Category Archives: Law Enforcement/Military/EMS

Riot in Charlotte ~ the silent majority must speak

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I watched the peaceful demonstration in Charlotte as it grew dark and the peaceful resident protestors left the park and went home. They were soon replaced by other protestors, some of them from out-of-town. Some of them professional rabble-rousers.

I watched in shock as they rushed police, vandalized stores, attacked representatives of the press. I have to say, I was shocked and became numb. That’s when I went to bed.

This morning I picked up my Bible and read for a while before turning on the TV. When I did the news, as most of America now knows, was not good. Mom and pop stores as well as corporate enterprises had been looted. A protestor had shot another protestor. The night before, I’d seen a souvenir shop being decimated. This morning, I found out it belonged to an Asian family.

As a nation, the law abiding citizens need to speak out. We need to make our voices heard. We need to cry out to God and to our elected officials that we want our streets to be safe for everyone, of every color, all the time. We will not tolerate rioting and looting.

We want our police departments to be better trained when dealing with potentially violent encounters. It’s not so much get the bad apples out, but train the ones in the basket. We want them to practice and drill for these situations. However, they are not social workers and can’t solve the problems of troubled communities. They are law enforcement officers, there to enforce the law. On that note, we want existing gun laws enforced and we want illegal weapons taken off the streets.

We want high crime communities to take responsibility for the breakdown of the family and breakdown of respect. We need to impress upon young people the best way to have a good and long life is to complete high school and not have a baby out of wedlock.

This is upon the silent majority and the silent majority can not afford to be silent anymore if we desire peace and safety on our streets and in our communities.

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A Memorial Day Poem ~ the story behind it

Memorial Day 1

Jean Browder had been looking for a Memorial Day poem to read at her church service. She saw the title of this one listed among many poems for the holiday and it touched her. She clicked on it and was amazed to discover her son had written it.

 

We Never Forget by Mitchell Browder (written on Memorial Day 2001 after a visit to the American Cemetery and War Memorial in Florence, Italy)

 

Brothers and Sisters at rest
we never forget
the gift you give
we still receive how could you know
so young
that your battle
at all cost
must be won Brothers and Sisters at rest
may we, in your eyes
pass your test
and one day, with honor
join your ranks
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Memorial Day 3

Don’t forget prisoners of war. They have  not all been military in a war on terror, and in previous wars. We have and have had journalists taken, medical personnel, missionaries, civilians…

Memorial Day 4
Memorial Day 6

Rolling Thunder

Memorial Day 8

Veteran Suicide

Memorial Day 7

Let’s not forget the first responders (police, firefighters, EMS, equine and canine in the field. We’re losing them at an alarming rate too.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

 


Line of Duty Police Deaths ~ a recent rash of killings

Police Tape

It seems lately, every time I turn on the nightly news another police officer has been shot or killed by a criminal. So far this year there have been ten line of duty police officer deaths. 2015 had 133 police officer line of duty deaths, more than two per week.

In the past ten-days five US police officers were murdered in cold blood in shootings around the country. Last Monday a Colorado sheriff’s deputy died after being shot. Wednesday saw a lot of police death when two sheriff’s deputies were killed in Maryland and a police officer was killed in North Dakota. Thursday a Georgia police officer died after being shot. I didn’t need proof, but these five killings reinforced beyond a shadow of a doubt how dangerous police work is. The men and women who chose this line of work are exceptional human beings. They are the line of defense between us and the criminals who think nothing of pointing a gun at a police officer’s head and pulling the trigger.

Historical Tidbits: The first recorded police death was in 1791 and since then more than 20,000 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. Nobody is at all surprised that the deadliest law enforcement day was September 11, 2001 when 71 officers died responding to the terrorist attacks on our nation.

 


They’re Shooting It Up In Brooklyn ~ this in a city with stringent gun control

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Everyone’s talking about it. I heard it on the news and on talk radio this morning. The number of shootings has risen dramatically in New York City over the last month. This in a city with one of the most, if not the most stringent gun control laws…and a former mayor, billionaire Michael Blumberg, who uses his money and influence in other cities all over the country trying to get them to ban hand guns.

The rise in shootings has been most dramatic in Brooklyn. The way they tabulate is they have a “rolling 28-day tally” which is updated weekly. The last two 28-day incident and victim tallies increased by 30 and 40 percent, respectively.

