Category Archives: Police News

2 HPD officers shot at apartment complex on south side of Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Two Houston police officers were shot and a suspect has been arrested at an apartment complex Tuesday morning in southwest Houston, Chief Art Acevedo said.

A call came in around 9:30 a.m. from the Richmond Manor apartments in the 2600 block of Holly Hall and El Mundo, near Highway 288.

Initially, police reported that at least one officer had been shot. An ambulance was seen rushing to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where a massive police presence is outside.

We know at least one officer is being treated there. One of the officers was shot in the arm and is expected to survive.

Read more from ABC13…

Cracking Cases with Digital Forensics

In the not-too-distant past, if you wanted to keep tabs on what someone was doing, you’d have to stealthily follow them around town with a camera. Today, however, a quick look at their digital devices would provide you with more information than you ever imagined.

With the infiltration of digital devices into all aspects of daily living—from mobile phones to wearable devices and vehicle connectivity—you amass data simply by going through your 21st-century life. Individuals leave a data-rich, digital footprint wherever they go; whatever they do.

The field of digital forensics emerged as an answer to all this data. Tapping into the wealth of information, investigators use it to unveil the truth even in the murkiest of cases. To help you better understand digital forensics, we spoke with three seasoned experts in the field to get the inside scoop. Keep reading to learn about the field and the critical role digital forensics plays in investigations—as well as some examples of high-profile cases cracked by it.

Read more from Rasmussen College…

3 major North Texas cities searching for new police chiefs

The three biggest cities in North Texas are all searching for new police chiefs — Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington. But all may be looking for something different. Former Arlington PD Chief Theron Bowman, who is now a nationally known police consultant, joins Good Day to talk about each city.

To view the interview on FOX4, click HERE.

Gov. Greg Abbott says he will freeze cities’ abilities to increase property tax revenue if they cut police funding

By Nola Valente

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Gov. Greg Abbott announced a proposal Aug. 18 to keep cities from increasing property tax revenue if they decrease police department funding. (Screenshot of April 17 press conference)

Gov. Greg Abbott said Aug. 18 he will freeze cities’ abilities to increase property taxes at the current level in response to cities making cuts to police department funding, just days after Austin City Council approved a budget that will cut police funding by one third and reinvest the money in social services.

“They will never be able to increase property tax revenue again if they defund police,” Abbott said. “Cities that endanger residents by reducing law enforcement should not be able to turn around … and get more property tax dollars.”

Abbott’s press conference was held in Fort Worth with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen in Fort Worth on Aug. 18.

Read more from Community Impact…

Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick, Speaker Bonnen announce legislative proposal on police funding

downloadGov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen held a press conference yesterday in Fort Worth where they announced a legislative proposal to discourage defunding law enforcement in Texas.

With this proposal, any city that defunds its police department will have its property tax revenue frozen at the current level. The governor, lieutenant governor and speaker were joined by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, State Sen. Jane Nelson and Representatives Giovanni Capriglione, Charlie Geren, Craig Goldman and Stephanie Klick.

“Part of our job as state leaders is to ensure the safety and security of all Texans, and we will not allow this core function to be undermined by cities that seek to defund and dismantle law enforcement agencies that have a sworn duty to protect our communities,” Abbott said. “Defunding the police puts Texans in danger and invites lawlessness into our cities, and cities that endanger their residents should not be able to turn around and raise more taxes from those same Texans. I strongly urge the Texas Legislature to take up this important issue next session to protect their constituents and ensure law enforcement have the resources and support they need to protect their communities.”

Price said: “It’s an honor to host Governor Abbott in Fort Worth for an announcement in support of funding public safety. As I have previously stated, I do not support defunding the Fort Worth Police Department and will not entertain any conversation around defunding, or even dramatically reducing, the budget for FWPD.”

“In July, Fort Worth residents voted with overwhelming support to dedicate a half-cent sales tax to our Crime Control and Prevention District for another 10 years,” Price said. “Using that funding, Fort Worth will successfully respond to concerns about police-community relations by prioritizing enhanced public safety, training and other measures that will ensure our police department is serving our residents to the highest degree.”

Source: The Texas Police News

23-Year-Old Texas Officer Killed In Crash Caused By Wrong-Way Driver

Yarbrough-PowellA 23-year-old Beaumont, Texas officer was killed early Sunday in a crash caused by a driver going the wrong way, police said.

Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary said two of the department’s officers were going northbound on Cardinal Drive near Highway 347 at around 2:30 a.m. when their vehicle was hit head-on by a Ford Mustang going southbound.

Officer Sheena Yarbrough-Powell died from her injuries, while her partner was treated for “severe” injuries at a hospital. The surviving officer faces a “long road to recovery” after being released from the hospital, Singletary said.

Read more from DFWCBSLocal…

Happy National Police Week!

national-police-week-2020In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.

The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. In that spirit, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 sponsors receptions each afternoon and evening during Police Week. These events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.

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!

 

Grapevine Police arrest a man for coughing into an officer’s face, claiming he has Coronavirus

NEWS RELEASE

Dechoudens, Jonathan

Deschoudens

GRAPEVINE, TX – Grapevine Police arrested a man for coughing into an officer’s face and claiming he had coronavirus. 27-year-old Jonathan Dechoudens is charged with Harassment of a Public Servant, a 3rd degree felony. 

On Friday, April 3, at approximately 12:45am, a Grapevine Police officer was sitting in his marked patrol unit in a parking lot off of Northwest Highway, with his driver’s side window down. Dechoudens ran up to his window and began to cough in his face, stating he was infected with coronavirus. When the officer confronted Dechoudens, he was told it was a joke. 

The officer, fearing exposure to the potentially life-threatening illness, called in additional units and medics to screen Dechoudens for symptoms. Once cleared, Jonathan Dechoudens was arrested and booked into jail. He was first booked for Terroristic Threat, but after consultation with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, the charge was changed to Harassment of Public Servant.

The Grapevine Police officer who was coughed on continues to monitor his health daily, and remains free of symptoms. He was cleared to continue working, and is temperature-checked before beginning each shift, as are all employees who enter the Grapevine Public Safety Building.

The Grapevine Police Department values the safety of the community and its officers, and will continue to ensure that all first responders do their part to slow the spread of the virus. This includes wearing personal protective gear (PPE) as needed, utilizing sanitizing liquids and wipes, and checking all suspects for symptoms of coronavirus before they are taken to jail. Anyone who claims they are trying to give the virus to another person will face charges.

Police allowed to issue tickets, make arrests for ‘shelter in place’ violations across North Texas

Author: Rebecca Lopez

ARLINGTON, Texas — They are being asked to protect and serve in ways they never imagined.

Law enforcement is tasked with making people comply with the shelter in place orders across the North Texas.

“We have to do what we have to do to make sacrifices in order to stop the spread of this virus,” said Sgt. Sheldon Smith, National Black Police Officers’ Association President.

Officers have the authority to stop people to make sure they are essential workers and not people just out and about. Dallas County was the first to issue a “shelter in place” order that began at midnight Tuesday.

Read more from WFAA…