Saturday, May 23, 2015

Virginia Fraternal Order of Police: 'Blue alert' law will save lives

Virginia Fraternal Order of Police: 'Blue alert' law will save lives

There is a new effort to keep our men and women in uniform safe. You have heard of amber alerts for kids, and now there is a new national blue alert law on the books for police.

"I don't know what I would do without my husband," said Chesterfield resident Kelly Wince. "He's my best friend."

Kelly Wince has watched the local reports in horror…Waynesboro Reserve Police Captain Kevin Quick abducted and murdered…Trooper Junius Walker shot and killed during a traffic stop.

"It makes me sad because that could be my husband," said Wince.

This wife of Officer Richard Wince is happy there is a new blue alert law that will create a national notification system meant to alert the public to assaults on police officers, those who are missing in the line of duty, and threats against officers.

"What people have to understand is if someone will kill a police officer," said Kevin Carroll with the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police. "They'll kill anybody."

Carroll is convinced this blue alert will save lives.

"It gives the information the information that we need to get out to the community," said Carroll. "So the community can give feedback to us and perhaps get a dangerous criminal off the street."

22 states, including Virginia, already their own forms of blue alerts. This national system is meant to help spread those alerts faster across the country.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Obama signs 'Blue Alert' law to protect police

Obama signs 'Blue Alert' law to protect police

WASHINGTON — President Obama has signed into law a measure that will require instant nationwide "Blue Alerts" to warn about threats to police officers and help track down the suspects who carry them out.
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named for the two New York Police Department officers killed in an ambush attack last December.
The assailant, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had killed his girlfriend earlier in the day, and then threatened on his Instagram account to kill police officers in retaliation for the recent police killings in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City. But that information never made it to New York.
"They were serving their community with great honor and dedication and courage, and all of New York grieved and all of the nation grieved," Obama said in an Oval Office signing ceremony with the families of the slain officers. "It's important for us not only to honor their memory, it's also important for us to make sure that we do everything we can to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they're in the line of duty."
The law requires the Justice Department to create a notification system relating to assaults on police officers, officers who are missing in the line of duty, and credible treats against law enforcement. The system is modeled after Amber Alerts for abducted children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors.
It's the 12th bill Obama has signed into law so far this year.
Obama called the bill "the best of a bipartisan support for law enforcement." It was so uncontroversial that it passed both the House and the Senate by voice vote.
Follow Gregory Korte on Twitter @gregorykorte.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

$10 Donation to Help Supply Protective Vests for Police Dogs

$10 Donation to Help Supply Protective Vests for Police Dogs 

The Issue: Fatal Injuries to Police Dogs in the Line of Duty

Dogs employed in law-enforcement K9 units risk their lives on a daily basis, often without the proper protective equipment. While on call, they are deployed ahead of their human counterparts, often confronting serious and possibly fatal danger to protect local communities. In 2014 alone, 20 American police dogs were killed in the line of duty.

The Campaign: Supplying Dogs with Bullet- and Stab-Protective Vests

All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. to supply bullet- and stab-protective vests for police dogs. For every $1050 raised, Vested Interest can purchase one vest. The organization aims to provide at least 200 vests to active-duty dogs across the country, presenting the vests at ceremonies to demonstrate their valor and service.
During the month of May, all K9 vests supplied by this Grassroots campaign will be embroidered, “In Memory of K9 Kye, Oklahoma City Police Department.” Kye—the black dog featured in the second image—was a three-year-old Belgian German Shepherd that was fatally injured in a stabbing on August 24, 2014, and Vested Interest wishes to honor his sacrifice.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

Lifelong animal lover Sandy Marcal created Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. to raise awareness and funds for bullet-protective vests for K9 police-unit dogs. She has more than a decade of experience working with K9 teams and has raised funds to purchase more than 1350 protective vests for K9 dogs in 49 states. Vested Interest’s team of volunteers also spreads the word of its mission through networking, donation collections, and fundraising events. Each time a new vest is procured, Marcal organizes and presides over a vesting ceremony for the chosen K9 unit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

National Blue Alert System - Police Week 2014 Fallen Heroes T-Shirt

The Blue Alert Foundation is pleased to offer this 'Limited Edition' National Police Week 2015 Honor Roll shirt to serve as a 'walking memorial' to the men and woman who gave their lives in the line of duty during 2014. 

