Saturday, September 27, 2008

Recently I made my first trip to our nations capitol. The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier is a must see for anyone visiting. The changing of the guard is impressive as well as emotional. I should mention it was August and about 90 degrees when I was there (not the best time to be in D.C.) and to look at the soldiers you would never know it...
Here are some facts related to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and those soldiers chosen to guard it.
How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?
The guard takes 21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?
Again, he stops for 21 seconds for the same reason as noted above.
Did you know that the gloves that the soldier wears are wet? His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
The Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30."
Other requirements of the Guard include a commitment for 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives.
They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.
After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.
The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.
The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.
During the first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV.
All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred.
Among the notables are:
President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.
In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, Congress took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson.
The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since 1930.

The AK-47 is short for the Russian “Avtomat Kalashnikova”, which means “Kalashnivov’s automatic”, and 47 refers to the year in which it was selected as the official weapon of the Soviet Union. The AK47 is noted as a weapon that is very easy to use, with very high firepower. Their strength is in their size: neither so small as to lack sufficient firepower, like revolvers, nor so big as to become unwieldy or have too much recoil. They are so simple to clean and assemble that in the former Soviet Union the military trained schoolboys to do it in an average of two minutes. Mikhail Kalashnikov is the inventor of this high-powered weapon. Little did he anticipate what his resulting firearm would become, when he set out to design a weapon of value for the Soviet Army that he served in for many years. Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov was born in 1919, and is now a well-preserved old man, who still gets invited all over the place as a movable icon to the most famous assault rifle in the world. Before retiring from the armed services of the Soviet Union, he received a general’s stipend of 500 rubles, which is more or less $500 a month. If he had been able to patent his weapon in the West, he would undoubtedly be one of the richest men in the world. There are approximately more than 150 million Kalashnikovs of varying models that have been produced over the years. Even if he only earned one dollar for each weapon, he would be swimming in money.“I did not invent that weapon to make money, but only and exclusively to defend the Motherland in a moment in which she needed it. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would do exactly the same things and live my life just as I have. I have worked all my life, and my life is my work”. Interesting, as there is nothing in the world which has produced more deaths than the AK-47. It has killed more than the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more than the bubonic plague, more than malaria, more than all the attacks of the Islamic fundamentalists.Yet there are those who consider its inventor, and the gun itself, to be an icon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Domestic Violence and Homicide

DID YOU KNOW...that for 2005, Florida had 120,386 reported incidents of domestic violence, and that domestic violence accounted for 176 (20%) of the state's 881 murders? The spouse or live in partner was the victim in 54% of cases, and children were the victims in 7% of cases. Source: Florida Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team Annual Report, 2006.

When women and children are victims of homicide the perpetrator is frequently known to them, and equally frequent that perp is a family member or close associate, i.e: spouse, boyfriend, "ex" or some variation of that.

The following informaton is from a report submitted by the Florida Deptartment of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams. To veteran LEO's most of this information is unfortunately not a revelation. Some of the statistics however are very sobering.

The following data is from 19 cases provided to the FDLE’s DVDRC by the participating
Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams. The cases were not selected based on any specific
date, time frame or circumstance. The data is from 10 teams covering only 15 counties,
and the number of reviews completed by each team varies. Therefore, the reader is
cautioned about drawing conclusions from this data.

Complainant Information

Regarding the 19 domestic violence fatality reports reviewed for the 2006 reporting period,
twenty-six percent of the calls were received from a family member of the perpetrator of the
fatality and 23% of the calls were received from a family member of the decedent. Fifteen
percent of the calls were received from a neighbor. A maintenance man, a witness at a hotel, a
deputy sheriff and the new intimate partner were reflected in the “other” category as the
complainant of the fatality. Nearly 70% of the calls were received after the event.

Twenty-six telephone calls were received regarding the 19 domestic violence fatality reports
reviewed for the 2006 reporting period. This was due to multiple complainants recorded in
seven of the reports. The category of “Other” consists of: one anonymous caller, one bartender,
one land lord, one warrants deputy and one homeland security officer.

Event Information

Of the 19 domestic violence fatality reports reviewed for the 2006 reporting period, there were
three cases with multiple victims, resulting in a total of 23 fatalities. Firearms (18) accounted for
78% of the 23 deaths. Over half of the decedents, 56%, were killed in their own residences.
There were a total of 23 victims in the 19 incidents reviewed for the 2006 reporting period. The
offense type category reflected that the perpetrator killed multiple victims in three of the fatality
review reports. The review forms reflected three victims in one report and two victims in two reports.

Environment Information

Of the 19 domestic violence fatality reports reviewed for the 2006 reporting period, an active
injunction was filed on the perpetrator in 16% of the cases; previous injunctions had been
present on the perpetrator in 16% of the cases and in one case an injunction was requested by the decedent twice but withdrawn the next day, and in one case the perpetrator had returned to a previous relationship with the decedent while an active injunction was on file. One decedent had a previous injunction filed at the time of the fatality.

