Friday, August 30, 2013

Patrolman Dolphus Schmelzla passed away from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle accident while on his way to work.

The Atkins Police Department is saddened to announce the loss of one of our valued officers.
Patrolman Dolphus Schmelzla passed away last night, August 29, 2013, at approximately 8:45pm from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle accident while on his way to work. The wreck happened at the intersection of East Main Street and Tyler Road in Russellville.
Officer Schmelzla has over 20 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career in Yell County at the Sheriff’s Office where he worked for approximately one year. He then worked for the Ola Police Department for two years and the Morrilton Police Department for two years before beginning his career at the Atkins Police Department where he has been employed since March of 2001.
Dolphus was a great officer who will be missed tremendously by the Atkins Police Department, as well as other law enforcement agencies around the area. We ask that you keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
All questions concerning funeral arrangements can be directed to the Pope County Dispatch Center. During business hours you may call 479-968-1800 and after hours you may call 479-968-0911.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Officer killed while serving warrant in Catonsville

Jason Schneider
A Baltimore County police tactical officer was fatally shot while serving a search warrant at a Catonsville home on Wednesday morning, according to police.

The officer was identified as Jason Schneider, 36, a 13-year-veteran of the force and with the tactical unit since 2004.

Police said Schneider and other officers had been going room-to-room in the house when he was shot several times.
He returned fire and hit a suspect, who remains in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Police did not identify the suspect Wednesday morning.

"During a well-prepared police event, Officer Schneider was killed in the line of duty and we deeply mourn his loss," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "I can only tell you that we don't always appreciate what our police do for us every day but it's times like this when we know how grateful we are for their bravery and their sacrifice."

Chief James W. Johnson said Schneider was "a leader within that unit. This is a terrible loss for Baltimore County."

Chief James W. Johnson
Johnson said a county tactical team entered a home on Winters Lane, near Roberts Avenue, "after an extensive tactical briefing and much planning." The officers were attempting to apprehend an individual wanted for a shooting a week earlier on Winters Lane."

Once the officers got inside, Johnson said people began to flee. He said the suspects clearly knew that the officers were police.

When Schneider turned a corner inside the home, he was shot multiple times. "As he was going down, he returns fire striking the suspect several times," Johnson said.

He said the department is continuing to investigate where the guns came from and other circumstances of this shooting.

Governor Martin O'Malley on Wednesday ordered the Maryland State Flag flown at half-staff in honor of Schneider.

The last Baltimore County officer who was killed by gunfire was in 2000. Sgt. Bruce Allen Prothero was working off-duty as a security guard when he chased suspects from a Pikesville jewelry store. Officer John W. Stem, Sr. died the same year as a result of gunshot wound from a shooting in 1977. The last city officer shot by a suspect and killed in the line of duty was Troy Lamont Chesley in 2007. Officer William Torbit was killed in January 2011, by fellow officers.

Johnson, who held back tears as he spoke about coping with the loss of an officer, said "these things hurt terribly," he said, as police officers depend on each other and become especially close."You're dependent upon your coworkers."

Johnson said the county has seen an overall decline in violent crime over the past five years, but the shooting is the fourth incident of gunfire in the larger Catonsville area in the last month. Johnson said the tactical unit was serving a warrant in relation to one of those shootings.

On Aug. 21, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the arm north of Route 40 and the Westview Shopping Center, closer to Woodlawn.

On Aug. 19, a man was shot in the 100 block of Winters Lane, a short distance from the police-involved shooting on Wednesday.

On Aug. 17, two men were shot in the 5300 block of Edmondson Ave. near the city line.

In July 2012, another county tactical officer was attacked by a resident with a sword in a Reisterstown home when police attempted to execute a search warrant in an attempted murder case. The resident was killed and the officer was uninjured.

"On behalf of the 817,000 residents of Baltimore County, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Tactical Officer Jason Schneider who was shot and killed this morning while doing what our police officers do fearlessly each and every day — protecting our Baltimore County neighborhoods," Kamenetz said in a statement issued later.

The statement continues to address the rest of the police department, "please know that we appreciate your service and know that you are in great pain having lost a brother in arms this morning," and asked everyone in Baltimore County to take a moment of silence for Schneider.

"He was one of Baltimore County's quiet heroes," he said.

Kamenetz said at the press conference that Schneider's father is a retired city police officer. "He is remarkably stoic," he said.

