LACP - NEWS of the Week
on some LACP issues of interest
NEWS of the Week
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles is but a small percentage of the info available to the community policing and neighborhood activist. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view. We present this simply as a convenience to our readership.
"News of the Week"  

August, 2017 - Week 2
MJ Goyings
Many thanks to our very own "MJ" Goyings, a resident of Ohio,
for her daily research that provides us with the news related material that appears on the LACP & NAASCA web sites.


Manhunt underway for suspect accused of fatally shooting police officer during traffic stop

by Kristine Phillips

What appeared to be a routine traffic stop over a registration violation turned deadly Sunday night when a driver shot and killed a Missouri police officer, authorities said.

A manhunt is underway for 39-year-old Ian McCarthy, who's accused of shooting Gary Michael, a 37-year-old police officer in Clinton, a western Missouri town about 75 miles from Kansas City, Mo.

Sgt. Bill Lowe, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said McCarthy was pulled over at about 10:45 p.m. He then got out of his car and fired shots at the officer, killing him, Lowe said.

McCarthy then drove off but subsequently crashed his car about three blocks down and ran away, Lowe said. He has not been found since.

Michael was able to fire back, but it's unclear if he struck McCarthy. The officer was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Lowe said investigators do not know yet what might have prompted the shooting.

“It's an unprovoked attack on Officer Michael,” he told The Washington Post. “We're trying to hopefully draw this to a conclusion so we can figure out why it happened.”

There's no body camera footage of the incident, and authorities are not sure if a dash cam video is available. Lowe, however, said investigators are looking at surveillance cameras in the area. “We're still searching the area and making sure that we're leaving no stone unturned,” Lowe said.

Lowe said he is not sure how many times and where Michael was struck. It also remains unclear if McCarthy has any criminal record.

Condolences from law enforcement agencies across Missouri have poured in on social media for the Clinton Police Department, where Michael had been an officer for less than a year.

“Our hearts are heavy this morning, and our prayers are with the Clinton Police Department and the fallen officer's family. #ThinBlueLine,” the sheriff's office in Clay County, Mo., located more than 90 miles away, tweeted Monday morning .



Portland Police Bureau to devote more time to community policing

by Brenna Kelly

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- Mayor Ted Wheeler announced Friday an effort to improve safety in Portland. Soon, there will be more officers seen walking and biking the city.

According to Wheeler, Springwater Corridor, Laurelhurst Park, Old Town/Chinatown, North Park Blocks, Ankeny Alley, and the Hawthorne Business District areas are the focus of this new program.

Portland police officers at the North Park Blocks Sunday said this new program helps them to build trust with people while also being able to address public safety issues.

Officer RaeLynn McKay said it's not just about arrests and citations.

"They see the uniform. They hear everything on the news. They see what's on the news and they get scared. Whereas if they just know me like, 'Hey I'm Rae, nice to meet you. Can I pet your dog?' I mean, it kind of humanizes us," said McKay.

She said likes to say "hello" to new faces and connect with business owners in the Old Town/Chinatown area, which is her district.

Portland police say the mayor knows community policing is vital. If police aren't patrolling in cars as much, people will see more face-to-face interaction from bike and foot patrols.

People at the North Park Blocks say more officer visibility can only help the crime rate.

"I think just the presence … just the visible presence would have an effect," said Brian Buras, who was visiting the North Park Blocks area with his family Sunday.

"I really appreciate caring police officers that are coming from the heart. I love it,” said Teresa Shannon, who says she feels secure with more police on the ground.

Portland police say Wheeler is devoting $200,000 to the Community Policing Pilot Program, which is $50,000 more than last year.



With rising homicides in big cities, Republican governors intensify police patrols

by Tim Craig and Emma Ockerman

ST. LOUIS — Sgt. Brad Sevier usually patrols an area of Missouri where there is one farm for every 20 residents. Now the Missouri state trooper commutes an hour to patrol the big city.

On orders from Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, Sevier and about two dozen troopers have laid claim to St. Louis highways that slice through some of America's most dangerous neighborhoods, a move that has sparked concern among residents wary of heavy policing. It's the first time in decades that state troopers have patrolled the city, Greitens said.

“We are looking for anything,” Sevier said shortly before pulling over a motorist for an expired license plate near downtown. “I don't see how it can be detrimental having more law enforcement in an area that really needs more policing.”

Greitens dispatched the Missouri Highway Patrol last month amid a surge in shootings and assaults in St. Louis, part of a nationwide trend of rising violence in some large cities. The killings have rattled neighborhoods and embarrassed city officials, who tend to be Democrats. But now governors — who tend to be Republicans — are sending in their troops to fight urban crime, reopening historical tensions.

The governors' actions mirror President Trump's vow to send in federal agents to curb crime in Chicago, which he said in June had reached “epic proportions.”

“Today, we declare that the days of ignoring this problem are done,” said Greitens, a former Navy SEAL and competitive boxer, announcing his plan last month to send in state patrolmen to look for criminals in St. Louis. “We are rolling up our sleeves and taking strong action to protect people.”

Lyda Krewson, the new Democratic mayor of St. Louis, has fierce political disagreements with Greitens on many issues, including gun control and the funding of social services. But Krewson also has an intimate perspective of the city's crime problem: In 1995, she saw her husband fatally shot during an attempted carjacking in front of their home in the city's West End.

Krewson supports Greitens's plan.

“There are a lot of guns on these highways. There are a lot of drugs on these highways,” Krewson said. “As long as it's done in a responsible way — and I don't have any reason to believe it won't be — I think it's a good help.”

But in an era of increasingly polarized views on policing, Missouri's intervention is unsettling some local residents who question the governor's strategies and tone. How elected leaders define a “gang,” use the word “criminal” and deputize outside law enforcement agencies are emerging as flash points. The debate threatens to drive another wedge between some officials in heavily Democratic cities and GOP leaders in statehouses and in Washington.

“He was heard saying .?.?. ‘Let's go get them,'?” said state Rep. Michael Butler, a St. Louis Democrat who was referring to an offhand, salutatory remark Greitens made while rallying Missouri troopers. “A lot of folks wonder who ‘them' is, and what exactly did he mean.”

St. Louis has recorded more than 110 homicides so far this year, which, as of late July, put 2017 on pace to be the city's deadliest year in more than two decades. The trends have been similar in big cities from Baltimore and Nashville to Tulsa and Little Rock, and in response, governors are reviving a role many had embraced from the 1960s through the early 1990s but pulled back from as homicide rates declined.

Last month, after 25 people were shot in a nightclub not far from the governor's mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson organized state troopers and FBI agents to respond to “a looming cloud of violence” in that city.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott pledged in spring to use “all lawful means” to snuff out what he called a serious “gang problem” in Houston, the state's largest city.

In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster even used warlike language when announcing his plan for more state resources in Myrtle Beach, where homicides in June threatened the city's reputation as a family-friendly beach destination.

“There will be a lot more boots on the ground,” McMaster said in deploying state troopers.

The governors are all Republicans, and their actions come as Trump has used tough-on-crime rhetoric in response to law enforcement concerns, most recently telling officers in a speech not to “be too nice” to suspects. Jim Pasco, past executive director and current senior adviser to the president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said GOP governors know that crime “has been a good issue” for Trump.

“It resonates with the people who elected him,” said Pasco. “The governors see the reaction he is getting, and it spurs them to action.”

But the implementation of the state response can clash with local policing strategies. Some on the left fear a shift away from Obama-era initiatives such as community policing, fewer mandatory minimum sentences and limits on the militarization of police units.

The tension is particularly pronounced in St. Louis, where the 311,000 residents are still navigating the aftermath of the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a close-in suburb.

For now, Greitens's proposal is fairly limited. For the first time in decades, Missouri state troopers will patrol four major highways in St. Louis, freeing up city police to focus on violent crime that has driven up the homicide rate.

After seven people were fatally shot here over Father's Day weekend, Greitens decided it was time to act, despite accusations from the community that he is grandstanding to bolster his macho political image.

During his campaign last year, Greitens shocked pundits by airing television commercials showing him firing military-style assault rifles. His ads included him saying he was going to “take back Missouri” and “fire away” for reforms.

Shortly after he was elected, Greitens experienced St. Louis's crime woes personally when his wife was robbed at gunpoint as she left a restaurant.

“We go out and do what is necessary to save lives,” Greitens, an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, said in an interview. “This is tearing cities apart.”

His critics, however, accuse Greitens of using St. Louis as a punching bag by vilifying a city that is about 50 percent African American and has a 25 percent poverty rate.

“You got a governor who is probably looking to his next move, so he has got to play to his base,” said Sarah Wood Martin, a St. Louis alderwoman. “And to them, it looks nice sending in the state troopers to get control of what is made to look like an out-of-control urban area.”