To Order: Click Here 

Blue Alert Web Site: Click Here

Monday, May 11, 2015

This Week In Congress: Blue Alert, Freedom Act.

This Week In Congress: Blue Alert, Freedom Act.

The House returns this week from a district work period, set to focus on legislation related to law enforcement, defense and national security matters, while the Senate will begin debate on trade promotion authority.

The House will begin the week on Tuesday by completing consideration of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, a bill to prevent implementation of the so-called “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) regulation that would bring within the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers a much wider array of property deemed to be wetlands under federal authority than under current regulation. The bill will be sent to the president for signature after House passage.

Members are then scheduled to consider several suspensions related to fallen law enforcement and public safety officials. S. 665, the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015, will assist with the establishment of a nationwide Blue Alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers. This bill is named in honor of two New York City police detectives who were assassinated while sitting in their police patrol car in December 2014. H.R. 606, Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act, would amend the IRS Code to exempt death benefits paid to surviving dependents of public servants who died in the line of duty from being considered taxable gross income. H.R. 723, the Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2015, would provide Capitol-flown flags to the immediate family of fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and other public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty. Also related to law enforcement and public safety officials is H.R. 2146, which would allow federal law enforcement officers and firefighters to access money in their Thrift Savings Plan accounts without the 10 percent tax penalty when they are eligible to retire.

Monday, May 4, 2015

We are mourning with the NYPD after the loss of a young Brother. Patrol Officer Brian Moore

                                                                        From: Blue Line Across America

We are mourning with the NYPD after the loss of a young Brother. Patrol Officer Brian Moore, 25, succumbed to injuries after being shot in the face by a suspect on May 2. PO Moore and a partner working with the anti-crime unit pulled up to a subject who appeared to be adjusting something in his waistband. During the brief encounter the suspect drew a handgun and opened fire on the Officers striking Officer Moore. Surrounded by family, Officer Moore was removed from life-support and regretfully passed.

Officer Moore served with the NYPD for 5 years. He is survived by his parents. His father, Raymond, is a retired Officer.

We create these humble memorials as a small token of our appreciation for the dedication to service our Brothers and Sisters have while protecting the citizens of the communities they serve. We also light blue lights to honor the memory of these fallen Officers as a symbol of hope and gratitude. We will shine our blue lights across America tonight for Officer Moore. May he follow the blue glow home. Rest easy Sir.

Officer Moore is the 31st Officer honored by Blue Line Across America to fall in the line of duty during 2015. He is the 3rd Officer lost this year from the State of New York.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Senate Passes Bill to Create “Blue Alert” to Help Catch Suspects Who Attack Law Enforcement Officers

Senate Passes Bill to Create “Blue Alert” to Help Catch Suspects Who Attack Law Enforcement Officers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today the Senate passed a bill he co-sponsored to establish a national “Blue Alert” system within the U.S. Department of Justice to help catch those who kill, harm, or threaten law enforcement officers.

“Should law enforcement officers be killed, seriously injured, threatened, or go missing while in the line of duty, this system would be utilized to widely disseminate information to help identify and apprehend potential suspects,” Senator McConnell said. “Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect Kentuckians and this legislation will help bring to justice those who would harm our police officers and hopefully help to deter the violence in the first place. I was honored to support it and help push for its passage on behalf of the thousands of brave Kentucky law enforcement officer
The National Blue Alert Act would create a nationwide system similar to what the Amber Alert system does for abducted children.

