In The News

In The News

Using Policy to Lead Cultural Change in Law Enforcement: The Vigo County Story

Major Jeff Fox knew his agency’s policies were lacking. Although he had been part of an effort to write the Vigo County (IN) Sheriff’s Office policy manual, the result was more than 10 years old, and had never met the agency’s needs completely. “It was really more of a merit rules book, with basics like how to wear your uniform,…

4th Circuit: State's Concealed Weapons Laws Don't Usurp Officer Safety Concerns

By Ken Wallentine United States v. Robinson, 846 F.3d 694 (4th Cir. 2017) (en banc) An anonymous caller told police that he had just “witnessed a black male in a bluish greenish Toyota Camry load a firearm [and] conceal it in his pocket” in the parking lot of a 7–Eleven store well known for drug trafficking. The tipster reported that…

Photo Lineup ID Admissible, Despite Violating Eyewitness Identification Procedures

By Ken Wallentine Commonwealth v. Thomas, 2017 WL 581933 (Mass. 2017) Thomas was a backseat passenger in a car driven by Humphrey-Frazer. Johnson was the front seat passenger. Thomas saw a person in a crowd standing in front of a house and he fired his gun toward the person. Someone returned fire and struck Humphrey-Frazer in the head, killing him.…

No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Police Transport Van

By Ken Wallentine United States v. Paxton, 2017 WL 655432 (7th Cir. 2017) Paxton, his brother and three other men agreed to rob a drug stash house. The person who enlisted their participation in the robbery was an undercover officer posing as a courier for a Mexican cartel. Moreover, the stash house was merely an empty warehouse chosen for the…

Fifth Circuit: Recording Police Officers Is a Clearly Established Right

By Ken Wallentine Turner v. Driver, 2017 WL 650186 (5th Cir. 2017) Turner was video recording a police station. Two officers drove up and approached him. The officers asked for Turner’s identification. Turner asked whether he was being detained. When an officer replied affirmatively, Turner asked what crime supported the detention. He refused to produce identification. The officers suddenly grabbed…

A Firefighter's Perspective on Reducing Police Line of Duty Deaths

By Sean W. Stumbaugh, Battalion Chief (Retired) Last month we discussed the number 100 and the significance this number holds for both police and fire services. The number represents a benchmark for annual firefighter and law enforcement officer line of duty deaths (LODDs). There are some police and firefighter deaths we can't prevent. But the hard…

Prison Reform: The Origin of Contemporary Jail Standards

By Lynne Woodruff, Kane County (IL) Sheriff’s Office (ret.) Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series on the history of jails. Read the article "Understanding Our Roots: A Brief History of Prisons." Jail facilities in the United States are governed by hundreds of state and federal laws, as well as standards imposed by state auditing bodies or accreditation…

Lexipol's Jennie Pierce Volunteers in New Mexico Jail Diversion Program

By Stephen Montoya , Rio Rancho Observer staff writer Editor's note: This article is reprinted with permission. Find the original article here. Jennie Pierce is a Management Services Representative for Lexipol.  Jennie Pierce, ASPEN instructor, talks to a group of students about issues involving their misdemeanor convictions. ASPEN is an alternative six-hour class people convicted of a…

Where Do We Go from Here? Considering Proactive Policing Through the Lens of Ethics and Policy

By Donald R. Weaver The last few years have been a trying time for law enforcement. What some thought were isolated incidents of protests, ridicule and scorn now feels like the new normal across the country. It is understandable that many in law enforcement are feeling discouraged by the onslaught of critical news headlines and what can feel like a…

Implicit Bias and Law Enforcement: Reducing Blame and Understanding the Brain

By Chief (Ret.) Jerry Matysik When we talk about diversity, prejudice and racism in law enforcement, the conversation often seems to center on blame. The implication is that certain people hold improper attitudes toward others, and those people are flawed. When people are criticized for their beliefs, they tend to get defensive and attempt to justify (and further solidify) their…

The Value of Civilians in Law Enforcement - Building a Better Team

By Shirl Tyner For several decades, law enforcement agencies across the nation have found great value in the use of civilian employees. Managers recognize that civilian employees have unique skills that work together with law enforcement officers. It is how those civilian employees are utilized that appears to be so different, even today. For many years, civilians in law enforcement…

