Law Enforcement Today https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com Sun, 22 Jul 2018 16:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/let-blue-logo-60x60.jpg Law Enforcement Today https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com 32 32 How to Handle the Emotional Triggers We Can’t Avoid Pulling  https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/handle-emotional-triggers-cant-avoid-pulling/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/handle-emotional-triggers-cant-avoid-pulling/#respond Sun, 22 Jul 2018 16:00:42 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56933 How to Handle the Emotional Triggers We Can’t Avoid Pulling Social media memory sections are great reminders of happy events in the past. Unfortunately every year these memories start our mental countdown that end with our life altering critical incidents in August and September of 2010. As we gaze at pictures of happy moments from...

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How to Handle the Emotional Triggers We Can’t Avoid Pulling

Social media memory sections are great reminders of happy events in the past. Unfortunately every year these memories start our mental countdown that end with our life altering critical incidents in August and September of 2010.

As we gaze at pictures of happy moments from the past, we are dreadfully reminded the anniversaries are around the corner. We now look at the past pictures of our smiling faces with the knowledge we are about to watch our train wreck happen all over again.

Dr. David Riggs, Executive Director of the Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, has been quoted by Mental Health America about PTSD & Triggers:

“For people with PTSD, it is very common for their memories to be triggered by sights, sounds, smells or even feelings that they experience. These triggers can bring back memories of the trauma and cause intense emotional and physical reactions, such as raised heart rate, sweating and muscle tension.”

How we handle these triggers now are what keeps us centered in our lives.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~Viktor E. Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor who was the founder of logotherapy.

So how do we as That Peer Support Couple deal with our triggered responses? We came up with a list that helps us, and hopefully it can help you.

  1. We don’t ignore the triggers or the significance of the anniversaries and our related thoughts.
  1. We talk about what we are experiencing or feeling in the moment with each other. You can do the same with your spouse or significant other, a trusted friend, peer support and/or trained mental health counselors who specialize in first responder trauma.
  1. Open up an old journal and start writing again. If you don’t have a journal then maybe you want to start one. We write articles for Law Enforcement Today. Keep up with your hobbies. If you stopped your hobbies then start them again.
  1. Exercise and eat healthy. Don’t increase your alcohol intake or just don’t start drinking.
  1. We remind ourselves we are survivors. We are in a much better place now. Hopefully you are too. Pat yourself on the back … YOU ROCK!
  1. We share our story. Since we have opened up about our experiences we discovered we are not only helping others, we are helping ourselves. You never know who you might help if you share your story with others.

We are aware it’s not easy for everyone to navigate through emotional triggers. Our hope is you will read our words, check us out on Facebook or Twitter or come see us speak so you can understand there is a new hope out there for you and our first responder community.

emotional triggers
(Photo courtesy Ryan Johnson/Flicker)

Una Stamus & Celebrate Life!

Cathy and Javier Bustos are law enforcement officers in Central Texas. As “That Peer Support Couple” they are strong peer support advocates speaking about surviving critical incidents and marriage. They can be reached by email: cathyandjavi@gmail.com

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Does Anything Work in Parole and Probation? https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/does-anything-work-parole-and-probation/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/does-anything-work-parole-and-probation/#respond Sun, 22 Jul 2018 14:00:48 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56920 Does Anything Work in Parole and Probation? As we just celebrated parole and probation week, don’t agents (and society) deserve more than a system that seems hopelessly adrift? Introduction When I became the Director of Public Information for the Maryland Department of Public Safety, a law enforcement and correctional entity, one of my twelve agencies...

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Does Anything Work in Parole and Probation?

As we just celebrated parole and probation week, don’t agents (and society) deserve more than a system that seems hopelessly adrift?

Introduction

When I became the Director of Public Information for the Maryland Department of Public Safety, a law enforcement and correctional entity, one of my twelve agencies was the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation.

When I asked the director what the purpose of parole and probation was, he replied that it was to enforce the dictates of the courts and parole commission. There was no mention of reduced recidivism or crime control or the provision of services.

I discussed this conversation with the Secretary of Public Safety who asked, “Just what the hell am I getting for my millions of dollars invested?” He suggested that parole and probation was adrift without a clear mission or purpose beyond an inexpensive way to process millions of offenders. Seventy percent of our prison intakes were violators from parole and probation.

I’m not quite sure community supervision has progressed beyond this discussion.

Is There a Clear Purpose?

The recidivism and treatment data below suggest that community supervision continues to lack a clear purpose based on evidence as to what works which is why some agencies embrace a law enforcement mission, some preach the benefits of a social work approach, and yet others want the majority of offenders lightly supervised with a focus on the top twenty-thirty percent posing a risk to public safety.

We can’t even agree as to what to call people on supervision, offenders, clients or justice-involved people. Most crime victims hate the use of the term, “clients.” They see it as demeaning to their trauma.

Some suggest that parole and probation agencies are aimlessly grabbing hold of sparse data that fit preconceived notions as to what people on community supervision should experience. But what you fervently believe and what is provable are two different things.

There is no national consensus for parole and probation agencies. My friends in the field will dislike me for these statements, but nevertheless, I believe they are true.

