A Southern California police department is drawing both praise and ire for the new star-spangled logo on the sides of its patrol vehicles, according to reports.
The Laguna Beach Police Department in Orange County recently added American-flag-style lettering for the word “police” on the sides of the vehicles, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
But local artist Carrie Woodburn told the Times the design was too “aggressive,” saying she felt it didn’t represent the community. Laguna Beach is a city of about 23,000 residents, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Councilman Peter Blake was surprised by the backlash. He told the newspaper some people were concerned the design might worry the area’s immigrants.
Laguna Beach Police Cpl. Ryan Hotchkiss said he’s heard nothing but positive comments about the new design. The department’s vehicles were previously all white but are now primarily black, with the patriotic lettering on white doors.
Travis Yates is the founder of the Courageous Leadership institute and has consulted and trained law enforcement leaders across the country. He points out the unfortunate issue with social media rather than car graphics,
“The truth is, there is not a problem with these car graphics in Laguna Beach or any other city in America. If someone is offended by the American Flag, then that is not a problem for any police department to deal with.”
Yates says that with social media, it just takes one person to create “controversy” and what police leaders, politicians and even the media cannot do is “give any credibility to these isolated, small minded individuals.”
The week of April 14-20, 2019 is a week to celebrate YOU and all that you accomplish each and every day. It is a great time to honor and praise the amazing “service above self” work dedication; assisting with the birth of a child over the phone, talking a caller through performing CPR on a family member, calming a victim of a violent crime, reassuring a child that there are no monsters under their bed, texting with a teenager that might be witnessing a crime at their school, or just having a conversation with an elderly caller, who may be confused and not have anyone else to contact.
The simple definition of service is “the action of helping or doing work for someone”. Although being a public safety telecommunicator is never as simple as this definition of service, it is the most important function. In order to effectively serve others, it takes different ideas, skillsets and personalities to assist in being successful; a group of like-minded people coming together to accomplish a common goal, through good times and bad, through sadness and happiness, and through merriment and defeat. Each of us has unique set of attributes that we bring to the profession, but at the end of the day, we all have the same goals, which are to serve our citizens and first responders and ensure to the best of our abilities that everyone is kept safe from harm.
Celebrating the passion, perseverance, friendship, commitment to service, nurturing spirit and teamwork that is shown day in and day out by public safety telecommunicators is the definition of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
On behalf of the APCO International Executive Committee and APCO staff, we want to express our pride and appreciation for all you do. We recognize, support and celebrate YOU.
When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.
Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud—what a caller may tell you:
“You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”
“You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
“You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
“You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
“You don’t need any written information about the company or their references.”
“You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”
If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone.
Tips for Avoiding Telemarketing Fraud:
It is very difficult to get your money back if you have been cheated over the telephone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:
Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.
Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But beware—not everything written down is true.
Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. However, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.
Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers—verify the accuracy of these items.
Before you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.
Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question: “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”
Don’t pay in advance for services; pay only after they are delivered.
Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.
Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.
Don’t pay for a “free prize.” If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are—the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.
Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It is never rude to wait and think about an offer.
Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.
Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.
If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.
If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.
Counterfeit prescription drugs are illegal and may be hazardous to your health. They are fake medicines not produced to the pharmacological specifications of the drugs they claim to be. These counterfeit prescription drugs may be contaminated or contain the wrong ingredients or no active ingredient. They also could have the right active ingredient but with the wrong dosage. Don't be fooled by fake prescription drugs masquerading as legitimate medicines, as using them may worsen your health conditions.
Tips for Avoiding Counterfeit Prescription Drugs:
SAN PATRICIO COUNTY, Texas — San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody, who is retiring in just a few days, was honored Monday by county commissioners.
Moody has been actively involved with the county for more than 50 years. On Monday, the commissioner's court honored and recognized the sheriff for his leadership and services in San Patricio County.
Sheriff Moody said he has always tried to be actively involved in the community and even though he's retiring, he doesn't plan to stop.
"The citizens of San Patricio County are very good friends of mine and I still consider them friends of mine, and will still continue to help them when I can," Moody said.
As for plans after retirement, Moody said he hasn't figured that out yet. His final day on the job will be March 31.
SAN PATRICIO COUNTY, Texas — With San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody retiring March 31, county commissioners announced Monday who will be filling his shoes.
Commissioners named Oscar Riviera as the new San Patricio County Sheriff.
Riviera has lived in the county for more than 40 years where he served under Moody in 1977 as deputy sheriff. He also worked as a Department of Public Safety state trooper, a Texas Ranger and eventually as chief deputy.
