Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plans to curb Chicago summer violence includes focus on 15 high-violence beats
Facing pressure to reduce skyrocketing Chicago violence, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday said her administration will focus this summer on 15 police beats that she said account for a major chunk of the city’s street crime. Police will work in these areas but the city also will team up with community groups, libraries, and other providers to mentor young people as part of Lightfoot’s summer strategy, mirroring her administration’s previous approach to Chicago violence. The beats are largely concentrated on the South and West Sides, ranging from Austin, North Lawndale and West Humboldt Park to South Chicago, Roseland and Auburn Gresham.chicagotribune.com
Virginia law enforcement training in Lynchburg teaches new philosophy for interviewing suspects
Law enforcement from across the Commonwealth were in Lynchburg to learn a new philosophy from Justice 3D Consulting. Mark Mackizer, co-owner and retired FBI special agent, said the training goes against traditional modules of interviewing suspects.
Middle school resource officer named Salem’s 2020 Officer of the Year
SALEM, Va. – If you’re walking the halls of Andrew Lewis Middle School, you’ll find a friendly face: Officer David Goodman. He’s been a school resource officer there for the past three years, following in his dad’s footsteps who also worked for the Salem Police Department. But Goodman’s making a name for himself as Salem’s 2020 Officer of the Year. Principal Jamie Garst said Goodman redefines what school resource officers should be. “We can teach them to be good officers, we can’t teach them to be good people,” said Crawley.
Ford City Mall shopper shot, seriously injured during ‘alarming, but isolated’ incident, officials say
Local law enforcement cleared the mall to resume business, though some retailers decided to close for the remainder of the day, and have certified that there is no present or immediate danger to the public, the statement said.chicagotribune.com
Bedford County Sheriff’s Office approved to apply for new body cameras
BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is taking another step in protecting the community and its deputies. It can now apply for a grant to purchase 15 new body cameras, after getting approval from the Bedford County Board of Supervisors on Monday. The Sheriff’s Office currently has about 70 cameras, but this will replace those that are worn out and take months to repair. The technology is used whenever a deputy is out of a patrol car and helps assure transparency. The $10,000 grant also requires a 50% match from the Sheriff’s Office.
Amherst leaders urge lawmakers to protect qualified immunity for law enforcement
AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – Amherst County leaders are urging Virginia lawmakers to protect qualified immunity for law enforcement. The Board of Supervisors issued a letter to express opposition against House bill 2045, which would make officers personally liable for any damages and fees. Dean Rodgers, the county’s administrator, says the existing law already promotes accountability, allowing prosecutions and civil lawsuits to move forward. “If you’re outside the scope of your employment; if you’re doing something that you weren’t taught, trained, advised, managed to do, then you’re on your own,” said Rodgers. Rodgers says the bill would also force localities to pay higher insurance costs and make it harder for them to recruit law enforcement.
Pulaski County deputy killed in Route 11 crash laid to rest
PULASKI, Va. – The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office mourned one of their own on Sunday. Sergeant Perry Hodge, a well-known school resource officer in Pulaski County, was killed early Thursday when his truck was hit head-on while driving on Route 11 near Dublin. Deputies paid tribute to Hodge with a group ride from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office to the funeral. Pulaski-based motorcycle club Faith Ryders stopped to pray at the Route 11 memorial before the funeral. Pulaski County Sheriff's OfficeCharges are pending against the other driver, 26-year-old Michael Morris of Pulaski.
Vinton hires familiar faces as new town manager, police chief
The town hired familiar faces to replace the outgoing town manager and police chief. Assistant town manager Pete Peters takes over as Vinton’s town manager, and deputy police chief Fabricio Drumond is now the town’s head of law enforcement. Peters had been assistant town manager for five years. He had served as interim town manager since his predecessor, Barry Thompson, announced his retirement. He replaces former police chief Thomas Foster, who became the United States Marshal for the Western District of Virginia.
Roanoke County leaders consider raising officer pay after losing nearly 20% of department this year
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County leaders are springing into action as the police department deals with record shortages. “26 is darn close to 20% of our workforce out in a year and you know we still have another five weeks left of the year,” Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall said. When it comes to starting pay, Roanoke County isn’t far off from others in our area, at $39,221. The table below shows how Roanoke County compares to some other localities in the region:Locality Starting Officer Salary Radford $42,555 Montgomery County $40,800 Lynchburg $40,019 Roanoke County $39,221 Roanoke City $38,639.75 Danville $36,812 Franklin County About $36,000 Bedford County $34,641It’s the pay beyond that starting salary holding Roanoke County leaders back. Hall said they should have a proposal for a new pay scale soon.
