Monday, December 31, 2012

New NYPD cop Erin Coughlin gets badge number of her dad, who died on 9/11 - NY Daily News

Newly graduated NYPD officer Erin Coughlin, 27, whose father lost his life as a first responder to 9-11, at her graduation at the NYPD Academy graduation ceremony at Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn.

This new cop wears a true badge of honor.

Officer Erin Coughlin was given the shield number of her late father — a veteran NYPD cop killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11 — when she graduated from the Police Academy on Friday along with 1,158 other recruits.

Coughlin, 27, said taking the oath during the Academy’s graduation ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was a dream come true. “It’s an absolute honor,” she said. “I had goosebumps the entire ceremony.”

Her father, Sgt. John Coughlin, an 18-year department veteran who served with the Emergency Services Unit, died trying to save people from the twin towers on 9/11. His daughter, who is one of three, said she was proud to continue the heroic cop’s legacy by wearing his badge No. 3751 on her chest.

“I know he was looking down and was proud of me,” she said. “It was kind of surreal that here I am standing here taking the same oath he did almost 30 years ago.”

Coughlin said that she took the Police Academy test three years ago. She had previously been pursuing a teaching career, but had trouble landing a steady job. It was then that she began to notice NYPD advertisements for recruits.


Erin Coughlin (right, in red shirt), with her father, NYPD Sgt. John Coughlin, who died on 9/11.

“Little by little, I think (my father) was sending me signs that I should probably take the test,” she recalled. “And now, here I am!”

Her mother, Patty Coughlin, said she was thrilled to see her daughter follow her husband onto the force. “It’s an amazing day,” the proud mother said. “I’am very proud of her. She worked very hard for it.”

NYPD29N_4_WEBJoining Coughlin in the graduating class was the son of Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, who made his first collar during his time as a recruit. Patrick Lynch Jr., 21, was driving home from the academy with three fellow recruits on Sept. 13 when they spotted a man beating another man on a Queens street.

The recruits put a stop to the assault, and Lynch helped slap handcuffs on the suspect as another called for backup.
“It was an exemplary display of teamwork and professionalism,” NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

“It’s something I always wanted to do my entire life,” said the younger Lynch. “To be able to share that with my father made it one of the proudest days of my life.”

“It is a very special moment,” added the elder Lynch. “And he already made an arrest before he was out of the academy, so he’s off to a good start.”

Sgt. John Coughlin

Friday, December 28, 2012

3 Cops Shot: Gunman Dead in NJ Police Station Shooting | NBC 10 Philadelphia

3 Cops Shot: Gunman Dead in NJ Police Station Shooting | NBC 10 Philadelphia

A man who worked for the New Jersey Department of Corrections grabbed an officer's gun and opened fire inside the Gloucester Township Police station early Friday, injuring three officers before being shot dead.
The officers involved in the incident were Sgt James Garber, a 13-year veteran; Sgt. James Kevin Thyne, an eight-year veteran; and Officer Ruth Burns, a rookie.
"Their actions of protecting the community quickly escalated from responding to call for service to performances of heroic actions by members of this police department," Chief W. Harry Earle said at an afternoon press conference.
It all started as a domestic violence call just after 1 a.m. when township police responded to a residential home for a report of a suspicious person. Investigating officers pulled over a man matching the description of the suspect.
Eddie Jones III, 39, of Willingboro, N.J. was arrested on suspicion of stalking his ex-girlfriend and other charges. He identified himself as an employee of the state Corrections Department, where he worked as a non-sworn in officer, Earle said.
"A violent struggle occurred while the suspect was being processed," Deputy Chief David Harkins said.
Police say Jones' handcuffs were removed for a brief time -- a common procedure -- so he could be processed. At that point he suddenly overpowered Officer Burns, knocking her to the ground, hitting her in the head and taking her weapon from its holster, Earle said.
The two sergeants heard the commotion and came running into the processing room, Earle said.
"Eddie Jones continued rapid fire at the officers while Sgt. Garber and Sgt. Thyne returned fire," Earle said.
Burns was shot in the foot during the barrage of bullets. Thyne was hit on his duty belt causing a laceration to his stomach and suffered a graze wound to his chin. And, Garber was shot in his bulletproof vest, in the abdomen and suffered a graze wound to his head.
Jones died at the scene after being shot multiple times.
Police said that Burns and Thyne were treated a released. Garber underwent surgery for his stomach wound at Cooper University Hospital where he remained in stable condition Friday afternoon, according to police.
A spokesperson for the hospital said that there were several puncture wounds in the officer's vest. 
"I'm so proud of the actions these officers because they placed themselves in harm's way to save the lives of their fellow officers, police dispatchers and the general public during this escape attempt," Earle said.
The N.J. Department of Corrections said that Jones worked as a civil communications officer at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Chesterfield, Burlington County. He had worked at the DOC since September 1997.
Family members say that Jones had two daughters. According to court records, he was sentenced to four years probation after pleading guilty to resisting arrest in Camden County back in 1995.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Candlelight vigil tonight for Topeka officers killed