A Facebook page honoring the officer was created shortly after his death was confirmed Wednesday morning. "Remembering POFC Jason Schneider BCPD EOW 8/28/2013."

One woman posted, "sad my prayers are with his family, friends and BCPD may he rest in peace."

Many people changed their profile picture to a Baltimore County Police badge with a blue line through the middle in remembrance.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

UTSA police officer killed in crash

UTSA police officer killed in crash

Updated: Wednesday, August 21 2013, 10:03 AM CDT 

SAN ANTONIO -- The UTSA community is mourning the death of a police officer who was killed while off-duty. 

Police say Sergeant Hector Barrera was driving his motorcycle in the area of Shaenfield and Galm Road on the Far West Side around 1:00 p.m., when he lost control and crashed. He died at the scene. 

"We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Barrera," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo said in a statement. "His 11-year career, including seven years with the UTSA Police Department, was marked by exemplary service, professionalism and dedication. 

He was a great friend to the UTSA community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this difficult time." Investigators did not know what caused Barrera to lose control.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jesus Manuel Magdaleno Jr., CHP Officer Killed On Vegas Strip, Was Groom-to-be

Jesus Manuel Magdaleno Jr., CHP Officer Killed On Vegas Strip, Was Groom-to-be

LAS VEGAS — An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer about to head home from his bachelor party was killed and his brother-in-law was severely injured when they tried to stop a man from stealing the officer's pickup truck from the valet area outside a Las Vegas Strip hotel, authorities said Monday.

Jesus Manuel Magdaleno Jr. ran after the pickup, shouted that he was a CHP officer and jumped into the cargo bed with his sister's husband, Felix Brandon Cruz, while the driver sped wildly away from the Flamingo hotel-casino, according to a police report.

Magdaleno and Cruz had been loading luggage with the engine running and the driver door open.

"They were heading home after an enjoyable time, and they became victims of a horrible crime," Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Steiber said.

"A vehicle is being stolen. His friend is in the bed of the vehicle. He runs to the aid of his friend who is in danger," Steiber said of Magdaleno. "He gave his life for someone else."

A witness on the 17th floor of a nearby casino heard the commotion and told police she saw the white 2009 Ford F150 accelerate away from the Strip, mow down construction cones and speed through red lights on an Interstate 15 overpass.

The woman heard the two men in the back of the truck shouting for help before the pickup collided with a 2001 Ford Escape SUV and slammed into a traffic signal pole about 11 a.m. Sunday in front of the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, about a mile west of the Flamingo.

Magdaleno and Cruz were thrown from the bed of the truck.

Magdaleno, 33, an eight-year CHP veteran from Visalia, was killed. He was due to be married in September.

Cruz, 31, was in extremely critical condition Monday at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, authorities said.

The alleged car thief, James Robert Montgomery, 29, of Tustin, Calif., was arrested and hospitalized after the crash and booked into the Clark County jail on felony murder, kidnapping, auto theft, battery and robbery charges pending an initial court appearance. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

Three people in the SUV were treated for minor injuries, police Officer Laura Meltzer said.

Montgomery told police he remembered walking around the Flamingo and being in a car crash, but couldn't remember anything in between, according to the arrest report.

Montgomery spoke with a taxi driver before climbing into the driver's seat of Magdaleno's pickup, the arrest report said. Surveillance footage showed Magdaleno chase the vehicle and jump in the bed when it stopped for traffic.

The videos were impounded as evidence and not made public.

Flamingo owner Caesars Entertainment Corp. spokeswoman Debbie Munch issued a statement extending sympathy to the families and friends of the two men. She said the company was cooperating with the police investigation.

The incident was latest in a series of violent acts on the Strip, including a shooting one week earlier involving an off-duty Las Vegas police detective and a man accused of trying to steal a car in a loading zone outside the Excalibur hotel-casino.

Saul Villegas, 27, of Bellflower, Calif., faces an attempted auto theft charge after police alleged he got into Detective Bernard Plaskett's wife's car and refused to get out.

Plaskett, 54, a 20-year department veteran, shot Villegas once in the wrist, police said. Plaskett is on paid leave pending a departmental review of the shooting.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Highway Patrol Officer Killed in Off-Duty Incident

Highway Patrol Officer Killed in Off-Duty Incident

Chester County, SC (WLTX) -- An SC Highway Patrol Officer was killed Sunday night in an apparent accident while making household repairs.

Lt. Corporal Frank Murphy joined the Highway Patrol in 1977 and served until his retirement in 2001. Murphy then re-joined the Patrol in 2005, and was a well-known active Chester community member.