Web Site:
Alert Sign-up: National Blue Alert

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cardin visits county, touts Blue Alert bill

Cardin visits county, touts Blue Alert bill 

A new public safety bill in Congress sponsored by U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin will create a nationwide alert system to locate and arrest criminals who kill or harm police officers, reassuring law enforcement officials in Charles County.
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 also is designed to send alerts when “imminent or credible threats of harm” are made against police, a Cardin news release states.
Cardin (D-Md.) met local law enforcement heads Monday at the Charles County Sheriff’s Office headquarters in La Plata to promote the bill and address issues facing police in Southern Maryland.
“When someone puts your life at jeopardy by an assault on you or [by trying] to kill you, it affects each one of us,” Cardin told the gathering of officers. “And we have to do a more effective job of helping you and protecting you from that danger.”
The Blue Alert law, Cardin said, would be coordinated through the Department of Justice; Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry (D) said a mass alert would be dispersed through message boards, social media and highway signs.
Cardin is confident the legislation will be enacted into federal law shortly. He said it is cosponsored by 25 U.S. senators, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and that Blue Alert is, therefore, “not a partisan issue.”
“It’s a great thing,” Cpl. Jonathan Palmer, president of the Charles County Correctional Officers Association, said of the bill.
Palmer said he thinks Blue Alert would make the law enforcement community safer and establish effective communication between agencies throughout the country.
Sgt. John Elliot, president of Charles County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 24, said getting information out on persons of interest nationwide is “critical to us.”
Discussion of key law enforcement problems in the tri-county region was left open to officers, who shared their concerns with Cardin in a roundtable meeting. The chief topic was heroin and prescription medication abuse in Charles County and Maryland.
Heroin is being produced in areas outside the county, said Capt. Dave Ruel of the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division. In Maryland, the drug primarily is being trafficked from Annapolis and the greater Anne Arundel County area, in addition to neighboring states.
Complicating the issue is the health care system, Charles County State’s Attorney Anthony Covington (D) said. Heroin use has exploded in the state partly due to an excess of unnecessary prescriptions written by doctors, he said. Covington told Cardin that law enforcement needs more federal assistance to stop such practices.
Heroin has become an epidemic in the county and state, Berry said, because prescription pain medications often mimic the chemical makeup of the opiates found in heroin. The high cost of prescription pills can drive addicts to take heroin and commit crimes to feed their habits, he said.
While his office has been communicating with federal partners and the sheriff’s offices of St. Mary’s and Calvert counties to combat heroin dealing, Berry told Cardin more federal funding is needed for enforcement needs, drug awareness programs in schools and programs that help reformed convicts re-enter society.
More than 70 percent of incarcerations in the country, Berry said, involve nonviolent criminals who ultimately will return to their communities.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ballroom dancer describes losing leg in marathon bombing