Candlelight vigil tonight for Topeka officers killed

Hundreds of residents and law enforcement officers attended a candlelight vigil in Topeka Monday night.  They gathered in holding candles and one another to honor the two officers shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday.
50-year-old Cpl David Gogian and 29-year-old Officer Jeff Atherly were shot and killed in the parking lot of a Dillon's store in Topeka.  22-year-old David E. Tiscareno is accused of killing them.  He died after a police stand off early Monday morning.
A tip from the public helped lead police to Tiscareno.  The Topeka Police Chief says he knew the public would come forward to help catch the guy who opened fire on the officers.
Gogian and Atherly were responding to a call from a citizen of a possible drug deal happening in the car.  When the officers went up to the car, they started to remove the driver and passenger from the vehicle.  Tiscareno was in the back seat. The Shawnee County Sheriff says Tiscareno got out of the car and shot both officers. 

The sheriff says a third officer responding to the scene, witnessed Tiscareno shooting the officers. The third officer fired back at the suspect. He then got into the car and took off alone. The two other people in the car were taken in for questioning as witnesses.  He says it's still unclear exactly what was happening inside the car.

The sheriff says once they were able to identify the suspect, they went to the media asking for help. Around midnight, they received a call saying Tiscareno was inside a residence on southwest Western Avenue in Topeka.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation brought in a special team to help arrest the suspect.  They used tear gas inside the home.  A short time later Tiscareno came out with a gun.  A spokesman from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation says Tiscareno fired one shot and then law enforcement returned fire.  Tiscareno was hit and died at the hospital.

The Topeka Police Chief says he would have preferred Tiscareno go through the judicial process instead.  He says it's frustrating because they will never know his motivations.  Tiscareno did have a criminal history.
Cpl David Gogian was retired from the military and worked full time as a Topeka officer for eight years. Before that, he worked as a reserve officer for 13 years. Officer Jeff Atherly was with Topeka PD for 18 months.
A memorial fund for the officer's families has been set up at the Topeka Police Credit Union.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Two officers shot, one killed serving search warrant

Two officers shot, one killed serving search warrant 

(WMC-TV) - One of the officers shot in the line of duty Friday morning has died.
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong confirms Martoiya Lang, 32, died as a result of her injuries. She has been with the Memphis Police Department since June 2003.
"We are asking that the city continue to keep her and her family in your prayers, she is the mother of four small kids," said Armstrong.
Officer Lang was shot, along with Officer William Vrooman, as they served a narcotics search warrant at 1062 Mendenhall Cove around 8 a.m.
The officers returned fire, shooting the suspect, who is now listed in critical condition at The MED.
According to Director Armstrong, Officer Vrooman, 32, is listed in stable condition. He has been with MPD since July 2007.
"This is a constant reminder of what police work is really about," said Director Armstrong. "So often we get side tracked with some of the other things that go on, we have an officer who goes out and does something inappropriate and it gets all the media attention. But the end of the day, we have officers like this officer who leaves her small kids at home, come put it all on the line."
He continued, "This officer, she was a friend, a family member, at the end of the day you have these officers that have to perform the same functions that this officer did and lost her life today."
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton ordered that all flags be flown at half mast until further notice.
"On behalf of the citizens of our city, we offer our prayers to the families, our condolences, I want to say thanks to the brave officers, men and women, who as we see, even at this early hour on a bright day like this who have to enter into some of the darkest of circumstances, but they are willing to do that," said Mayor Wharton. "We want them to know, their families to know, that through it all, we appreciate it deeply, beyond measure, words cannot express the sacrifices that they make for our city."
One another person was in the home when the search warrant was serviced. He has been taken into custody but has not been charged with a crime at this time.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Northport police officer passes away after crash

