Dangerous “Darth Vapor” E-Cigarette Oil

One of our Drug Recognition Experts, Detective Jeramey Peters, updated us today about a dangerous new substance that has surfaced in Michigan.  Along the same lines, I heard another story from one of our command staff who said that patrol was on a run in the last week or so with a young adult who was acting in an erratic fashion, talking gibberish, wandering around with pants around his ankles and knocking on the doors of strangers which prompted the call to police.  He was under the influence of a similar product that is being discussed here.  This stuff is dangerous and the chemical compounds are unknown.  Kids seem to think because it can be easily purchased that it is safe.  In fact it can be deadly.

Attached is a news link that we should be aware of for a product called ‘Darth Vapor’.

It is an oil that is placed in an E-Cigarette device. Teens are using it, and over the past few weeks it has caused major medical issues. In the article attached Mason County discusses three incidents where teens have had seizures, stopped breathing, and convulsing. Initial test show links to synthetic cannabinoids.

I have been called by two different Drug Recognition Experts in Michigan this week asking for information on this substance. So it is more areas then Mason County.

It may be something we want to put out to the social media sites and / or place on the briefing prompter. This substance is not illegal, so no arrests can be made.

Officers / Medics should be aware that if they respond to a young adult in a medical crisis and there is an E-Cigarette device nearby, the oil in that device maybe the cause of that medical issue.

I would suggest two things: (1) notifying the ER about the possible exposure to toxic E-Cig oils, (2) collect that E-Cigarette Device for safe keeping. This will prevent anyone else using it then becoming ill and for later forensic testing of the oil to see what is in it to determine the chemical compounds and toxicity levels if needed.vapor

In my travels I will stop by are smoke shops and see if they have this on the shelves.


#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – I Wear the Badge For You

Chief Doreen Olko:

One last entry in the “Why I Wear the Badge” campaign. The stories of the officers in this campaign have been amazing. I think the campaign has given a view into the diversity of police and their motivations for becoming police officers. The stories of the real police are so much more than what a person can see on television or in movies.

Originally posted on IACP Blog:

This post is part of our on-going #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

woodway1Guest blogger: Sergeant Khalil Abdallah El-Halabi, Woodway, Texas, Police Department

“Son… serve these people with everything you have.” I can still remember those words being whispered to me in Arabic by my father on the night of my Police Academy graduation. Why I wear the badge requires a multifaceted answer, an answer that stimulates a rush of emotions that are incredibly difficult to accurately put into words, but it is my duty to try. I was born in an area south of Beirut, Lebanon, during its bloody civil war. I was born to a father who fought for our safety and a beautiful mother that spent many of her nights shielding us in poorly built bomb shelters underground. My father is a man of great integrity who waited decades for a simple green card in order to get his…

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Why I Wear The Badge

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy declared May 15 of each year to be Police Memorial Day, a day to remember the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers across the country.  He also declared that the week in which May 15th falls to be known as Police Week.pol mem 2015

it has been a tough year for our profession.  Ours is a complex and ever evolving job.  We understand that as police in a democratic society we are subject to criticism and challenge by the public we serve.  And this has been a banner year for that.

This week we made a special effort to let you know who we are and why we choose to do a job like this.

This week we are participating in a national Twitter event called “Why I Wear the Badge.”  Police from around the country are sharing why they choose to do this job.  They post videos and photos of themselves and what they think about their job.  You’ll see many AHPD personnel who are participating.  And you’ll see a recurring theme–we do it to make a difference in the world–to make the world a better place.

I did one myself.

I urge you to visit the site to see us for yourself.  Not what the media portrays about us, whether it is the news media or movies and television who so distort what we do–but the real cops.

download (5)#WhyIWeartheBadge

The Challenges of Dealing With the Mentally Ill

One of the bigger challenges we have is dealing with the mentally ill.  It has become a commonplace call for our officers.  People in a mental health crisis are often combative, frightened and can be



Yesterday I was reviewing incidents of force use as we do here to look for policy compliance, need for training or improper actions.  I review the reports and the in car video, recorded radio traffic and any other available information.

