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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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Barrington Hills Police officer on leave after Lake in the Hills domestic battery charges

--Cases like this are nightmare.
Innocent or guilty it is a tough road for everyone to travel back on.--

-Northwest Herald-

BARRINGTON HILLS – A Barrington Hills Police officer has been put on administrative leave after

Gary A. Deutschle, 40, of Algonquin, was charged with two counts of domestic battery, both Class A misdemeanors. He was arrested by the Lake in the Hills Police Department.

Barrington Hills Deputy Police Chief Rich Semelsberger confirmed Tuesday that Deutschle was placed on administrative leave Friday.

Semelsberger also said the Barrington Hills Police Department is conducting its own active and internal investigation into the allegations.

Deutschle allegedly pushed open a door, striking his wife on the right wrist, according to the criminal complaint.

He was released from the McHenry County Jail after making bond.
he was arrested Thursday on charges of domestic battery, police said.

Cop killer, former Black Panther to give commencement address at Vermont college

--Not sure what pisses me off more. 
The fact the kids asked for this piece of garbage or that it was approved.
This is a slap in the face to Dan Faulkner.
Read the incident here and see what kind of monster this Abu-Jamal is.--

-Washington Times-

By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A convicted cop killer and former Black Panther whose case helped to derail one of President Obama’s top nominees has been chosen to give the commencement address at a Vermont college.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been selected by undergraduate students at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, as their commencement speaker on Sunday.

Abu-Jamal was convicted in the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was reduced on appeal to life imprisonment.
The inmate’s notoriety helped to sink the nomination earlier this month of Debo Adegbile, who was Mr. Obama’s choice to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Mr. Adegbile had helped to represent Abu Jamal’s case on appeal while working at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Senators opposed to Mr. Adegbile’s nomination said he went beyond legal representation into political advocacy in the case. Mr. Adegbile withdrew from consideration earlier this month, and Mr. Obama has not announced a new nominee for the post.

The college said Abu-Jamal’s speech has been prerecorded by Prison Radio.

“As a reflection of Goddard’s individualized and transformational educational model, our commencements are intimate affairs where each student serves as her or his own valedictorian, and each class chooses its own speaker,” Goddard College Interim President Bob Kenny said in a statement. “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

The college said Abu-Jamal received a bachelor of arts degree from the school in 1996, completing his coursework by mail.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Court reverses parole denial in '73 trooper murder


--How disgusting is this.....
A killer is a killer is a killer is a killer. Whether they killed a citizen or a police officer. You kill someone in cold blood and you deserve to die in a hole.--


Man convicted in the shooting death of an NJ state trooper was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday

By David Porter
Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime that still provokes strong emotion among law enforcement more than 40 years later was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday.

Sundiata Acoli was known as Clark Edward Squire when he was convicted of the 1973 slaying of state trooper Werner Foerster during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now in his mid-70s, he was denied parole most recently in 2011, but the appellate judges reversed that ruling Monday.

In a 28-page opinion, the panel wrote that the parole board ignored evidence favorable to Acoli and gave undue consideration to past events such as a probation violation that occurred decades earlier.

One of the three people in the car when it was stopped was Joanne Chesimard, who also was convicted of Foerster's slaying, but eventually escaped to Cuba and is now known as Assata Shakur. Last year, state and federal authorities announced a $2 million reward for information leading to her capture, and the FBI made her the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorists. She and Acoli were members of black militant organizations at the time.

At the news conference last year announcing the increased reward for Shakur, Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey state police, called the case "an open wound."

"I am both disheartened and disappointed by the appellate decision in this matter," Fuentes said through a spokesman Monday. "The mere passage of time should not excuse someone from the commission of such a horrendous act. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Foerster family whose lives have been deprived of a father and son."

According to court documents, Acoli's gun went off during a struggle with Foerster, who had responded as backup after another officer pulled over the car for a broken tail light. The state contended Chesimard shot Trooper James Harper, wounding him, then took Foerster's gun and shot him twice in the head with his own gun as he lay on the ground. A third man in the car, James Costen, died from his injuries at the scene.

Acoli has claimed he was grazed by a bullet and blacked out, and couldn't remember the exact sequence of events. He was sentenced in 1974 to life plus 24 to 30 years, and was denied parole in 1993 and 2004. He is currently in prison in Otisville, New York, about 75 miles northwest of New York City.

The appellate judges wrote Monday that the parole board ignored a prison psychologist's favorable report on Acoli and the fact that he had expressed remorse for the trooper's death and had had no disciplinary incidents in prison since 1996. They also faulted the board for giving too much weight to Acoli's past criminal record and an unspecified probation violation, which occurred several decades before the board's decision.

"Make no mistake, we are completely appalled by Acoli's senseless crimes, which left a member of the State Police dead and another injured, as well as one of Acoli's associates dead and the other injured," the judges wrote. "But Acoli has paid the penalty under the laws of this State for his crimes."

Christopher Burgos, president of the state troopers' fraternal association, called the court's decision "unbelievably insane."

"Once again the families affected who have lost loved ones in service to their state and country, law enforcement in New Jersey and the US have had wounds ripped open again 40 years later, and sadly we have seen the failure of our justice system to keep these violent offenders behind bars for the rest of their lives," he wrote in an email.

Through a spokesman, the state attorney general's office said it would appeal the decision and could seek a stay that, if granted, would postpone Acoli's release.

Elgin officer fired after Facebook posts on Ferguson, MLK Day

-Daily Herald-

--Does everyone forget the Police Officers Code of Ethics or Conduct Unbeoming an Officer?
I am in way an angel but you have to remember, you are a public official. You have no privacy. What you do off duty reflects upon you at all times.
They have these "catch-all" rules and regulations just for times like this.
get smart. Use your heads.

2. Conduct Unbecoming an Officer
Officers shall not engage in any conduct or activities on- or off-duty that reflect discredit on the officers, tend to bring this agency into disrepute, or impair its efficient and effective operation.

Elena Ferrarin
updated: 9/29/2014 6:26 PM

A 17-year Elgin police veteran was fired Monday in the wake of Facebook posts he made that appeared to have racial connotations, including one about last month's fatal shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Officer Jason A. Lentz, 40, was terminated from his position after he was found guilty of engaging in "conduct that would undermine the credibility of the city or employees," Deputy Chief Bill Wolf said.

Lentz also was found in violation of the department's social media policy, Wolf said.

In a statement, Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda said, "Our relationship with the community is based upon trust. When an officer violates this trust, action must be taken."

Lentz and his attorney Timothy D. O'Neil did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall declined to comment.

Lentz had been placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 21 after members of the police department read the Facebook posts.

A police department sergeant read an Aug. 15 Facebook post that said Missouri police officer Darren Wilson "did society a favor" when he shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A grand jury is reviewing that case.

Lentz was asked to remove the post, and later police command staff searched his Facebook account, finding 10 more Facebook posts they considered questionable. The posts dated back to August 2013.

Lentz was put on leave when Wolf and Swoboda were informed about the posts.

According to police records, Lentz made the following posts:

• July 7: A post about relatives of a black man charged with the murder of a police officer in Indianapolis said: "If your kid wasn't a (expletive) bag that officer would still be alive."

• November 2013: A post lauded a parent's decision to keep a child from school on Veterans Day, pointing out children don't go to school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

• August 2013: A post about a police training class canceled in Lombard after protests from a Muslim civil liberties group said: "Hmmm ... another way to thwart law enforcement efforts from learning about threats to our cities and nation. Again we are falling prey to political correctness."

Lentz previously received a two-day suspension in May after he falsely stated on Facebook that the police department fabricated calls for service, according to police records, which also show he was disciplined several times since his hiring in January 1997.

Lentz has 14 days to file a grievance to take his firing to an arbitration panel, Wolf said.

Woman charged with threatening Cicero town president, lawyer

-Chicago Sun-Times-

Joann Walker, 76, of Cicero, was ordered held on $100,000 bond Sunday after prosecutors alleged in court that she tried to arrange a hit on Cicero Town President Larry Dominick and town attorney Michael Del Galdo last July.

A Cicero woman was accused Sunday in Cook County Court of plotting the murders of Cicero Town President Larry Dominick and the town’s attorney — charges that the woman’s son decried as “political” during a courtroom outburst.

Joann Walker was ordered held on $100,000 bond after prosecutors alleged in court that she tried to arrange a hit on both Dominick and town attorney Michael Del Galdo last July.

Walker, 76, was charged with two felony counts of threatening a public official. She also faces an additional charge of resisting arrest, after Cicero Police said she resisted attempts to be handcuffed and then went limp once they placed the restraints on her.

During the court hearing, Judge Peggy Chiampas questioned why it took Cicero officials months to seek charges against the woman for threats she’s accused of making in July.

That prompted the outburst from Walker’s son, Henry, who shouted out that the charges were “political.” He was ordered out of the courtroom.

