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.