Northport police officer passes away after crash

An off-duty Northport police officer who suffered severe injuries in a two-vehicle crash at Tierce Patton Road and Highway 69 has passed away, according to Northport police.
Lt. Tim Sullivan says 37-year-old Jimmy "Jason" Guin passed away Friday morning at 2:34 a.m. at UAB. Friday, flags flew at half staff at the Northport Police Department. It's one way the community can recognize Guin.
"It's a loss that's going to take us a long time to accept what's happened. And it's a difficult time for all of us," Northport Police Chief Kerry Card said.
Guin was driving his personal vehicle, a Ford Explorer, on Thursday morning around 6:39 a.m when he was involved in an accident with a Nissan Maxima. The officer was ejected from his vehicle. The woman driving the Nissan was uninjured.
Guin was transported to DCH in Tuscaloosa then airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
Officials do not know how the wreck happened or who is at fault. No one has been charged in relation to the accident.
Card says that Guin always wanted to be a police officer. Guin worked in the patrol division and was a 10 year veteran of the force.
"He was cool under pressure, he had a calming personality, even when he was around people in difficult situations. Just the kind of person you'd want to sculpt as a law enforcement professional," Card said.
Card also says that Guin was a compassionate individual who cared about people in a special way.
"Officer Guin leaves behind two families that are mourning, the family he had at home and the family he leaves behind at the Northport Police Department," Card said.
Guin's friends say they are planning to collect money at the Holly Jolly Market at the Northport Civic Center to help Guin's family with financial burdens. Funeral plans have not yet been finalized.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Slain officer's badge found by chance on eBay

Photo by: John Dixon/The News-Gazette
Slain officer's badge found by chance on eBay 

Zane Ziegler is often on eBay looking for items of police memorabilia, particularly badges.

Two months ago, when the retired Champaign police officer saw a six-pointed star with the words Police and Champaign and the number 7 on it, he knew he'd hit the historical jackpot.

It was the badge of slain officer Thomas Dodsworth, one of two Champaign patrolmen killed while on the job.

Dodsworth died July 6, 1913, in a shootout with a bootlegger for whom he had an arrest warrant.
(The only other officer killed on duty was Robert Tatman, 27. He was found shot to death on Nov. 25, 1967, with his own service revolver on West Church Street near Mattis Avenue. His murder remains unsolved.)

"The Dodsworth thing was a fluke," Ziegler said. "I saw it on there in the middle of September. It looked different than anything I'd ever seen," he said, referring to the larger size. "This is three-and-a-quarter inches across, a six-point star. That would have been a coat badge."

Ziegler said some of the larger badges were referred to as "pie plates" because they were big enough to turn over and eat a piece of pie off of them.

"That particular badge number was a Chicago third issue, produced between 1889 and 1905. It could have been worn by somebody before Dodsworth, who came on in 1905. But it had to have been his badge. When he was killed in 1913, that badge would not have been issued again," Ziegler said.

"At some point between then and now, it left the department. We don't know exactly how and I don't want to speculate. Back in that time, it was up to whoever was in charge to do whatever they wanted to with stuff. Things disappeared — guns, whatever. Things aren't that way today."

Ziegler said he and his wife put a high bid on the badge and asked other bidders with similar interests to back off, explaining the badge's significance to the Champaign Police Department.

"The Dodsworth badge went to $355. I didn't think that was too bad. I think it was $359 with shipping. It came from a coin dealer in Sacramento, Calif. He said he got it with a large number of badges from a badge dealer. That's about all he would say. I suspect at one time, because of the listings he had, many of the badges were from the Chicago area.

"I saw Chicago pie plates and the same kind of plates for other towns around Chicago. Everybody copied the larger cities. I suspect it came from a collection out of Chicago, maybe an officer's estate.

We have no idea," he said.

Police Chief Anthony Cobb said several people around the department dug into their pockets to help Ziegler defray the cost of that treasure.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Minnesota police officer killed in ambush shooting during routine check

Minnesota police officer killed in ambush shooting during routine check 

A six-year police veteran described as a "hometown boy" was shot to death late Thursday in what authorities called an ambush killing.

