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Montana’s Impaired Driving Scenario-Based Training

By Glenn Cramer DETECTING IMPAIRED DRIVERS IS difficult and obtaining a conviction in an impaired driving case can also be challenging. Impaired driving laws are complex, as is collecting the evidence needed to define and demonstrate impairment. Four years ago, the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) did a self-assessment of the basic impaired driving enforcement training [...]

Montana’s Impaired Driving Scenario-Based Training2019-03-07T19:17:34-05:00

Tips to Testify: Standard of Proof

By Judge Earl G. Penrod LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS regularly testify in criminal matters brought by the government against an individual. Law enforcement may also be called upon to testify in a civil action, such as a lawsuit for personal injuries filed by one driver against another. In a number of jurisdictions, some traffic violations are [...]

Tips to Testify: Standard of Proof2019-03-06T17:22:51-05:00

Tips to Testify: Written Reports: Past Recollection Recorded

By Judge Earl G. Penrod THERE ARE TIMES WHEN AN OFFICER MAY testify in court many weeks, months or perhaps years following an event. As a result, it may be difficult for the officer to remember the details and circumstances surrounding the event. Fortunately, officers are trained to prepare detailed written reports at the time [...]

Tips to Testify: Written Reports: Past Recollection Recorded2017-10-30T10:35:00-05:00

Tips to Testify: Lay Witnesses vs. Expert Witnesses

By The Honorable Earl G. Penrod MOST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO are called upon to testify are highly trained and skilled professionals. Through their education and experience, officers effectively assess and investigate a variety of circumstances and arrive at appropriate opinions and conclusions. However, during testimony, officers are sometimes surprised when they are prohibited from [...]

Tips to Testify: Lay Witnesses vs. Expert Witnesses2019-03-06T17:22:52-05:00

Tips to Testify: Pro se, Pro Per and Self-Represented Litigants

By The Honorable Earl G. Penrod MOST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS appreciate that testifying in court is an important responsibility and merits proper preparation. Being examined and cross-examined by aggressive attorneys can be somewhat stressful, regardless of the nature of the case. Police officers also should anticipate and prepare for the special challenges and potential pitfalls [...]

Tips to Testify: Pro se, Pro Per and Self-Represented Litigants2017-04-24T11:31:14-05:00

Texas Department of Transportation Takes the Bull by the Horns: A Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety

This article is reprinted with permission from The Police Chief magazine, published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. By Daniel A. Howard, MA, CPM, Commander (Ret.), Mount Laurel, New Jersey Police Department and Peggy M. Schaefer, MPM, DDACTS Project Manager, IADLEST “Personally, I think NHTSA and TxDOT have done more to enhance the [...]

Texas Department of Transportation Takes the Bull by the Horns: A Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety2019-03-06T17:22:55-05:00

A Rural Sheriff’s Perspective on Traffic Safety

By Janet K. Hawkins Since his election in 2014, Sheriff Clint Shrum has been at the head of roadway safety accomplishments in in Grundy County, Tennessee. Traffic fatalities have decreased dramatically, while impaired driving arrests and safety restraint usage rates have soared, and the Department of Safety and the Tennessee Highway Patrol formally recognized the [...]

A Rural Sheriff’s Perspective on Traffic Safety2016-10-06T14:02:18-05:00

Tips to Testify: Separation/Sequestration of Witnesses

By The Honorable Earl G. Penrod IN MANY TRIALS, witnesses are required to remain outside the courtroom during the case and are prohibited from hearing or discussing the testimony of other witnesses. A Motion to Exclude/Separate/Sequester Witnesses typically is granted at the beginning of the trial and witnesses are advised of the specific requirements in [...]

Tips to Testify: Separation/Sequestration of Witnesses2019-03-06T17:22:56-05:00

The Crime Reduction Challenge: Using DDACTS for Success

By Stephen Scot Mayer, Carlos Xavier Cantu and John David Osborne Jr. Harlingen, Texas is a unique place to live, work, and play. Its citizens enjoy a sub-tropical climate that allows them to participate in outdoor activities almost year-round. As a result, local and regional sports are always significant events in Harlingen. The climate, as [...]

The Crime Reduction Challenge: Using DDACTS for Success2019-03-06T17:22:58-05:00

Strengthening the Relationship between LELs, TSRPs, Police and Local Prosecutors

By David Daggett In order to adequately and effectively carry out highway safety initiatives, a good working relationship between law enforcement liaisons (LELs), police and prosecutors (both TSRPs and local prosecutors) is paramount. While we are all members of the same team, we are not always on the same page when it comes to carrying [...]

Strengthening the Relationship between LELs, TSRPs, Police and Local Prosecutors2019-03-06T17:23:00-05:00

DDACTS: Traffic Safety by the Numbers

Early Successes in Region 2 By John Coyle and Shannon Purdy Over the past few years, increased publicity and marketing has sparked a national conversation among members of the law enforcement profession about the Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) initiative. DDACTS is being promoted as a tool to improve data applications, reduce [...]

DDACTS: Traffic Safety by the Numbers2019-03-06T17:23:04-05:00

Don’t Blink

By Vernon Betkey Singer Kenny Chesney recorded a song titled, “Don’t Blink,” and in the lyrics he says that “a hundred years goes faster than you think.” Time certainly seems to fly by pretty quickly, and the older we get, the quicker it goes. As a young child, you probably remember waiting for Santa Claus [...]

Don’t Blink2019-03-06T17:23:04-05:00

CHALLENGE: 5,681 Miles, Four Days, Zero Fatalities

By Steven Cardarella Recently, 15 state patrol and state police agencies participated with local and municipal law enforcement agencies on the CHALLENGE: 5,681 Miles, Four Days, Zero Fatalities, during a high visibility enforcement (HVE) campaign along the entire length of Interstates 90 and 94. The CHALLENGE goal was to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities during [...]

CHALLENGE: 5,681 Miles, Four Days, Zero Fatalities2019-03-06T17:23:05-05:00

Inhibitors to Effective Traffic Safety and Enforcement

By Sheldon Greenberg, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University "Traffic safety programs form an integral component of the effective, comprehensive law enforcement operation. Unfortunately, not all law enforcement executives recognize this important fact." - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [1] Effective traffic enforcement is important to the quality of life in and sustainability of neighborhoods and communities. [...]

Inhibitors to Effective Traffic Safety and Enforcement2019-03-06T17:23:06-05:00