You May Have Missed: April Officer News Wrap

Officer.com featured several original news stories on various topics over the course of the month.


During the month of April, Officer.com Associate Editor Paul Peluso spoke to several leaders and newsmakers in the law enforcement community about topics ranging from the use of unmanned aircraft by police to the role thermal imaging played in the capture of Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Here are some of the exclusive news stories that appeared on Officer.com that you may have missed last month:

IACP Seeks to Sway Public on Unmanned Aircraft

Baltimore County, Md., Police Capt. Don Roby, Chairman of the International Association of Chiefs of Police's aviation committee, talked about what must be done by law enforcement agencies to get their communities on their side when it comes to the use of unmanned aircraft.

"People think the government is going to be following them around in these quiet, stealthy, unmanned aircraft," he said. "As law enforcement -- as public servants -- we have to reassure the public that that's not going to happen."

Roby stressed the importance of agencies engaging with their communities from the start, even before the decision is made to purchase an unmanned aircraft system.

"Make it a very transparent process and make sure the community is involved in the selection of the device to be used," he said.

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Newtown Police Officers Work to Cope With Tragedy

Newtown, Conn. Police Chief Michael Kehoe said that all but one officer has returned to work since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012 that left 20 students and six adults dead, but that efforts to help members of his department heal are ongoing.

"Many of them continue to get services that are being offered to them and I've encouraged them to do that as long as necessary," he said.

The need for counseling was obvious on day one, and swift action was made to make sure services were offered.

"It never hurts to talk about things," Kehoe said. "In this case, the more you talk about it, the more you understand the effects it has on a person."

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Thermal Imager Played Big Role in Bombing Manhunt

Andy Teich, President of FLIR's Commercial Systems Division, spoke about how the Star SAFIRE III camera helped lead to the capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Massachusetts State Police helicopter that was able to spot the 19-year-old hiding inside a covered boat behind a residence in Watertown, Mass. was equipped with the thermal imaging camera manufactured by the Wilsonville, Ore.-based company.

"We were all thrilled," he said. "We build these cameras to aid law enforcement and we love to see when these systems are put to use in a manner that not only protects the officers, but significantly improves the situational awareness."

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Ga. Officer Who Revived Man: Training Took Over

Forest Park, Ga. Police Officer Christopher Simmons recalled how he saved the life of a man inside a gas station convenience store on Feb. 26.

The mother of 41-year-old Timothy Keith ran into the store saying that her son wasn't breathing.

The officer helped carry him inside the store, laid him down on the floor and began administering chest compressions until he started breathing again.

Simmons said that while he took his CPR training for granted before the incident, he has gained a new found respect for the classes he's required to attend each year.

"I know that CPR training can be somewhat monotonous and no so much fun, but when it comes down to actually needing it; it's well worth the time that you spent in that class," he said.

"You never really understand what the repetition of training does. I was able to do it without really thinking it. It was just a complete instinct."

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