Friday, 30 September 2011

Tensions Ignited by Rival Gangs Casino Shootings


With a Hells Angel dead in a northern Nevada casino shooting, two members of the rival Vagos motorcycle club wounded and a third hurt in a drive-by attack hours later, investigators were using video and witnesses Monday to identify who's responsible for the weekend violence.

One Hells Angels member was in jail, but no arrests have been made in Friday night's slaying of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew at John Ascuaga's Nugget, Deputy Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen said. Pettigrew, 51, was the president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, Calif., where he worked as a city heavy equipment operator.

Allen said Monday that casino surveillance video won't be made public until investigators complete the painstaking work of identifying about 60 Vagos and 12 Hells Angels amid a crowd of several hundred people gambling and partying. Members of the crowd suddenly dove for cover when gunfire disrupted the regional Street Vibrations motorcycle rally.

"In Arizona, more than two dozen members of the rival groups were arrested in August 2010 after a shootout left five people wounded in Chino Valley, north of Prescott.

In California, an annual organized crime report from the state attorney general calls longstanding tensions between the Hells Angels and the Vagos "particularly poignant." It cited instances in which the Hells Angels have forced Vagos out of chapters in Hells Angels hotspots.

San Jose police Sgt. Jason Dwyer downplayed the possibility of retaliatory acts in the largest city of the San Francisco Bay area.

"We are not aware of any specific threat at this time," Dwyer said Monday. "We are not expecting any action here."

Allen said it appeared from the videos that the Sparks shooting was spontaneous and not the result of two groups entering the 1,600-room hotel and casino girded for battle.

One witness told the Reno Gazette-Journal that a man wearing Hells Angels insignia pulled a handgun and fired after being bloodied and knocked to the floor in a fistfight.

The shooting drew a heavy response from local, state and federal law enforcers, prompting the cancellation of the weekend rally in Sparks. The mayor declared a state of emergency.

Two men identified by police as Vagos motorcycle club members from California were wounded.

The only man arrested immediately after the shooting — Cesar Villagrana, 36, a Hells Angel member from California — was being held Monday on $500,000 bail at the Washoe County jail in Reno. He faces a court appearance on felony assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm charges.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini later linked a drive-by shooting Saturday morning that left a motorcyclist wounded to the deadly casino shooting less than 12 hours earlier.

These courses identify colors, monikers, hierarchy, financial activities, tattoos, coded writings, hand signs and speech as well as counter surveillance techniques used by the clubs. These courses include case studies of the clubs and their organization.

These courses are designed to give a basic working knowledge of street gangs and the ability to recognize and identify a street gang member.

Course List:

·      CANADIAN STREET GANGS “Bangin Across the Border”

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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

B.C. could lose RCMP if November deadline not met

By Katie DeRosa
VICTORIA — With negotiations over the policing contract in B.C. stalled, the federal government has given the province an ultimatum: sign a 20-year deal by November or we’ll withdraw RCMP services from the province.
B.C. Solicitor General Shirley Bond said Tuesday the federal government is effectively forcing the province to sign an inadequate “take-it-or-leave-it” deal without accountability or cost control measures.
“That ultimatum is an unfortunate development for local governments who’ve been consistently concerned about containing their escalating RCMP costs,” Bond said in a terse statement, after raising the issue at Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting in Vancouver.
Bond said negotiations are being stonewalled by the federal government, which refuses to push back the November deadline.
“I am committed to making a deal that reflects a true partnership, strengthens accountability and contains costs in specific ways — matters the federal side has been ignoring in the interest of giving us an ultimatum,” Bond said.
The province and the federal government have been negotiating over the last four years for a new RCMP contract. The current one expires March 2012.
Bond said she was disappointed when, in the last month, Alberta and Saskatchewan broke away from negotiations by a block of provinces and inked 20-year deals with the RCMP.
“We still believe, fundamentally, that all levels of government benefit from having a national police presence like the RCMP in community policing but I am starting to wonder whether the federal government still wants to be in contract policing,” Bond said in the statement.
The RCMP in have faced a barrage of criticism in B.C. after several high profile police shootings and deaths, included the Tasering death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski in the Vancouver International Airport in October 2007.
Critics have urged the B.C. government to negotiate a five-year deal with the RCMP so that it can look at setting up a provincial force. The province also wanted the RCMP to be accountable to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and the new Independent Investigations Office, which look into police misconduct and police-involved shootings or serious injuries, respectively.
The RCMP could not be reached for comment.
Victoria Times Colonist

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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Stay Sharp – Edged Weapons Still a Threat

Dave Grossi, Law Officer's Tactics columnist

It’s been over two decades since Calibre Press, Inc. released their award-winning video “Surviving Edged Weapons.” That training video and the concepts and tactics of edged weapon defense, perhaps more than anything else, revolutionized the officer safety skills required to keep cops safe when dealing with likely knife threats. The “21-foot drill” developed by retired Salt Lake City, Utah Police Lieutenant Dennis Tueller has become a staple of edged weapon defense.

Yet, edged weapons continue to be a significant danger to today’s street cops. A study released a few years ago by the FBI reported that “edged weapons are the second leading cause of homicides in the U.S. behind handguns.” In fact, suspects continue to kill more people with knives and other edged weapons than with rifles and shotguns combined. Cops are still dying at the hands of edged weapon assailants.

Earlier this month, New Castle County, Del., Police Sergeant Joe Szczerba, age 44, an 18-year veteran, was fatally stabbed while fighting with a suspect he was trying to arrest for disorderly conduct. Details regarding the incident are still sketchy, and this article isn’t going to address the tactics surrounding that officer’s arrest attempts. But, this piece is prompted in part by that death and the fact that, in my opinion, many trainers and agencies have let their edged weapon defense training lapse over the years because of increased emphasis on active shooter training, WMD issues and other matters.

We all know training time is limited, but hopefully EW threats and the tactics needed to counter them have not fallen too far by the way side.

Dedicated to the Memory of New Castle County, Del., Police Sergeant Joe Szczerba. 


Among the many courses which CTTA provides worldwide is the Rapid Integrated Survival Kombat System. This three level course is offered through CTTA’s Montreal training facility as well as being is delivered to larger training groups in the United States on a regular basis.

 Hundreds of  law enforcement professionals have been trained in the RISK Defensive Tactics System.
 Each level of the RISK Defensive Tactics course is 16 hours and there are now seven instructors in the USA who have been certified by CTTA Master Instructors. Upon the successful completion of the course, CTTA will issue a certificate to each participant.

The RISK System is a highly effective combat system specifically developed for law enforcement and security professionals. Based on human anatomy and biomechanics, its effectiveness is due to the simplicity of both instinctive as well as learned techniques.

 The objective of the R.I.S.K. Defensive Tactics System is to train the participant in the various aspects of physical confrontation so that he can better defend himself in dealing with different types of aggressors, who may be armed or unarmed, and restrain an uncooperative individual while performing an arrest.
 This system prides itself in the effective use of recognized “Use of Force Continuums” in order to avoid unnecessary liability issues for both the officer and the department alike.

 Some of the skills which participants will acquire are the following:

• Defense against strikes
• Efficient striking techniques
• Restraint techniques
• Ground control and handcuffing
• Ground defense
• Defense against edged weapons
• Handgun and long gun disarming
• Intervention in confined areas

 Training courses can be customized according to specific needs.

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