This week, a vendor came to my police department to trade out our Heckler & Koch MP5’s. We had fielded 12 of these little subguns for 29 years. Our then-City Commission approved their purchase following an active shooter in Palm Bay, Florida where four civilians were killed, fourteen wounded, and two outgunned police officers murdered in April of 1987. Having the MP5’s available to our TAC members meant the guns were on the street protecting citizens and officers on every shift, instead of the old school SWAT mentality of having weapons locked up at the station, only to be retrieved in an emergency. Continue reading →
Back in the Dark Ages of the 1980’s, when I was a rookie, there was pretty much one standard knife carried by police officers and that was the now-venerable Buck 110. Along with a revolver, the sturdy lock back folder went in its leather pouch on an officer’s duty belt. The one-handed opening pocket knife had not yet been popularized.
A new cop is often a “gadget guy.” You look for cool things to buy and hang on your belt or to stockpile in your car. Since knives are rarely issued to patrolmen, selecting one could be an important and fun endeavor. My feeling, at the time, was that the Buck 110 was a bit conventional and rather heavy at 7.5 ounces, so I went looking for an alternative.
Enter the Kershaw Black Horse. The BH had the same 3.75″ blade length as the 110, but dipped the gun belt less at a reasonable 4.5 ounces. Another plus in the Kershaw’s column was its Continue reading →
My exercise regimen includes running through my neighborhood. Being outside for a workout adds to its relative enjoyment. Hey, it is still an unwelcome exertion. On one of my recent weekly runs, I was on a very affluent street with waterfront properties. About 50 yards ahead of me I saw a man…sprinting. He was not attired to jog. Hmmm.
Dressed in long pants and a dark hoodie, the man crossed the road and cut the corner through the opposite house’s yard. Definitely not normal. A burglar? The residence from which he fled belongs to a noted local restauranteur. As I approached, I saw the home’s garage doors wide open with a Range Rover and Porsche within. Troubling. Continue reading →
Florida’s Tenth Judicial Circuit has issued a “death letter” against a Bartow police officer based upon a social media post in November of last year. This should be yet another warning that police officers do not have First Amendment protections against opinionated, questionable, or inflammatory personal Internet postings.
Ofc. Christina Arribas posted the following on Facebook under an alias name after the Presidential election: “Yes!!!! This year we lost two gorillas. One is in heaven, and one is moving out of the White House. One will be missed. One will not be.”
Based upon this single post, State Attorney Brian Haas officially wrote to Ofc. Arribas that, “The evidence of your bias is so strong, that your credibility is damaged to the point that this office will no longer use you as a witness in any of our cases.”
“It wasn’t a tough decision,” said Haas. “There’s no place for those kind of comments from a law enforcement officer who is going to be coming into court and testifying about evidence.”
A local church group began protesting outside Bartow’s police department last week. The SAO first heard of the Facebook post then. The group is calling for Arribas and the Bartow chief to be fired.
Arribas’ career is essentially over. Although she was disciplined by her department with a two day suspension without pay for violating the agency’s social media policy, the SAO letter will, in effect, preclude her from working in law enforcement anywhere. Be forewarned that as a cop, your behavior is under constant scrutiny.
Update: On March 23, Bartow PD Chief Joe Hall fired Ofc. Arribas.
Hello, friends. My posting here took a hiatus while I worked very hard to be promoted to lieutenant late last year. It paid off. I spent several months in charge of our Detective Division, where I ran Burglary/Auto Theft, Robbery/Homicide, and Vice/Narcotics. I was then assigned to my new home on the Midnight Shift, with command over our K9 Unit and SWAT Team. Things became hectic.
I miss my sergeant stripes, but the move to gold bars has not been without its own unique challenges. I have a good crew with competent supervisors and motivated officers under my watch. The adjustment is to let the shift do its work, monitor the service delivery, and get them what they need. Trust your troops. I still manage the big calls and have not hesitated to blow the dust off my rifle and plate carrier when needed.
I plan to weigh in here when the time permits. I still have much to say. Watch out for your partners and stay safe.
Well, this is different. I like how, after deployment, you get a stand-off distance of about three car lengths for officer safety. It is kind of caveman technology, but then, I’m not beneath using what works. Tell me what you think.
