Category Archives: National News

88% of Americans now using face masks, 29% Say They May Never be Comfortable Shopping in Stores Again

BY 

My-Post-156A new nationwide survey from Fast shows that the vast majority of Americans – 88% – are now using face masks, but 19% want to personally receive a COVID-19 vaccine before they feel safe shopping in stores again, while another 29% say they may never be comfortable buying in person again.

Even as additional businesses are starting to reopen around the country, Fast’s survey found that 22% of Americans are shopping more online specifically to avoid wearing face masks in stores. Additional mask usage habits include:

  • 58% wear masks in stores
  • 51% wear them in crowds where they can’t maintain 6-foot social distancing
  • 41% wear masks when required by a business or government
  • 35% wear them every time they go outside
  • 24% wear masks at work
  • 10% never wear a mask

Read more from Texas News Today…

How Many Flat Tires Are Worth an Officer’s Life?

By Chief Scott Hughes, CoP in Hamilton Township, OH

spike-strip-1Since the development of the tire deployment device (TDD), not a year has passed without the loss or serious injury of officers involved with their use—be it preparing for deployment, executing deployment, or post-deployment retrieval. Already, after just four months, 2020 has proven to be no different. These tragedies should make us rethink how we end high speed chases. Before diving into this subject, I will admit that in my younger years I, too, placed myself in some “risky” situations while deploying TDDs. If the suspect’s vehicle had swerved one way or another, I most likely would have become another statistic. I was lucky. 

Since 2000, an alarming number of officers have been killed during TDD-related incidents. Of those, over half were killed during some step of employing the devices on an interstate or state highway. In many cases, the suspect’s vehicle was traveling at very high speed, with one documented case of two female suspects traveling in excess of 140 M.P.H. when they struck and killed two police officers in Tennessee.

The risks of TDDs are inherently obvious and steps to mitigate those risks vary; from restricting use to complete prohibition. Cincinnati Police Department implemented a restrictive route after a young sergeant was hit by a pickup truck that was struck by a vehicle driven by a suspect who was high on heroin and fleeing police. The sergeant was in a coma for more than a week and sustained multiple serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury, a broken skull, fractured neck and a dissected carotid artery. He spent a year in a rehab center and ultimately took a medical disability retirement from the department.

The Dallas Police Department chose a more preemptive course of action, completely banning the use of TDDs several years ago. Although at the time of the decision, no Dallas officers had been injured or killed using the devices, but then Assistant Chief Mike Genovesi said, “It’s an officer safety issue. In a perfect world, they can be effective, but I have seen too many instances where the reality we live in is far from that. There’s a lot of danger, a lot of safety issues with them.”

Regardless of the chosen policy, I’m sure we can all agree on one thing. If your officers are given the option to use TDDs, they MUST be trained. That leads to the core question: How much training do we actually conduct on proper TDD deployment? In fact, how much training do we conduct—period—in a profession with so much risk?

While researching this article, I reviewed an instructor’s manual from a popular TDD manufacturer. The manual discusses how to deploy the device and even recommends having “all participants go to a controlled area (i.e., parking lot, large room, etc.) to demonstrate their proficiency in safely deploying…”

Herein lies the problem with not just TDDs, but the majority of our high risk/low frequency tasks in law enforcement. Out of the 30 officers killed in the last 20 years deploying TDDs, none of them were killed in a parking lot with no traffic, and certainly none were killed in a large room.

Are we failing our officers? You bet!

How many times have you heard an administrator, politician, community activist, or member of the media comment on the need to change law enforcement training? Yet, what’s our response? Making virtually no changes that will have a significant impact on the safety and lives of our officers. Of course, I admit there are certainly exceptions to this. However, when you look at our profession from a 30,000-foot view, what are we doing to combat the true risks our officers face on the streets? Are we incorporating reality and appropriate levels of stress into our training curriculums? Having officers deploy TDDs in a large room or a vacant parking lot will only contribute to the problem. These unrealistic settings will not prepare them to deal with the sudden onset of acute stress – which is exactly what occurs during a high-speed pursuit.

Many agencies have been using PIT maneuvers and rolling roadblocks for decades. However, in some departments these actions are prohibited and violate policy. Why would we allow officers to chase a suspect for miles and miles when a properly performed PIT maneuver could end the threat almost immediately? Liability? Fear of damage to a police cruiser and replacing a bumper? Seriously?

