A Discussion of Criminal Justice Issues and Other Things

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Officer Memorial

Police Officer Mason Samborski, 28, of the Oak Park, Michigan Police Department was shot and killed on December 28, 2008 while conducting an investigation following a traffic stop.

Officer Samborski had served law enforcement for 4 years. He is survived by his wife and child.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Be Careful This Week

If you are going to imbibe
Don't drink and drive.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It May Not Be Worse But It's Weird

Here's the RADAR image at 2:36 a.m. Saturday for our area.

At about 9:30 p.m. we were put in a tornado watch area and since then we've received about .25 inches of rain in about 30 minutes and the winds are picking up. As you can see at this time, Emporia is just moving into the band of thundershowers... yup, I said thundershowers.

Never a dull moment when it comes to the weather around here!

3:15 a.m. we have a little hail and driving rain with wind, thunder and lightning now. Quite an interesting 24 hours.

Friday, December 26, 2008

It Could Be Worse

After enjoying a 70 degree day here in Emporia, I received this picture from our very good friend, Yogi Reppmann, who winters in Northfield, MN and returns to his home city Flensburg in northern Germany during the summer months. Please pay attention to the thermometer in the background. That was probably the high that day. Our son, Chris, returned from a visit from Northfield a day ago and mentioned the high was 3 degrees.

Yogi and his wife Gitta, hosted my visit to Germany a few years ago and has arranged for several friends to visit us here in the U.S. One of Yogi's other pictures showed him blowing snow with a snow blower that looks to be about eight inches-worth.

Frohe Weihnachten an meine deutschen Freunde

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff William K. Chadwell, 70, of the Pickaway County, Ohio Sheriff's Office was struck and killed by an automobile while attempting to clear a fallen tree from the roadway.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Watch Out For The Weather

For those of you in more temperate climates, you can ignore this one. If you are in the areas of the country experiencing zero and subzero weather right now, please take the time to revisit the travel safety tips and winter weather rules.

Weather Safety Rules
If a Blizzard Traps You in Your Automobile

* Avoid overexertion and exposure. Attempting to push your car, shovel heavy drifts, and other difficult chores during a blizzard may cause a heart attack even for someone in apparently good physical condition.
* Stay in your vehicle. Do not attempt to walk out of a blizzard. Disorientation comes quickly in blowing and drifting snow. You are more likely to be found when sheltered in your car.
* Keep fresh air in your car. Freezing wet snow and wind driven snow can completely seal the passenger compartment.
* Beware the gentle killers: Carbon monoxide and oxygen starvation. Run the motor and heater sparingly, and only with the downwind window open for ventilation. Make sure the tailpipe is unobstructed.
* Exercise by clapping hands and moving arms and legs vigorously from time to time, and do not stay in one position for long.
* Turn on dome light at night. It can make your vehicle visible to work crews.
* Keep watch. Do not allow all occupants of the car to sleep at once.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Keith Carter, 22, of the Evangeline Parish, Louisiana Sheriff's Department died on December 19, 2008 when he collapsed while involved in a foot pursuit of a suspect in a stolen car chase.

Deputy Carter had served law enforcement for 3 months. He is survived by his one year old daughter.

Mt. Clemens, Michigan

Every now and then, I check the statistics site for my weblog. It generally hits about 5,000 viewers a month and shows where many of the viewers come from to find my weblog. This month, I noticed that several came from the website for Mt. Clemens, Michigan. That got my attention since I was born on Selfridge Air Force Base which is near there. I've posted the fact that I was born there so I imagine that is how someone found their way here. It's been a long time since I was there but I'm hoping to visit there some time. Based on their website, I looks like it is a great place to visit.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Officer Down

Officer Mark Simmons, 31, of the Amarillo, TX Police Department succumbed to injuries on December 17, 2008 as a result of injuries sustained on March 24, 2005 when his patrol car was struck from behind by another vehicle.

Officer Simmons had served as a law enforcement officer for 6 years. He is survived by his two children and parents.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Officer Down

Officer Joseph Sanders, 29, of the California Highway Patrol was stuck and killed on December 15, 2008 during a motor vehicle while he was directing traffic at a previous accident.

Officer Sanders had been in law enforcement for 1 year and 2 months. He was a U.
S. Marine Corps Veteran. He is survived by his expectant wife and three children.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Adam Walsh

Adam Walsh was abducted and found murdered 27 years ago. The courageous dedication of his parents, especially his father, John Walsh, star of America's Most Wanted on the Fox Network, led to substantial changes in the investigation of child abductions. A lot has been learned and it was good news today when it was announced that the killer of Adam Walsh has been identified and the case closed. Small consolation to the family of Adam.

Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Walsh family at this difficult time.

Click here to read the statement from the Walsh family.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Ultimate Stress Reliever: More Resources

The Ultimate Stress Reliever: More Resources

Good Luck

Last Friday marked the conclusion of a stellar career of one of our longer tenured members of the Emporia Police Department. Lieutenant Larry Adams marked 36 years of service to the community at his retirement reception on Friday. You can tell a lot about Lt Adams by the numbers of people who turned out to wish him well. It's unusual to find members of the law enforcement community who stay in the business that many years. Universally, the people who know Lt. Adams simply say that he really loves the job.

Last Friday also marked the end of another tenured employee with the department, John Aufleger. John has held positions with the fire department and police departments. He ended his career as the property and evidence technician here in Emporia.

Congratulations and good luck to both these individuals.

Officer Down

Captain Tom Tennant of the Woodburn, Oregon Police Department died on December 12, 2008 after a bomb exploded that he and Senior Trooper Bill Hakim of the Oregon State Police had been examining. They responded as a result of a bomb threat to a local bank.

Captain Tennant had served in law enforcement for 28 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and his son. Captain Tennant was 51 years old.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

December 7, 1941

On December 7, 1941 men and women in Pearl Harbor were starting to get ready for another day. They were in the military during a time of turmoil in the world and economic uncertainty at home. Much like then, our men and women in the armed services find themselves away from home serving our nation. I've read a number of accounts from survivors of Pearl Harbor. I've had the privilege to meet a few and listen to their stories. Their dedication and desire to persevere turned the tide of WWII.

During this time of giving and holiday good will, please don't forget our men and women who are around the globe fighting for your freedom. The USO (United Service Organizations) provide a place of rest to our soldiers. Please consider giving to this group or other reputable groups to support our troops: especially during the holidays.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Discover Policing

The International Association of Chiefs of Police has launched a new website entitled "Discover Policing." It is intended to be the one stop shop for those interested in a career in law enforcement to connect with the various law enforcement agencies. There are areas for general information and places for people to connect with agencies.

Take a moment to check it out at www.discoverpolicing.org

Holiday Stress Management

The holiday season from November to January poses its own set of challenges to the heartiest of of emotionally healthy people. It can be particularly hard on public safety officers and their families. In addition to the crunch of time, finances and emotional survival, everyone else deals with this time of year, officers must also face the stressors that the rest of the community feels, deal with the increase stress of additional family violence calls, unfair victimization of innocent folks and watch as everyone goes on their merry way as they drag their collective backsides back to the office and go home to a house full of their own issues.

Simply stated...the emotional cup is easily drained and is slow to replenish.

Some tried and true methods to minimize your stress during this time of year can go a long way to help you keep perspective and enjoy the holiday season.

1. Give yourself more quiet time: it might be a walk, a trip to a park or something you enjoy. Take the time to find gifts for friends and family in a non-stressful environment and enjoy the time.

2. Don't let the Grinch get you down: don't let those determined to be miserable to drag you down. Ignore them, dismiss them or avoid them when possible. If you have to deal with them, maintain perspective and find something positive to do or talk about immediately after your encounter with them.

3. Tragedy strikes: don't let the sadness of others' situation drag you down. If you have the resources, volunteer to ring bells for the Salvation Army; serve food in a holiday mission, provide food for those less fortunate; provide a gift to a child who otherwise would not get one. Give a bit more to your church, or other charity.

4. If the holidays usually bring you down, talk to someone: depression is a common occurrence and impacts us all in different ways. Find a competent person to talk things over with if you find yourself in this position. Don't try to tough it out.

5. Remember the reason for the season.

6. Don't try to rush holiday events: if you are working shift work, do things early or after you work. Don't try to stay up 24 or 48 hours without sleep. If you have a house full of people and your sleep patterns are disturbed, rent a room or go nap at the home of a friend for a few hours to stay fresh and alert. Don't let fatigue put you at risk on the job.

7. Take time to look around. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday.

8. If you have recently lost a family member or close friend, talk to people about the positive memories and don't be alone.

9. Don't put yourself in financial disaster trying to over gift. The thought of the gift counts. Thoughtful gifts mean more. Discuss with kids the boundaries of giving and receiving. Do this well in advance of gift giving day.

10. Avoid over-indulging in food and beverages. Stay physically active. Don't drink and drive. Don't embarrass or do something you will regret at social functions later.

The bottom line: think things through and try to avoid putting yourself in stressful situations that you have control over. Talk things through and keep perspective. If you do, things should go well and you can have an enjoyable holiday season.