Assistant State’s Attorney David Mennie said the delay stemmed from efforts to make sure authorities had the correct “timeline” of events.

Mennie said that on July 16, Joann Walker spoke with another woman about a plan to recruit a hit man — identified in court only as “Mike” — to kill Dominick and Del Galdo.

Prosecutors said Walker told the woman, identified by prosecutors as Sharon Starzyk, that she wanted to get a “piece” to Mike that he could use to kill Dominick and Del Galdo.

When reached by phone Sunday evening, Henry Walker said both he and his mother have a “big mouth” and should think before they saying things. But he said there was no way she would have actually tried to have Dominick or the lawyer killed.

“She may have made improper statements, but she has no means of carrying it out,” said Henry Walker, who shares a two-flat with his mother. “For her to be arrested on hearsay with a $100,000 bond is outrageous.”

Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania did not return a phone message Sunday night seeking comment.
Starzyk, the woman Walker allegedly discussed her plot with, previously ran the town’s animal shelter, Waggin’ Tails, before she was fired in late 2009. Reached by phone Sunday night, Starzyk declined to comment.

Starzyk, who was once close with Dominick, has said in court filings that their friendship soured after Dominick began groping her, sending her filthy text messages and demanding that she lie if questioned in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by another town employee against Dominick.
Henry Walker said his mother knew Starzyk and was “infuriated” with Dominic for the way the Waggin’ Tails animal shelter was run. Joann Walker thought the shelter had been euthanizing animals that shouldn’t have been euthanized, he said.

He also criticized Cicero officials for the way they treated her in the town lockup after she was arrested Thursday. Walker spent the weekend in the Cicero lockup and wasn’t booked into Cook County Jail until Sunday, according to records.

“She’s a 76-year-old diabetic. She didn’t have socks, a blanket or a pillow,” Henry Walker said.

Man shot in bicep in Northlake parking lot

-FP Herald-

--"My brother did it! Nope, wait a minute, it was a Hispanic guy". 
Gotta love it.--

Mark Lawton
Sept. 29 4:18 p.m.

Northlake Police received a call from Gottleib Hospital at 1:34 a.m. Sept. 22 about a man who had been shot in the left bicep in the parking lot of an apartment building on the 200 block of South Wolf Road.

Police went to Gottlieb to interview the man, 24, who was heavily sedated.

“He initially blurted out that his brother shot him during an argument,” said Patrol Cmdr. Ken Beres. “Then he quickly changed his story and said it was some male Hispanic.”

Police went to the apartment building but had little luck.

“No one at the apartment building would speak to us,” Beres said.

Police are still investigating.

Constitutional challenges to pension benefit cuts met with mixed results

-OBKCG Web Site-

--In Illinois, pension benefits are in the state's constitution which makes it difficult to cut pension benefits. These matters are currently being argued in court.--

Legal Insights for Pension Boards (Spring 2014)

by David T. Zafiratos and Ashley Folk

Although, it had traditionally been assumed that public pensions enjoyed a heightened protection from reduction, suspension or elimination for current public employees and retirees, recent cuts by many state legislatures have tested that assumption. Two recent cases from the New Mexico and Arizona Supreme Courts have rendered opposite conclusions.

In Bartlett v. Cameron, 316 P.3d 889 (2013), the Supreme Court of New Mexico held that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) paid out to retirees is not a vested property right. The case arose after New Mexico faced threats to the fiscal stability of the New Mexico Education Retirement Board retirement plan and subsequently passed a bill which amended the New Mexico statute governing COLA amounts, reducing COLAs to retirees. Several public education retirees sued, arguing that the legislature could not reduce their COLA benefits because they have a vested property right in the COLA calculation method that was in effect at the time that they retired.

The New Mexico Constitution provides that public employees acquire vested property rights with due process protections in their retirement plans. The retirees argued that the COLA payment is inseparably tied to their pension benefits, and is thus included as a vested property right. They claimed that reducing the amount of their COLA payment decreases the value of the entire retirement benefit, which is the same as if the legislature expressly cut their underlying retirement benefit. The State argued that COLA is not part of their retirement benefit, but instead is a separate amount that a retiree may receive, depending on certain economic conditions. The court ultimately determined that COLA was not part of the retirement benefit and was distinctively separate. The court labeled COLA as a legislative tool used to implement current public policy, as opposed to a vested property right. COLA is provided independently from the obligation to pay retirement benefits. Thus, reducing the COLA does not also reduce the retirees’ underlying substantive retirement benefits.

Conversely, in the case of Fields v. The Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan, 680 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 15 (2014), the Arizona Supreme Court held that modification of a statutory formula for calculating pension benefit increases violated the Pension Clause of the Arizona Constitution. The Arizona Constitution states that pension benefits shall not be diminished or impaired. Under the Arizona statute governing pension plans for elected officials, the benefit increase formula is similar to a COLA. The only difference is that the benefit increase is tied to the plan’s return on investment, as opposed to economic conditions. Under the Arizona statute, the benefit increase was also subject to a 4% increase cap. However, in 2011 the Arizona legislature enacted a bill that altered this formula. Subsequently, a class of retired judges and beneficiaries of the plan challenged this bill, claiming that it was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court of Arizona came out opposite on this issue than the Supreme Court of New Mexico had in Bartlett. In Fields the court held that the term “benefit” encompasses benefit increases under the Pension Clause. The court relied on the history of the statute and Arizona precedent to reach this conclusion. Second, the court determined that changing the benefit increase formula diminished and impaired the benefits.

Recently, Illinois implemented a reform for its statewide pension systems relating to retirement benefits and COLA calculations (Public Act 98-0599) which have already been challenged. Illinois courts are not bound by or required to find either the Arizona or New Mexico decisions persuasive. However, in Fields, the Arizona Supreme Court specifically stated that Illinois had previously determined that benefit calculation formulas are entitled to constitutional protection. This could indicate that Illinois may hold itself in the minority with Arizona when the recent challenges are decided, and strike down the reform.

Of the seventeen states that have changed their COLAs, twelve have been challenged in court. In the nine states where the courts have ruled, eight have upheld the cut to COLAs. As the Bartlett court pointed out, the recent wave of COLA legislation can be attributed to the economic downturn that is affecting the fiscal viability of public funds. Illinois courts are being faced with identical arguments relating to the current reform —specifically that there is a constitutionally protected contractual right to the COLA calculation. Illinois has traditionally been considered one of the states with the greatest constitutional protection of public pension benefits. If Illinois courts decide to consider the current judicial thinking on the matter, it will be interesting to see if the reform is upheld in light of this strong constitutional protection.

The dilemma of correcting pension benefit mistakes

-OBKCG- web Site-

--Mistakes happen. But are you made aware of when they do? Or, how they fixed? Your pension board is handling YOUR money. This is not money that just appears in a bank account for you. You pay part of your salary into the pension for your future and your local pension board is answerable to YOU. Learn what is going on!!!!!!!.--

Legal Insights for Pension Boards (Spring 2014)

by Vladimir Shuliga, Jr.

One of the most challenging issues for fire and police pension funds in Illinois is tackling the issue of a mistake made in a pension benefit it has previously granted. While the issue of benefit corrections is a universal problem for all public pension systems, Illinois has some of the most difficult law on this issue of any state. The authority to correct benefit mistakes, however, is a required component of any pension plan document under Internal Revenue Code provisions that provide our pension systems with “qualified plan status” and favorable tax status. (See 26 U.S.C. § 401(a))

In Illinois the legal authority given to the board of trustees of a pension fund to retroactively correct a mistake made in granting a benefit to a pensioner depends on which article of the Illinois Pension Code the fund is organized. However, applicable to all pension funds’ final decisions is the Illinois Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/3-101 et seq.). Under the Administrative Review Law, a pension board can only revisit its decision within 35 days from the date that a copy of the written decision of the board is served on the party affected by the decision. (735 ILCS 5/3-103) Beyond the brief 35-day window a pension board is very limited in its ability to correct mistakes that may have been made in granting a pension benefit.

Section 3-144.2 of the Illinois Pension Code (which is applicable to police pension funds) provides that “the amount of any overpayment, due to fraud, misrepresentation or error . . . may be deducted from future payments to the recipient of such pension.” (40 ILCS 5/3-144.2) Typically fraud or misconduct would involve a pensioner intentionally misleading a pension fund when seeking a pension benefit. “Error,” on the other hand, would appear to encompass mistakes made in granting a benefit.