Understanding Our Roots: A Brief History of Prisons

By Lynne Woodruff, Kane County (IL) Sheriff’s Office (ret.) Have you ever wondered about the history of prisons? Why were jails necessary? What were they like? How have they changed over the centuries? Since the beginning of recorded civilization, violators of social order have been dealt with in myriad ways, but we can group them generally into seven strategies: 1.…

National Consensus Policy on Use of Force Should Not Trigger Changes to Agency Policies

By Bruce D. Praet, Esq. Co-Founder & Director, Lexipol, LLC Continuous improvement is at the heart of law enforcement and risk management. And use of force is likely the most scrutinized topic in the crossover between these two disciplines. Certainly, no one disputes the need to continuously improve use of force policies. But it’s the way in which we do…

Invoking the Right to an Attorney Takes More Than Just a Magic Word

By Ken Wallentine State v. Holman, 502 S.W.3d 621 (Mo. 2016) Holman’s wife shot him in the arm. Holman returned the favor by shooting his wife, killing her. He then called 911. Arriving officers knocked, and Holman invited them into the house. Sitting in the ambulance receiving treatment for his bullet wound, Holman expressed disbelief in his actions and said…

Officers Shoot Dogs During Enforcement Action: Fourth Amendment Violation?

By Ken Wallentine Brown v. Battle Creek Police Department, 844 F.3d 556 (6th Cir. 2016) A confidential informant reported that Jones was selling drugs from a house owned by Nesbitt. Cheryl Brown and Mark Brown lived in the basement. Officers also found baggies with residue of marijuana and cocaine from a trash pull. The officers obtained a search warrant for…

Supreme Court: Qualified Immunity Analysis Must Be Specific

By Ken Wallentine White v. Pauly, 2017 WL 69170 (U.S. 2017) (per curiam) Many lawsuits against police officers are stopped short of a trial by the qualified immunity doctrine, which protects officers from suit when the officers’ actions don’t violate “clearly established” rights. But just what does it mean to say that a right is “clearly established”? Officers responded to…

Calling for Backup: Changing Law Enforcement Culture So Officers Are Not Afraid to Ask for Help

By Donald R. Weaver Send me another unit 10-33 Requesting backup Signal 00 Roll cover Officer needs assistance Officer needs help Chances are, you have uttered at least one of these phrases before, and you have responded to countless similar requests from others. While the exact terminology or urgency of the requests may vary, at their core, each request communicates…

Firefighter Line-of-Duty Deaths: Combat the Stats

By Sean W. Stumbaugh, Battalion Chief (Retired) 100. It’s a nice round number; however, in this case there is nothing nice about it. In both law enforcement and the fire service, this number represents a benchmark we would like to avoid. Annual line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) seem to hover around 100 for cops and firefighters. Both disciplines use this number as…

Lexipol Releases Annual Firefighter Training Topic Report

Agencies using Lexipol’s Fire Daily Training Bulletin (DTB) program had access to 120 unique firefighter training bulletins last year, covering topics ranging from swiftwater rescue to code enforcement. A new report from Lexipol provides details into the topics covered in the training program, which is available to all Lexipol Fire client agencies. DTBs use a proven system of realistic and…

Lexipol Releases Annual Corrections Officer Training Topic Report

Agencies using Lexipol’s Custody Daily Training Bulletin (DTB) program had access to 240 unique corrections officer training bulletins last year, covering topics ranging from inmate safety checks to sanitation inspections. A new report from Lexipol provides details into the topics covered in the training program, which is available to all Lexipol Custody client agencies. DTBs use a proven system of…

Lexipol Releases Annual Law Enforcement Training Topic Report

Agencies using Lexipol’s Daily Training Bulletin (DTB) program had access to more than 360 unique law enforcement training bulletins last year, covering topics ranging from tattoos to active-shooter response. A new report from Lexipol provides details on the topics covered in the training program, which is available to all Lexipol client agencies. DTBs use a proven system of realistic and verifiable…

Lexipol to Host Webinar on How Law Enforcement Agencies Can Save Thousands with a Quick Settlement Program