Officer Tom Decker was responding to a report of a suicidal man when he was shot twice after getting out of his squad car near an apartment behind a downtown bar. He died at the scene.

Ryan Michael Larson, 34, of Cold Spring, was held Friday on suspicion of second-degree murder. The county attorney's office was considering criminal charges.

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner said his department got a call about 9 p.m. from Larson's family members that he might be suicidal. Cold Spring police went to his home once and couldn't raise anyone, then returned almost two hours later.

It was on the second trip that Decker was shot. He was wearing a bulletproof vest.

"It's apparent to us the officer was ambushed at the scene," Drew Evans, assistant superintendent of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said.

Police with dogs searched Friday for a gun near the site of the shooting in downtown Cold Spring, which is about 20 miles southwest of St. Cloud. Brian Moen, who lives about a block from the bar, said officers who came to his door told him they were looking for a sawed-off shotgun.

Cold Springs Police Chief Phil Jones described Decker as a "chief's dream." Jones said Decker grew up on a farm south of town, and after graduating from college, worked at several small Minnesota police departments before coming home for what he called his dream job.

"He was a hometown boy," Jones said.

He described Decker as the "department jokester" on a force with only eight full-time officers. Decker served as the department's instructor on firearms and use of force.

"Not only did I have no problems with him, but he was the type of officer who accumulated six letters of appreciation and commendation in six years with us," Jones said. "We lost an officer, the community lost a citizen."

Decker leaves behind a wife and four young children -- two sons and two daughters, his chief and family members said.

Joe Decker, his younger brother, told The Associated Press that Tom Decker loved to travel and be outdoors. Joe Decker said his brother was shy and reserved as a youngster but became outgoing and gregarious as an adult.
"He was one of those people who'd be the life of the party," Joe Decker said.

The Deckers' mother, Rosella Decker, told the Star Tribune that the family knew Tom's profession was dangerous.
"He had a lot of little close calls, and he would tell me about them afterward," she told the newspaper.
Larson had drawn police attention before in the community of about 4,000, mostly for traffic-related offenses but once in an abuse case.

In 2009, he reached a plea agreement to settle a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for engaging in behavior that could "arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others." As part of the plea deal, he served a day in jail and had another three months stayed, but he agreed to undergo domestic abuse counseling. A no-contact order was issued. Court files indicated he violated his probation in 2010.

Civil court records show Larson was sued more than once over outstanding debt and was evicted from a rental property in 2008 for failing to pay his rent.

Larson's relatives either couldn't be reached or declined to comment. One said she wasn't sure whether Larson had an attorney.

Condolences came from fellow police officers in other Minnesota departments and from elected officials, including Gov. Mark Dayton.

"Cold Springs Police Officer Tom Decker was senselessly murdered last night, while acting in the line of duty," the governor said. "On behalf of the people of Minnesota, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and to the Cold Springs Police Department for their tragic loss of an outstanding officer, father and friend. Officer Decker died, while protecting his fellow citizens. For his heroism, we will be forever grateful."

Monday, November 26, 2012

IL State Trooper Struck And Killed On I-55

IL State Trooper Struck And Killed On I-55 

LITCHFIELD, IL (KTVI) – Illinois State Police say a trooper was struck and killed in an accident on northbound Interstate 55 near Litchfield, IL Monday morning. He has been identified Trooper Kyle Deatherage, 32.
Deatherage was conducting a traffic stop just after 9 a.m., when he was struck by a semi tractor-trailer on I-55 at milepost 62.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Trooper Deatherage had been a member of the Illinois State Police since May 2009 and worked as a motorcycle officer. He is survived by his wife, Sarah, and two young children.
Northbound I-55 was shut down in Montgomery County as crews cleaned up after the crash. An investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Slain deputy was 15-year veteran of Baldwin County Sheriff's Office |

Slain deputy was 15-year veteran of Baldwin County Sheriff's Office 

MARLOW, Alabama -- One Baldwin County sheriff's deputy was killed Friday and another was injured in a gunfight that also claimed the life of a man who exchanged gunfire with the deputies.

