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Monday, January 29, 2007

Candace Waldron: Zero tolerance for battering officers

Two earlier related blog posts:
-
Her husband HEADED the Domestic Violence Unit of his police department
- [MA] Judge decides Officer O'Neil isn't DANGEROUS enough to hold


Sitting in: Zero tolerance for domestic abuse
Danvers Herald, MA - 7 hours ago
By Candace Waldron/HAWC Executive Director

Monday, January 29, 2007
[EXCERPTS]
"Zero tolerance is the standard that police departments and the courts should have for officers who resort to domestic assault... Judge Mori’s decision to release Rockport Patrolman Robert O’Neil on his own recognizance after he fired a .40 caliber handgun into a chair six inches from his wife’s head sent exactly the wrong message to victims, batterers and the community. It was a decision that once again, as is so often the case, put the interests of the abuser over those of his victims. Despite Rosa Benito’s expressed fear for her safety and the safety of their 2-year-old daughter, the officer is out of jail... Imagine calling the police to your home after a break in and robbery only to find out later that the officer is him- or herself an after-hours burglar. Would you trust that person to investigate the crime committed against you?... Victim advocates across the country can attest to the heightened level of danger that partners of abusive law enforcement personnel face when attempting to escape. Police officers can avail themselves of powerful information and tracking technologies, they have access to weapons and they are trained to protect one another..."
http://www.townonline.com/danvers/opinion/8998970904402722815

Candace Waldron is a resident of Rockport and the executive director of HAWC (Help for Abused Women and their Children). HAWC provides a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, hospital and court advocacy, counseling, support groups and violence prevention education. The hotline number is 978-744-6841; Cape Ann Hotline number is 978-281-1135. For information, visit
www.helpabusedwomen.org.

The Central Florida Police Stress Unit "for [all] Law Enforcement Officers and their families"

I was posting articles for the police_dv newslist and came across a quote in an article that caught my attention:

Tuesday night's murder of a Greeley police officer's wife, allegedly by the wife of a Weld County Sheriff's investigator, highlights what some experts are calling an increase in violence among law enforcement officials and their families. "We're really seeing a new, alarming trend that's scaring the devil out of me," said Tom Gillan, director of the Central Florida Police Stress Unit, a nonprofit organization that offers support to law enforcement officers and their families. "The stress of the job, the stress of the home life, it's causing this trend I'm seeing where officers are killing other officers and even their own spouses and children. It's more of a violent trend"...
[Source: Law enforcement officers tend to have stressful home lives, Greeley Tribune, Kelly Morgan, January, 2007]


I went looking for Mr. Gillan and the mentioned support organization.

I have compiled some excerpts from the Central Florida Police Stress Unit website - not as a replacement for visiting the site but in hopes that it will lead some to go explore the site themselves, even if only to know it as a resource to have on hand for others. The site has a lot of information - and assurance.


Central Florida Police Stress Unit, Inc.
24 Hours: (407) 428-1800
http://www.policestress.org/


The Central Florida Police Stress Unit, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, and a program of the Criminal Justice Office of Catholic Charities of Central Florida. It is not affiliated with any police department or law enforcement agency. The Central Florida Police Stress Unit provides a confidential response for law enforcement officers with no outside interference from their respective department or agency.

The Central Florida Police Stress Unit, Inc. was established for Law Enforcement Officers and their families. It provides a Confidential Response and addresses the many issues associated and caused directly and indirectly by the stress related to the Law Enforcement profession... Stress is Law Enforcement's Hidden Assailant. Law Enforcement work can be a killer, even if no one is shooting at you! Stress among Law Enforcement Officers often effect relationships ending in divorce - an annual rate of nearly five times that of the general population. It spells problems with alcohol, prescription drug abuse, and domestic violence. Stress also means disruption of normal sleeping patterns, eating habits, poor nutrition, paranoia, fear, anger, and depression... Despite all the attention paid to the stress of a police officer's job, the fact is that most intense and potentially destructive stress an officer faces involves his or her own family conflicts. The disruptive effects of stress which arise in encounters on the streets are occasional and limited in duration. The stress generated by unresolved marital problems is a daily corrosive element which drains an officer's ability to function effectively...

