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Citizens first, hired help second.

"I have to realize every single day that I come to work that the decisions that I make -- you always have to say, how does this impact a patrol officer interacting with the community? " Roessler said. "I'm looking forward to the honor and the privilege to serve all the members of what I call the police family."

Artists concept of what roessler looks like

No, wrong. Decisions made by government officials should be based on how they affect the citizens who employ them. Not the other way around. Decisions should not be made on the impact they will have on employees hired by the citizens to run their government.
Citizens first, hired help second.

Roessler is the latest in a long string of police executives who probably live in a bubble, a bubble that makes them fail to understand that the honor and privilege is in serving the citizens of the community and not the cops the community pays and pays and funds (And far above the national average, at that.)

It's our government, not theirs and so long as the county allows the vast majority of our well paid cops to live outside the county, it will never be their government.  Other counties have live in requirement for their police. We don’t. The cops have that kind of pull in your government.

Roessler appears to be part of, if not one of the architects of, the“us first” mentality that permeates the Fairfax County Police. But we can’t blame him. The cops have been out of control (and grossly over funded) for decades and the guilty finger for their arrogance and brutality should be directly pointed at us, the county residents, the owners of the government who keep reelecting the same old tread-mill thinking hustlers in slightly shiny suits who let the cops run rampant on our traffic jammed crowded roads (and ridiculously overcrowded schools.)

We don’t have the money for more roads (or more schools.)  But the cops have enough money to employ a dozen deputy chiefs, a navy and an air force that may or may not includes drones with a few bucks left over to hire even more cops and open even more police stations. Think about that while you sit on the beltway.

The policeman is not your friend. The Fairfax County Police Department holds its self-interest far above your wants and needs. In fact, the full time job of the several dozen assistant to the assistant chiefs of police we carry on the payroll, is to get you to trust the cops and not to ask too many questions. They need you to stay dumb. Trust us, the cops tell you, we don’t need police oversight in Fairfax County, we’ll handle it ourselves. Trust us.
Your elected officials agree with the cops. They don’t want police oversight because the hundreds of misdeeds, transgression and criminal actions the cops get involved in every year….on your dime….. would go public and citizens would be aware that the elected officials we pay to run government aren’t very good at what they do, and, proving the cops point, should not be trusted.
Trust us, the cops say. We’re hiring nine new cops this year because we need them. We won’t offer any proof, your elected officials won’t ask why, they trust us, why don’t you?
Local government, hell government in general, runs better and is more efficient in delivering services when it’s not trusted.  The cops know that and in their view,  as, long as citizens stay asleep, everything will be just fine.

Don’t trust the bastards, by not trusting them we not only empower ourselves and keep the collected elected sleaze on their toes, we give the hundreds of good, decent people who work in government, the ones who have nothing to hide, a boost up and a chance at running things, out in the open.

Roessler has been raised in the “trust me” culture of the Fairfax County Police and that form of leadership sets the tone for further abuse, mismanagement and secrecy by the police.
We need to hire a police chief not born and bred in the old south-redneck, good ole boy network that is the Fairfax County Police. It’s a new century. It's time to change things. We’ll need to look outside the Fairfax cops secrecy system, outside the county and probably outside the state to find someone capable to tear down the “trust me”-think mentality that runs the cops, someone who will attract more outsiders to the force, hiring fewer white boys with Nazi haircuts and mangers who are creative, committed to the community, and idealistic in their goals.

One out three cops is just common theif

Santa Fe cop arrested for printing counterfeit $100 bills
Former Santa Fe police officer Anthony Rivera and brother Dominic were arrested Sunday and charged with overseeing the production of fake $100 bills, created using $20′s that were stripped of their color using paint thinner.
The two men, 44 and 34 respectively, were arrested along with 20-year-old Tyler Ament and accused of creating more than $1,200 in counterfeit currency in recent months, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Tuesday.
Police broke the case last week after Ament tried to use one of the bills at a gas station and a clerk turned him away. Ament returned to the gas station for cigarettes after buying jeans at a local Kohls and officers were waiting for him.
Ament ultimately told police that Dominic ran the counterfeiting operation while Anthony approved the bills that went out, according to KRQE-TV. They used paint thinner to strip $20′s of their color and printed $100 bills onto the remaining material.
Police confirmed Monday that Anthony Rivera left the Santa Fe Police Department in 2011 after two decades on the force. He currently works for the Tesuque Tribal Police Department, which did not respond to a request for comment.

Lorain officer suspended and demoted for bad time cards
 LORAIN — A Lorain police officer has been suspended and demoted for manipulating the hours he worked in order to get a three-day workweek.
Jeff Jackson has been demoted from sergeant to patrolman and given a 14-day suspension without pay, according to a Feb. 22 letter sent by Lorain Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler.
“This misrepresentation of one’s time and modification of records to reflect hours that were not worked is very troubling,” Fowler wrote. “The sheer disregard for the public trust that is essential in the position of a public safety officer is also very troubling.”
Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said Wednesday that the investigation into Jackson’s actions has been forwarded to his office for review.