The gunfire erupted after Michael Jansen pulled a handgun on the three deputies outside a home south of Fairhope on Mallard Lane, Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said.

The three deputies, armed with their service weapons, went to the 11800 block of Mallard Lane at about 4 p.m. Friday to check on a family disturbance involving Jansen, Mack said.

The gunfire took the life of Deputy Scott Ward, 47. Ward was pronounced dead after he was taken by helicopter to the University of South Alabama Medical Center.

"I have worked with him his entire time that he has been with the Sheriff's Office," Mack said. "He was a great law enforcement officer."

The second deputy also was taken by helicopter to University of South Alabama Medical Center. He was in serious condition late Friday night, the sheriff said.

Jansen was pronounced dead at the scene.

The third deputy who was involved in the shootout was not hurt, Mack said.

The Sheriff's Office withheld the names of the surviving deputies.


The loss of Deputy Ward

Deputies, deputies' family members, chaplains and Mack gathered at University of South Alabama Medical Center after the shooting.

Mack said others in the law enforcement community, including Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, either called him or stopped by the hospital to offer their condolences.

People also expressed their sympathy on Twitter.

Ward had been with the Sheriff's Office for more than 15 years. Ward, who was assigned to the patrol division, was a former Prichard police officer.

At the Sheriff's Office, Ward had worked in investigations, been a SWAT member and was a defensive tactics instructor.

He was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. Ward was deployed to Afghanistan about a year ago, Mack said.

"He was an outstanding officer," Mack said. "It's a great loss to us because he was such a big part our Sheriff's Office." Ward is survived by his wife.

Mack said he had the chance Friday night to talk to some deputies about the loss of Ward.

"Scott stood up ... and he did his job and in the course of the job he made the ultimate sacrifice," Mack said. "Tomorrow we will continue to grieve Scott, but we will have to move on. That's what Scott would want us to do because our mission does not stop."

Monday, November 19, 2012

FBI Releases 2011 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

FBI Releases 2011 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

November 19, 2012

According to the FBI, 72 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2011. Another 53 officers died in accidents while performing their duties, and 54,774 officers were assaulted in the line of duty. Comprehensive tabular data about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks are included in the 2011 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, released today.
Felonious Deaths
The 72 felonious deaths occurred in 30 states and Puerto Rico. The number of officers feloniously killed in 2011 increased by 16 when compared with the 2010 figure (56 officers). The five- and 10-year comparisons show an increase of 14 felonious deaths compared with the 2007 figure (58 officers) and an increase of 16 deaths compared with 2002 data (56 officers).

Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 38. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 12 years at the time of the fatal incidents. Sixty-nine of the officers were male, and three were female. Sixty-eight of the officers were white, three were black, and one was American Indian/Alaskan Native.
Circumstances: Of the 72 officers feloniously killed, 23 were killed in arrest situations, 15 were ambushed, 11 were involved in performing traffic pursuits/stops, nine were involved in tactical situations, and seven were answering disturbance calls. Five of the slain officers were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances; one was conducting an investigative activity, such as surveillance, searches, or interviews; and one officer was killed while transporting or maintaining the custody of prisoners.
Weapons: Offenders used firearms to kill 63 of the 72 victim officers. Of these 63 officers, 50 were slain with handguns, seven with rifles, and six with shotguns. Six officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons. Two victim officers were killed with personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.). One officer was killed with a knife or other cutting instrument.
Regions: Twenty-nine of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, 21 in the Midwest, 10 in the West, and 10 in the Northeast. Two of the deaths took place in Puerto Rico.
Suspects: Law enforcement agencies identified 77 alleged assailants in connection with the 72 felonious line-of-duty deaths. Sixty-four of the assailants had prior criminal arrests, and 17 of the offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the felonious incidents.
Accidental Deaths
Fifty-three officers were killed accidentally while performing their duties in 2011. The majority (30 officers) were killed in automobile accidents. The number of accidental line-of-duty deaths was down 19 from the 2010 total (72 officers).
In 2011, 54,774 law enforcement officers were assaulted while performing their duties. Of the officers assaulted, 26.6 percent suffered injuries. The largest percentage of victim officers (33.3 percent) were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls. Assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 79.9 percent of the incidents, firearms in 4.0 percent of incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 1.8 percent of the incidents. Other types of dangerous weapons were used in 14.3 percent of assaults.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Police Officer Killed in Car Crash - Yorktown-Somers, NY

