Halloween Tips For Police Officers

Working as a police officer on Halloween poses special challenges. Think about it. In a world where someone wearing a mask is normally thought to be up to no good, you’re suddenly faced with scores of masked citizens. Kids are out and about darting in and out of traffic. They’re excited and and may not listen as well as they normally would. And practical jokes go horribly wrong. Needless to say, it can be a wild and trying night for cops.

Here’s a short list of tips for officers working the streets on one of their busiest nights of the year.

1. Stay alert. If it looks wrong, then it probably is.

2. Carry copies of outstanding warrants with you—the people you’ve been unable to locate. This is the one night when the dummies will probably answer the door thinking you’re a trick-or-treater.

3. Carry some candy in your patrol car. It’s the perfect time to show kids that you’re really one of the good guys.

4. Watch out for lone costumed adults, or those walking in groups. They’re probably up to no good.

5. Watch out for people tossing things from overpasses. For some reason, Halloween seems to be THE night to bomb police cars with bricks, rocks, and pumpkins.

6. Be alert for kids who wear actual guns as part of their costumes.

7. Park your patrol car and walk for a while. Mingle with the trick-or-treaters. Keep them safe. It also keeps the bad guys guessing your next move. Besides, it’s a good idea to mix things up. Patrol your areas in a different order. Never get into a set routine.

8. Drive slower than normal. Watch for kids!

9. Keep an eye on the registered sex offenders in your area. They aren’t allowed to pass out candy! They shouldn’t be opening the door for any kids, either. And they shouldn’t have Halloween decorations displayed in their yard or on the house. Pay them a pre-Halloween visit to remind them of their court-ordered restrictions.

10. I preferred to patrol with my car window down, even in the winter time. Halloween is the only night of the year when I didn’t. Too many flying objects!

11. If possible, have extra officers working the streets on foot, in plain clothes.

12. Bring plenty of extra handcuffs. You’ll probably need them before the night is over.

13. Please, please, please wear your vest!

And to everyone else…


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No Phone, No Lights, No Motor Car

It’s as primitive as can be, a tiny island off the coast of Georgia that’s accessible only by boat. And the only residents have wings.

We kayaked over yesterday to do a little exploring, and believe me, it was well worth the effort. The weather was gorgeous (82 degrees), and the skies were a brilliant blue, with a hint of a few clouds on the horizon, an approaching front that delivered on its promise to bring rain today.

The tide was on its way out, which allowed us the opportunity to see the oyster beds as we approached. Kayakers are often treated to the sight of small sharks feeding in and around those beds. Another treat is to see dolphins swimming nearby.

We beached our kayaks, stripped off the life jackets, and set out hiking in the sand. And…wow! The island is truly deserted, and as far as the eye can see is…well, have a look for yourself…


We were joined by a third paddler on the way back, a pelican that kept showing off his diving and fishing skills.

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the family of this brave officer.

Deputy Sheriff James “JD” D. Paugh, 47

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia

October 23, 2011 – Deputy JD Paugh had just signed off-duty and was on his way home at 1:30 a.m., when he saw a car sitting on the shoulder of the roadway. He stopped to offer his assistance to the motorist and, as he put down the kickstand on his police motorcycle, the driver of the car opened fire with a M-4 rifle. The suspect fired 30 rounds at the deputy, striking him nine times. Deputy Paugh was able to return fire, wounding the suspect in the arm; however, the officer succumbed to his wounds. The suspect committed suicide at the scene.

Deputy Paugh is survived by his son, mother, and brother.

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8 Famous People Who Were Juvenile Delinquents

Not all juvenile delinquents go on to lead lives of crime. In fact, a few of them have used their experiences to feed their aspirations to become successful actors, singers or athletes — three professions that require unwavering confidence, fearlessness, and a degree of daredevilism. The following guys reformed their behavior just enough to overcome the odds and become famous. Each one of them, despite leading less-than-perfect adulthoods in some cases, have accomplished more in their lifetimes than most people ever will.

