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ere the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at:
Where the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at:

Officer Down

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sorry I haven't been around.

I have been dealing with some serious medical issues and they have really held me down.

I will be back up and running as soon as we get these issues under control.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Two wounded city police officers get top honors for bravery

--Not exactly the award you want to compete for but CONGRATULATIONS are definitely in order for these brave warriors--

Story at Chicago Sun-Times

City Hall Reporter
Last Modified: Oct 8, 2013 09:02PM

When the phone rang at 10:30 p.m. on July 18, 2011, Jeff Friedlieb was afraid to pick it up for fear that something terrible had happened to his son, who had followed his dad into the Chicago Police Department.

“I was sitting at home and I got a call….He says, `Come to the County [Hospital]. I’ve got a bullet in my head,’ ” the elder Friedlieb recalled.

“Most parents would get that call and they’d be in the alley picking up his brains…You have to thank God when you take a bullet in the back of your head and have the audacity to fire back and shoot the guy.”

On Tuesday, the elder Jeff Friedlieb was in the City Council chambers to watch his son and namesake receive the Carter Harrison Award, this year’s highest honor for police bravery, along with his partner, Officer Ruben Del Valle.

Both plainclothes officers were shot while attempting to arrest a man they had observed allegedly engaging in a drug deal in a West Side alley.

During the struggle, the suspect allegedly pulled out a handgun and fired several shots. Del Valle was hit in the arm and head. Friedlieb was shot in the head. The bullet remains lodged behind his left ear.

Somehow, the wounded Friedlieb managed to return fire, striking the fleeing suspect. Charges were subsequently dropped against one suspect, but another is awaiting trial.

“I went down. Luckily, I was still conscious. I was able to fight back and wound the offender,” said the younger Friedlieb, who still suffers sometimes from severe headaches.

“It was pretty much will and training, dedication to the job….You don’t really think about the injury. You think more about catching the offender. Your adrenalin takes over...[Afterwards], you look at life differently. It is a second chance.”

The partners credited their military training with carrying them through on that fateful day.

“I realized my partner was shot. I was shot. The first thing on my mind was, `Okay, we’re still moving. We’re still able to get up on our feet and chase this guy.’ That will [to live] is just survival. Your body just takes over. You get that feeling of, `I’ve got to make it out of here. I’ve got to make it home,’ ” Del Valle said.

Nearly a half-dozen of the police officers honored during Tuesday’s ceremony had been shot by criminals they were trying to apprehend.

The elder Friedlieb, who was shot at, but never hit during 42 years on the streets of Chicago, couldn’t help but take notice.

“They’re getting bolder….It’s a lot harder for the officers today,” the father said.

The Lambert Tree Award, this year’s highest honor for fire bravery, went to Lieutenant/EMT John Majka and firefighter/paramedic Anthony Licato.

Together, they rescued a bedridden, 94-year-old woman from the second floor of a burning house on the Far South Side.

Despite intense heat and blinding smoke, Majka didn’t wait for water lines to be hooked up before beginning the search. He charged up the stairs, found the woman and was attempting to carry her out unconscious just as Licato arrived with a hose line to help him.

“I saw her ankle hanging off the bed right near the floor and just crawled up to her face. I could see she was burned. But she did take a breath, so that led me to believe she had a chance to survive. So, I kicked it into higher gear and got her out of there,” Majka recalled.

Pressed on what went through his mind on that day, Majka said, “You do have to choke down that uncertainty and that fear and push forward. It’s only human to do that. But that’s what we do.”

For Licato, being called a hero wasn’t easy. He said he would “much rather be at the firehouse.”

The best part of Tuesday’s ceremony was bringing his sons, ages 2 and 4, to the fire academy.

“They’re very excited to be here…They love the Fire Department. This was a big day for them,” he said, to the squeals of his delighted children.