If you could set up a simple program that could save your agency thousands of dollars in legal fees and settlement costs, while also improving relationships with community members, would you? Of course! And you can. Join us for a webinar on January 31, 2017. In “How to Save Thousands with a Quick Settlement Program," Lexipol co-founder and attorney Bruce Praet…

Law Enforcement Response to Fires: New Video, Training Program Connects Fire and Police

Law enforcement officers often arrive at fire scenes before firefighters. Their actions, therefore, can have life or death impact. Each year officers risk their lives to save trapped fire victims. Unfortunately, each year there are also many incidents where officers’ actions have the potential to complicate and even worsen a fire scene. Although police and firefighters often respond together and…

Officer-Involved Shooting: Voluntary or Compelled Statement?

Shooting a suspect can rattle the most experienced law enforcement officer. Even in the best-case scenario, you will be faced with explaining your actions; if there are any doubts about whether this was a “good shooting,” your career and life can change forever. Therefore, it’s critical to know what to expect and how to react. In the recent webinar, “I…

2016’s Top Public Safety Articles from Lexipol

It’s the end of the year and you’re probably reading a lot of “top 10” lists. We didn’t want to be left out! Lexipol published more than 75 articles this year from our team of current and former public safety professionals. So with no further ado, here’s our list of most-read articles from 2016! Top Legal Article Q&A: Common Issues…

Emergency Aid Doctrine Triggered by Confidential Informant’s Overdose

By Ken Wallentine Officers received a tip from a confidential informant that Belser was distributing heroin. The informant told police that he bought heroin from Belser at his home. The informant agreed to make a controlled buy. Officers monitored a phone call arranging for the drug deal. Belser told the informant to pick up the heroin at his house. The…

Unlawful Seizure Determination Rests on the Phrase "I Need You To"

An officer went to White’s home after a citizen saw a hit-and-run crash and noted the description and license plate of the car that fled. Arriving at White’s home, the officer saw a car that matched the description in the open garage. The officer pulled into the driveway and turned on his emergency lights. He saw White walking toward the…

Can a Regional Approach to Public Safety Policy Review Work?

By Gregg Satula When it comes to public safety policy review, does it make sense to use regional workgroups? We get asked this question by customers on occasion. Some would like to work with their neighbors collaboratively; others want to outright copy/paste what a neighboring agency has done. When I first became a use of force instructor, I quickly learned…

Exigent Circumstances Justify Warrantless Cell Site Location Information

By Ken Wallentine Gilliam physically forced a minor girl to accompany him from Maryland to New York City, where he raped her. Gilliam told the girl that he would force her younger sister into prostitution if she didn’t work for him as a prostitute. The girl’s foster mother reported to police that she was missing. After an investigator learned of…

No Need to Tell Judge about StingRay Use

By Ken Wallentine Patrick failed to comply with his parole terms. Officers obtained an initial arrest warrant and a second warrant authorizing them to use cell phone data to locate Patrick. Officers used a “StingRay” to locate Patrick. When they found him, he was armed, so he was charged with a federal offense of possession of a weapon by a…

3 Takeaways from the COPS 2016 State of Policing Report

Law enforcement agencies across the country are still trying to understand and implement the recommendations from the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. One of those recommendations was to provide an annual report on the state of policing. Earlier this month, COPS released the inaugural report. The report’s findings will not be a huge surprise…

Legal Issues Arising from Traffic Stops

A recent ruling in Maryland (Sellman v. State, 2016 WL 4470904 (Md. 2016)) raises some of the most common questions raised about traffic stops and passengers: -May an officer require the driver and passengers to get out of the car, solely for safety reasons and without any individual reasonable suspicion of criminal activity? -May an officer require the driver and passengers…

Firefighters and High-Visibility Vests: A Matter of Inches

By Sean W. Stumbaugh, Battalion Chief (Retired) In his address to the Fire Department Instructors Conference in 2011, FDNY Lieutenant Ray McCormack stated, “Just before I came here I got my new Sector Vest. It’s highly reflective and it goes over your highly reflective bunker coat … I didn’t think I’d like it but it’s starting to grow on me.”…

Tips for Better Correctional Officer Report Writing

By Lynne Woodruff, Kane County (IL) Sheriff’s Office (ret.) Recently I read two books written by former corrections officers. I enjoyed both and the stories were engaging; however, I was somewhat distracted while reading because the books contained misspellings and poor grammar and punctuation. Where were the editors during the final review? This led me to think about what the…

