Archive for December, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Kicking Doors And Taking Prisoners

Ever wonder how cops manage to break in doors and windows when serving search warrants? The task is definitely not as easy as TV makes it look. A swift kick to a metal door normally breaks only one thing – the cop’s foot. Of course, everyone on hand gets a nice laugh when the kicker bounces off the door and lands on his rear end in the front yard. However, the element of surprise is gone, and the next sound heard is that of evidence being flushed down the drain.

Here are a few tools of the trade designed to make the entry team’s job a little easier.

Forget your keys? No problem. This 36″ tactical sledge hammer serves as a master key to any residence. A couple of swings near the doorknob and “BAM”,  you’re inside. $108

Do you prefer to surprise people by climbing in through their locked windows? Well then, you need this handy-dandy break-and -ake tool. Its carbon steel hook, rakes, and fins are perfect for breaking glass and removing those pesky curtains and blinds. The tool also safely removes broken glass and other debris. $250

Ever try kicking in a door to a mobile home? No? It’s a good thing you haven’t, because it can’t be done unless an elephant’s doing the kicking. Mobile home doors swing outward; therefore, special tactics and tools are required, such as using this mobile home breacher (below).

The mobile home breacher breaks all locking mechanisms, freeing them from the jamb, all while opening the door. The tool also protects the user from electric shock. $200

Are you forced to leave your 12′ ladder at home because you just can’t seem to find a convenient way to take it with you? Consider this model. It folds into a package so small it easily fits into a briefcase. Perfect for reaching second story windows in a hurry. $500

Need a key that fits every lock in town? Then the Blackhawk Thunderbolt Monoshock is the answer to your prayers. Delivering 19,000 lbs. of kinetic force, this baby opens doors with a bang, and it requires only one officer to deliver the blow. $330

*Images – Ray O’Herron Co. Inc.

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Writers’ Police Academy Updates

Registration is officially open and I’m pleased with the number of people who’re taking advantage of the low early registration rate. Early registration rates end soon!

Award winning horror author Deborah Leblanc has signed on as a Medal of Valor sponsor of the Writers’ Police Academy. Other Medal of Valor sponsors include Writers Digest and Just Write Sites. Thanks to each of you for your very generous donations.

A large portion of the Writers’ Police Academy proceeds will be going to the Guilford Technical Community College Criminal Justice Foundation. Without them this event would not be possible. The instructors for this event also devote a heck of a lot of their time to answering questions for writers.

Please contact us if you’d like to be a sponsor.

Levels of Sponsorship

Medal of Valor - $1,000 and above
Commissioner – $500 – $999
Sheriff’s Star – $400 -$499 or Chief’s Shield $400 – $499 (Donor’s option)
Chief of Detectives – $300 – $399
Major – $200 – $299
Captain – $100 – $199
Lieutenant – $75 – $99
Sergeant – $50 – $74
Corporal – $25 – $49
Officer – $10 – $24

Please visit us at to reserve your spot at this unique event now.

* Space for the FATS training is limited to the first 100 people who sign up for it and we’re rapidly approaching that number!

Remember, hotel rooms are limited due to the number of large events in the Greensboro area. Please reserve your rooms now!

*I am still without a computer since the big “crash” that wiped my hard drive clean. Thanks for your patience.

PostHeaderIcon Sheriffs: Who Needs ‘Em?

Yesterday my email box was flooded with questions about sheriff’s offices. Why the sudden interest? I haven’t a clue, but the questions were mostly related to sheriff’s offices in Alaska and how they operate. The answers to those questions are quite simple, because there are no sheriff’s offices in Alaska. In fact, two other states, Hawaii and Connecticut, also function without a sheriff at the helm of county law enforcement.

Alaska doesn’t have sheriff’s offices because the state doesn’t have county governments.

King Cove Alaska Police Department

Connecticut simply grew weary of its county sheriffs and changed the state constitution, eliminating the office entirely. In its place they established a state marshal system, which basically serves the same function, but without a sheriff at the top of the chain. Now, instead of having an elected official in charge (county government has no control over an elected official) the department is run by the State Marshal Commission. The commission also hires and fires all marshals.

What are the qualifications to be a Connecticut State Marshal? Here’s what the commission says:

Marshals must be an elector in the county where the vacancy exists, speak/write/read English, have resided in Connecticut at least one year, be 21 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, be free of any mental or emotional disorder that may adversely affect performance, be of good moral character, hold a valid Connecticut drivers license, not be convicted of a felony, not be convicted of certain misdemeanors within five years prior to appointment, pass a written exam, complete required training, provide a $10,000 bond, and provide evidence of personal liability insurance.

How much does a state marshal earn? Well, according to one news report (, John T. Fiorillo, a state marshal, earned more than ten times the salary of the state’s governor. In fact, Fiorillo raked in over two-million dollars serving foreclosure papers (for private firms) to people losing their homes during the economic downturn.

Wow, this system sounds much better than having a sheriff’s office…

And, then there’s Hawaii, another state without sheriffs, but they still employee deputy sheriffs who serve in the Sheriff’s Division of the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.

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