Police Officer Killed in Car Crash - Yorktown-Somers, NY Patch

A Peekskill police officer was one of two people who died Sunday night after he crashed his Jeep Wrangler into an Audi on Route 17 in the Village of Goshen.
Julian Hermosillo, 29, of Chester, was declared dead at the scene after he was injured on Route 17, near Route 122A in Orange County, according to state police. Giuseppa Avanzato, 90, Oneonta, Otsego, died later in Orange Regional Medical Center from internal injuries she suffered while riding in a rear passenger seat of the Audi.
The accident happened at about 8:41 p.m. when Hermosillo, who was off-duty at the time, was travelling east in a 1994 Jeep Wrangler when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed over the guiderail into the westbound lane.
Hermosillo then collided with a 2011 Audi driven by Vincenzo Avanzato, 57, of Oneonta. Avanzato and his family were heading home from Connecticut, according to state troopers.
Vincenzo Avanzato is currently recovering from his injuries at the critical care unit of the Orange County Medical Center. Two other passengers in the Audi, Ruth Avanzato, 56, and Marco Lelli, 19, were treated at the hospital and released.
Peekskill police Sgt. Raymond Henderlong said troopers stopped by the police headquarters Sunday night to inform the department of Hermosillo’s death.
 “The troopers were extremely respectful and they deserved to be praised for doing that for us,” Henderlong said.
Hermosillo transferred from the Wallkill police department more than two years ago. He was recognized earlier this year for performing CPR on a man and saving his life.
“He was an extremely nice guy and he always had a smile on his face,” Henderlong said of Hermosillo. “He was very well respected. Not only in this department, but outside as well.”
Henderlong said that Hermosillo’s family resided in California and funeral arrangements are still being worked out.
Henderlong said the department lost another officer in 1997 when Michael Neuner, who also volunteered as a firefighter in Brewster, died while fighting a fire.
"We’re a small department and we’re like a family,” Henderlong said. ‘Unfortunately, some of the things we deal with are hard to think about all of the time, but we also have to look at some of the good things that we’ve done to save lives. We have to remember the good and know that we have helped bring joy to people’s lives.”
The accident remains under investigation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cleveland Officer Dies on Presidential Detail

Police Officer Marcia Figueroa Cleveland Police Department, Ohio End of Watch: Sunday, November 4, 2012 « The Munz ~~ Remembering the fallen

Police Officer Marcia Figueroa
Cleveland Police Department, Ohio
End of Watch: Sunday, November 4, 2012

Biographical Info

Age: 54
Tour of Duty: 14 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Duty related illness
Date of Incident: November 3, 2012
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Agency Contact Information

Chief of Police Michael McGrath
Cleveland Police Department
1300 Ontario Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: (216) 623-5000
Police Officer Marcia Figueroa died after suffering a medical emergency while assigned to a protective detail at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for Air Force One and President Barack Obama during a campaign visit.
After collapsing, she was flown to University Hospital where she passed away the following day.
Officer Figueroa had served with the Cleveland Police Department for 14 years.
Patrol Officer Marcia Figueroa fell ill while on duty at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Saturday.
She was life-flighted to University Hospitals where she died the next day.
Figueroa had been part of the force for 14 years.
“We are truly saddened by her sudden passing.  Marcia will be missed.  All district flags will be flown at half-mast today in honor of her on duty death,” said Det. Jennifer Ciaccia, the public information officer for the Cleveland Division of Police, in an email.
Details on Figueroa’s illness were not provided.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Atlanta police helicopter crashes, killing 2 Officers

Atlanta police helicopter crashes, killing 2 |

Update 11-4-12 3:30pm EST

ATLANTA — The two Atlanta police officers killed in a weekend helicopter crash are being remembered as public servants who died honorably as they searched for a missing 9-year-old boy.
Atlanta Police spokesman Carlos Campos identified the two officers Sunday as 48-year-old Richard J. Halford of Lithia Springs, who had been with the department for 26 years, and 40-year-old Shawn A. Smiley of Lithonia, who joined the department two years ago.
Campos said in a statement that Halford had been with the department's air unit for more than 16 years, serving as a pilot.
Officials say the helicopter crashed about 10:30 p.m. Saturday in a busy Atlanta neighborhood. No one was injured on the ground.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. The missing boy was later found safe.

