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October 2011 Issue

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Cover Story

How Safe Is Your Pension?

By Melanie Basich

You can't turn on the television these days without hearing about the economic crisis that's affecting not only the U.S., but the entire world. So it stands to reason that many retirement funds are suffering as a result. Some public sector pension plans are relatively unaffected, while others were too fragile to weather the financial storm.

Police Magazine

Features

<p>Photo: Mark W. Clark</p>

POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Tactical Gear  

Each year the manufacturers and distributors of tactical police products display their latest and greatest wares at POLICE-TREXPO. The following is a quick look at some of the coolest items exhibited and demonstrated at POLICE-TREXPO 2011.

<p>Photo: Mark W. Clark</p>

POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Grossman on Media Violence  

Author, scholar, and warrior Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (U.S. Army Ret.) returned to POLICE-TREXPO East this year with his presentation "The Bulletproof Mind."

<p>Photo: Mark W. Clark</p>

POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Iraq War Vet's Memoir  

Staff Sgt. David Bellavia, author of "House to House: An Epic Memoir of War," gave the keynote presentation at this year's POLICE-TREXPO East. He gave a stirring presentation on close-quarter battle in the Battle of Fallujah.

<p>Photo: Mark W. Clark</p>

POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Overview  

One of the reasons why this year's POLICE-TREXPO conference was so memorable was the quality of the instructors. The POLICE-TREXPO staff assembled some of the top educators and speakers in law enforcement to present a widely varied schedule of classes.

<p>Photo: Dell</p>

Mobile Computers: Central Processing Units  

The public safety mobile data customer now needs fast and rugged. That's because of tools like automatic license plate readers (ALPR) and high-end computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems. That software requires state-of-the-art processing power. Fortunately, there are now plenty of computer makers willing and able to supply high-powered mobile computers for law enforcement.

<p>Photo: Mark W. Clark</p>

Social Media: Online Investigation  

Online social networks are already proving themselves invaluable assets to law enforcement. Websites such as Facebook and MySpace provide suspect leads; communities are alerted to missing children and area threats through law enforcement-generated Twitter feeds and e-mail.

<p>Photo: iStockphoto.com.</p>

Surviving Vehicle Ambushes  

The vehicle, the patrol car, the "shop," is obviously what distinguishes the vehicle ambush from other types of attacks. It also gives you instant mobility to get out of the kill zone. In keeping with the suggested tactics for lethal force encounters the vehicle helps you move and create distance.

Pensions: Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution  

Public employees typically have access to a defined benefit pension, which may not include Social Security, or a defined contribution savings plan. Learn the difference between the two.

Pensions: Winning Hearts and Minds  

Some citizens are quick to blame police officers themselves for pension funding issues, not understanding the underlying causes. This is why the prospect of citizens who are uninformed or misinformed voting on pension issues is worrisome.

<p>Photo: Mark W. Clark.</p>

Handling Threats: "I'm Going to Kill You!"  

Most threats against police officers are verbal threats used to control, harass, and intimidate the officer. But situations involving threats at the next level—where violence is a grave possibility—are different.


Columns

<p>Illustration: Sequoia Blankenship.</p>

Learn From the Replay  

Feedback can come from the officer watching himself on a dashcam or a sergeant telling him he turns his back on a violator every time he keys his mic. This is a lot better than spitting teeth out in the back of an ambulance or worse.

<p>Photo: Santa Fe County (N.M.) Sheriff&#39;s Department.</p>

Be Careful Out There  

I think complacency is also the reason why so many veteran cops tend to get in serious trouble. You let down your guard and you end up doing things you would have never dreamed of doing as a rookie, things that are extremely damaging to your career and your livelihood.


Reviews

Police Product Test: Under Armour Valsetz and Speed Freak Boots  

POLICE Magazine reviews Under Armour's Valsetz and Speed Freak lightweight boots, Vortex Optics' Viper PST 2.5-10X44, and 5.11 Tactical's Tactical Trainer 2.0.

<p>Photo: Butch Simpson</p>

Kahr Arms CM9 Pistol  

Kahr Arms' CM9 is a no-frills compact pistol. It's not as pretty as some of Kahr's other handguns, but it's a practical, inexpensive, quality gun.


Departments

<p>Photo: iStockphoto.com</p>

Shots Fired: West Memphis, Arkansas 05/20/2010  

After sovereign citizens ambushed two West Memphis officers, Arkansas Game and Fish Warden Mike Neal came face to face with the cop killers in a Walmart parking lot. After taking AK-47 fire, Neal returned fire and rammed them with his truck.

<p>Photo: iStockPhoto.com</p>

'Good Faith' Revisited  

The Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule is not absolute. In a number of decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that even where a police officer makes an unreasonable search or seizure, there may be compelling reasons not to exclude resulting evidence.

<p>Photo: Harris Corp.</p>

Harris Corp.'s BeOn P25 Radio App  

Harris Corp.'s BeOn software app, which was demonstrated at this year's Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO) conference in Philadelphia, inexpensively converts an Android smartphone into a push-to-talk (PTT) Project 25 radio.

<p>Sgt. Karl Lounge, front row, first on left; Officer Darrell Goodrow, front row, third from left; Officer Doug Weaver, second row, second from left; Officer Tim McClintick, second row, far right; Officer Max McDonald, back row, second from right. Photo: St. Petersburg (Fla.) PD.</p>

Officers Rescue Wounded Comrades Trapped In House with Armed Fugitive  

Five officers from the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Police Department were instrumental in the attempted rescue of three officers ambushed inside of a house.

<p>Photo: Amaury Murgado.</p>

Working with Tactical Flight Officers  

Although many agencies are trying cost-cutting alternatives, it's been my experience as a field supervisor that there is no substitute for a helicopter in the air with a well-trained flight crew. Effective coordination between ground and air units is imperative.

<p>Photo: Mike Siegfried.</p>

Video: Cars, Cover, and Concealment  

Every well-trained cop can explain the difference between cover and concealment. One common summary I have heard is "Cover stops the bullets that are being fired at you and concealment hides you from the suspect but does not stop bullets."

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