Riviera said he felt honored being chosen as the new sheriff and admires Moody for everything he has taught him.
George Straight, the King of Country Music, has released a new song honoring law enforcement. The song is called “The Weight of the Badge.”
BEEVILLE, Texas — A Beeville police officer received some well-deserved praise Monday after saving the life of a baby.
It happened a few weeks ago. Police said baby less than a year old was choking when Sgt. Greg Baron arrived on the scene and knew exactly what to do.
It turns out, the baby was choking on a binder clip.
The call came in around 11 p.m. on Feb. 24. baron was only a minute away when it happened, and when he pulled up to the home family members were frantic in the front yard with the child.
Body cam footage showed Baron grab the baby and begin performing a variation of the Heimlich maneuver, patting the child's back and using his fingers to try and grab the object from her throat.
After less than a minute, Baron successfully removed the clip.
Baron said he doesn't consider himself a hero. He was just doing his job like many others.
"The farmer that produces the food that we eat, the rancher that produces the protein, it's no difference for us," Baron said. "We're members of society doing a job."
Baron said the department is proud of the outcome and is happy to know they make a difference.
The baby did go to the hospital for small cuts in her throat but is now home and doing well.
Alexandria Rodriguez, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Edward Ogdee clutched his walker with both hands and leaned in to listen to Nueces County Sheriff J.C. Hooper.
"I would like to ask you today to be a deputy, an honorary deputy of the Nueces County Sheriff's Office," Hooper said, as he shook the 93-year-old's hand. "Do you accept that?"
He did. And he did it with a slight, proud smile as his family cheered him on Wednesday morning.
Hooper and several sheriff's office deputies brought their patrol cars to Elan Corpus Christi Assisted Living & Memory Care Community, where Ogdee lives.
The deputies took time out of their busy days and came into city limits to show their appreciation to their fellow law enforcement brother, Lt. Roland Martinez said.
Ogdee was a law enforcement officer for three decades in South Texas. He was elected sheriff of Brooks County from 1976 to 1981. Ogdee then served as a law enforcement officer in Falfurrias.
The assisted living home's event, called "Miracle Moment," celebrates the special times in the residents' lives. For Ogdee, it was being a public servant.
So when he sat in a Nueces County Sheriff's Office patrol pickup, the memories of his days keeping the community safe came rushing back.
"I used to wear a big black Stetson. I used to wear it all the time," Odgee said as he sat in the passenger seat of the pickup.
Martinez drove Ogdee around town for most of the morning into the afternoon. The two talked about radar, traffic stops and the patrol pickup.
The two even shared a laugh at Ogdee's dislike of traffic stops.
As they drove around, Ogdee's family was invited to sit in the back of the patrol pickup with him.
That moment was priceless to Ogdee's grandson.
"It brought back memories of when I was little. I used to ride around with him in Falfurrias," DJ Palmore said. "I hope it reminds him of the many years of great service he did for the town of Falfurrias and Brooks County, and I hope he remembers this day for the rest of his life."
As Ogdee took another drive with Martinez in Corpus Christi, he looked at the passing streets, trees and vehicles and nodded in silence. He looked at Martinez and the laptop inside the pickup before he spoke for the first time in a while.
"This is very nice," he said. "Very nice."
After a career as Sheriff of San Patricio County, Texas, Sheriff Leroy Moody has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2019. On behalf of ALL of the directors and members of the Coastal Bend Peace Officers Association, we wish Sheriff Moody a happy and fulfilling retirement. Sheriff, we look forward to seeing you at all of our future meetings. Thank you for your many years of dedication to law enforcement and to the residents of San Patricio County, Texas.
"Today, I announced that after almost 54 years of service with the San Patricio County Sheriff’s Department I will be retiring on March 31, 2019. With the support of my family I have been truly blessed to serve all these years in a job I love. Thank you to all the men and women of the San Patricio County Sheriff’s Department for your loyalty and dedication and to the citizens of San Patricio County thank you for all the years of support. This has been great ride, but I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and enjoying my retirement. God Bless You All!"
How do you handle communication issues when facing deaf and hard of hearing citizens? DEAF Inc., with collaboration with St. Louis County Police Academy, created a training video for police officers and other responders. Special thanks goes to St. Louis University for providing intern and sound support for this project.
The estimated number of law enforcement officers who died by suicide outnumbered those who died in the line of duty for the third straight year in 2018, a newly released study shows.