As We Celebrate Parole and Probation Week

Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week from the American Probation and Parole Association justifiably celebrate the tens of thousands of parole and probation agents who supervise and assist those under supervision, https://bit.ly/2L2fBvf.

These officers are the on the front lines of supervising the great bulk of people in the correctional system. The job is risky, overwhelming, taxing and complex. They probably know offenders better than anyone in the criminal justice system. But as deserving as they are of praise, what they need is a clear, objective, well-funded mission.

Background-Corrections Population

Out of the 6,741,000 people under daily correctional supervision in 2015, 870,000 are on parole compared to 3,790,000 on probation.

National parole populations increased most years since 2005.

1,527,000 are in prison, Correctional Populations in the US.

Background-Parole

The use of discretionary parole has increased dramatically over the last ten years.

The parole population from 2005 to 2015 included the same percentage of active cases (83 percent) when they were supposed to decline due to diversions by the parole commission or agency policy.

Caseloads grew more challenging with more violent offenders. The percent of violent offenders in US prisons increased since 2005. It’s now at 54 percent with many more having violent histories.

The increased use of parole rather than mandatory release means that offenders will be on parole caseloads longer (i.e., paroled at 50 percent of a sentence rather than mandatorily released at 85 percent of a sentence). For those unaware, the sentence isn’t over until expiration while on community supervision.

Thus parole agents (with very high caseload ratios) are handling longer, more violent cases with the diversion of lower-level offenders to inactive caseloads almost nonexistent, Crime in America.

Background-Probation

Felony cases went from 50 percent of the probation population in 2005 to 57 percent in 2015, which means that probation is handling a more challenging workload.

Note that most felony convictions in the US do not result in a sentence to prison, Crime in America.

Misdemeanors fell from 49 percent to 41 percent.

All categories of violent offenders grew slightly except for domestic violence. Overall violent grew from 18 percent to 20 percent.

The probation population from 2005 to 2015 included more active cases when they were supposed to decline due to diversions.

Treatment doesn’t exist beyond 1 percent. There may be programs funded by others, but most probation agencies do not control those funds.

Caseloads grew more challenging with more felonies and slightly more violent offenders.

Thus probation agents (with very high caseload ratios) are handling more difficult cases with almost nonexistent treatment resources that they control, Crime in America

Recidivism-Released from Prison

Five out of six state prisoners were arrested at least once during the nine years after their release. This is the first BJS study that uses a 9-year follow-up period to examine the recidivism patterns of released prisoners. The longer follow-up period shows a much fuller picture of offending patterns and criminal activity of released prisoners than is shown by prior studies that used a 3-or 5-year follow-up period.

This 2018 update on prisoner recidivism tracks a representative sample of prisoners released in 2005 in 30 states and chronicles their arrests through 2014. In 2005, those 30 states accounted for 77% of all persons released from state prisons nationwide.

Overall, 68% of released state prisoners were arrested within three years, 79% within six years, and 83% within nine years. The 401,288 released state prisoners were arrested an estimated 2 million times during the nine years after their release, an average of five arrests per released prisoner, Crime in America.

Recidivism-Probation

To my knowledge, there is one major and definitive study (based on large numbers of offenders) on state probation recidivism.  It focused solely on felony probationers.

Within 3 years 43% of state felons on probation were rearrested for a felony. Half of the arrests were for a violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, or aggravated assault) or a drug offense.

Results showed that within 3 years of sentencing, 62 percent either had a disciplinary hearing for violating a condition of their probation or were arrested for another felony.

In addition, within 3 years, 46 percent had been sent to prison or jail or had absconded.

Fifty-three percent had special conditions attached to their probation, most often drug testing, drug treatment, or alcohol treatment.

The financial penalties imposed on the probationers included victim restitution (29 percent), court costs (48 percent), and probation supervision fees (32 percent), USDOJ.

Treatment Results

An Evaluation Of Seven Second Chance Act Adult Demonstration Programs: Impact Findings At 18 Months, describes the impacts of seven programs that were awarded grants under the Second Chance Act to reduce recidivism by addressing the challenges faced by adults after incarceration.

“The study measured recidivism as involvement with the criminal justice system in the 18 months after that led to re-arrest, reconviction, or re-incarceration. As of 18 months after random assignment, increased access to services for participants did not lead to increased desistance.”

“Whether recidivism was measured using survey or administrative data, those in the program group were not less likely than those in the control group to be re-arrested, reconvicted, or re-incarcerated; their time to re-arrest or reincarceration was no shorter; and they did not have fewer total days incarcerated (including time in both prisons and jails).”

“There is some evidence that those in the program group were somewhat more likely to be convicted of a new crime or have probation or parole revoked…” see Second Chance Act.

I understand that some will imply that treatment efforts didn’t go far enough to address multiple symptoms, and it’s only seven programs at 18 months, but it’s not just this research. Collectively, the data over time indicate that programs simply don’t work for the mast majority of offenders.

Additional Data:

The Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) was the federal government’s other signature effort using evidence-based tactics and programs to reduce recidivism. It showed few (if any) positive results.

Go to the federal government’s Crime Solutions.Gov database and plug in “recidivism.” There are few prison or parole and probation efforts marked as “effective,” see https://www.crimesolutions.gov/.

