News from
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Associated Press

UPDATE (5:29 p.m. CST):

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford says the suspect in a lengthy standoff and shootout with police at an apartment in the Florida Panhandle has been found dead.

Ford says police officers used an armored vehicle to break into the apartment in Panama City and a robot then searched the residence, confirming the man in Tuesday's standoff was dead.

The sheriff says the standoff lasted for hours as responding police exchanging gunfire with an assailant shooting from an elevated position with a rifle. Ford says several officers were pinned down by the gunfire for long periods of time.

Several law enforcement agents had surrounded the apartment building and exchanged heavy gunfire with the suspect, and at least one person was injured.

Ford says: "We were just blessed that we didn't lose multiple officers and citizens today."

He says numerous rounds of gunfire were directed at law enforcement agents.


PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Police surrounded an apartment building in northern Florida and exchanged heavy gunfire with a suspect barricaded inside Tuesday, and at least one person was injured, officials said.

Nearby businesses and schools were evacuated and several police agencies responded to the incident in Panama City, where some witnesses reported hearing more than 50 shots.

Kim Allagood, owner of a nearby pizza restaurant, said "tons and tons" of police descended on the area and she locked down her restaurant for close to two hours amid sporadic shooting.

One civilian suffered minor injuries, and the incident was continuing, city spokeswoman Caitlyn Lawrence said mid-afternoon.

Police in nearby Walton County said on their official Twitter account that the incident was tied to a suspicious death in Santa Rosa Beach, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest along the Florida coast from Panama City. But they did not immediately release more details. Walton County police also were at the scene in Panama City.

Some initial media reports suggested the suspect was holed up in bank near the apartment building. However Jeremy King, a spokesman for Regions Bank, said the shooter was not in the bank and he had no information that the suspect was ever inside the bank.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott talked to Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford about the situation in Panama City. John Tupps, a spokesman for Scott, said the main point of the call was to offer state law enforcement assistance.

2 Highway Patrol Vehicles just arrived and others are continuing to arrive in unmarked vehicles with lights and sirens.

— The News Herald (@The_News_Herald) May 22, 2018

Still a very active situation near 23rd Street and Beck Avenue and Panama City. Witnesses reported 50-100+ shots fired. At least one injury reported. Avoid the area. Tune into NewsChannel 7 for live coverage. We have reporters on scene.

— WJHG-TV (@WJHG_TV) May 22, 2018

Right outside my house. Crazy

— Jackson R. v18 (@Jackzun_) May 22, 2018

Shots fired in the middle of a live interview in Panama City Fla.,at the scene of an active shooter. investigation

— WKRN (@WKRN) May 22, 2018

Authorities say they found a body inside this home on White Heron Drive in Santa Rosa Beach off 30A. Little to no information at this point but authorities are still investigating

— Annie Blanks (@DestinLogAnnie) May 22, 2018

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

By Frank Fernandez The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A 25-year-old Daytona Beach police recruit who had always dreamed of being a police officer died after collapsing less than a week after achieving his dream.

Thomas Coulter died Monday morning after he collapsed about 8 a.m. Friday during a jogging and walking exercise, which included stops for pushups and stretching, Chief Craig Capri said during a press conference Monday morning.

Coulter was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center on Friday and appeared to be recovering before his condition worsened on Saturday and continued to deteriorate until he died about 4:30 a.m. Monday, Capri said.

"This young man, all he wanted to do was be a police officer," Capri said. "Talking with the family he wanted to be a police officer. That was his life's dream, since he was a little kid. That was his goal and he did meet his goal."

The chief said Coulter had not complained of feeling ill before he collapsed during the training around Lake Valor outside the Police Department. Coulter was talking after he collapsed, Capri said.

But he was subsequently intubated at the hospital, although Capri said he was able to be aware of people around him and squeeze his wife's hand.

Coulter had passed a physical exam before he was hired. Capri said Coulter was in average shape for a 25-year-old.

