in a motorcycle crash, in Plainfield Township, at approximately 7:45 am.
He was riding his department motorcycle when he was involved in the crash near the intersection of Wolverine Boulevard NE and Belding Road NE.
Trooper O'Neill had served with the Michigan State Police for three years. He is survived by his mother, father, brother, sister and fiancée.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue
Michigan State Police
333 S Grand Avenue
PO Box 30634
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 332-2521

Community rallies around security guard shot during Casino Queen robbery

NEW ATHENS, IL Sept 21 2017– Three gunmen remain at large after robbing the Casino Queen and shooting a casino security guard in East St. Louis early Sunday morning. News of the shooting is hitting one town especially hard.
It turns out the security guard wears many hats:  a lot of very important hats.
With him being a crime victim and the gunmen still at large, Fox 2 and News 11 are not releasing his name.
Still, people in his hometown want two things known:  they're praying for his recovery and they want the suspects caught.
The guard is as a pillar of the community in New Athens, Illinois, about 30 miles from the casino.
He’s a long-time firefighter, paramedic, and village leader.
“He knows everybody.  Everybody likes him,” said Village Trustee, Ron Hampton.  “We had a meeting last night.  We had a prayer.”
News of the heist is tough to take.  The wounded guard is as much the “heart and soul” of town as a person can be.  Police say surveillance photos of the suspects have generated several leads.
There’s hope in New Athens that the photos, the CrimeStoppers reward (currently at $1,000), and people knowing more about the man who ended up taking a bullet, will lead to people coming forward with information to keep the suspects from getting away with such a terrifying crime.
“He’s just an all-around good guy…his time means nothing to him.  He’s a “doer”,” Hampton said of the guard.
The guard has had a couple of surgeries.
He remained hospitalized in serious condition, Tuesday, the fire chief said.
There is a GoFundMe page to help his family with expenses.
Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.  You may get a reward and you don't have to leave your name to get it.

Robot security guard maker Knightscope shows off new multi-terrain model

California Sept 21 2017 Silicon Valley firm Knightscope is best known for its K5 security robot: an ovoid tower on wheels that — when it’s not knocking over toddlers or falling into fountains — patrols a few dozen of California’s parking lots and malls. But the company is now introducing two new model to its line-up: the K1 stationary bot and the K7 buggy, pictured above.
Knightscope has been teasing the K7 for a while now, but showed it off in person at a press event this week. The K7 is five feet high and nearly ten feet long, and is designed to patrol grass, gravel, sand, and other tricky terrain. It’s speed is currently limited to 3 mph, but it can go much faster.
Like the K5, it navigates autonomously and has a suite of sensors and cameras that relay audio and video back to a human supervisor. The K1, meanwhile, doesn’t move, but uses millimeter-wave technology to scan for concealed weapons and other metal items. Knightscope says it could be used at hospitals and airports, and is more convenient than a scanner you have to walk through.
Speaking to The Register, Knightscope CEO William Santana Li said you could think of the company as a “very weird data center.” Thats because its core business, essentially, is managing data inputs from its robots. “The only difference is our servers are outside and they're moving," said Li.
Knightscope hires out its bots to companies for around $7 an hour (although the price for the new K7 is not yet known). That’s half the cost of a human security guard, but Knightscope’s bots offer a pretty limited service by comparison.

They can patrol, detect intruders, and scan license plates, but can’t apprehend someone, and nor can customers program the bots themselves. They’re more like advanced, mobile CCTV cameras, with their technologically-impressive presence acting as an extra deterrent. Just a shame none of the new robots float.

Body not found for 8 months in Kansas City airport parking lot

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Kansas City, MO Sept 21 2017 The body of a man who police believed killed himself sat in his pickup truck in a Kansas City International Airport parking lot for eight months before being discovered and his family wants to know why it wasn't noticed sooner.
The body of 53-year-old Randy Potter was found last week after someone reported a bad smell coming from the truck, The Kansas City Star reports. Police said the man from suburban Lenexa, Kansas, appeared to have died by suicide, but provided no details.
His parking pass is dated Jan. 17, the day he disappeared. The truck's windows are tinted, but are light enough to allow anyone to see inside. When an airport police officer found the body, it was covered up by a blanket, according to a police report.
"No one should go through what we went through," said Potter's wife, Carolina. "We should not have gone through eight months agonizing, speculating."
Potter's truck had been listed in the missing person flyers circulated by Lenexa police. The family had visited the airport early on. They said airport police and parking workers assured them that if Potter's vehicle was there, it would be found.
Kansas City spokesman Chris Hernandez said city officials were gathering facts to determine how Potter's body remained in the lot as long as it did. The economy lot where Potter's body was found is one of three lots situated about 2 ½ miles north of the airport terminals. Shuttles carry travelers from the lot to the terminals.
There is no limit to how long vehicles can be parked in the lot, said Joe McBride, a spokesman for the Kansas City Aviation Department. Owners of vehicles parked for long time periods may receive letters and their vehicles are eventually towed, McBride said.