Per a survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, money for treatment for probation caseloads is almost nonexistent. It was 1 percent in 2005. It was 1 percent in 2015. That’s not to say that some probationers don’t get treatment, but if they do, it comes from external sources, Crime in America.

I cannot remember any US Department of Justice funded data indicating that programs for offenders in prison or parole and probation that rose above ten percent. Most offered results much less than ten percent in recidivism.

When programs are offered to offenders, some work, some don’t and some make things worse. When they do work, the results are generally small, see Crime in America.

There is no indication that the massive caseload ratios of parole and probation agents have been reduced thus making it impossible to be effective. 100-200 offenders to every parole and probation agent ratios are not unusual. These are impossible caseloads to manage.

I am unaware of any data stating that the use of risk instruments to select the “real” threats to public safety is any better than flipping a coin. Risk instruments are the heart and soul of caseload management. Most media reports on offender assessment are negative, Christian Science Monitor.

Even drug and other specialty courts have inconsistent records, Crime in America.

Intensive Supervision

“Studies show that current efforts to reduce recidivism through intensive supervision are not working. Why is intensive supervision so ineffective? Requiring lots of meetings, drug tests, and so on can complicate a client’s life, making it more difficult to get to work or school or care for family members (meetings are often scheduled at inconvenient times and may be far away). A heavy tether to the criminal justice system can also make it difficult for individuals to move on, psychologically. Knowing that society still considers you a criminal may make it harder to move past that phase of your life. These difficulties may negate the valuable support that probation and parole officers can provide by connecting clients to services and stepping in to help at the first sign of trouble.”

“It is unclear what the optimal level of supervision is for those on parole or probation, but these studies demonstrate that current supervision levels are too high. We could reduce the requirements of community supervision—for low-risk and high-risk offenders alike—and spend those taxpayer dollars on more valuable services, such as substance abuse treatment or cognitive behavioral therapy. This would be a good first step toward breaking the vicious incarceration cycle,” Brookings.

Project Hope

Project Hope is a judge involved probation project originating in Hawaii and replicated in a variety of states. It combined frequent contact with services. It showed no reductions in recidivism, Summary.

Decide Your Time (Delaware) Rated No Effects

This was a program for chronic drug-using probationers that incorporated graduated sanctions with incentives to reduce recidivism and drug use among participants.

The program is rated “No Effects.” Implemented in Delaware, the program was shown to have no impact on the successful completion of probation, on re-arrests, or on drug use, Crime Solutions.Gov.

Conclusions

The vast majority of offenders released from prison commit additional crimes beyond technical violations. Significant numbers of felony probationers are rearrested or abscond.

Treatment programs as funded by the US Department of Justice did not reduce recidivism.

Intensive supervision programs show no reduction in recidivism. Specialty programs combining supervision and treatment (Project Hope-Decide Your Time) show no reduction in recidivism.

Considering that the overwhelming number of offenders on correctional supervision are supervised in the community, the data above is, at best, discouraging.

If enhanced supervision doesn’t work, if treatment program results are equally discouraging, then what’s the strategy?

Is there any wonder as to why the government doesn’t fund treatment? Is there any rationale for reducing the almost impossible parole and probation caseloads? Does caseload size really matter if most fail anyway?

Parole and probation agents (and the rest of us) deserve answers. The vast majority are well-educated, smart and savvy people who have intimate knowledge of offenders that exceeds anyone else (including cops) within the criminal justice system.

Yes, we can reduce program failures by lessening supervision standards, and per scores of replies from agents, that’s happening now. But lessening standards has nothing to do with community safety if the vast majority are rearrested or abscond.

Parole and probation agents and the larger society deserve a frank discussion as to the purpose of community supervision. The vast majority of the research indicates failure.

Maybe the conversation I had with people within the Maryland Department of Public Safety decades ago was correct all along, parole and probation serve the needs of the courts and the parole commission for information as to the progress or lack of progress of people on community supervision. Maybe it’s solely about accountability.

I realize that this discussion is meaningless because people will advance their own agendas based on their personal and political philosophies. Those favoring treatment or low levels of interaction or a law enforcement modality will continue to do so without abatement because we lack any national consensus.

If It Was Up To Me-The 60-40 Approach

If it was up to me, I would either put higher risk people (up to forty percent) on GPS supervision, which has best track record as to reducing arrests, recidivism, technical violations and returns to prison), Crime in America, and limit the number of first time or minor offenders coming into the justice system, or put those at the next stage in speciality courts (with the knowledge that even they show iffy results), Crime in America.

Pick the forty percent based on the seriousness of the crime, criminal history, age and age of onset into the justice system. Stop using failed algorithms.

Let that forty percent include an accountability or law enforcement model. Set standards as to the number of technical violations that will result in revocations. Let felony convictions result in jail or prison time. Refer to or institute programs, especially those focusing on mental health and drug treatment. But according to the data, they won’t do much good.

But for the great bulk of offenders in the middle (fifty to sixty percent) maybe the critics are right, maybe they should be lightly supervised (quarterly office contacts), offered referrals to programs, and wait for the inevitable new arrests to be reported to the parole commission or the courts. Hold office visits on Saturdays so not to interfere with employment.