Capri said he hopes the autopsy will provide some answers as to what happened.

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It is with great sadness that we share with you some sobering news. Last Friday during physical training exercises, one...

Posted by Daytona Beach Police Department on Monday, May 21, 2018

He said exercises were not considered strenuous and Coulter had just started the training on May 14 with 23 other recruits and three trainers.

The training was designed as team building and would go as fast as the slowest person, Capri said.

"They just started," he said.

This is the first time the department has had a recruit die during training, he said.

Counseling was available for Coulter's fellow recruits, who were given Monday off but will return to the training Tuesday.

Coulter had always dreamed of being a police officer, Capri said.

Coulter was originally from New Jersey but had moved to the area and married his high school sweetheart about six months ago, Capri said. Their home is in Daytona Beach and they had no children.

Coulter will receive full police honors., Capri said.

In a Facebook post, Coulter's wife, Jazmin Olsen-Coulter, expressed her pride in her husband and vowed to keep her promise to him.

"I am so proud of everything you've accomplished. I promise you I will become a doctor just like you promised me you would become a police officer. You kept your promise, I am going to keep mine."

©2018 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

By David McFadden and Sarah Rankin Associated Press

PERRY HALL, Md. — A 16-year-old who was supposed to be on house arrest for auto theft was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of a Maryland police officer.

After hearing about Dawnta Anthony Harris' numerous recent run-ins with the law, a judge called him a "one-man crime wave" and ordered the teen held without bail.

More than 20 police officers were in the courtroom when Harris made his first court appearance by video. Harris has been charged as an adult in the Monday killing of Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio, who was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle that authorities say was involved in a burglary.

Investigators have reviewed the slain officer's body camera footage, prosecutor William Bickel said during the hearing. It clearly shows Harris accelerating a stolen Jeep at Caprio after she tried to apprehend him on the suburban cul-de-sac in the Perry Hall community northeast of Baltimore, he said.

"She fired her weapon. He ran over her," Bickel said. Harris was apprehended shortly after abandoning the Jeep, which was stolen May 18 in Baltimore, not far away, Bickel said.

A yellow lockup jumpsuit appeared baggy on Harris' slight 120-pound, 5-foot-7 frame during the hearing in Towson. When asked if he understood the charge he faces, Harris mumbled "yes" as he sat next to his public defender.

Harris has a series of auto theft arrests and a repeated history of running away from juvenile facilities, Bickel said. The teen was on house arrest at his mother's West Baltimore home but ran away May 14, prosecutors said.

Judge Sally Chester ordered the ninth-grader to be held at Baltimore County Detention Center, an adult lockup.

"Your client is one-man crime wave," Chester told Harris' public defender, who was pushing for Harris to be sent to a juvenile lockup.

According to a probable cause statement filed Tuesday, Harris told a detective he had been waiting in the driver's seat of the vehicle as "associates" were committing a burglary.

He tried to flee in the Jeep when he saw Caprio arrive on the block, but she followed him and ordered him out of the vehicle, the statement said. Harris told the detective that he "drove at the officer," according to the statement.

Police have said three other teenagers suspected in area burglaries were in custody Tuesday in connection with the incident. The teens, who police didn't immediately name, were expected to have initial court appearances Wednesday.

Caprio won an "Officer of the Month" award for the Parkville precinct in December. Police said at the time that her investigation led to the identification and arrest of two suspects in numerous package thefts in eastern Baltimore County and neighboring jurisdictions.

She would have been on the force four years in July, police said.

After Harris' court hearing, officers declined to speak to reporters about their slain colleague. Her relatives could not immediately be reached by The Associated Press

#BCoPD are confirming the slain officer is Police Officer First Class Caprio. She was a 3 year, 10 month veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department. This continues to be an active investigation and more details will be released throughout the day. ^NL

— BACO Public Safety (@BACOPoliceFire) May 22, 2018

Caprio's death stunned the quiet, residential neighborhood, said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who lives nearby.

