Archive for the ‘Mission Statement’ Category

Dallas Police Media Relations Unit Announces Arrest of Sr. Corporal in April 2009

August 21, 2009

Dallas Police Department

Police Media Relations Unit

Phone: 214-671-4065 Fax: 214-670-8154

April 2, 2009 Dallas Police Senior Corporal Arrested by Desoto Police

Dallas Police Senior Corporal Rex Jones, #7193, was arrested this morning, April 2, 2009, by Desoto Police for injury to a child. Senior Corporal Jones is assigned to the Training Academy and has been an officer on the Dallas Police Department since April, 1995. Senior Corporal Jones has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by the Internal Affairs Division. Any questions regarding this arrest should be directed to the Desoto Police Department.


Dallas police pioneering new photo lineup approach

August 21, 2009


By JEFF CARLTON, Associated Press Writer,  Fri Aug 21, 7:30 am ET

DALLAS – Frustrated with a string of wrongful convictions, the Dallas police department is now the nation’s largest force to use sequential blind photo lineups — a widely praised technique designed to reduce mistakes made by witnesses trying to identify suspects.

Dallas is not the first department to use the pioneering method. But experts hope that by using it in the county that leads the nation in exonerating wrongly convicted inmates, Dallas will inspire other departments to follow suit.

“If Dallas can do it … then others are going to rise to the occasion,” said Iowa State psychology professor Gary Wells, a national expert on police lineups.

The department switched to sequential blind lineups in April. Before that, Dallas police administered most lineups using the traditional six-pack — law-enforcement lingo for mounting six photos onto a folder and showing them to a witness or victim at the same time.

In sequential blind lineups, mug shots are shown one at a time. Detectives displaying the photos also don’t know who the suspect is, which means they can’t purposely or accidentally tip off witnesses.

Showing possible suspects all at once tends to make a witness compare the mug shots to one another, Wells said. But if they are shown sequentially, “witnesses have to dig deeper, compare each person to their memory and make more of an absolute decision.”

“It makes witnesses more conservative, more cautious,” he said.

An analysis of 26 recent studies shows that presenting mug shots sequentially instead of simultaneously produces fewer identifications but more accurate ones, Wells said. Overall, identification rates in sequential lineups are 15 percent lower than simultaneous lineups — but misidentification rates also drop by 39 percent, he said.

Dallas is taking other measures to try to cut back on misidentifications. Police try to record every lineup to make them more credible, and a lineup unit tells witnesses that police will investigate the case regardless of whether an identification is made. That’s designed to reduce pressure on a witness to make an ID for fear the case will stagnate, said Dallas police Lt. David Pughes.

Dallas police also ask witnesses to express how confident they are in their identifications, Pughes said. That’s to avoid what Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck calls a “forced-choice response” when police, intentionally or not, nudge a witness into expressing certainty.

That’s what happened to Thomas McGowan, a wrongly convicted Dallas County man released last year after nearly 23 years in prison for a rape and robbery he did not commit.

Police in the Dallas suburb of Richardson gave the victim, who was held captive by her attacker for several hours, several photos including McGowan’s and the man that DNA eventually proved to be the rapist. She picked out McGowan’s photo, saying she “thought” he was the attacker. Police told her she had to be certain and “couldn’t just think it was him.” It was then she said McGowan was “definitely” the attacker, according to court documents.

McGowan recently met his accuser, who apologized. He said he believes police should use an independent person to administer lineups. The Richardson department now has a written policy that states a preference for but doesn’t require an independent lineup administrator.

“They showed me the picture of the guy, and to me the guy looked nothing like me,” McGowan said. “I’m still trying to figure that one out.”

Nationally, more than 75 percent of DNA exonerees who have been released since 1989 were sent to prison based on witness misidentification, according to The Innocence Project, a New York legal center specializing in overturning wrongful convictions. It’s the most common element in a wrongful conviction, the center said.

Since 2001, 21 people in Dallas County have had convictions overturned after DNA proved their innocence. A majority of them were in the city of Dallas.

In May, Jerry Lee Evans, of Dallas, had his conviction overturned after spending 23 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon. The rape victim wrongly identified him as her attacker.

In another case, Johnnie Earl Lindsey spent more than 25 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. The victim said her attacker didn’t wear a shirt. A year later, the victim picked out Lindsey — one of two shirtless men among the six photos. Lindsey, of Dallas, was released last year after DNA showed he was innocent.

Boston, Minneapolis and Denver use sequential blind lineups or some variation. New Jersey and North Carolina have mandated police do the same. Most police departments, however, continue to use the six-pack or other traditional methods.

“There’s a belief that as long as what you are doing is legal, then you just keep doing it because you believe it is working for you,” Wells said.

In Dallas, police were initially resistant to the new lineups because “they thought we were creating obstacles to getting bad guys off the street,” Assistant Chief Ron Waldrop said.