Look, parole and probation can’t be all things to all people. There simply aren’t enough programs and even if there were, rehabilitation efforts are often ineffective. You can’t supervise 150 offenders effectively with one officer. It’s impossible.

The data as to impact is simply awful. Until someone shows us how to do it better, it may be time to admit that efforts to “fix” the fifty-sixty percent are simply a waste of time and tax paid dollars. We need a national commission on offender treatment to forge better outcomes.

People will say that this is an unacceptable approach; offenders need to be held accountable. Sorry, they are not being held accountable now. The vast majority have large numbers of technical violations that result in nothing more than verbal warnings. Offenders are deemed “successful” that do not make restitution or child support or pay court costs or complete community service.

Governors are insisting that correctional administrators reduce their budgets and that can only happen if supervision standards are lowered so more can be declared “successful.”

Divert where possible, supervise with GPS those thought to be a threat, but it may be time to cut our losses for the rest.

You can object, you can cry foul, but given the research, money, caseloads, and programs available, parole and probation doesn’t have a choice. It’s impossible to be all things to all people.

Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. – Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Former Adjunct Associate Professor of criminology and public affairs-University of Maryland, University College. Former advisor to presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. You can contact me at crimeinamerica@gmail.com.

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Mobster Story With a Twist of Faith https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/mobster-story-twist-faith/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/mobster-story-twist-faith/#respond Sun, 22 Jul 2018 02:30:21 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56964 Mobster Story With a Twist of Faith “Crazy Phil” Leonetti rose to power and became the underboss of the Philadelphia—Atlantic City La Cosa Nostra in the 1980s. He had already committed two murders in furtherance of their business before he became “made” as a full-fledged member. Blood Oath – A Mobster Story During the “Blood Oath” ceremony...

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Mobster Story With a Twist of Faith

“Crazy Phil” Leonetti rose to power and became the underboss of the Philadelphia—Atlantic City La Cosa Nostra in the 1980s. He had already committed two murders in furtherance of their business before he became “made” as a full-fledged member.

Blood Oath – A Mobster Story

During the “Blood Oath” ceremony years earlier, then mob boss, Phil Testa, pointed to a knife and gun laid before him. “Would you use these to protect your friends? Would you place this brotherhood before everything that you love in your life? If you had a wife or a child and they were on their deathbed and we needed you, would you leave them and join us?”

“Yes” was Crazy Phil’s response to each question.

Following the oath of allegiance, Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, a bloodthirsty killer himself, and a man who later became the mob boss of the same area, pricked Crazy Phil’s finger with a tie clip, and then told him to cup his hands. Little Nicky lit the picture of a saint on fire, and then placed it in the hands of Crazy Phil. “May I burn like this saint,” he was told to repeat until the flame extinguished, “if I betray my friends.” [1]

mobster story
Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, (center) one of the most bloodthirsty and maniacal American organized crime figures of all-time, died of natural causes in a North Carolina federal prison hospital January 13, 2017. He was less than two months shy of his 88th birthday. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Mafia Prince

As I read about this process documented in the book, Mafia Prince, I thought about the contrasting lifestyles between members of the mob, who follow the money for power, and members of God’s kingdom, who follow Jesus for purpose.

Pondering Death

As a career cop, I frequently think about death. Not in a morbid sort of way, but as a matter of reality.

Our social media news feeds bring every LODD to the forefront, since most law enforcement related news organizations pay tribute to those who’ve sacrificed their life for the benefit of a community.

So rather than fearing death, I want to be certain that I’m not playing Russian Roulette with my life.

cops die
(Photo courtesy Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton)

PTSD and LEDS

Beyond that, I’m like so many other police officers who’ve encountered circumstances that trigger issues of post-traumatic stress, or as I’ve recently learned, Law Enforcement Distress Syndrome (LEDS).

So whether it’s PTSD or LEDS, we need positive coping mechanisms. Mine have always come in the form of faith, family, an inner circle of friends, and fitness.

I’m going to broach the issue of faith, and share what it means to me. Hopefully, I’m not going to scare you away!

Altogether Different Oath – A Twist of Faith

The resurrected Christ asked Peter to take an altogether different oath after denying Jesus three times before he was crucified.

When Jesus met Peter after the resurrection, not so coincidently, he asked him three times if he loved him. On each occasion Peter affirmed his devotion to his Lord and Savior, and Jesus successively instructed Peter, “Feed my lambs,” “Tend my sheep,” and “Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).

Jesus continued by foretelling Peter’s future and completed his directions by saying, “Follow me.”

Mob Bosses Die

Mob boss, Phil Testa, was later murdered. While reading Mafia Prince, I lost count of how many murders “Little Nicky” was responsible for, but he had been serving a life sentence in prison since 1988, before his death on January 13, 2017. Two months shy of being 88-years-old, his earthly term ended from natural causes, according to gangsterreport.

His nephew, and underboss, “Crazy Phil” Leonetti, was indicted on ten murders. He agreed to cooperate with the FBI and eventually testified against 48 members of the mob. After serving five years in prison, he was released and now lives in hiding.

