Small-town 911 calls can be weird, fascinating and heart-warming

Police blotter sites aggregate only the saddest reports of meth-addled America. A better way to consume local police news: unedited dispatch logs.

Dogs are lost, then found a few hours later. Little old ladies are outraged by skateboarders. In such circumstances, it's the reader who must provide narrative continuity between entries, but it's honest work and always rewards the day with a little Mayberry bump.

The following are recent 911 calls to a small-town Massachusetts police department:

"5:27 p.m. Caller reports group of juveniles sliding down a mound of snow.

7:27 p.m. Caller reports a possum on her patio she believes is sick or lost.

9:32 a.m. Caller complaining that someone dumped snow in her driveway.

10:24 a.m. Caller reports message left on voicemail from the IRS.

12:16 p.m. Caller reports person is going door to door asking to shovel driveways for money.

12:28 p.m. Report of black pick-up truck doing donuts in school parking lot, Main St.

12:30 p.m. Caller wants to speak with officer regarding a company stealing emails from his website and taking customers away from him, Maple Brook Dr.

12:31 p.m. Caller reports large duck in yard; Has put duck in crate until owner is found." Read the rest

Los Angeles County Sheriff's sued for $50 million for killing 80-year-old man in "meth raid" that found no meth

Brian Doherty of Hit & Run: "As I've written before, even law-and-order types should be concerned with reckless and murderous police tactics that lead to innocent citizens' deaths, because they can be expensive for local governments (that is, for local taxpayers) when aggrieved citizens fight back their only legal way: with lawsuits."

On the morning of June 27, detectives raided the couple’s home in unincorporated Littlerock, serving a search warrant granted because the property allegedly smelled of the ingredients used to make methamphetamine, according to sheriff’s department officials.

Police found no meth, nor evidence of a meth operation, inside the house. They did find marijuana — in Pate’s son’s room.

The sheriff’s department insists that the marijuana vindicates the raid.

“There was a drug operation that was certainly going on in this house,” said Whitmore.

All in all, it was a bad week of press for Los Angeles cops. One L.A. police lieutenant was arrested for soliciting a prostitute, and another officer has been temporarily relieved of duty after firing his gun in an effort to scare some kids who were bothering him.

Widow to Sue Over Fatal Shooting of Husband, 80, by Sheriff’s Deputies Read the rest

Gent in a Ghostbuster costume backflips over a cop and gets arrested

Do not taunt the happy fun police.

How Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology works

An officer from the Long Beach Police Department shows how automatic license plate recognition technology works.

NYPD officers beat homeless man to a pulp

And it wouldn’t be a police beating without the obligatory charge against the victim for assaulting the police officer’s fist with his face.

Police pull over woman for rolling through stop sign then strip search her and "forcibly" pull tampon out of her, lawsuit alleges

"A passing cop pulled a u-turn, flashed the lights, and rolled up behind her. Tarantino claims that the cop immediately drew his weapon, pulled her from the car, and refused to explain why he pulled her over ... Then, in a gruesome twist, a female officer 'forcibly removed' a tampon from Tarantino." She's suing. Read the rest

Police recruitment videos from different cities reveal astonishing differences in attitude

Police recruitment videos from Decatur, Georgia (top), and Newport Beach, California (Bottom). I wonder if the differences in attitude here reflect real differences in the quality of police service.

Two Videos, Two Cities, Two Attitudes Read the rest

Police were reluctant to release video that shows handcuffed and hog-tied woman being tased

Two years ago, police officers in Chariton, Iowa handcuffed and hog-tied a 34-year-old woman (The police had pulled her and her boyfriend over because they thought the woman might be the victim of domestic abuse). After being placed in the squad car, Police Sergeant Tyler Ruble then shocked the shackled woman with a taser while Lucas County Sheriff Jim Baker held her down.

The woman never filed a complaint because she figured it would have been her word against the sergeants. But when it was discovered that the tasing had been videotaped, a TV station requested the tape. The police department refused to hand over the video, explaining that they were bound by regulations to protect the medical privacy rights of "non-City personnel." The TV station got hold of the tape anyway and ran it.

When the video aired, the Lucas County Law Center issued a statement, saying that the tasing was necessary to prevent the handcuffed and hog-tied woman from leaping from the squad car and injuring "children present at the scene."

VIDEO PROOF: Tasing Victim Speaks Out (Via Reason) Read the rest

Police officer fired for driving 143 mph while drunk gets his job back

In June 2010 Denver police officer Derrick Saunders was sentenced to 5 days in jail for driving 143 mph while drunk. The manager of safety fired Saunders, but yesterday the Civil Service Commission overturned the decision to fire him, based on "discretion and precedence."

This is not good news for slow-moving McDonald's employees:

Saunders previously had been cleared of pointing a gun at a McDonald's employee in Aurora in 2009. The employee said Saunders, an officer assigned to Denver International Airport, grew impatient when his order wasn’t filled fast enough. He was in the drive-thru with another off-duty officer when he pulled the gun on them on May 2009, according to the McDonald's workers.

Saunders denied pointing the gun and a jury cleared Saunders of felony menacing and weapons charges in April 2010.

Cop Fired For Speeding 143 MPH While Drunk Gets Job Back (Via The Agitator) Read the rest