Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday blehs


So yes I did take my ride along and it was.... uneventful. We had a total of 2 calls for the 4 hours I was with the officer. On the plus side the weapons subject did come up and he is a bit of a gun nut too. So I have a new person to go shooting with. I did drop one or two hints that I was a prepper but no acknowledgement from him that he was also a prepper. The talk we had was interesting but nothing I would call particularly insightful.
 
The communications display in the car was really the high point of the whole trip. The officers lap top lit up every time he had a call with the description of the call and the address. He then showed me the light bar controls and the digital recording device that records any traffic stops he might make. The cool part was he could close out a call with the laptop and not tie up airtime on the radio. This lets the officer clear his cases and not tie up airtime for another officer.

So the two calls; one was some frustrated parents whose daughter kept arguing with mom and running away. The officer (with permission/insistence from the parents) talked with her tersely and played the “bad guy”. He threatened to take her down to juvy if she did not get her act together. Even though there were tears he admitted that she would probably do this again. Call number two was for a medical assist for a retirement home. Thankfully she finally responded to attempts to wake her up. I have worked that type of job before and I get the willies every time I am near an above ground corpse (it’s not that I am grossed out it just runs shivers down my back).

I am starting out this week in a bad way; nearly chopped off my pinky toe, tendinitis for both my knee and my wrist is acting up, and the wife is largely absent while writing medical articles to get published. So bear(hah) with me if I seem a bit punchy lately.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Citizens Police Academy 6

This week was all about use of force, whether it is the use of weapons or that of verbal commands it all comes down to use of force. We were told even by showing up in uniform is a form of force by the police department. This makes sense because everyone focuses their attention on the person in uniform in most situations.
 
Our training officer then went into what composes his duty belt. What was shown to us is mostly standard for all police department: baton, flashlight, 2 pairs of cuffs, radio, and the duty weapon. The weapon is a matter of choice for our department. Officers may have their choice of duty weapons as long as it is chambered for 9mm or .45 calibers. It would explain why some officers are carrying 1911s. One of the officers even brought in his AR from his vehicle which was really interesting. Aimpoint had supplied most of the optics for our Police Department and Magpul supplied the iron sights as their backup sights. Other than that they are plain jane AR's and they don't even get to take them out but once a year for qualifications.

The rest of the class (60% of it really) was devoted to Tasers. The officers gave some statistics that after implementing the device that it reduced officer and suspects numerous injuries and that it reduced sick days for officers after using the device (compared to all out brawling with the suspect). It was named after Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle and was designed by a engineer for NASA (surprising how many cool things come from NASA). The propulsion system is compressed nitrogen and when the trigger is pulled the electricity bursts the nitrogen chamber and send the two harpoons (yes harpoons) on their way. The second thing that happens is that it releases many small pieces of paper containing the serial number of the Taser device called AFIDS(anti-felon identification system). Mostly they look like confetti with numbers on them. This is to help the officers identify which taser was used and assists with the apprehension paperwork later down the line. The officer yells taser three times before deploying the device so that other officers can get clear of the device. Getting tangled up in the leads is a very bad idea as that person will likely be the one getting the shock.

So without futher ado I present the aftermath of our tasering as it were:


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Preview

I thought I would share this with all of you as a sort of preview for a post some time next week.  This is all dependent on another shipment of reloading dies that I have ordered as well. So here it is....


Tired

This weekend has been a very busy one for me. The sun is out the birds are chirping and my wife is harping at me to get things done. We had bought this kids play set which I called our "divorce kit" about 4 years ago. I would caution anyone who is going to put together one of these to get it done by another person. None of the pieces were labeled and we spent a whole day figuring which part was what.

The second issue I had was some of the holes did not line up where they were supposed to. This in turn lead to more trips to home depot for more wood so that I could fabricate new pieces that actually worked. So now 3-4 years later there are more boards splitting and the whole structure is now unstable. Off to home depot again to get some buttresses to shore up the wobbly side. I sunk them in the ground and poured post hole concrete in them. I predict in a few more years there is going to be a bonfire in the backyard as the china made play set disintegrates. I said as much to my wife who did not appreciate that sentiment.

Home depot had a few visits from me as I went around the yard replacing sprinkler heads. I stopped there once and bought the wrong type. Second trip (Third really) turned out better and I begun the arduous task of replacing and adjusting the height of my sprinklers. Which then leads into using whatever tool they give you to adjust the head and spending 20 minutes getting it just right. In the meantime having to dodge the other sprinklers and responding to the cackles of children who are thrilled to see you soaked. All this while trying to avoid spraying the windows, because our hard water calcifies anything glass within seconds.

So I will say this now and get it over with, I sure do miss winter (as mild as it was).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Citizen's Police Academy Part 4b and 5


As promised the last bit of last week’s class and I will combine it with this week. I still have not received the presentation I was promised, so I fired up the ol' memory for it and here we go.

