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Monday

The Look...Lone Star Sheriffs


You Can Always Learn


Behind his desk, Sheriff Keith Gary of Grayson County, Texas leans toward me and says, “You can quote me on this, I was wrong!”
 



Let me introduce you to my friend Keith Gary.
  Keith was a 5’7” former drum major in college and after graduation, an insurance agent. Somehow by fate, accident, or an act of God he found himself sporting the badge of a U.S. Marshall assigned to East Texas.
  You can call Keith a conservative. He served under Nixon but resigned rather than serve under the Carter administration. With the election of Reagan, he was reappointed. When Clinton was elected, he resigned again and was again reappointed by Bush.
  Now, truth be told, he might have been replaced or not. It doesn’t matter because he didn’t wait around to find out.
  In 1996, he was urged to run for sheriff in a county that had never elected a Republican. He ran against a long seated incumbent and along with two other Republicans began a trend. In 2013, all 23 elected county officials will be GOP!
  To say he is beloved in his county is a statement that I have found can be said for many long-serving Texas Sheriffs. Keith is a gentle natured soul who displays courtesy and respect with the ease of a guardian angel.
  As a matter of fact, as I sit across from him in his office, or attend his Rotary luncheon, or wander around with him. I am ever fascinated by his frankness as we get to know each other. I think of a younger George Burns. I want to stick a short, fat cigar in his hands and take a picture, but he is not going for it.
The G-Man Look

Tuesday

Sheriff John Layton...NSA President 2018-19

NSA is lead by an Executive Committee and Board of Directors comprised of members of NSA who are currently holding the elected position of Office of Sheriff. The Executive Committee has supervision, control, and direction of the affairs of the Association and shall be Trustees of the Corporation.  The Board of Directors annually reviews the Association's progress and outlines the law enforcement policies that guide the Association's activities.

Sheriff John Layton

Marion County (IN) Sheriff's Office

John R. Layton was first elected Marion County Sheriff in November 2010, and was re-elected in 2014. As Sheriff, he has the responsibility of leading the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, which consists of about 1,000 employees; 703 sworn deputies and 300 civilians. The Marion County Sheriff is responsible for the three Marion County jails, which house an average daily population of 2,500 inmates. The Sheriff’s Office is divided into six Divisions; Jail, Criminal, Judicial Enforcement, Reserve, Administrative and Communications Divisions. The Sheriff is also responsible for the management of an annual budget of more than $100 million.

Thursday

Unexpected Danger! 2017 Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol




Common Sense and Courtesy

By J.B. Blocker
With all the furor generated on the social media concerning the shooting of a man during a traffic stop, it occurred to me that many don’t seem to know how to behave if you are stopped! To me it seemed that logic and courtesy were all that was necessary in order to make the stop as safe and painless as it could be considering the circumstances!
I began calling the ‘Best of the Best’ to help me get this right. These friends have served for years in several branches of Texas law enforcement. They include Sheriff Harold Eavenson the President of the National Sheriffs Association, Carrollton Chief of Police Rex Redden, Director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Association Don Reay, Senate Candidate and past Top Texas Game Warden Peter Flores, Kirk Launius the GOP candidate for Dallas County Sheriff, Howe Chief of Police and License To Carry instructor Carl Hudman, and former Texas Highway Patrol/Texas Ranger Lee Young and Sheriff David Byrne to help sort out what rules have been approved and practiced by their various departments.
Of course I might add that when Game Wardens and Texas Rangers make a stop, it is rarely for a traffic or vehicle violation.
I did a lot of listening as they guided me through not only the regulations but also the reasoning behind the suggested actions for the officer and the driver. With their help I have compiled a Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol that should be an aid to the well being of the driver and officer alike.
Ranger Lee Young simply added common sense leads to less problems. Peter Flores and Don Reay each said in their own West Texas styles, It really boils down to common sense and courtesy. To which I respond, “Common sense seems to be a missing ingredient to a lot of people. Especially when they are being pulled over!”
Since I took my license exam in the 70’s, I wasn’t really sure what the rules are on a Texas Driver’s License Exam. So let’s start there! 

Texas Driver Handbook 2014 revised pg. 66

If you are stopped by law enforcement it is suggested that you:
1.Move the vehicle safely to the right of the road as soon as possible and stop

2. Place the vehicle in a parking position, set the emergency brake, turn the engine off, and activate the hazard warning lights

3. Remain in the car, lower the driver’s window, and wait for the law enforcement officer to give instructions

4. Follow the instructions of the law enforcement officer

5. Require passengers to remain in the car unless other instructions are given by the law enforcement officer

6. Give the appropriate signals and safely return to the proper lane of traffic when released by the law enforcement officer.