According to the organization, at least 159 officers took their own lives in 2018 — the same number of suicide fatalities it tracked in 2017 and 19 more than in 2016.
By contrast, the estimated number of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year was 145, according to an annual report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
In December alone, 20 officers died by suicide, whereas only 10 line-of-duty deaths were reported.
“The single greatest cause of death for law enforcement officers each year is suicide,” said Jeff McGill, vice president of Blue H.E.L.P.
The suicide fatalities include 151 men and eight women. The average age was 41, with an average length of service of 15 years.
Four states – California, Florida, New York, and Texas – had the highest number of officer suicides, with each state reporting at least 10 fatalities in 2018.
Because the federal government does not mandate the reporting of officer suicides, Blue H.E.L.P. must obtain and verify raw data from a number of sources, including individual law enforcement agencies and surviving family members.
“We know there are other tragic deaths by suicide that we don’t know about,” said Steven Hough, co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P. “So as bad a number as we have this year, we’re saddened by the fact that we know in reality the number is higher.”
According to experts, law enforcement officers die by suicide at a higher rate than those in other occupations, aside from the military. Common threads between suicides have been cited, including pressures of the job.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic institution, also found that first responders die by suicide at a higher rate than people in the general population, according to an April 2018 report.
Blue H.E.L.P. advocates for increased availability of mental health resources for law enforcement. The organization also seeks to normalize the treatment of post-traumatic stress symptoms.
“There is very little money being spent to reduce the numbers of officer suicides,” said Karen Solomon, president and co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P. “We hope that by raising awareness about the scope of this problem — and shining a light on the need for increased mental health resources directed to officers approaching crisis — we can ultimately reduce the number of officers who die by suicide.”
The organization said the number of deaths could change as it tabulates incidents from the end of the year.
As for 2019, on New Year’s Day at least one officer has already reportedly died by suicide.
“Taking a real stance on officer safety will require us to address the elephant in the room,” Solomon said. “Addressing officer wellness which includes spiritual, mental, social, and physical health should be the number one priority for each agency head in 2019.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
January 1, 2019
More police officers were killed in the line of duty by firearms during 2018 than during any other year in the past two decades. A total of 144 officers died this year, a 12 percent increase over the previous one, with 52 of those individuals killed in shootings, according to the Boston Herald.
The non-profit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund tracks the number of officers killed each year. According to this year’s report, 134 men and 10 women were killed in the line of duty, with the average age of 41. Last year, their annual report revealed that 129 people were killed in federal, state, local, territorial and tribal departments. That was a steep drop from 2016’s 159 fatalities.
Craig W. Floyd, CEO of the memorial fund, noted that the increase was a discouraging shift after last year’s improvement.
“The rising number of law enforcement officer deaths in 2018 is disappointing news after a decline in 2017,” he said. “Sadly, this reminds us that public safety is a dangerous job and can come at a very steep price.”
Even more discouraging is the number of officers killed by firearms, which reached its highest number in two decades. During 2017, the leading cause of death was traffic fatalities, but in 2018, 52 people were killed by guns. Of those, two-thirds were killed by a handgun and four were killed by their own weapons after being disarmed."
Yarmouth, Massachusettes police Chief Frank Frederickson said that they have felt the impact of these deaths first-hand. The state lost two officers last year to gun violence.
“Statistics don’t lie. We have obviously become very aware of the increase in violence and more so when it strikes you as one of your own, you see the spiderweb of damage that continues,” Frederickson said. “It’s one thing to read about it when it happens far away but when you see it firsthand, it’s pretty amazing how much this impacts so many people.”
Vehicle-related injuries were the second cause of officer deaths in 2018, with 50 people injured in motorcycle and car accidents. Thirty-two of those involved another vehicle, while 14 officers were struck while standing outside of their own vehicle. The rest of the fatalities were made up of heart attacks, strokes, drownings, cancer, and other illnesses related to officers who served in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Texas, Florida, New York, and California tied for the most fatalities, with 11 officers killed in each state.
Do you know who any of these CBPOA members are? Click on the "OUR DIRECTORS/HISTORY" tab to find out more.
Vehicle pursuits, drug trafficking, and dead bodies cast out by human smugglers are common occurrences in Refugio County
BY CHARLOTTE CUTHBERTSONDecember 17, 2018 Updated: December 17, 2018
REFUGIO, Texas—An illegal alien must travel through at least five counties beyond the U.S.–Mexico border to reach Refugio, Texas, population around 7,300.