McBride said many of the details of managing the airport's 25,000 parking spaces are in the hands of the private firm SP+, which also contracts with more than 50 other airports, including O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Washington Dulles Airport in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., and Miami International Airport. A spokeswoman for SP+ said Monday she was gathering information about the parking operations at KCI.

Man accused of trying to grab hospital security officer's gun

Charles Mudd (Source: Nycea Patterson, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY Sept 21 2017 A man caused anxious moments inside the emergency department of a hospital when he attempted to disarm a security officer.
An arrest report says a Louisville Metro police homicide detective was at University of Louisville Hospital on the afternoon of Sept. 17 when he saw Charles Mudd, 26, of Louisville, lunge at a security officer and try to get his gun.
Although Mudd was restrained by hospital staff, he continued to struggle to reach the gun.
Mudd was charged with one count each of attempting to disarm a police officer, wanton endangerment, and resisting arrest.

During his arraignment this morning, Mudd was ordered held on a  $20,000 cash bond and appointed a public defender.

Tobey Hospital security officer charged with attempted murder

MARION MA Sept 21 2017  — A longtime security officer at Tobey Hospital has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly fired a gun at a woman and child Sept. 18 and led police on a car chase.
Joseph Singleton, 35, of Marion, shot at a woman from his car as she was driving on Route 6 near Gifford’s Corner Road following a domestic disturbance, according to police reports. He was arraigned on Sept. 19 in Wareham District Court and held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. That hearing is scheduled for Sept. 22.
The woman said she believed the gun was fired four or five times and police found two bullet holes in the trunk of her car.
A 5-year-old child was in the woman’s car and the shooting was related to a domestic violence incident. Both were uninjured.
As he attempted to flee from police, Singleton lost control of his car on I-195’s westbound on-ramp and crashed into several trees.
Singleton was taken into custody at around 7 p.m. A 9mm handgun was located inside his car, which he was properly licensed to carry. No shots were fired by police during the incident.
Singleton has worked for Southcoast Health for the past 15 years and is a former Wareham Animal Control officer who worked part time for the department from 2005 to 2013. Southcoast Health is currently working with the police to gather further details on the incident, said Peter Cohenno, spokesman for Southcoast Health.
“While we do not comment publicly on individual personnel matters, in this case, we can share that the individual involved is not scheduled to work and there are no safety concerns at Tobey Hospital,” Cohenno said.
Assistance was provided by Mattapoisett Police, Rochester Police, Wareham Police, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Marion Fire/EMS.

In addition to attempted murder, Singleton was charged with threat to commit a crime, discharging a firearm near a highway, resisting arrest as well as other assault, firearm and motor vehicle charges.
Wareham Week

Newburyport courthouse officer dies suddenly

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Newburyport MA Sept 21 2017
The typical ebb and flow inside the Newburyport courthouse Tuesday morning was shattered as word filtered throughout the building that a longtime court officer had died unexpectedly hours earlier.
Rachel Hassett, 41, of Bradford worked as a Haverhill District Court officer for 12 years and had checked herself into a Methuen hospital complaining of headaches the night before, according to head court officer Michele Gaeta. Hassett died at the hospital.
Haverhill District Court moved to the Newburyport building earlier this year as renovations are done to the Haverhill building.
"Everyone is in a state of shock because it happened so quickly and she was so young and full of life," Gaeta said, soon after a moment of silence was observed inside Haverhill District Court.
As word circulated around the courthouse regarding Hassett's death, the decision was made to delay the start of sessions and honor her life. Tears fell as court officers, probation officers, assistant district attorneys, defense lawyers and anyone who had worked with Hassett entered Courtroom 2 for the brief ceremony.
Before the moment of silence, Haverhill District Court Judge Stephen Abany informed the overflowing crowd inside the courtroom of Hassett's death. Standing next to Abany were fellow judges Peter Doyle, Patricia Dowling and Mary McCabe.
Abany said the court had "suffered a great loss" and added that her death was like losing a family member.
"You see their lives unfold," Abany said.
There were many hugs afterward and more tears once Abany concluded his remarks and people bowed their heads in silence.
Gaeta said Hassett loved animals, having volunteered at an area shelter, and she cared for two dogs and cats of her own at home. Hassett started her career as a blue-shirted security guard at Lawrence District Court before her promotion to a white-shirted court officer in Newburyport. She then transferred to Haverhill District Court, where she worked for more than a decade.
"She loved her job," Gaeta said.

In addition to her love of animals, Hassett was an avid runner, having competed in a 5K road race in Haverhill just last weekend, Gaeta said.