NYPD Shield Law enforcement experts explain the recent increase in shooting by citing the warmer weather and a marked increase in gang activity, especially in Brooklyn. Monday night, a 13-year old boy bystander was with his aunt and younger cousin in Flatbush-Ditmas Park when they were caught in the middle of a gang shooting. The boy was shot in the head and sustained an eye injury. The three ran into a pizzeria for cover, with blood oozing down the boy’s face. The shooter was later seen on video tape and the police are investigating.

The 73rd Precinct, covering part of East New York (Brooklyn), accounts for one-third of all shootings and incidents in the city, with 24 shootings this year, compared to 14 at this point in the summer last year. This according to police sources.

It has been reported that the NYPD is looking to put together an over-arching conspiracy case against some of the gangs that run territory in shooting-hot-spots. One police source commented to news media outlets that police stop-and-frisk encounters are down, but the number of guns confiscated increased. However, he did not have stats on the number of guns actually confiscated.

There has to be a good look at the abandonment of stop-and-frisk. Cold, hard statistics must be provided. Questions must be answered. Why is it in a city where law abiding citizens can’t obtain a license for a hand gun, it seems any fifteen year-old gang member can get his hands on a semi-automatic weapon?


Was the Baby Abused, or was it a Horrid Lack of Parental Competence???

It was just another day in Gotham where there are at least a hundred thousand poignant stories…and this is one of them.

The morning held dense fog — visibility at about two tenths of a mile. But by afternoon, though damp, mothers were pushing their baby carriages to Baby and Me play sessions and older children were being picked up from school.

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This baby, however, was not so lucky. He was brought into one of New York City’s busiest public hospitals in cardiac arrest. All the doctors and most of the nurses in the pediatric emergency room rushed to assist. It really did look like what was depicted in the television drama of a few years ago, “ER.” It was obvious something was very wrong.

 

IMG_0540All the while on the wall paper border at the ceiling cheerful blue elephants cavorted with purple zebras, blue monkeys, and pink flamingoes. A green alligator rode a blue hippo, and a green turtle hitched a ride on a pink hippo. If I kept my focus there it almost seemed normal. I could almost forget the nurse who literally raced to get a piece of equipment she wheeled into where they were working on the baby.

Then two New York City Police Department detectives showed up, followed by two uniformed police officers. One of the detectives asked the doctor if he had been told why it had taken nearly a half hour for 911 to be called. Shortly after that, one hospital staff member whispered to another that the mother had seemed weirded out. Of course she could’ve been freaked because her baby was unresponsive.

They worked on the baby for three hours. The doctor who heads the ER came down. Of course, I was praying up a storm. I believe prayer is effective. I believe in addition to concrete problems in the physical world, there is an unseen realm where the Lord’s blessings and miracles can and do happen, regularly.

Then two more detectives showed up. One detective asked the pediatrician in charge once again what he knew about the length of time it had taken to phone 911.

Conversation flew back and forth between hospital personnel and I was relieved to surmise the baby was resuscitated, stabilized, and was being moved to a large private hospital I know to have an extensive pediatric unit.

I don’t know what the law enforcement determination was. But I do know there are many children in this city who suffer. I know many parents are overwhelmed. Babies are having babies. Most parents do not have the support of an extended family. I wish I had answers. I don’t. I wish I could wrap this up with a poignant sentence. I can’t.


Just The Facts Ma’am ~ Life Before Technology and Miranda

Police Car, 1950s 2

Fingerprints were the de rigueur means of positive identification from the 1920s to the 1950s. In 1903 the New York State Prison system began the first systematic use of fingerprints in the United States for criminals. By 1904 Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas and the St. Louis Police Department had begun using finger printing. They were assisted by a Scotland Yard sergeant who had been on duty at the St. Louis World’s Fair Exposition guarding the British exhibition. In 1908 the first official finger print card was in devised.

In my Sanctuary Point series, set on the south shore of Long Island after World War II, stalwart detective Ian Daltry brings in suspects, gets out the marble slab, the ink, and the cards to finger print suspects. He then sends them to the lavatory where they endeavor to wash the mess off their hands with Lava soap.

At that time, every state and the FBI maintained voluminous, manually compiled, classified, and sorted finger print files. It would’ve been nigh a miracle to make a cold hit. There was nearly no way a latent print from a crime scene could be searched against all the various data bases country-wide as it can be done today with the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). The data bases were just too spread out for that type of search. However, once a suspect was developed through investigation, comparison of latent prints from the crime scene to the fingerprints of the suspect cleared lots of cases.

