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DESCHUTES COUNTY 9-1-1 ANNOUNCES TEXT-TO-911 SERVICE WILL BEGIN DEC. 12
For Immediate Release
November 28, 2016
Director, Deschutes 911
911: Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t
Starting Monday, Dec. 12, people in Deschutes County can text their emergencies to 911.
Text-to-911 is a tool for people who may not be able to speak due the nature of their emergency, such as a home invasion robbery or an abusive partner. It will also benefit individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities.
“We know calling 911 isn’t always an option,” said Deschutes County 911 Service District Director Steve Reinke. “When a phone call isn’t possible, the Service District’s Text-to-911 service will help people get the assistance they need.”
To text Deschutes County 911, users should look for the message icon on their cell phones and enter 911 in the number field of the text message screen. Then, users should type the location and type of emergency in the message field.
Important Things to Know About Text-to-911:
Reinke emphasized Text-to-911 should only be used when it isn’t possible or safe to communicate with 911 by voice. “We can process an emergency call faster using voice communication but, when a voice call isn’t possible, Text-to-911 will help us help people get the assistance they need.”
For additional details about Text-to-911, please visit www.deschutes.org/911 or www.nwtext911.info.
FROM THE CHIEF'S DESK........
Stop and Frisk
Over the last several of years there have been occasional news stories about Police conducting “Stop and Frisk” actions. I have observed “experts” talk about departments conducting “stop and frisks” and their effects on crime, community relations, etc. I am continually disappointed in the reporting of “Stop and Frisk” because it leaves the impression that “Stop and Frisk” is a police strategy. I thought I might try to do a better job of explaining “Stop and Frisk” here.
As I mentioned the first myth of “Stop and Frisk” is that it’s a patrol or crime suppression strategy.
The second myth is that the term “stop” is bound to the term “frisk”. Both terms have specific and separate legal definitions and requirements. However, except in rare circumstances, a “frisk” is conducted during a “stop”.
Let me start with what “Frisks” (also known as “Pat-Downs”) are and why the US Supreme Court makes allowances for them. Frisks are minimal searches of an individual by a police officer. When I say minimal I mean an external patting of the clothing. If a weapon is felt during this patting of the clothing the officer can extend the frisk into a warrantless and more intrusive search to recover the weapon for his protection. This scenario is the very reason the US Supreme Court, in Terry v Ohio, recognized a police officer’s right “to protect themselves by searching an individual for weapons, regardless of whether there is probable cause to arrest the person for a crime.”
Although in almost all circumstances where a frisk occurs the person is “stopped” that does not mean that a police officer can automatically conduct a “frisk”! “A frisk must be supported by reasonable suspicion to believe that the individual who has been lawfully stopped is armed and dangerous. Courts have ruled that the presence of danger is suggested by (1) information that a particular person is armed, (2) suspicious bulges in the suspect's clothing, (3) the nature of the suspected criminal activity, and (4) the observation of weapons in the vicinity of a person who has been lawfully stopped.”
It is more difficult to justify a frisk of someone dressed in a tight swimsuit than someone bundled up in winter clothing.
It should also be noted that suspected illegal items felt during a “frisk” can be removed as well. Additionally, weapons include items that can be used as weapons (like a hammer) are subject to being removed by an officer. Items that are legally possessed, but removed from the person during a frisk, are returned to the subject at the end of the contact if no crime has been committed.
A “stop” is defined in the landmark US Supreme Court decision of Terry v Ohio. The Court noted that a law enforcement officer "may in appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner approach a person for the purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even though there is no probable cause to make an arrest." The Court went on to state that it “recognizes that it may be the essence of good police work to adopt an intermediate response. A brief stop of a suspicious individual, in order to determine his identity or to maintain the status quo momentarily while obtaining more information, may be most reasonable in light of the facts known to the officer at the time.”
An officer who sees an individual walking from behind the Grocery Store at 1:00 am, well after closing hour, could justify “stopping” the individual. Unless other facts are developed the “stop” could not extend beyond a reasonable time to investigate the situation. In this situation, the officer may be able to justify a “frisk” of the individual as well.
Other Police Contacts
Not every contact with a police officer is a “stop”. We refer to these contacts as “mere contact” or “mere conversation”. Getting out of the police car and talking to people in our communities is key to the success of community policing. While working in a minority community most of my patrol career the majority of my contacts were not “stops”.
Police agencies often respond to problem areas with increased presence as a strategy to reduce crime and improve community livability. This strategy that continues to be successful since it is often generated by the community and/or crime analysis. It can lead to an increase in “stops” and some stops will involve a “frisk”. To look at it another way, a “Stop” is a responsibility assigned to police officers to protect communities and a “Frisk” is a right for officers to protect themselves.
FOURTH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE IS HERE!! Stop by the BBR Post Office or the BBR Police Department and get your gift tag.
Have a question for the Chief?
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