1. Mark Wahlberg

As the youngest of nine children, Wahlberg learned early that he had to fight for what he wanted. So when his parents divorced, he started running with a bad crowd. As a 13-year-old, he developed an addiction to cocaine, and at 14, he stopped attending school. His low point came at 16, when he was charged with attempted murder for beating a Vietnamese refugee with a metal hook, leaving the victim blind. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but served just 45 days. During his stay behind bars, he realized that his life was spiraling out of control, and that change was needed. He turned to his parish priest, who helped him get on the straight and narrow. Soon after, he joined his brother’s boy band New Kids on the Block, catapulting to fame in early adulthood.

2. 50 Cent

Born to a cocaine dealer, Curtis Jackson III struggled to survive in South Jamaica, Queens. Fittingly, he became an amateur boxer, which toughened him up and took him off of the streets — at least for a while. He became a drug dealer at age 12, escaping the watchful eyes of his grandparents, who thought he was keeping busy in after-school programs. It was an activity that he didn’t conceal at school, and it eventually caught up to him. When he was a sophomore, his school’s metal detectors indicated that he was carrying a gun. He subsequently spent time in a correctional boot camp, which motivated him to change — hence the moniker 50 Cent.

3. Snoop Dogg

Participating in the Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church didn’t prevent Snoop from rebelling as a teenager. During high school, he got in trouble for cocaine trafficking, spending six months in jail as a result. He also dealt marijuana, even selling some to another rebellious high schooler, Cameron Diaz — according to her, anyway. A member of the Rollin’ 20 Crips gang in Long Beach, he collected enough interesting experiences about which to rap. By the age of 22, after spending a few years in trouble with the law as he was attempting to hit it big, his album Doggystle debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling more than eight million copies worldwide.

4. Danny Trejo

Few non-A-list stars have such a distinctive niche as Trejo. Not particularly handsome, his badly weathered face and numerous tattoos make him the perfect movie criminal — the firsthand experience helps too. He got high for the first time at the age of eight, and eventually became addicted to heroin as he committed petty crimes with his uncle, his role model. He spent time in a California Youth Authority facility for assault after stabbing a man who made a crack about his girlfriend. For a large portion of his adulthood, he continued to get into trouble, spending time in California’s infamous San Quentin State Prison, where he became the lightweight and welterweight boxing champion. Joining the twelve-step program, he knocked out his drug addiction, enabling him to demonstrate his acting chops in his first film Runaway Train.

5. Mike Tyson

A sensitive boy with a lisp and high-pitched voice, Tyson didn’t take too kindly to kids who made fun of him. Already struggling in poor Brownsville, Brooklyn, he honed his fighting skills by defending himself against the cruelty of older kids who were equally as frustrated with life. He was first arrested at the age of 12 when he snatched a purse, which resulted in him being sent to Tryon School for Boys. He had been arrested multiple times by the age of 13, and at 16, his mother died. Fortunately for Tyson, he was introduced to boxing trainer Cus D’Amato by one of his juvenile detention center counselors. D’Amato became his legal guardian, serving as a mentor while molding him into a heavyweight champion.

6. Robert Mitchum

Although Mitchum was undoubtedly a film legend, he stood apart from other legends of his day because of his embodiment of the tough, outcast character. As with Trejo and Wahlberg, it was his real-life personal experiences that made him great at his craft. In middle school, he was expelled for fighting with the principal. When he was expelled from high school, he decided to travel the country by hopping railcars, securing a variety of jobs including professional boxing. The low point of his journey came in Savannah, Georgia, when he was arrested for vagrancy and placed on a chain gang, prompting to him to return home after his release. He moved to Long Beach in 1936, where he joined a local theater guild, marking the beginning of his five-decade-long acting career.

7. Merle Haggard

Rappers and county music singers tend to lead interesting lives. Haggard, like 50 Cent and Snoop, got an early start in troublemaking. His father died when Merle was just nine years old, so he lacked the guidance craved by young men. At the age of 13, he was sent to a juvenile detention center in California for shoplifting lingerie, and at 14, he ran off with a friend to Texas. When he returned, he was arrested for truancy and petty larceny, and was sent back to the detention center. He escaped and worked odd jobs until he was caught and shipped to the high-security Preston School of Industry, where he had two stays — the second time came after he administered a beating after an attempted burglary. He turned his life around in prison, as he earned a high school diploma, facilitating his ascension to the top of the country music charts.