"The community I represent stands united in grief for this fallen police officer, and our hope is that all those involved are brought to justice," Marks said.

Resident Tony Kurek told The Associated Press his adult son was outside in the family's yard Monday afternoon when the son saw the officer with her gun drawn, confronting someone in a Jeep.

"The next thing he heard was a pop, and he saw the Jeep take off and run right over her," Kurek said. The car left skid marks, he said, and officer was on the ground bleeding.

Logan Kurek, who is a volunteer firefighter, said he heard his younger brother "frantically screaming" and ran outside to perform CPR on the officer. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"It's just different that right outside your front door, a lady went to work yesterday, she was on a simple, routine call for an apparent burglary, meets the criminals and she don't go home," Tony Kurek said. "That's sad. It's very sad."

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sponsored by PoliceOne Academy

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Most departments kick off a shift like they did on “Hill Street Blues” with roll call. It’s also the case that many departments haven’t fundamentally changed the way they conduct roll call since well before the TV show first aired in 1981.

The speed and scope of technological evolution have opened new doors for traditional procedures like roll call. Online learning is one way to leverage technology and make roll call more effective for everyone in the department. Here are five examples:

1. Address timely topics affecting your community or areas of improvement for your officers

Learning management systems provide a large library of approved training resources, courses and videos that cover a wide-variety of subjects. This means it’s easy to access topics that your department needs to cover quickly, such as situations involving a recent high-liability event in your area.

For instance, if a school in your community recently received a bomb threat, it's likely the training lieutenant will go over the proper protocol for bomb threats during roll call. Rather than reading a general order word-for-word, training lieutenants can use an approved online course for a comprehensive, well-laid out training experience.

Administrators who use lesson plans, such as those provided by PoliceOne Academy, can ensure consistency and timeliness in messaging. No matter what shift you're on, the online course will provide immediate access to the exact same information for every LEO.

Additionally, follow up modules can be assigned for continued education and reading. This opportunity for additional training is especially useful for rookies who don't have as much on-the-job experience as veteran officers, or for officers who want to dive deeper into a subject.

2. Meet annual training hour requirements using daily briefings

Often times, roll call training isn’t tracked the same as scheduled annual training, which doesn’t make sense. Roll call is valuable time that should be accounted for. By using a learning management platform, roll call training is conducted with accredited content and can be documented easily. For instance, if you’re using a PoliceOne Academy video during roll call the following next steps can help record participation:

    Select the personnel who completed the training. Add the date and time the training was completed. Submit the record for the credit completed into the LMS. Once other videos on a similar topic are completed and equate to one hour of training, a certificate will be awarded to those who successfully completed the full course.

Online learning platforms make it easy for administrators to run and automate training reports so training progress, and roll call hours, can be easily monitored. And, by finding innovative ways to track training time, you can decrease the time officers are off the street participating in training.

3. Leverage microlearning to maximize training

Online learning technology facilitates microlearning, which is a way of breaking up training into shorter “bursts”. Today’s modern LMS platforms should offer courses and videos in this format and provide a way for training captains to break courses up into smaller segments that are ideal for adult learners who may have short attention spans or limited time available for training.

This format of flexible learning aligns with the 5 to 15-minute window most law enforcement agencies have available for roll call training. Microlearning is increasingly critical for the challenging law enforcement schedule, and it allows personnel to fit small bits of learning into their hectic work and life schedules.

For instance, PoliceOne’s Active Shooter is a one-hour course comprised of 6 shorter videos:

Shooting Tactics for Multiple Officers in Close Quarters Reality Training: Sparrow Firearms Training Active Shooter Update Equipment to Carry on an Active Shooter Response Multiple Active Shooters Responsibilities of the First Officer in an Active Shooter Incident

Officers can take each of these videos, individually and in short bursts. Once they’ve all been completed, the training videos equal an hour of POST-approved credit in 38 states. Training can be completed in conjunction with other segments, too. Like, the Defensive Tactics and Leadership courses offered by PoliceOne Academy.