Officer charged with stealing gasoline
A Hingham police officer has been charged with stealing nearly $500 in gasoline from the town to fill up his own car, the department said Monday. Officer Thomas Cadigan, 61, a 34-year veteran of the Police Department, was charged in Wareham District Court Monday with nine counts of larceny. He has resigned and paid the town for the gas. “I think anybody that’s going to commit any crime, whether they be town employees or otherwise, would know if they get caught, they will be charged,” said Police Chief Michael Peraino. Cadigan admitted to sufficient facts. The case was continued without finding for six months, and Cadigan was put on probation.

Former and Current Philadelphia Police Officers Charged in Alleged Loan-Sharking Scheme
- PHILADELPHIA—One former and one active Philadelphia police officer were charged by indictment, unsealed today, with extortion in an alleged loan-sharking scheme. According to the indictment, Gary Cottrell, 46, a former 14th district police officer, made high interest loans to others, including Cheryl L. Stephens, 46, an active 18th district police officer. Cottrell, who was arrested this morning, is charged with four counts of making an extortionate extension of credit, four counts of collecting an extension of credit by extortionate means, and eight counts of obstruction; Stephens is charged with two counts of making false statements to the grand jury. The charges were announced today by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge John Brosnan.
The indictment alleges that during the time he worked as a police officer and for a time after he left the Philadelphia Police Department, Cottrell operated a business in which he extended credit to borrowers, typically in amounts ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. He allegedly required each borrower to repay the amount of money he loaned to them plus interest. The interest generally was in an amount equal to $25 for every $100 borrowed and generally had to be repaid in four weeks. The interest rate on these loans was substantially greater than the legally enforceable rate of 25 percent per annum. The indictment further alleges that some of the individuals borrowing money from Cottrell understood that he would use force, if necessary, to collect the money he loaned them plus the interest, and Cottrell did use force and the threat of force to collect money from borrowers. At times Cottrell allegedly sent threats of force to the borrowers via text messages.
It is further alleged Stephens falsely testified that Cottrell did not charge interest on her loan from him and did not tell her to deny paying interest when talking to law enforcement officers.
If convicted, Cottrell faces a maximum statutory sentence of 320 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $4 million fine, and a $1,600 special assessment. Stephens faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $500,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation/Philadelphia Police Department Public Corruption Task Force and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony J. Wzorek and Special Assistant United States Attorney Vicki J. Markovitz.

Miami Police Officers Charged with Identity Theft
Former Miami police officers Malinsky Bazile, 28, and Vital Frederick, 26, were recently arrested and charged with identity theft and tax fraud.
"Bazile and Frederick allegedly misused their access to the D.A.V.I.D. (DAVID) driver’s license database to find identity information to be used for tax refund fraud," DataBreaches.net reports. "Bazile allegedly systematically ran searches on the database for women in a particular age range, e.g., he would run a search on DAVID for females in Florida aged 57 to 61 with first names beginning with 'A' and last name 'Martinez.'"
"Then he took their personal information and filed bogus federal income-tax returns, all to score stolen refunds," writes The Miami Herald's Jay Weaver. "Bazile and fellow officer Vital Frederick, separately accused of tapping into the same database, were both arrested Thursday in the first-ever federal prosecution of identity theft and tax-refund fraud involving South Florida law enforcement."
"The perpetrators of this type of fraud have been as diverse as the victims they prey upon," Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo said in a statement. "To date, we have prosecuted Social Security office employees, hospital employees, clinic workers, former NFL players, gang members and violent criminals, to name a few. Today, we sadly add law enforcement to the list of thieves."

