Texas Sheriffs Today
Jul. 3, 2014

Texas border sheriffs concerned about strained
budgets, disease

Congressman Michael Burgess called the overcrowding of illegal immigrants occurring at detention centers along the South Texas border "startling." Burgess recently finished touring a facility in Weslaco, where thousands of immigrants are being held. He said some sheriffs departments near the Texas border are very near bankruptcy by dealing with the illegal immigration crisis.More

More Texas cops volunteer to aid 'migrant death trap' county
Two more volunteer police officers from Hidalgo County are being sworn in as reserve deputies to assist the Brooks County Sheriff's Office. The volunteers are rushing to the assistance of the neighboring sheriff's department in need of help due to the tremendous financial burden the county faces because of the deaths of over 100 illegal aliens in Brooks County during the past year. This will bring the total number of volunteer deputies to 15.More

North Texas police: Users cooking up a dangerous new high
VideoBriefPolice in Plano and other Collin County cities are seeing more and more cases of teenagers and young adults smoking "dabs," a high concentration of marijuana that is considered dangerous. One teenager told television station KTVT that the drug is exploding in popularity.More

Sheriff's mission to curb illegal dumping of Texas frack waste
Inside Climate News
Deputy Sheriff Hector Zertuche of Alice parked his pickup across the road from a gas and oil waste dump and watched through binoculars as a container truck unloaded a mountain of black sludge. Zertuche, the environmental crimes officer for Jim Wells County, is the law here when it comes to oil and gas waste. The job has fallen to him, he said, because the state's environmental agencies don't effectively police the disposal of the industry's waste. It typically contains benzene and other chemicals found in hydraulic fracturing, along with heavy metals and other contaminants from deep within the earth.More

Victoria officers buy groceries for family in need
VideoBriefTwo Victoria police officers in Texas are being praised after a photo of them buying groceries for a family in need hit the Internet. Senior Officer Bryan Knief and Cadet Officer Anthony Vacarro were on duty when they were called out to a home. While there, they noticed the family had no food, so they decided to help out.More

Technology and the bystander effect: A crippling combination
By Christina Nava
Many people don't understand where to draw the line when it comes to using technology. They will remain glued to it, even at the expense of another person's safety. This has become an increasing problem throughout the world — especially in accident and crime scenes where the misuse of technology has made its unwelcome presence. On June 24, a video surfaced of a mother getting beaten outside by a female co-worker while bystanders looked on and recorded it with their cellphones. The only person who tried to help was her 2-year-old son, who can be seen in the video kicking the co-worker as she attacks his mother. What's even more appalling is the woman then threatened to attack the child.More

Using mobile device data in the interview room
The Force Science Institute describes a technique known as "cognitive interviewing," in which investigators ask just a few open-ended questions that foster a free-flowing narrative. The Force Science Institute has shown through numerous studies that memories, following a psychologically traumatic event, can be distorted, misremembered or altogether blocked. The technique encourages memory recall, rather than confrontation or defensiveness.More

Supreme Court: Police need warrant to search cellphones
Texas Public Radio
The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that police may not search the cellphones of criminal suspects upon arrest without a warrant — a sweeping endorsement for privacy rights. By a 9-0 vote, the justices said smartphones and other electronic devices were not in the same category as wallets, briefcases and vehicles — all currently subject to limited initial examination by law enforcement.More

Law enforcement deaths: Analyzing the past decade
By Mark Bond
In the past decade, 1,553 law enforcement officers died in reported duty deaths. This is an average of one duty death every 58 hours, or 150 duty deaths per year. In order to analyze and examine these law enforcement duty deaths, data was culled from six different sources. One statistical category, however, absent from reporting agencies is law enforcement suicides.More

Richmond officer saves woman from approaching train
Richmond Police Officer Ramon Morales has been praised as a hero for dragging a woman off some railroad tracks moments before a train roared by. Morales was on patrol when someone flagged him down saying a woman was sitting on nearby train tracks. A video shows the railroad crossing arms lowering as Morales runs to the tracks, grabs the woman and drags her to safety.More

State death benefits for fallen officers vary greatly
By David Blanchard
Administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the federal death benefit for first responders is the same for all survivors, but state death benefits vary widely. This survey focuses solely on state death benefits, and in particular the one-time, lump-sum death benefit — if the state has one — payable to the survivors of an officer killed in the line of duty.More

Feds tell local police to keep quiet about data surveillance technology
The Associated Press via TribLIVE.com
The Obama administration has been advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods.More

'Operation Broken Heart' leads to more than 275 arrests
The Washington Post
It was called "Operation Broken Heart," and its targets were child sex traffickers, pimps, porn peddlers and sex tourists operating mostly through the Internet. On June 26, local, state and federal law enforcement in California announced the results — some 275 arrests.More