You are not alone! Give us a call. Peer-Support Personnel are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will respond immediately in emergencies. The Central Florida Police Stress Unit, Inc. serves all Law Enforcement Agencies and Officers. Your participation in any of the programs or services offered by The Central Florida Police Stress Unit, Inc. is strictly confidential, with no information of any type going to anyone outside of the program except by specific written request of the officer concerned.
The Central Florida Police Stress Unit, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) Florida Corporation according to current IRS regulations. Public and Private tax deductible Donations are welcomed and appreciated.

EMAIL tgillan@CCOrlando.org
Office: (407) 658-1818
Fax: (407) 282-2891
Address: 1771 North Semoran Blvd.Orlando, FL 32807

Friday, January 26, 2007

[CT] Fired for pulling trigger on girlfriend, Officer Adams reinstated

Board: Reinstate Former Officer
Hartford Courant, CT

STEVEN GOODE, And LARRY SMITH

January 24, 2007

[Excerpts] A former Windsor police officer who was fired following an investigation into an incident in which police say he held a .50-caliber pistol to a woman's head and pulled the trigger has been reinstated by the state labor board... Windsor Town Manager Peter Souza said Tuesday that the board voted 2-1 in favor of Adams...


A call from his girlfriend's phone had been made to his wife's phone and Windsor Officer Dennis Adams was out to take back control of his world with terror. He called his girlfriend and told her to meet him or he'd distribute a sex tape he had made of them. She went, and at some point he came up behind her she says, grabbed her, and put the mini-canon to her head. We don't know what he said to her or how long it lasted. Don't know what kind of grab or hold that was - but she says he pulled th trigger.

Adams was fired after it was INVESTIGATED, but no reason is given for his reinstatement. I grabbed some bits and pieces about the gun:

...Due to its large size, the weapon is not practical for concealed carry or most self defense situations... Muzzle Flash - This has been a discussion topic for years.... the fireball is just immense... lights the whole room... The Desert Eagle is unusual in that it uses a gas-operated mechanism normally found in rifles... the rotating bolt and locking mechanism bear a strong resemblance to that of the M16 series of rifles... it allows the use of far more powerful cartridges... For a more detailed look at the Desert Eagle variants as well other .50 caliber and other large semiauto pistols, revolvers, single-shot pistols, etc., see Duncan Long's book, Hand Cannons...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

[AZ] The unsolved death of Deputy Lopez's girlfriend, Karen Flores


...The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office has determined that [Karen] Flores died of a single gunshot wound to the torso but has not ruled the death a suicide, said Dr. Bruce Parks, the county's chief medical examiner...

Deputy's live-in girlfriend dies after being shot in chest
Tucson Citizen
By SHERYL KORNMAN
Published: 12.25.2006
The live-in girlfriend of a Pima County sheriff's deputy apparently shot herself in the chest early this morning. The incident was initially called in to authorities as a suicide. Pima County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. James Ogden said the 21-year-old woman and Deputy Luis Lopez were celebrating the holiday with family and friends at a home in the 2900 block of West Holiday. They had been arguing throughout the festivities... Detectives are investigating the death as "suspicious" until further details are learned... The woman won't be publicly identified until her family is notified of her death.

Christmas death of deputy's wife called 'suspicious'
KVOA
Lupita Murillo Reports mailto:lmurillo@kvoa.com
Dec 26, 2006
...Sheriff's investigators say the call came in as a "suicide" and when officers arrived they found out it was the house of one of their deputies. Sgt. Jim Ogden says, "Evidenlty she may have shot herself in the chest with his duty weapon"... The death is being ruled as "suspicious". Sgt. Ogden says, " It's treated as suspicious until we find out what happened during the course of the events." Investgiators seized five vehicles at the home including deputy Luis Lopez' patrol car. Lopez has been with the department just about a year... When his live-in girlfriend reportedly committed suicide, there were other people inside the house including a child. Neighbors say the couple had recently moved into the neighborhood and were making friends. Just a few days ago the woman who died here took some cookies over to a neighbor...

examiner.com / The Associated Press
Jan 24, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. - Pima County has fired a sheriff's deputy whose gun was reportedly used by his girlfriend to commit suicide on Christmas Day. Deputy Luis Lopez was nearly one year into his 18-month probationary period when he was fired effective Dec. 26, Deputy Dawn Barkman said. "Failure to meet the end of his probationary requirements" is the official reason, Barkman said Tuesday. A criminal investigation into shooting is being conducted by the Tucson Police Department. The couple had been arguing throughout Christmas Eve and Karen Flores, 21, shot herself in the chest at about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, said Sheriff's Sgt. James Ogden... "We're still waiting on the autopsy results," he said.