Apostles Die Too

Ultimately, the apostle Peter’s faith cost him his life as he was crucified for his publicly bold assertions. Yet Peter’s eternal destiny is secured by his faith in the resurrected Messiah.

Everyone Needs a Savior 

The incredible thing about substitutionary atonement—Christ paying the price for our sin—is that it is offered to all humanity, (gasp) … even members of the mob.

Nevertheless, it is a gift that needs to be received.

If you have issue with God making this offer to everyone, you might find the history of Saul of Tarsus equally fascinating. The man with a mob-like background wrote nearly half of the New Testament after he became Paul the apostle. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?

What Is the Condition of Your Heart?

In the meantime, I will “feed the lambs, tend the sheep, and feed the sheep,” for I too have denied Jesus three times or more!

What is the condition of your heart? Are you ready to receive God’s grace and be forgiven? Has his mercy found you hiding? Are you ready to live for Jesus and secure your place in heaven?

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

While there are earthly consequences for our actions, the eternal offer is on the table for members in law enforcement and the mob alike!

Source

[1] Philip Leonetti, with Scott Burnstein and Christopher Graziano, Mafia Prince, (Running Press 2012, 2014), 101.

Jim McNeff, editor-in-chief, Law Enforcement Today

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Father and son sheriff’s deputies held in Florida jail on separate crimes https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/father-son-sheriffs-deputies-held-florida-jail-separate-crimes/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/father-son-sheriffs-deputies-held-florida-jail-separate-crimes/#comments Sat, 21 Jul 2018 16:50:40 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56956 PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida jail is housing a 39-year-old man and his father who were both Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies before getting into trouble with the law in separate cases, the Sun Sentinel reports. The father, Carlton Nebergall Jr., 61, is awaiting trial in the Feb. 19 murder of his daughter’s estranged husband,...

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PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida jail is housing a 39-year-old man and his father who were both Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies before getting into trouble with the law in separate cases, the Sun Sentinel reports.

The father, Carlton Nebergall Jr., 61, is awaiting trial in the Feb. 19 murder of his daughter’s estranged husband, according to the paper.

A jury convicted his son, Jason Nebergall, July 13 of trying to rape a woman while on duty in 2016.

They are both behind bars at the Palm Beach County Jail, the paper reported.

“It’s sadly and unfortunately coincidental,” defense attorney Michael Salnick told the paper. He represents both men and is working to get them released.

Florida jail
Carlton Nebergall Jr., 61, (left) is awaiting trial in the Feb. 19 murder of his daughter’s estranged husband. Jason Nebergall, 39, (right) was convicted by a jury July 13 of trying to rape a woman while on duty in 2016. He awaits sentencing. (YouTube)

The Sun Sentinel reported that both men were veterans of the U.S. Army. The son was in Iraq for two tours.

The elder Nebergall served as a Palm Beach deputy for 27 years. He was recognized with a good conduct medal for 25 years of exemplary conduct in 2010, according to the paper. He retired from the agency in 2012, a year after his wife of 31 years, Sherry, died from cancer.

He is accused in the Feb. 19 shooting death of his son-in-law, outside Nebergall’s home in The Acreage. Salnick said the shooting was an act of self-defense.

His son became a Palm Beach deputy in 2013. He remains on unpaid leave following his conviction.

On July 13, a jury rejected his claim he was falsely accused. He was found guilty of attempted sexual battery while in possession of a weapon, and a misdemeanor battery count for touching the breasts of a 28-year-old woman near Greenacres.

After the younger Nebergall’s arrest, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Teri Barbera told reporters, “Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct. The Sheriff’s Office will remain vigilant to insure that our efforts are professional and meet the high standards that the public has come to expect.”

The son met his accuser when he responded to a call for service.

Prosecutors said DNA evidence supported her attempted rape claim.

Carlton Nebergall is due in court on Thursday, for a hearing on his request to be released to house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor while awaiting his trial.

The younger Nebergall will be sentenced on Aug. 1, if the judge denies a request for a new trial. The charges are punishable by up to 16 years in prison, but his attorney will ask for his release to house arrest — not with his father — while an appeal is pending.

Father and son are not on the same cellblock. Not even close. Records show Carlton is at the West Detention Center in Belle Glade; Jason is at the main jail on Gun Club Road near West Palm Beach.

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Pursuit of stolen tractor leads to injured officers https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/pursuit-stolen-tractor-leads-injured-officers/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/pursuit-stolen-tractor-leads-injured-officers/#respond Sat, 21 Jul 2018 14:11:31 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56941 DENVER – Two Denver police officers were injured during a slow-speed pursuit of a stolen tractor Friday night after more than a dozen police units gave chase through the city’s streets, authorities said. And although the speeds were not significant, the suspect operated the stolen tractor in a reckless manner. Video on social media showed...

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DENVER – Two Denver police officers were injured during a slow-speed pursuit of a stolen tractor Friday night after more than a dozen police units gave chase through the city’s streets, authorities said. And although the speeds were not significant, the suspect operated the stolen tractor in a reckless manner.

Video on social media showed the John Deere tractor, which was hauling farm equipment, drive onto a sidewalk and swerve back into street traffic with police in tow.