Beside politics, activists say there is real fear that Greitens's plan could lead to more racial profiling. African Americans in Missouri are already 75 percent more likely to be stopped while driving than white motorists, according to the data compiled by the state attorney general's office.

“Until and unless we start talking about that, there is a concern we are going to get more of the same,” said Jeffrey A. Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, which is seeking state records clarifying how the enhanced state patrols will be carried out.

While looking for expired license plates, unregistered vehicles or speed violators, Sevier stopped a white woman who was arrested for an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on a previous traffic citation.

“Traffic enforcement is a good tool in finding criminals,” said Sevier, who had been assigned to Perry County in Missouri's southern river delta. “That lady was wanted for expired registration but it just as easily could have been a murder warrant or a robbery warrant.”

During the first 11 days of the state patrols on about 16 miles of interstate highways that had been only lightly patrolled before, troopers issued more than 900 traffic tickets and made 220 arrests, according to Missouri Highway Patrol data.

St. Louis resident Danielle Shanklin panned Greitens's plan. Her 25-year-old sister, Sigaria, was fatally shot in the head last summer when gunmen opened fire on a car she was in. Shanklin's 3-year-old son, who was riding in the back seat, was unharmed.

Greitens's initiative, she said, is nothing more than a way to “give out more tickets for speeding.”

“What they need do is add more funding to do things in the community,” Shanklin said, reflecting a widely held view in St. Louis that Greitens can't fight crime and cut spending on social programs at the same time.




Sheriff is building community trust

by The Columbus Dispatch

There's a new sheriff in town, with a steely gaze and a name right out of central casting. But Dallas Baldwin, elected last November, isn't laying down the law with an old-fashioned iron fist: He wishes to be inclusive.

The Franklin County sheriff has launched a new community policing effort to create needed — and provably effective — partnerships between his law-enforcement officers and residents.

His Community Advisory Council will meet quarterly to discuss concerns and plan events with members of different faiths, neighborhood organizations, social and ethnic groups and the business community.

Later this month, he'll launch a program for deputies to help train faith leaders to respond to community violence and tragedy.

And Baldwin recently redeployed deputies and sergeants to set up a Community Liaison Unit to serve each quadrant of the county — an idea the longtime Columbus police lieutenant imported from the city's similar, highly successful program.

“The liaison officers were very instrumental in working with different community groups throughout the city,” Baldwin said. “And they would partner with these groups, figure out what the problems were and then bring that to different units within the police department. And then go out and address that.”

Law enforcement needs a community's participation and cooperation to keep residents safe.

Baldwin acknowledges there are bridges to build. “There's a lot of distrust. A lot of that comes from poor communication and us not including people. There is just more mistrust than ever. I think the key to it is just getting out there.”

Such partnerships recognize that it's harder for people to distrust or dehumanize other groups once people actually get to know each other. When it comes to law enforcement and the community, the deal cuts both ways.

Community members need to see law-enforcement officers as human beings trying to do a difficult, sometimes highly dangerous job. And officers who can become better acquainted with residents and neighborhoods are more likely to be able to respond in ways that are more effective and less likely to require the use of force.

Baldwin took over an office from storied predecessors, including the late “Big Jim” Karnes, but he needs to make changes as Franklin County becomes more urbanized; big-city problems have moved into once-safer, sleepy areas. The sheriff's office works closely with city, township and village police departments, where it maintains full police jurisdiction, but it also provides full police protection to the unincorporated areas of the county.

It's good to see Baldwin modernize the department to build trust, solicit residents to be the eyes and ears of law-enforcement, identify crime patterns and work with communities to attack problems. Such efforts position the sheriff's office for the future.

Roadside tragedies raise awareness

Twice this past week, high-profile runners were hit by drivers who left the scene. Do people no longer have a conscience?

On Monday, longtime marathoner and competitive runner Linda Evans, 68, died after being hit along a Westerville road. Police since charged a 32-year-old man with aggravated vehicular homicide.

On Wednesday, Nicholas Ashill, 53, was struck about 8 a.m. by the side of Route 40 in Madison County. Troopers were looking for a 1990s GMC or Chevrolet pickup truck, likely damaged. Ashill was running across America to raise money for charity and awareness for lung disease. He was seriously injured.

Drivers who are unaware, distracted or impaired are causing untold tragedy. Slow down.



Escaped suspect shoots and kills himself

by Todd Helberg

The search for an Antwerp man who escaped a deputy's custody Friday afternoon ended Monday night when he shot and killed himself at his parents' home near here.

Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers issued a press release Monday just before midnight, noting that lawmen located him in the crawl space of the home, although it did not specify the address.

“Efforts were made by law enforcement personnel to successfully and peacefully bring Powell out of the crawl space and place him in custody, however, Powell did not comply with those efforts,” Landers stated in the release. “Branden Lee Powell chose to take his own life by gunshot at approximately 9:30 p.m.”

He noted that authorities learned around 6 p.m. Monday Powell might be found near Antwerp. Paulding County law enforcement officers teamed with those from the Defiance County Sheriff's Office, the Ohio Highway Patrol, the FBI and U.S. Marshal Services in locating him.

“I would like to thank the numerous law enforcement agencies — Ohio State Highway Patrol, FBI, U.S. Marshal Services, neighboring sheriffs and their deputies and their personnel who have assisted us around the clock since this past Friday,” added Landers. “While this is not the outcome law enforcement had hoped for, law enforcement hopes the community can rest knowing this armed and dangerous individual is no longer a danger to the community.”

Powell had been indicted in Paulding County on charges of rape and attempted rape, as well as four counts of sexual battery, and was being held in Paulding County Jail in early July. After becoming suicidal he was admitted to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo on July 13.

He was being returned to the Paulding County Jail on Friday in a van driven by Paulding County Deputy Robert Miller when he got loose.

According to Landers, Powell was chained and handcuffed while riding in back of the van, but managed to put Deputy Miller in a chokehold and caused the vehicle to crash into a ditch on County Road 133, south of Ohio 111. He then obtained control of Miller's weapon (a .40-caliber firearm) and demanded that he be freed of his restraints before fleeing the crash scene.

Miller, who was handcuffed to the steering wheel by Powell but freed himself to contact a passing motorist, sustained minor injuries.

Lawmen searched the Five Span area in northern Paulding County Monday afternoon for evidence of Powell, but found nothing.

Landers said authorities were responding to some “suspicious activity” reports from neighbors in the Five Span area, but found no clues there.

Ohio Highway Patrol troopers, who provided a helicopter, blocked access to the Ohio 637 bridge across the Auglaize River and on Paulding County Road 179 just south of the Defiance County line as authorities searched for clues.

Some Five Span area residents were prevented from returning to their homes before the search wound down.

Authorities had searched for Powell Friday afternoon just after his escape in the vicinity of the crash scene, blocking some local roads, including Ohio 111 north of Paulding.

During Monday's search just east of Antwerp, lawmen blocked off County Road 424 at roads 83 and 73.


New York

Remains of 9/11 victim identified nearly 16 years later

by Bob Fredricks

The remains of a man killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11 have been identified nearly 16 years after the terrorist attacks, the city medical examiner said Monday.

The victim's name was withheld at his family's request, the ME's office said. A source told The Post he was not a police officer, firefighter or other first responder.

It was the first new identification of a 9/11 victim since March 2015.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said the process of testing and retesting remains as DNA analysis becomes more sophisticated helps bring closure to long-suffering families.

“Since the immediate days following the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner has worked to identify the victims, and we will continue to uphold this commitment using the most advanced scientific methods available,” she said.

The office uses DNA testing and other means to match bone fragments to the 2,753 people killed by the radical Islamists, who crashed a pair of jetliners into the Twin Towers, igniting an inferno and causing the buildings to collapse.

Remains of 1,641 victims have been identified so far — which means the remains of 40 percent of those who died have yet to be ID'd.

New, more sensitive DNA technology was deployed earlier this year and helped make the latest identification, Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the office, told The Post.

“This is the natural outgrowth of always making improvements and retesting the remains,” she said.

The unidentified remains are stored in a repository at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, but the testing is done at the ME's DNA lab in Kips Bay.
Once identified, the victims' families can decide the remains' fate.

“Some identified remains are stored at the memorial as well. It depends on what the family wants to do,” Bolcer said.

And as the DNA testing has advanced, so has the multimillion-dollar effort to connect more than 21,900 bits of remains to individual victims. Few full bodies were recovered, and the effects of heat, bacteria and chemicals such as jet fuel made it all the more difficult to analyze the remains.

Over time, the office came to use a process that involves pulverizing the fragments to extract DNA, then comparing it to the office's collection of genetic material from victims or their relatives.


North Korea vows strikes on US as Trump warns of 'fire and fury'

by Joshua Berlinger and Zachary Cohen

North Korea has threatened preemptive military strikes against the US, as President Donald Trump vowed to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if its aggression continued.

