Beginning May 1st we will be changing the way we deliver emergency medical services to the community. In this podcast, I describe what will be happening and what you can expect.
Generally speaking, I am not one who can watch TV shows or movies about police. Many of my friends refuse to watch these kinds of movies or shows with me because they don’t like my constant criticism of the shows as unrealistic. I like a good story as much as the next person but I don’t like how our profession is presented as entertainment. I realize that the story wouldn’t be nearly so good if it reflected reality.
With the constant array of detective or policing type shows available I think that a certain mythology has grown up around the work that removes reality and portrays us in only one aspect of our job: crime fighter. While we are crime fighters, it is only about 20-30% of our overall job. I realize that it makes good TV to show the constant car chases, shoot outs and other adrenalin inducing action but in fact that isn’t our reality for the most part. We do a large variety of tasks, where the issue is rather vague and many of the tasks conflict with each other. It is a complex job that demands that we be ready to pursue and tackle criminals, write traffic tickets to unhappy citizens, tow abandoned vehicles, referee angry neighbor disputes over barking dogs and write detailed reports about all of it. Dealing with ill-defined problems and finding solutions using the law, common sense and some empathy is a better descriptor of what police do.
Another aspect of this mythology is what we have now termed the”CSI Effect.” The television show, CSI and others like it seem so real that the methodologies and activities of these fictional characters in a contrived story now influence juries in criminal trials. As you know, criminals are tried by a jury of their peers – regular folks from all walks of life. The problem we see now is that jurors now have a distorted view of forensic evidence. ”Why didn’t the police get the DNA of the tire track in the burglary case to tie it to the defendant who drove through a farm yard with unique dirt and debris after committing the crime?” In fact we have limited resources and limited access to DNA and as a result we must pick and choose where we use it. Generally DNA analysis is reserved for serious felony cases of crimes against persons like serious assaults where someone is seriously injured. We simply can’t use it on every case. So we go to trial on the evidence we have. The law says that a jury must convict if the evidence in the case indicates that the defendant committed the offense beyond a “reasonable doubt”–not the same as beyond ANY doubt. But juries are shocking us with acquittals of defendants because they had an unreasonable expectation of what police can do.
When you are watching CSI or any other TV show or movie about the police, just remember –IT IS NOT REALITY.
For more information on the topic, click here: http://www.npr.org/2011/02/06/133497696/is-the-csi-effect-influencing-courtrooms
I hope you weren’t one of the people who was caught up in the M59 road closure this morning. It started from a truck that hit a power wire hanging low across the freeway at about 0250 this morning. We moved as quickly as possible to notify as many people as we could. Of course we talked to the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Road commission for Oakland County, DTE, Chrysler, Oakland University(large commuter populations). We sent out media information and on Twitter (@AHPOLICE) and NIXLE. We wanted you to know that the road had to be closed so that you could consider a different route to where you needed to go that didn’t include that stretch of M59.
Since early this morning our sergeant has been a participant in a command post that includes MDOT, RCOC, DTE and ITC (the power line company). Their job is to coordinate what to do that fixes the problem but disrupts the least number of people. We have trained with MDOT and RCOC for just this kind of thing–a program called Traffic Incident Management or Highway Incident Management. It is called up whenever there is a major event or incident causing an impact to the roadway system. The idea has been around for a while and is used in many other states. It brings together the people and entities charged with management of the roadway system as well as the resources needed to fix the problem. Those big freeway signs and the MI DRIVE are all part of this system. In this case we had to consider what works for the road users as well as for the people who are without power as a result of the incident.
We expect that we will be able to open the freeway shortly although it will have to be closed at some future point soon to restring the wire. Most likely after rush hour. I know that restoration of power to residents and businesses is another high priority for which contingent plans are being made right now. Stay tuned to your local media outlet or our social media for updates.
We practice this kind of thing on a regular basis. On days like today our training pays off.
On this cold, cold February morning a large group of Auburn Hills Police and Fire Department members gathered in front of our building. We gathered near a large stone that carries a plaque that memorializes, Dennis Dearing Jr., a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty on this date in 1994. He was 27 years old.
We never forget.
But we also say – NEVER AGAIN. We accept that our work is uncertain–we go toward danger as others are going away. But we do it with care- we train to meet the challenge every day. Our highly trained and dedicated fire command staff is on every scene and takes hold of each incident to choose tactics that will be effective and safe both for the public and ourselves. We have appropriate safety equipment and require that it be used. We study and train to improve ourselves all the time. Every structure fire is evaluated for performance improvement.
We deeply regret the loss of Firefighter Dearing but his memory urges us forward toward improved performance every day.
Every now and then I talk to someone who asks me about a story they heard about Great Lakes Crossings Mall. Today it was a story that I heard from a credible person who shared that she met a person spreading a story that the mall wasn’t safe because of a kidnapping recently. I’d like to clear the record: THERE WAS NO KIDNAPPING. THERE WAS NO ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING. I’ve also heard stories suggesting that there are robberies or other kinds of serious crime there. I can assure you we have had no increase in crime. No robberies. Mall security does a great job and works in close partnership with us. Between their high quality camera system that monitors large areas of the mall, including ATM machines and their lot and facility patrols, they do a tremendous job at keeping customers safe. We even share an office with them. We have officers stationed at the mall –not because it is dangerous– but to help us maintain a quick response to calls for service. Our city is good sized and has an odd shape which can be hard to move around in at certain times of day. We have formed a retail district which includes not just the mall itself but all of the retail along Brown Road. The officers stationed at the mall respond to calls and patrol that entire area. It is a “differential call queue” in which we send the officers stationed at the mall to handle most everything in that area and allows us to keep the other officers elsewhere in the city in their assigned patrol areas. So if you see our cars parked at the west end of the mall it isn’t because something is necessarily happening–it is just their duty station.