However, Section 3-144.2 has been interpreted to allow a police pension board to readjust pension payments where the board “made some inadvertent arithmetical error in calculating pension benefits,” but not as a means of circumventing the appeal period of the Administrative Review Law. (Rossler v. Morton Grove Police Pension Board, 178 Ill.App.3d 769 (1st Dist. 1989))

In Rossler, the Morton Grove Police Pension Board incorrectly calculated the amount of creditable time a police officer had due to its inclusion of a leave of absence as creditable time. The Board attempted to hold a rehearing to correct its error, but was precluded from doing so due to the lapse of the 35-day appeal period under the Administrative Review Law. The court found that the Board’s mistaken inclusion of a leave of absence as creditable time did not constitute an arithmetical error, as to permit the Board to recoup overpayment under Section 3-144.2 of the Code. Thus, based on the Rossler case, the authority granted to police pension funds under Section 3-144.2 of the Code is limited to arithmetical errors in calculating the benefit rather than errors in interpreting or applying provisions of the Pension Code.

Article 4 (which is applicable to firefighter pension funds) does not have a provision similar to Section 3-144.2 which would allow a fund to recoup overpayment. However, this does not mean that all benefits ever granted by a firefighter pension fund are forever etched in stone. There are other provisions within the Code which allow a fund to alter a benefit in certain situations. For instance, Section 4-117 directs a pension fund to suspend pension payments to a member of the fund who re-enters active service. (40 ILCS 5/4-117) Additionally, Section 4-112 requires a pension board to terminate a disability pension if it is determined that the firefighter on the disability pension has recovered from the disability. (40 ILCS 5/4-112) Furthermore, Article 4 makes it a crime to intentionally make a false statement or falsify documents in an attempt to defraud a pension fund. (40 ILCS 5/4-138.5) Inherent in that statutory provision is the fund’s authority to correct or terminate any benefit that was fraudulently induced.

However, these provisions envision a change in circumstances which change the status of the pensioner. Furthermore, the change in status is made prospectively. If a pension fund finds that a member of the fund receiving pension payments has re-entered active service, it must first make that finding and then suspend pension payments once that finding is made. Similarly, a pension fund must make the determination that a disability pensioner recovered from the disability and then must prospectively stop payments. In neither situation does the Code authorize a pension board to retroactively make the determination that a pensioner either recovered from a disability or re-entered active service.

In short, both police pension funds and firefighter pension funds are limited in their authority to correct mistakes made in granting benefits. The current state of the Illinois Pension Code does not offer any authority to firefighter pension funds to correct mistakes those funds may have made in granting benefits, and only allows police pension funds to recoup mistaken payments in instances of fraud, misrepresentation, or arithmetical error.

Although legislation has been introduced to expand the authority of Article 3 and Article 4 pension boards to correct benefit mistakes, pension funds are limited to the authority they are granted under the Illinois Pension Code until that legislation is passed.

What is actuarial malpractice?

-OBKCG Web Site-

--I have been stressing this for years and I still cannot stress it enough. Learn what your pension board and your employer are doing with YOUR money. It is boring to read about. Some of it will need explaining from someone. But in the long run you will be much more prepared for any instance that comes your way.--

Legal Insights for Pension Boards (Spring 2014)

by Meganne Trela

Actuaries play an important role in the lives of public pension funds. Actuaries are responsible for reviewing the demographic and financial data and information for a pension funds to determine a suggested yearly funding amount based on future forecasts and predictions. Technically, the information actuaries provide to pension funds about future funding needs is a highly educated guess. Just like any other type of future prediction, calculated predictions made by an actuary may not always be exactly right. However, in some cases, those calculated predictions may be drastically wrong. In those cases, a claim for actuarial malpractice may be lurking under the surface.

Actuarial malpractice claims are fairly recent phenomenon. These claims generally look like malpractice claims against accountants. Claims for actuarial malpractice can be made by a variety of sources: individual clients, persons an actuary knows will rely on his or her work, persons an actuary knows may rely on his or her work, and unknown parties who an actuary should reasonably foresee will rely on his or her work. Any of these parties can all make claims for actuarial malpractice depending on the egregiousness of the actuary’s conduct. In the world of public pension funds, this means potential claimants include the actual pension fund, pension fund members, the public body contributing to the pension fund, and may even include taxpayers in some limited cases.

Claims for actuarial malpractice can arise from an actuary’s failure to reconcile, adjust, understand, or use appropriate data; unreasonable assumptions that conflict with or ignore experience; use of improper methodologies; carelessness in calculations; or professional ignorance. Professional ignorance includes a failure to understand and consider applicable law. Two of the most common types of actuarial malpractice claims in a pension fund setting stem from an actuary’s use of unreasonable assumptions or from professional ignorance.

For example, making unreasonable assumptions can consist of an actuary’s failure to account for future salary increases in calculating a suggested funding amount. In Gallagher Corp. v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., 105 F.Supp.2d 889 (N.D.Ill. 2000), the federal court for the Northern District of Illinois found that a pension fund actuary who assumed no salary increases in calculating benefits was liable for malpractice because the assumption was unreasonable on its face. In that case, the actuary should have reviewed salary increase trends and accounted for those increases when he was calculating future benefits.

Professional ignorance can happen when an actuary fails to consider current law. For example, In Horton v. CIGNA Individual Financial Services Co., 825 F.Supp. 852 (N.D. Ill. 1993), an actuary advised an owner that a change in the law required an amendment to its pension plan. As a result of the amendments, the plan became underfunded. Because the amendment was actually unnecessary under the law, the actuary was sued for actuarial malpractice.

There are two ways a claim for actuarial malpractice can be asserted: 1) as a contract claim; or 2) as a tort claim. Funds or individuals bringing claims under a contract theory are generally limited in their recovery to compensatory damages (damages awarded to make parties whole) and cannot recover punitive damages. Punitive damages go beyond compensatory damages and are awarded to punish or deter a defendant. Under a tort theory, however, claimants can recover compensatory damages and may also be entitled to punitive damages.

To bring an actuarial malpractice claim under contract some sort of privity between the parties must exist. Privity requires a formal relationship between the parties. For example, a written contract for actuarial services between a public pension fund and actuary would create privity. Where privity exists, actuaries owe a specific duty of care to their client. This duty generally consists of providing actuary services with the degree of skill and competence reasonably expected of persons in the actuarial community.

In addition, most actuaries owe some sort of fiduciary duty to their clients. Thus, an actuary’s failure to use generally accepted actuarial principles while providing actuarial services may subject the actuary to legal liability. However, in Chua v. Shippee, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128634 (N.D. Ill. 2013), the federal court for the Northern District of Illinois recently dismissed a claim for breach of fiduciary duties under ERISA, concluding that the plaintiff (trustees and plan participants of a private defined benefit plan) had failed to properly allege that the defendant actuary and attorney were engaged in fiduciary acts for the plan when giving advice to the plan. This is in contrast to other court decisions which have held that actuaries could be fiduciaries and could be held liable for both breach of fiduciary duty, as well as aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty by others. (See, for example, N.Y. State Workers’ Compensation Board v. SG Risk, LLC, 2014 NY Slip OP. 2373 (N.Y. App. Div., April 3, 2014))

Under a tort theory, privity between the parties is not required; however, the actuary must owe some sort of duty of care to the individual or entity bringing the claim. For instance, a member of a pension fund may not have a contractual relationship with an actuary; however, the actuary may owe the pension fund member a duty of care because the actuary’s calculations impact the pension member.

The law in this realm is evolving; however, be prepared to see an increase in actuarial malpractice claims because of suspected underfunding issues. With the state of public pension systems in Illinois, there will likely be more claims for actuarial malpractice related to those underfunding issues.

Apologies. Internet was down.

My apologies for not being around on the weekend. My internet was literally down, as in the cable was laying in my backyard for two days. Finally fixed this morning.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Support the Police K-9 Bill Of Rights

--I can't think of a better way to help our K-9 partners. 
Please sign the petition and help any way you can.
Anything and everything is appreciated--


The Police K-9 Bill of Rights calls for the following:

PROPOSAL: The Police K-9 Bill of Rights

SUMMARY: To create a bill relating to quality of life care and treatment of K-9 Police Officers both during their service and after their retirement.


1)      Provide medical benefits for retired police K-9s to include veterinary care, food and other items for their wellbeing for the remainder of the dog’s life. This requirement is effective upon the transfer of ownership of the dog from the law enforcement agency to the former handler or adopter of the dog.

2)      Reclassify Police K-9s as canine law enforcement officers, not as equipment.

3)      Provide cremation services for dogs that have retired from the agency’s service.

4)      Police K-9s will receive the benefits of safety equipment while on the job such as bulletproof vests; paw protectors, and other equipment to help them in their daily job functions.

5)      Provide Finial Rest services to include cremation and recognition of service.


By amending the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and re-directing 2% of the cash seized by a police K-9 into a third party general fund to pay for medical benefits for retired police K-9s. This third party fund can be administered by multiple non-profits already concerned with the welfare of police K- 9s.


Police K-9 – Any dog that is owned by or employed by a law enforcement agency for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, and apprehension of offenders; or the detection of missing persons, including but not limited to persons who are lost, trapped under debris as the result of a natural, manmade or technological disaster; or are drowning victims.