Why PERF’s Prohibition on Shooting at Vehicles Sells Agencies Short

By Chief Michael Ranalli, Esq. Editor’s note: This article is the last in a series excerpted and adapted from an article originally printed in The Chief’s Chronicle; New York State Assn. of Chiefs of Police. Article 1: Priority of Life: Building a Better Model for PERF’s First Guiding Principle Article 2: Above and Beyond Graham v. Connor? Examining PERF’s Second…

3 Best Practices for Accelerating Public Safety Policy Review and Approval

By Gregg Satula Let’s face it: For many agencies, the process of reviewing new policies or policy updates is a real headache. Who should be involved in the process? How long should you plan for review? In some agencies, a strict top-down approach works, with only one or two people reviewing policy content before it’s approved and issued. But in…

Decision Expected Soon from Supreme Court on Historical CSLI Petition

By Ken Wallentine Earlier this year, Xiphos told you about using historical cell site location information (CSLI) to help convict Aaron Graham of armed robbery. Graham and his accomplice, Eric Jordan, were convicted of a string of armed robberies. They challenged the prosecution’s use of historical cell site location information (CSLI) to show that the suspects were in the vicinity…

Officer Immune for Alleged Unlawful Entry During Hot Pursuit

By Ken Wallentine Gutierrez ran a stop sign. An officer tried to pull her over and she sped up and drove to her mother’s apartment several blocks away. The officer pursued. When Gutierrez stopped her truck, she bailed out and ran to the door of the apartment. The officer followed, deploying his TASER® and firing at Gutierrez’ back. A scuffle…

Frisk Producing Key Fob Fails to Meet Plain Feel Doctrine

By Ken Wallentine An officer saw a car slow at an intersection, as if to turn. Then the driver paused and drove straight ahead. The officer checked the license plate and learned that the car had been reported as stolen. The officer followed the car, but lost it after a turn. He cruised through the neighborhood looking for the car.…

What Happens Now? Fire Service Leadership Following the Election

By Chief Sam DiGiovanna Our nation’s recent presidential election is causing a lot of divisiveness. Some are angry and afraid, some are gloating. There have been protests, injuries, destruction of property, name-calling and bullying. But wait! Before you say, “There goes Sam on his soap box. I’m not reading any further,” please just give me a minute or two more…

Addressing Correctional Officer Stress

By Lynne Woodruff, Kane County (IL) Sheriff’s Office (ret.) Stress has long been acknowledged as being detrimental to correctional officers’ health. So what does the research show concerning this topic? Not as much as one would expect. Understanding Stress One author describes stressors as “the condition that places excessive or unusual demands on a person and are capable of creating…

Improving Law Enforcement Hiring Starts from Within

By Greg Barlow, CSP, CET In my first article in this series, I said the first step in improving law enforcement hiring practices is to recognize the problem. That may sound simplistic, but think about it for a second: Improving law enforcement hiring cannot start with just the current and future candidates—it must start within the existing team. The law…

Learning to Lead: Why departments must take a proactive approach to fire officer development

By Sean W. Stumbaugh, Battalion Chief (Retired) There is one simple truth about the passing of time: It’s relentless. Like swift-moving water, time rushes past you and you can do nothing to slow it down. For you and your department this truth has an impact. For you, time keeps marching you toward your retirement date. For your department, time is…

World Series? For Firefighters, Every Day Is Game Day

Baseball season is now at an end. I often wonder what it takes to get to the World Series. One characteristic that great ball players share: They aren’t afraid to fail. Fear of failure is a common issue in sports psychology, but it’s something that non-athletes can relate to. When you’re afraid to fail, you set high expectations for yourself…

The Legitimacy Test: A more practical approach to de-escalation

By Chief (Ret.) Michael Ranalli, Esq. Editor’s note: This article, part of series, has been excerpted and adapted from an article originally printed in The Chief’s Chronicle; New York State Assn. of Chiefs of Police. Read the first article here and the second article here.  Law enforcement leaders today face significant pressure to change use of force policies and procedures. Much of…

