Tag Archives: public safety

Women in Law Enforcement

According to Curtis Crooke, a special contributor at COPS, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) has been working hard since 1995 to mentor women in executive positions and help guide new female officers to grasp the opportunity to achieve leadership roles.

Women bring a different, and highly effective, aspect to policing that relies less on physical force and more on communications skills. As a result, potentially violent confrontations are less likely to occur, or escalate into excessive force situations.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to take a step back to honor some of the brave women of our past who’ve contributed to the growth of women’s roles in law enforcement.

Lola Baldwin – First US Police Officer

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In 1908, Lola Baldwin was sworn in by the City of Portland as Superintendent of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Police Department for the Protection of Girls (later renamed the Women’s Protective Division). Throughout her policing career, Baldwin stressed crime prevention and favored reform over incarceration. She promoted laws to protect women, advised other jurisdictions about women’s law-enforcement issues, and demonstrated, by example, that women could be effective police officers.

Alice Wells – Hired by LAPD

 OfficerAliceWells

Alice Wells joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1910 after petitioning the mayor, police commissioner, and the Los Angeles city council in order to better aid other women and children who were victims of crime. Wells was responsible for hand sewing her own police uniform, which was the first policewoman’s uniform in the United States.

Isabella Goodwin – NY’s First Police Detective

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Isabella Goodwin, widow of a police officer, worked as a police matron in one of New York City’s jails, receiving only one day off per month, with very low pay. In 1912, Goodwin gathered valuable evidence needed to arrest highly wanted criminals and was rewarded by becoming New York’s first woman Detective.

Beverly Harvard – First Recognized African American Female Police Chief

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Although Cora Parchment was undoubtedly the first African American woman to be accepted into the NYPD in 1919, Beverly Harvard was the first African American woman to fill the role of a Police Chief. In late 1994 when Beverly Harvard – a 21-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department – was appointed chief of police, a new face and a new image were attached to this public office. Not only is Harvard one of the few female police executives in the United States (joined by Betsy Watson in Houston and Austin, Texas, and Penny Harrington in Portland, Oregon), she is also the first African American woman to head a major police force.

Kristin Ziman – Influential Executive at the Aurora Police Department

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During Kristin Ziman’s years spent rising through the ranks to an executive position, Ziman continues to help promote gender equality. She has done her best to mentor fellow female police officers and, with the help of NAWLEE, has successfully aided women who were motivated to reach the executive level of law enforcement.

K-9s, A Man’s Best Friend

 

Dogs aren’t just a man’s best friend. They’re a police officer’s, fireman’s, soldier’s and civilian’s best friend. Dog’s play such a significant role in protecting our communities, from searching for lost people, to looking for crime scene evidence.

The History

police dog historySince the Ancient Roman times, people have used canines for security and hunting. During wartime, dogs were trained for certain important roles: sentry dog, scout or patrol dog, messenger dog, or mine dog. About 1,500 dogs were used as sentries in the Korean War. During the Vietnam War, American troops used dogs to clear out caves and tunnels of the Vietcong, as well as to find traps and land mines. After the wars, the dogs were rehabilitated and returned to the people who loaned them to the military.

MEET THE BREEDS

GERMAN SHEPHERD

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German Shepherds are a strong breed that possess intelligence, strength and teachability. They are a particularly obedient breed, often making them a police officer’s first choice. German Shepherds around the world are often utilized in the detection of narcotics and explosives. They are also used in the tracking and apprehension of human suspects.

DALMATIAN

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The roles of this ancient breed are as varied as their reputed ancestors. They were used as dogs of war, guarding the borders of Dalmatia. To this day, the breed retains a high guarding instinct; although friendly and loyal to those the dog knows and trusts, it is often aloof with strangers and unknown dogs. Today, Dalmations are known in the United States for being the token firehouse mascot and sometimes to educate the public in fire safety.

LABRADOR RETRIEVER

police dogs

Labradors (commonly known as Labs) are known for being even-tempered and well behaved in mostly any situation. Labs can serve well as a family dog, a companion or a police dog. Their athleticism and playful personalities make this particular breed a crowd-pleaser. In law enforcement, Labs are frequently trained for detection work and for tracking of human suspects. However, they are not used for suspect apprehension.

BELGIAN MALINOIS

belgian malinois police dog

 When it comes to law enforcement, the Malinois is a breed that means business. It is used as a working dog, including tasks such as detection of odors from narcotics, explosives, and accelerants (for arson investigation), and for the tracking of humans and suspect apprehension in police work. You do not want to get on their bad side.

Dogs – thank you for all of your hard work and your commitment to protecting our communities.

Chilling Photographs of the Brooklyn Warehouse Fire

Last Saturday,  giant clouds of smoke rose from a 7-alarm fire that destroyed a warehouse and floated across Brooklyn and into Manhattan. Over 50 units, almost 300 firefighters and help from the marine unit were called in to extinguish the flames in Williamsburg.