Additionally, microlearning has proven to be a better way to communicate important information. Learning from content accessed in short bursts, and content which is relevant to the individual, ensures retention and builds conceptual understanding. Not to mention, shorter content can make learning seem less intimidating.

4. Save training captains’ or sergeants’ time with developed roll call agendas

Leading roll call can be a time-consuming process. Normally, at least one supervisor comes in early to gather materials and information to be presented during roll call. Searching for training tips or videos consumes valuable time, and if a training captain or sergeant is rushed, the content during roll call can be less meaningful than it should be.

Online learning provides vetted and approved content that can quickly be identified and used in roll call.

5. Easily communicate between shifts

All agencies have policies and procedures that are introduced, revised or rescinded. Most times these changes need clarification, which tends to occur during roll call. But an offline version of roll call can create message variation between different shifts.

By centralizing roll call information within one online system, you can control the message to ensure your officers are all being told the same thing. You can also collect frequently asked questions from your officers to document standardized answers related to the policy change for future reference.

Technology has immensely improved the way agencies can conduct roll call. To learn more about how online learning can improve your department’s procedures – from roll call to credential tracking – read more on PoliceOneAcademy.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

By Tasha Tsiaperas The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — The Dallas County district attorney is seeking the death penalty for the man accused of killing a Dallas police officer and wounding his partner and a Home Depot loss prevention officer.

Armando Luis Juarez, 30, was indicted on five felony charges in the April 24 shooting: one count of capital murder, one count of attempted capital murder, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a public servant.

District Attorney Faith Johnson said Tuesday she "carefully considered" the evidence in the case before deciding her office will seek capital punishment.

She said they looked at "not only the offense itself."

"We considered the circumstances. We considered everything that took place leading up" to the shooting, Johnson said.

Juarez's criminal record doesn't show any violent offenses before April 24, when police say he pulled a gun on the two officers and a loss-prevention officer. He also fired at two other officers during the five-hour manhunt after the Home Depot shooting, authorities say.

Officers Rogelio Santander and Crystal Almeida responded to a shoplifting call at the Home Depot near U.S. Highway 75 and Forest Lane. The loss-prevention officer, Scott Painter, saw Juarez behaving suspiciously and possibly trying to steal something.

A Dallas officer working an off-duty job at the store detained Juarez for an outstanding warrant. While the off-duty officer was double-checking the warrant, Juarez pulled a gun and shot Santander, Almeida and Painter, police records show.

Santander, 27, died the next day. Almeida, 26, was released from the hospital this weekend. Painter was released last week.

Almeida was shot in the face, and Painter was shot three times. Juarez fled but was later spotted in southeast Dallas.

When two officers in a police cruiser started following Juarez's vehicle on the highway, he fired a handgun several times at them, they said.

The car chase ended in a neighborhood near Love Field.

Juarez threw his handgun out of his vehicle, and officers found a box of ammunition and several shell casings inside the car, police records show.

Though Juarez had no violent criminal history, he had been arrested twice in the five months before the fatal shooting: once in December on a felony theft charge and again in January on an unlawful use of a motor vehicle charge.

He has also pleaded guilty in the past to attempted possession of a controlled substance.

After Juarez was arrested, police added two felony charges of forgery of a financial instrument stemming from a December incident. He was also indicted on those charges Tuesday.

The day after the shooting, investigators connected Juarez to forged checks he cashed in December, police records show.

Juarez cashed an $845.50 check that was made out to him. The check was from a stolen checkbook and was signed with "an illegible ink signature," according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

He also cashed a second check that day for $830.50, police records show.

©2018 The Dallas Morning News

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Author: The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By Becky Lewis TechBeat Magazine

To a casual observer, it might seem like the investigator is wasting his time: setting up his camera, putting on some kind of goggles and using nothing more than a flashlight to supplement the available lighting.