Swiping gift cards isn’t a search—at least for now

By Ken Wallentine Turner was a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation. The officer discovered an arrest warrant for Turner. The officer told Turner to get out of the car. As Turner got out, the officer saw a plastic bag that appeared to have been shoved under Turner’s seat. The officer arrested Turner and placed him in…

Search of backpack incident to arrest can’t be justified when suspect is handcuffed and distant

By Ken Wallentine A grocery store security officer saw Snyder shoplift two steaks and place them in his backpack. The security officer and another person detained Snyder outside the store. During the confrontation, Snyder sustained a broken kneecap. The security officer handcuffed Snyder and called the police. An officer advised Snyder of his Miranda rights and questioned him. Snyder was…

Massachusetts Supreme Court forges new rules for language interpretation

By Ken Wallentine A man driving to work in the very early morning hours saw AdonSoto driving in the middle of the road, straddling the divider line. AdonSoto was driving toward a large truck in the oncoming lane as the truck driver blasted the horn. The man called police as he followed AdonSoto for a short time and watched her…

Hamilton Township (OH) Police Department using Lexipol to enhance service, accountability

October 27, 2016—The Hamilton Township Police Department (HTPD) is stepping up its game. This week, Police Chief Scott Hughes announced that the department has embarked on an ambitious project to revamp the department’s policy and procedures manual. HTPD will work with Lexipol, the leading provider of law enforcement policies and related training, to develop the new manual. The goal: ensure…

Communicating after an OIS: One Department’s Experience

By Shannon Pieper On May 21, 2015, Chief Ronnie Roberts of the Olympia Police Department (OPD) got the call every chief dreads: One of his officers, who is white, had shot and critically wounded two young black males. With the country already bitterly divided over recent incidents like that in Ferguson, MO, Chief Roberts knew this incident could quickly boil…

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Jim Franklin, Executive Director
Minnesota Sheriffs' Association, MN

"Lexipol is, indeed, ahead of the curve with their unique risk management solutions in law enforcement. The Minnesota Sheriffs' Association has been eagerly anticipating the release of the Lexipol Custody Manual. Lexipol meets the needs of law enforcement and custodial agencies by recognizing the emerging challenges facing our agencies, and providing comprehensive tools and resources to reduce liability and risk in a professional and highly efficient manner. The Minnesota Sheriffs' Association is proud of its continued partnership with Lexipol."

Chief Steven Vaccaro
Mokena (IL) Police Department

“If you compare Lexipol to other policy providers, Lexipol is the only one that has policy that has been vetted by other chiefs, industry experts and lawyers. All you have to do is tailor the policies to your agency’s needs.”

Captain Jesus Ochoa
Coronado (CA) Police Department

“Knowing that Lexipol is keeping our policies current means that there isn’t something else for us to worry about. We can focus on our jobs. That definitely gives us peace of mind.”

Chief Joseph Morris
Arapahoe Community College (CO) Police Department

“Officers are not infallible. We have limited memories like everyone else. Working under stress presents more challenges. There are times we need to access policies in the field so we are comfortable in our decision making. The mobile application has been great for this!”

Lt. Victor Pecoraro
Auburn (CA) Police Department

“The updates are super easy because you can pop them open, see the redline versions and be able to edit it on the fly. Once I learned I could do that, I was excited.”

Chief Corry Blount
Bartonville (TX) Police Department

“I feel comfortable that when we issue a policy, it covers what it needs to cover. It’s the most comprehensive policy content I’ve used in my career.”

Chief Greg Knott
Basalt (CO) Police Department

“Lexipol gives you peace of mind because the policies that you’re implementing have been reviewed by professionals in the field and by attorneys—not just your agency’s legal counsel.”

Lt. Ed Alvarez
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) (CA) Police Department

“I like the mobile app because it tells me no matter where I am when I have updates to complete or when people take the DTBs. No matter where I am, I have access. The officers can get real-time updates. Everything is at their fingertips, any time.”

Assistant Chief Bill Holmer
Glen Ellyn (IL) Police Department

“It’s a no-brainer for me. Someone is watching for changes to laws for me, and then tweaking the content based on those changes or updates in best practices.”