Three men arrested for June armored truck robbery

COLUMBUS Sept 21 2017 Columbus police have arrested three men who are accused of robbing an armored truck in June.
According to police, Jesse McLaughlin, Frank Hundley and James Jenkins robbed a Brinks armored truck outside a Chase Bank at 2475 South Hamilton Road on June 17.
At the time of the robbery, police said a car pulled up to the truck as it was making a service call at the bank. Two men displayed firearms and fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

All three suspects are facing aggravated robbery charges.

Woman arrested for alleged attack on concert security guard

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Mountain View CA Sept 21 2017 A San Jose woman was arrested Saturday after she allegedly punched a security officer during the Florida Georgia Line concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre, according to police.
Concert security staff told police that the attack occurred around 8:30 p.m. within the medical area of the venue, and that the woman allegedly hit one of the security guards in the face unprovoked, according to police spokeswoman Katie Nelson.
The victim, who had a swollen eye, said he was attempting to help the woman, later identified as 33-year-old Jennifer Gagliardo, because she appeared to be in distress. Officers say Gagliardo appeared to be heavily intoxicated, and was "aggressive" with Mountain View police as well, yelling at officers and refusing to sit down, Nelson said.

Gagliardo was arrested on battery and public intoxication charges and was booked into Santa Clara County jail. A man who was accompanying Gagliardo at the concert also appeared to be heavily intoxicated, and was arrested for public intoxication, Nelson said.

Inmates break out of jail to burglarize business before sneaking back in to jail

Source: WLBT

LEXINGTON, MS Sept 21 2017
A bizarre crime occurred in Holmes County.
Four inmates have been accused of breaking out of the Holmes-Humphreys County Correctional Facility, burglarizing a business, then sneaking back in to jail.
Levontaye Ellington, Travis Baker, and Maurice Robertson let it be known they were not happy to see our cameras Tuesday.
Lexington police say the three inmates and Jacquiez Williams escaped their cell, jumped the fence of the jail and walked less than a mile to a Dollar General.
Police say surveillance video from that night shows they broke in after hours to steal any and everything they could get their hands on.
“They stole cigarettes, cigarette lighters, phones and just items they felt they could sell in jail,” said Police Chief Robert Kirklin.
After grabbing the items in the store, the chief says instead of making a run for it, the men snuck back in jail unnoticed.
Jaquiez Williams even bonded out for another charge.
“You already in jail, but you want to break out and break back in?" said the Chief. "That is just something. I heard it all.”
The inmates denied being involved in the break-in as they walked to their initial appearance at the Lexington Police station Tuesday.
“Hell No,” hollered the inmates.
The chief says the surveillance video tells a different story.
In fact, he says the footage was key in helping identify the thieves.
“Just looking at the type of clothing they had on and just one of the bags they had put some of the merchandise in,” added Chief Kirklin.
Holmes County Sheriff Willie March confirmed the escape happened and said his team is now working to better secure the faculty and beef up security to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Some of the items stolen were recovered and the four inmates are all being charged with commercial burglary.
“Crimes don't pay,” said Kirklin.
Mississippi News Now

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Three Security Officers Die in Separate Incidents

Charlotte NC. Sept 20 2017 A western Illinois security officer has died just hours after struggling with a man who police say was breaking into a car.
The man fled the apartment complex and shortly afterwards the guard began having trouble breathing and called 911.
Police say the security guard was 59 and the man breaking into the car could face charges in his death.
Another security officer who was also a reserve officer with the Gary Police Department was found dead inside his vehicle Sunday night in northwest Indiana while on duty.
Willie Smith Jr., 30, was found unresponsive in his personal vehicle in the 100 block of North Clark Road, according to Gary Police Lt. Dawn Westerfield and the Lake County coroner’s office.
He was pronounced dead at 9:09 p.m., according to the coroner’s office.
Smith was a reserve officer with the department, but was not working a police assignment when he died, Westerfield said. He was working a security detail for a business in the area.
There were no signs of trauma and no foul play is suspected, Westerfield said.
A New York City security officer also lost his life as the bus that he was riding struck a charter bus in Queens killing him and two other riders and injured 15 other passengars.
55-year-old Gregory Liljefors had just left work and commuting home when the accident occurred.

Mentally ill Bronx man killed by police Taser ignites wrongful death lawsuit against cop and NYPD

Ariel Galarza was killed after a police officer used a Taser to subdue him.

