Friday, March 28, 2008

Our Dirty Little Secret

"Human fatigue is recognized around the world as being the main cause of accidents in the transportation industry. Countless accidents have been attributed to the effects of fatigue, and at some point law enforcement officers have to ask how it impacts them."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chief Not Happy With Buying Impalas

ADAMS, Mass. — Selectman Edward MacDonald and Police Chief Donald Poirot faced off at the Selectmen's meeting over the future of the police department's fleet of cruisers — with MacDonald insisting on switching to the slightly cheaper and more fuel-efficient Chevrolet Impala and Poirot wanting to stick with the tried and tested Ford Crown Victoria.

By night's end, the board — with the exception of Joseph R. Dean Jr. who recused himself because his son is an Adams police officer — voted 2-1 to purchase two new Impalas for the department. Selectman Donald Sommer cast the "no" vote.

At the beginning of the meeting on Tuesday, Poirot explained to the board his reasons for wanting to stick with the Crown Victoria.

"I just want to stay with what's been proven through and through," he said. "I've never been called to task as far as what's being purchased for the town. We do it under state contract. I wish we would have had this discussion before I came before the board the last time."
Poirot had already been before the board weeks earlier to get approval for $50,000 for two new Crown Victorias as part of the standard cycle of new cruisers. The law enforcement trust fund would kick in an additional $20,000. The board initially approved the funds until it found out about the less expensive Chevy option.

The Selectmen had earlier thought there would be a $10,000 savings for each cruiser, but Poirot informed the board that the savings would be more akin to $3,000 for a V6 and $2,000 for a V8. He also said gas mileage in the Chevy was only three miles per gallon better.
MacDonald insisted that the Chevy was the obvious choice for the town which is already strapped for cash.

"I'm looking at what's in the best interest of the town," he said. "We have a major crisis the way the state is financing the town. If we don't look at every single penny, every single operational expense, then we're not doing our jobs.

"I talk to people that do this every single day, that are in pursuits, everything like that," MacDonald continued. "They all came back and said dollar for dollar, this was the best vehicle to buy. We buy a six-cylinder, do what we got to do for the town, it saves gas."
Poirot said he had done his own research and came to slightly different conclusions.

"I also talked to police officers, I've talked to chiefs of police," he said. "In fact, I had a meeting today and I naturally brought up this discussion and they told me they're putting in new transmissions and new front wheels ... "

"More people have died in a Ford than in a Chevy," MacDonald interrupted.
Poirot also explained that the differences when switching between the Ford and Chevy went beyond initial cost and gas mileage.

"What I take into consideration always is, naturally, the best interest of the town," the chief said.
Copyright 2008 The Berkshire Eagle

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Roadway Dangers

In 2007, 49% of all officers deaths were roadway incidents. An increasing issue are the officers killed and injured standing in or near the roadway. 41 states have implemented Move Over Laws to assist with this issue and departments across America should train their officers on a regular basis to give them the safest environment as possible.

Here is a training video that I highly recommend on the issue. You can obtain a free copy from the IACP.

NBC recently did a story on this issue. You can view that story here.

Police Driving Contest

I will be in Chicago the first week of April at the International Law Enforcement Educators & Training Association Conference. I had the privilege to help develop the first ever International Police Driving Skills Competition that will be held at the conference on March 31st. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the ILEETA Scholarship Fund. I encourage everyone to attend the event.

This event is important in that it has the potential to raise awareness of the importance of law enforcement driver training and the dangers that our officers face everyday. This event would not have occurred if it had not been for the effort of ILEETA Director Ed Nowicki, Former ALERT President Rich Maxwell and with MPRI Simulators. I hope to see you there.