Campbell County Sheriff’s Office recognizes members for service
CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va. – Family, friends and Campbell County law enforcement officials gathered at Rustburg High School Friday to recognize 40 people who, according to Sheriff Whit Clark, have gone out of their way for the community. “Every single day they come to work to serve the citizens of Campbell County. One of them was Deputy Brian Davis, who retired from the department after seven years. Davis started in Campbell County elementary schools following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. He said after that mass shooting, protecting the lives of thousands of Campbell County students meant even more to him.
Police, race and inequality experts share mixed reactions about Virginia police reform bill
A new law would limit what offenses police officers could pull people over for. Law enforcement agencies and race and inequality experts have mixed reactions. The bill passed by the Virginia General Assembly stops law enforcement officers from stopping or searching anyone solely based upon the odor of marijuana. Law enforcement has no interest in doing something like that," said Ramsey. The governor has to sign the bill by Wednesday night or he can recommend changes and send it back to the General Assembly.
Cops and community gather for ‘National Night Out’
The views expressed in this article are those of the advertiser and do not necessarily reflect those of this site or affiliated companies. The department participated in “National Night Out,” an annual event focused on strengthening the bond between law enforcement and the community. Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema stressed the department’s connection with the community following violent demonstrations earlier this year. “If we’ve heard anything as a part of this movement, it’s that we’re going to continue to listen to our residents. We got a lot of really good feedback from folks in our community, and I think that’s an ongoing process" said Zuidema.
Roanoke city police academy battling unprecedented challenges head-on
ROANOKE, Va. – Police departments across the country are having a hard time finding enough officers. Roanoke city’s latest academy is working to address the challenges driving the shortage, from COVID-19 to the current climate around policing. COVID-19 has complicated the process but it hasn’t kept 12 recruits from pursuing careers as Roanoke city police officers. “Just really help people to be honest, just serve and protect,” said Lauren Camper, a Roanoke police recruit. “Training new officers is really our best way to make a better impact on the community and the department,” Masters said.
Danville city councilmembers tour proposed police station site
DANVILLE, Va. – Plans for Danville’s proposed police station are in limbo until the November election, but city councilmembers took a tour of the property before the big vote. The funding for its renovation to become the new Danville Police Station depends on the vote for a proposed Caesars casino in town. If the vote for the casino passes, Caesars would spend $20 million on Danville municipal projects, including the new police station. Councilmember Lee Vogler hopes Danville residents think about the proposed police station when they cast their votes this election season. "It will also do things with the White Mill and Riverfront Park.”Currently, the Danville Police Department is headquartered at the bottom floor of Danville City Hall.
Virginia House revives bill to end immunity for police
RICHMOND, Va. – A bill to end qualified immunity for police officers in Virginia was revived Tuesday, a day after the legislation failed to win approval from a key committee. The legislation was defeated Monday when two Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee voted with Republicans against it. But on Tuesday, the committee reconsidered and approved the legislation, sending it to the full House for a vote. The bill is a top priority for Democrats during a special legislative session focused on police and criminal justice reforms. A similar bill failed in the Senate last week when the Judiciary Committee voted to send the proposal for further study.
Roanoke County officer’s de-escalation training helped calm down 9-year-old after school bus incident
Morris rushed to the bus stop near Pinevale and Garst Mill Roads. Police said a 9-year-old boy, who has behavioral issues, was getting on the bus but refused to wear a mask. When he was asked to sit in the back, he got aggressive and attacked the school bus monitor. “Your concerns, obviously, go to the safety of the children - all of the children - that are on the bus,” said Morris. That’s when Morris, a mom and a school resource officer, stepped in.
Roanoke Valley Republicans ‘Back the Blue’ at rally in support of police
ROANOKE, Va. – Dozens of people gathered in Roanoke on Tuesday for a “Back the Blue” rally. Two Republican Roanoke City Council candidates, Peg McGuire and Maynard Keller, teamed up with Virginia Republican Senate candidate Daniel Gade and Congressman Ben Cline to show their support for local law enforcement. The event was held outside SafeSide Tactical where speakers talked about the importance of supporting police officers, not defunding them. This event comes as the General Assembly holds a special session in Richmond focusing on police reform. There was also a voter registration booth at the event.