Except that’s not an ordinary flashlight. It’s an alternate light source (ALS), and the difference it can produce in detecting and documenting evidence would quickly make a believer out of that skeptical bystander.

Released in January 2018 by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), Landscape Study of Alternate Light Sources provides a basic understanding of the technology’s uses, benefits and limitations, and includes a glossary, case studies and information on products currently available on the market. The FTCoE is part of NIJ’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System.

ALS technology has been in use for a number of years, but recent innovations have led to a crowded and sometimes confusing market, with more than 50 devices from which to choose. The information included in the report is derived from current literature and interviews with users and technology developers, providing a thorough assessment of the considerations that affect procurement, training and use. It also includes product tables highlighting ALS devices available for purchase.

“ALS is well-established in the field for crime scene and sexual assault investigations, and other applications as well,” says Jeri Ropero-Miller, FTCoE director. “There have been several advances in recent years and the technology has become very portable. Handheld devices can be used by just one person, and you can greatly enhance photography by using its capabilities.”

“The technology has been consistently improving with the use of LEDs, better filters and reduced battery size,” says Rebecca Shute, who led the team that produced the report. “This has led to the market’s being really crowded, which is great, but it also creates a challenge for agencies looking to replace or implement the technology. Products range from small handheld flashlights that use only one wavelength to something the size of a shoebox that uses 16 or more wavelengths. Costs can range from $20 to over $10,000.”

All of these factors combined to make the technology a candidate for one of the center’s landscape reports, which more often focus on cutting-edge technology, but always seek to help law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories select the device that works best to meet their needs. When it comes to ALS, those needs most commonly include crime scene investigation, forensic biology, latent prints, trace evidence, medicolegal death investigation and forensic nursing, and the report provides illustrative scenarios for each type of use.

“We designed this report based on applications,” Shute says. “We understand that many agencies use ALS, both in the lab and in the field, and we wanted to provide a way for them to make better informed purchasing decisions. We wanted them to be able to see themselves in the report and say ‘this is me.’ ”

ALS devices included in the scenarios and the report emit light in the visible and ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The ALS causes certain materials to fluoresce, which enhances the ability to visualize specific evidence. Evidence illuminated by these light sources can be seen by using a barrier filter, such as goggles, and documented for court purposes with a standard digital camera equipped with an appropriate filter.

“You can use ALS devices to detect a wide variety of evidence, things like hairs and fibers, body fluids, even gunshot residue,” Shute says. “They can save a lot of time at crime scenes, and as we all know, time is valuable. And you don’t have to go to a Mercedes model to get good results; agencies often do a lot of research and still choose the smaller, less expensive devices.”

She reminds agencies that choosing the right barrier filter also plays a key role in effective ALS use, and adds that it takes proper training to prove a device’s worth.

Ropero-Miller says the training could come via a train-the-trainer format once someone in the agency gets up to speed on the use of the equipment, adding, “This is a technology that can be very useful no matter what the size of the agency. A small or rural agency with more budget constraints can still implement it at an affordable low cost.”

Shute made use of some of that training herself, taking a hands-on ALS photography class to help inform the research: “I had conducted a large number of interviews with users over the telephone that were helpful, but I didn’t understand what they meant by certain things, such the challenges of using a device with a ‘hot spot.’ By taking the training, I got to use it first-hand and observe others using it first-hand, and I learned that using ALS requires patience, keen eyes, knowing what to look for and choosing the right filters.”

All of those considerations — training, the right filters, sifting through the numerous available devices — combine to make this technology innovative, even though it’s not new, Ropero-Miller says: “When we think of innovation and novel technologies, we think they have to be completely new, but I think ALS is a good example of how a well-established technology can become so enhanced and innovative that it’s worth doing outreach to ensure the field knows about the advances.”

Landscape Study of Alternative Light Sources can be downloaded here. For more information on the programs of the FTCoE, contact Jeri Ropero-Miller at For more information on forensics programs of the National Institute of Justice, contact Gerald LaPorte, Director, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences, at

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Author: The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By PoliceOne Staff

MIAM — Miami-Dade police released body cam footage that shows a shootout between officers and a man who tried to ambush them.