Retired Police K-9 – A canine law enforcement officer, who can no longer work due to age or a medical condition, who has officially had its ownership transferred from the law enforcement agency to its handler removing him from active duty.

Law Enforcement Agency – A federal, state or local agency or political subdivision having primary responsibility for the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, game, regulatory, or highway laws of any state and local agency if its agents and officers are empowered by law to conduct criminal investigations and make arrests.

Veterinary Care – Services provided by a licensed veterinarian or a specialist referred by a licensed veterinarian to include, but not limited to, annual wellness exams, vaccines, internal and external parasite prevention, testing and treatment for illness and disease, medication, emergency care surgeries, and euthanasia.

To download a copy of the complete bill the link is

Learn more:

To donate our web site is donations tab.

To sign on line for the Police K-9 Bill so rights

To see and like us on Face Book

Office Phone 954 788 5333

Jay Meranchik has been a animal handler and trainer for almost 50 years, A pioneer in field of pet assisted therapy, seeing the many things dogs can do to help us in our lives. Now it is time for us to help them to be reclassified from equipment to a living officer with medical benefits in retirement. How can we judge our humanity, if we as a nation consider police K-9s equipment.

FBI Releases Study on Active Shooter Incidents

--Excellent report. Great information--

Download the complete 47 page report >>>HERE<<<

The just-released “A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013” contains a full list of the 160 incidents used in study, including those that occurred at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Fort Hood, the Aurora (Colorado) Cinemark Century 16 movie theater, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, and the Washington Navy Yard, as well as numerous other tragic shootings. Here are some of the study’s findings:

- Active shooter incidents are becoming more frequent—the first seven years of the study show an average of 6.4 incidents annually, while the last seven years show 16.4 incidents annually.

- These incidents resulted in a total of 1,043 casualties (486 killed, 557 wounded—excluding the shooters).

- All but six of the 160 incidents involved male shooters (and only two involved more than one shooter).

- More than half of the incidents—90 shootings—ended on the shooter’s initiative (i.e., suicide, fleeing), while 21 incidents ended after unarmed citizens successfully restrained the shooter.

- In 21 of the 45 incidents where law enforcement had to engage the shooter to end the threat, nine officers were killed and 28 were wounded.

- The largest percentage of incidents—45.6 percent—took place in a commercial environment (73 incidents), followed by 24.3 percent that took place in an educational environment (39 incidents). The remaining incidents occurred at the other location types specified in the study—open spaces, military and other government properties, residential properties, houses of worship, and health care facilities.

Feds to undertake review of fatal Ohio Wal-Mart shooting

--The reason I am posting this is because I do not like the trend that I am seeing.
The officers were cleared in this shooting by a Special Grand Jury but the feds are stepping in anyways. 
This seems to happening a lot lately, the feds coming in after the local investigation is done.
If the feds find differently than the grand jury are they going to charge the jurors with Conspiracy?
Based on the audio and the video available, the officers did everything right.


 September 25, 2014


Justice Department has begun its latest review of department practices following grand jury's decision not to indict officers in fatal shooting

By Lisa Cornwell
Associated Press

CINCINNATI — The Justice Department has begun its latest review of police department practices following a grand jury's decision not to indict officers in the fatal shooting of a man at an Ohio Wal-Mart.

The federal government said its investigation will be "thorough and independent" and it would take appropriate action if evidence was found that civil rights laws were broken.

A special Greene County grand jury in Xenia on Wednesday opted not to issue any indictments in the Aug. 5 death of 22-year-old John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said.

A 911 caller reported Crawford was waving what appeared to be a rifle in the store. Police said he didn't obey commands to put down what turned out to be an air rifle taken from a shelf.

Crawford's family, which called for a federal investigation to see if race was a factor, said it was "incomprehensible" that police were not indicted. Crawford was black and the officers are white.

"The Crawford family is extremely disappointed, disgusted and confused," the family said in a statement. "They are heartbroken that justice was not done in the tragic death of their only son."

Family members are planning a news conference Thursday morning at their attorney's office in Dayton "to specifically address what's next in this case."

Store surveillance video shown during the prosecutor's announcement shows Crawford walking in the aisles while apparently talking on a cellphone. Crawford picks up the air rifle — which Piepmeier said had apparently been taken out of a box and left on a shelf — and continues walking through the store. A short time later, police arrive and Crawford is shot twice while holding the air rifle. Crawford was from Fairfield, a Cincinnati suburb.

The Justice Department has opened civil rights investigations into the practices of some 20 police departments in the past five years, with the latest in Ferguson, Missouri.
Ferguson dealt with days of disturbances after police shot an unarmed black man.

Beavercreek's per capita income of $37,987 is well above the state average. About 2.5 percent of residents are black, well below the state average of 12.5 percent.

The Crawford family accused Piepmeier and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine of not attempting to get an indictment. They also said the store surveillance tape proves that Crawford's death was not justified.

Prosecutor Stacey DeGraffenreid, who assisted Piepmeier, said Crawford was shot twice by one officer, once in the elbow and once in the side under the rib area slightly from the front to the back. DeGraffenreid says Crawford was shot while holding the rifle, then dropped it, falling to the floor. She says no other shots were fired.

"This was a real tragedy," DeGraffenreid said in a telephone interview. But she said that based on what information the officers had when they entered the Wal-Mart, they were doing what they were trained to do.

Lori Shaw, a University of Dayton law professor who has been following the case, said she was not surprised with the grand jury's decision.

"I think in this particular instance, because the police had reason to believe that a weapon was involved, it made it much less likely that there would be a charge," Shaw said.

Don't get baited!!!!!!!!

I don't want to give this tool any more publicity than he deserves. But, let this be a lesson to everyone as to how people will drive around and specifically look for an opportunity to bait you.

Personally, I don't think the officer did anything wrong. But everyone thinks they are a constitutional lawyer because of the internet and Facebook.

Defense in DuPage murder trial argues sex assault happened after death

--Local story I have been watching since it happened. The offender, Adam belmont, lives right behind me. I have known hin since he was little kid.--

-Daily Herald-
Adam Belmont

Justin Kmitch

The timing of Alyssa Van Meter's death is likely to be an important issue in the DuPage County murder trial of the man accused of killing her, Adam Belmont.

Prosecutors allege Van Meter was still alive and struggling with the Northlake man after Belmont stabbed her and while he sexually assaulted her in December 2012 in a Woodridge apartment. If the allegation is proven true, Belmont could face a natural life sentence in prison.

Belmont, 25, is being held without bail and faces between 20 and 60 years in prison if he is found guilty solely of Van Meter's murder.

Belmont also is charged with home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and abuse of a corpse.

DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin said Monday a judge can impose a sentence of up to natural life in prison if prosecutors can prove sexual assault or sexual abuse occurs during the commission of a murder. Prosecutors announced in June that they intend to seek the extended sentence.

Belmont's attorney, Sam Amirante, argued Monday before Judge Blanche Hill Fawell that 16 of the 22 charges against Belmont, including those of sexual abuse and sexual assault, should be dropped because Van Meter was dead when those acts are alleged to have occurred.

"This is a very uncomfortable position to argue and I know I'm splitting hairs here, but I'm doing it for a very important reason," Amirante told the judge. "There was no evidence presented to the grand jury that the sexual assault occurred before the death."

Hill Fawell disagreed and refused to dismiss any of the charges.

Belmont is accused of slaying Van Meter, 25, late on Dec. 15, 2012, inside the Woodridge apartment they once shared.

Prosecutors said he scaled the building to break into the second-story unit, then plunged a pocket knife into her heart when she refused to rekindle their relationship, which had ended about a week earlier. He also is accused of performing several sex acts after stabbing her.

Assistant State's Attorney Demetri Demopoulos argued, and Fawell agreed, that the grand jury was presented "more than enough" evidence to support the additional charges.

Court records filed earlier this month state Woodridge detective Jody Porras testified to the evidence of home invasion and the sexual assault and abuse charges. During her grand jury testimony, the file indicates Porras testified that scratch marks on Van Meter's arms "came from the struggle with Van Meter."

Belmont's next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Nov. 17 in courtroom 4012. His trial is expected to begin on Feb. 3, 2015.

Video shows trooper shooting unarmed man, South Carolina police say

--Not quite sure what was going through the officer's head. I think the recent string of officer deaths might have been weighing on his mind.
Fortunately, the person lived and the officer is being dealt with.--

By Jason Hanna, CNN
Thu September 25, 2014



(CNN) -- One moment, a man reaches into his vehicle after a South Carolina trooper asked for his driver's license.

Seconds later, the trooper shoots him, and the man asks why. Days later, prosecutors aren't satisfied with the answer.

Authorities released dash-camera video Wednesday showing what they say is Sean Groubert, then a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, shooting Levar Jones, who was unarmed, in the parking lot of a gas station just outside Columbia on September 4.