Second man found guilty of murdering Chicago police officer

--Two down, one to go.
  Put these pieces of garbage where they belong.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Ellen Jean Hirst
Tribune reporter
11:33 AM CDT, October 9, 2013

Kevin Walker, who prosecutors said went by the nickname of "Killer Kev," has been found guilty of the slaying of Chicago Police Officer Alejandro "Alex" Valadez.

Prosecutors said Walker was driving a car on June 1, 2009, when two passengers opened fire at Valadez, a 27-year-old expectant father who was responding to an earlier call of shots fired in the West Englewood neighborhood. The jury deliberated about 10 hours before handing down the guilty verdict this morning.

A second man, Shawn Gaston, was found guilty in the officer’s death in 2011 and sentenced to 125 years in prison.

The trial for a third defendant, Christopher Harris, is currently underway. Closing arguments in that case are scheduled today at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who prosecuted the case, said Walker and two others were angry about the earlier shooting and went back at the scene to get even.

“They got shot at, went back for weapons and then went back for revenge,” Alvarez said in court.

Valadez was wearing jeans, a bulletproof vest and a duty belt and was standing near where the shooting took place in the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue.

Alvarez said the three were part of a “killing team.” She noted that sports teams that win championships often get commemorative rings and asked that the jury give Walker his by finding him guilty on both counts.

“Give him his ring of responsibility,” Alvarez said. “Give Kevin Walker his championship ring.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Memoriam: Special Agent Joseph M. Peters


Special Agent Joseph M. Peters
United States Army Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Government
End of Watch: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 24
Tour: 6 years
Badge # Not available
Military veteran
Cause: Bomb
Location: Overseas
Incident Date: 10/6/2013
Weapon: Explosives; Improvised device
Suspect: Not available

Special Agent Joseph Peters was killed by an improvised explosive device while accompanying soldiers during combat operations in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

Three soldiers were also killed in the explosion.

Special Agent Peters had served in the U.S. Army for six years and was assigned to the 286th Military Police Detachment (CID), 5th Military Police Battalion (CID), Vicenza, Italy. He is survived by his wife and 20-month-old son.

Special Agent Peters was posthumously awarded the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Major General David E. Quantock
United States Army Criminal Investigation Division
27130 Telegraph Road
Russell Knox Building
Quantico, VA 22314
Phone: (571) 305-4009

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I am a police officer

By: Jeremy Martinez
Featured at Law Enforcement Today

I am a police officer

I went to college, got a degree
I applied at local, state, and federal agencies
I endured testing, drug, psych, polygraph, and comprehension
I went through backgrounds, family / friends, co-workers, neighbors – interviewed
I trained, before, during, after, the academy -
I sacrificed time, sleep, and hobby -

I am a police officer

I learned, lasted, endured, changed -
I worked midnights, patrolled the streets while you slept
I stopped the guy that was lurking outside your walls
I came fast when you called for help
I stopped that man who was looking to do you harm

I am a police officer

I’ve broken ties of family, friends who choose a different path
I’ve been looked down upon, up to, and cast aside
I’ve answered questions, given advice, and even cried

I am a police officer

I’ve seen the things they won’t even put in the news
I’ve held your babies after a crash
I’ve comforted you, calmed you, and told you to wait
I’ve seen you at your worst, your best, and in between

I am a police officer

I’ve asked you questions that touched your soul
I’ve started the process to help make you whole
I’ve talked to your sons, your daughters about unthinkable things
I’ve gone after the one who invades your dreams
I’ve held your hand when no one else would
I’ve seen and done more than anyone should

I am a police officer

I know about things that would keep you up at night
I go to sleep and rise again for the fight
I risk my body, my mind, and my soul
I take the lumps that at times only I know

I am a police officer

I am criticized for being too cold
I am told not to be warm or let emotions get hold
I am demonized in the news
I am blamed for financial woes
I am taken for granted by you
I have friends who have taken a life
I’ve known friends who have given theirs for you