Original Story:
ATLANTA - A police helicopter flying low over Atlanta on a nighttime search for a missing 9-year-old boy plunged to the ground in a northwest neighborhood of shops and apartments, killing the two officers aboard, authorities said Sunday.
Both officers died on impact in the crash about 10:30 p.m. Saturday and no one was hurt on the ground, police spokesman Carlos Campos said. The crash occurred in an Atlanta district near heavily traveled Interstate 20 in a mixed area of fast food restaurants, shopping plazas and apartments where utility lines bristle overhead.
A photograph aired on a local TV newscast afterward showed what appeared to be flaming debris in a roadway. The helicopter fell in an area roughly 4 miles west of downtown Atlanta. Power was blacked out to a nearby pharmacy and other businesses close by and a utility crew was seen afterward in the area, apparently working to restore electricity.
"It appeared to hit the utility wire on the way down," Campos told The Associated Press, citing preliminary information. But he emphasized: "We don't know what caused it" and referred all queries to the Federal Aviation Administration, which was just opening its investigation.
Bystander Darryl James, 42, told AP that he had gone with a companion to a check-cashing store Saturday night when he heard the helicopter flying overhead and thought it was rather low.
"The tail end went down and then there was an explosion," James said. He said he tried to get close to the wreckage. "As soon as I got close enough to it, poom! It exploded." He added of the helicopter's occupants: "They could not survive it."
James said people are often waiting at a normally busy bus stop near the crash site, adding "Thank God nobody was out there."
After the crash, fire trucks and police cars with their lights flashing converged on the area, blocking off roads all around. Police put up yellow crime scene tape and kept bystanders so far back they were unable to see the crash site behind a small rise. The names of the dead were withheld early Sunday while relatives were notified, police said.
Meanwhile, Atlanta's police force was plunged into mourning.
"Losing an officer is the most difficult thing a police chief can face," Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said in a statement. "Losing two is an unthinkable tragedy. Our hearts go out to the families of these officers and our thoughts and prayers are with them."
He called it a difficult day for the Atlanta force and "a reminder of their bravery and the sacrifices made by our officers every day."
Police said the helicopter was called in to join the search after police received a report shortly after 9 p.m. of a missing child. Campos said the boy was later found unharmed but he had no details on that search.
Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told AP by email that the FAA was investigating and the National Transportation Safety Board would also be involved, seeking to determine the cause. She didn't know the type of helicopter involved yet.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed also said early Sunday that he was saddened by what he called a "terrible accident."
"We mourn these two brave men and offer our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones," Reed said in a statement. "We also pause to extend our sympathy to the men and women of the police department who place their lives in harm's way every day to keep our city safe, and who especially feel the pain of this loss."
Early Sunday, about 20 people still watched the investigation hours after the crash near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Hamilton E. Holmes drives, near I-20.
Rodney Christian, 22, stood by, lamenting the loss of lives.
"It's sad. It's tragic ... for someone to lose their lives trying to find a kid, trying to keep another family together," Christian told AP. He added that he has a 1-month-old baby at home and was shaken just by the thought of the tragic events.
"It makes me want to rush home and get back to my kid."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy Claims Life Of Off-Duty NYPD Cop Who Rescued His Family

Sandy Claims Life Of Off-Duty NYPD Cop Who Rescued His Family « CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Among the 22 people killed in New York City as a result of superstorm Sandy was an off-duty police officer, who died rescuing his family from flood waters.
Officer Artur Kasprzak, 28, died Monday night in the basement of his home on Doty Avenue on Staten Island.
Around 7 p.m., with flood waters surging in his home, Kasprzak was able to get six members of his family, including two men, ages 69 and 31, along with three women, ages 31, 56 and 68 and a 15-month-old boy  into his attic so they could safely escape rapidly rising water.
Kasprzak then told one of the women he rescued that he was going to check the basement, but would be right back, the NYPD said in a release.
However, some time later — around 7:23 p.m., one of the women called 911 to report the officer missing.

