“Free to Leave” is Not a Categorical Pre-Requisite for Valid Consent to Search on a Traffic Stop

When a vehicle is lawfully stopped as a result of a suspected traffic offense, there are three ways, under the Fourth Amendment, that valid consent to search can be obtained: (1) with at least reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, (2) absent reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, when the request for consent to search does not add time to the stop and (3) once the stop has concluded and the officer is engaged in a voluntary contact with the occupant(s).*

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What Seems To Be the Problem Officer: Drunk Man Responds to 911 Call in Stolen Patrol Car.

Park County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado has been pleading for help for several months due to staffing shortages. In March, Sheriff Thomas McGraw told local news that he only had eight deputies and would like to see at least 18. As a result, he had to cut the night shift, causing no coverage between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m., with deputies only responding to emergencies. Well, one citizen must have heard the cries for help.

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Georgia Sheriffs Condemn Candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams for Ties to Abolish Police Organization

102 Georgia Sheriffs came together in a Monday press release with Governor Brian Kemp. They blasted democrat Stacey Abrams over her connection to the Seattle-based grantmaking group known as the Marguerite Casey Foundation. Abrams, the Democrat candidate for the Georgia Governor’s Office, is the foundation’s board member and governor.

In Governor Kemp’s press release, the sheriff’s blasted Abrams for her “role in advancing the ‘Defund the Police’ movement and supporting soft-on-crime policies that put Georgia Families at risk.” However, they also praised Governor Kemp for “championing legislation to recruit and retain more officers into the profession, strengthening penalties for criminals helping keep the streets of Georgia safe, and preventing rogue local governments from stripping critical funding and resources from police.

The latest initiative supported by the Marguerite Casey Foundation is the “Answer the Uprising” initiative which established a coalition with other grantmaking organizations to provide backing for groups who call for stripping law enforcement of their budgets.

The Sheriffs and Governor Brian Kemp have called on Abrams to resign from the foundation and disavow the radical anti-police group. Reagan McCarthy, deputy communications director for Governor Kemp’s campaign, said, “Abram’s campaign may be trying to bury her past, but Abrams’ record is abundantly clear at every turn. If she truly supports law enforcement here in Georgia, she should resign her position with the Marguerite Casey Foundation and disavow the radical “Defund the Police” policies that put officers at risk and families in danger.”

Abrams’ campaign spokesperson also released a statement saying that Abrams “does not support defunding the police and is a longtime supporter of investing in law enforcement alongside building community trust and fostering law enforcement accountability. Foundation bylaws prohibit board members from approving, supporting, or opposing any potential grants, all of which are determined by staff. Therefore, no grant the foundation my look at reflects on or changes Stacey’s views.”

What do you think? Should Stacey Abrams resign from the Marguerite Casey Foundation? Do you think she supports law enforcement the way she claims? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Uvalde Hallway Footage to be Revealed this Weekend 

State Representative Dustin Burrows is taking charge of an investigation into the Robb Elementary school shooting. He states that the surveillance camera in the school hallway has recorded the incident. The footage lasts about 77 minutes, and the footage ends just before law enforcement breaches the room. 

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Leatherman Raptor Trauma Shears An Incredible Multitool

It is somewhat rare to find a tool that has multiple lifesaving uses in such a small package.  In this blog post, we will be discussing one of my very favorite and most used tools across the spectrum of emergency services, the Leatherman Raptor Trauma Shears.  Not all trauma shears are created equal.  Over a span of 20 + years, I have used trauma shears extensively.  For many years, I used the standard issue cheap shears.  When the pair I was using started to fail, I would get another set.  It was incredibly frustrating to be directly in the middle of a critical call and have a piece of equipment fail on me.   

In 2013 I saw that a new product was coming to market directly addressing my frustration.  When I saw that the raptor shears were available at a store four hours from me, I made the drive and became one of the early adopters of this incredible multitool.  Unfortunately, two years ago, that initial set of raptor shears was dropped into a river (completely my fault) during a water rescue.  I went the very next day and bought a new set.  Below I will outline all of the different features of the Leatherman Raptor Trauma Shears, and why you should consider adding a pair to your first line equipment as an emergency services provider.  

  1. Cutting – There are two pairs of shears on the market that I have personally used that cut exceptionally well.  I will cover the other set of shears later in the article.  All trauma shears have a blunt tip so that when you are cutting clothing from patients, you don’t accidently cut them.  These shears are no different in that aspect.  The cutting power from these shears are phenomenal.  For 6 years I used the same pair of shears cutting everything from fire hose, regular clothing, belts, leather coats, and in one instance, Kevlar.  I used the seatbelt cutter multiple times for cutting seatbelts, paracord, opening the tape on boxes etc. etc.  I never sharpened them, and they never failed.  The ring cutter on the shears is incredibly strong.  I rarely ever used the ring cutter to cut an actual ring (only once), but I used it multiple times to cut wires.  I used this particular feature to cut a chain link fence to free a trapped animal.  
  2. Glass Breaker – I have used this feature multiple times for access into vehicles, and it works very well.  Pro tip: When striking the window, aim for the lower corner for best results.
  3. Lanyard Hole – I obviously did not use this convenient feature and thus I lost my first pair in a river.  
  4. Holster / Clip – The holster is included with the raptor tool and slides onto a belt or works with MOLLE.  The shears can be stowed in the holster in a folded-up configuration, or in an open configuration.  For daily use I simply utilize the pocket clip that is adhered to the shears.  I have never had the pocket clip bend or break, and they stay in my pocket with no issues.  
  5. Measurement feature on the side of the cutting edge.  I believe that this is often overlooked, but I use it all of the time, mostly for measuring the length of a laceration, bruise, or anything else that I need to measure to annotate in my report.  
  6. Oxygen Bottle Opener – This is a feature that I use daily on the ambulance and on the fire truck during my morning checkout of the apparatus as well as throughout the day when I have to switch out oxygen tanks.  
  7. Prying – While definitely NOT designed for this particular task, I may have done some minor prying from time to time, and there was no issue.  
  8. It may seem odd, but this makes the best back scratcher in a pinch!  
  9. There are a multitude of handle colors available

Over the past several years that I have owned a pair of raptor trauma shears, I have used them daily in some form or fashion.  I use them far more than I use a pocketknife, which I also carry on a daily basis.  If there was one MAIN medical tool that I could recommend to my fellow emergency services Professionals besides a tourniquet and an IFAK, this would be it.  There are just too many uses, medical, and non-medical to not have a pair.

There is a vast array of trauma shears on the market.  Even on the high-end side of trauma shears, other manufacturers are coming out with new products.  SOG recently came out with their version of a trauma shear multi-tool.  I have handled a pair in person, but for ME, the raptor is a better tool.  Another company that has come out with a very high-quality trauma shear is X-Shear.  Their shears are excellent for cutting; however, they lack all of the other features.  For the X-Shear, and an X-Shear holster, they are only slightly cheaper than the raptors.  

If it is just too difficult to wrap your head around purchasing trauma shears that cost in excess of $60.00 (which I can completely understand) I STILL suggest finding a cheap pair that you can carry.  The cheap ones are better than nothing.  

As always, I am looking forward to any discussion or questions that you may have!  

Protective Searches: We Must Follow the Rules

A weapons frisk is a “search” within the Fourth Amendment definition. A frisk is one example of a reasonable protective search authorized by the Supreme Court. But since frisking a person intrudes upon that person’s liberty and privacy interests, there are constitutional limits to a police officer’s authority to conduct a non-consensual frisk. Simply alleging a blanket concern for “officer safety” will not satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness requirement.

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