Avoiding Fraud

We have had an increasing number of reports from victims of fraud.  There are various kinds and types of fraud activity.  One is what we call a “green dot card” scam.  In these scams a person is contacted usually by phone and the person on the other end represents themselves to be a government agency, utility company even a police department purporting to be holding a family member in jail, trying to get money from the victim.  There are ways now to “ghost” a phone number on these computer phone systems that makes a false identification show up on your caller ID.  It might say “Auburn Hills Police” but it really isn’t us. 

Sometimes it takes the form of an almost correct email address for a company executive.  A person in the finance department gets an email from this almost correct email address telling the employee to wire large sums of money to a specific place usually outside of the US.   Once it is out of the country it is gone.  The scammers are usually located in places where there are no or limited police services to investigate and no extradition treaties to the US.

Although you can report it to us, you also should report to the Federal Trade Commission.  You can make the report on line.  Here is some additional information to help you avoid becoming a victim.


USA Today: Marijuana to remain illegal under federal law

From USA Today

Marijuana to remain illegal under federal law


Marijuana advocates who hoped the cascade of states moving to legalize medical marijuana would soften the federal stance on the drug faced disappointment Thursday as the Drug Enforcement Administration announced its decision to keep marijuana illegal for any purpose.Marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Substances in Schedule 1 are determined by the Food and Drug Administration to have no medical use. States that allow marijuana for medical use or legalize recreational use remain in defiance of federal law.The announcement to be published Friday in the Federal Register relaxes the rules for marijuana research to make it easier for institutions to grow marijuana for scientific study. The DEA currently authorizes just one grow facility in Mississippi.

Autism and Wandering

It is increasingly common for us to be called by parents or guardians of missing children with autism when their children have gone missing.  Some are very, very young children who manage to get out of their home and walk away.  It isn’t helpful to blame the parents –I know of parents of autistic children with sophisticated locking systems inside their homes but the child still finds a way out.  Judging or blaming parents might delay their willingness to seek help which is something we don’t want and it may prevent them from seeking the help they need.  Any report of a missing child in our community gets a very strong, immediate response from us.  We know that the quicker we begin the search, the better chance we have of finding the child safely.  THERE IS NEVER A WAITING PERIOD BEFORE REPORTING ANYONE MISSING – CHILD OR ADULT.  Autistic children pose slightly different challenges and often don’t recognize us as helpers when they are in a frightening situation away from home.

The National Center for Missing and Endangered Children posted this information on their website:

Children with autism often have an extremely high attraction to water. Because of this we strongly recommend first responders and search teams immediately check all nearby bodies of water in an effort to head-off the child. These bodies of water include but are not limited to streams, ponds, lakes, rivers, creeks, storm-water retention/detention basins and swimming pools.

Other dangerous attractions

Children with autism may exhibit other interests that pose similar dangers such as:

  • Roadways/highways.

  • Trains.

  • Heavy equipment.

  • Fire trucks.

  • Roadway signs.

  • Bright lights.

  • Traffic signals.

They also posted a short video on their website about this phenomenon and how you can help.

Learn more:  http://www.missingkids.org/AUTISM

Doing the right thing everyday

Some good thoughts on policing from MCOLES Executive Director Dave Harvey

Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards

I have the privilege of instructing new procedures on how to conduct photographic line-ups. The new procedures were developed through the work of the State Bar of Michigan Task force on Eyewitness Identification. After being trained by a Police Chief from Connecticut I have been traveling the State with the training.

I was challenged recently by an attorney who was skeptical if law enforcement was listening to the training especially when I highlight how misidentification can occur with current procedures. My response to him was that no police officer I know or have known wants to see the wrong person go to jail. If for no other reason than the actual perpetrator is out continuing to commit crimes.  But overall we always strive to do the “right thing”, mistakes happen as they do in any profession.

To believe that law enforcement is infallible is either self-serving to prove a point…

View original post 220 more words

Interesting Conversation Among Local Police Chiefs

Today I came across this video of 3 of our local police chiefs talking about the current state of policing in relationship to their communities in our local area.  I think they did a really great job of representing us all in this conversation.  Many of us share these same opinions and ideas.

We all know that there are challenges for policing these days.  The chiefs shared their thoughts:  one being that we (police) should be sure we are doing the right things everyday and holding ourselves accountable; another being that police officers are entitled to fair and impartial investigations when things go wrong–not being judged and condemned by a snippet on social media; how we are continuing to educate ourselves to be fair and impartial police in diverse communities; and the incredible support we are feeling right now from our communities and how much we appreciate that.

These communities are both smart and lucky that they are served by this caliber of law enforcement leaders.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund: Law Enforcement Firearms Fatalities Spike 78 Percent in First Half of 2016

Today the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund issued a new report with preliminary data through July 20, 2016, revealing that 67 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2016, an eight percent increase over the same period last year (62).

Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund: Law Enforcement Firearms Fatalities Spike 78 Percent in First Half of 2016

Move Over, Michigan, please!

We have appreciated the recent support we have received from the community.  Now we are asking you to do something for us — when you see police on the shoulder of the roadway on a traffic stop or investigating a crash -move over a lane to make the scene safer for us. And for wrecker drivers and emergency medical personnel.  It’s the law.

Just yesterday I was on I-75 not far out of our city while off duty.  Up ahead I could see a trooper on a traffic stop.  At that point the freeway was 3 lanes and the traffic wasn’t particularly heavy.  As I approached the trooper in the center lane, I expected that a small car ahead would move over from the right shoulder lane into my lane.  BUT THEY DIDN’T.  To my horror the driver just breezed on by the trooper who was on foot at the driver’s door at 70 miles per hour.  I ultimately passed the car and was disgusted to see that she was holding her phone up and looking at it.

During my time as a patrol officer, I’ve been hit by cars on traffic stops myself both while I was in the vehicle and when I was out on foot.  I was lucky that I was never seriously injured.  The trooper today wasn’t so lucky.  Hope he is ultimately OK.  Working on the freeway is a very dangerous job–ask any Auburn Hills officer.

Where you are going can’t be that important that you can’t give us just a little room.  It’s also the law.  For more information go to MOVE OVER, MICHIGAN.


Trooper hit today on I-696


Realistic Looking Toy Guns Pose Challenges for Police

One of the deep concerns of officers is mistaking a toy gun for a real gun and shooting a child.  This is a serious and real problem as toy guns look more and more like real guns.  And real guns are looking more and more like toy guns.

A Baltimore police officer shot and wounded a 14-year-old boy in April after spotting him with a Daisy Powerline 340 BB gun, right. A semi-automatic handgun, pictured left, provided by police shows how similar the models look.

Real gun is on the left.  BB gun is on the right.   

This NPR story points out the challenges of this problem.


The article points out that officers in Baltimore picked up a mix of toy and real guns in a raid including a pink rifle.  I easily found this photo of a rifle for sale on the Internet.

See the problem?