Texas Sheriffs Today
Mar. 15, 2013

FAA approves drones in Arlington
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Arlington Police Department recently won approval from the federal government to fly two remote-control helicopters for public safety purposes, likely making it the largest urban police department in the nation to be given permission to use the unmanned craft, officials said. Police Chief Will Johnson announced that the Federal Aviation Administration gave the city the go-ahead in late February to start using the 58-inch-long electric helicopters, which can fly up to 40 mph. They will be equipped with cameras and will be used in numerous law enforcement missions.More

State lawmakers mull bills to keep federal gun laws out of Texas
The Texas Tribune
State lawmakers debated proposals that would make it a crime to enforce federal gun laws in Texas. The proposals have drawn support from gun rights groups, but some law enforcement officers have expressed concerns that they would have to choose between enforcing federal or state law. More

North Texas law enforcers get ready for charity ride in May
Last year, 165 police officers were killed in the line of duty, including 11 in Texas. Team Texas, a nonprofit organization of North Texas police officers and family members who help the families of fallen officers, is holding a charity bike ride in May. "It's a really good group of people who come together to honor officers who died in the line of duty and who died doing what they love," Joann Jackson said. Road to Hope participants each ride for a fallen police officer in a physically demanding and emotionally draining journey from Chesapeake, Va., to Washington, D.C., during National Police Week in May. More

Ohio to Texas to Illinois: Toll of teen driving deaths rises
Los Angeles Times
From Ohio to Illinois to Texas, the United States has again faced the tragic fact that teenagers, parties and driving don’t mix, as accidents have left a trail of shattered homes and communities across the nation. In recent days, six teenagers died in Warren, Ohio; four more in Wilmington, Ill., some 50 miles from Chicago; and in rural Dumas, Texas, five teenagers were killed — the latest examples of why motor vehicle crashes continue to be the No. 1 killer of youths in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More

Aquatic knowledge may save your life
By Jonathan Hoover, Oceanside, Calif., Police Department
Remove all of the tools, the gear, the boats, the boards, PFDs and other equipment. What do you have left when this is all stripped away, when your equipment fails you? All that you can truly rely on is your physical ability, mental preparation and training. Think about that; evaluate yourself and whether you are truly prepared to function in your environment when everything fails you. What is your swimming ability? Do you spend time training to improve your ability to swim, hold your breath and function in dynamic water? Training your mind and body are critical elements to your personal survival and ultimately the survival of others.More

US Department of Energy donates Humvee to Bingham County Sheriff's Office
The U.S. Department of Energy has presented the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office with a Humvee. It's an all-terrain tool for protecting law enforcement officers and security guards responding to dangerous situations. Bingham County called the Department of Energy and made the request for the Humvee when they found out they were getting new BearCats. More

Gibson County, Ind., Sheriff's Department marks 200 years
Princeton Daily Clarion
From lawlessness and a hanging in the 1800s to balancing budgets and paperwork in the 21st century, the Gibson County Sheriff's Office in Princeton, Ind., significantly has evolved in its 200 years. "It's not Mayberry anymore," Sheriff George Ballard said, referring to the simple, fictional TV show small town policed by folksy Sheriff Andy Taylor and his gaffe-prone deputy Barney Fife. From lawmen to administrators, the office born alongside the county has grown and morphed since its inception. March 31 will mark the 200th anniversary of the creation of the office.More

US border agents shift focus to Texas in effort to combat Mexican cartels
The Guardian
US border protection officials are preparing to shift their attentions from Arizona to Texas in a bid to combat the evolving efforts of Mexican gangs to smuggle people and drugs across the frontier.More

Baldwin Park, Calif., judge slows efforts to dissolve police force, switch to sheriff
San Gabriel Tribune
The city's police officers won a temporary restraining order that forces city officials to slow down their efforts to dissolve the police department and switch service to the sheriff's department. More

Washington County deputy rescues man from burning house
A Washington County Sheriff's deputy heroically ran into a burning house to save an elderly man who was inside. The rescue was captured by the deputy's patrol vehicle dash camera.More

Texas lawmakers reconsider marijuana punishment
Right now in Texas if someone is caught with an ounce of marijuana, they'll face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000. If House Bill 184, sponsored by state Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston, becomes a state law, the person wouldn't get locked up and the fine would be $500. More

Phoenix police mark 50 years since Miranda arrest
The Associated Press via ABC News
An arrest in Arizona 50 years ago that led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision is the subject of an exhibit that includes the handwritten confession famously thrown out by the nation's highest court. The warning from police that suspects have the right to remain silent sprang, in part, from the arrest of Ernesto Miranda in Phoenix on March 13, 1963. Miranda was convicted of kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman in Phoenix. But the Supreme Court concluded his rights against self-incrimination and to have an attorney present in the interrogation room weren't protected.More

Bill would restrict use of cellphone records by police
The Texas Tribune
Seeking to regulate the use of cellphone records in investigations by law enforcement, Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would force police and prosecutors to get a warrant before obtaining such records. State Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, filed House Bill 1608, which would require law enforcement agencies throughout the state to obtain warrants and prove to a judge there is a probable cause of illegal activity before obtaining cellphone records in their investigations. More

Phoenix to shield police radio traffic
Arizona Republic
The proliferation of websites and smartphone applications that stream police-radio traffic to hundreds of thousands of users, and a handful of recent instances in which scanner listeners have beaten police to crime scenes, have prompted the Phoenix Police Department to encrypt emergency police-radio traffic related to crimes in progress, a move that will reduce by about 18 percent the agency's scanner traffic audible to the public, said Sgt. Trent Crump, a department spokesman.More