Virginia police chiefs take stance on proposals for reform ahead of special session
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Police reform will take center stage in Virginia during next week’s special session. With all eyes on police reform, those who enforce the laws are speaking up, hoping those who make the laws will listen. The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) is taking a stance on nearly 40 measures up for debate. Hall said there’s always room for improvement, but not being realistic could threaten the safety of our communities and our officers. “I think it would make Virginia a more dangerous place,” Hall said.
Radford officers rescue tuber from New River
RADFORD, Va. – Two Radford police officers are being recognized for their lifesaving efforts on the New River after they responded to a tuber in distress call on Aug. 2. When they arrived at the New River near Riverview Park, the officers immediately jumped in and swam over to the tuber, eventually getting them safely to shore, according to the Radford City Police Department. Radford Fire and EMS examined the tuber before they were taken home. In a release, Radford Police Chief Jeff Dodson said, “Officers Coffey and Benson acted admirably and as heroes, putting another’s life before their own. They also thanked the police officers and Radford Fire and EMS.
Lynchburg police swear in 11 new officers
LYNCHBURG, Va. Lynchburg now has 11 new protectors on the streets. The group of officers were sworn in on Thursday in front of their family and friends. The department said its been a long eight months for these officers because the pandemic interrupted their classes. You said, No, not me, Im here and this is what Im going to do. So, thank you, Deputy Chief Mark Jamison said. They have four new Black officers and also four women.
What it means for you as Roanoke County police face worst staffing issues in history
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – The Roanoke County Police Department is dealing with the worst staffing issues it’s ever had. “Most of the people that were hired around the same time as me, a lot of them have left. “I think a lot of times we’re discouraged with the negativity in the current climate and the way that law enforcement is portrayed,” Schmitt said. The Roanoke County Police Department is holding a Diversity in Law Enforcement Recruiting event on Aug. 25. It’s happening at 6 p.m. at the Roanoke County Criminal Justice Academy, located at 5401 Barnes Ave. Officers will be present to answer questions and talk about starting a career in law enforcement.
Franklin County K9 gets new body armor thanks to donation
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – A local K9 is ready to safely take on the job thanks to a donation of a bullet and stab-proof protective vest. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office received a donation for their K9, Sasha, from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., sponsored by Don and Misty Fike of Galesburg, IL. The nonprofit’s mission is to “provide bullet and stab-protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the country.”Two-year-old Sasha’s vest is in full service as she works alongside her handler, deputy Alejandro with the Sheriff’s Office.
Act of kindness: Salem officers change local business owner’s flat tire
SALEM, Va. – Chauncey Savage was nearly flat out of luck when his truck got a flat tire. Minutes later, a couple Salem police officers just happened to show up. The officers directed traffic and changed the tire for him, joined by a plain clothes state trooper who stopped to help too. “As a black man walking around in Salem, I never have a problem with worrying about the police department. Officers’ wives, including Crystal Slusser, raised $1,200 from friends, family and local businesses to buy snacks and drinks for the department.
Defund or disband police? Heres the difference
Whos going to respond to the armed robberies? Whos going to do the criminal investigations if you have a homicide? Whos going to have access to the information that is sometimes confidential?" What youre talking about is taking money away from the police and putting it into other areas, such as social services, health services, where it could also be needed, said Burke. Lea did say city council would look at the budget to see if they could reallocate some funding to things like social services or education.
‘He’s a fighter, and he can do this’: Surprise ceremony encourages former officer with cancer
FOREST, Va. – Dave Weeks served as a police officer in Lynchburg for 34 years. On Sunday, his old department provided him with a different kind of service to help him through his fight with cancer. Zuidema said he called all of the surrounding law enforcement agencies to help with the surprise visit. “He’s a fighter and he can do this.”Weeks served with the Lynchburg Police Department from 1958 to 1992. “He’s been a great light to us, and he’s a great man," Eldredge said.
Baltimore places new focus on police mental wellness
According to a nonprofit group, more than 200 current or former police officers took their own lives nationwide in 2019. In Baltimore, the police department is trying to do something about it. Sliding into a cruiser, Baltimore police Sgt. Watts turned to Vernon Herron, director of BPD Officer Safety & Wellness Section, a program to identify and help officers who may be struggling. More than 200 current or former police officers took their own lives in 2019.
FBI warns U.S. law enforcement to be vigilant
FBI warns U.S. law enforcement to be vigilant Following the two hostage crises in France, the FBI is warning American law enforcement to be alert. U.S. officials are studying the attack in France, as it has every terrorist strike since 9/11. Jeff Pegues reports.cbsnews.com