Former Law Enforcement Officers Plead Guilty to Theft of Government Funds JACKSON, MS—Watson Jackson, a former deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office; Zach Robinson, a former deputy with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office; and Kent Daniels, a former Jackson Police officer and investigator for the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office, pled guilty in U.S. District Court today to theft of government funds and property.
On September 30, 2011, defendants Robinson and Daniels, along with an FBI informant, drove to a motel to rob a room they thought was being used by a drug dealer. They discussed detailed plans of the robbery and how they would divide the money among themselves. However, the FBI had previously rented the motel room and placed $23,000 in cash and seven iPads in the room. Jackson drove in a separate vehicle to the motel and acted as a lookout.
Upon arrival at the motel, the FBI informant and Robinson entered the motel room and took the $23,000 and seven iPads. After taking the cash and the iPads, they met up with defendant Daniels in order to count the money. At the time, they did not believe they had taken all the money, so Jackson and the FBI informant went back to the motel room and looked for additional money. After the robbery, defendants Robinson, Daniels, Jackson and the FBI informant divided the money and iPads among them.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jerry Rushing and Mike Hurst.
The defendants will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee on May 23, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. They each face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tulsa dodges lawsuit tidal wave after police corruption investigation
Attorneys representing Tulsa against civil lawsuits related to police corruption said the city is emerging better than expected from what was predicted to be a tidal wave of lawsuits.
At least 48 people have been freed from prison or had their cases modified due to alleged falsified search warrants or other civil rights violations by police, and 16 lawsuits for 15 defendants have been filed against the city to date, according to court records.
The federal corruption investigation resulted in charges against six current or former Tulsa police officers and a federal agent, as well as accusations of criminal behavior against five officers who were not charged.
"That fear that it was going to be something really crippling to the city - it has never hit that," said Attorney Guy Fortney, who represents the city. "There just aren't that many cases left that the statute of limitations hasn't already run out on."
Fortney's firm, Brewster & DeAngelis Law Offices, pledged to donate $1.2 million in legal fees to help defend the city as cases were filed - though Fortney said his office has never approached that amount.
The city of Tulsa has paid for expenses involved in the defense, such as expert witnesses and mailings, Fortney said.
Gerald Bender, Litigation Division manager for the city of Tulsa, said the low number of suits filed against the city is due to the quick and aggressive approach Fortney and attorney Clark Brewster used on each lawsuit.
"We determined right up front that we weren't going to spend a dime in settlements," which was a decision Mayor Dewey Bartlett made, Bender said.
Many attorneys who were prepared to file lawsuits have told Bender that the city's defense from Brewster and Fortney made the cases simply "not worth it," Bender said.
"We just continue to be really aggressive in our response," Fortney said.
While 16 lawsuits have been filed, seven are closed in regards to the city - either in a judgment or dismissal, records show.
Nine remain open, and four of those have pending motions to dismiss the city, which Fortney said he is confident will be granted.
Those cases with pending motions to dismiss are filed by Edward Johnson, who served two years of a 10-year sentence; Marvin Barber, who served more than five years of a 17-year sentence; Lindell Pointer, who served about two years of a 14-year sentence; and Thomas Ranes, who served all of his two-year sentence before filing a motion to have his sentence vacated.
Of the nine cases, one case has a pending motion for summary judgment.
The remaining four open cases have survived city- dismissal challenges.
Of those four, one involves allegations that law enforcement officers framed Larry Wayne Barnes Sr. and Larita Annette Barnes in 2007, records show. The Barneses were convicted of selling drugs and sentenced to federal prison.
They were freed in 2009 after an informant in the case said he worked with ATF agent Brandon McFadden and Officer Jeff Henderson to frame them, court records show.
The Barneses served more than a year in prison before being freed due to the police corruption probe.
"I don't think we can say we're in the clear," Bender said. "I think we've established some excellent laws and some excellent decisions. ... I think it looks very good."
The federal corruption investigation resulted in charges against six current or former Tulsa police officers and a federal agent, as well as accusations of criminal behavior against five officers who were not charged.
Three Tulsa police officers and the federal agent were convicted.
At least 48 people have been freed from prison or had their cases modified because of civil rights violations or potential problems with their cases stemming from the police corruption.
The law enforcement defendants:
Jeff Henderson, who was hired by the Tulsa Police Department in 1995, was convicted on two counts of civil rights violations and six counts of perjury. He was acquitted on 45 counts of perjury, civil rights violations, drug conspiracy and witness tampering. Henderson was sentenced to 42 months in prison, which he is serving in South Dakota. Three months were added to that prison time Wednesday for contempt of court.
Brandon McFadden, hired as an agent for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2002, was sentenced to 21 months in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to drug conspiracy. McFadden cooperated with prosecutors.
John K. "J.J." Gray, hired by the Tulsa Police Department in 1990, pleaded guilty to stealing money and was sentenced to four months in a Louisiana prison. Gray cooperated with prosecutors.
Harold R. Wells, hired as a Tulsa police officer in 1975, was convicted on five counts, but a federal judge later dismissed one count. Wells was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, which he is serving in Minnesota.
Three police officers - Nick DeBruin, Bruce Bonham and Bill Yelton - were acquitted on civil rights violations in two cases.
Bonham was charged with five counts and DeBruin was charged with six counts related to theft of U.S. funds, civil rights violations, drug possession and possession of firearms. The Tulsa Police Department fired the two for failing to follow policies regarding "conduct unbecoming an officer" and "duty to be truthful and obedient."
Yelton retired about nine months after police announced that an internal investigation was under way.