State-run media threatened a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam and said North Korea would "turn the US mainland into the theater of a nuclear war" at any sign of an impending American attack.

It marked a dramatic escalation in rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang, as the Trump administration sends mixed messages on how it plans to contain the growing threat from North Korea.

North Korea's threat came after Trump's extraordinary remarks at his New Jersey resort of Bedminster Tuesday. "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," he said.

Trump's comments were significantly more threatening than any made by US presidents in the past. They also appeared at odds with those of his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who has sought to dial down the tension with Pyongyang in recent weeks.

Tillerson defended Trump's comments Wednesday, saying the President had sent a "strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-Un would understand."

But he also sought to reassure Americans that war was not imminent. "I have nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours," Tillerson said on a flight from the region. "Americans should sleep well at night," he said.

The key developments:

-- Trump's remarks came after claims by US intelligence sources that North Korea had developed the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead that can fit atop a missile.

-- They also followed threats by Pyongyang to "make the US pay dearly" for helping spearhead the passage of new UN sanctions against the country in response to two recent missile tests.

-- North Korea announced its plans to strike areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rockets in a report by state-run KCNA on Wednesday. It cited a military statement made a day earlier, before Trump's remarks.

-- The Guam plan was in response to the US flying two B-1B bombers from the Pacific island over the Korean peninsula on Monday. The bombers were joined by Japanese and South Korean aircraft.

The KCNA report said that a strike on Guam would be aimed at containing US military bases on the Pacific island.

Guam's governor, Eddie Baza Calvo, released a video address Wednesday, reassuring the island's residents that there was no escalated threat. Guam's Homeland Security Advisor George Charfauros told CNN that he remains confident of the island's defenses.

But North Korea warned in a separate KCNA report on Wednesday that it was looking beyond Guam and would hit the US mainland with preemptive strikes, with the use of nuclear weapons, should there be any sign the US planned to strike North Korea first.

"The US should (remember), however, that once there observed a sign of action for 'preventive war' from the US, the army of the DPRK will turn the US mainland into the theater of a nuclear war before the inviolable land of the DPRK turns into the one," the report said.

White House sends mixed messages

The threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs has been a top foreign policy priority for Trump since taking office in January, but the dangers posed by North Korea have taken center stage since the country test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.

Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Trump risked going too far.

"I take exception to the President's comments because you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do. In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick," McCain told KTAR radio in Arizona.

Democrats slammed Trump, saying his comments were "unhinged."

"President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments," California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.

Secretary of State Tillerson has maintained that the US is open to dialogue with North Korea, if it promises to abandon its development of nuclear weapons.

But the US military has flexed its muscles by conducting joint military drills with Japan and South Korea and conducting show-of-force operations.

Bluster on both sides

Threats may be flying between the US and North Korea, but little has changed in the assessment about Pyongyang's military capabilities and the chances of a US strike.

While US intelligence analysts have claimed that Pyongyang has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead, it's not believed that the capability has been tested, according to the sources.

However, there's debate within the intelligence community that Pyongyang has the required skill and technology. The Washington Post, which was first to publish details, reported that it was the analysis of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs has been a top foreign policy priority for Trump since taking office in January, but the dangers posed by North Korea have taken center stage since the country test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.

Weapons experts say both of those missiles, designed to carry nuclear warheads, could theoretically reach the US mainland, based on the range of two recent missile tests.

Threats against Guam

Guam, which houses important US military installations, has long been within the range of North Korea's missiles.

Pyongyang's threats against Guam came after Trump's "fire and fury" comment, but the North Korean statement was dated Tuesday, suggesting it was drafted in advance.

Another was released soon after which broadened the threats leveled against the US mainland.

"We do not hide that we already have in full readiness the diversified strategic nuclear strike means which have the US mainland in our striking range," the statement, which ran more than 1,700 words, said.

It ended with a belligerent threat typical of North Korea's statements: "Should the US finally opt for a reckless military adventure, defying the stern warning of our revolutionary armed forces, the tragic end of the American empire will be hastened."

Experts worry Trump's rhetoric could hurt the US by feeding North Korean insecurities and adding instability to an already tenuous situation.

"We have two inexperienced, impulsive presidents in control of these massive military machines," Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, told CNN on Monday.

"It's one thing to make a mistake intentionally, its another thing to stumble into a conflict ... either one -- Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump -- could miscalculate and let loose a war unlike anything we have seen since World War II."

Pyongyang's capabilities unchanged

Threats may be flying between the US and North Korea, but little has changed in the assessment about Pyongyang's military capabilities and the chances of a US strike.

While US intelligence analysts have claimed that Pyongyang has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead, it is not believed that the capability has been tested, according to the sources.

However, there's debate within the intelligence community that Pyongyang has the required skill and technology. The Washington Post, which was first to publish details, reported that it was the analysis of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Weapons experts say both of those missiles, designed to carry nuclear warheads, could theoretically reach the US mainland, based on the range of two recent missile tests.

North Korea watchers have long maintained that a war between the US and North Korea is unlikely, largely for two reasons. The first being that both sides recognize how devastating another Korean War would be, the second being that the Kim regime, which values its survival above all else, knows it would lose.



Atlanta Gym Under Fire Over Ban Against Police Officers And Military

"I make no exceptions. Once you become part of the system, we are not interested in serving you," the owner said.

by Nina Golgowski

An Atlanta gym owner who prohibits police officers and active military members from joining says he's received death threats and a barrage of hate mail ? but his rule still stands.

Jim Chambers, who owns EAV Barbell Club in East Atlanta Village, ignited nationwide anger this week after word got out about his handwritten sign proclaiming: “no f***ing cops.”

“It's not a new policy; this has been our policy since we opened, about a year and a half ago,” Chambers told HuffPost on Wednesday, saying he was fielding three to four angry phone calls per minute.

Chambers explained that his rule, which does not target veterans, is nothing personal and not an endorsement of violence. He and many of his members, who he said use his facility to hold activist meetings, are anti-military and pro “cop abolition,” he said. Some of them are also LGBTQ and of various racial backgrounds, and they don't necessarily like the police.

“We are indicting systems. We are not indicting individuals,” he said.

His decision to post this particular sign, which Atlanta station WXIA-TV drew attention to on Wednesday, followed last month's fatal police shooting of a Mississippi man named Ismael Lopez, Chambers said.

Officers shot Lopez at his home after they went to his address by mistake during their pursuit of someone else, authorities told HuffPost at the time.

Lopez's shooting death “left me really angry,” Chambers said.

Following that same theme, a post on EAV Barbell Club's Facebook page on Wednesday noted the three-year anniversary of the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Hundreds of comments responding to the post appeared to criticize both Brown and the gym's rules. As of Wednesday evening, the gym's Facebook page had a 1.4-star rating, with most reviews appearing to target the ban.

Chambers said those reviews don't bother him, as “we're not profit-seeking.”

“I actually subsidize the place and we don't charge people who can't afford to pay. Most of our members are bartering time by manning the desk for a little bit,” he said.

A post on the gym's Facebook wall last year reads: “Full Communism. Pay what you can/want. Pitch in a bit.”

Of course, not all of Chambers' members are politically active, he noted.

“We have members who are only interested in weight-lifting and they don't care about politics,” he said.

Some members are also military veterans, he said, but he draws the line at those who are active.

“If we're helping them [train] then we're essentially helping the military grow stronger, and we don't want to do that,” he said. “I make no exceptions. Once you become part of the system, we are not interested in serving you.”

The Atlanta Police Department declined to comment to WXIA-TV on Chambers' controversial rule. A spokesperson did tell the news outlet: “Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job.”

Lawyers also told the station that it would be up to a court to decide if EAV Barbell Club's policy is violating any anti-discrimination law, as law enforcement officers are not a protected class.



Three Years After Michael Brown's Death, Has Ferguson Changed?

by Ron Mott

FERGUSON, Mo. — The day that an unarmed, black 18-year-old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson, setting off a series of violent clashes with law enforcement, this predominantly African-American city of about 21,000 was largely run by white politicians, its police force commanded by a white man.

Three years after that highly publicized fatal encounter, Ferguson, at least by official appearances, is a dramatically different place.

The seven-member city council, which formerly had just one African-American, now holds three. A new black police chief was hired, and the small, once overwhelmingly white police department, has also seen a marked shift in color among its ranks.

Beyond that, however, how much has really changed?

For 59-year-old resident Donald Harry, the answer is a mixture of some and not enough.

“Most everything that I see that's transpired, I call it window dressing,” he said. “It looks good on the outside. But what has it actually done? We don't see a lot of results. Yet, they're talking about different changes are supposed to benefit and help the community.”

Harry had a front-row view of the fiery uprising that erupted near his backyard. A convenience store across the street, which had been looted and set on fire, has been replaced by the Urban League Community Empowerment Center, housing its Save Our Sons program focused on job training and placement as well as a Salvation Army center.