The Miami Herald reports that the video shows a Miami-Dade officer firing his sidearm as shots ring out throughout the Trump National Doral hotel on Friday. The officer eventually goes up a set of stairs where the gunman, Jonathan Oddi, was arrested with gunshot wounds to the legs.

Police said Oddi scaled a fence at the hotel that morning and stole an American flag before making his way into the main lobby. Oddi then "proceeded to drape the flag on the reception desk” before threatening an unarmed security guard.

Police said Oddi was screaming “anti-Trump rhetoric” and railed against former President Barack Obama and rapper P. Diddy during the incident. Oddi then fired into the air and shot at five Doral and Miami-Dade officers as they rushed to the lobby.

Oddi was wounded during the shootout and eventually taken into custody.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said Oddi waited for police to arrive for what he called an “ambush-type attack.”

"We don't know what his intentions were in the long term but we know what he was doing at the time — he was trying to engage our police officers in some kind of ambush-type attack," Perez said.

Perez also praised the officers for their response.

"These officers did not hesitate one second to engage this individual that was actively shooting in the lobby of the hotel," Perez said. "They risked their lives, knowing that they had to get in there to save lives in that hotel."

No officers were shot, but one LEO did sustain a broken wrist during the shootout, according to WPLG. Oddi made his first court appearance Monday and was ordered to be held without bond.

He faces several charges, including five counts of attempted murder.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Author: The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By Andrea Fox, P1 Contributor

A free, government-funded sharing platform has been created to help law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates and criminal justice professionals work together to reduce rape kit backlog and close out cases.

The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Online Toolkit is a customizable briefcase and sharing platform developed by policing research and forensic science experts.

According to End the Backlog, more than 225,000 untested rape kits have been uncovered. In September 2016, The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded a total $38 million under the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) to address the backlog. The funding was awarded to state, tribal and local government agencies for processing sexual assault kits in law enforcement custody that had not been submitted to forensic laboratories.

About $5 million of the grant was awarded to RTI International at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to provide technical assistance and create practitioner resources for the SAKI website and SAKI Virtual Academy. The SAKI Online Toolkit for community responders was announced on the final day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

According to the announcement, sexual assault kits that may contain evidence for criminal investigations and prosecutions must be submitted to crime laboratories to begin the process of seeking justice for victims of sexual assault. A significant number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits remain in law enforcement property rooms across the U.S., leaving victims in fear and hindering efforts to take violent offenders off the streets.

Now, the significant task of identifying and processing these thousands of kits and investigating and prosecuting these cases, while promoting survivor healing, has become less daunting for law enforcement professionals, agencies and communities.

The SAKI Online Toolkit offers free, easily downloadable tools supply much needed resources to the nation’s law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to help investigators, prosecutors and victim advocates close out cases and bring answers to survivors.

The tools were developed by policing research and forensic science experts at RTI International, a leading non-profit research institute, and a team of multidisciplinary consultants with experience in sexual assault investigations and funded by BJA.

“RTI is proud to assist law enforcement professionals in the submission and processing of unsubmitted sexual assault kits in crime laboratories and law enforcement agencies throughout the United States,” said Kevin Strom, director of RTI’s Policing Research Program. “These online tools and trainings will help reduce the large backlog of untested sexual assault kits and potentially enable closure for victims.”

The BJA National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through the SAKI program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions’ approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. Whether or not a jurisdiction is funded by SAKI, the Online Toolkit and Virtual Academy aim to meet the large need for more sexual assault training across the country.

The SAKI Toolkit can be downloaded as “pre-packaged briefcases” or be customized for the needs of:

Law enforcement Prosecutors Victim advocates Criminal justice professionals Trauma-informed service providers.