Jones, 35, survived the shooting. But Groubert, who was fired because of the incident last week, has been charged with aggravated assault and battery, a felony that could get him up to 20 years in prison if convicted, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Wednesday.

"The force administered in this case was unwarranted, inconsistent with how our troopers are trained, and clearly in violation of department policies," state Public Safety Director Leroy Smith said while announcing Groubert's firing Friday.

'Why did you shoot me?'

Police said Groubert, 31, stopped Jones in the parking lot of a Circle K station in daylight, for what police say was an alleged seat belt violation, around 5 p.m.

Video that authorities say was recorded from Groubert's police car shows the trooper driving up to a vehicle just as its driver -- who authorities say is Jones -- steps out of the vehicle.

When Groubert asks for Jones' license, Jones pivots toward the vehicle he just exited -- the driver's door is still open -- and leans inside as if to retrieve something, the video shows.

About two seconds later, the trooper that police identify as Groubert comes into view with a gun drawn and yells "Get out of the car! Get out of the car!" The gun is fired -- at least four shots are heard -- and Jones steps away from the vehicle, raising his hands in the air and eventually moving off camera.

"I just got my license! You said get my license!" says someone off camera, apparently Jones.

After being told to put his hands behind his back, Jones asks: "What did I do, sir?"

"Are you hit?" asks another off-camera voice, apparently Groubert's.

"I think so," comes the response. "I can't feel my leg. I don't know what happened."

The conversation continues:

"Why did you shoot me?"

"Well, you dove head-first back into your car. Then you (unintelligible), I'm telling you get out of your car."

Shot in the hip

Jones was shot in the hip, CNN affiliate WACH reported. He was taken to a hospital and later released, authorities said.

Jones was found not to be armed, Smith said.

"I believe this case was an isolated incident in which Mr. Groubert reacted to a perceived threat where there was none," Smith said last week.

In a court hearing Wednesday night, a judge ordered Groubert held with bond set at $75,000, WACH reported.

In explaining Groubert's firing Friday, Smith said the department's policy on using force says that officers can use "only the level of force necessary to accomplish lawful objectives."

"That protocol was not followed in this case. Further, this incident occurred in broad daylight. Mr. Groubert had a clear and unobstructed view of Mr. Jones," Smith said.

The shooting, Smith said, "deviates from SCDPS standards and cannot be tolerated."

Third suspect extradited from Indiana in slaying of retired police sergeant

--Great to see this case cleared by the arrests of these pieces of garbage--

By Chicago Tribune staff

-Chicago Tribune-

An Indiana man has been brought back to Chicago to face charges in the March home invasion and slaying of a 73-year-old retired Chicago police sergeant.

Nicholas A. Heisler, of Hammond, was arrested last week on a warrant charging him in the shooting death of Elmer Brown, who died about two weeks after the March 10 break-in. Heisler is scheduled to appear in Cook County criminal court Thursday on charges of murder and home invasion.

Two teens are also charged in the case: Jeremy Montana Mendez, 16, of Chicago, and Jesse Kazmierski, 18, of Hammond. Kazmierski and Mendez are cousins, and Heisler is a friend of one or both of them, police said.

Police say the three forced their way into Brown's home on the 11500 block of South Avenue G, knocking his wife to the floor and shooting Brown in the jaw before fleeing with a gun and a knife, according to a police report.

They believed Brown and his wife kept a large amount of cash in a safe inside their South Side home at 115th Street and Avenue G, according to prosecutors. The three, armed with a handgun, drove from Indiana to the home, and Kazmierski and one of the others began knocking loudly on the door.

Brown’s wife Mary Ann, 72, opened the door and the two forced their way inside. They demanded access the safe and Brown, who worked 38 years as a Chicago police officer, told them it was upstairs, prosecutors said.

Mary Ann Brown, who was lying face down on the floor, heard a single gunshot and looked to see her husband lying in the hallway. The three intruders threatened to shoot Mary Ann Brown if she did not remain on the ground, police records indicate.

Brown suffered gunshot wounds to the face and neck, and died about two weeks later at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Mendez has admitted to being in the Browns’ home the night of the shooting and acknowledged he went through the home looking for property to steal, according to a police report.

Kazmierski told another person about his involvement, giving the person a knife stolen from the home. He also told him that “we did something stupid,” prosecutors said.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Officer Down: Police Officer Reinaldo Arocha, Jr.


Police Officer Reinaldo Arocha, Jr.
Newark Police Department, New Jersey
End of Watch: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 46
Tour: 23 years
Badge # 86
Cause: Heart attack
Incident Date: 9/16/2014
Weapon: Person
Suspect: Not available

Police Officer Reinaldo Arocha suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after he and another officers had to subdue an emotionally disturbed person who was being taken into custody.
He had returned to his patrol car to complete paperwork when a tow truck driver found him unresponsive near the intersection of North Munn Avenue and Mountainview Avenue at approximately 7:15 am. Responding units and a nurse performed CPR until he was transported to a local hospital. He was pronounced dead approximately 30 minutes later.
Officer Arocha had served with the Newark Police Department for 23 years. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

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

Chief of Police Anthony Campos
Newark Police Department
480 Clinton Avenue
Newark, NJ 07108
Phone: (973) 733-6000

U.S. Marshals Celebrate 225 Years of Service

--Yep, if I would've had the required college I would have been a marshal.--
For Immediate Release
September 24, 2014

-U.S.Marshals Service-

Nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency continues to build on its legendary origins and extraordinary reputation

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Marshals Service celebrates its 225th anniversary. As the nation’s oldest, most versatile federal law enforcement agency, it continues to build on its legacy of steadfast service and its unique position in the country’s federal justice system.
“When President George Washington appointed the first 13 U.S. Marshals on Sept. 24, 1789, his pen marked the creation of an agency that has since played a role in virtually every facet of the nation’s federal judiciary during times of crisis and times of peace,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton.

“From upholding the law in our untamed western territories to tracking and apprehending the most notorious fugitives, the U.S. Marshals Service has been committed to answering the call of our great nation for justice,” said Hylton.

Some of those challenges to justice included responding to the Whiskey Rebellion under the command of President Washington in 1794; keeping the trains moving during the Pullman railroad strikes in 1894; enforcing court orders related to civil rights and the desegregation of the South during the 1960s, protecting witnesses who testified against organized crime, and securing all high-threat federal trials involving domestic and international terrorism such as the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombing trials, and most recently, the Boston Marathon bombing trial.

“As we mark 225 years of service, our men and women stand ready to continue that commitment,” said Hylton.

Today, the U.S. Marshals Service is a force of 5,400 deputies and civil servants who carry out operational and administrative duties as varied as apprehending fugitives, housing and transporting prisoners, protecting witnesses and federal judges, and managing and selling seized assets.

Most notably, the Marshals Service is the federal government’s primary agency for conducting fugitive investigations. Working with its law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local levels, the Marshals apprehend more federal fugitives than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. In fact, in fiscal year 2013 alone, the U.S. Marshals arrested more than 110,000 fugitives.

"With our fugitive task forces, state-of-the-art technology, and investigative expertise, we have made the idea of escaping justice nearly impossible. Every day our deputies track down the worst-of-the-worst criminal offenders,” said Hylton.

Other agency accomplishments include protecting the federal courts and facilities from more than 1,000 threats and inappropriate communications, daily managing the care and transport of nearly 60,000 prisoners, and combating major criminal activity by stripping criminals of their ill-gotten gains and distributing $200 million to victims of crime through the effective management and disposition of assets seized for forfeiture. In addition, through the enforcement of the Adam Walsh Act, the U.S. Marshals Service helps protect our communities and children from noncompliant sex offenders.

“As we mark this tremendous milestone of 225 years, I am honored to lead an organization made up of so many dedicated professionals, and I am proud of their commitment to and embodiment of our motto of justice, integrity and service,” said Hylton.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at

Emanuel proposes softer statewide penalties for drug offenses

--All this talk about decriminaling or lessening the crimes of drug possession are not only idiotic but downright unsafe to the public.
I can go along with lowering the threshold for Cannabis and making small amounts ordinance violations but Heroin, Cocaine, etc are hard core narcotics and need to stay felonies.
Even Cannabis needs to remain illegal at some level. All this crap about it not having any effects on the brain is just plain B/S. Anyone on the job who has dealt with a person under the influence of Cannabis will tell you that the effects are real and noticeable.
But that is for another day, lowering the possession thresholds for for any narcotics on the DEA schedules will simply cause more work for the police, EMS and our hospitals.--

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 9:51am
Fran Spielman

-Chicago Sun-Times-

Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked state lawmakers Tuesday to soften Illinois’ war on drugs — letting non-violent offenders off the hook to free police officers to focus on more serious crimes — but the political response was luke-warm.