Relationship Information

Of the 23 domestic fatalities reviewed for the 2006 reporting period, the victim in 30% of the
fatalities was the spouse or ex-spouse of the perpetrator and in 35% of the fatalities the victim
was the ex-boyfriend, cohabitant or ex-cohabitant of the perpetrator.
Prior threats to kill the decedent occurred in 35% of the fatalities. Previous incidents of
domestic violence had been reported in 35% of the fatalities. A significant change in the
relationship between the decedent and perpetrator had occurred in 52% of the fatalities.
Regarding the 23 domestic violence fatalities reviewed for the 2006 reporting period, the
categories of spouse, ex-spouse, ex-boyfriend, co-habitant and ex-cohabitant made up 65% of
the relationships involved in the fatalities.

This report goes on to document escalating circumstances, services requested and/or legal orders and injunctions, prior indicators of a lethal incident, etc.

I dont like getting bogged down in reports detailing alot of "stats" however, this report makes it very clear that intimate partner homicides (IPH's) are prevelant and in many cases there was a clear pattern of violent events leading up to the homicide.
It should also be noted that men as well as women are victims of IPH, although not as often as women.

Should you be interested in seeing the report in its entirety here is the link: (You may have to copy and paste it).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Philadelphia Officer Killed-Partner Critically Injured

The Philadelphia Police Department is in mourning following a car accident in Mantua last night that claimed the life of one officer and left another critically injured. The deceased has been identified as Isabel Nazario, a Narcotics Strike Force officer detailed to the 16th Police District in West Philadelphia, police said. Her partner, Terry Tull, was listed in extremely critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania last night.About 9 p.m., police began pursuing a white Cadillac Escalade near 46th and Westminster after the car failed to stop when police tried to pull it over, said Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman. Nazario and Tull learned of the pursuit and decided to join in, he said. As they headed south on 39th Street with Tull at the wheel, the Escalade , being driven by a 16-year-old unlicensed male traveling east on Wallace Street, broadsided their cruiser near the passenger door, police said.
Nazario, 40, a mother with 18 years on the force, was killed instantly. The driver of the Escalade was treated at Children's Hospital for minor injuries last night, then transported to the Homicide Unit for questioning, the sources said.

Submitted by a member of the PPD

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

If the President is protected by the Secret Service, who protects the Pope? The Swiss Guards, of course. The Swiss Guards celebrated their 500th anniversary in 2006, founded in 1506, and at one time consisted of several different military commands. The Papal Swiss Guard is the only Swiss Guard that still exists. Is the Papal Swiss Guard actually Swiss? In a word, very.
To be more precise, the Papal Swiss Guard is mostly German Swiss. In 2006 the Papal Swiss Guard, responsible for the pope's personal security and the protection of the Vatican, could look back on 500 years of history.
Established in January 1506, the Papal Swiss Guard (there were other Swiss Guards in France), an official Vatican City security unit, is still made up of Swiss volunteers.
Although it is over 500 years old and its members wear colorful uniforms dating back centuries, the Swiss Guard is a highly trained security unit, much like the U.S. Secret Service that guards the U.S. President.
Following the 1981 assassination attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II, the level of training for the Swiss Guard was intensified even more. The official languages of the Swiss Guard are German and Italian. The elite corps is famous for its distinctive yellow-and-blue uniform which, as the first official history of the Guards recently stressed, was not designed by Michelangelo, as widely believed.
The colors which make the uniform so attractive are the traditional Medici blue, red and yellow, set off nicely by the white of the collar and gloves. The blue and yellow bands give a sense of lightness as they move over the red doublet and breeches. The Guard's every-day uniform is completely blue. With the passing centuries there have been a few minor changes, but on the whole the original dress has been maintained. It is commonly thought that the uniform was designed by Michelangelo, but it would seem rather that he had nothing to do with it. Why Swiss, you ask? During the Middle Ages and in Renaissance times, the Swiss had the reputation of being Europe's most reliable mercenaries - tough fighters who hardly ever changed sides.
They famously proved their worth during the Sack of Rome in 1527, when 147 Guards laid down their lives to protect Pope Clement VII from the rampaging army of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
The 110-strong Swiss Guards have strict recruitment terms. The Guards get their recruits from a group of Swiss towns and villages which for centuries have provided the pope's personal corps.
Candidates have to be single males over the age of 18, and practicing Catholics ''of stainless character''.
At one time there was also a height requirement, of 1.74m tall (OK, who can compute that into “American” measurement?), although this has recently been relaxed.
They also have to have completed their compulsory military service in Switzerland.