The single-digit temperatures and strong winds made this fire particularly difficult for fighters to contain. No injuries were reported, and no dangerous toxins appear to have come from the flames.

By Sunday, everything in firehose shot of the warehouse — a motorcycle, cars parked on the street, and even firefighters’ helmets and suits — were crystallized in a frosty coating and adorned with icicles. Here are some chilling photos of the events that took place.

Williamburg Fire 1

Williamburg Fire 2

Williamburg Fire 3

Williamburg Fire 4

Williamburg Fire 5

Williamburg Fire 6

Williamburg Fire 7

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5 Little-Known Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

Thursday night, celebrations honoring the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. are set to begin. Martin Luther King had a vision of a society in which race was not a factor in how citizens were allowed to live their lives. While nothing is perfect or complete in the battle for civil rights, the efforts of King, and those like him have made the world a more equal place and has drastically improved the voice of minorities.

Here are a few little-known facts about the exceptional Martin Luther King Jr. that we’ve gathered from the web:

 

1. King entered college at the age of 15.

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King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades 9 and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. King was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology.

2. In his efforts to fight segregation and inequality, King traveled more than six million miles and spoke more than 2,500 times!

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As he noted in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,”  King served as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which had more than 80 affiliated organizations throughout the South. Why not just telephone, instead of constantly being on the road? “I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham,” King wrote. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

3. King received his doctorate in systematic theology.

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After earning a divinity degree from Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary, King attended graduate school at Boston University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1955. The title of his dissertation was “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.”

4. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.

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Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leadership.

5. George Washington is the only other American to have had his birthday observed as a national holiday.

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In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that created a federal holiday to honor King. The holiday, first commemorated in 1986, is celebrated on the third Monday in January, close to the civil rights leader’s January 15 birthday.

Check your local community websites for volunteer opportunities this weekend, and get involved!

Holiday at the Firehouse – RECIPES INCLUDED

Let’s take a moment to appreciate and thank our firefighters who will be on call during the holidays to keep our communities hazard-free. With that said, firefighters need to eat too – and they eat A LOT! Honor these heroes this holiday season by cooking up a blazing storm and bringing it over to the local fire station. Here are a few recipes your firefighters are sure to devour!

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad With Broccoli (Serves 2 – 4, multiply as needed)

Buffalo-Chicken-Qunia-Salad-1Cook Time: 25 minutes

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for garnish
  • 4 green onions chopped, save half for garnish

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I recommend Franks)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Directions:

In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking, make the buffalo sauce dressing and cook the chicken and broccoli. In a measuring cup or small bowl combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and seasoned salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the broccoli for about 5 minutes. You want it to just start to soften, but still be crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the same pan and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add 1/4 cup or so of the buffalo sauce and cook until the chicken absorbs the sauce.

When the quinoa is ready add the chicken, broccoli, carrots, shredded cabbage and as much of the dressing as desired. Toss well. Add the blue cheese and half of the green onions. Toss again and serve warm with extra blue cheese crumbles and green onions.

-By Half Baked Harvest

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (Serves many)

SpaghettiSauce2Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce (plain, no spices)
  • 1 – 19 oz can diced tomatoes (plain, no spices)
  • 1 – 5.5 oz can tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine (or beef broth if you don’t want to use wine)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • For extra nutrition, see below in Notes.

Directions:

In a large frying pan, brown the beef with the onions and garlic. When the beef is cooked through, drain it, then return to the pan.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, oregano, basil and salt & pepper.
Simmer for about 1 hour, covered.

Notes:

For extra nutrition you can add any chopped up vegetable to the sauce that you like: bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms. Just fry them up first in a frying pan until they’re cooked yet still crisp. Then add them to the sauce and cook as directed.

Or you can add pureed yam or pumpkin.

If you don’t want to use ground beef, any ground meat works well in this recipe (especially ground chicken or turkey).

-By A Pretty Life

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (Serves 6)

slow cooked porkCook Time: 30 mins, plus 6 to 10 hrs cooking time

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)

Directions:

Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.

If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.

-By Chow

5 Rookie Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Career Before It Even Begins

rookie police officerThe transition from being in a police academy to working the street as a rookie police officer can be quite challenging for many. Adjusting to a new environment can be exciting, frightening and unpredictable, all at the same time. While on-the-job training programs are offered in many departments, there are still a number of common rookie mistakes that contribute to officer loss during this time. Knowing what they are is an important step in successfully avoiding them.

1. Being A Know-It-All

Nobody likes a Know-It-All, and the same applies here. Every agency runs their department a little differently, and rookies can always find new things to learn. Having a closed-minded attitude will impede your ability to learn and may halt your Field Training Officer’s willingness to teach.

2. Failure to Ask Questions

This is the ultimate time to learn, and the best time to ask questions. Your best, most valuable teachers are the experienced officers who are there to assist. Don’t try to do too much too fast. Patience is critical in this field, and recognizing that it is acceptable and expected to ask questions is the key to success.