In those days, cases were solved the good old fashion way, going door-to-door looking for witnesses and asking questions. Developing strong investigative skills was a must. And circumstantial cases that would stand up in court were built by detectives, who had no computers to rely upon. Blood typing was available, but not conclusive. Still it would be compelling circumstantial evidence if the suspect had blood of the same type as the victim’s on his clothing.

Driver’s license and automobile license plate information was stored state-by-state in large, hand written ledger books. It took a phone call from local law enforcement to the state police or to the state’s motor vehicle department to get a look up. There was no NCIC computer system until 1967. Prior to that, the only way to find out if a car was stolen was by a telephone check of local police department hot sheets that were published daily in most cities. Police cars were radio equipped but there were no portable walkie-talkies. Most cities had call boxes scattered around town where police officers could periodically check in with headquarters. Every officer carried at least one dime with him in case he had to use a public phone booth. And it was a he. There were no female police officers.

There were also no tazers or pepper spray, so an out-of-control criminal would get a not so gentle tap of a black jack, sometimes called a sap or night stick. In my series the Sanctuary Point Police Department had a black jack hanging on the wall near the holding cells. In my Christmas whodunit, GOODBYE NOEL, it was used to threaten two mobsters who were getting out of hand during the booking process. There was also no Miranda warning during the detainment or arrest process. Detective Daltry simply pointed his revolver into the face of the bigger of the two and then marched them to the station. There was no doubt if they made a physical move on him that he would shoot.

Goodbye Noel, Amazon

 

 

 

The first body is found under a trimmed Christmas tree, the second as they ring in the New Year (1947), the third goes head long out a window. Will a young pediatric nurse determined to make it on her own be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again? Can she trust the stalwart village detective with her life and her heart as he works to catch this killer before somebody else dies?

Pediatric nurse, Katrina Lenart, grew up strong willed and independent minded, while sharing her mother’s flair for high fashion. When the police chief gives her an orphaned baby to care for, her maternal instincts take over and she’s willing to fight anyone who might not have the infant’s best interests at heart, even the man she’s growing to love. After an attempt is made to kidnap the baby, she and the resolute village detective team up and do some sleuthing, undercover at a cult as well as at a fancy ball.

Detective Ian Daltry is a widower with a child and is not interested in a new love. Hunting a killer who stops at nothing has placed him in the position where he must protect a beautiful young woman he’s drawn to. Is there’s something he’s overlooked in analyzing the case? Will he find out what that is before this ruthless murderer kills someone he loves?

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Amazon/Kindle.  http://amzn.to/12nzi3j

Barnes & Noble/Nook. http://bit.ly/11L7quZ


Techno Undercover Tactics ~ Are They Today’s Reality or the Realm of Fiction Writers?


2007.5 Ziggy Incognito

In the good olde days, or the bad olde days, depending on ones perspective, the very first thing an undercover operative might want to do is mask his or her appearance.

But in today’s high tech world, things have changed a lot…

All the good espionage toys and gadgets have been the creation of action-adventure, crime fiction thriller, and futuristic sci-fi novels. Well not any more.

Although while not a secret, it’s not generally known that a powerful new tool was tested during protests at the Republican National Convention (2012). Smart phones were used to video the crowd and to communicate one agent to the other. Prior to that an undercover operative might be discovered if seen with an earbud sticking out of his or her ear. The use of specially outfitted smartphones and tablets made operatives blend in with a high-techno crowd. As first reported in the National Journal, September 17, 2012, these special apps allowed operative on the ground at the convention to send real-time voice, video, and data. Law enforcement officials around the country are excited about the possibilities of using this new technology. It’s as if they have entered a realm that here-to-fore had be the providence of hyped-up crime fiction thrillers.

According to the developers of this technology, police departments who were monitoring the protests used a next-generation broadband network not only to send secure voice, video, and data communications, but also to send evidence-quality, permanent recording of all data collected at the protest. But not only that, the system brought together fixed-surveillance camera feeds, live video transmitted from the operatives smartphones…as well as global-positioning system information, and traditional radio traffic. Wow!

According to Darlene Storm (whose motto is surveillance is sexy) on the blog CompterWorld, this real-time video and data was fed into the 94 camera RNC surveillance system which is connected to a wireless network. All video of the protest will be stored for four years.

Now, since turn-around-is-fair-play, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has encouraged reverse-surveillance and has released a stealthy Android app called Police Tape whereby citizens can secretly record law enforcement personnel. It’s become an age where everyone can spy on everyone, anywhere, all the time. Ain’t it wonderful?


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