News Roundup

ABC 11 recently took a trip to observe law enforcement training at Robeson County Community College where officers from various local agencies used high tech simulation equipment to practice de-escalation techniques and experience the high stress situations, such as those involving an active shooter, where use of force decisions must be made.  The report notes that the North Carolina Justice Academy launched a new de-escalation training model earlier this year and that there is widespread interest in enhancing law enforcement training across the state.  Keep reading for more news.

Model Bail Policy.  North Carolina law requires senior resident superior court judges, in consultation with chief district court judges, to devise and issue bail policies for their districts.  To help judges and other stakeholders do that, the UNC Criminal Justice Innovation Lab recently published an updated version of its Model Bail Policy, a comprehensive policy that integrates North Carolina statutory requirements with notes about emerging best practices.  As the name suggests, the policy is a model that can be tailored to the unique requirements of a particular jurisdiction.  The Model Bail Policy, along with many other bail resources, is available on the Lab’s website.

All Electric, No Gas.  From Crown Vics and Chargers to pedal bikes, Segways, and palominos, law enforcement agencies utilize a wide range of transportation options for officers on patrol.  In a sign that the age of the electric car is upon us, the Raleigh Capitol Police recently unveiled a fully electric Chevy Bolt outfitted as a patrol car.  The patrol car is one of the first fully electric vehicles purchased by the Department of Public Safety, but DPS CFO Douglas Holbrook said that it is the beginning of a statewide move away from full-gas vehicles.

Judge Switches Parties.  The Daily Advance reports that District Court Judge Jennifer Karpowicz Bland switched her political party affiliation from Democrat to Republican one day after being sworn in as the newest judge in Judicial District 1.  Bland said that the switch to the Republican party best reflects her values and that her political affiliation didn’t come up when she interviewed with Governor Cooper before being appointed to the seat.  Both Bland and a spokesperson for Cooper expressed a preference that judicial elections be nonpartisan.  Bland has worked for 13 years in the District Attorney’s Office prior to her appointment and is the fourth woman to serve as a judge in District 1.

Detention Officer Fired.  The Charlotte Observer reports that a member of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has been fired and charged with crimes after allegedly having sex with and providing tobacco to an inmate in Mecklenburg County.  Warrants for arrest were issued for Karen Payton, who joined the office two years ago.  The Observer report notes that Payton is the fifth member of the office to be fired in the past five months for misconduct.  Among those dismissed is Kyle Harris, who was charged with crimes arising from an alleged sexual assault of an inmate in May.

Bow Attack.  Reuters reports that a man in Norway killed five people and wounded two others using a bow and arrow on Wednesday.  The report says that the attacks occurred in Kongsberg, a municipality about 40 miles from Oslo.  It was the deadliest attack in the country since 2011 when Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people.  Following the bow attack, Norwegian police officers, who normally are unarmed, were ordered to carry firearms.