The unrest that followed the Aug. 9, 2014 shooting was a culmination of years, even decades, of mistreatment of African-Americans by a heavy-handed government, particularly the police department, many locals contend.

Those complaints appeared to be buoyed by a scathing report by the Justice Department, which concluded the police here had practiced a “pattern of unconstitutional policing” that “exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes.”

The report also cited the city's emphasis on revenue for contributing to the pattern of unlawful law enforcement.

And while that report is largely viewed as the impetus for calls for increased diversity in city government and police administration, residents like Donald Harry allege relations between African-American communities and police have not improved as much as needed.

“What good does it do to have, say, a black police chief and more black officers in the police department, when, one, the citizens don't respect him and/or the office? And they don't trust him and/or the office yet?” said Harry.

“I feel like a lot of the respect that the police used to have, they don't have. They've lost touch with the community.”

The number of black officers here has more than doubled since 2014 — from four to 10 — as the number of white officers has declined by nearly half, from 48 to 26.

Still, admits police Chief Delrish Moss, sworn-in during the spring of 2016, there is more work to be done.

“Change doesn't come quickly,” he said. “It is a gradual step-by-step process if you want to do it right. The first thing I thought to do was go out and knock door to door. Go to houses and talk to people, find out what they want.”

One of things they want, Harry said, is for police to focus on more mundane public-safety concerns, such as speeding, as much as police concentrate their efforts on investigating more serious crimes.

That new sentiment, perhaps, is a welcomed byproduct in the aftermath of the Brown shooting, says council member Wesley Bell, an African-American attorney who was elected to office after the tragedy.

“To me, it's a sign of progress when the complaints are back to speeding, when the complaints are back to potholes and things of that nature,” Bell said.

“Obviously, we want to correct those and alleviate those. But you see different people complain about those across the city. That, to me, is progress in the sense that it's a return to normalcy. I don't think that's a disrespect to the police. I think people just speed.”


Washington D.C.

Building Relationships: The Challenge of Community Policing in Southeast D.C.

by Patrick Madden

The relationship between police and residents in neighborhoods long ravaged by violent crime is often strained. Officers need the help of local residents to solve crimes, but trust is hard to establish when police are seen only when making arrests or questioning suspects.

To improve the relationship between cops and the communities they serve, more and more police departments around the country are turning to “community policing.” The idea is simple: let officers patrol smaller areas, build up relationships with neighbors and work with them to solve problems.

When D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced it was doubling down on its community policing efforts, few neighborhoods were more in need of help than the Washington Highlands and Bellevue community. The two neighborhoods, located next to each other in Southeast, share many of the same resources.

The area — a sliver of land at the the southern tip of D.C. — is poor, and suffers some of the worst rates of violent crime in the entire country . A staggering 100 people have been murdered here over the past decade, according to MPD statistics.

The community policing efforts in Washington Highlands and Bellevue have received a mixed response from locals. While some residents see positive changes in the increased police presence, others say more police on the streets just means more harassment. Here are three snapshots of how community policing is playing out in the neighborhood.

Part One: The Block

Picture a map of D.C. as a diamond and the southern tip would be Washington Highlands and Bellevue.

The neighborhood is a vibrant green, covered with lush foliage and overgrown trees. But there's also blight — vacant buildings and strewn trash mar the landscape.

Olivia Henderson is the longtime neighborhood commissioner for the area. Pointing at an abandoned building along 6 th Street Southeast just off Chesapeake Avenue, she says: “We're looking at a boarded-up building with high grass that's taller than a 15-year-old child. Weeds coming off the roof, vines going up.”

She gestures down the block.

“You see it's just not that building. You skip a building, [there are] vines going up. It's the whole block. That's why this street is known to have so much criminal activity,” Henderson says. “The smaller things are being overlooked and they become larger acts.”

Those larger acts include drug dealing, robberies and homicide.

For Henderson, ending the cycle of violence and turning this neighborhood around will only happen when police and residents work hand-in-hand.

This is the premise of community policing, which Henderson enthusiastically supports. She is on the phone constantly with the area's local police captain, John Haynes. She organizes neighborhood walks with police through the area.

The effort is paying off, block by block, Henderson says, pointing up the street.

“That corner used to be filled with nothing but loitering, hanging out, trash, music,” says Henderson. “We reached out, and built a relationship [with police].”

With cooperation from neighbors — and a more robust police presence — the block is now quiet and well-manicured.

The key to community policing, Henderson says, is forging personal relationships with officers who work the area.

“You don't have to like me. I don't have to like you,” says Henderson. “But if we have a relationship and an understanding to get one job done, and that's to eliminate criminal acts.”

Down The Block, A Different Story

But building relationships with the police is hard.

Just down the block on 6th Street, closer to the boarded-up buildings, two young men agreed to speak on the condition that they be identified only by their first names — Muhammed and Robert.

“[The police] just want information. They want to check your waistband, they want to search everyone.”

The police — and the community — have their eyes on them.

Every few minutes a police squad car slowly drives by the corner they're standing on.

“They want to work with the community?” Muhammed said when asked about the community policing efforts. “[The police] just want information. They want to check your waistband, they want to search everyone.”

Muhammed says he was stopped not once, but twice, that same day by MPD at 6th Street and Chesapeake.

Robert says even when he's wearing his work uniform — a gray outfit covered in paint stains — he gets stopped by police.

“You get tired of that,” Robert says.

As they're talking, Olivia Henderson drives by and lets them know she's watching. She shouts sternly. They respond in unison: “Hey Miss Olivia!”

Part Two: The Rec Center

On a night a few weeks later, the Bald Eagle Recreation Center in the Washington Highlands and Bellevue community is filled with officers and little kids. There's go-go music, a bouncy castle and a boxing exhibition.

It's National Night Out, a block party sponsored by police departments across the country every year on the first Tuesday in August.

For community policing to work, officers need the flexibility to get to know residents before crimes occur, and National Night Out is part of that process.

MPD Captain John Haynes, who oversees the police patrols for the area, has a different job tonight: playing kickball with neighborhood kids.

These Night Out events can feel like a PR stunt, but Haynes says any time police can get to know residents outside typical police interaction will help down the road.

“We get to see faces and names, and get to introduce ourselves, and see us outside of what's a stressful situation for the people involved,” says Haynes, who is white and has a low-key demeanor.

This year, MPD restructured its patrols so that its captains like Haynes are responsible for much smaller areas. The change helps the police get to know the neighborhood — and its residents — better.

The early results are promising. In Washington Highlands and Bellevue, for example, robberies are down 70 percent from a year ago.

MPD's assistant police chief Robert Contee is helping lead this new policing effort:

“We want our officers not to approach community policing with a ‘cookie-cutter' approach, thinking that the efforts that work in this block, will work in that block,” says Contee. “We want our officers to be creative and to solve problems.”

A lot of MPD officers who cover Southeast aren't from D.C. — or black. Contee is both.

He grew up here, and worked his way up the ranks after joining MPD at the age of 18.

To help his officers understand the neighborhoods they're patrolling, Contee helped start a program this year that brings police to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“These issues didn't start within the past five years,” Contee says. “These issues have been in place for many years. To have a police department that's sensitive to that will help us to become better law enforcement officers in the communities that we serve.”

Part Three: The Meeting

Structured, weekly get-togethers are another way police are working to build relationships with the community in Washington Highlands and Bellevue. At these meetings, neighbors share with police what they've seen and any potential issues they're having. Getting people to talk is difficult. In another context, this sort of exchange could be seen as “informing” or even “snitching.” The police frame these meetings as a way they can work together with the community to prevent crimes.

Derick Davis, a local barbershop owner, starts a recent meeting with an invocation.

“Bless our men and women in blue,” he says. “Keep them safe. Return them to their families.”

Captain Haynes stands in front of the group and gives an update on the latest crime stats.

“We've had four less homicides than we did at this point last year,” Haynes tells the room. Shootings and robberies are also down significantly, he says.

Davis begins the discussion part of the meeting by nudging police to be more aggressive. He says that just minutes before the meeting began, he saw a young man selling drugs on the street corner. He gives a physical description of the man to Captain Haynes.

“I know that's something you can't always stop — selling drugs. I get that,” Davis tells Haynes. “God knows I appreciate what has happened around here. There has been some improvement around here, no doubt.”

By that Davis means, crime in the neighborhood has dropped. There's no question D.C.'s community policing effort here is working.

But there are limits. The group at the meeting is small, maybe a dozen or so people. Most of them are senior citizens, but they're on board with the police department's efforts.

The bigger test here in this Southeast D.C. neighborhood — and the key to the community policing's success, is whether the rest of the community will buy in as well.