Back in August of 2013 we did have an incident where a couple of guys tried to take a woman’s car. We were quick on the scene and made arrests within an hour of the incident. There were no injuries. That incident was a one of a kind.
Whenever these stories come my way, I try to track down the source immediately. We keep close tabs on what goes on there. I get a phone call or a text if there is an incident that is out of the ordinary. And a serious crime against a person is out of the ordinary. Amazingly I’ve had people tell me that I must not know about all the crime (????) there or that it isn’t being reported when I dispute some urban legend. I guess if anyone is in a position to know, it’s me.
Do we have shoplifting? Most certainly. Like every retail outlet, we do have a certain amount of theft and fraud going on related to the retail stores. But in terms of serious crime? No siree. I shop there myself.
From USA TODAY
Hang up if a caller claims to be from the IRS
One Grand Blanc woman was so terrified by a supposed call from the IRS demanding money that she drove immediately to the bank while the aggressive caller remained on the cell phone. But the frightened woman slyly handed the teller a note that said “Robbery in Progress.” The police arrived at the bank, according to Grand Blanc Detective Steve Hatfield, because the teller thought that’s who she needed to call. Once the scam was explained, the police officer then actually talked to the guy on the cell, Hatfield said. But the brazen con artist caller threatened to lock up the police officer if he didn’t pay the back-due taxes. Susan Tompor:Did your cell phone ring just once? Do not call back
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Just recently, we have had a series of reports from business locations that someone purporting to be from DTE is calling threatening to shut off power to the location if they don’t pay money owed immediately. The person is then directed to get “green dot” or prepaid credit cards and call them back to give them the number. The fraudster then gets away with the cash. If you get a suspicious call, look up the number for DTE and call them yourself. Don’t use a number that you may see on a caller ID – fake caller ID numbers are what is called “spoofing.” I am certain that DTE will never ask you to pay over the phone with a green dot card.
In another version known as “cyber squatting,” the fraudster created a website that is a replica of a businesses’ website. Persons transacting business via website enter in their credit card numbers or other identifying data only to be entering it into a non secure website. Here are some tips:
- Check where the website is based out of. You can use the site www.whois.net. This should list the registrants name (company name that registered the site) and where it is based out of. Some countries have weak consumer protection laws. If the listing is “private” become suspicious. Legitimate companies generally will not list their sites as private.
- Scrutinize the website. Do the images appear related to the business? Does the product information appear detailed? Do all the links on the site work properly? If not, you should be suspicious.
- Check other sites for reviews – Better Business Bureau, shopping.com, etc
- Scrutinize all web based orders – attempt to determine if the website used is legitimate (call the business directly).
The constant stream of news stories about identity theft sometimes dulls our sensitivity to this stuff until it happens to us. One of the scams going around is spoofing of your caller ID by persons reporting that they are from the IRS. The elderly are often targeted in this as in many others. The caller ID will show a spoofed number from some legitimate governmental source so you pick up the phone thinking that it is the real deal. In this case, the caller advises that the person owes taxes and that they must pay up–then gives information about where and how to pay that directs the money right into the scammer’s bank account.
The IRS will not call you on the phone to advise of unpaid taxes. Here is a link below with some suggestions of what to do if you think you’ve received one of these calls. If you live in Auburn Hills – call us.
Learn how we use our scarce resources as effectively as possible.
Interested? Here is more information:
Auburn Hills Detective Tuski Honored when John Walsh, Gov. Snyder address CARE House fundraiser in Birmingham
On Friday, January 31, Auburn Hills Detective Ron Tuski was honored at a CARE House luncheon at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. He was nominated by the Department for his long and distinguished service to the abused and neglected children of this community.
John Walsh, Gov. Snyder address CARE House fundraiser in Birmingham.Ron Tuski has been with the Auburn Hills Police Department for 24 years, 14 of those years as an Investigator. Detective Tuski has been involved with Care House Advocacy Center from the early days of his career as a detective utilizing the center as well as being a forensic interviewer.Lt. Jill McDonnell, the Criminal Investigations Division Commander and Ron’s boss says: “He has participated in dozens of child abuse and neglect investigations pursuing those that could be prosecuted and getting assistance for those that were not prosecutable. Detective Tuski puts the welfare of the child first and foremost in the all the cases he investigates. Whether the case is an abuse or neglect case or even other kinds of criminal cases he works to insure the safety and welfare of the child(ren). Detective Tuski shares his knowledge with new/fellow officers of the importance of a multi- disciplinary interview of children to minimize the trauma.”
Detective Tuski’s hard work, special attention and dedication to cases involving children is the reason why we have selected him as our Care House Circle of Friends nominee.
Congratulations, Ron and well deserved! We are proud of you.