Lt. Corp. Murphy was 58, and apparently killed while making household repairs Sunday night. The incident is under investigation by the Chester County Coroner and Sheriff's offices.

South Carolina Department of Safety Director Leroy Smith said: "This is a very sad day for the DPS family. Frank Murphy had dedicated his life to the SC Highway Patrol and truly loved his job..."

Colonel Mike Oliver, SCHP Commander says "Our troopers are very saddened by the loss of one of their own. The Highway Patrol is a family, and when we lose someone within our ranks, it takes a tremendous toll on us all. We will do all that we can to support Frank's family during this difficult time."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Off-duty Providence officer killed in motorcycle crash

Off-duty Providence officer killed in motorcycle crash 

Providence police officer John Reposa Jr., center, with Anissa Otero, 8, and her mother Raquel Hernandez as they present the family with a new iPad in December 2012. Otero, who has autism uses an iPad to communicate and had the device stolen from her hands when she wandered out of her family's home on Manton Avenue in Providence. Reposa helped find the girl and returned to surprise the family with a new iPad. At left is Sgt. Timothy McGann.

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (AP) -- A Providence police officer has been killed in a motorcycle crash while off duty in Jamestown.
Police say 43-year-old John Reposa Jr. was riding a motorcycle through the intersection of North Road and Westwind Drive when it collided with a car at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Reposa was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the car, 44-year-old Marijke Landon of North Carolina, was not injured.
No charges have been filed, but the accident remains under investigation.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

DeKalb County officer dies in traffic accident

DeKalb County officer dies in traffic accident

TUCKER, Ga. — 
A DeKalb County police officer died in a traffic accident Saturday while trying to find a motorist who fled a traffic stop.
Officer Ivorie Klusmann was responding to a call when his patrol car ran off the road and hit a tree at 2:45 a.m. Saturday, said Police Chief Cedric Alexander. Klusmann died at the scene. The 31-year-old officer had been with the DeKalb County Police Department since October and graduated from the police academy in April.
"This is very hurtful and very difficult for us as a police department and a community," Alexander told a news conference.
Klusmann crashed near the intersection of DeKalb Medical Parkway and Heritage Park Trail.
The officer had pulled over a driver during a traffic stop, Alexander said. The officer took the driver's information and returned to his patrol car. When the motorist fled, Klusmann pursued him for a short distance until a supervisor called off the chase.
Then another officer spotted the vehicle. Klusmann was headed in that direction when he crashed. The driver escaped.
"We're going to pursue this right to the end. We won't stop," Alexander said.
Flags at police headquarters were lowered to half-staff in memory of the father of two children, the chief said.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

GA: Deputy dies after collapsing at Clarke County Jail

GA: Deputy dies after collapsing at Clarke County Jail 

A veteran sheriff’s deputy died early Thursday after collapsing at the Clarke County Jail.
Lt. William “Bill” Morgan, 50, was the B-shift supervisor at the jail. He collapsed in the jail’s intake section at about 12:15 a.m., officials said.
Fellow deputies, EMTs and Athens-Clarke firefighters tried to revive Morgan, who was later pronounced dead at Athens Regional Medical Center.
“Lt. Morgan served the Clarke County community and the sheriff’s office for over 23 years as a dedicated and caring member of our law enforcement community,” the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office stated in a Thursday afternoon news release. “Our prayers go out to his loving family.”
The deputy was promoted to lieutenant a year ago.
Morgan is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
The sheriff’s office said it will release funeral details and other arrangements once they have been made.

Vests give law enforcement fighting chance

Vests give law enforcement fighting chance 

Like Sgt. Michael Wilson, slain by a suspect’s bullet Monday, more than half of U.S. law enforcement officers killed on the job in 2011 and 2012 were wearing body armor.

Of 119 officers killed through a criminal act, 71 were wearing armor, according to FBI data.

“Of course the face, throat — it’s vulnerable,” Fort Myers police Officer Alain Gagnon said. “But ... it’s more odds on your side when you wear the vest.”

Wilson was responding to a domestic call for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office when a bullet struck him in the torso above his protective vest. He was killed by the unlucky angle of the shot, with the suspect shooting from above.
Deputy Wilson

Bullet-resistant vests can’t prevent all risks, but Gagnon and many officers in Southwest Florida wouldn’t go without one. Made of layers of synthetic fibers, the vests are designed to absorb a bullet and dissipate its kinetic energy.