Arizona anti-police-corruption bill gains
A bill giving counties power to take control of corrupt police departments and primarily aimed at the polygamist enclave of Colorado City passed the Arizona House by an overwhelming majority Thursday.
House Bill 2648, which still needs a Senate vote, would allow county supervisors to appoint a neutral, third-party administrator to take over a police department determined by the state’s law-enforcement advisory board to have systemic misconduct or mismanagement.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has pushed for the measure as part of his attempts to reduce the power of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which controls the town government of Colorado City.
Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, primary sponsor of the bill, said she introduced the measure to “give the public an option when there’s been a violation of their trust and confidence from those who have taken an oath to serve and protect.”
Authorities in Arizona and Utah have struggled for decades to deal with underage marriages, fraud, banishment of young males and other FLDS practices.
But lawmakers from Mohave County say that whatever corruption may have occurred in Colorado City has been eradicated in the absence of imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs.
“I would challenge someone to give me documentation to suggest Colorado City is a rogue department and we have to create an entire system of police oversight,” said Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman. “There is none. It’s all built on hearsay and conjecture by the attorney’s office, who promulgated last year’s bill.”
Last year, Horne asked state lawmakers to pass legislation voiding the Colorado City marshal’s authority while providing funds for sheriff’s deputies to patrol the community. The measure failed, in part, because Mohave County lawmakers opposed it. Horne provided $420,000 from his budget to pay for sheriff’s patrols.
To meet the threshhold for the current bill, a police department has to have a certain percentage of its force stripped of police certifications in a five-year period; the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board has to determine that gross misconduct occurred; and a supermajority of county supervisors must agree with the policing board’s recommendation.
“If you’re cleaning up the department, you have nothing to worry about,” Ugenti said, adding that if what Mohave County lawmakers say is true about Colorado City, “no one is going to find a systemic issue, and this process will not be triggered.”


A journalist should report that the Fairfax County cops arrested 2,600 people for drunk driving last year.  That is what a journalist should do. The role of the press, after all, is to report issues that need attention.  But the role of the press is also to publicly hold government leaders accountable to the people and that can’t be done if government is using the media as a tool for its own self-praise or if individuals in government are using the press as a means of self-promotion to advance their career, to say, police chief as an example.
The other vital role the press plays in a free society is to educate citizens so they can make informed decisions on pertinent issues and this is done by asking questions. As an example, in regard to the drunk driving story, a good journalist will ask, “How many of those arrests resulted in conviction?” because Fairfax County cops justify themselves through a body count. A good journalist would also ask:
“In how many of those cases did the cop fail to show up in court?"
“And how many of those cases were simply tossed out of court?”  
“Who was stopped? White people? Black people? Asians? Latinos? ” 
The good journalist should examine that side of the issue because racial profiling by the police is a serious national issue. 
The good journalist would also put the arrests in perspective. There are about 5,600,000 people in the greater Washington DC Area and in one year Fairfax County police arrested 0.0004 of them for drunk driving.  In a county of 1,200,000 citizens, the 2600 arrests would total less than 0.002% of the population.
Drunk driving arrests are down 2.5 nationwide in 2011 and 2012.  In fact, in the past two decades drunk driving fatalities have declined by 35% in the general population and almost 60% in the teen driver population.
So with those facts in mind, facts that were not covered in the story,  why were there so many Fairfax cops trying to arrest drunk drivers on a recent Saturday night, enough so that “the lights atop Fairfax County Police Department cruisers along Leesburg Pike lit up the night sky like swarms of blue fireflies".
Poor management seems to be the answer. Shouldn't the cops be doing something more productive and less intrusive to the community?  (A community where less than 9% of the force lives.)
 The summation of the drunk driving story appeared to be one of two things; one that the story was that drunk driving is a non-issue because arrests for drunk driving are down.  So what was the point of reporting this story at all?
The other slant may have been a cop glorification feature piece which was based on the baseless claim by the Fairfax County Police that they lowered drunk driving in the county through sobriety checkpoints, directed patrols and business compliance checks.
The problem is that slant discounts reality based on the facts above.
But there was a story here if the journalist had taken it one step further, one step into the uncomfortable,  and had asked the cops (and thereby the reading public) if they see any danger in randomly stopping citizens to find out what they can be arrested for.
A journalist should ask if those random “sobriety checkpoints” touted by the Fairfax County cops,  have a place in a democratic society. Should cops be stopping people they suspect of committing a crime based on magical and slightly scary “sixth sense” as one cop claimed to have, when it comes to spotting drunk drivers?   
Even more disturbing than that is the fact that the cop in question has an engineering degreefrom Virginia Tech but would have to work the third shift in a bedroom community “sensing” drunks on the road.
The journalist could have asked the obvious question…..if drunk driving barely scratches the judicial surface then why are the cops turning out in force to address this secondary  issue.  This could have led to two very obvious answers, both are generally assumed to be true by the general public.  One is that the cops are bored and don’t have much else to do and the other is money.   Drunk driving fines range from $250 to $1,000, ($625 average fine  X 2600 fines=$1,625,000). All of that revenue is poured into the county coffers and eventually into the behemoth budget of the Fairfax County Police.
Is there any truth to this commonly held rumor? We don’t know because the reporter failed to go that far. However, we do know that the cop who would rather work nights has a “lucky flower” in the car's visor. 
Move over Carl Bernstein, there’s a new gunslinger in these here parts.
But it was Bernstein who said it best. The reporter’s job is to "achieve the best obtainable version of the truth" and, I would add, the best obtainable version of the truth for the public’s good and not for the benefit of the government’s profile. It is crucial that the press be an outsider and never, ever, under any circumstances share the same aims as government, the legislature, religion or commerce. The only responsibility the reporter has is to their own standards and ethics.  This is no small thing because the free press is part of a larger right of free expression, a right that the public assumes that the press will help to protect.  
So in that light, a good journalist would ask “Is this story free PR for cops at the expense of the free press?”  And if the answer, even vaguely, appears to be “yes” then that is a very serious infringement on the role of the press in a free society and should not be taken lightly, no matter how innocuous the story.
The craft of reporting, and it is a craft, is found in the reporter's ability to research, to ask questions, to observe, to sift through self –serving propaganda disguised as news and then to place it in context so that the public can evaluate where the truth is. All of that makes the reporter the  community's witness to the process of government. Crossing the line makes the reporter part of the government. So what was this drunk driver story?
The press is a powerful instrument which must exist independently from the other main centers of power in society because, among other things, it is often in the best interests of those other power centers to control or quash the press.
This rule of separation is especially true in dealing with the well-heeled Fairfax County Police Department, which is widely considered to be the least transparent law enforcement agency in the state of Virginia. The Fairfax County Police have failed, repeatedly, to show that they understand the simple truth that the free flow of information is a civic responsibility because information, even when it makes a department look bad, is the fuel of democracy. Instead, the department has mastered the art of avoiding public scrutiny by simply refusing to deal with the press….unless the press wants to do a fluff & kisses piece about them. And that’s what is wrong with plopping down the non-issue drunk driving feature piece.  Reporting balanced news is vital to the health and well-being of a democracy as is the cop’s responsibility to inform the public that pays them. When journalists start backsliding down that very slippery slope by writing glory stories when the cops don’t deserve it, it is dangerous, unethical and sets a very bad precedent.  
It’s about integrity. If the reporter loses their integrity they have lost everything and they have lost it forever, for themselves and their publication and it is easy to lose integrity because the damn thing about a free press is that the fight to keep the press free never ends.  Rather it is a battle that is never won because the prize is much too valuable for other powers not to want to control it and to manipulate it.   And those battles to keep the free press free are rarely epic, rather they are tiny skirmishes, say, as an example, a police department noted for playing a one sided game, trying to get a local reporter to skim over the facts and avoid the comfortable questions and write what they want to see in print.  