Pre-packaged resource sets are available according the role that the users may play on a sexual assault response team. Examples include briefcases for multidisciplinary team leaders, sexual assault investigators and sexual assault prosecutors.

Training Needed to Reduce Rape Kit Backlog

The SAKI Virtual Academy is the home of online training and resources to help law enforcement and communities improve their jurisdiction’s capacity to investigate, prosecute, inventory and track SAKs, and provide trauma-informed victim services and advocacy.

Web-based courses include:

Developing a SAK Testing Plan Working the Case 1: Case Assessment and Review Developing a Victim Notification Protocol.

Additional courses are planned and coming soon on Case Follow Up and Prosecuting Cold Case Sexual Assaults.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Louis C. Senese
Author: Louis C. Senese

Human traffickers can abduct or lure susceptible individuals for many reasons such as economic hardship, lack of social support, national disasters or political instability.

Many of these criminals are referred to as ‘recruiters’ who create a false sense of legitimacy by masking their illegal intentions in order to enlist susceptible victims. These individuals initially obtain the victim through force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, labor or commercial sex acts.

Recruiters find vulnerable individuals by promising them a new life, access to medical and mental health care, and money and shelter. Often that individual is shipped to a distant location or other country. Once there, they are advised they owe money and are forced into labor or prostitution.

The ‘trafficker’ is the person utilizing the victims. The ‘recruiter’ may also be the’ trafficker.’

Types of trafficking

Human trafficking is a hidden crime, as victims rarely report their situations due to language barriers, fear of the traffickers and/or fear of law enforcement.

There are several types of trafficking:

    Sex trafficking of adults Sex trafficking of children - this is primarily online sexual exploitation Forced labor Bonded labor - working to pay off family debts Domestic servitude - working in private residences Forced child labor - forced begging, child appears to be a family member Child inducted as a soldier Providing a spouse - in the context of forced marriage Extraction of organs or tissues - including for surrogacy and ovary removal
Approaches to trafficking interrogation

An astute investigator alert to the signs of human trafficking can launch a line of questioning based upon the following suggested themes to help reveal the offender’s oppressive conduct and lead to the rescue of victims.

Here are 10 themes investigators can use when questioning ‘recruiters’:

    Blame the victim’s family for being abusive and intolerable to live with. You didn’t kidnap the victim. You did not use any physical force. You were sincerely hoping the victim would eventually have a much better life. You were doing this as a favor to the victim’s family. You really believed the victim would be used short term and then freed. You were suffering financially and viewed this as a short-term business opportunity. Contrast a few times versus hundreds of times or short-time period versus long. The ‘trafficker’ lied to you about their intent with the victim. Blame the bureaucratic red tape in obtaining proper paperwork for obtaining legal entry.

Here are 10 themes investigators can use when questioning ‘traffickers’:

    Your intent was to only make a small profit then allow the victim their freedom. If the victim wasn’t working for you they would be working for someone else. You provided proper lodging, food and medical attention – better than they previously had. You didn’t overwork or abuse victim. You provided the victim a much better life. You knew it was wrong but saw no other option for you to maintain a basic lifestyle. You provided hope to a hopeless individual. The ‘recruiter’ lied to you about the victim’s age or background. The victim voluntarily agreed to your work demands. Suggest the victim was being paid.
Interrogation example of a ‘recruiter/trafficker’

Omega Restaurant was observed as having an inordinate amount of younger workers serving as dishwashers, busboys and basic food preparers. Many of these individuals were discovered living in the basement of the restaurant and not enrolled in school. Eight individuals were removed to protective custody prior to questioning the owner.

It was determined the victims were undocumented foreign nationals from two overseas families. Some of the children advised authorities they were brought to the USA to work a few months for a family friend that owns a restaurant. They were told that friend would eventually arrange U.S. citizenship for all.

When Carmen, the owner of the restaurant was interviewed, he denied knowingly harboring the eight undocumented youth. He said he assumed they were documented, and was simply doing a favor for two overseas family friends by providing safety and security for their children. He assumed the parents would be coming. The following is his interrogation utilizing some previous theme selections.