Baton Rouge leaders lean on Dallas Police Department for direction in community policing initiatives

by Grace Toohey

Baton Rouge community leaders took ideas and insight from the Dallas Police Department's Community Affairs division Tuesday night as they worked to define the capital city's proposed police-community ambassador program.

"There are several initiatives that Dallas does that I think that we could maybe implement," Baton Rouge interim Police Chief Jonny Dunnam said after the meeting, noting Dallas Police's coffee with cops on Friday and Saturday mornings and Police Athletic League, which provides sports for youth.

The Dallas Police Department does not have a specific community ambassador program, but it does have a similar initiative called the Community Support Coalition, which brings together about 30 residents for quarterly meetings with police.

"I think ours will be a little more in depth and a little more community oriented," Dunnam said. "Our ambassadors are going to be interacting on a daily, weekly basis. … The community ambassadors are going to be a little more active."

The police policy committee, which has been meeting since May of 2016 to brainstorm improvements for the department, plans to formalize the police-ambassador proposal over the next month and present the idea to the Metro Council in September. In October, they hope to hold forums in community gathering spots, like libraries and recreation centers, to explain the program and encourage people to fill out the application, attend the training, and then serve as a neighborhood liaison.

"(Community policing) has had its own identification within the Baton Rouge Police Department ," said Councilwoman Tara Wicker, who has led many of the the police policy meetings for the last year. "What we're trying to do here is an enhancement of what we have."

Wicker and council member Trae Welch formed the group last year, but interest greatly increased after Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a white Baton Rouge police officer.

"We as a police department cannot arrest our way out of the problem," Jolie Angel Robinson, the manager of community affairs for the Dallas Police Department, said through a conference call to the meeting. "When we think about community policing, we think about building partnerships."

She explained that within their divisions they have officers dedicated solely to community work, which includes surveying neighborhoods, running crime review meetings and spending time in schools.

"One of their main things is that (people) just want to be heard," Robinson said.

The Baton Rouge police policy committee took some of Dallas' practices into consideration as they tried to nail down details for the ambassador program, but many questions remained at the end of the night: what the application will look like, how to hold ambassadors accountable and how the program's success be measured.

Richard Slaughter, a Baton Rouge resident who proposed the community ambassador program earlier this year, worried about how the program will reach the right people, those residents who already have the trust of their neighbors. He said the ambassadors should be neighborhood leaders who can work informally with local police officers — sharing information and requests back and forth.

"That's when people will buy in, when you see corrective action and authentic results," said Slaughter, 32. "It has to be grassroots."

Despite the lingering questions, Dunnam said his department is on board because he hopes the program will lead to a decrease in crime and help repair strained community relations.

"Having community members who are able to interact with officers who are also trained on how to deal with those ambassadors," Dunnam said. "I do see it coming to life."


New Jersey

Can Atlantic city's bold experiment take racial bias out of predictive policing?

by Samantha Melamed

Atlantic City is not where you might expect to find the next policing success story.

It's in the throes of a financial crisis that triggered a state takeover. The police force has been pared down to 267 officers from 374 in 2010. Even more severe cuts could be on the way.

And yet, lately, Police Chief Henry White Jr. finds himself optimistic.

“The first six months of this year, our violent crime is down about 20 percent compared to the same time last year. But at the same time our arrests are also down 17 percent,” he said. “We were able to reduce crime without contributing to mass incarceration.”

That's a first for White, an old-school cop who started on foot patrol in 1985 and rose through the ranks.

What gives him hope is a high-tech intervention his department has adopted with help from Rutgers University criminologists. It's a type of predictive policing called risk-terrain modeling that aims to help police identify places that attract crime, and intervene to make them less attractive to criminals.

Predictive policing has become a buzzword in recent years, as a growing number of startups have marketed competing software options to police forces around the country. But civil-rights advocates have raised alarms. A coalition of 16 groups including the ACLU and the Brennan Center for Justice last August joined in a statement warning that such tools exacerbate racial biases, ignore community needs and contribute to the over-policing of poor minority neighborhoods.

But Joel Caplan, a wiry, bespectacled professor from the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, believes he's cracked that problem with risk-terrain modeling (RTM for short), which he developed with another professor, Leslie Kennedy. And, unlike tech companies that charge tens of thousands of dollars, Caplan's giving away his software to any department that will use it.

White had experimented with data-driven policing before. But looking back, he said, “we were just playing games.”

Now, after less than a year using RTM, even intractable hot spots like Stanley Holmes Village, a housing project that has seen numerous shootings, are starting to calm, he said.

“We've had certain neighborhoods in town that have been hot spots since I was on patrol. We made a ton of arrests. But, you know what? They were still hot spots until recently,” he said. “Before, we would clean up an area temporarily but all we were doing was displacing crime.”

Part of what's radical about RTM is that many interventions it advocates are not about policing at all — or, at least, not policing as we normally think of it.

Police still have to investigate crimes and make arrests, but the focus of RTM is creating conditions that deter crime from occurring.

The first step is to identify those conditions. Caplan often uses an analogy to make this point.

“If you noticed kids playing at the same place over time, you might identify that as a hot spot of playful behavior. But if you take your focus off the kids and look at the environment, you might see slides and swings and open fields — what we might call a playground. If we can identify places with similar characteristics — swings, slides, open fields — we can expect playful behavior to occur.”

Adding or removing those characteristics would in turn influence the behavior.

So, when it comes to hot spots of criminal behavior, he said, “the response isn't to assume that people who are located there are bad, or criminals” — the answer wouldn't be, say, to stop-and-frisk passersby — “but to do things to make the environment less attractive to crime. That's how we can reduce crime, and we can do it without arrests.”

An early success applied RTM to cellphone robberies in Glendale, Ariz. It found they clustered near convenience stores, which had kiosks offering instant cash for phones. Police asked store owners to move the kiosks to the front of the store, near windows and surveillance cameras. Robberies fell 42 percent.

Assessing Burglary Risk

Software developed by Rutgers University uses a type of analysis called risk-terrain modeling to assign areas a relative risk value based on the presence of landmarks and features such as vacant lots, schoolyards, and take-out restaurants. Police in Atlantic City used this software to map burglary risk after a number of break-ins this spring. Two suspects were arrested for a series of burglaries that were committed mostly in an area that the software showed had the highest risk for that crime.

Adoption of RTM has been slow, Caplan said, in part because he doesn't market it. It's word-of-mouth. But he believes it could be used to respond to everything from Philadelphia's opioid crisis to traffic accidents to border security.

Atlantic City police applied RTM to shootings and homicides, mapping the crimes, then all the landscape features around them. Then they began holding monthly meetings with police and community stakeholders.

“We found that convenience stores, laundromats and vacant properties — where all those things were located together, they increased the risk,” Caplan said. Because most shootings were drug-related, police theorized a narrative: Convenience stores were where buyers were solicited, unsupervised laundromats became host to transactions, and vacant properties doubled as stash houses.

Then, he said, “we addressed that narrative.”

That didn't just mean sending in more patrols. Instead, they treated the landscapes.

They put sign-in sheets inside convenience stores and laundromats, so patrols could log their visits. They helped business owners get security cameras. And they shared the information about problematic vacant properties with Atlantic City code enforcement, so they could prioritize which vacant buildings to board up, which lots to clean, and which negligent property owners to push into compliance.

Even if no crime has occurred in a given spot, White said, “we're getting there before the crime does to make sure that now it is not the next hot spot. We're no longer playing Whack-a-mole.”

The competing software

It's not just Atlantic City. Across the country, big data is already transforming crime-fighting.

Departments began mapping hot spots a few decades ago, identifying areas where crime spiked and flooding them with patrols and, often, a zero-tolerance approach.

“They would go out there and stop everybody for everything: riding your bike without a light, or jaywalking. Sure, you're going to make some arrests: you stop a hundred people and chances are somebody's going to have drugs,” White said. “But it turned the community off. There was a high cost.”

Today, those maps are being replaced by slick software programs fed with real-time data and marketed by for-profit companies.

The leader is PredPol, which generates heat maps based on past incidents.

But one study found that if deployed in Oakland, Calif., it would concentrate forces in low-income communities of color. That potential was concerning enough to Oakland police that, after consideration, they decided not to adopt the software.

Still, other cities are pressing ahead, about a dozen of them with HunchLab, a software created by a Philadelphia company, Azavea. Philadelphia Police recently tested HunchLab here, but declined an interview request, saying the research is not yet complete.

Cities pay between $20,000 and $100,000 per year for the service, depending on their size.

In return, the computer model combines crime data (police incident reports and calls to 911 for service), geographic traits like nearby bars or vacant buildings, and factors like the weather and school schedules. It generates a map dotted with boxes — risky zones — and a screen encouraging an officer to visit a box and perform some intervention: for example, walk a 15-minute foot patrol.

In Greensboro, N.C., police tested HunchLab by giving officers on one shift the software and providing another group with their existing hot spot maps. Major crimes fell by about 30 percent with HunchLab.