After the house was deemed safe to enter, a search ensued around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Kasprzak’s body was found unconscious and unresponsive in the basement. EMS on scene pronounced him dead.NYPD personnel from the Emergency Service and SCUBA units immediately responded to the residence using Zodiac boats and Jet Skis, but couldn’t get to the home because of electrified power lines in the water.
The Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death.
Officer Kasprzak was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Manhattan and had six years on the job. Previously, he served the city for one year as an NYPD Cadet, and was assigned to the 122 Pct. Detective Squad.
Sandy killed 18 people in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. The dead included two who drowned in a home and one who was in bed when a tree fell on an apartment. A 23-year-old woman died after stepping into a puddle near a live electrical wire.
“This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced,” Bloomberg said.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Officer talks about getting shot 12 times at Sikh Temple

Officer talks about getting shot 12 times at Sikh Temple 

The police officer who survived 12 gunshots fired by a man on a fatal rampage at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee says he focused on his training as he lay wounded in the parking lot and his assailant kept shooting: "In a high-risk incident, I will survive."

Oak Creek Lt. Brian Murphy was the first officer to respond to the shooting at the temple on Aug. 5, a quiet Sunday morning. He pulled into the parking lot and saw two men lying on the ground. He got out of his squad, walked over to check on them.  Murphy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he knew at least one was dead.

Then a man dressed in black pants and a white shirt came running toward him.

"As soon as I looked over, it was obvious to see that this more than likely had to be the guy (shooter), just by his dress," Murphy said in his first extensive interview. "And the fact he had a holster on his hip, kind of the giveaway. At that point, I drew down on him and told him, 'police.' I identified myself and told him to stop."

The two were just 30 yards apart when they both began firing. Murphy was armed with his .45-caliber service revolver.

"That's when he hit me in the face," Murphy said. The officer took cover behind a car. Then he was hit again and again and said he thought to himself, "I'm not going out like this. I'm not going out in a parking lot."

Three gunshots struck his protective vest. Eleven more hit his arms, hands, legs and the back of his head. As Murphy wedged himself under a car, the gunman stopped to reload. Neither man spoke.

"He didn't look enraged," Murphy says. "He didn't look anything other than very comfortable in what he was doing."

Murphy said he could hear other officers arriving at the scene and heard the first rifle shot fired by veteran officer Sam Lenda, a marksman. The gunman, Wade Michael Page, was hit, scrambled away and fatally shot himself.

Page had killed six Sikh worshipers and wounded three others.

After three months and three operations, Murphy continues his recovery. He faces additional surgeries but wants to get back to work.

"People always ask me: 'Do you flash back? Do you have nightmares?"' Murphy said. "My answer is no. I have none of that. I'm lucky and I touch wood. I'm very fortunate that way. But what I do look back at is what I could have done different. I have always been a big proponent, no reason to go over 70 miles an hour. You put others at risk. But if I could have gone 100, could I have stopped him from shooting just one other person?"

Murphy said he apologized to the Sikh temple members for not getting there sooner. He said members of the Sikh community visited him in the hospital and have been supportive. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Deputy killed another injured in motorcycle crash

Deputy killed another injured in motorcycle crash

KATY, Texas - One Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office investigator was killed and another injured in an off-duty accident early Sunday morning in Katy. The case was investigated by the Katy Police Department.

Investigator Shelley Nicodemus died from injuries sustained in the accident and Investigator Moses Perez suffered head and back injuries.

The pair was headed westbound on the Interstate-10 feeder road near Pin Oak Road. Nicodemus was the passenger on the 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and was found about 30 feet from the motorcycle. Perez was found closer to the bike.

The incident occurred at about 12:10 a.m. At the scene of the accident, the feeder road splits with two lanes continuing along the freeway and two lanes turning into Pin Oak Road. The initial report indicated the bike hit the left curb and sent the bike skidding to the right side of the feeder road.

Nicodemus, 45, has been with the Sheriff's Office for about 20 years. She was a member of the Special Crimes Unit in the Criminal Investigation Division. Perez is a detective in the Burglary and Theft Unit of the Criminal Investigations Division. He has been with the Sheriff's Office almost 20 years.

Nicodemus was pronounced dead at the scene by Fort Bend County Death Investigator Chad Dzierzanowski. Perez was transported to Memorial-Hermann - The Medical Center where he underwent surgery Sunday morning. He is listed in stable condition.