I draw inspiration from other police leaders.  I look for leaders I think are progressive and ethical.  Recently, I found a blog from one of my policing heroes that talks about another!  William Bratton, NYPD Commissioner (formerly of LAPD, Boston PD, NY Transit) wrote about Sir Robert Peel in April 2014.  Before Peel, policing had an ugly history.  Eventually US policing modeled itself after the Metropolitan Police and we adopted and incorporated Peel’s Principles. I’ve copied it here for you:

In my long police career I have often drawn inspiration from a great hero of mine, Sir Robert Peel.  Peel founded the London Metropolitan Police in 1829.  He went on to serve as British Prime Minister for two separate terms and earned a reputation as a powerful and effective reformer.

In addition to establishing London’s first modern, disciplined police force, Peel articulated “nine principles of policing which remain as relevant and meaningful today as they were in the 1830s.   The man had an innate grasp of the challenges police officers face and of the complex interplay between the police and the public that is at the very heart of policing in a free society.  Defining the basic mission of police as prevention, recognizing that police must win public approval, favoring persuasion and warning over force, and defining success as the absence of crime and disorder rather than in terms of police action — these were all cutting edge ideas in the 1980s let alone the 1830s.

Peel’s nine principles inform the vision of collaborative policing that I believe is essential to healing the divisions that exist between the police and the communities we serve.  They will guide us in our efforts to foster shared responsibility for public safety as we move forward:

Principle 1 – “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”

Principle 2 – “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”

Principle 3 – “Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”

Principle 4 – “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”

Principle 5 – “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”

Principle 6 – “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.”

Principle 7 – “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public  who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

Principle 8 – “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”

Principle 9 – “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”

Guided by such values and with the help of all New Yorkers and the best efforts of the men and women of the New York City Police Department, I am confident of our success.

We are also guided by these values and ask for the help of all residents of Auburn Hills and the best efforts of the men and women of the AHPD, I am also confident of our success.

Interesting trivia:  British Police are called “Bobbies” as a nod to ROBERT Peel.  

Thanks, WXYZ for the opportunity to tell our view on the I-75 naked man story

We appreciated that WXYZ Channel 7 took the time to come out and do a piece that details the background of the incident on Super Bowl Sunday that involved the nude man on I-75.  Too often these incidents are misunderstood and the actions of the police are also misunderstood.  These incidents can result in an individual’s death and that is not what any of us want.  With proper training, individuals in need of medical care are recognized and routed to emergency medical treatment.

Here is a link to the story:  Excited Delirium

Thank you, WXYZ and producer Adam Brewster!

Digital Boundaries and Teen Dating Violence: Part 2

Chief Doreen Olko:

Interesting article on a subject on a timely topic.

Originally posted on HAVEN Give Hope A Voice:

Guest post by: Emily Eisele, Prevention Education Specialist, HAVEN

When Is It Abuse?
Teens are often texting or tweeting, but how do you know if it is crossing the boundaries of a healthy relationship? It’s important to address with teens using media the dynamics of power and control. Do you feel afraid to leave your phone unattended? Do you feel like there will be social or relationship consequences if you don’t tell your partner where you are at all times? Every teen has texted “where r u?” to a friend or partner, but if there is a threat carried with it, that is abuse. Finding out if a teen feels fear in their relationship is essential to identifying abuse.

Making it clear that abuse does not have to be physical is also a hurdle to clear when discussing teen dating violence: many young people feel that digital harassment is a normal social…

View original 564 more words

When I call 911 on my cell phone do you know where I am? Maybe

I was glad to see a USA Today news story over the weekend that details the challenges we have with the national cellular 911 system:  we struggle to find out where you are when you call us in an emergency.  Simply put – the system has challenges.  So it is important to know your location because we will have to ask you once or more than once where, exactly, you are.  highway-sm

The article gives great insight into a known problem.  The 911 system was designed for land line phones but there has been an explosion in the number of cell phones –in fact for the last couple of years we have known that there are more cell phones than land lines in Oakland County.  I realize that your Google apps can use the location data of the phone to find you but 911 doesn’t have access to that.  We get an X/Y coordinate that tells us what cell tower you are near and then we have to search for you based on what “face” of the cell tower your call hit.  Here is what it looks like (I colored out the number)

wireless 911

Here is what the dispatcher’s screen looks like on a wireless 911 call. The address is where the nearest tower is – southwest sector or tower face. Note that the system itself is telling the dispatcher to verify location.  They also need to verify your call back number since we all know that calls drop without warning.

We regularly get calls for other jurisdictions that “bounce” into our center.


A representation of how the system works.