The pursuit ended after a police cruiser rammed the tractor head-on. As a result of the legal intervention, the cruiser’s airbags deployed, a witness told FOX31 Denver.

Moreover, the driving officer jumped out of the car and deployed a Taser. However, it was unclear if the deployment failed to yield the desired result as a police K9 was also used to bring the suspect into submission.

“As soon as that collision happened, the officer that was in that driver’s side was out that door, and was out with his Taser like instantly,” witness Marcos Willman told the station. “I feel like it was just adrenaline, just like up and we’re getting this guy.”

The pursuit began in the City Park area, where the Denver Zoo is located, and developed into a slow 30-minute chase, eventually ending in the city’s Lower Downtown neighborhood, near the Coors Field baseball stadium, Denver Police spokesman Tyrone Campbell told Denver’s KMGH-TV.

Addie Hooper, 20, visiting from Amarillo, Texas, with her mother and sister and a family friend, was eating at a window seat at a restaurant and facing Market Street. Suddenly she saw a tractor speeding down the road. Then she saw a Denver police SUV, traveling the wrong way down Market, crash head-on with the tractor.

“We were just like, ‘Whoa, that’s crazy!’” Hooper said. “We thought they were going to shoot him.”

Another witness reported the male suspect was apprehended and placed in an ambulance.

“It could’ve definitely been a lot worse, for sure,” he said.

The second witness also described the actions of the officer who rammed their vehicle into the tractor, ending the pursuit.

“Him doing that and going for it — that takes a lot of dedication,” he said.

Authorities said the tractor hit multiple vehicles and some buildings were damaged. As the suspect endangered lives, police decided to stop the tractor by striking it head-on to end the chase before any pedestrians got hurt.

Consequently, the two officers were hospitalized after the legal intervention (intentional collision), police said. Details on their injuries were not revealed, but they were expected to make a full recovery.

The male suspect suffered multiple dog bites while resisting arrest and was taken to a hospital, where he was also expected to recover, the Denver Post reported.

The suspect was not identified. Charges are pending.

“I can take you for a ride on my big green tractor,” are lyrics performed by country music star, Jason Aldean. Yet somehow, we don’t think this is what he had in mind.

Everyone at Law Enforcement Today hopes the officers have a speedy recovery.

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In Memoriam Corrections Officer Joseph Gomm https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/memoriam-corrections-officer-joseph-gomm/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/memoriam-corrections-officer-joseph-gomm/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 23:24:19 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56924 Commissioner Tom Roy of the Department of Corrections in Minnesota, sadly reports the death of Corrections Officer Joseph Gomm. Officer Gomm was supervising about 20 inmates in the Stillwater State Prison Facility’s industry building when a lone inmate wielding a hammer attacked him. The inmate struck him several times in the head. Additional inmates blocked...

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Commissioner Tom Roy of the Department of Corrections in Minnesota, sadly reports the death of Corrections Officer Joseph Gomm.

Officer Gomm was supervising about 20 inmates in the Stillwater State Prison Facility’s industry building when a lone inmate wielding a hammer attacked him. The inmate struck him several times in the head.

Additional inmates blocked doors preventing other corrections officers from coming to Gomm’s aid.

Gomm had nothing more than pepper spray and a radio for defensive purposes. As a result of the attack and his critical wounds, he was transported to the Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he succumbed to his injuries.

The Stillwater State Prison houses 1616 inmates of which 527 have been convicted of murder.

The inmate that attacked Gomm had been convicted of second-degree murder and had four years left to serve on his 29-year sentence for the killing of his girlfriend. He has been transferred to a maximum-security facility as a result of this incident.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is conducting the investigation. Officer Gomm is the first corrections officer to be killed in the line of duty at the Stillwater Prison.

Commissioner Roy was visibly emotional when he gave a press conference early Wednesday evening in St. Paul.

“Officer Gomm was a fine man doing honorable work,” Roy said. “We are visiting emotions that we have not visited before.”

“The time today, I hope, will be focused on the family and their loss. I hope we can focus our efforts on the staff and their feelings, because really, that is our priority at this time,” he said.

Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement Wednesday regarding the incident:

I am appalled at the horrific murder of Officer Joseph Gomm. On behalf of all Minnesotans, I offer my deepest sympathies to Officer Gomm’s family, friends, and fellow Corrections Officers. We pray that they find strength and solace at this very difficult time.

We are all indebted to the courageous Corrections Officers and other state employees, who risk their safety in Minnesota’s prisons to ensure the safety of their colleagues, our communities, and the inmates themselves. Minnesotans are grateful for your selfless service, and we mourn with you the loss of your colleague and friend.

On social media, those who worked with Gomm shared gratitude for knowing him. One woman wrote on Facebook, “He worked in my unit for years and made sure I got out safely to see my loved ones every day. I never let a day go by where I didn’t thank him for that!”

A source, who at one point worked with Gomm, described him as caring and confident, and someone who pointed out what corrections officers should do to protect themselves.

Outside Officer Gomm’s home in Blaine, neighbors were coming to terms with the news.