8. Allen Iverson

Before Iverson had a distinguished NBA career, he had a distinguished high school career as both a point guard and quarterback, leading both teams to Virginia state championships. Oozing with potential, he was highly coveted by numerous top-flight programs, including Georgetown basketball, which eventually secured his commitment. He almost threw it all away, however, when he participated in a white versus black melee at a bowling alley in which he allegedly struck a woman in her head with a chair. Arrested with four of his friends, the 17-year-old was convicted as an adult on a rare state statute intended to prevent lynching. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but only served four months, as the conviction was overturned due to insufficient evidence. A year later, he earned the Big East Rookie of the Year award.

*Today’s article brought to you by www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com.


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Leslie Budewitz: Protective Orders

Leslie Budewitz is the author of Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books, October 2011). She is a practicing lawyer and a mystery writer living in northwest Montana. Read an excerpt and more articles for writers, or send her a question, at www.LawandFiction.com


A recent double homicide in Helena, Montana spotlights protective orders. Joe Gable and Michelle Coller married in 1986. They separated two years ago, and Michelle moved out of state. In September, she returned to Montana unexpectedly, and began what Joe viewed as harassment and intimidation. In one incident, she drove to his apartment, blocked his car with hers, entered, threw his laptop down the stairs, and refused to leave–all while he was changing the locks to keep her from getting in. http://helenair.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/shooting-details-emerge/article_8a5e5de6-f6ea-11e0-b9d6-001cc4c002e0.html

Joe requested a temporary order of protection. The judge concluded that his evidence did not establish personal danger or threat, and denied the request. http://helenair.com/news/local/protection-order-denied-by-judge/article_34a52548-f62b-11e0-8e0b-001cc4c002e0.html

Three weeks later, Joe filed for divorce. Two days later, Michelle entered his apartment at 6:00 a.m., and shot and killed him and another woman. She’s been charged with two counts of deliberate homicide.

I can only imagine how the judge feels. The situation proved more volatile–and violent–than the evidence before her had indicated. News accounts suggest she did not know the couple’s troubled history, including previous calls to police, or recent concerns by friends about Michelle’s mental health. http://helenair.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/joe-and-michelle-gable-timeline-of-a-troubled-relationship/article_87ca364a-f6ea-11e0-ba97-001cc4c002e0.html

So what’s the process for getting a protective order–also called a restraining order or “no contact” order? State laws vary, so writers, check your story state. (Start by Googling “protective order” and the state name.) Most court systems provide forms, requiring some or all of the following information:

– Relationship between applicant and respondent, e.g., married, divorced, separated, dating, parents of a minor child.

– Recent abuse, including when and where the incident occurred, who was present, any injuries, whether a gun or other weapon was threatened or used, and whether police were called.

– Past abuse, with the same information.

– Does respondent have a gun?

– Past or pending court cases between the parties.

– Protection sought. This may be as simple as checking boxes.


– No threats or acts of violence against applicant and other persons specified.

– No calls, emails, or other contact or communication with applicant and specified family members, victims or witnesses.

– Not take specified children out of the state or county.

– Maintain a specified distance from applicant or other persons protected in specific locations, e.g., home, work, vehicle, school, or day care.

– Not possess firearms.

– Not take, sell, damage, or dispose of specified property.

– Possession or use of specified property, e.g., a residence, vehicle, or other personal property, regardless of ownership.

– Is law enforcement help requested to obtain the property?

– The court may also order anger management counseling, or alcohol or chemical dependency counseling or treatment.

– Any other protection applicant thinks necessary. The judge can impose any conditions she thinks appropriate. Most courts use pre-printed orders with blanks for additions.

– Applicant should bring any witnesses to the hearing, along with any threatening letters, texts, voice mail messages, and so on.

– Applicant can request that her address be kept confidential. Obviously, that wouldn’t have helped Joe Gable, unless he had moved.

Orders are usually temporary, e.g., 20 days. The parties are required to come to court for a hearing on whether an order should be renewed, modified, or made permanent.

State law may also allow use of protective orders to grant temporary custody of minor children, establish visitation, and order temporary support payments.