That impact was startling, given that the local officers didn't think the software had any effect. “The officers didn't see any value in it,” said Jeremy Heffner, HunchLab product manager. What it did do, he concluded, was force officers to spend 15 minutes patrolling every side street and back alley of a compact area.

“The HunchLab boxes broke them out of their routine. It shows that such nuanced changes, even that we don't know we're making, can have an impact.”

Heffner is keenly aware of civil-rights concerns; he believes he's addressing them. For one thing, HunchLab doesn't use arrest data, or any data that would create a feedback loop by interpreting elevated police action as elevated risk. For another, it moves officers around, so residents don't feel harassed.

But, unlike RTM, HunchLab's approach to overcoming bias is to provide less information, not more. It doesn't tell police why a box is selected or even whether it's a high- or average-risk zone. And while RTM focuses on the why, HunchLab works off the notion it's better for officers not to know too much.

“This shouldn't be justification to stop someone,” Heffner said. “That's why we actually hide a lot from the officers. We don't tell them the likelihood that a robbery will happen, because people get hung up on probabilities. The goal isn't to go into these places and make a bunch of arrests. The goal is to have nothing happen.”

Progress, but still hurdles

To Caplan, who was a Cape May police officer before he went to the University of Pennsylvania to study criminology, concealing information is a poor workaround.

He believes the way forward is transparency: “It's knowing where to go, knowing what to focus on, knowing why you're doing what you're doing, being able to explain it to the community and get feedback — it's that transparency that helps to reduce bias and improve community relations.”

White is trying to build those community ties by combining RTM with old-fashioned policing tactics. He has added foot and bike patrols, which are popular with residents, using RTM to prioritize patrol locations.

There are hurdles, though.

“The biggest challenge we're having here is getting the rank-and-file to buy in,” he said. “We're trained to focus on the bad guys, and it's hard for them to make that shift.”

Then there's the hard work of winning over Atlantic City residents.

Kellie Cors-Atherly, who runs Peace Amongst Youth, a support program for crime victims in the city, said she hasn't noticed the impact of RTM yet.

“We're having active shootings in Atlantic City once a week. That doesn't seem to be changing so much. And it's still a division between the police and the community. There's still a big trust factor,” she said.

And for activists like Steven L. Young, who is affiliated with the National Action Network, community-police relations can't be solved without more sweeping reforms.

“They have a track record of so many officers abusing and beating down the community, and they're still allowing them to be on the streets doing the same thing. The relationship remains the same.”

Still, some business owners have noticed an impact.

Sammy Nammour, who manages 13 Cedar Food Markets in Atlantic City and Pleasantville, said the daily police visits have helped restore order.

“There's been multiple occasions where someone would come in and scream and shout and to walk out with something,” he said. “It happens a lot less often now.”

He thinks the kids who frequent his store also benefit from casual, friendly interactions with officers.

After all, the dream of predictive policing is that it can change the climate, and eventually overcome persistent police biases.

White sees that promise in RTM.

“A good example is the perception that housing projects are connected with crime,” he said. “What we found in Atlantic City is housing projects are not in fact correlated with crime, and if police were to focus their patrols in those areas, they would be in the wrong place.”



18 Pa. cops hospitalized after possible fentanyl exposure

During the raids, Pittsburgh SWAT officers were exposed to a chemical that became airborne, making the officers dizzy and causing numbness

by Megan Guza and Matthew Santoni

PITTSBURGH — Eighteen Pittsburgh SWAT officers were sickened by suspected fentanyl while assisting federal officials on a series of raids in the West End of the city Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Residents awoke to a large law enforcement presence as Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State police assisted Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security investigators and U.S. Postal Inspectors with serving search warrants and making arrests at three separate locations in Elliott, said U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Margaret Philbin. ICE was the lead agency on the raids at two houses on Lakewood Street and one on Bond Street as part of an ongoing drug investigation, according to a statement from Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song.

During the raids, Pittsburgh SWAT officers were exposed to a chemical that became airborne, making the officers dizzy and causing numbness, said Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler. Toler said the chemical was "unknown," but Philbin said first responders believed it was fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate. No federal officials were affected.

All the affected officers went to UPMC Mercy and were medically cleared, Toler said.

Philbin could not confirm how many people had been arrested as of Wednesday morning, but said charges would be filed today in the U.S. District Court for Pittsburgh.


Is it time to accept the reality of a nuclear-armed Korea?

by John Cassidy

In May of 2013, Terence Roehrig, the director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group at the U.S. Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island, wrote a brief on the North Korean nuclear situation. “Given its rhetoric and continued testing of both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, Pyongyang will likely go beyond its current capability to pursue a small operational program, perhaps 20-40 warheads, though these figures are speculative,” the report, which was published by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, at Harvard, said. “Should the DPRK seek to develop a small operational nuclear weapons capability there may be little that can be done other than to make this a long and costly process.”

Administrations before it—was pursuing a policy of “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, which involved trying to persuade Kim Jong-un, the young dictatorial leader of North Korea, to give up on his nuclear program. Roehrig expressed skepticism about whether this policy would work, noting, “Some continue to hope that the DPRK may yet be willing to relinquish its nuclear weapons for a suitable package of incentives, but that outcome appears increasingly unlikely.” In the coming years, Roehrig went on, “deterrence on the Korean Peninsula is likely to have a new dimension—North Korea with nuclear weapons. Whether this reality is recognized by the international community or not, all countries will need to figure out how to deal with a nuclear North Korea while maintaining peace and security in the region.”

Three and a half years later, Roehrig's analysis looks prescient. A year ago, the Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Pyongyang had between thirteen and twenty-one nuclear warheads; since then, the number has likely grown. Last month, the North Koreans carried out two tests of ballistic missiles that, at least in theory, could hit parts of the U.S. mainland. The tests were apparently successful. And, according to a recent report in the Washington Post, the Defense Intelligence Agency believes that Kim's regime has developed a miniature nuclear warhead that could soon be fitted to these long-range missiles.

The pace of North Korea's progress in assembling a nuclear arsenal has surprised many Western experts. But Roehrig wasn't the only analyst who anticipated a situation such as the one we're currently witnessing, in which the harsh reality of nuclear-armed North Korea came into conflict with the official U.S. policy of seeking to prevent such an outcome. In a presentation to the Asia Society last week, John Park, a director of the Korea Working Group at the Belfer Center, pointed out the Kim had been entirely consistent in his desire to obtain a nuclear deterrent, which, in addition to safeguarding his regime, would enable North Korea to avoid a costly conventional-arms race and focus on economic development. Park said that many Chinese officials privately sympathized with the North Korean policy.

“To have a minimal nuclear deterrent, from a strategic-analysis viewpoint the community there”—in China—“views it as something very logical and something to be expected,” Parks said. “But, conceptually, it is very difficult for those in leadership positions in Washington to absorb that. While I think in Northeast Asia the view is that Kim Jong-un is not suicidal, who is going to take that risk in U.S. policy circles in Washington of having on their watch a nuclear I.C.B.M. North Korea and, on top of that, this ultimate weapon in the hands of this young leader? That is the part we are all anticipating. How are we going to get over that hump?”

With great difficulty, evidently. In January, before he took office, Donald Trump tweeted “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!” Trump's position hasn't changed. On Thursday, he stood by the bellicose statement he made earlier in the week—in which he said that if North Korea kept up its threats, it could face “fire and fury like the world has never seen”—telling reporters that “if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough.”

The President refused to be drawn out on whether he was considering a preëmptive strike against North Korea, and said that he was still open to negotiations. But he also added, “What they've been doing, what they've been getting away with, is a tragedy and it can't be allowed.” This echoed a statement from H. R. McMaster, the national-security adviser, who said last week that Trump considers the prospect of a North Korea with weapons that could hit the United States to be “intolerable.” McMaster also said that his job was to provide “all options” to prevent such an outcome, “and that includes a military option.”

On Friday morning, Trump tweeted, “Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely.” But, in truth, there is no straightforward military option. If there were one, a previous President might have used it, or, at least, threatened to use it. “Mr Kim's bombs and missile-launchers are scattered and well hidden,” an editorial in this week's Economist points out. “America's armed forces, for all their might, cannot reliably neutralise the North Korean nuclear threat before Mr Kim has a chance to retaliate.” Even if a U.S. strike did take out Kim's nuclear weapons, his forces have thousands of artillery pieces trained on Seoul, a city of ten million people located only thirty-five miles from the border with the North. Retaliation with these conventional weapons could kill tens of thousands of people. Not for nothing did James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, say in May that a war with North Korea would be catastrophic. (On Thursday, Mattis repeated the warning.)