The Fort Myers Police Department has 189 vests, purchased for about $600 each with funds from a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant, according to Police Department spokeswoman Shelly Flynn. The vests, which are worn hidden under an officer’s uniform, are replaced every five years.

The Fort Myers and Cape Coral police departments require the use of vests unless an officer is working behind a desk or under severe weather conditions such as heat or humidity.

“They are 4.5 pounds of very thick plastic that doesn’t flex very much and holds in all the heat,” said Sgt. Dana Coston of the Cape Coral Police Department.

Motorcycle officers in Cape Coral have suffered heat sickness wearing vests, Coston said. Some officers purchase hoses that hook into the air conditioning of their patrol cars and blow cold air down their shirts.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office requires uniformed personnel to wear vests. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office highly recommends, but does not require, deputies to wear vests. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office requires deputies wear vests during certain hazardous situations.

Cape Coral police Officer David Wagoner was shot three times during a 2011 traffic stop — two of the bullets struck his vest, but one tore through his abdomen. He needed surgery and seven months to recover before returning to work.

Fort Myers police Officer Andrew Widman was wearing a vest when he was killed in 2008. The suspect shot him in the face.

The suspect also shot at Gagnon, who was Widman’s partner at the time. That night, it was training, not his vest, that saved Gagnon’s life.

Officers are trained to take cover under fire, so Gagnon ducked.

“That’s when he missed,” Gagnon said. “So he hit the wall right where I was.”

Cathy Lowe, vice president of domestic sales and marketing at Survival Armor, has an emotional thank-you card from a Massachusetts officer’s daughter as evidence her equipment saves lives.

Survival Armor, a Fort Myers company that supplies the city’s Police Department, is constantly striving to make officers safer. For example, the armpit area is particularly vulnerable when an officer is wearing a vest, so Survival Armor takes care its vests cover that area. But ever-evolving weapons pose a challenge, Lowe said.

“You can’t stop everything,” she said, “because the minute you make armor that stops something, the ammo manufacturers are making something else.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

McCracken County, Ky. Deputy Chad Shaw Collapses, Dies at School

McCracken County, Ky. Deputy Chad Shaw Collapses, Dies at School

A McCracken County, Ky. Sheriff's deputy died Tuesday after collapsing while assisting at a school.
Deputy Chad Shaw was at the Community Christian Academy helping the faculty and staff prepare for their meet and greet that was scheduled to kick off the new school year, according to a department news release.
Shaw was in uniform and was also assisting with security at the school when he collapsed around 6:15 p.m.
The 47-year-old was transported to Baptist Health Paducah where he was pronounced dead.
The McCracken County Coroner's Office is currently investigating the cause of his death.
Shaw is survived by his wife, Margaret, and their two children, 7-year-old Rachael and 8-year-old Elizabeth, who attend the school.
"Deputy Shaw will always be remembered for his love for his family, his love for helping others, and the thoroughness in the way he did his job as a public servant for the citizens that he served," Sheriff Jon Hayden said in a statement.
Funeral arrangements are pending.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Barbara Reed-Trombetta, police officer, died of melanoma

Barbara Reed-Trombetta, police officer, died of melanoma

Barbara Ann Reed-Trombetta, 67, a Philadelphia police officer from 1979 to 1994, died of melanoma on Thursday, Aug. 1, at her home in North Cape May

She worked in the Sixth District at 11th and Winter Streets before spending the second part of her police career as a court liaison. 

After a family member who was a police officer was killed in the line of duty in 1985, she decided to work with the courts, her husband, Stephen, a former Philadelphia police officer, said. 

Born in Roxborough, she graduated from the John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School and completed courses in narcotics prevention conducted by the Police Department. 

Before becoming a police officer, she was a clerk for a pharmacy in Manayunk. The Trombettas moved to the Jersey Shore in 1994, where she had been the office manager for a physician in Cape May Court House since 1997, her husband said. 

Since 2004, he said, she also had worked on weekends in emergency room registration at Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House. 

Besides her husband Stephen, she is survived by sons William and Robert White, stepsons Stephen and Patrick Trombetta, stepdaughter Marybeth Lolli, a brother, and nine grandchildren. 

She is also survived by former husband Peter White. A memorial service was set for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Radzieta Funeral Home, 9 Hand Ave., Cape May Court House. 

Donations may be made to the Melanoma Research Foundation, Box 759329, Baltimore, Md., 21275-9329.