Sample forms:

Montana: http://www.doj.mt.gov/victims/domesticviolence.asp

Texas: https://www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/protective.shtml

Maryland: http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/forms/protectorder.html

If Joe Gable had shown sufficient danger or threat, would Michelle have honored the protective order? No way of knowing. Orders are often violated, sometimes with tragic consequences. But they are an important tool in decreasing violence, and protecting us all.

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By the way, folks, Leslie is my go-to expert for all things legal. Her new book is a must-have for every crime writer.

Get a copy here.

And Leslie’s just accepted a three-book offer from Berkley Prime Crime for The Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in NW Montana, debuting in 2013!

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Castle: Demons – A Review

Last night’s episode was cut from a different cloth than what we’ve seen so far this season. And all I can say is…THEY’RE BACK!

Yes, Beckett and Castle returned to the fun and quirky crime-solving duo that fans fell in love with so, so many episodes ago. And I’m betting Melanie will absolute gush over this one. Let’s see what she has to say before I get into the police procedure. You’re on, Melanie.

Melanie Atkins

Demons. Ghosts. Paranormal activity. Whether or not you believe in any of that, this was a fun episode. The inciting incident: A ghost hunter dies inside a locked haunted house. Castle believes in ghosts, and Kate, of course, does not. The fast pace and clever writing kept me interested, and I cracked up several times… especially when Rick called spirits “apparition-Americans” after Kate threatened to send him home if he said the word “ghosts” again. Tee hee!

The episode contained plenty of togetherness for Rick and Kate, too, when they were trapped inside the haunted house. I really enjoyed their banter but could have done without the rats. Can you say ick factor? Even with all the togetherness, though, we didn’t get much real “relationship” movement — unless you count the failed double date between Ryan and Jenny and Lanie and Esposito. Jenny blew it when she asked Esplanie the not-so-cryptic question: “So, when are you guys getting married?” That scared both of them to death — so much so that they decided to cool it for a while. To take a break until they know what they both want. Yikes!

And don’t forget about Alexis bemoaning her long distance relationship with Ashley, who’s off at Stanford all the way across the country. Her talks with Rick and their father-daughter zombie movie bonding time bookmarked the show, and I enjoyed that, too. All in all, this was one of this season’s best episodes, IMHO. Classic Castle.

Can’t wait for next week, when Rick and Martha are taken hostage during a bank hold up. They have got to be two of the most annoying hostages EVER. What do you think?

There weren’t a lot of police gaffes this week, and I’m glad. I’m glad, because it gave me a chance to watch a truly fun episode that was leaps and bounds above what we’ve been subjected to so far this year. So, kudos to the writer. Good job.

The police work in this episode took a back seat, however, there were a couple of tiny things I’ll point out.

– The blood spatter at the crime scene looked more like a drunk painter had an accident with a leaky paint can. Lanie’s description of severed arteries did not match the low velocity drip patterns we saw on the floor. Instead, we should have seen some spatter patterns that looked like they’d been squirted from a water pistol. Remember, arteries are under pressure, which causes blood to spurt from openings (cuts, tears, etc,) with each beat of the heart.

– How many of you knew immediately that “Mercy” was someone’s name? It was so obvious, they may as well have scrolled a banner across the bottom of the screen that read, “Mercy is a person. Mercy is a person. Mercy is a person.”

– Beckett said one of the suspects had Motive, Opportunity, and Means (MOM). I liked that reference, because the person who has all three is normally the killer (rapist, robber, burglar, etc.). So use the MOM theory when writing your villain, killer, etc.

– I’m kind of curious how Beckett’s sidekick learned that one of their suspects had a paper route 20 years ago. Possible, but doubtful that anyone would have a record of it. If so, why would police have thought to search for it? What would have made detectives dig into the history of the city’s paperboys?

– How did Beckett arrive at the conclusion that bed made the scratches on the attic floor? The marks sort of looked like chop marks on a cutting board.

– Lanie said that preliminary tests indicated the skeletal remains found in the attic had been there for twenty years (exactly the time-frame for this murder). Wouldn’t ambient temperature, humidity, and rodents gnawing at the flesh and bones play a part in how quickly the body decomposed? How would they have determined all this in a day?

