Texas Sheriffs Today
May. 22, 2015

Palo Pinto County sheriff to shut down planned biker rally
KXAS-TV
Law enforcement officers plan to close a road leading to a planned motorcycle club rally in Palo Pinto County this weekend "for public safety reasons," Palo Pinto Sheriff Ira Mercer said Tuesday. The rallies are held on 23 acres in the town of Mingus, located about 65 miles west of Fort Worth. The land is owned by Cossacks Motorcycle Club Inc., according to public tax records. Mercer said police and deputies plan to close Parsons Road, which is the only street leading to the property.

Mercer added he had talked to leaders of the Cossacks and asked them to cancel the rally because of what happened in Waco, where nine people were killed and 18 injured in a shootout Sunday near a Twin Peaks restaurant involving dozens of members of rival motorcycle groups.More

SAT: Jade Helm supposition unfounded
Burleson Star
Rising social media concerns related to Operation Jade Helm 15, a summer Army special forces training exercise across Texas and six southwestern states, are unfounded, Sheriff Bob Alford was told in an email from the Sheriffs' Association of Texas.

Social media pages have exploded with "conspiracy theories," the email read, with some asserting the exercise to be "martial law" and a "takeover of Texas." Those postings have been shared on many local residents' personal pages. Others wondered why a map, which the Washington Post verified to have been designed by the U.S. Army, had red "hostile" states and blue "permissive" states.

Operation Jade Helm 15 is planned for July 15 to September 15.More

Use of video visits for inmates grows, along with concerns
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
VideoBrief Four-year-old William Cole saw his father's face and reached out to touch it during a jail visit. But he could only feel a video screen. The facility in Fort Bend County is among a growing number of jails and prison systems across the U.S. in which video visitation has replaced the more familiar in-person visits, where people are in the same room but separated by thick glass.More

Broad societal issues cloud police, community relations in Houston
Voice of America
Tension between police and residents has led to unrest in some U.S. cities. But in the diverse city of Houston, calm has prevailed. Police in some parts of the city have worked to build trust with residents. However, the social conditions that can lead to unrest are still present. This community gathering at a Houston police station takes place every month under the so-called Positive Interaction Program.More

Former Texas officer running for Pennsylvania constable
The Daily Item
Eamon Shoff is running for Mahoning Township constable in Pennsylvania. A Democrat with Texas ties, Shoff worked for the Bandera County Sheriff's Office from 2009-12, where he was K9 handler and patrol deputy and enforced laws and ordinances and worked on street patrol, criminal apprehension and drug interdiction.

Additionally, Shoff was a deputy constable for the Bexar County Texas Constable Office in 2008 and 2009, where he assisted in warrant service, enforced traffic laws and issued citations for violations. He also was a K9 handler and patrol officer for the Castroville Police Department from 2003-08.More

Obama signs 'Blue Alert' law to protect police
USA Today
President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure that will require instant nationwide "Blue Alerts" to warn about threats to police officers and help track down the suspects who carry them out. The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named for the two New York Police Department officers killed in an ambush attack last December.More

Rethinking use of force
New York Times News Service via Bend Bulletin
Amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. Several big-city police departments are already re-examining when officers should chase people or draw their guns and when they should back away, wait or try to defuse the situation. More

Open carry debate picks up after shootout between biker gangs
The Associated Press via KXXV-TV
A restaurant shootout among rival biker gangs in Waco has become a last-ditch rallying cry for opponents of legalizing openly carried handguns in Texas. The shootout that left nine people dead and 18 wounded happened with only two weeks remaining for the Texas Legislature. Police chiefs and opponents invoked the chaos in Waco as they made a final protest to a state Senate committee. After an hour of testimony, the committee advanced the legislation to the full Senate.More

10 powerful police photos that encourage drivers to #MoveOver
PoliceOne.com
In honor of Police Week, officers, families and citizens around the country are spreading the word: Move over when you see a cruiser or emergency vehicle on the shoulder of the road. People took to Twitter to remind motorists that those who don't move over are putting lives at risk. Take a look at 10 of PoliceOne.com's favorites.More

'War on police': Line-of-duty deaths rise amid racially-charged rhetoric,
anti-cop climate

Fox News
Police throughout the nation say they fear a growing anti-cop sentiment driven by a handful of racially charged incidents is making their jobs more dangerous on the streets, where the number of officers killed in the line of duty is rising sharply.More