“Carmen, the results of our investigation indicates you did know those younger individuals working for you were undocumented.

“Let me clearly say that their physical condition was very good indicating that you really did take care of them. You provided them a safe place to live. We also believe you brought them to a better quality of life and probably promised to help them obtain U.S. citizenship. As you and I know, they came from an extremely volatile country where their future quality of life would be poor to nonexistent at best.

“Carmen, you didn’t force them into any unhealthy work, nor did you physically abuse them. You and I know you were simply doing a favor for their families by taking care of their young family members. You also believed that eventually they would assimilate into the United States and probably fall under a political blanket of U.S. citizenship. However, we need to resolve that you did not kidnap them, which I don’t think you did. However, that’s just my thought. Unless you tell the truth about what you did and why you did it, then nobody will know for sure. Maybe you did kidnap them and they are afraid to say for fear of their families being harmed. It’s up to you now to explain the circumstances, or people will jump to conclusions that you didn’t care about these kids.

“Carmen, here’s what’s so important. I think you were helping their families by providing a better future for their children. But what I think means nothing unless it comes from you. Was that the case or were you taking advantage of them? Were you trying to give them a chance at freedom or were you going to keep them as slaves their entire lives?

“Another concern we have is whether these eight individuals from the two overseas families are the only ones you’ve done this for or whether there are hundreds of others? If you’ve been doing this hundreds of other times, that would be pretty hard to explain and I’d probably be wasting my time talking to you. But if this was just a favor to try and help these two families, while that is not the right way to do it, it’s understandable that you made a mistake in judgement. It’s not like you were being greedy and doing this over and over again to hurt people and take advantage of them just for the money. These are the only two families, right?”


The challenge is to credibly craft an interrogation theme that appeals to the mentality of human traffickers who, in almost every instance, have already perversely rationalized their own conduct. It may seem ludicrous to suggest there was some “understandable” moral or social undertone to the trafficker’s behavior. But if that reasoning resonates with a perpetrator, then the path has been paved for disclosure of the truth, as well as preservation of the victims’ safety and human dignity.

Additional resources

The 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report highlights the challenges of this global issue. To report suspected human trafficking, call 866-347-2423. To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, call 888-373-7888.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Author: Louis C. Senese

By Andrew Dys And Hannah Smoot The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

York, S.C. — Christian McCall pleaded guilty to killing a York County police officer and wounding three other officers in a January ambush.

McCall, 47, avoids a possible death penalty if convicted at a trial after he pleaded guilty Tuesday in court to murder and attempted murder when he used an assault rifle Jan. 16 to shoot York County Sheriff's Office Det. Mike Doty and injure three other officers -- Randy Clinton, Buddy Brown and Kyle Cummings.

Prosecutors and McCall's lawyer said in court Tuesday a deal was made for McCall to accept life without parole.

McCall pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty against him, said Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit Solicitor.

He will never be eligible for parole, Brackett said.

McCall also pleaded guilty to domestic violence and weapons charges.

Police were called to McCall's home, outside York, on the night of Jan. 15 for a domestic violence 911 call from his wife, who said she had been "punched in the face" during the call played in court.

McCall fled, but was pursued by York County Sheriff's Office K-9 officer Clinton. McCall shot Clinton twice, testimony showed.

When more officers from the York County SWAT team arrived after Clinton was shot, McCall ambushed those officers, according to reports. Doty was shot and later died, and Brown and Cummings were wounded. All three are SWAT team members.

McCall was wounded in the shootout with police. He spent two months in a Charlotte hospital until being released in March, when he was charged with the crimes and extradited to York County.

He had been jailed without bond pending trial until pleading guilty Tuesday.

A court hearing expected to last several hours is ongoing in York at the York County Courthouse. Visiting Judge Grace Knie of Spartanburg has to accept the plea deal and sentence McCall to make the guilty plea official.

©2018 The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)