Emanuel wants the General Assembly to go beyond what he did in Chicago — with disappointing results — by decriminalizing possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana and reducing from a felony to a misdemeanor the penalty for possession one gram or less of any controlled substance.

“Thirteen other states already have laws on the books similar to what I’m proposing and there is no higher rate of drug [use] in these states as a result,” Emanuel said.
“It’s time to free up our resources for truly violent offenders who pose a bigger threat to the safety of our communities. It’s time to allow police officers throughout the state ... to keep their focus where it’s needed most.”

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy added: “Studies show that locking people up for an ounce of narcotics does not dissuade them from using narcotics. It’s almost an exercise in futility.”

Some viewed Emanuel’s plan as a political ploy tailor-made to resurrect mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes shot down by the Legislature’s Black Caucus.
Others viewed it as yet another step toward the political left to undercut the progressive base of his mayoral challengers — no different than Emanuel’s recent proposals to raise the minimum wage and champion immigration reform and affordable housing.

“I don’t know if it’s political, but I’m glad he’s joining a vast majority of us,” said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), the highest-profile candidate to declare his candidacy for mayor.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis would take it a step further — by legalizing and taxing marijuana.

 “If you look at Colorado in the first quarter, they generated $80 million. We need to tax it. It’s an important revenue source,” Lewis said.

 Lewis withheld judgment on the mayor’s plan to make possession of one gram or less any controlled substance a misdemeanor. She said the proposal “needs more research” even though the war on drugs “has been a complete disaster.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) raised another potential roadblock: “regional and partisan” politics by lawmakers who “don’t want to go soft on crime.”

Emanuel countered by pointing to the “real narcotics challenges” confronting many affluent suburbs.

“What has traditionally been a city vs. suburb or Downstate [conflict] — you can break that difference right now given the challenges that are happening in Downstate and in the suburbs,” Emanuel said, pointing to the epidemic of heroin and methamphetamine use.
Republican State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, a former narcotics prosecutor, noted that one DuPage County resident dies every eight days from a heroin or opiate overdose.

“One of my concerns is that, if you make it a misdemeanor for possession of heroin, it makes it easier for drug dealers to sell in smaller amounts. That way, they’ll carry less amounts,” he said.

Two years ago, an emotionally-torn City Council gave Chicago Police Officers the option to issue $250-to-$500 tickets to anyone caught in Chicago with 15 grams of marijuana or less instead of arresting them.

Up until fairly recently, pot tickets were a bit of a bust in Chicago.

Although police officers had the option of issuing tickets, too many did not, and continued to make arrests, particularly in black and Hispanic communities.

In July, the Police Department quietly made a policy change that was triggering 25 percent of marijuana arrests. It allows officers to ticket those who cannot produce a government-issued identification, provided that offender has another valid picture ID or can be identified through a police computer application.

Pot tickets were also incorporated into weekly Compstat sessions to put the heat on district commanders to issue more tickets. The result, according to City Hall, has been a slight uptick in the percentage of tickets issued compared to arrests and a narrowing of the racial gap.
 Since Jan. 1, 23.4 percent of all enforcement for possession of small amounts of marijuana has been by ticket — with black, white and Hispanic ticketing almost even.

 That’s compared to a 7-percent gap between tickets issued to black and white offenders in the two years since the ordinance took effect.

Residents weary over search for ambush suspect (PA)

--I am sure the police are doing everything they can to end this situation as safely and expeditiously as possible.--



Police are defending themselves against complaints they have unfairly denied residents access to their homes during the manhunt for a suspected killer

By Kathy Matheson
Associated Press

CANADENSIS, Pa. — Pennsylvania state police are defending themselves against complaints that they have unfairly denied residents access to their homes during the manhunt for a suspected killer.

The massive search for 31-year-old Eric Frein, who is charged with killing one trooper and wounding another, has resulted in frequent unannounced and indefinite roadblocks in the village of Canadensis. Some people have ended up sleeping in their cars because their neighborhoods were cordoned off.

In a statement Tuesday night, police said they have been "diligent in respecting the rights of the public while working hard to keep both residents and law enforcement personnel safe."
Authorities say Frein ambushed the state police barracks in Blooming Grove on Sept 12, fatally shooting Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass.

Police believe Frein, a Canadensis resident and self-taught survivalist, has been hiding in the dense woods surrounding his neighborhood.

Last week, troopers issued a "shelter-in-place" order that kept some residents from leaving their houses for more than a day; those who weren't already at home could not go back. Residents contend the directive left elderly relatives unattended and pets unfed, and resulted in lost wages for workers who couldn't leave their houses.

Adam Christmann said he has been kept away from his home at least twice since the search started. As he waited at a roadblock near his house on Monday afternoon, he said that while he understood the importance of the search, he couldn't help but be frustrated.

"We don't know when we can go home, or you don't know if you can get out," Christmann said. "Families are getting separated."

Indicted cop leader drew 36 complaints in 8 years (Chicago P.D.)

--Not much really to say, except we will just have to wait and see what sticks--

-Chicago Tribune-

By Jeremy Gorner, Tribune reporter contact the reporter

Father says indicted police commander cuffed him, hurt his infant for protesting another man's arrest

As he ate with his infant son and a friend at a South Side diner, Chas Byars says he was disturbed to see a lone plainclothes Chicago police officer suddenly grab another customer by the back of his shirt collar and drag him out of his booth.

Byars said he spoke up, telling the officer he didn't have to do that.

"Shut up, bitch, or you can go to jail too," Byars remembered then-Lt. Glenn Evans telling him almost three years ago.

Byars said he protested that he had done nothing wrong but that Evans quickly handcuffed him to the other customer. As Byars asked his friend to take his 4-month-old son to a relative's home, Evans announced that the boy would be going to the station as well and grabbed the baby carrier, jerking the infant out of his unstrapped seat and knocking his head onto the table, Byars said.

For the next 10 hours, Byars said, he was locked up, uncertain how badly his son had been hurt.

Byars, it turns out, was one of dozens of people over the past 81/2 years to complain about Evans' conduct, often for alleged excessive force, newly released internal Police Department records show. From January 2006 through July 2014 — a period in which Evans was promoted to lieutenant and then named one of only 22 district commanders — he amassed 36 complaints in all. Combined with previously released records, Evans has been the subject of at least a combined 50 complaints since 2001.

Evans was never disciplined as a result of any of those complaints except for a two-day suspension, records show, but more recent complaints remain under investigation.

According to a Tribune analysis of the records since 2006, Evans had far more complaints than anyone else of his rank and topped all but 34 officers for the entire 12,000-strong department. In fact, he continued to pile up complaints — nine in all — even after he was promoted by Superintendent Garry McCarthy to commander of the South Side's Grand Crossing police district in August 2012.

To his supporters, Evans, 52, has brought an admirable aggressiveness, work ethic and dedication to the job, often continuing to work the city's most dangerous streets as he rose through the ranks. A series of iconic Tribune photos captured Evans' style during NATO summit protests in May 2012 when the then-lieutenant was hit over the head with a wooden stick as he stood front and center with other officers fending off rowdy protesters.

But last month, Cook County prosecutors alleged that Evans went too far in an abandoned house in the Park Manor neighborhood. He was criminally charged on allegations he shoved his service weapon down a man's throat, pressed a Taser against his groin and threatened to kill him early last year. The next day, the alleged victim, Rickey Williams, filed a complaint against Evans, one of the 36 people to do so since 2006, records show.

Evans, who was the Grand Crossing commander at the time of the alleged incident, pleaded not guilty Wednesday at his arraignment on nine felony counts of official misconduct and aggravated battery.

Besides the dozens of complaints, Evans has been sued numerous times over the years over alleged misconduct. Without admitting wrongdoing, the city of Chicago has paid out a combined $226,250 to settle seven of the lawsuits, according to records released by the city. Among those settlements was $71,000 awarded to Byars and his son.

In addition, three lawsuits against Evans remain pending in federal court, including one filed just this month by Williams. In another, a freelance photographer who said he was taking pictures of police beating a demonstrator at the NATO summit alleged that Evans failed to intervene when officers struck him with batons and fists and smashed his cameras. A woman also alleged that Evans violently pressed his fist to her nose for several minutes when she resisted being fingerprinted in 2011, fracturing a facial bone and causing her to fear for her life.

The 1,046-page internal police document obtained by the Tribune through a Freedom of Information Act request marks the third list of so-called "repeater" officers — those with the worst record of complaints — to be released by the department since July. The disclosures come after a lengthy court battle ended when the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that complaints of Chicago police misconduct and the related investigative files, even those deemed "unfounded," were public records that must be turned over by the city. Before the decision, the city released only the outcomes of disciplinary cases in which officers were found at fault.

Evans was named as well on the earlier lists, which cover different time periods. On one list that singled out 662 officers with 11 or more complaints each from 2001 to 2006, Evans tallied 14 complaints. A more voluminous list of officers with five or more complaints each from May 2002 to December 2008 showed nine complaints of excessive force against Evans.