One of the cases I reviewed was a recent one where officers were called to a bus parked in front of the Palace on M-24.  There was a passenger on the bus who was having an episode, standing up, talking irrationally, frightening other passengers and refusing to obey the directions of the driver.  So she pulled over and called the police.  Officer Michelle Hesse and Officer Mariusz Skomski were the responding officers.  Hesse arrived first and got on the bus to talk with the man.  While she was not wearing a body camera her in car system recorded the audio.  She attempted to talk with the man to determine if he was on some sort of drug or if he was having a mental health crisis.  He was incoherent and rambling in his response.  The driver wanted him off the bus so that they could continue and meet their schedule.  Hesse requested an ambulance because she suspected that he was having a mental health crisis.  When the ambulance arrived the officers tried to convince him to get off the bus with them and into the ambulance. He was frightened and became combative.  At one point he pushed Officer Hesse down into a seat and tried to rush past Officer Skomski.  They finally managed to get control of him and carried him off the bus and into the ambulance where he was restrained on the cot.  The only force use was to gain control of him to carry him off the bus.  No weapons were used or displayed.  Interestingly the officers later said many of the fellow bus passengers were using their cell phones to record the incident.  The officers are accustomed to citizens recording them with their phones–it is legal to do so.

I talked to Officer Hesse yesterday in passing and she told me that she decided she was not going to seek an arrest warrant for the individual for pushing her because he is mentally ill and she couldn’t see how jail would be a solution to that.  She felt that transport to the hospital and a petition to secure him a psych exam was appropriate.  I concur.

This case illustrates the challenges we have. Across the country you see stories of police use of force against the mentally ill that can result in the death of the individual or the officer.  It is a difficult problem for which we have very few resources.  There are no mental health specialists that come into the field–we are it.

Recently we had an opportunity to train 2 officers in 40 hour training sessions to improve our skills in dealing with these situations.  Given the week long school we could not train more than 2 people in 2 programs.  We just can’t spare that many people at once.  Officers Jeff Malone was trained in December and Officer Paul Wagonmaker in May.  As a result of the training Officer Malone trained other officers as we rolled out new policy and procedure designed to assist officers in handling these cases.

Jail diversion by the numbers | C & G Newspapers.

Helping High School Students Have a Fun, Safe Prom Season

Guest Blog by Directed Patrol Officer Chris Mahon

The Auburn Hills Police Department’s, Directed Patrol Unit and School Resource Officer Bryan Chubb worked in conjunction with the Avondale High School on 05/05/2015 to promote safe driving during prom season and throughout the rest of the year. The focus was to educate students about the dangers of drinking and driving as well as distracted driving. Officers teamed up with AAA Insurance Company who provided a driving simulator for use during this safe driving campaign.

Students had a chance to try the simulator safety program during their lunch hour. We discussed safe driving with the students to promote a safe prom season and we distributed several handouts for the students including the texting and driving law, tips for prom night safety, distracted driving, drowsy driving and 10 tips for teen safety on the road during prom season.

We had each student participate in driving the simulator if they wanted to. There were two programs that were used: Impaired Driving and Distracted Driving. In the impaired driving course, students put on a pair of goggles that simulated a blood alcohol content of .06%-.20%.  State law puts the drunk driving threshold at .08% which means that everyone is impaired when their blood alcohol content is above that so if you drive with a .08% blood alcohol content you are in violation.  Students were then asked to drive the course. The distracted driving course focused on texting while driving. Students were given an opportunity to complete both courses. Many students were amazed at how quick an accident can occur when you are distracted or impaired.

70 students took part in the safety program throughout the day. We received positive feedback from the students who were having fun but also learned a serious lesson about driving.

We have partnered with local hotels providing prom information for all the area schools. We ask the hotels to be alert to the possibility of unsupervised parties and contact us if they suspect a room is a party location.  It is our experience that this type of party has high potential for situations of deaths from alcohol poisoning, sexual assaults, property damage, and other incidents that can turn what could be a fun time of life into an ongoing nightmare.

We all want students to have a memorable prom but in a safe manner.


Today, our Assistant Fire Chief shared an email he got on a

They specifically tell you not to put this in an electronic cigarette or ingest it and then sell a killer “Party Pack” that includes an electronic cigarette.

They specifically tell you not to put this in an electronic cigarette or ingest it and then sell a killer “Party Pack” that includes an electronic cigarette.

poisoning outbreak and I thought it was important to share with you:

The Michigan Regional Poison Center is posting an alert concerning a multi-state outbreak of synthetic cannabinoids currently identified as AB-CHMINACA and MAB-CHMINACA (AB-PINACA and AB-FUBINACA in southeast MI) but also includes older versions of cannabinoids such as Spice and K2. Although Michigan saw its greatest number of reported cases in 2011 (262) and 2012 (336), the outbreak is gaining momentum in other states particularly in the southeast, and we anticipate an increase in cases presenting to local Emergency Departments especially with the upcoming Movement and Electric Forest Festivals.