Most illegal aliens nabbed by local law enforcement were on their way to Houston, just 165 miles northeast, said Sheriff Raul “Pinky” Gonzales.
“Houston is like a staging area for them. And from there, some of them go to California, some go to New York, a lot of them go up north to Boston,” he said in an interview on Nov. 8. Vehicle pursuits are a common occurrence in Refugio County, which is just one of 254 counties in the state.
Just that morning, two different groups of illegal aliens were captured. In one instance, a vigilant driver saw a hand sticking out of the bed of a pickup truck and called authorities.
Nine illegal aliens and the smuggler, or “coyote,” were subsequently arrested.
In a second incident on the same morning, a vehicle pursuit from a neighboring county entered Refugio. The chase ended when the vehicle, carrying nine illegal aliens and their coyote, stopped and all 10 tried to flee on foot. Law enforcement scooped them all up.
Gonzales said he also has found the bodies of illegal immigrants dumped by smugglers.
“They put them in trunks in cars, they put them in trucks—where the temperature gets to 130, 120 something degrees—no water, no food, no air. And they die. And they’ll just throw them out on the side of the road,” he said.
On patrol, Sheriff’s Deputy Luis Flores aims for making two vehicle stops per hour—24 in a shift.
With 276 possible traffic violations in Texas, he has a lot to work with. Over several hours, he stopped vehicles that didn’t have a license plate light, or were missing a tail light, or whose plates were partially obscured, as well as drivers who were speeding, and more.
“I look for small violations, which gives probable cause for stopping,” he said. “I have a conversation—see where they’re going and what they’re up to. I look for cues and indications of other activity.”
But his goal isn’t to hand out tickets—most of the time, drivers get a simple warning or citation. The goal is to find the bigger crime—drugs, illegal aliens, warrants out for arrest, and so on.
“I love picking apart people’s stories,” Flores said. He listens for too much or too little detail in their explanations. Flores is ex-military and has spent two years as a deputy in Refugio. One of his most satisfying finds was during a traffic stop of an elderly women driving an old Nissan.
“I felt very victorious when we found $500,000 hidden in her bumper,” he said. “Money is super hard to find—it doesn’t have an odor and it’s easy to hide.”
The deputies patrol alone, but there are usually at least two vehicles out, as well as the local police officer. They back each other up constantly.
Flores said he calls for backup at the first sign of trouble, “ever since a group of aliens that I stopped told me that if my backup didn’t arrive so quickly, they would’ve got in a gun fight with me,” he said.
What the deputies do in Refugio might seem like small potatoes, but considering three of the 19 terrorists involved in 9/11 were pulled over in four separate incidents in the months prior to the terror attacks, a traffic stop could turn into something significant.
Gonzales said that if he wanted to, he could probably round up hundreds of illegal immigrants living in his county, but as a law enforcement officer, he concentrates on illegal activity.
“I don’t care if you come from Mars, if you’re committing a crime here in my state or my county, I’m going to tend to you accordingly,” he said.
On Nov. 8, local Refugio City police officer Tammy Gregory picked up a man for going 50 miles per hour in a 35 zone.
She discovered the man, Jose Carrasco Leon, was from Mexico. He didn’t have a U.S. driver’s license, but had lived in the United States for 16 years and was married to a U.S. citizen.
Gregory said it’s likely the man had not legalized his status, because Border Patrol contacted her to request custody of him once the police had finished processing him.
Gonzales said drug trafficking was common in his county. “We catch a lot of illegals with drugs,” he said. “We caught the cartel No. 2 drug runner here in my county. He was on a train smuggling drugs.”
In May last year, deputies seized 500 pounds of marijuana and a cartel member, after railroad officials noticed three people traveling on a Southern Pacific freight train that had originated at the border.
“They loaded up in Brownsville, heading to Houston. How much of that goes on and how much do we miss?” Gonzales said.
Recently, the sheriff had to deal with the slaying of two of his dogs by illegal aliens trying to evade law enforcement.
The two tracking dogs were trained to find lost children or Alzheimer’s patients, and they would bark once they located the person.
But this time, when the dogs found the group of illegal aliens in the brush and barked to alert the deputies where they were, they were killed.
“They strangled two of our dogs for no reason. These guys that killed these dogs, they could have very well killed one of my deputies or any other law enforcement,” Gonzales said.
“And these are the type of illegals that we deal with. … Not all of them come here in good faith. A lot of them come here to do wrong, get in gangs, and get involved with sex trafficking—they’re not all good.”