But after about 1,200 lineups, identification rates have not changed — though it is too early tell if there’s been a decline in mistaken ID rates.

Soldiers pledge to refuse disarmament demands

March 18, 2009

Posted: March 17, 2009
11:21 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Campaign urges members of military to ‘steel resolve’ to ‘do the right thing’


An invitation to soldiers and peace officers across the United States to pledge to refuse illegal orders – including “state of emergency” orders that could include disarming or detaining American citizens – has struck a chord, collecting more than 100,000 website visitors in a little over a week and hundreds of e-mails daily.

Spokesman Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers told WND his organization’s goal is to remind military members their oath of allegiance is to the U.S. Constitution, not a particular president.

He said the organization deliberately does not collect the names of those who subscribe to Oath Keepers’ beliefs because of their status mostly as active duty soldiers.

He told WND he is scheduled to talk about the issue on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio program tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and he’s begun working with “Gathering of Eagles” on several projects, including a Pro Troop Events gathering scheduled in Washington in June.

Rhodes said his goal is to “teach them more about what they swore to defend so they will be better able to see when an order violates the Constitution and the rights of the people, and is thus unlawful.”

That review must be done immediately, so they have an opportunity to decide what is right and wrong and then to “steel their resolve to take a stand and do the right thing, whatever the cost,” the organization says.

The U.S., Rhodes noted to WND, was launched as a natural law republic, meaning the founders recognized all rights come from God, not the government.

The founders, many of whom ended up active militarily in the revolution, rebelled “against the principle” that a king or parliament could rule them.

“That’s where we are. We want to make sure men in the military understand in advance what the line is they won’t cross,” Rhodes said.

One testimonial posted by an active duty Army soldier, who was kept anonymous, said that message already has gotten through.

“I want you guys to know I’m with you 100 percent and so are a lot of my fellow soldiers. These kinds of discussions go on between us often, and we all know that we did not swear an oath to any politician (of either party),” he wrote.

“And just for the record not me or anyone else in my platoon would ever follow an order to disarm the American people,” he wrote.

The organization describes itself as a non-partisan group of members of the military as well as peace officers “who will fulfill our oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God.”

Among the orders the soldiers are pledging NOT to obey:

  1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people. … Any such order today would also be an act of war against the American people, and thus an act of treason. We will not make war on our own people, and we will not commit treason by obeying any such treasonous order.
  2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons. … We expect that warrantless searches of homes and vehicles, under some pretext, will be the means used to attempt to disarm the people.
  3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal. … Any attempt to apply the laws of war to American civilians, under any pretext, such as against domestic “militia” groups the government brands “domestic terrorists,” is an act of war and an act of treason.
  4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor. … It is the militia of a state and of the several states that the Constitution contemplates being used in any context, during any emergency within a state, not the standing army.
  5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.
  6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps. … Such tactics … by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto, and by the Imperial Japanese in Nanking, turn[ed] entire cities into death camps. Any such order to disarm and confine the people of an American city will be an act of war and thus an act of treason.
  7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext. … Such a vile order to forcibly intern Americans without charges or trial would be an act of war against the American people, and thus an act of treason, regardless of the pretext used.
  8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.
  9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.
  10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

“We will not make war against our own people. We will not commit treason. We will defend the Republic,” the organization’s website states. “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually affirm our oath and pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Rhodes said the organization has not even had time to complete its website, but the word is spreading so quickly through its blog that thousands of people are investigating the site each day.

Plans had been to wait on the campaign until a website was established, but recent events accelerated the effort, he said.

One such situation was a training exercise planned by the National Guard in Iowa on which WND reported.

Rhodes said the effort is not a response to President Obama or his policies.

He said the accumulation of power in the executive branch in recent years has been alarming. The fears crystallized when Obama took office and suddenly had access to the accumulated power.

That, he said, is a “powderkeg.”

“We do feel in our hearts that this effort has the potential to change history for the better and to forestall or even prevent this nation from ever experiencing the horrors that plagued so many other nations in the 20th Century,” the website says.

“We are convinced that it is not too late, that there can be a turning of the tide – if we (and that means you too!) can reach enough of our brothers in arms and remind them of their oath, teach them more about what it is they swore to defend, and steel their resolves to stand firm if/when their oath is tested. We feel honor bound to do all we possibly can to achieve that mission.”

WND already has reported on several members of the U.S. military who have raised concerns about the implications of Obama’s possible ineligibility to be commander-in-chief.

One officer who signed onto a case filed by attorney Orly Taitz, the California activist with the Defend Our Freedoms Foundation, immediately was ordered by his commanders not to speak to the media.

The officer’s identity was withheld to prevent further actions against him.

Taitz said she’s working with more than 100 members of the military in her case.

WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.

Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born

PA Legislator Proposes Tax To Pay For State Police Service To Municipalities With No Police Force

December 26, 2008

 According to an article in the September 26, 2008 Herald / Standard newspaper, PA State Representative John Pallone of Westmoreland County has proposed that residents of municipalities with populations of 10,000 or more and no local police force, be required to pay a tax of $100 per head to defray the costs of the PA State Police responding to calls for police assistance in those municipalities.

 Most of our readers from outside of PA do not understand that PA law, unlike many other states, does not require municipal governments in the Commonwealth to operate police departments.

 Amazingly, many of the municipalities that do not operate their own police forces are more than financially able to do so. In Westmoreland County, Hempfield Twp., which has no police force, has well over 40,000 residents making it the most populous municipality in the county & the largest geographically. In Fayette County, tiny Ohiopyle Borough with a population of under 225 residents employs a police officer while the Twp’s. of North Union, with a population in excess of 10,000, & South Union, which has an annual budget in the millions of dollars, do not employ a single police officer.

 Ironically, South Union Twp. did operate a full time police dept. at one time, but abolished it right about the time their Twp. exploded with economic development. S.U. Twp. is now the wealthiest municipality in Fayette County and the PSP Barracks in Fayette (the Uniontown Station) is the busiest in the entire Commonwealth.

 And, also unlike in many other states, Sheriffs in PA are not required by law to answer calls for police assistance when a given municipality does not operate it’s own police force. That responsibility falls to the PA State Police (PSP), an organization that is not well suited to responding to or addressing “local” problems.

 Further complicating the issue is the fact that in the Commonwealth of PA there are no “unincorporated” areas. Every citizen lives within a municipality; a Borough which is basically a mini city governed by an elected council and Mayor, a Township which is a fairly rural area governed by an elected Board of Supervisors or a City which is governed by an elected Council and Mayor.

 The issue came to the fore several years ago with the collapse of the bulk of steel mills & coal mines, the major employers in Southwestern PA. When the mills & mines closed many thousands of people were laid off, bankruptcy filings exploded, home foreclosures rose to previously unseen levels, and the tax bases of many municipal governments, which were predominantly dependent on real estate taxes, shrunk to all time lows causing elected officials to make budget cuts. Almost without fail those cuts were made by laying off police officers and in many municipalities, police departments were abolished altogether.

 Many of the municipalities that abolished their police forces looked to the Sheriffs of their counties for police protection, but county governments in PA are also predominantly reliant upon real estate taxes and were hit just as hard as the municipalities that were now seeking county help; meaning the Sheriffs were unable to provide help due to their own budget shortfalls.

 In addition to the Sheriffs not having the financial means to provide help to the municipalities, PA law does not require Sheriffs’ to act as law enforcement officers, although they can, and many of them were not inclined to get involved with answering calls for police assistance and making arrests as Sheriffs, unlike police officers, must get elected, and in general, an elected official does not gain many votes by arresting potential voters.

 Thusly, the task of providing routine police services to the affected citizenry fell to the Troopers of the PSP. The PSP was never intended to answer routine calls for police services such as neighborhood noise complaints & domestic disputes and they were & are ill prepared to do so.

 Possibly the greatest benefit of a municipality operating a local police force is that the officers that will enforce the laws spend a great deal of time in the community they patrol. They get to know the residents, good & bad, as well as the problems in the community. This allows the officers to apply their knowledge of the community when answering calls and deciding whether or not to make arrests while the PSP Troopers usually know very little about the residents of individual communities and the problems in that area causing them to make “black & white” decisions in a colorful world.

 The issue of funding PSP services to municipalities without their own police forces has been hotly debated and many different proposals to address the issue have been put forth.

 The idea to institute a “head tax” upon the residents of municipalities with 10,000 residents or more and no local police forces, as the latest proposal would do, should not be instituted.

 The PSP is funded by the Legislature which does not collect real estate taxes as  municipalities do. The state collects the bulk of it’s revenue through income and sales taxes, which are paid by most, if not all, Pennsylvanians including those that live in the targeted municipalities.

 Residents that live in municipalities that operate their own police forces pay the same rates of income & sales taxes to the legislature as do the residents of municipalities that do not operate their own police forces, but they do not receive the same amount of services from the PSP because they fund their own officers.

 In essence the residents of municipalities with their own police forces are subsidizing PSP services to the municipalities that choose not to provide their own police forces. This is just plain unfair.

 On the other hand, the residents of the non police municipalities are already paying for the services of the PSP and the legislature cannot charge twice for the same services. However, the legislature can & should provide for a state income tax deduction for residents that live in municipalities that fund their own police forces. This would provide relief to the residents of municipalities with their own police forces that have been subsidizing PSP services to the residents of “non police” municipalities while encouraging the elected officials in the “non police” municipalities to institute their own police forces.

 But, we believe the best way to address this situation is for the legislature, as is within their authority, to simply require that all municipalities provide local police services.  Municipalities that truly do not have the financial means to provide local officers, and there are many such situations, can join or contract with neighboring municipalities to form regional police departments as is already being done in several areas of the Commonwealth.