Deputy Chief Robin Passwater
Kankakee (IL) Police Department

“If you don’t have Lexipol, even with a full-time person dedicated to policy, there’s almost no way you can keep updated on all the laws and also have the training component. It’s an excellent system.”

Commander Leslie Burns
Mercer Island (WA) Police Department

“Lexipol provides a huge advantage for agencies pursuing accreditation. The tools take about 60% of the difficulty out of the accreditation process. If you want to be accredited, this is the way to do it.”

Chief Steven Vaccaro
Mokena (IL) Police Department

“If you compare Lexipol to other policy providers, Lexipol is the only one that has policy that has been vetted by other chiefs, industry experts and lawyers. All you have to do is tailor the policies to your agency’s needs.”

Chief Ralph Maher
Oak Creek (CO) Police Department

“With Lexipol, I know our policy manual is going to be up to date. I can turn my back on it today and tomorrow there will be any needed updates waiting for me. That allows me to focus on some of the other things I have to do as a chief.”

Chief Jeff Wilson
Orofino (ID) Police Department

“The Lexipol Policy Manual is easy to use, it’s convenient and you have peace of mind knowing that you have a thorough manual that is going to stand up to any challenge the agency may face.”

Chief Kelly Stillman
Rocky River (OH) Police Department

“I can’t say enough about the positives from a chief’s perspective. I don’t know why everyone isn’t with Lexipol.”

Deputy Chief John McGinty
Simi Valley (CA) Police Department

“You get sued for your policies or you get sued for your actions, or both. You can only do so much about actions. But having Lexipol gives me confidence that if we draw a lawsuit, our policies won’t come under attack.”

Sheriff Gerald Antinoro
Storey County (NV) Sheriff’s Office

“Lexipol is one of the best products I have seen in my 30+ years in law enforcement.”

Chief Deputy Lauren Osborne
Surry County (NC) Sheriff’s Office

“If there’s a change as a result of case law, or a procedure that needs to change, Lexipol does the legwork, sends it to us, we approve it and send it out to our people for acknowledgement—and it’s all documented.”

Chief David Maine
The Village of Hunting Valley (OH) Police Department

“What we had before Lexipol had been around for years. It was like every other policy manual I had seen: It didn’t get the updates it needed. The Lexipol manual is a living, breathing document.”

Captain Jeff Schneider
Yakima (WA) Police Department

“KMS tracks and logs when people acknowledge and accept updates, which is very important, and it lets us track who isn’t getting the updates so we can give them the appropriate attention.”

Chief John Defore
Hiawatha, KS

“By offering 365 daily training bulletins to my officers, I am saving far more than the cost of the software every year. In fact, I was able to show my commissioners a cost savings by utilizing Lexipol for our policy and policy training needs.”

Lt. Craig Capps
White County (TN) Sheriff's Office

"I would recommend Lexipol to any law enforcement agency, whether three-person or 2,000-person—it makes no difference. The program works.”

Sheriff Blaine Breshears
Morgan County (UT) Sheriff's Office

“We had a use of force lawsuit, and as soon as the attorneys discovered that we have Lexipol, they said, ‘We won’t have an issue there.’ Our policies were never in question.”

Chief Deputy Klint Anderson
Weber County (UT) Sheriff's Office

“We spent a considerable amount of money and effort trying to develop and maintain comprehensive and legally based policies and procedures. Lexipol has relieved us of that burden and provided us with a policy system that we have great confidence in and that we can tailor to suit our particular goals and community standards.”

Sgt. Bryan Ward
Cumberland County (PA) Sheriff's Office

"Calling Lexipol an insurance policy doesn’t do it justice, because it doesn’t capture the enormous power that partnering with Lexipol provides.”

Chief Deputy Ray Saylo
Carson City (NV) Sheriff's Office

"It’s a huge priority of this administration to teach policy to our sergeants, and Lexipol’s Daily Training Bulletins help us do that. We are constantly drilling into them that policy will protect them as an individual officer. If they ensure that their people are following policy, even if they’re sued, they will be OK.”

Major Jeff Fox
Vigo County (IN) Sheriff's Office

“Lexipol’s Implementation Services program was key to getting our manuals off the shelf. If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be implemented today. Departments should recognize their limitations and realize that they likely don’t have the resources to do it on their own. Implementation Services is key to getting it done.”

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