So the gangs of our area are as follows; Black Gangster Disciples, Brown Pride Surenos 13 and a few other local gangs to boot. Most of the issues with our gangs relates to tagging territory. With the Surenos gang the number 13 is the thirteenth letter in the alphabet (M). This pays homage to the Mexican Mafia to whom many Surenos gangs owe their founding to. Some of the gangs in our area are a little confused as to what color they are supposed to be tagging with. We have some "crypt" gangs tagging in red and "Blood" gangs tagging in blue. Officer J attributes this to wanna be's trying to impress their peers.

The main point of his briefing was to address the tagging going on. He stated that the more we reported tagging and the quicker the city can get the graffiti covered the better off the whole town is. The only troubling issue I noted from this is that Ogden Utah gangs are slowly migrating up here because of that cities law regarding two gang members withing 5 feet of each other (felony). Ogden Trece is a different gang entirely and because of Ogden's new meeting rules they are slowly migrating up here to Idaho.

This week’s meeting was on DUI and accident investigation. We had some of the same officers from traffic show up and show us some of their most violent crashes, including one of a mother who was not wearing her seatbelt. She was partially ejected from her van and was decapitated from the top of her teeth on up. Her baby, that was in a child seat, made it out without a scratch. More crashes were viewed after that one but it had left its mark with the class. There was another about a pair of 17 year old kids doing fish tails in dirt. One had a seatbelt and the other didn't. The one who did not was ejected, had a car roll on top of her and was dragged a few feet.

After a break we went into the DUI part of the class. Officer M went into the standardized DUI test which consists with Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk-and-Turn and the One-Leg Stand.

Horizontal gaze nystagmus is an involuntary jerking movement of the eyeball that occurs naturally as an individual's eye gazes to the side. Normally, nystagmus (jerking movement) occurs when the eyes are rotated at high peripheral angles. When an individual is impaired by the effects of alcohol, this jerking is exaggerated and can occur at lesser angles. Additionally, an individual Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) will have greater difficulty tracking a moving object. As the test is administered, law enforcement personnel look for three indicators of impairment. The indicators are: If the eye cannot follow a moving object smoothly.
If jerking is distinctly noticeable when the eye is looking as far to the side as it can (maximum deviation).If the jerking begins when the eye is within 45 degrees of center. The officer tests each eye. If, between both eyes, four or more of the indicators are observed, research indicates that approximately 77 percent of suspects will likely have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .10 or higher.

The rest are pretty standard tests that we are all familiar with. The other point that the officers mentioned was that drug interactions with alcohol. Even if someone blows a .3 they could still be impaired with drugs. The last part of the class they busted out the "drunk goggles". These things gave me a headache and I could only wear them for a short time. They basically simulated the effect of alcohol which the distortion and the shifting perception of the lenses is supposed to simulate. Like I said I could only keep mine on for a few minutes before I needed to take them off.

I have a ride along  scheduled for next Thursday from 6pm to 10pm so hopefully next week should be a busy posting week for me.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mice, Taxes and Other Things

Working my way up to the present time we had to go sign our tax paperwork Monday. Normally this would be a 10 minute jaunt downtown. This however was changed recently since our former tax person was convicted last year for groping a teenage girl. Having found that out we immediately took our business elsewhere. The closest person that we got a friend reference for is 40 minutes out of our way. Add in two kids to the mix and that makes it a half day affair.

Tuesday I woke up to take my daughter to school and what do you know, a mouse had made a nest in my drivers seat. This set the stage to a few hushed cuss words and a trip to Cal-Ranch. With the advice from a local pest eliminator friend I bought the larger poison "chunks" and a few electric traps. The problem with the smaller pellet poisons is that they haul it off to where ever they nest. The larger chunks they have to eat in place. The electric traps are well, lets just say I hate vermin and after chewing bits of my beloved vehicle I have no problem with frying the suckers (sorry kymber).

I know that I promised an update with the gangs but that might have to wait until tomorrow's class as I am still waiting for those power point slides. On an unrelated note; I have ordered some reloading equipment and hope to show it off here in the future.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Counterpoint

Posted with permission from Warlock Sundance as a response to my article Citizen's Police Academy Part 4.

I wish you would not fall for such tripe guys.
I ride with the Warlocks MC in South Carolina.
http://warlocksmccolumbia.net
The hell of it is.....I am not and my brothers are not the bad guys you are looking out for. Yes, one percenters we are, but the meaning of that is not what you posted or are being told.
I will just put it out here for ya.
I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ.....
and I ride in an outlaw motorcycle club.
I am a husband, father, grandfather,friend, property owner, homeowner, business owner, and taxpayer.....but I live outside the norms of regular folks. I have long hair, I am sleeved both arm tattoos. I do not drink. I do not do drugs.
I own four Harley Davidson's, and ride them regularly, rain or shine, hot or cold....it is who and what I am......and guess what.....I am a prepper too.
My business???? I own and operate a CNC machinery service company. I service and repair Laser's, pressbrakes, turret punch presses, shears, plasma cutters.....etc. I also have a full time job because the economy is killing my business here lately. I an electro/mechanical engineer.
Look guys, I have worked hard and all my life for what I have. I know the value of it. Contrary to popular belief, as espoused by L.E. training seminars and such.....damn near every biker I know will stand side by side with YOU to protect YOU in your time of need, come what may in the future.
Never forget....A helluva lot of us miserable outlaw bikers are VETERANS who served this country as well.
We are not the enemy.