This is the issue. As leaders, we have to change the way we think. (By the way, for those of you utilizing the PIT and/or rolling roadblocks, kudos)! The cost to replace a bumper or fix damage to a police car is nothing compared to burying a police officer.

Legislative changes need to be enacted in parts of the country that make fleeing from the police – regardless of the crime, distance, speed, or suspect’s past – a crime that immediately results in mandatory prison time. Send a message to those who flee: your actions will make jail time certain.

If you are going to continue utilizing TDDs, here are some tips and reminders on do’s and don’ts for deployment:

  • Under no circumstances should TDDs be used on Interstate highways. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Officers should be cognizant of the lack of visibility when deploying TDDs at night or in adverse weather conditions.
  • Agencies should prohibit the use of TDDs when suspect speeds become excessive.
  • Any officer preparing to deploy a TDD should confirm that pursuing units are aware of his/her location and significantly reduce their speed when approaching the location of the TDDs.
  • If a suspect vehicle successfully “hits” the TDDs, the officer deploying the TDD should immediately notify the pursuing units and advise when the TDDs and involved officers have cleared the roadway, making it safe to pass the location.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of TDD deployments are successful and officers take the violators into custody. Therefore, TDDs will most likely continue to be a tool utilized by many law enforcement agencies. Technology is also improving and new tools are being developed to assist law enforcement in apprehending fleeing vehicles. From GPS tracking darts to remote controlled TDDs, we are making improvements in ways to successfully end high speed chases.

A fellow chief who I hold in high regard shared one of the most profound statements I’ve heard in my career:

“Risk is baked into the cake of law enforcement.”

That simple observation stuck with me. We’ve all chosen to eat the cake. It’s what we do. But the deeper you bite in, the more risk you choose to accept. I’m not saying that’s a bad decision. It’s not. But it’s a decision we need to make wisely and with great planning.

The key is training. If you choose to prohibit the use of TDDs, I respect and understand that decision. If you choose to continue to allow your officers the option of using TDDs, then train them! Train them WELL, while seriously considering steps you can take as an administrator to mitigate the risks they may not fully consider in real-time in the field.

Be safe, be smart, be successful!

 

DEA-led operation nets more than 600 arrests targeting Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación

NEWS RELEASE

DEADALLAS – The Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced the results of Project Python, a DEA-led multilateral interagency operation encompassing all global investigations and related disruption activities targeting the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).

This announcement marks the successful conclusion of six months of investigative and enforcement activity targeting CJNG, culminating in large scale arrests throughout the country within the past week. Project Python has resulted in the arrests of more than 500 CJNG associates, 350 indictments, as well as significant seizures of money and drugs.

“Project Python is the single largest strike by U.S. authorities against CJNG, and this is just the beginning,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This strategic and coordinated project exemplifies DEA’s mission: to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy drug trafficking organizations around the world and bring their leaders to justice. Today, DEA has disrupted CJNG’s operations, and there is more to come as DEA continues its relentless attack on this remorseless criminal organization.”

“Project Python marks the most comprehensive action to date in the Department of Justice’s campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy CJNG,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Criminal Division. “When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG. We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face. And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.”

“The DEA Dallas Field Division joins our brothers and sisters nationwide to take the fight to the CJNG. Project Python is another example of leveraging our resources, partnerships, and expertise, to destroy the distribution networks operating in North Texas and Oklahoma,” said Dallas DEA Special Agent in Charge, Eduardo A. Chávez.

The Justice Department and its law enforcement partners are committed to fulfilling the President’s Executive Order 13773 to identify, interdict, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations. The department designated CNJG as one of the top transnational criminal groups targeted as part of carrying out this executive order, and DEA instituted Project Python as part of this ongoing effort. 

CJNG is one of the fastest growing transnational criminal organizations in Mexico, and among the most prolific methamphetamine producers in the world. It is responsible for a significant proportion of drugs entering the United States, and elevated levels of violence in Mexico. With methamphetamine abuse and overdose deaths on the rise, Project Python aims to disrupt CJNG’s ability to distribute methamphetamine and other drugs throughout the United States by attacking the group at all levels. 