Mount Vernon NY cops investigated by feds for possible ties to street gangs

Photo credit: Angela Gaul | The Mount Vernon Police Department headquarters are located at 2 Roosevelt Square in downtown Mount Vernon. (May 16, 2012)

Federal investigators are probing whether some Mount Vernon police officers are aligned with members of street gangs that have long plagued the city, Newsday has learned.

The investigation, led by the U.S. attorney's office in White Plains and the FBI, is focusing on a number of uniformed officers, according to several federal and local law enforcement sources who spoke to Newsday on condition of anonymity.

"It's looking at Mount Vernon officers who could be working with some unsavory types," said one federal law enforcement source who acknowledged that he was referring to loosely-organized street gang members involved with illegal drugs, weapons, robberies and assaults in the city.

The probe, which is still in the early stages, is focusing on rank-and-file patrol officers. As of now, the investigators have not established whether the alleged corruption could extend up the chain of command, the sources added.

Outgoing Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Carl Bell said Wednesday that he was unaware of any outside agency probing the department. Bell, who was fired Tuesday by Mayor Ernie Davis after the relationship between the two men had grown increasingly strained, did say that he had "heard the rumors" about possible street gang involvement by some officers.

"We investigated that but nothing ever panned out," Bell said.

Spokesmen for the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI declined Friday to comment.

Davis did not return calls seeking comment on the investigation.

Mount Vernon Police Benevolent Association president Gregory Addison said he was unaware of any federal probe involving the Police Department.

"To my knowledge, there's no truth to it," he said of alleged gang involvement by officers.

The alleged connections between some Mount Vernon police officers and street gang members are based on longtime friendships rather than payoffs, according to the law enforcement sources.

"They're buddies," a law enforcement source said. "They grew up together and now that they're police officers they're taking care of their friends in gangs."

In one alleged incident, Mount Vernon officers arrested a street gang member who they said was carrying an illegal weapon, according to one law enforcement source. Other officers tried to quash the arrest, then helped the reputed gang member file a brutality complaint against the officers who arrested the gang member.

"You could tell a cop wrote it because it included every member of the (police) detail -- including those who were on vacation at the time," the source said.

Concerns over possible gang involvement by Mount Vernon police officers have caused other law enforcement agencies to shy away from working with the department, according to the sources.

"They won't work with (Mount Vernon police)," a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said. "And forget about anything that involves a wire. They're not trusted."

None of the sources interviewed would speak about what prompted the investigation.

No federal grand jury has yet been empaneled to hear evidence in the case, the sources told Newsday.