Texting is even worse in terms of location since it uses any entirely different system.  It is definitely not ready for prime time only if you absolutely can’t call us on a voice line.  Complicating things even more is that the wireless 911 system (such as it is) was really only designed for OUTDOOR use not in building which has many more challenges.

This problem has been known for several years–we rely on the FCC and the cell carriers to meet the requirements.  But when they don’t, dispatchers do the best they can by “bidding” and “re-bidding” your cell phone to see if they can find you.  Mostly we can but it is and has been a problem.

USA Today:  911’s Deadly Flaw: Lack of Location Data

You can learn more from the National Emergency Number Association:  NENA .  They have been lobbying the FCC and the telecommunication industry for years about these problems.

So until someone gets the fix done – know where you are and tell us.  If you don’t know or can’t tell us – DON’T HANG UP and we’ll do our very best to find you.

Interesting to me were the comments following the article.  People were willing to have private companies have access to their location information 24x7x365 but expressed concern that the “government” AKA 911 would have that information.  I had never thought of it that way before.  I guess they’ve never needed us before.  I hope you don’t need us –but if you do know that you can help us find you faster if you know your location.  

No Need to Improve Security at Great Lakes Crossings –We’re Already There

If you are a news watcher, you are probably aware that there has been a report that an ISIL group released a video over the weekend suggesting that someone should attack shopping malls in America.  There has not been a specific threat against any mall in Michigan.

Given the world we live in, we think about this sort of thing all the time, even absent any specific threat.  You might recall that we have officers who work from a substation right in the Great Lakes Crossings Mall.  We just had a full scale exercise in September where we practiced our response to a violent event at the mall with our partners from FBI and other local agencies.  We work in close partnership with mall security personnel.  We familiarize our personnel with the warning signs.  SeeSay_830x250_Indiana NO BUTTON

I think Great Lakes is safe — I’ll continue to shop there myself.  But I encourage you to help us –if you “SEE SOMETHING -SAY SOMETHING” –always, everywhere.  When I shop, when I travel, when I attend events, wherever I am I pay attention to my surroundings.  You should too.

Here are some suggestions from the Department of Homeland Security.

What is Suspicious Activity? | Homeland Security.

Do We Charge for Police Services? No

I got a call from Karen Adcock of our Senior Services Department today.  She had a local resident in her office who told her that the police send a bill for their services and since she’d never heard that before she wanted to call me to check.  I was shocked!  The woman said she had heard a rumor that if a person calls us we send them a bill for our services.  60-invoice_letter

So in the interests of rumor control, we do not charge for our services–with a couple of exceptions:

1. If you want a police report copy, we do charge for those–small but we do charge. Our website gives the details.

2. If you are arrested for operating while impaired (drunk driving) we have an ordinance that requires us to send a bill to court who may order you to pay the city for the costs of police time.

3. If you are a business and you want (or need) police services to accomplish your mission–for example, at events at the Palace or when traffic direction is needed at the mall for long time periods like when Baldwin Road was under construction.  We think that you should pay for the direct services you receive so that the rest of the community doesn’t suffer a shortage of police when we are all at your business.  (We do this very sparingly.)

We don’t even have a false alarm ordinance like many communities although we do ask you to be respectful of our time and resources if you are having too many false alarms.  We ask that you learn to operate your system properly and keep it repaired.  I think that is only fair.

Other than that–we don’t charge you.  Yes, I know that if you are a taxpayer your tax bill has a line on it that indicates how much you are paying in the form of a millage for police services.  That is how the police have been funded in this community since it became a city.

So if you need us, call us.  We won’t send you a bill.

Want to put a little $$ toward a good cause? HAVEN needs a swing set

HAVEN is the Oakland County domestic violence shelter.  They do a great job in helping victims and families and we work with them regularly.  They have a new facility and need some help funding some “nice to have” type items.

If this issue is important to you for whatever reason, here is an opportunity to give a little to help a lot.

HAVEN’s Playground Swing Set | HAVEN, Inc.’s Fundraiser on CrowdRise.

We Need New Child Car Seats for Distribution!

Every now and then I get a call from a service club representative or a resident asking us if they can provide us with stuffed animals for children.  Thanks to the generosity of many people we are well supplied with toys for children that we come into contact with.

What we REALLY need are child car seats.  We have given away all the seats we have and need some new ones.  We can’t child seattake used seats -they have to be new in the box.  As Officer Brian Miller, our safety seat technician, pointed out to me, the convertible type seats are the first choice.  Families have infant seats because they can’t take the baby from the hospital without one.  But then as the child outgrows the infant seat, they can’t afford the next level seat.  Here is a website that gives more information.