Deputy whose girlfriend died of gunshot loses his job
By Alexis Huicochea
arizona daily star
01.24.2007
A Pima County sheriff's deputy was fired after his girlfriend reportedly used his duty firearm to fatally shoot herself, an official said Tuesday. Deputy Luis Lopez was terminated Dec. 26 — one day after the apparent suicide — for failing to successfully complete his probationary period, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a sheriff's spokeswoman. Because Lopez, who was hired in January 2006, was on probation, he does not have any appeal rights, his attorney, Mike Storie, said. "During that probationary period, a person can be fired for any reason whatsoever," he said. The investigation into his girlfriend's death is ongoing, said Officer Dallas Wilson, a Tucson police spokesman. According to court documents, deputies responded to Lopez's home near South Cardinal Avenue and West Drexel Road where they found 21-year-old Karen Flores suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. There were several people at the residence, including Lopez, who was off-duty at the time. Lopez was uncooperative with deputies when asked where the gun was, according to court documents, and his father had to direct them to the gun, which was in a back room. Deputies learned that Lopez and Flores - his live-in girlfriend - were involved in a fight before the shooting, the documents stated. The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office has determined that Flores died of a single gunshot wound to the torso but has not ruled the death a suicide, said Dr. Bruce Parks, the county's chief medical examiner. Deputies are responsible for their firearms at all times.

Monday, January 22, 2007

[MA] Judge decides Officer O'Neil isn't DANGEROUS enough to hold.


Rockport officer released from jail
The Boston Herald
Monday, January 22, 2007
Excerpts:
The Rockport Police Department’s domestic violence officer charged with firing a weapon during a dispute with his wife has been released from jail on personal recognizance. Robert O’Neil, 38, was released despite objections from prosecutors and his wife... ”I’m afraid,” [his wife] testified Friday during a hearing... "I don’t feel safe, and I don’t feel that my daughter is safe. I don’t want this happening again in my life"... O’Neil was arrested Jan. 12 on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and battery, armed assault with intent to murder and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building. O’Neil allegedly fired a handgun near his wife’s head at their Rockport home. [Gloucester District Court Judge Richard] Mori said he did not believe O’Neil was dangerous enough to be held without bail for 90 days...

I AM TRUSTING IN MY HEART THAT PEOPLE ARE ENCIRCLING AND KEEPING THE WIFE AND CHILD SAFE. I HOPE THIS CASE GETS THE ATTENTION IT DEMANDS. I WAS WORRIED ABOUT POSTING THIS MAN OUT LOUD BUT OUT LOUD IS ALL THERE IS LEFT BECAUSE THE COURTS CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Her husband HEADED the Domestic Violence Unit of his police department


The woman pictured above - who I won't name has been in the news this past week. Her husband has headed the domestic violence investigations of his police department.

I'm not going to name him either.

I'm not going to say even what state they are in because their lives are both already in chaos and my goal is not to make their lives any harder - or more dangerous.
The officer was arrested last week on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and battery, armed assault with intent to murder and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building. His neighbors said that maybe there was some kind of MISTAKE because the couple are such "wonderful neighbors." He's head of the D.A.R.E program teaching about drug and alcohol abuse, but didn't take his own lessons very well.
Intoxicated (and we don't know how often that is) he is said to have gotten mad, broke three phones in the house - probably to keep anyone for calling for help, slapped his wife while she was holding their toddler, and started yelling at her that she would be sorry.
"He then shot his service weapon at me while I was sitting in the chair."
The bullet went into the wall just inches from her head.

He's suspended, bail will not be set until there is a dangerousness hearing, and the investigation is being done by the local district attorney's office.