Gonzales is all too familiar with illegal activity on the southwest border. Before coming to Refugio County, he spent years as a boat captain on the Rio Grande in Texas—the dividing line between the United States and Mexico.
“We picked up bodies. Like in a week, we’d pick up to 10 bodies,” he said. “A lot of times we’d see kids that had drowned, trying to swim across by themselves. The parents are the ones that sent them by themselves.”
He said he helped a lot of teenage girls and would ask them how they got across, and why they were there without parents.
He was often told, ‘Well, our parents told us to come here.’”
“And they’d tell me horror stories about what they had to go through to come here. They were raped, they were vandalized, a lot of them. They’re used as sex slaves. [The smugglers] bring them across and use them as sex slaves here in the United States,” Gonzales said.
“So a lot of time, these people are victimizing their own people for revenue, for money, and that’s what people don’t understand.”
Gonzales said he would often stop at the grocery store before a shift to buy extra drinks and food for the illegal aliens he would undoubtedly encounter.
“I feel very sorry” for them, he said. “They’re human beings, you know. We’re supposed to love them. But we as law enforcement, we took an oath that we would abide by the law and protect and serve our people.”
He said it’s very hard to do that when you can’t track people who cross illegally and evade law enforcement.
“You know once they blend in with the population, they’re gone,” he said. “They can commit serious crimes, [then] they can just pack up and go back home and we’ll never find them.”
Gonzales said 80 to 90 percent of the illegal aliens he picked up on the river were not from Mexico.
“They were from El Salvador, Honduras, from India, China—we’d catch a lot of Chinese—people from all over the world,” he said. Many said they traveled by boat to Brazil, where they met a smuggler who escorted them through Mexico and to the United States.
“Some people are here to better their lives—and it doesn’t make it right—but not all of them,” he said.
Gonzales said he has caught a lot of gang members, especially MS-13, as well as criminals who had been deported. In one case, two men who had been deported after serving prison sentences were back a week later, illegally, with a group of Hondurans.
“These Hondurans weren’t the type of guys that came to look for work. They were tattooed up, you know. One of them didn’t have an ear, they were just scar-faced. I mean, you could tell they weren’t good hombres,” he said.
Gonzales said he is glad President Donald Trump has enhanced border security and sent active-duty military to help stop illegal crossings.
“We can’t [have] this group of people come and invade our country. This caravan, the majority of them are males—flying their flag,” he said. “To me, that’s intimidating.”
He said he thinks many of the politicians who often side with illegal immigrants are looking for future votes.
“The difference between these [illegal] immigrants coming in now, they’re trying to bring their country into our country,” he said. “We are the United States of America, and I think this oughta be a Christian country the way our forefathers perceived it to be.”
However, Gonzales said the illegal immigrants he catches aren’t as confident as they were during the Obama era.
“When Obama was in office, these illegal immigrants were very cocky with us. They went on about ‘the Dream Act, Obama, the Dream Act,’” he said.
“They were very cocky. Like, ‘hey, we’ve got our rights and we’re going to become citizens because of the Dream Act Obama’s introducing.’”
Gonzales said most Americans don’t understand what law enforcement deals with as far as illegal alien crime.
“It’s very, very hard to do our job,” he said. “We already have thugs that are citizens here, we already have bad people—we don’t need any more.”
“As a sheriff, as a leader in law enforcement, I’m very concerned about my people’s safety. I’d feel horrible if somebody got injured, seriously injured, or killed, because [of]—I don’t care if they’re illegal or not, but especially—an illegal person. They shouldn’t have been here to begin with.”
The sheriff provided a snapshot of what it takes for law enforcement to deal with one vehicle pursuit of an illegal alien.
“It costs a lot of taxpayers’ money chasing these people, [it] costs a lot of man hours. When a county deputy or a DPS state trooper gets on the chase, you get all different law enforcement agencies involved in the chase—you know, we’re trying to back each other up. There could be 12 officers for one chase, for four or five hours. A lot of times, they’ll wreck their vehicles, damage their vehicles,” he said.
“It’s a burden to us, it’s a burden to the people of the United States.”
Follow Charlotte on Twitter: @charlottecuthbo
"The purpose of the CBPOA shall be to promote the cooperation and understanding of all persons involved in the enforcement of laws of the State of Texas and of the United States; the continued and convenient interchange of information and training between various Federal, State and local agencies, and to conduct ourselves in a manner that will gain the respect of those we serve and to constantly strive to improve our position.'
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