What if you are carrying a weapon? Every LTC instructor in Texas is required to impart this to their students during their class.
A.      Have your driver license and LTC immediately accessible.
B.      Do not make quick movements especially when the officer is present or approaching.
C.      Have your hands on top of the steering wheel as much as possible.
D.     If at night, turn dome light on and roll down windows if tinted.
E.      Open window(s) for communication.
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The following is the result of the composite wisdom and experience of my friends who each have around 30 years or more serving and protecting.

Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol: Lone Star Reporter Version
  1. Turn on hazard warning light to acknowledge to the officer that you are aware of them and intend to comply
  2. Pull over to the right side of the road as soon as possible to a safe location.
It is permissible to drive far enough to have room to safely avoid traffic.
Park with ample safe space between the road and your vehicle
It is permissible to drive to a well-lit location
It is permissible to take a safer side street to avoid heavy traffic.
  1. Place vehicle in park, set emergency brake
  2. Turn off engine if practical based on weather condition (heat and air)
  3. Turn on dome light if the conditions are dark
  4. Make no sudden moves
  5. Roll down driver’s window. All windows if they are dark tinted!
  6. Remain in the vehicle and instruct passenger to do the same
  7. Place your hands on the steering wheel and keep them there until instructed otherwise
  8. Be Polite and wait for officer to give further instructions
  9. If you are carrying a weapon, announce it to the officer and tell them where it is located, do not point or reach for the weapon
  10. Tell the officer where permits, license, insurance, and registration are located
  11. Do not reach for anything until you have been granted permission
  12. When released give the appropriate signals and safely return to the proper lane
  13. DRIVE SAFE, Don’t litter, and wave at people you pass. You are in TEXAS!  jb
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Former Dallas Police Officer, Kirk Launius the 2016 GOP candidate for Dallas County Sheriff gave an insight that civilians don't consider. "One of the most dangerous situations on a daily basis a peace officer faces is a traffic stop. You literally don't know what to expect. The dark tinted windows are especially concerning. Officers have been shot through the windows conducting a stop."

I feel it is prudent to know the training basis for law enforcement training. On a national basis the common curriculum is known as
The 7 Step Violator Contact  Rules of Engagement.

Monday

Another "Sign it and we'll count the cost later" legislation!

The Sheriffs of Texas didn't know about it. Neither did the Constables. Nor the Justice of the Peace, Municipal and County Court Judges, County Judges and Commissioners, or even most of the Legislators.
This is another Obamacare type, pass it and then count the cost once they accumulate type bill.
There should have been awareness by the state and county officials but there wasn't. The public should have a voice in this.
Look what has happened in New Jersey! Google bail reform. 
This will lead to elimination of Bondsmen services for misdemeanors and give the burden to the Counties. It will cost time and manpower. And we don't even know the cost of the programing or support elements.
By the way, about 93-97% of illegals who are given P.R. bonds and told to show up in court leave smiling and never look back.
Oh, and Chicago leads the way in P.R. bonds. How's that working out?
Contact your State Rep. and Senators now! The bill has been passed to the House and could be up for a vote by May 11, 2017! There is no time to waste! 
The best thing would be to Kill the Bill. The second best thing would be to put it on hold until those affected can have their voice heard.
jb
Issues and Concerns regarding SB 1338 and HB 3011 Substitutes

Will Bonds be set by computer programs?



  I was leaving a great night with law enforcement officers, spouses, and supporters for the Thin Blue Line Ball held at the Rock Creek in McKinney on Sat. May 29th. On the way home I get a phone call from Honolulu. 
  Dog the Bounty Hunter wants to talk to me. We share some common ground. I'm from the Dumas area and Dog is from Pampa. We have some other connectivity that kept the conversation going into the night.
  The reason for the call was to alert me to a bill which passed a Senate sub committee (S.B.1338) and (H.B. 3011) and goes to the floor this week. This is a bill that can be traced back to Soros/Holder connected legislation designed to reduce jail occupancy by allowing more accused to be released.
   I am doing my research. Today I talked to sheriffs, constables, JP's, police chiefs, and legislators. I have no opinions. Well, not exactly. 
  What about letting a computer program determine qualifications for Personal Recognizance bonds?
  The following is worthy analysis, then I ask for smarter people than me to chip in opinions.
jbblocker


Issues and Concerns regarding SB 1338 and HB 3011 Substitutes—Updated 4/20/17
These bills create a costly and unnecessary bureaucracy that would result in many unintended negative consequences. This seems especially problematic given that current law already provides Judges the ability to utilize PR and Pretrial Release options for those that cannot afford bail.
The proposed legislation is an Unfunded Mandate to Counties.  Cost of implementing the mandatory Automated Risk Assessment Tool and related costs to each county will vary but for reference: 2015 pretrial budget for Travis County was 5. 5 million; Tarrant County was 1.1 million; and Harris County was 7.2 million.