Except for the two-day suspension for an off-duty incident in 2005, none of the complaints against Evans on the three lists had been "sustained" by the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police misconduct allegations, or by its predecessor agency or the department's Internal Affairs Division, records show.

However, additional records obtained through FOIA requests show that earlier in his career Evans had been suspended from his duties at least 10 times, mostly while a young officer on the South Side. Half of those suspensions stemmed from excessive-force complaints, two of which resulted in separate 15-day suspensions, according to the records.

In an interview last week outside the South Side barbershop where he works, Byars, now 32, said he was eating a cheeseburger and fries at his favorite restaurant, Maxwell's Charcoal Grill in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, in October 2011 when Evans, wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and cargo pants, walked in calmly and pulled the patron by the collar from a booth. Assuming Evans was a cop, Byars said, he still felt compelled to complain.

"That's not necessary because he was roughing up the guy," Byars told the Tribune. "And once I said that, he turned to me and said, 'Shut up, bitch, or you can go to jail too.'"

Byars said he persisted, telling Evans he hadn't done anything wrong.

"And then he told me (to) stand my ass up," Byars said.

Byars said Evans handcuffed him to the other man, who was arrested on charges he illegally sold DVDs, according to a police report.

Byars said he asked a friend to take his son to the boy's grandmother's apartment but that Evans interrupted to say the boy would be going to the station as well and then turned over to state child welfare officials. Evans grabbed the carrier, causing the infant to lunge forward and land face first onto the table, Byars said. The crying boy nearly fell from the tabletop before Evans grabbed him and placed him in the seat, he said.

With his hands cuffed behind his back, Byars said, he was struck with a police radio above his left eye before he was pushed into a squad car.

At the Gresham police district station, Byars said, he wasn't allowed to use a phone or a bathroom, causing him to wet his pants during his 13-hour wait. Worse, he said, he was kept in the dark about his son's well-being.

Byars was charged with several misdemeanors, including obstructing an arrest and reckless conduct for allegedly failing to safely secure his son in the carrier, but those charges were later dropped. However, he pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer for refusing to sign a bond form in legible handwriting shortly before his release from the station about 1:30 a.m.
Byars said he learned from doctors at Comer Children's Hospital that his son had been shaken up but didn't suffer any lasting injuries. Byars, however, said his wounds didn't heal so easily. For months he worried about retaliation by police.

But he defended his actions, saying there's "never an excuse for excessive force or abuse of power."

Tribune reporter Alex Richards contributed.

Get Behind the Vest - Fund Raiser

Donate at Get Behind the Vest

A vest isn’t bulletproof forever. It wears out. It breaks down. It needs to be replaced every 5 years. And just one bullet permanently damages a vest, making it unusable. Chicago police officers are responsible for replacing their own vests. At $500 or more per vest, in addition to other equipment and uniform expenses, the costs can quickly add up. That’s why we need your help. Your donation ensures that every officer out there protecting you is protected. Our goal is to raise $4 million to replace the 8,000 outdated vests in use by Chicago police officers.

 Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
1407 W. Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 499-8899

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Drunk driver pulls up to police to "say hello" in Riverside

--Definitely a top candidate for a Darwin Award--


Sunday, September 21, 2014


An allegedly drunk driver pulled up to a police officer to "say hello" before driving off erratically in suburban Riverside, police said.

Freddie Levison, 57, told police he was just being friendly when he drove up to the officer and rolled his window down, but the officer noticed him swerving from lane to lane and pulled him over in the 3800-block of Harlem Avenue around 2 a.m. Saturday, police said.

Levison failed a breathalyzer test, which showed him at two and a half times the legal limit, police said, and he also admitted to driving on a suspended license.

Levison faces two DUI charges as well as several other traffic violations.

In Memoriam: Lt. Herb Milnes (Ret. LT. Northlake Fire Protection District)

--Herb was a nice guy. Always friendly. I have a lot of good memories of working different scenes with him. If you can help his family, it would be greatly appreciated. Just click the link ablove. GOD'S SPEED-

The Lt. Herb Milnes fund will help Herb's family deal with his funeral expenses and other associated costs of his untimely passing.

On Saturday September 20th 2014 Lt. Herb Milnes unexpectedly passed away while out of state for a family event. This fund will help Herbs family not only deal with the funeral expenses but also the associated costs of his untimely passing. Herb served his community with pride for 28 years as a sworn member of the Northlake Fire Protection District . Herb was also a gifted dispatcher and spent many of his off days working the desk at Norcomm public safety. Herb always put others first and was a great mentor to all of the members of our department. Herbie had a passion for the fire service and was often considered to be the calm in the storm on hectic scenes. His witty humor, one liners, and original "size- ups" will be missed. Herb is survived by his wife Carol, son Sean, daughter Colleen, and two Grandchildren.

Obituary and Visitation Information:

Herbert Lee Milnes Jr., age 55 of Franklin Park, loving husband of Carol (nee Collins). Beloved father of Sean (Melissa) and Colleen. Dear grandfather of Katlyn, Mason, and Trenton. Son of Yvonne (late Herbert Sr.) Milnes. Brother of Laurie and Ross (Altha). Uncle and cousin of many.
Visitation Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 3:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Cuneo-Columbian Funeral Home, 10300 W. Grand Ave. (1 block east of Mannheim Road) Franklin Park, IL.

Funeral Service Friday, September 26, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at Cuneo-Columbian Funeral Home
Interment Fairview Memorial Park, Northlake, IL

Suburban Pension Peril

 --Lot of great information in this Better Government Association story on the suburban pensions--

Money in dozens of Chicago-area police and fire pension funds is drying up – which should be a big worry not only for current and future retirees, but taxpayers, a BGA Rescuing Illinois investigation discovers.

By Andrew Schroedter and Patrick Rehkamp/BGA

August 5, 2014 7:05 PM
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There are 217 police and fire pension funds in suburban Cook County. The taxpayer-supported systems, with collective assets of nearly $5 billion, are intended to provide public safety workers and their families with stable retirement incomes.

But a Better Government Association Rescuing Illinois analysis found dozens of local police and fire pension funds are in financial peril, putting retirement incomes at risk, as well as the fiscal health of numerous municipalities.

 Rescuing the troubled funds may require tax hikes, service cuts or both, say experts. Already, some public safety agencies are looking to privatize or merge with neighboring departments in an effort to cut personnel and ease future pension payouts. Whatever the method, taxpayers can expect to bear a heavier financial burden because of the severe local pension shortfall.


Workplace Violence, Trauma & Recovery: When LEOs Attack Their Own

 --It is horrible to think about in any business but for law enforcement it is especially difficult to consider. But, we are no different than any other person.--

Thursday, September 18, 2014
Steve Albrecht

What started out as a late afternoon meeting on Feb. 16, 2012, at the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Long Beach, Calif., field office, with his supervisor and one of his employees, ended in gunfire, death and heroism for HSI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Perry Woo. Deputy Special Agent in Charge (DSAC) Kevin Kozak, a 30-year veteran of Customs and HSI, was shot seven times in his office by HSI Supervisory Special Agent Ezequiel “Zeke” Garcia.

Woo shot Garcia as a last resort in Kozak’s office in the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building. In the end, Kozak survived his wounds, Garcia died at the scene and Woo came away from the event knowing that his training and his will to survive made the difference in a tragic situation.

Woo told his story of survival, involving “blue on blue” workplace violence—when a law enforcement officer is the perpetrator—in August 2013 at the annual conference for the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), in Anaheim, Calif. He called it “A Day I Could Have Died.” Woo, with 20 years of law enforcement experience as a police officer and special agent, previously received several commendations for his federal undercover work and his expertise in child exploitation crimes in Southeast Asia with the U.S. Customs Service. This was all prior to this agency being consolidated into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Background

At the time of the incident, Kozak was one of two DSACs in charge for the HSI Los Angeles field office. Woo worked for Kozak for six years. Garcia had worked for Kozak for six years and Woo for six months. Garcia had worked for the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service since 1988 and this agency was also consolidated into DHS. Woo had been a fellow group supervisor with Garcia prior to his own promotion and both had a good working relationship. He had tried to help Garcia cope with several on- and off-the-job stressors for several months, even just two days before the meeting that ended in gunfire. Although Garcia was facing a number of issues, both personally and professionally, he gave no indication to Woo or Kozak that he was targeting Kozak for an attack.

This parallels workplace violence and assassination research from the U.S. Secret Service’s 1998 study on Protective Intelligence and Threat Assessment Investigations, as part of its Exceptional Case Study Project, written by USSS psychologist Dr. Robert Fein and USSS SSA Bryan Vossekuil: Perpetrators who want to carry out their attacks don’t warn the target directly. If they do make threats, they are said to a third-party, like a family member, a friend or a co-worker. There is no evidence that Garcia voiced any threats to his colleagues about shooting Kozak.