I am a police officer

I strap on a gun, a bullet proof vest, Taser, pepper spray, baton
I load a shot gun, slug gun, and rifle
I look for trouble before it finds you
I step between you and those who would do you harm
I give you orders, advice, and strength
I come when you call, nothing to big, or to small
I am professional, in word and in deed
I am aggressive to those who do wrong
I am comforting to those in need
I am all things to you

I am a police officer

I am injured
I am stressed
I am fulfilled
I am trying to do the right thing
I am here, I am there, I am where you don’t want to be

I am a police officer

I have been bitten, and pushed
I have been struck by fist, feet, bottles, bats, and cars
I have been spit upon, thrown up on, and more
I continue to come back for more

I am a police officer

I am brave, I am strong
I am soft, I am caring
I look to help, to change what I can
I am human too, look me in the eye
I live, love, work, play, and die
I have kids in school, go to church, and pray
I am involved with the community in which I play

I am a police officer

Next time you drive down the street
Don’t look in your mirror in fear
Think of me, pray for me and give me your ear

I am a police officer, I am here

River Forest and its police union agree to new contract

--My 6000th post since opening Duke's Blotter in March of 2009.
What better way to celebrate than sending congratulations to our fellow brethren in River Forest for a successful contract negotiation.--

Story at Pioneer Press

By: Phil Rockrohr |

River Forest and its police union have reached a three-year contract overhauling step-based pay increases and eliminating a subsidy of retiree health insurance.

In exchange, the 25-member union received annual pay raises of 2.75 percent and a one-time payout for health insurance after retirement for officers with five to 14 years of experience.

The sweeping changes were done without the presence of attorneys during the nine-month-long negotiations.

“I’m assuming it’s the first time in village history that’s been done,” said Detective Justin Labriola, president of Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 46. “We never had them in the room until the last session, and that was just to finalize language more than anything.”

Both sides described the process, which took more than 10 rounds of negotiations, as friendly. The FOP approved the contract without a single “no” vote, Labriola said.

“Each side came in with issues important to them,” Village Administrator Eric Palm said. “Instead of throwing the kitchen sink, we said, ‘Here are three or four things we’d like to work out.’ We agreed that if we couldn’t figure it out, we’d go back to the traditional style.

“But we were able to get things worked out and reach a good contract for everybody.”

The biggest issue for River Forest was eliminating the 30-year-old practice of paying one-third of the premium for health insurance for retired officers, Palm said.

“That is a cost that escalates over time,” he said. “We wanted to end it for everybody, but we wanted to grandfather the existing retirees. We did not want to take the rug out from under anybody’s feet.”

If officers have 15 years of more of service, the village will continue to subsidize their health care after retirement, Palm said.

If they have five to 14 years of service, the village agreed to one-time payments of $11,000 to $30,800 per officer, depending on their years of service, according to the contract. Those with less than five years of service will no longer receive the benefit.

Under the restructuring of the salary schedule, officers will receive the same minimum and maximum pay, but the years of experience required to access the increases was expanded from six to nine steps.

Officers hired before May 1 will continue to receive raises based on the six-step schedule, while those hired after May 1 will get pay hikes based on the nine-step schedule.

“Obviously, we would like to go ahead and keep everything the same, but as time changes things, that is part of the negotiations,” Labriola said. You have to change. You just have to make sure it benefits the lodge. You have to evaluate what outweighs what at this point in time.”

Injunction aims to weaken Addison gang presence

--It would be even nicer if we could the money out of these pieces of trash.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Clifford Ward, Special to the Tribune
8:08 PM CDT, October 2, 2013

DuPage County officials said Wednesday they have won a court victory that will make life more difficult for suspected members of an Addison street gang.

After a one-day civil trial, Judge Terence Sheen issued a permanent injunction this week prohibiting members of the Latin Counts gang from consorting with each other, State's Attorney Robert Berlin said.