As of Jan 1, 2015, poison centers reported 2,576 exposures suspected synthetic cannabinoid exposures (http://www.aapcc.org/alerts/synthetic-marijuana/)

Since April 2, there have been 687 reports or synthetic cannabinoid ED visits in Mississippi (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/23,16273,195,32,html ) with Arizona, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas are seeing similar increases

The DEA has issued temporary placement of three SC (AB-CHMINACA, AB-PINACA, and THJ-2201) into Schedule I (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2014/fr1219.htm )

AB-CHMINACA and MAB-CHMINANC are associated with with seizures, coma, hallucinations, tremor, psychosis, agitation, altered mental status, shortness of breath, and death and may be responsible for the sharp spike in severe adverse reactions since April

Synthetic cannabinoids are potent cannabinoid receptor agonists that are synthesized in laboratories and are designed to mimic the effects of THC. These chemicals have made their way into the illegal drug market and have been linked to a large increase in emergency room visits.

Synthetic cannabinoids are marketed under a many different “brand names” and include “Spice”, “K2″, “Ninja”, “Zohai”, “Mojo”, “King Kong”, “Black Voodoo”, and many others. They may also be labeled as “herbal incense” or “potpourri” and marketed as “legal highs”. The difference between prior outbreaks and the current one is that these agents are being smoked in e-cigarette devices (“vaping”) or in water pipes.

Clinical Data

Patients present severely agitated and anxious with nausea and vomiting. They may be tachycardic and hypertensive with muscles spasms and tremors. Patient can develop seizures, tremors, hyperthermia, and death. Behavioral findings include hallucinations, psychotic behavior, and suicidal actions.

Patients are usually young adults experimenting with substances. Most cases fall within 21-40 years of age and are more likely to be male.

Synthetic cannabinoids may be used in combination with other drugs.

Report on the first year of compliance with school drill law

We are nearly at the end of the school year.  It is our first year of compliance with the state’s new school drill law which becamesafe school sign-300x0 effective July 1, 2014.  Public Act 12 of 2014 amended the state fire code to require that schools conduct a specified number of drills at certain times of year and report that to their local authorities and on their websites.

Now required are a total of 10 annual drills:

  • 5 fire drills with 3 before Dec 1st of each year
  • 3 lock down drills
  • 2 severe weather drills with 1 in March

As with anything new it took us some time to work with our schools to get these done efficiently.  Officer Bryan Chubb, our School Resource Officer, has done a great job of securing compliance.  He visited each school and talked with them and then helped conduct the lock down drills in particular.  Those drills work best when they are done in cooperation with police to coordinate with our response policies.

As of today, all of our schools are in compliance!  That includes our public schools and our private schools.  Two small private schools we didn’t even know existed until this law passed are now included as compliant.

The new law also requires that schools have portable defibrillators and CPR training for some individuals on the faculty.

We realize how important it is that our children be safe when they go to school so we place a high priority on the drill completion and work with our local school officials to accomplish that goal.


What We Can Learn From the Police That Pioneered Body Cameras – Governing Magazine

Among police and their communities across the country there is 1208_taser-800x480an important conversation occurring about police worn body cameras.  Should we or shouldn’t we?  There are many aspects to be considered on this important and expensive topic.  We have already had discussion with our city council to educate them on the issues that surround any potential adoption of this technology.

Governing magazine published this article which gives some insight into this important issue.

What We Can Learn From the Police That Pioneered Body Cameras.

NBC News posted this short video on body cameras

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Child Safety Seat Checks at Target Today

You might recall that back in March we raised money from city staff to buy child car seats.  Staff members pay $5 on Fridays to wear jeans and the funds went toward the safety seats.  In some cases some departments actually brought us new seats to distribute to folks who need them but can’t afford them.  I was particularly proud of the police department who raised $390 mostly among people who wear uniforms and can’t chose to wear jeans.

So then Officer Brian Miller -our safety seat technician-went to our friends at Target who agreed to match our number of seats and allow us to do safety seat checks in front of their store today from 10:30 to 2.  They are a great partner in community events.  Because of their generosity we had 10 new seats to distribute if the officers met a person in need.

If you missed the event today, don’t worry, there will be another in early June at the station and we’ll announce it in advance.

Here are some photos of the event today.

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UpdateOfficer Miller tells me that they inspected 7 seats, got a child into a booster seat who needed one (and couldn’t afford it) and answered numerous questions from people who stopped by their booth.  All in all, all good days work.