Mattis and Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, appear to be hoping that the U.S. policy of ratcheting up the economic and rhetorical pressure on North Korea will persuade Kim to freeze his testing program and enter negotiations about eliminating the weapons he already has. As Tillerson pointed out a couple of days ago, this approach received a significant boost over the weekend, when China and Russia agreed to back a U.N. resolution that imposes more economic sanctions on Pyongyang. But some experts on North Korea believe that this strategy is still based on wishful thinking.

“This young guy leading North Korea will not denuclearize, period,” Kathy Moon, a professor of Asian studies at Wellesley College and a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, said earlier this week in an interview with WBUR, a Boston-based public-radio station. “What the U.S. faces is a problem between North Korean capabilities and intentions, and an anachronistic, outdated U.S. policy-strategy called denuclearization. The North doesn't want to talk as long as denuclearization is on the table and is the goal of the United States. We need to really think hard and face the reality and suck it up—that this is a fully nuclear state. We don't have to say, ‘Hey, welcome to the nuclear club.' But we could work towards arms control and disarmament, which is a different framework, which acknowledges that it is a nuclear state, and try to get some diplomatic headway on that level.” This is similar to what Michael Hayden, the former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, told my colleague Robin Wright this week. Any diplomatic solution to the situation, he said, “will have to, in one way or another, concede North Korea's nuclear status. No other deal is possible.”

Park, in his presentation at the Asia Society, made a similar point. He said he believes that it might still be possible to make a diplomatic breakthrough and achieve some sort of freeze on North Korea's testing programs. However, from Pyongyang's perspective, Park went on, “what that leads to is negotiations, but not denuclearization negotiations. That leads to nuclear-arms-control negotiations, where you could see, potentially, the North Koreans willing to give up the production facilities but retain that small nuclear deterrent, that small arsenal of nuclear I.C.B.M.s.”

Treating North Korea as another rival nuclear power would involve using the tools the U.S. has employed for decades to deal with such adversaries: containment, deterrence, and measures designed to lower the risk of a small incident escalating into an all-out confrontation. It might be the least bad option there is left. “If military action is reckless and diplomacy insufficient, the only remaining option is to deter and contain Mr Kim,” the editorial in The Economist argues. “Mr Trump should make clear—in a scripted speech, not a tweet or via his secretary of state—that America is not about to start a war, nuclear or conventional. However, he should reaffirm that a nuclear attack by North Korea on America or one of its allies will immediately be matched. Mr Kim cares about his own skin. He enjoys the life of a dissolute deity, living in a palace and with the power to kill or bed any of his subjects. If he were to unleash a nuclear weapon, he would lose his luxuries and his life. So would his cronies. That means they can be deterred.”

To Trump and some of his more hawkish supporters, adopting this approach may seem like capitulation. Actually, it would be an acknowledgment that the effort to prevent Pyongyang from obtaining nuclear weapons, which began in the nineteen eighties and continued through six U.S. Presidencies, has already failed.



How a white nationalist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville

by Nicole Chavez and Devon M. Sayers

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (CNN)One person died when a car plowed into a crowd following a dispersed gathering of white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville .

Shortly before the attack Saturday, fistfights and screaming matches erupted between counterprotesters and white nationalists protesting the removal of a confederate monument. The clashes led to the cancellation of scheduled protests, sending demonstrators from both sides marching on nearby streets. A few hours later, a car slammed into a throng of counterprotesters.

Here's what we know:

What happened?

Counterprotesters met white nationalists and other right-wing groups at the site of Saturday's "Unite the Right" event hours before the rally was set to start.

Clashes broke out and police began to disperse crowds.

Local officials declared the rally an "unlawful assembly" and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.

About two hours later, a gray Dodge Challenger rammed into a crowd of counterprotesters walking down a street in downtown Charlottesville.

The driver slammed the car in reverse at high speed and left the site of the crash. He was arrested later that afternoon.

The victims

•  A 32-year-old woman was killed in the car-ramming incident, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said.

•  A total of 19 others were also hurt, including five people still in critical condition Sunday, a spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Medical Center said.

•  Two Virginia State Patrol troopers died when a helicopter crashed in a wooded area near Charlottesville after monitoring Saturday's events. The pilot, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates, who would have turned 41 on Sunday, were killed. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

•  City officials say at least 15 others were wounded in events associated with the scheduled rally.

The suspect

•  The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, is being held at a Virginia jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death, said Superintendent Martin Kumer with the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail.

•  Fields' mother, Samantha Bloom, told CNN affiliate Toledo Blade, her son told her last week he was going to an "alt-right" rally, but she was not involved in his political views. CNN's attempts to reach Bloom were unsuccessful.

•  The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have launched a civil rights investigation into the deadly crash.

•  Three other men were arrested Saturday. One of them faces a charge of carrying a concealed handgun and the other is charged disorderly conduct. The third man, originally from Virginia, was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery.

The investigation

Federal authorities launched a civil rights investigation hours after the incident.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said US Attorney Rick Mountcastle is leading the investigation.

"The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated," Sessions said in a statement. "Justice will prevail."


Washington D.C.

The opioid crisis is now one of 29 active national emergencies

by Ryan Struyk

States of emergency are nothing new for the United States.

President Donald Trump's declaration on the opioid crisis marks the 29th concurrent active national emergency in America -- a state in which the United States has existed for nearly four decades straight.

"The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency. It's a national emergency," Trump said on Thursday. "We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis. It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had."

The rapid increase in the number of drug-related deaths over the last two decades prompted Trump's first national emergency declaration. But more than two dozen national emergencies are already in effect from past presidents, many of them already renewed by Trump.

This is according to a CNN analysis of data from the Congressional Research Service, the Federal Register and the White House.

Declaring a national state of emergency under the National Emergencies Act of 1974 outlines how a president can activate special statutory power during a crisis.

George W. Bush declared 13 emergencies and Barack Obama declared 12 -- nearly all of which are still active today. Bill Clinton declared 17 national emergencies, six of which are still active. Ronald Reagan declared six and George H.W. Bush declared four -- but all of those have been revoked by now.

The first declaration under the National Emergencies Act of 1974 came during the Iran hostage crisis -- a national emergency that is still active today. Jimmy Carter blocked Iranian government property from entering the country. It's been renewed each year by all presidents since then.

Presidents must renew national emergencies every year, because the statute lets emergencies automatically expire after one year.

A special White House panel led by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie recommended that Trump make the emergency declaration on opioids. A statement from the White House said Trump has "instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic."

Other ongoing national emergencies focus on the 9/11 terror attacks, the war in Iraq and the blocking of some property and people from around the world in countries such as Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan, Venezuela and Burundi.

Past emergencies have focused on everything from swine flu to rough diamonds.

Here's a list of the 29 active national emergencies:

1. Blocking Iranian Government Property (Nov. 14, 1979)

2. Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nov. 14, 1994)

3. Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process (Jan. 23, 1995)

4. Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources (Mar. 15, 1995)

5. Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers (Oct. 21, 1995)

6. Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba (Mar. 1, 1996)

7. Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan (Nov. 3, 1997)

8. Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans (Jun. 26, 2001)

9. Continuation of Export Control Regulations (Aug. 17, 2001)

10. Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks (Sept. 14, 2001)

11. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism (Sept. 23, 2001)

12. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe (Mar. 6, 2003)

13. Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest (May 22, 2003)

14. Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria (May 11, 2004)

15. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus (Jun. 16, 2006)

16. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Oct. 27, 2006)

17. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions (Aug. 1, 2007)

18. Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals (Jun. 26, 2008)

19. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia (Apr. 12, 2010)

20. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya (Feb. 25, 2011)

21. Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (Jul. 25, 2011)

22. Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen (May 16, 2012)

23. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (Mar. 6, 2014)

24. Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan (Apr. 3, 2014)

25. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic (May 12, 2014)

26. Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (Mar. 9, 2015)

27. Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities (Apr. 1, 2015)

28. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi (Nov. 23, 2015)

29. Opioid Crisis Emergency Declaration (Aug. 10, 2017)



Police: 3 Ohio nurses treated for fentanyl exposure

Police say the nurses at Massillon Affinity Medical Center lost consciousness while cleaning a room where an overdose victim had been treated

by the Associated Press

MASSILLON, Ohio — Authorities say three nurses at an Ohio hospital had to be treated with an overdose reversal drug after being exposed to suspected fentanyl.

Police say the nurses at Massillon's Affinity Medical Center lost consciousness Monday while cleaning a room where an overdose victim had been treated. All three were administered the overdose reversal drug naloxone and are said to have recovered.

A Massillon police spokesman says it's believed the nurses were exposed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more powerful than heroin.

A union representing nurses at the hospital wants to meet with hospital officials to discuss protocols for environmental contamination. A hospital spokeswoman says the hospital has effective policies.

Massillon is located about 55 miles (89 kilometers) south of downtown Cleveland.