This is video that the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office released of K9 Deputy Jim Hall and K9 Chris apprehending a hit-and-run crash suspect. The 49 second snippet above does not do the track justice. Click on the link below to WFLA and watch 8 minutes of the chase. It gets good around 3:45 in the video. Jimmy’s a good guy and was supervising his old K9 Unit when I was supervising mine, so we shared some training exercises. Ahhh, watching his new dog work reminds me of the good old days…
Hartford, Conn. Police Department’s Emergency Response Team members serving a search warrant were exposed to heroin and fentanyl when a distraction device apparently dispersed the powder into the air of the residence on entry. Eleven officers were treated at a local hospital.
Over 50,000 bags of fentanyl-laced heroin were found in the house. Fentanyl is 40 to 50 times more potent than street heroin and can kill through ingestion, inhalation, or even skin exposure. The Hartford officers immediately reported dizziness, nausea, and vomiting after securing the suspects. Team members were held overnight at the hospital for observation. All were subsequently released for duty.
This is yet another example of the ever changing dangers to SWAT operators. Meth labs, surveillance cameras, now hyper-toxic drugs. It used to be enough just to worry about armed bad guys. Stay safe and protect each other out there.
In December of 2015, I reported that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Peraza was indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter in an officer-involved shooting. He was the first Florida law enforcement officer charged for an OIS in 25 years. Today, Broward Circuit Judge Michael Usan ruled in favor of Dep. Peraza’s Stand Your Ground motion and dismissed the charge.
In July of 2013, Dep. Peraza responded with other deputies to three 911 reports of an armed suspect walking in an apartment complex. The suspect refused to drop his rifle and did not comply with the deputies’ commands. Deputies and a witness stated that the suspect pointed his rifle toward them. The man was shot and killed by Peraza, who fired three bullets.
Three Baton Rouge area police officers were murdered in an ambush this morning. At this time, at least three other officers have been wounded, one black male suspect is dead, while two suspects are at large. The last fallen Dallas police officer had just been laid to rest this weekend and now more LE families have been tragically struck.
My agency worked this week to prep for a BLM rally in a local park. A large thunderstorm quashed the protest, but it was a good practice run for our newer officers, who have not yet had to stand a line. Still, it added to the workload for all of us and drove up an overall sense of anxiety.
Many of our guys were apprehensive about an ambush attack. At an apartment complex a mile away from the park, a maintenance worker had found and reported dozens of empty boxes that had contained .308 caliber AR-10 magazines. That find, the same Continue reading →
For those of you with take home police cars, be aware of an incident at 0230 hrs this morning. A purported Black Lives Matter supporter fired 17 9mm bullets at the home and police cruiser of an Indianapolis Metro officer. Fortunately, the LEO and his family were unharmed.
The suspect, who was wearing a shirt that said “F*#k the Police” and “Black Lives Matter,” shouted that he hated the police. The officer had previously arrested the suspect, who did two stints in prison, for a firearms charge.
With violence escalating against law enforcement, we need to be vigilant and protect our families. If that means forgoing an assigned police car in your front yard, then make that choice if you need to. There were times my marked K9 car brought unwelcome attention to my house, but nothing like this.
I can only imagine that the IMPD officer will relocate, an expensive and difficult proposition. My heart goes out to him and his loved ones.
In the past 24 hours, there have been ambush shootings of police officers in Dallas, Texas, Valdosta, Georgia, and Ballwin, Missouri. Five officers are dead and at least 9 are wounded. Some in the law enforcement community are in shock, others are very angry.
Family, friends, and concerned citizens have been reaching out to those in our profession with support. Food arrived at our station today, donated by sympathetic locals in appreciation for what we do. A retired officer called and asked that we be careful out on the street. My cousin, an officer in New Jersey, Facebooked me a “watch your back” message.
The conversation as my guys arrived at work was not only about the shootings, but of the reactions by their loved ones as Continue reading →
It was with great sorrow that I awoke this morning and read of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando. At this time there are fifty dead and at least as many wounded. I have friends at both the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and I am certain the officers and deputies responded with bravery.
Only Friday, OPD arrived at the shooting of a pop star and subsequent suicide of her murderer. Twice this weekend, OPD Chief John Mina has stood before the press to deliver devastating news. The circumstances of the Pulse nightclub massacre quickly indicated the influence of radical Islam. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack. Continue reading →