“I think it’s terrible and I think most of the people here think it’s really horrible,” said neighbor Mary Olson. “Nobody deserves to die in such a way.”

Joseph Gomm was a 16-year veteran of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Two family members who were with him in the hospital at the time of his death survive him.

Corrections Officer Joseph Gomm is gone, but will never be forgotten.

EOW: Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Joseph Gomm
(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)

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Muscle Car Pits Sheriff’s Department Against Feds https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/muscle-car-pits-sheriffs-department-feds/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/muscle-car-pits-sheriffs-department-feds/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 19:22:57 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56906 GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. – The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office is in hot water over the purchase of a Hellcat muscle car. Fox 5 reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office to pay back $69,258 that it received from a federal program that distributes seized drug money to law enforcement...

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. – The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office is in hot water over the purchase of a Hellcat muscle car.

Fox 5 reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office to pay back $69,258 that it received from a federal program that distributes seized drug money to law enforcement agencies, which was used to buy the 707 hp Dodge Charger Hellcat in May.

muscle car
The Department of Justice described the purchase as an “extravagant expenditure,” which is not allowed under the program. (Gwinnett County Sheriff)

“We have not yet responded to that letter and we’re examining all our options,” department spokesperson Shannon Volkodav told Fox 5.

The Charger is a popular vehicle among law enforcement agencies, but Dodge does not make a Special Service model with the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine for this purpose. The Hellcat boasts a top speed of 204 mph.

One sticking point appears to be the black muscle car is being used as Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway’s official car. As a result, the DOJ insists this differs from the use stated in the application for the funds as an “undercover/covert operations” vehicle.

Moreover, the federal agency described it as an “extravagant expenditure,” which is not allowed under the program.

The department has also used the car to promote a “Beat the Heat” community outreach program, where citizens get to race against police officers on drag strips and are taught about the dangers of street racing and distracted driving. 

Regardless, the feds are crying foul.

Volkodav said that there was no intention of misleading the DOJ and that the language used in the letter was essentially boilerplate for any vehicle assigned to the department’s special investigative services division.

So does it violate the spirit of the law, the letter of the law, neither, or both? If you sought opinions from several attorneys, you would receive a variety of answers and a legal juxtaposition for each perspective. That has always been the case with asset forfeiture monies.

“Staff is working with the Sheriff’s Office to respond to the Department of Justice regarding the vehicle purchase. We are committed to resolving the matter quickly and will be adding review points in our process for equipment purchased with asset forfeiture funds to make sure we comply with guidelines set forth by the Department of Justice,” Gwinnett County Administrator Glenn Stephens told Fox 5.

Georgia Ethics Watchdog’s Director William Perry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the program money should be “treated the same way as a dollar coming out of a taxpayer’s pocket.”

Until the matter is resolved, the Sheriff’s Office has been cut off from the DOJ’s seized asset reallocation program.

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New Jersey woman confesses to murdering mother, grandmother, then going on a shopping spree https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/new-jersey-woman-confesses-murdering-mother-grandmother-shopping-spree/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/new-jersey-woman-confesses-murdering-mother-grandmother-shopping-spree/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:30:58 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56897 VENTNOR CITY, N.J. – A New Jersey woman reportedly bludgeoned her mother and grandmother to death with a nightstick, leaving the lifeless bodies inside a blood-spattered, high-rise apartment. Moreover, she used the murdered victim’s cash and credit cards to live it up in Atlantic City and New York City following the murders. Heather Barbera, 42,...

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VENTNOR CITY, N.J. – A New Jersey woman reportedly bludgeoned her mother and grandmother to death with a nightstick, leaving the lifeless bodies inside a blood-spattered, high-rise apartment. Moreover, she used the murdered victim’s cash and credit cards to live it up in Atlantic City and New York City following the murders.

Heather Barbera, 42, reportedly confessed to the July 7 murders of her mother, 67-year-old Michelle Gordon, and grandmother, 81-year-old Elaine Rosen, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

New Jersey woman
Heather Barbera, 42, of Ventnor, was arrested last Wednesday after being spotted at the Port Authority by New York City officers. She confessed to police that she murdered her mother and grandmother. (Facebook)

“It was horrible,” Barbera’s uncle, Richard Rosen, told the Inquirer. “They were both on the floor. There was blood all over. I was hoping they were alive, even though they were dead.”

crime reduction
(Crime scene file photo via Pixabay)

Authorities closed in on Barbera four days after the slayings, using the stolen credit cards to track her to midtown Manhattan.

She made purchases with the cards as she walked toward Times Square, leaving detectives a trail of virtual breadcrumbs that eventually led them to Barbera sitting on steps near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, sources told The New York Post.

Surveillance video showed Barbera leaving the women’s Ventnor condo on July 7. Authorities say she later went to Atlantic City, then to New York.

Currently jailed at the Rose M. Singer Center, a women’s facility on Rikers Island, Barbera is set to be extradited to New Jersey to be tried on murder and robbery charges, the Inquirer reported. Officials said she is in protective custody at the facility.

She declined to waive an extradition hearing in New York City, which is set for Aug. 8 in Manhattan.

Barbera’s lawyer, Ariel Schneller of the Legal Aid Society​ in New York, declined to comment on the charges Wednesday.

