As Hurricane Sandy approaches, East Coast police are on high alert

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, East Coast police are on high alert

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, East Coast police are on high alert

As the massive Hurricane Sandy bears down on the U.S. East Coast, law enforcement in states from North Carolina to Maine are on high alert as this Category-1 storm makes landfall. Sandy has already claimed the lives of more than 60 people in the Caribbean, The Associated Press reported, and police are taking action to make sure no Americans join the hurricane’s body count.

When massive storms like Sandy pose a serious threat to large populations, police officers need to be ready for the unexpected – something law enforcement training may be able to help them with.

Police officers all along the East Coast are making sure citizens have taken the proper storm precautions and have been evacuated from areas that are expected to be hit the hardest. New York City, for example, has been transformed into a ghost town, with residents advised to seek higher ground as the Big Apple’s mass transit system completely shuts down.

According to New York City’s Severe Weather website, a mandatory evacuation is in effect for those who reside in Zone A areas, which include the Rockaways, Hamilton Beach and City Island. It is law enforcement’s duty to make sure people are following these types of rules, no matter what state they reside in. Furthermore, police will have to be on the look out for thrill-seeking surfers and beachgoers who may be endangering their lives.

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Law enforcement aims to keep Halloween safe

Law enforcement aims to keep Halloween safe

Law enforcement aims to keep Halloween safe

Traditionally, Halloween – and the days leading up to it – is a time when members of law enforcement need to be alert and ready for trouble. On October 31, children’s top priority tends to be dressing up as their favorite character and snagging as much candy as they possibly can. Older individuals may be more concerned with attending holiday-themed parties where alcohol is abundant.

While most revelers are responsible, there are always partygoers who celebrate a little too much, become intoxicated and get behind the wheel of a car, pick a fight or worse. For this reason, police officers need to make sure they have completed the proper level of law enforcement training so they know exactly how to protect the public on All Hallows’ Eve.

Here are two examples of how law enforcement officials around the country are preparing for the holiday:

Keeping the roads safe
Police officers know that with Halloween parties comes an increased chance of drunk drivers hitting the nation’s roads. As a result, law enforcement, such as Massachusetts’ Hingham Police, are not just cracking down on October 31, but the days leading up to and following it.

The Boston Globe reported the Hingham Police have launched the “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaign, which runs from October 25 through November 4. Law enforcement will be on alert for an extended period of time due to the fact that Halloween falls on a weekday this year, meaning parties could be held the weekend before and after the holiday.

“Many people will spend hours preparing their Halloween costumes and party plans,” Traffic Sergeant Steven Dearth,” told the news source. “But too often, impaired drivers never spend a minute to plan ahead for their designated driver.”

Increasing police presence
With so much to see and do, Kent, Ohio’s downtown area has a reputation for being something of a Halloween destination for revelers, the Ravenna Record Courier reported. For this reason, local law enforcement are urging all who visit this area to be careful. To ensure an extra level of safety, the Kent Police Department will have 100 officers stationed downtown on Saturday, October 27, along with additional support from Metro SWAT, the Kent State University Police Department and other entities.

While it is understandable for people to hit the streets in costume, the police are advising them to leave anything that could be mistaken for a weapon at home.

“I’ve seen everything from people who have life-like replicas of guns to actual swords and hatchets,” Kent Police Captain Paul Canfield told the news outlet.

For firefighters, responding to calls in tunnels can be deadly

For firefighters, responding to calls in tunnels can be deadly

For firefighters, responding to calls in tunnels can be deadly

The Newhall Pass tunnel on California’s Interstate 5 was the recent location of major accident involving nine trucks, The Associated Press reported. This incident, which occurred about 25 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, left one driver pinned for three hours before firefighters could reach him.While there were no fatalities and only a minor diesel spill, things could have gone much worse given the crash’s dangerous location inside the tunnel. In fact, it would not be the first time for this particular bypass tunnel, as three people died there during a fiery crash that took place five years ago.

The truth is, with so many tunnels spread out across the U.S. and drivers traveling at such high speeds in automobiles filled with flammable fuel, there is always the chance that accidents will occur and firefighters will have to respond, making the need for firefighter training of the utmost importance.

Less space, more risk
While firefighters must treat every call as seriously as they did the last, blazes that have broken out inside of tunnels are especially dangerous. This is due to the fact that unlike in a house fire, a tunnel’s walls can reflect heat and raise temperatures inside this space to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, The Seattle Times reported. When it comes time for rescue workers to douse the blaze, they must be careful to aim for the base of the flames. If they fail to do so, any water they spray could turn to steam, which translates to even less visibility.

Firefighters head to Seattle to gain firsthand experience
According to the news source, firefighters from Seattle and Grays Harbor County, Washington, as well as Ventura County, California, and New York City have all converged on an unused nuclear power plant pipe at Satsop Business Park in Elma, Washington, for firefighter training drills in tunnel settings.

Firefighters training in the abandoned tunnel are being pushed to their limits in temperatures as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit. To date, they have already tested four-hour breathing gear, which allows them to breathe filtered air instead of relying on oxygen tanks, and dragged bundles that were meant to represent victims to safety.

“The firefighters are getting beat up before they get to the fire,” Seattle Battalion Chief Scott Yurczyk told the news source.

Despite whatever hardships firefighters endure during training sessions, they surely see the value in them if it means one more life can be saved.

Law enforcement takes a futuristic turn with new technology

Law enforcement takes a futuristic turn with new technology

Law enforcement takes a futuristic turn with new technology

Like many other fields, the criminal justice sector is embracing new technology at a rapid rate, making law enforcement training more important than ever.

“Tech is huge in all aspects of law enforcement,” Raymond Schultz, the Albuquerque police chief, told USA Today at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference. “We continue to try to take it to the next level.”

Recently, the news source highlighted several of the innovations police officers may find themselves using in the not-too-distant future. For example, one inventor has created a sleeve that features a built-in camera, video display, stun gun and laser. Schultz is hoping to bring his police department into the future by having all street cops wear video cameras that must be switched on whenever they are responding to a call.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that there could be a day when police can dispatch unmanned drones to pursue suspects, whether they are speeding down the highways or walking through a residential neighborhood. Not only would the use of these remote-controlled aircraft keep officers out of danger, but keep police helicopters grounded, which, in turn, could save taxpayers money.

Firefighters fired up over new helmet policy

Firefighters fired up over new helmet policy

Firefighters fired up over new helmet policy

For many firefighters, the helmet they wear not only protects their head in dangerous environments, but also serves as a badge of honor. This piece of equipment, and the soot that collects on it, is a reminder of all the times they put themselves in harm’s way to save lives and protect property. That is why many New York City firefighters are furious over new regulations that ask them to part with their helmets after 10 years.

According to The New York Post, Big Apple firefighters with helmets over 10 years old must return them by November 6 in order to receive a replacement, free of charge. If these professionals prefer to keep their headgear, they are required to pay $100, with those on the force for more than 20 years only having to pay $50. Firefighters who have served for 30 years or longer do not need to pay anything at all.

At the same time, it is important for firefighters to have the best equipment possible when reporting for duty. In 2012, there were a total of 488,256 fires in the Big Apple, according to the New York City Fire Department’s website.

With such a high volume of incidents in just one city, firefighters are reminded of the importance of staying abreast of the latest safety developments in their line of work. Firefighter basic training and Firefighter safety training may be able to provide the information necessary to update their skill set.

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