– How convenient that Esposito traced a light bulb back to the owner of the house in mere hours, and all by using the serial number on the bulb…yeah, right. That could happen…sure it could. (Yes, I’m being sarcastic).

In the closing scene (for once, I didn’t guess the killer’s ID) with the killer, Beckett stands there talking to the guy with her gun aimed as his midsection. Well, she should have cuffed the guy immediately. If not…well, he turns out the lights and gets her gun away from her. Duh… That’s why you cuff first, ask questions later. Safety first, Beckett. Tsk, tsk. Shame on you for almost getting killed.

Then, the bad guy points Beckett’s gun at her for what seems like ten minutes before the posse comes in to make the arrest. In real life, folks, the officers should have made Swiss cheese out of that guy the moment he touched her gun. Taking a cop’s gun to avoid arrest is a  pretty good clue that a suspect is up to no good and probably means to kill them, you know. Actually, the team should have moved in the second the killer dropped from the ceiling. Why place Beckett and an unarmed Castle in jeopardy. Oh, that’s right, this is entertainment TV. Sorry, for a moment I forgot where we were.

Still, a great show…finally!

*     *     *

I was asked to pass this information along to our readers.



A Castle Fan Charity Convention will be held Saturday November 12, 2011 at the Airtel Plaza Hotel, Van Nuys. This is the first Castle fan convention to be attended by members of the “Castle” cast and crew.

The one day event will include two Q&A sessions on stage, a charity auction and those attending the event will be able to purchase in-person autographs and professional photos with the guests. Tickets for the exclusive Meet & Greet lunch have sold out but a standby list is in place should more tickets become available.

Guests announced for the event so far include “Castle” creator Andrew Marlowe, actors Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas and writer/producer Terri Miller with the possibility of more guests to be added.

Charities being supported this year include: The Young Storytellers Foundation, Puppies Behind Bars and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

The Castle Fan Charity Convention will be hosted by CastleTV.net in association with the California Browncoats.

Tickets are available by going to the event website www.castleconvention.com


Please consider Tweeting our event to your followers and mentioning us on Facebook.

Recommended Tweet:  Join members of the @CastleTV cast & crew at the Castle Charity Fan Convention in LA Nov 12. http://castleconvention.com



Website: www.castleconvention.com
Email: info@castleconvention.com
Voicemail: 818 824 6077
Date: Saturday November 12, 2011
Location: Airtel Plaza Hotel, 7277 Valjean Avenue, Van Nuys, CA 91406
Guests Announced To Date: Andrew Marlowe, Seamus Dever, Jon Huertas, Terri Miller


Castle Convention is a one day charity event to be held Saturday November 12, 2011.

Guests from the Castle cast and crew will be attending the event including Andrew Marlowe (Creator/Showrunner), Seamus Dever (Detective Ryan), Jon Huertas (Detective Esposito) and Terri Miller (Writer/Producer) with the possibility of more to be announced at a later date.

100% of proceeds will be donated to our nominated charities which include: The Young Storytellers Foundation, Puppies Behind Bars and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Events for the day include:

Q&A Sessions:
Writers Q&A sessions on stage with creator Andrew Marlowe and writer/producer Terri Miller with two other writers to be announced pending other commitments. Cast Q & A session on stage with actors Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas and possibly others to be announced soon. During the Q&A sessions fans will have the opportunity to ask questions from a microphone set up on the floor. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet the guests during autograph and/or photo sessions.

Meet & Greet Lunch:
Gold and Meet & Greet tickets are also available sold out. Those holding these tickets will attend an exclusive event giving them the opportunity to chat with our guests casually over a light lunch, these tickets are limited to just 30 to guarantee an intimate setting.

Charity Auction:
Several items have been donated and will be auctioned during the event with all proceeds going to our supported charities

Autographs & Photographs:
All attendees will have the opportunity to purchase in-person autographs and professional photographs with our guests.

This event is being run by CastleTV.net in association with the California Browncoats. More information about the charities being supported can be found on the charities page. The event is in no way affiliated with ABC.


Los Angeles, Saturday November 12, 2011
Voicemail: 818 824 6077





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