Rosen has said that his niece had emotional problems and that he believes she was addicted to prescription pills.

“It’s unimaginable,” he said in an earlier interview. “It was horrible. They were both on the floor. There was blood all over. I was hoping they were alive, even though they were dead.”

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LET Internal Battle over Police Lip Syncing https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/let-internal-battle-police-lip-syncing/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/let-internal-battle-police-lip-syncing/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 13:40:38 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56884 LET Internal Battle over Police Lip Syncing A few days ago, Jay Wiley from Law Enforcement Today came down on the police department lip sync videos that are making their rounds on social media. My first reaction when I started reading his article was that he was just being a cranky old radio guy. And...

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LET Internal Battle over Police Lip Syncing

A few days ago, Jay Wiley from Law Enforcement Today came down on the police department lip sync videos that are making their rounds on social media.

Lip sync challenge
(Norfolk Police Department)

My first reaction when I started reading his article was that he was just being a cranky old radio guy.

And I quote:

“But, since these videos only show one small aspect of American law enforcement, I can’t help feel that the Lip Sync Challenge and Dancing Cop videos make us look a bit like modern court jesters.”

police lip syncing
MPDC Bike Officer J.M . Perez singing “New York, New York” in front of Peyote Karoke Cafe, Sept. 11, 2011. (Courtesy Elvert Barnes)

I follow his logic. He’s advocating for the sharing of actual stories that our men and women in blue create every day. The lives saved, the violence stopped.

Obviously I’m on the same page. It’s been a driving mission of LET – between the articles, Jay’s radio shows and our Behind-The-Uniforms series to showcase these stories.

But here’s where I depart. For the first time in a long time, social media is exploding with love and support for those in blue.

lip sync videos
(Indiana State Police)

The media is actually giving them positive exposure. And it’s a huge boost of morale for departments that have had the living hell beat out of them for years.

Related:

Jay goes on to argue:

In my humble opinion they are just a dare. If they were a challenge, they would encourage others to do something, maybe something charitable. If there is nothing on the line, it’s a dare, not a challenge.”

And so to that … I issue my own challenge. Buckle up, Wiley!

police lip syncing
John “Jay” Wiley, LET Radio Show host and producer. (Law Enforcement Today)

Jay, I think you need a little music in your radio-talk-life. And so this isn’t a dare … it’s a challenge built around a charitable cause.

Make your own lip sync video and upload it right here on LET. If it hits one million views – my agency The Silent Partner Marketing will donate video production services worth $10,000 to a local police department to not only produce a kick-ass lip sync video, but to also capture some positive stories from members of the department on camera.

Time to put your money where your mouth is. Or should I say your video camera … and my money.

Kyle S. Reyes is the Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing, creator of The Whiskey Patriots and the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today. Reyes is also an acclaimed keynote speaker on patriotism and leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing by storytelling. You can follow him on Facebook.

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In Memoriam Special Agent Nole Remagen https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/memoriam-special-agent-nole-remagen/ https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/memoriam-special-agent-nole-remagen/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 01:29:27 +0000 https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/?p=56872 Director Randolph Alles of the United States Secret Service sadly reports the death of Special Agent Nole Remagen. Spec. Agent Remagen, 42, suffered a cerebrovascular emergency while on assignment in Scotland in the United Kingdom. Remagen suffered a massive stroke while he was on his midnight shift while providing protection services for John Bolton, the...

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Director Randolph Alles of the United States Secret Service sadly reports the death of Special Agent Nole Remagen.

Spec. Agent Remagen, 42, suffered a cerebrovascular emergency while on assignment in Scotland in the United Kingdom.

Remagen suffered a massive stroke while he was on his midnight shift while providing protection services for John Bolton, the national security advisor at the Turnberry Golf Course in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Remagen was found unresponsive during his shift and was transported to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow for emergency surgery. He remained in the neurological intensive care unit until his condition worsened and he succumbed to his illness.

President Trump mourned the death of the 19-year veteran of the Secret Service as his body was returned to the U.S. on Wednesday.

“Our prayers are with Special Agent Remagen’s loved ones, including his wife and two young children,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday. “We grieve with them and with his Secret Service colleagues, who have lost a friend and a brother.”

“Melania and I are deeply grateful for his lifetime of devotion, and today, we pause to honor his life and 24 years of service to our Nation,” Trump said.

The first lady took to Twitter to express her “deepest condolences” to Remagen’s family, noting that the Secret Service “work tirelessly & often behind the scenes to keep our family safe.”

The Trumps attended a ceremony for Remagen Wednesday at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where the agent’s body arrived. Vice President Pence, who called Remagen “a courageous American,” and his wife Karen, also paid their respects, reported Fox News.

Special Agent Remagen served the United States Secret Service for 19 years. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran. His wife and two young children survive him.

Nole Remagen
U.S. Secret Service Agent Nole Edward Remagen, 42, died in Scotland on Tuesday after suffering a stroke during President Trump’s overseas trip. (GoFundMe)

Special Agent Nole Remagen is gone, but will never be forgotten.

EOW: Sunday, July 15, 2018.

Related: 

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