Kimble: Community policing starts with being 'transparent'

by Josh Sullivan

Before he was selected to become the next police chief of Killeen, before he had even stepped into a room for the formal interview process, Charles “Chuck” Kimble got a glimpse at what challenges were in his future as he spoke with concerned residents at the Killeen Community Center.

Those who turned out were — for the most part — either older residents or directly involved in the city's operations in one way or another. They expressed concerns about youth involvement in crime, and said it was “out of control.”

“At the end of the day, you can't not do police work. We're going to do it, and we're going to do it with the resources we have,” Kimble said. “We (can) find new resources and apply for grants, but I'm not going to let a budget or a lack of a budget get in the way of this community's safety.”

Some parts of community policing cost money. Events that initiate conversations between residents and police officers — such as coffee with a cop — are difficult to orchestrate with budget constraints. Crime prevention coordinator Tammy Moseley will often bring a police officer with her to neighborhood watch meetings, and residents flood the officer with questions and complaints during that two-hour time period. There's often a disconnect between residents and police officers, and by the time the two sides do meet — like the biannual community forum — residents are frustrated.

“Due to staffing shortages, we are unable to provide officer resources to the district commanders, forcing them to compete for the same resources used to answer calls for service,” former police Chief Dennis Baldwin wrote in a community policing grant application to the Department of Justice.

In that same application, Baldwin wrote about the “broken windows” initiative, meant to work with Killeen Code Enforcement directly to crack down on abandoned properties and other code violations “that contribute to the blight of our city.” Broken window policing has been denounced by law enforcement experts, as it sometimes leads to racial profiling, according to resources on the DOJ COPS website.

Kimble said in a phone call Wednesday that community policing starts with visibility. If officers engage in problem-solving, they know what's normal in the neighborhoods and shopping centers they frequent.

“It starts with being transparent to the public, and solving problems when they come up,” he said. “I have to learn how to give the officers what they need to solve these problems.”

There isn't a long list of similarities between Kimble's last two jobs — chief of the Fayetteville State University police and chief in Spring Lake, North Carolina — and his next. At the university, community policing was easy. Many of the students were open to interacting with the police, because they wanted to make sure they knew the proper way to legally throw a house party, or what is legal at a basketball game and what is not. In Spring Lake, there have been just three unsolved homicides since 1991. In Killeen, there are five unsolved homicides this year.

Kimble knows that, and he knows he can't approach the Killeen community in the same way he's approached others.

“I think the first thing I want to do is talk to people in the different neighborhoods,” Kimble said in a Wednesday phone call. “What's effective in Spring Lake or Fayetteville may not be effective in Killeen. Get to know the neighborhoods, find out what we're working with before you commit to any specific approach.”

Interim police Chief Margaret Young listed a few events Killeen police participate in to connect with residents. Chick-Fil-A hosts an event called “soda pop with a cop,” and local barbershops host a “cops and barbers.” In addition to these scheduled events, she said, officers have practiced community policing by playing sports, getting their patrol cars washed at local fundraising events and attending birthday parties.

During Tuesday's City Council meeting, Young introduced a concept known as DDACTS: Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety. The idea is to look at crime numbers and provide police coverage to areas that are more susceptible to crime or traffic violations at a certain time of day.

Using geomapping to identify areas that have high incidences of crime and crashes, DDACTS uses traffic enforcement strategies that play a dual role in fighting crime and reducing crashes and traffic violations. Using the knowledge that crimes often involve the use of motor vehicles, the goal of DDACTS is to reduce the incidence of crime, crashes, and traffic violations, according to the National Institute of Justice's website.

Killeen police will transition toward this data-driven system by the time Kimble is set to take over.

Police currently do not have any foot patrols and the department temporarily suspended its bicycle patrol program while the department undergoes a restructuring. That program allows officers to interact with residents more closely than they might be able to while spending all day inside a car.

Officer foot patrols are one of the most basic instances of community policing. When an officer gets out of his or her car, it allows for another element of interaction with the people an officer might come in contact with every day. Since the 1970s, experts have debated whether or not foot patrols really decrease the likelihood of crime, or whether it just makes law-abiding residents feel safer.

In 2009, a study conducted by Temple University in conjunction with the Philadelphia police department came to the conclusion that increased officers on foot in the 60 violent crime hotbeds of the city identified “a significant reduction in violent crime.” In Philadelphia, the department prevented an estimated 53 violent crimes from 2006 to 2008.

Kimble walked up and down Hay Street — the area with more than a dozen bars and plenty of crazy night life — during his time in Fayetteville. He said while he couldn't quantify just exactly how many crimes were prevented or deterred because of his presence, he did know he developed a feel for the business owners and regular customers.

“You got to know the people who went into where, and you had an inkling when things weren't right,” he said.



Dept of Justice -- PRESS RELEASE

Murrieta Man Sentenced to 17 years in Federal Prison for Enticing Girl to Take Pictures while Engaged in Sexually Explicit Acts

LOS ANGELES – A Murietta man has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to enticing a girl who lived in the Seattle area to engage in sexually explicit activity that resulted in the production of child pornography.

Curtis Audun Larssen, 33, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge S. James Otero to 210 months in prison.

Larssen pleaded guilty in June 2017 to one count of using the internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

According to court documents, Larssen directed a girl, who is described as being no older than 13, to have sexual contact with adult men. Larssen encouraged the victim to allow him to watch the sexual conduct, and to take photos and videos to send to Larssen. In one case, the girl sent Larssen a photo showing her engaged in sexual activity with a 35-year-old man.

In a plea agreement, Larssen admitted that he used a peer-to-peer network to trade child pornography. During a search of his residence in 2014, authorities found in his possession approximately 470 videos depicting child pornography.

Once he completes his prison sentence, Larssen will be on supervised release for the rest of his life.

Larssen was one of 11 defendants arrested in April 2016 as part of Operation Wide Net, an investigation conducted by the Los Angeles Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. ICAC includes special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service. These federal law enforcement agencies work with local law enforcement partners, including the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

The case against Larssen was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chou of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.


FROM: Thom Mrozek, Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer

United States Attorney's Office, Central District of California (Los Angeles)

O: 213-894-6947
M: 213-494-9261



Ohio Sheriff: "I'm angry with myself," as search continues for escaped inmate

by WANE Staff Reports

PAULDING COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) – Multiple law enforcement agencies continue to search for an “armed and dangerous” prisoner who escaped from a transport van Friday afternoon northeast of Paulding. Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers said the search for 32-year-old Brandon Powell is primarily located between Antwerp – his place of residence – and the area where he got away from Deputy Robert Miller at County Road 133 and 176.

Landers said Friday that Powell was restrained in shackles and handcuffs when he scaled a row of seats and attacked Miller. Landers said the inmate put Miller in a headlock which caused the transport van to crash.

Powell then stole Miller's gun, extra ammunition, and handcuff key.

Powell then forced Miller to handcuff himself.

“We're going to work tirelessly, we won't sleep, we're going to do whatever we can to sniff this guy out,” said Landers on Friday.

On the phone Saturday evening, Landers said agents from the FBI and US Marshals office are assisting local authorities with the search. A $2,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the capture of Powell.

Sunday, Landers expressed frustration.

“I'm angry with myself,” he said. “I take accountability for my office and the actions of my office. There's a couple of things I know could have prevented this issue from happening that are changes that we'll put in place immediately administratively.”

Landers wouldn't explain what those changes are, but made it clear this should not have happened.

“He was properly restrained, he was properly shackled, and he was properly belted,” he continued. “This individual is a unique situation. He had a plan. He had thought out what he was going to do and he had the opportunity. What I'm most upset about myself is if he didn't have the opportunity, [we] wouldn't be here today.”

Since they haven't received any solid tips of a sighting and Powell hasn't made contact with people close to him, officers are beginning to think Powell may have killed himself.

“Well I think we have to keep that as an option,” Landers said. “I mean obviously the subject was in a different state of mind. He was going through a portion of his life where he made comments that he wanted to end his life.”

Miller was not seriously hurt in the incident and Landers said the deputy was “doing well” when he saw him Saturday.

Powell is considered armed and dangerous with at least a 40-caliber handgun and 30 bullets.

On July 8, Powell was arrested in Hicksville after a rape investigation by the Antwerp Police Department. He was booked on a felony rape charge but became suicidal in jail, according to Landers. Powell was admitted to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo for treatment.

He was released from that treatment Friday and Deputy Miller was tasked with returning Powell to the Paulding County Jail.

The search for Powell has included a helicopter, K-9 officers, and other specialized tools.

Landers asks the public to remain vigilant and call 911 immediately if they see Powell or anything suspicious. Tips can also be sent to the sheriff using the email

Saturday, Landers said he's already planning to change the way his department transports prisoners.

“We've been doing it this way for decades and this one got us,” Landers said by phone Saturday.

The sheriff plans to speak with county commissioners in the next few days about changes. Landers said the changes will likely cost more money, but county officials have been supportive.