Ballroom dancer describes losing leg in marathon bombing 

AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON (AP) - After the first bomb went off down the street at the Boston Marathon, Adrianne Haslet-Davis somehow knew there was another one coming.
"I wrapped my arms around my husband and said, 'The next one's gonna hit, the next one's gonna hit,'" she recalled Wednesday at the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The next thing she knew, she was on the ground. Her husband, Adam, tied a tourniquet around her ravaged left leg, but he couldn't stop screaming.
"My first thought is, he's in shock and I have to save myself," she said.
The professional ballroom dancer crawled through broken glass, dragging her bloody leg along the pavement, shredding her forearms in the process. She made it into a restaurant.
Her husband walked in soon after, then collapsed on the stairs. An artery in his foot was spurting blood, his face grew pale, and his eyes began rolling back in his head, she said.
"I thought he was dying," she said.
He survived; she ended up losing her leg.
Her account - some of the rawest testimony heard to date in the case - came on the second day of the penalty phase of Tsarnaev's trial. The jury that convicted the 21-year-old former college student in the bombing is deciding whether should get the death penalty.
Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded when Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the race on April 15, 2013. Tsarnaev was also convicted in the killing of an MIT police officer as the brothers attempted to flee.
Tsarnaev's lawyers say Tamerlan, 26, masterminded the attack and recruited his impressionable younger brother, then 19, to help him. They say his life should be spared.
But prosecutors, seeking to emphasize the brutality of the attack, have called a long list of victims and their families to describe the heartbreaking consequences.
Haslet-Davis sobbed and covered her face with her hand as she described the terrifying aftermath of the bombing. She said she thought her husband was dead and she would be next.
At the hospital, she instinctively told medical personnel what she did for a living as they looked at her leg.
"I just kept screaming that I was a ballroom dancer," she said.
She called her parents to say goodbye.
"I said, 'I've been in a terrorist attack and I don't think I have a foot left anymore, and I'm in really bad shape, and I really need to talk to you, and this might be it,'" she said.
Her husband, an Air Force officer who had returned from Afghanistan just two weeks before the marathon, wasn't in court Wednesday.
"He has bravely admitted himself into a mental facility at the VA hospital," she said.
As she left the witness stand, she gave a long, furious glare at Tsarnaev. His lawyers leaned in toward him as if to protect him.
In other testimony Wednesday, Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China who was killed in the bombing, was remembered as a highly intelligent, vivacious young woman who took pleasure even in the smallest things, especially food.
"Everything you cook for her, she say, 'It's so good. It's awesome,'" said Jinyan Zhao, a surrogate aunt to Lu. She called Lu "a beautiful nerd."
Also Wednesday, Tsarnaev's lawyers tried to blunt the impact of a photo of Tsarnaev giving the finger to a security camera in his jail cell three months after the bombing.
His lawyers showed the jury video clips of him looking into the camera, apparently fixing his hair in the reflective glass, and then making a slightly angled, two-finger gesture similar to what teenagers often do playfully in selfies. Then he raised his middle finger at the camera.
In an apparent attempt to press the argument that Tsarnaev was a "kid" who was led astray by his big brother, defense attorney Miriam Conrad asked Assistant U.S. Marshal Gary Oliveira if he knew how old Tsarnaev was at that time.
The witness said he didn't.
"You don't know that he was 19 years old?" Conrad asked.
A poll of 500 registered Massachusetts voters released Wednesday by Suffolk University found that 58 percent believed Tsarnaev should be sentenced to life in prison without parole, while 33 percent favored the death penalty.
The poll was conducted April 16-21 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Florida Tour de Force bike ride helps fallen officers' families

Florida Tour de Force bike ride helps fallen officers' families

For almost two decades, it's been a coastal trek for many law enforcement personnel across the state.
The Florida Tour de Force bike ride provides financial support to the families of Florida officers lost in the line of duty.
The 270-mile journey, which kicked off earlier in the week in North Miami Beach, wraps up Friday with the fifth stage, spanning Titusville to Daytona Beach Shores.
On Friday's final leg, 20 officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Office are set to join the Tour de Force, honoring two of their recently fallen brothers — Orange County Deputy Scott Pine and Windermere police Officer Robbie German — who were both killed in separate shootings in 2014.
Many in Central Florida also still recall the shooting death of Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill, the 30-year veteran shot by Brandon Bradley in 2012. Bradley was sentenced to death in 2014.
"We're trying to grow awareness that officers are getting killed in the line of duty," said Detective Craig Catlin, president of the Florida Tour de Force. "Right now, especially these days, it seems like it's anti-law enforcement out there. We are still doing our job. We are the protectors."
Organizers said the support they have received along the way has been amazing, with communities rallying at each stop they make and helping out with the fundraiser. Every dollar raised goes directly to the families of fallen officers in Florida.
"We are raising money for those families that lost their spouse, father, mother, son or daughter," Catlin added.

Now in its 18th year, the Florida Tour de Force is a ride that started when a state trooper was killed. Last year, 800 law enforcement personnel participated in the race, and more than 30 riders completed the entire,
270-mile journey.