Bronx NY Sept 20 2017 The family of a mentally ill Bronx man who died after a cop subdued him with a stun gun will file a wrongful death suit against the NYPD and the officer who used the device.
The state attorney general’s office has already indicated that it would not prosecute Sgt. William Melrose for his role in the Nov. 2 incident that led to Ariel Galarza’s death.
But the victim’s sister Mildred Galarza said the ruling doesn’t make the cop any less responsible for her brother’s death.
“It’s been very terrible,” Galarza said. “Too many families are going through this. Every time another mentally ill person is killed by the police it is a constant reminder of what happened to my brother.”
Ariel Galarza, who suffered from a learning disability, died after Melrose zapped him with a Taser three times in less than a minute.
Police were called to the Mayflower Ave. building, where Galarza lived with his family, by a neighbor who mistakenly thought he was holding a knife while acting erratically.
The suspected knife was actually a 12-ounce glass bottle of hot sauce. The neighbor apologized to the Galarza family for the deadly error.
When Melrose let off the first shock, Ariel Galarza dropped the bottle. The unarmed man was then handcuffed and struck two more times by Melrose.
The electric shocks put the 49-year-old man into cardiac arrest and he died, according to the lawsuit being filed Monday in Bronx Supreme Court.
 “Sgt. William Melrose was in violation of police guidelines and protocol relating to the use or discharge of a Taser and/or another conductive energy device,” the lawsuit says.
Last month, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office notified the Galarza family that it will not prosecute Melrose.
Under a 2015 executive order by Gov. Cuomo, the attorney general’s office investigates cases where an unarmed citizen is killed by a police officer.
 “The fact that the attorney general’s office did not pursue a criminal prosecution regarding the killing of Ariel Galarza does not mean that civil liability for his wrongful death does not exist,” said Sanford Rubenstein, the family’s attorney.
Rubenstein is also calling on the department to train all of their officers on the proper use of Tasers, not just supervisors.
“We will review the papers when they are filed and served,” said a spokeswoman with the city’s Law Department.
Mildred Galarza said she hopes the lawsuit will prevent similar tragedies.
Activists set to protest police violence toward mentally ill

“People are scared to call 911 for help,” she said. “There needs to be better training and a better system in place.”
NY Daily News

Davie Florida police charge security guard with felony impersonation of police

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Davie FL Sept 20 2017 

The Davie Police Department arrested an armed security guard for allegedly falsely impersonating a police officer after a confrontation with a resident.
A Davie officer arrested 31-year-old Antonio Prado and charged him with falsely impersonating an officer, a first-degree felony in Florida, following an incident early Monday.
In a police report, the arresting officer wrote he responded to a call of an off-duty law enforcement officer who said someone attempted to run him over with a vehicle.
When the officer arrived at the scene, Prado, dressed in a security uniform with a belt equipped with a firearm, identified himself as an off-duty Federal Protective Services agent who was working for a security company to help a friend following Hurricane Irma, the report read.
Prado handed to the officer an identification card that said “United States Protective Service” and Prado further said he guarded federal buildings, adding he had the power to arrest, the officer wrote.
The officer then saw the other person involved in the incident, identified as Kristopher Sawczak, inside of a bucket truck at a private property.
Both Prado and Sawczak described the incident to the officer as a verbal argument that occurred when Sawczak drove up to Prado’s parked vehicle.
Prado told the officer Sawczak pulled up to the vehicle and said "I hope you get shot in the face, [explicit]" before driving away, according to the report.
Sawczak told the officer he did pull up next to Prado and did “exchange words with him.”
After the verbal exchange, Prado activated his security vehicle’s emergency lights and followed Sawczak to his residence, the officer wrote. When Sawczak got out of his vehicle to open the property’s locked gate, Prado pulled up and the incident continued.
Sawczak unlocked the gate and tried to enter his property but Prado stood in front of his vehicle, the report read. Prado then pulled out his firearm, which was loaded with live rounds in the chamber.
Prado told the officer he pulled out his gun because he was afraid Sawczak, who was not armed, would run him over. Sawczak pulled into his property after Prado moved out of the way and sat in his vehicle until the officer arrived at the scene.
Upon further investigation, the officer became suspicious that Prado was not in fact a law enforcement officer. The officer asked Prado to clarify whether he was acting as a security guard or as a FPS agent in the incident, and Prado said he was simply attempting to detain Sawczak until officers could arrive to make an arrest.
The officer pressed further and Prado later said that he was not an FPS officer, but instead served as a reserve agent.
After noticing Prado became nervous, the officer then reexamined the alleged FPS security ID and found it did not meet the standards expected with a federal agency, adding it seemed like it was made at home or in a store. The officer noted the card was likely a security company license.
The officer also discovered that Prado and Sawczak were involved in another argument a day earlier. In that incident, Prado filed a police report in which he identified himself as a law enforcement officer.
Following the revelations, responding officers contacted the Department of Homeland Security, which verified Prado was not an employee of the federal agency.
Sawczak told the arresting officer he did want to press firearms aggravated assault charges against Prado.
The officer impounded Prado’s firearm, handcuff keys and phone, which allegedly had video recording of the previous incident.

NBC Miami