The probe is separate from the federal investigation of Davis' finances, the sources said. Officials are investigating how the mayor came to own 10 residential properties in four states worth more than $1 million. They are also looking into at least three nonprofit funds Davis set up.

Two different prosecution teams are leading the investigations, federal law enforcement sources said.

Also separate from the federal investigation is Bell's firing, as both he and Davis had been kept in the dark about the probe into the Police Department, according to the law enforcement sources.

Sources added that federal authorities were caught unaware by Davis' decision to let go of his top cop.

Bell, a former federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent and supervisor, was fired after a 2 1/2-year tenure as commissioner of the 205-member department. His last day is Friday.

He and Davis were increasingly at odds as crime in the city surged and the mayor exerted progressively greater control over the Police Department.

In 2012, there were 10 homicides and more than 20 shootings in Mount Vernon. Only two arrests have been made in the homicide cases. The 10 killings surpassed the combined total of the previous two years.






Miami, Florida: Two police officers were arrested in the first-ever federal case of identity theft and tax-refund fraud involving South Florida law enforcement. They are accused of stealing people’s identities from police databases and using the information to file fraudulent tax returns with the IRS. ow.ly/iw4zb

Bethel Township, Delaware: A former police officer is accused of stealing thousands from a little league. He allegedly used his position as the treasurer of the league to steal $13,000. ow.ly/ioPpK

Morehouse Parish, Louisiana: An officer has been arrested on one count of theft and one count of conspiracy. He has resigned from the force. http://ow.ly/ioKKF

Miami County, Ohio: An officer pleaded not guilty to fifth-degree felony charges that occurred while he was on-duty. He allegedly stole a digital camera from the Sheriff’s office, as well as trash bags and paper reams. If convicted, he faces a year in prison, fines, and restitution. He has been fired. http://ow.ly/ioMgM

Update: Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A police officer has been fired after his conviction. While responding to a burglary call he stole cash from the register of a convenience store. ow.ly/io8My

Newbern, Tennessee: The police department said that it fired one police officer for reportedly falsifying time sheet documents. “The police department is tasked with protecting the citizens from dishonest people and from thieves, so when something like this goes on inside the police department, that’s dishonest and replicates a theft of city money and of taxpayer’s money, we simply can’t tolerate it,” said the investigator. http://ow.ly/ijPEo

St. Louis County, Missouri: A police officer is facing a stealing charge. He has been accused of reporting overtime hours that he did not actually work. He has since resigned from the police department. http://ow.ly/ijQHY

North Forest ISD, Texas: An officer who allegedly conspired to steal $10,000 from a group has now also been accused of robbing a home at gunpoint, while fully dressed as an officer. http://ow.ly/ijRLi

Carthage, Texas: The sheriff has been arrested in a public corruption investigation involving alleged theft, abuse of power and fraud. Texas Rangers and the FBI arrested the sheriff, who took office in January. He faces charges of tampering with a government record, defraud/harm, abuse of official capacity, and theft by a public servant. He’s free on $50,000 bond. http://ow.ly/iboNq

Franklin County, Kansas: The sheriff has been charged with felony counts of official misconduct and making a false report. The official misconduct charge alleges he unlawfully used “confidential information acquired in the course of” his duties for “the private benefit or gain” of himself or another public employee. ow.ly/ibuNT



Cop sentenced to a year of probation

EASTPOINTE — a former Eastpointe police detective who was accused of selling items from forfeiture for personal gain was sentenced to one year of probation in Macomb County Circuit Court Feb. 26.Timothy Stopczynski, 41, resigned from the Eastpointe Police Department in September 2012 amidst the internal investigation into his professional conduct that resulted in two felony charges — one count of misconduct in office and one count of embezzlement by a trustee, which was later dropped.

Defense attorney Fred Gibson explained that the embezzlement charge was dropped during plea discussions with the prosecutor under a Cobbs agreement, which specified that, if the sentencing judge did not agree, Stopczynski could withdraw the plea deal.Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Antonio Viviano stressed the seriousness of Stopczynski’s actions but agreed with the plea deal and issued the one-year probation sentence under state guidelines for the sole misconduct offense.

“Michigan has sentencing guidelines based on a point system, in which multiple factors are considered to offer guidelines for sentencing,” Gibson said.“In this incident — the misconduct charge and the fact that he had no prior criminal history — the points were zero to six months, meaning a sentencing guideline of probation, which is what he received, up to six months in jail.”

Stopczynski will have to follow standard probation guidelines and requirements, including but not limited to random drug testing, no contact with criminals and no possession of weapons. As a result of the felony charge, he is not eligible under the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards to resume his career in law enforcement.

Stopczynski had been with the department for 14 years when the allegations of misconduct arose. Despite the charges, many say he was a good cop.

“By all means, before this happened, he was a good, hardworking cop. He received many commendations and accolades in his time here,” said Eastpointe City Manager Steve Duchane.