Federal law enforcement has taken a number of steps to degrade CJNG’s ability to operate in the United States. Today, the Justice Department and DEA announced a superseding indictment on charges of alleged continuing criminal enterprise against Nemesio Ruben Oseguera Cervantes, also known as “El Mencho,” the undisputed leader of CJNG. Last month, El Mencho’s son, Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, also known as “Menchito,” and second in command of CJNG, was extradited from Mexico to the United States on charges of alleged drug trafficking and firearm use in relation to drug trafficking activities. On Feb. 26, 2020, El Mencho’s daughter, Jessica Johanna Oseguera Gonzalez, was arrested in the United States on financial charges related to her alleged criminal violation of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.

Additionally, DEA has worked with its interagency partners to apply further pressure to CJNG. The U.S. Department of Treasury has designated El Mencho as a “specially designated narcotics trafficker” pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, and the U.S. Department of State has issued one of the largest narcotics rewards ever – $10 million – for information leading to the arrest of El Mencho.

In our [the DFW] area, 6 indictments have been secured against CJNG associates, and DEA has made 12 arrests and executed 8 search warrants related to Project Python.

The efforts highlighted in the more than 600 arrests nationwide are illustrative of the significant reach the CJNG has in manufacturing, importing, and distributing a wide array of illegal narcotics within the United States and the negative impact on the fabric of our local communities. The proceeds from the local distribution of these narcotics are repatriated back to Mexico and further fuel transnational organized crime organizations such as the CJNG. The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously fight this scourge against the United States. 

The Department of Justice’s multi-agency Special Operations Division, federal prosecutors from the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the Department’s Criminal Division, the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and Office of Enforcement Operations provided invaluable support to this operation.

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It’s about time to turn back time!

Doesn’t it make you feel powerful to gain an extra hour in your day as you “Fall Back” on Sunday, November 3? Yeah, me neither. Maybe if everyone in the country (except for those lucky souls in AZ and HI) weren’t doing the same, I’d feel like a mediocre time traveler. Alas…it is not to be. 

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House launches Trump impeachment inquiry

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Amanda Wills, CNN

What we know so far:

Read more from CNN…

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Nancy Pelosi (L) and President Trump

We Will Never Forget

Here are some photos from the aftermath of Grapevine’s ceremony this morning at the 9/11 Memorial on NW Highway at Texan Trail. It was obvious that there was an outpouring of love and remembrance. The City of Grapevine has photos of the ceremony on their Facebook Page.

Dallas detective who was handcuffed to Oswald when he was shot dies at 99

By FOX4News.com Staff

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(L – R): Leavelle, Oswald and Ruby

The Dallas police detective who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was shot has passed away, family members confirm.

Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Jack Ruby shot him.

Leavelle was transferring Oswald to the Dallas County jail on November 24, 1963, just two days after President John f. Kennedy’s assassination.

Read more from Fox 4…

Thousands of tarantulas expected to crawl through Colorado in mass migration

By Austin Williams

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(Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/Picture alliance via Getty Images)

 – Looking for the ultimate family getaway? Well now’s your chance to witness the great tarantula migration expected to kick off this month in Colorado.

According to the Gazette, thousands of tarantulas with a high libido can be seen crawling through the Colorado grasslands in search of a mate, beginning their exodus from August through early October.

Scientists say many of the spiders are 10-year-old males looking to mate with females that make their burrows in Colorado’s grasslands.

Read more from FOX 4…

What Dropping 17,000 Wallets Around The Globe Can Teach Us About Honesty

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Photo: Christian Zünd

So picture this: You’re a receptionist at, say, a hotel. Someone walks in and says they found a lost wallet but they’re in a hurry. They hand it to you. What would you do?

And would that answer be different if it was empty or full of cash?

Those are questions researchers have been exploring; Thursday, they published their findings in the journal Science.

Read more from NPR…

 

Tuskegee Airman Who Flew 142 WWII Combat Missions Dies at 99

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Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

World War II pilot Robert Friend, one of the last original members of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen, has died at the age of 99.

Friend’s daughter, Karen Friend Crumlich, told The Desert Sun her father died Friday at a Southern California hospital.

Born in South Carolina on 1920’s leap day, Friend flew 142 combat missions in World War II as part of the elite group of fighter pilots trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. The program was created after the NAACP began challenging policies barring black people from flying military aircraft.

Read more from NBC Washington…