Further, in cases of blue on blue violence, where a law enforcement officer plans to kill other armed colleagues, there is often extraordinary vigilance on the part of the perpetrator not to reveal any part of his plan, so they are less likely to be stopped. Just like few law enforcement officers warn their family or co-workers prior to their suicides, workplace violence perpetrators who happen to be cops know they can be foiled if they discuss their plans. (Police suicides are more common than we like to believe—more than 180 per year—which poses the disturbing question, “How many police suicides could have actually started as a workplace violence incident at the police station?”)

The Incident

Just two days before the shooting—Valentine’s Day—Woo spent several hours in his office with Garcia, offering him support and giving him options for his career. Garcia gave no warning signs to Woo about his intentions; in fact, both left the office at 7:30 p.m. and ended their meeting with a friendly handshake.

Woo asked Kozak to help with a coaching meeting with Garcia on February 16. While seated in front of Kozak’s desk, a verbal confrontation quickly erupted between Kozak and Garcia. Garcia then pulled his service handgun from his waistband holster and fired multiple rounds at Kozak, striking him in the arms, legs and torso. Woo immediately wrestled with Garcia for control of his handgun, but Garcia continued shooting erratically at Kozak. Woo gained control of the barrel of Garcia’s handgun and told Garcia to stop, but Garcia muttered, “It’s too late” and attempted to grab Woo’s holstered handgun.

Woo defended his weapon and as a last resort, fired on Garcia, ending the threat to him and his boss. “I reverted to my training,” he said. “I holstered my weapon, secured Garcia’s handgun and rendered first-aid to Mr. Kozak by wrapping his injured hand and back with gym clothing laying nearby. Then I opened the office door so first responders could help.”

The Long Beach Police Department, along with Los Angeles police officers and HSI agents already inside the building, responded to the scene. As soon as medical and police help arrived, Woo said he relinquished scene command, knowing he was in a crime scene, and went into an adjoining conference room to prepare himself for post critical incident procedures.

His entry into the difficult world of an officer-involved shooting began.

The Aftermath

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigated the shooting, classifying it as an incident of workplace violence. After a year-long inquiry, they cleared Woo in the incident, saying his actions were justified based on the dangerousness of Garcia’s actions toward Kozak and himself.

Kozak continues to recover from his gunshot wounds, as does Woo, who injured his shoulder and tore ligaments in his knee during his fight with Garcia. “I drew my firearm when Garcia failed to surrender his handgun—clearly he was not going to stop. I was not going to die that day and I was not going to let Mr. Kozak die that day either.”

Woo discussed some of the aspects of his continuing post-traumatic stress about the incident with the ATAP conference audience, saying he still has some continuing symptoms and is saddened anytime a mass shooting erupts, being reminded of what happened based on seeing people, items or places associated with his incident.

Woo credits his family, friends, therapists, HSI leadership and his police colleagues for their continuing emotional support. He said that one of the factors in his shooting that served as an obstacle to his recovery was the relentless media coverage of the event, especially in southern California. While he understood that the media had its job to do, in this era of nonstop coverage and critiques of events where they have little information and few of the facts, their immediate assessment was often harsh, one-sided or plain wrong.

The influence of social media was a factor in his case, as well. The public, and people inside DHS in particular, made a number of comments on Internet sites. This barrage of feedback in these types of events–both positive and negative–can interfere with survivors' abilities to cope with the trauma of their situations.

"Some people blogged that I either shot too soon or not soon enough, Woo said. The reality was that I tried to save both of them and it was hand-to-hand combat to the death. I dealt with a deadly situation that I didn’t cause, and I was forced to shoot a fellow special agent in order to save another special agent, which ultimately prevented further deaths in the office.”


Today, Woo is on detail at HSI headquarters in Washington, D.C., as the Supervisory Special Agent for International Operations.

As a survivor of a critical incident, a psychologically traumatic event and a workplace violence shooting involving a fellow special agent he knew, Woo feels he is in a unique position to write policy and provide assistance and support to others at his agency, the DHS and other federal law enforcement agencies. He is a strong believer and is active in his agency’s programs in workplace violence, peer support, critical incident planning, effective media management and the treatment and care for agents who have been in shootings.

While this event was horrific, it was also very unique. While incidents of workplace violence involving current or former employees make the news with alarming frequency today, those involving law enforcement officers are still quite rare. But the impact of that day will affect Woo and Kozak for the rest of their lives.

NOTE: The views in this article do not represent the views or policy of DHS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), HSI or any part of the Federal government.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Targeting Law Enforcement a Troubling Trend

--It is extremely troubling. It is bad enough for a person to walk out their door and decide to target just anybody for execution. But, to target those that are supposed to protect us is just unfathomable. 

It not only worries the police on a whole new level but the citizens they are sworn to protect begin to question how the police can protect them if they can't protect themselves.

To assist with this somewhat, Ford has made some changes to its Police Interceptor car that can read about in this article Ford offers 'surveillance mode' to cops.--

Borys Krawczeniuk On Sep 21, 2014
Source: The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.
Just a week before the ambush that killed state police Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II and wounded Trooper Alex T. Douglass at their Blooming Grove barracks in Pike County, a northwest Indiana police officer was shot and killed during an ambush.

Merrillville police Patrolman Nickolaus Schultz, 24, was responding to a call that an evicted tenant had moved back into a home, according to police. The gunman, Michael Hrnciar, 33, of Merrillville, shot at Mr. Schultz and other officers, then committed suicide.

Mr. Schultz and Cpl. Dickson joined the growing list of police officers killed in ambushes, a list that grew steadily during the last two decades, though the trend seems to have reversed recently.

Although the numbers of ambush deaths are relatively small and down sharply the last two years, concern about ambushes targeting law enforcement officials nationwide is up, said George Fachner, a police research scientist for CNA Analysis & Solutions, which studied police deaths for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

"That's what really has law enforcement leaders concerned about when they talk about police ambushes," Mr. Fachner said. "They're thinking of law enforcement being under attack and targeted, not so much the tactic of 'I'm going to take you by surprise because I don't want to be apprehended' ... These are the things that they're concerned about and that they're looking for ways to address."

The ambush of two state troopers nine days ago in Pike County fits the profile typical of police officer ambushes.

The average ambushed officer is a 38-year-old male with 11 years on the job, according to the association's study.

Cpl. Dickson was 38 years old and a trooper for seven years.

The average assailant in ambushes is 30 years old and 75 percent have a criminal record.
Eric Matthew Frein, the suspect in the shooting of Cpl. Dickson and wounding of 31-year-old Trooper Alex T. Douglass, turned 31 in May and he was arrested for stealing from vendors at a World War II re-enactment in upstate New York in 2004.

In entrapment ambushes, the kind that involve long-term planning, which state police say Mr. Frein did, about two in five ambushed officers (41 percent) survive.

Trooper Douglass survived. Cpl. Dickson bled to death.

Mr. Frein, 308 Seneca Lane, Canadensis, is now one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted, as hundreds of state troopers, FBI agents, conservation officers and others search for his whereabouts.
From 1990 to 2012, assailants murdered 1,219 law enforcement officers, according to the study. Of that, 190 were fatal ambushes.

The study defines an ambush as a surprise and sudden attack with the attacker concealing himself, his plans and his weapon and acting without provocation.

Between 1990 and 2000, about 12 percent of police officer murders were classified as ambushes but that rose to 21 percent from 2001 to 2012.

Since 1990, the numbers of ambushes dropped from a peak of 526 in 1991, to a low of 196 in 2001, but it has crept up, reaching 267 in 2012, the latest year for which complete figures are available, according to the study.

The number of annual ambush deaths between 1990 and 2011 rose from 8 to 15, but dropped to 6 in 2012, according to the FBI statistics cited in the CNA study.

"Looking at 2009, about 31 percent of shooting (deaths) were ambushes," said Robert J. Kaminski, Ph.D., associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina, who has studied ambushes. That's the peak.

In January 2012, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder highlighted the trends at a national meeting in Washington, D.C., on officer safety and wellness, saying the "devastating and unacceptable trend (in violence against law enforcement) ... demands our best and innovative efforts."

The Justice Department was so concerned it started its VALOR program to teach police departments nationwide how to prevent violence against police officers.

Efforts to interview Justice Department officials were unsuccessful.

Mr. Frein's motives remain unclear, though state police say he has held a grudge against law enforcement since at least 2006 for reasons they have not explained publicly.

Mr. Fachner said ambush killers are usually people trying to elude police or "inflict harm on establishment figures."

Cop killers are "generally poorly socialized, ... exposed to violence at a young age, have unstable personal relationships, and feel generally unrestrained by social, legal, and ethical norms."
Often, he said, economic depression, violent crime, and disorder couple with drug enforcement play a role in violence against the police.