We can ticket drivers who don’t have their child in an appropriate safety seat –but if they can’t afford a seat, we want to be able to provide one.  If you can help us out, call me or drop off a new seat at our station.  Remember  –it must be new, sealed in a box. Sorry but we can’t take any used seats.

Here is an example from Target –about $50.

Our police and fire personnel do child safety seat checks here at our station by appointment.  Call 248-370-9444 to schedule.

The Naked Man on I-75 Yesterday

You might recall that it was snowing heavily yesterday morning so officers were somewhat surprised when they were sent on the call of a naked man walking on I-75.   Here is a video that one driver posted:

Actually this isn’t a call that is that unusual-it just isn’t usually on the freeway.  The sergeant and the officers immediately recognized that they were probably dealing with a person who was suffering from what we know as “Excited Delirium Syndrome.”  It is a medical condition and is somewhat controversial in the medical literature because there have been cases where police officers who are called to confront this kind of situation and aren’t trained to recognize it use techniques and strategies that exacerbate the situation and the person has a sudden cardiac arrest and dies.

Here is a great article from July 2014 that gives more information about it:  “Excited Delirium and the Dual Response: Preventing In Custody Deaths”  written by 3 physicians and published in the FBI Bulletin.  The victims are usually male (average age 36); have a history of stimulant use like cocaine, meth, PCP, LSD.  We actually saw a significant uptick in this kind of call before the state outlawed chemically altered substances known as “bath salts” and “spice”.   Prior to the law change making these drugs illegal we were seeing these calls pretty regularly.  These victims also tend to have a history of a preexisting psychological disorder and are likely to be chronic users after a binge.  I don’t know if this man fit the entire profile but it is likely he fit enough of it to end up in this state.  Their bodies overheat in an extreme way which is why they take off their clothes.  They are very incoherent and usually combative.  They are not generally cooperative with the police so a struggle can ensue in which their body further overheats and they can go into sudden cardiac arrest.  If the officers aren’t prepared with medical nearby, the victim can die.

Fortunately in this case Sergeant Scott McGraw and Officers VanLandeghem, Haglund, Brehmer, Brasil and Brian Miller realized what was happening to this man and took steps to deal with this as a medical emergency.  When the officers began to talk with him they realized he was delusional–Officers VanLandeghem and Haglund were able to convince him to get into the patrol car on his own–they can be seen on the video.  The sergeant had already requested an ambulance to the scene but given the snow the officers decided it would be quicker to drive him to the ambulance so they drove him directly to the fire station on University to meet the ambulance.  On the way, he became unresponsive.  They drove the patrol car directly into the fire station bay and along with the paramedics they got him onto the gurney for transport.  At that point he became combative but fortunately there was plenty of help and they were able to secure him with the ambulance restraints for transport to the hospital.  The paramedics have also seen this before.

The good news is that no one was injured–not the person, not the officers and not the paramedics.  Because the officers recognized the true nature of the call, they may have saved his life.

I don’t know his status as of today.  I do know that his family was contacted yesterday and met him at the hospital.  The officers did their best to assist the family with the next steps.  It is a difficult challenge for family members.  I hope they are able to find sufficient help for him.

We are proactive about our officer training.  We follow the trends of our profession and search for training for our officers to help us meet new challenges as they emerge.  The job is complex and ever-changing and without regular training we would not be prepared to meet situations like these.

A Fishy Situation Early This Morning on Lapeer Road

There was a very fishy situation this morning on Lapeer Road north of the Palace.  Here is how dayshift sergeant Scott McGraw described what happened:

This morning at approximately 6:50 am, dispatch was contacted by radio from our DPW salt/plow truck driver. He advised that he was involved in a crash at Harmon Road on M-24. He stated there were no injuries but the other vehicle involved had spilled the load he was carrying.

fishy 3 fishy 2fishy1Ofc. Mike Miller and Ofc. Kevin Bailey arrived to stabilize the scene and assess the situation. I was contacted by Ofc. Bailey and advised the second vehicle involved was carrying large live wells for fish and as a result of the collision two live wells separated from the truck and spilled hundreds of small fish and water all over south bound M-24.

Ofc. Jake Brehmer, Ofc. Brasil and  I responded to the scene and found DPW employees working diligently to clean the mess and get the road opened. I want to thank Dan Brisson and his crew for pushing the large live wells, fish and other debris out of the roadway so motorists could get through with little delay. It took DPW and AHPD approximately only 30 minutes to clear this rather large crash involving a lot of debris. Great teamwork and quick response by all involved!!

Sgt. McGraw told me later that the DPW crews smell pretty fishy this morning–fish water is on their boots and work clothes.  It was about 12 degrees when the fishy, slippery mess happened.  Our DPW partners often work with us when this kind of thing happens to get the road open as quickly as possible–they do a great job.