Charlotte County Corporal Michael Wilson killed while responding to a domestic disturbance

Charlotte County Corporal Michael Wilson killed while responding to a domestic disturbance

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office says Corporal Michael Wilson was shot and killed on Tuesday night.

Deputies say the 42-year-old Wilson was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance.
The shooting occurred at the Lakes of Tuscana Apartment Homes on Veterans Boulevard in Port Charlotte. The complex is located adjacent to I-75 near exit 170.

Shortly after midnight a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team entered the apartment of the shooting suspect. Inside the apartment deputies found the suspect dead.

The investigation into the shooting will continue throughout the night.

Wilson was a 20-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

Monday, August 5, 2013

St. Charles Parish deputy dies in Sunday night crash while responding to call

St. Charles Parish deputy dies in Sunday night crash while responding to call 

St. Charles Parish Sheriff's deputy was killed in a four-vehicle wreck on Sunday night on Paul Maillard Road in Luling at approximately 8:45 p.m. as he was responding to a call for assistance from another officer. Louisiana State Police said 41-year-old Deputy Jeff Watson was driving north on Paul Maillard approaching Post Drive in his 2010 Dodge Charger police vehicle  when Luling resident Dallas Veillon, 56, who was driving a 2004 Toyota Tundra, made a left turn onto Post Drive and crossed into the path of Watson's vehicle. 

Watson, whose police lights were activated, struck the Tundra and then careened into the southbound lane of traffic, where his police vehicle collided head on with a 2004 Ford Expedition driven by Arthur Tregre, 80, of Hahnville.  

Luling resident Aaron Hagmann, 29, who was driving a 2007 Honda motorcycle behind Tregre's vehicle crashed into the rear of the Expedition.

Veillon, Hagmann and Watson, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, were transported to St. Charles Parish Hospital in Luling. Watson was pronounced dead at the hospital; Veillon and Hagmann received only minor injuries.

Tregre, who also was not wearing a seatbelt, was transported to the LSU Public Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans with critical injuries.

"It is a sad day for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office," said St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne in a release. "Deputy Watson was a dedicated public servant who will be deeply missed by all St. Charles Parish residents. Please keep his family, the other drivers involved in this tragic accident, and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office in your thoughts and prayers."

Although impairment is not suspected to be a factor in the crash, blood was drawn from Veillon and Tregre, and a toxicology analysis will be conducted by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Toxicology results on Deputy Watson are pending an autopsy. Speed is considered to be a factor in the crash.

The crash is under investigation, which is being handled by State Police. 

Police officer dies in Livingston County crash

Police officer dies in Livingston County crash 

An Oswego woman and recently hired Coal City police officer died Saturday night after a crash in rural Livingston County, according to a news release issued by Livingston County Deputy Coroner Marie Margherio.

Heather K. Wandt, 30, was traveling northbound on Illinois Route 47, 1/2 mile south of Saunemin, shortly after midnight when she attempted to pass a semi-trailer and collided with an oncoming pickup truck in the southbound lane, 

Margherio said Wandt was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident is under investigation by the Illinois State Police, and an autopsy has been scheduled.

According to several other online and news reports, Wandt was a recently sworn-in member of the Coal City Police Department. She was reportedly on her way home from a training session in Champaign.

"I, along with the members of the department, village officials and employees, are deeply affected by this loss," said Coal City Police Chief Thomas J. Best. "I ask that everyone please think of Heather's friends and family at this difficult time."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Vt. police officer dies in interstate crash - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. police officer dies in interstate crash

A Barre man who worked as an Orange County Sheriff's deputy and part-time police officer in Northfield was killed in a late night crash in Waterbury.
Police say Michael Zemanek, 22, was driving south on Interstate 89 just before midnight Wednesday, when for some unknown reason he drifted to the left side of the road, through the median and across both northbound lanes. The car bounced off the guardrail and went back across the median and both southbound lanes of travel, hitting the guardrail on the other side of the road.
Zemanek was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police are investigating, but say speed does not appear to be a factor.
Zemanek was an Orange County Sheriff's deputy and part-time Northfield Police Department officer. He was off-duty at the time of the crash.
In a statement, Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak said, "Our entire office is very saddened at the loss of one of our brothers. Michael was a hard-working, intelligent, community-oriented police officer with a bright future in Law Enforcement. This is not only a loss to Orange County Sheriff Department, but to all the communities that he served."
Zemanek had also previously worked for the Barre City Police Department.