"Today is a good day for the people of Illinois and the residents of Addison," Berlin said. "This injunction is a powerful tool that will help us put an end to gang activity in the area and make our streets safer for our children."

According to county officials, the injunction bans eight specific suspected gang members and other unidentified members from openly associating. Violators can face contempt citations.

The action also bars the gang members from making gang signs, possessing weapons, participating in any assaults, or possessing or delivering any controlled substances.

The injunction seeks $80,000 from the gang, reimbursement for expenses incurred by Addison to police the gangs.

The injunction marked the fourth successful lawsuit DuPage prosecutors have filed in the past 10 years against a street gang. Kane County prosecutors also have employed the tactic, filing three lawsuits in recent years against gangs in Elgin and Aurora.

Law enforcement officials have called the lawsuits another avenue that police can use to crack down on gang activity, in addition to traditional law enforcement efforts, by impeding the ability of gang members to operate freely.

Kane brought its third gang lawsuit in June, with police serving summonses to 25 members of an Elgin gang. Once served, the suspected gang members can challenge the suit in court.

The suits are filed under a 1993 state law, which says gang members can be held civilly responsible for monetary damages caused by their illegal actions.

In Memoriam: Deputy Sheriff Billy "Bubba" Kennedy


Deputy Sheriff Billy "Bubba" Kennedy
Upton County Sheriff's Department, Texas
End of Watch: Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 38
Tour: 14 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 10/2/2013
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Shot and wounded

Deputy Sheriff Billy Kennedy was shot and killed after responding to a call at a convenience store on South Burleson Avenue, in McCamey, at approximately 11:15 pm.

After he arrived at the scene he encountered a male subject. During the encounter the two exchanged gunfire. Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy Kennedy was able to return fire and wounded the suspect.

Deputy Kennedy had served in law enforcement for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Sheriff Dan Brown
Upton County Sheriff's Department
PO Box 27
Rankin, TX 79778
Phone: (432) 693-2422

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Court: Is anonymous tip enough for traffic stop?

--An anonymous call on it's own is not reason enough to stop a person on the street so I am not sure how it will fly here.
I think it will be a very interesting debate.--

Story at

The Supreme Court will decide if a tip is enough to pull a vehicle over without an officer's corroboration of dangerous driving

October 01, 2013
By Mark Sherman
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will weigh whether a motorist's anonymous tip about reckless driving is enough for police to pull over a car, without an officer's corroboration of dangerous driving.

The issue has divided state and federal courts.

The justices said they will take up an appeal by two men who pleaded guilty to transporting marijuana after California Highway Patrol officers pulled over their silver Ford 150 pickup based on a report of reckless driving.

The officers did not observe erratic driving, but acted after dispatchers received a 911 call saying the vehicle had run the caller off the road and identifying it by its model, color and license plate. Officer searched the truck after smelling marijuana, found four large bags of it and arrested driver Lorenzo Prado Navarette and passenger Jose Prado Navarette. It is unclear whether the men are related.

They appealed after pleading guilty and are arguing that the traffic stop violated their constitutional rights, based on an earlier high court ruling that anonymous tips by themselves ordinarily are not sufficient for police to detain or search someone.

The question for the justices is whether anonymous tips about reckless or drunken driving should be treated differently.

Four years ago, the court declined to hear an appeal from Virginia officials over the same issue after the state Supreme Court sided with a defendant who was arrested after police received an anonymous tip that he was driving while intoxicated.

Chief Justice John Roberts disagreed with his colleagues and wrote to say that the court should have agreed to hear the case.

"The stakes are high," Roberts said, explaining that the Virginia decision grants "drunk drivers `one free swerve' before they can legally be pulled over by police. It will be difficult for an officer to explain to the family of a motorist killed by that swerve that the police had a tip that the driver of the other car was drunk, but that they were powerless to pull him over, even for a quick check."

The case, 12-9490, probably will be argued in January.