“I don’t feel bad. He shouldn’t have done what he did. But when you watch 14 years of someone’s career disintegrate, especially when he is still young enough to live a long time with this burden on him, it doesn’t feel good, either.”

While Stopczynski did express remorse in court, his actions could potentially have lasting effects on the department.

A Royal Oak attorney is threatening a civil suit against the City of Eastpointe that stems from the charges against Stopczynski.

James Lawrence alleges that Stopczynski took items during a raid on his client’s home that were not declared in the report against his client and that other members of the Eastpointe Police Department have worked to cover up improper actions by Stopczynski and other officers on the night of the raid.

According to Lawrence, in May 2012, the Eastpointe Police Department raided a Harrison Township home, taking multiple items into evidence, threatening the occupants of the home and arresting his client, John Klein, on two drug charges — possession with intent to distribute marijuana and operating a drug house.

Stopczynski was in charge of the raid and the charges against Klein were dropped. Lawrence claims that, despite requests, the seized items were never returned to Klein, and that during and following the raid, multiple officers handled the situation inappropriately.

“I’m going to be filing a civil lawsuit against the City of Eastpointe in federal court,” Lawrence said. “We are asking for three times the value of the property taken and we are suing for damages to the teenage son and wife of my client.”

The Eastsider obtained a copy of the return and tabulation form, or list of items seized during the May 2 raid. Items listed include two vehicles, multiple jade figurines, nine cellphones, marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia and $401.

The document includes the signatures of Klein, Stopczynski and Stopczynski’s partner, who also resigned during the misconduct investigation. Lawrence claims that the document is not accurate and that the two officers took much more than what is listed. He also claims that the department refuses to return the items.

“The suspect signed recognizing the amount of money and property seized; his signature indicates that that is all the officers took during the seizure,” Duchane said in response to the allegations. “We told them to come on in and pick up their stuff.”

According to emails obtained by the Eastsider, the city has maintained the availability of seized items in emails to Lawrence. In an email to Lawrence dated Jan. 7, city attorney Rich Albright wrote: “Your clients may retrieve the two (2) subject motor vehicles upon payment of the impound costs. As of January 3, 2013, the costs totaled $3,114.00 per vehicle. You are also welcome to schedule an appointment to go through the inventory on hand and retrieve any cellphones that are the property of your clients.”

Lawrence said one of his main concerns with the department is highlighted in Albright’s email. “Even Detroit is better than Eastpointe,” he said. “They have all this evidence just thrown into a big pile; even in Detroit, they box evidence and seized items by case. They have to show a chain of evidence.”

According to acting Police Chief Scott Bourgeois, claims to retrieve seized items must be submitted within 20 days, or they are moved to forfeiture storage to eventually be sold at police auctions.

There has not been a police auction in the city in some time. At press time, the date of the last auction could not be confirmed; however, Duchane confirmed that there hasn’t been one since he became city manager in fall 2011. Therefore, all of Klein’s property should be in the department’s forfeiture storage shed.


Fmr. Phila. officer charged with loan sharking

PHILADELPHIA - March 8, 2013 (WPVI) -- A former Philadelphia police officer is facing loan sharking charges. 46-year-old Gary Cottrell was arrested Friday morning. He is accused of making high interest loans and at times using force to try and collect the money.






drunk and drugged up cops

Mcallen, Texas: A federal grand jury indicted three more law enforcement officers on drug conspiracy charges. The indictment charges them with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine. ow.ly/iwtrK

Update: Bourne, Massachusetts: A state trooper who was reported for driving erratically has pleaded not guilty to drunken driving charges. http://ow.ly/iwFrK

Orono, Maine: Police say that an officer has been fired after being arrested on a drunken driving charge. ow.ly/ivMd4

Winton-Salem, North Carolina: A police officer who faces an assault charge following a bar incident has resigned. The police said in a statement that “the diagnosed injuries to [the victim] met the statutory threshold for ‘serious injury.” ow.ly/ipjNh

Albuquerque, New Mexico: An officer has been convicted of obstruction of justice and sent to jail. He tipped off a friend about a federal drug investigation. http://ow.ly/ioMZc

Watertown, Massachusetts: An officer will be charged. He allegedly stole an ID while he was on the force, and then used to it get oxycodone and other prescription drugs. http://ow.ly/ioJQm

Update: Eric, Pennsylvania: A trooper has pleaded no contest to homicide by motor vehicle while driving under the influence. He crossed the middle line while driving, striking another car, and killed the driver. http://ow.ly/ioJ0C

Cave City, Kentucky: A trooper was arrested and charged with DUI 1st offense. His blood alcohol content was more than two times the legal limit. http://ow.ly/ioIvE

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An officer has been fired for driving drunk and causing a car accident. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of causing injury while operating under the influence. ow.ly/inT6L

Bourne, Massachusetts: A state police trooper who was on leave for a knee injury has been charged with drunken driving. http://ow.ly/ioI1g