Citizen's Police Academy Part 4


A wealth of information at this week’s meeting, so much so I might break this into 2 parts since I will be getting the officers power point presentation next week. This week's topic was on gangs and drugs. Since I am also a prepper this is of immediate concern to me and any person who considers themselves a prepper. If you do not know who your local bad guys are in your area do the research now (the results may surprise you). Better to identify potential threats now than waiting for the balloon to go up. Officer A and Officer J split the gangs into two types: motorcycle clubs (MCs) and street gangs.  

Motorcycle clubs also have different subgroups within its group. You have the associations which are only interested in riding and motorcycles and then you have the outlaw gangs. Not all motorcycle clubs are outlaws and not all the members of the outlaws groups are criminals. Since I will be glossing over some of the history of outlaw gangs you can read more here.  

The outlaw gangs are recognizable by their colors or three piece patch as shown. Since most motorcycle clubs are hierarchal there is a process of earning your colors. Most people who join are probates and will wear a vest that has probate on the back with the color emblem only. Once they have served the gang for a year or two they go before the top officers of that gang and interview for full membership. Another patch you need to be aware of is the 1% patch. This is typically displayed on the front of the vest. These are the
One percent patch
people who have committed sanctioned crimes within the club.

The MCs in our area are: Brother Speed, Banditos, Vagos, PH its, and a few others that I cannot recall now (mostly minor). Brother Speed is the major bike gang for the Idaho area as it was created in Boise. They have charters in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah. Officer A listed their membership as 200+ strong. The next gang Banditos has a token charter in Idaho but they are the most rowdy of the bunch. They are listed with charters all over the US and include some in Canada, Europe, Australia, and even Southern Asia. They are said to have 2400+ members in its ranks. All the sudden the Golden Horde theory is not looking so farfetched.

More information was covered on the other gangs (again minor in comparison) in the area. The officers noted that should you want to start your own chapter you had to go to Brother Speed and seek permission since they are the head gang for the area. The only other thing that I would add here is that females in the MC's will not receive full membership due to most of the bylaws of their groups.

I will cover the street gangs in a later post since this one is getting too long.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time Off

Taking a few days off this week. Wife returned from her trip and she is not feeling well. So I am taking a few days off for blogging, might only post once this week.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Citizen's Police Academy Part 3

It has been a long time since I received a speeding ticket. So with that in mind I went to the class with some apprehension. Luckily I have never been pulled by either of the officers. This week's topic was traffic and the two officers (Officer K and Officer M) seemed rather personable despite their assignment to the most hated outfit in Idaho Falls.

They went into the type of surveillance in there cars and what type of speed measuring equipment they have. One of the devices was a LIDAR speed gun to which I was unfamiliar with but I guess technology has a way of creeping up on you. Both of them brought in "chase" videos which are HD videos that get recorded straight to a hard drive in their vehicle. The video system appends the first 3 minutes of the patrol car to the point where the officer triggers the light bars on his vehicles. They also mentioned that of the 6 officers assigned to traffic they hand out 80% of the speeding tickets for our town.

They officers answered questions on speed limit "forgiveness", valid excuses for speeding, trunk checks and the issue with concealed weapons. Believe it or not I was not the one who asked about notifying the officer about a concealed weapon. But the general consensus it was appreciated if you inform the officer when you are stopped. They even acknowledged that it was not mandatory for Idaho but politeness counts when dealing with the police.

We were also shown the differences about the two types of stops that traffic deals with; felony and misdemeanor. Misdemeanor is the less dynamic of the two and it usually consists of one officer walking up to the vehicle and checking the back and front seats for threats. The Felony stop is where multiple officers are used to "funnel" the person back to the police cars. This was later demonstrated by the police officers in the parking lot. Ideally this is done by 4 officers in this scenario. Three to cover the suspects and one who is doing the handcuffing. (A few students were asked to participate as the officers were short handed).




Monday, April 2, 2012

When the Cat's Away


I love it when my wife goes on vacations. These are the times that I can clean house with any objections to why or what I am throwing away. Last trip enabled me to throw away several broken objects that she said that she was going to fix (they had been broken for over a year). This time was clothes. I live by a fairly simple rule; If it has been stored for over a year without being touched it needs to go. I place some exceptions on materials for prepping, spare parts for this and that but as a general rule it works just fine.

This is a different matter when it comes to the stuff that she keeps in the basement. Old lamps that will never be fixed, 3 tables that have not seen the light of day for a few years, bar stool chairs and her multitude of clothing bins. We have clothes down there from the 80's, baby clothes and clothes from college. So I went to work stuffing as many clothes as I can into garbage bags and I donated 8 garbage bags to our clothing donation store. So guiltily I complete another task and plan dogeza-gaikĊ for when she comes home.