3. Disrespect for Police Hierarchy

Any officer who has been through an FTEP has had the experience of working with many different types of FTOs. If a rookie is paired with a trainer whose policing style differs from his or her own, instead of pushing it away, learn from them and recognize the value that each officer brings to the department. FTOs are carefully selected, and are probably there for a reason.

4. Failure to Properly Prepare for the Job

If you are hired by an agency in a community you’re not quite familiar with, you must spend off-duty time driving around the city and learning street names, locations of major businesses, and other key locations such as hospitals, jails, schools, and courthouses.

5. Lack of Initiative

While it is reasonable for brand new officers in their first phase of training to be cautious and reluctant to make decisions, decision-making is a skill that every officer eventually needs to develop. Unusual ways to show initiative  include, conducting motor vehicle stops, investigating suspicious activity, and by volunteering to take the lead on multi-officer calls.

Choosing the Right Police Academy For You

Just like any other kind of academy or school, finding the right program for you starts with a heaping amount of research. Different academies offer varying benefits and overall structure. When choosing a school, don’t just pick the one that is most convenient, but make certain that every aspect of the system supports your lifestyle. Here are a few things to consider during your research:

When it comes to classes:

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Your schedule is one element to consider when choosing the right academy for yourself. If you tend to lead a rather hectic life, then it may be best to find an academy that offers non-traditional hours. It may be tough to find an academy that offers training entirely on weekends or evenings, but at least a portion of the training may be offered then. Some academies may offer an accelerated schedule, provided you meet all the physical requirements in a timely manner. You may choose one of the several police departments that specialize in fighting various types of crimes, from drug trafficking, to terrorism, to homicide, to road patrol, or other. If you have a particular goal, you may consider contacting the department you want to work for in the future to find out whether they have any specific requirements for applicants.

When it comes to exams:

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Passing the police academy entrance exams won’t be an easy task by any means. There are three exam phases you will need to prepare for: theory, physical training, and preparation for your interview. There are some guidebooks you can find online or order from your nearest bookshop. Studying them will not only help you pass the exams, but will assist with your future studies as well. Call your perspective academy and ask them what to expect for your exams.

When it comes to costs:

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When there is a will, there is a way. Remember, there may be ways to fund a police academy training other than paying for it on your own. If you’ve already been hired by a law enforcement department, the department will often pay for the schooling. If you do plan on paying for the academy out-of-pocket, it is important to consider how much the entire course will cost and what payment options are available. After all, payment options and costs will likely be part of what you consider when it comes to choosing the best police academy for you.

When it comes to locations:

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There are several police academies in every county. Thus, you will need to do a bit of research to determine which of them you should apply to. Study the curriculum and see whether the diploma you get upon graduating this particular academy will get you into the department you want to join.

Thanksgiving: A Community Reminder and Effort

firefighter thanksgivingFirefighters are urging people to be careful in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York has issued a holiday reminder that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, firefighters remind us that short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves are the best bet for cooking uniform, as loose clothing can dangle into open flames.

This year, let’s be thankful for those who have supported and protected our local communities and worked endless hours to keep our homes safe. Many civil servants, like firefighters and police officers patrolling our neighborhoods, must sacrifice Thanksgiving time with their loved ones in order to perform their duties.

In the quaint and tightly knit community of Wakefield Forest, VA, resident Charlotte-ann Rogers decided to raise money to buy a Thanksgiving meal for the firefighting team at Station 2. What started as a small idea between her and a couple of neighbors snowballed into an area-wide effort which encompassed the four stations, as well as the police officers from Chamblee and Doraville. After posting the fundraiser on social media, creating a GoFundMe website, and engaging other Chamblee neighborhoods, over $1,000 was raised, the bulk of it in about three days. “We did it because it was a nice thing to do,” said Charlotte-ann. “During this time of Thanksgiving, we as a community are thankful for you.” And after all, that is what giving thanks is all about.

Galls wishes you a safe and stuffing Thanksgiving filled with great company and great food.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Fire Prevention Week

smoke-alarm-change-battery-279x300From October 5th – October 11th, Galls will be recognizing Fire Prevention Week and focusing in on the importance of working smoke detectors in every home and facility. Two thirds of home fire deaths each year result from homes with no smoke alarms or faulty smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half.

While it is crucial to be cautious of fire hazards year-round, taking the time to walk through these steps once a year could save your life. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following messages:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each distinct sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

Galls encourages fire departments around the country to educate their local communities and school systems of the importance of fire safety and education. Here are a few ways your department can get involved:

  • Volunteer to give presentations at local schools about home fire safety and what to do in the case of an emergency. Let students examine a home smoke detector so they can become familiar with how they work.
  • Host a free event at your local fire department with food and music to bring awareness to Fire Prevention Week. Supply smoke detectors at the event for community members.
  • Be sure that your department is active on social media, and posting daily throughout Fire Prevention Week with helpful tips and tools for the community. Encourage your audience to share the valuable information with loved ones.