Update: Carter County, Missouri: A sheriff has been charged with two felonies of distribution of a controlled substance, and possession of meth with intention to distribute. He previously pleaded guilty to stealing firearms from evidence and selling them. http://ow.ly/ijM0C

Nez Perce County, Indiana: A sheriff’s deputy was fired after receiving a second driving under that influence charge. http://ow.ly/ijMC2

Update: Prince George’s County, Maryland: Prosecutors have dropped a resisting arrest charge and alcohol-related charges against a veteran D.C. police officer who is suing PG County police officers that took him into custody. He alleges the officers hit him in the face and beat him in the incident. http://ow.ly/ijNOc

Update: Lake Como, New Jersey: A suspended state trooper has admitted he was drunk when he hit two parked cars and crashed his unmarked state police vehicle into a creek while he was off-duty. ow.ly/ik4p6

Washington County, Minnesota: A deputy is charged with stealing drugs. Investigators say he was taking them from a bin set up for the public to drop off unused prescription medications. ow.ly/iaHrv

Update: Jackson, Mississippi: Two former officers were sentenced to 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to taking brides. A third officer was given nine years in the same case. They accepted thousands of dollars from men they thought were drug dealers, but really were FBI undercover agents posing as drug traffickers. ow.ly/iaDhk

WACO (March 7, 2013)--A former Laredo police officer was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday after earlier being found guilty of conspiring to traffic more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana through Central Texas.U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith sentenced Eliseo Montes, Jr., to serve 20 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years on supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court. Last December a federal court jury found Montes guilty on two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
That amounts to about a ton of marijuana. At the time of the conviction, U.S. Attorney's office spokesman Daryl Fields said during the time of the alleged marijuana conspiracy, Montes was a patrol officer with the Laredo Police Department. The indictment says beginning in October 2004, Montes, in conjunction with several others, conspired to buy large quantities of controlled substances for later sale and brought some of the contraband to Central Texas for distribution.The indictment alleges the sales were completed on a 'front" basis, which means the drugs were sold on consignment and the proceeds were later collected from the sellers.Once the money was collected from the sellers, the funds were channeled through U.S. banks and the currency was laundered and was then used to buy more drugs for sale. Court documents also indicate the U.S. Attorney is seeking to forfeit $2 million from the defendants, which the government says was profit in the drug scheme, plus any other property that could have been acquired during the conspiracy

FORT WAYNE, Indiana — A northeast Indiana judge has set an October trial date for an Indianapolis police officer accused of causing a fatal 2010 crash while driving drunk. WRTV-TV reports (http://bit.ly/Zmve0O ) Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck Jr. set an Oct. 15 trial date for David Bisard during an initial hearing Friday. Bisard is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, reckless homicide and criminal recklessness in a crash that killed 30-year-old Eric Wells and injured two others when the police cruiser Bisard was driving slammed into two motorcycles stopped at a light.The case was moved last month to Fort Wayne because Marion County Judge Grant Hawkins ruled Bisard could not get a fair trial in central Indiana because of media coverage.If convicted, Bisard could face 20 or more years in prison.

2 Seattle police officers charged with DUI The Seattle city attorney's office has charged two police officers with misdemeanor drunken driving. The office says the two were off duty when they were arrested Dec. 17 after a car hit a utility pole south of downtown.  In breath tests Officer Marie Gochnour registered blood-alcohol levels of .234 percent and .247 percent. Officer Sean Moore's breath sample was .161 and .149. The state's legal limit is .08 percent.  The two were found in Gochnour's car.The officers have been reassigned to desk duty. Gochnour is a patrol officer and Moore is with the K9 unit.

BAMBERG SC — A Bamberg Police Department officer who was charged with driving under the influence in Lexington County on Feb. 23 will no longer receive pay after initially being suspended with pay last week. Corey James Bamberg, 35, who serves as a school resource officer at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High, among other duties, was placed on unpaid suspension Monday, according to Bamberg Police Chief George Morris. Bamberg was arrested by an officer of the Cayce Department of Public Safety on Feb. 23 on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s office. He was released later the same day from the Lexington County Detention Center after posting a $1,220 bond.

2 Boulder police officers charged with DUI resign:  BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Two Boulder police officers charged with driving under the influence in separate cases have resigned.  The Daily Camera reports (http://bit.ly/15BT3Ih ) 40-year-old Scott Morris was arrested on suspicion of DUI in November, and 46-year-old Elizabeth Ward was arrested the following month. After an internal investigation, a review panel recommended the firing of Morris — a 12-year veteran of the department — and Ward — a five-year veteran. But both officers resigned before any ruling was made.  Ward, who was the department's DUI officer, was spotted by an off-duty Arvada police officer weaving on Interstate 25 in Thornton on Dec. 4. A sheriff's office report says Morris, a detective, was pulled over Nov. 15 on U.S. 36 after a deputy clocked him going 76 mph in a 55 mph zone.