Showing posts with label Oregon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oregon. Show all posts

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Oregon Gov. Cutting Veterans Funding by $10 Million? Now?

"Huge betrayal": Kate Brown angers veterans with cuts despite Measure 96
The Oregonian/OregonLive
By Hillary Borrud
December 09, 2016
Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, who was a leading advocate for Measure 96, called the governor's budget proposal "a slap in the face to Oregon voters." Parrish's husband, Mark, served in the Army during the Persian Gulf War and later in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.
Oregon veterans are taking Gov. Kate Brown to task for proposing millions of dollars less for services than voters might have assumed when they passed Measure 96 in November.

Measure 96 was the most popular measure on the fall ballot, winning 84 percent to 16 percent. It sets aside 1.5 percent of Oregon Lottery funds for services such as education, housing, health care and helping veterans better access their benefits. That's expected to hit more than $18 million over the next two years.

Brown's budget, revealed last week, includes that funding as directed. But at the same time, it would cut $10 million from the state's current spending on veterans' services. If lawmakers agree next year, that means veterans and their supporters could see far less money than expected.
read more here

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hand Bike Stolen from Vietnam Veteran

Two Portland Police officers came knocking Monday afternoon, along with the stolen bike they found only 3 blocks away.

Vietnam Veteran, double-amputee's custom hand bike stolen from driveway

by Cory Marshall
August 1st 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) - The search is on for a Vietnam Veteran's custom hand bike that was stolen late Saturday afternoon from his driveway in Southeast Portland.

The theft happened sometime in a 1.5-hour window as Brian Willson went inside to get lunch.

"(I) came out before 4 p.m. to do another errand and it was gone. I just had to sit down for a second and think, okay, what am I going to do now?" Willson, told KATU News.

Willson is a double-amputee and relies on the hand bike (pictured above in a photo by Jonathan Maus of to get around. To really understand the importance of the cycle, you have to go back about 30-years to a peaceful protest gone awry.
read more here

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Man Pleads Guilty Year After Matthew Pearce Was Killed

Salem man pleads guilty to manslaughter in Iraq veteran's shooting death
by Staff
Wednesday, July 13th 2016

SALEM, Ore. - A 34-year-old Salem man pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for the shooting death of a former Oregon National Guard soldier and Iraq veteran last year.

Nicholas Ransom, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of a firearm and 2nd-degree manslaughter. Charges of murder, first-degree manslaughter, and unlawful use of a weapon charges were dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

Ransom was charged with shooting 30-year-old Matthew Pearce during a physical fight on July 15, 2015.
read more here

Monday, July 4, 2016

PTSD Veteran of 17 Years in National Guard Sues After Oregon Arrest

Fall Creek man files $3 million lawsuit, alleges mistreatment after arrest at Oregon Country Fair
The Register-Guard
By Jack Moran
JULY 4, 2016

The suit links his behavioral change to an adverse reaction to medication that a doctor at a Veterans Administration clinic in Eugene had prescribed to him less than three weeks before the fair began.

Fricano served 17 years in the National Guard and has been an artisan jeweler, according to the lawsuit.
A Fall Creek man alleges in a civil rights lawsuit that he was wrongly denied necessary psychiatric care for 15 days after being arrested at the Oregon Country Fair and lodged in the Lane County Jail.

Angelo James Fricano is seeking $3 million in the federal suit. It was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Eugene by attorneys with the Civil Liberties Defense Center, a Eugene nonprofit organization.

The defendants include Lane County and Corizon Health, a private firm that contracted with the county to provide health care to inmates.

Representatives for Corizon and the county declined comment on the suit, which also lists several county and Corizon employees as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Fricano had no prior criminal record or history of mental health problems when he was arrested on June 29, 2014.

Authorities took him into custody after he allegedly used a baseball bat to menace a fellow vendor at the Oregon Country Fair, an annual gathering held outside Veneta.

Prosecutors dismissed the criminal case in September 2014, court records show.

The lawsuit says Fricano attended the fair as a vendor despite having displayed unusual behavior in the days leading up to the event.

“There is a basic human standard which is desperately lacking in this community, one we aim to influence and correct,” Fricano said in a statement. “The people deserve better.”
read more here

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Oregon Police Officers Carry Flags to Honor Veterans

Veteran's death inspires Salem police officers
Statesman Journal
Whitney M. Woodworth
June 10, 2016

The death of a World War II veteran inspired two Salem police officers to find a new way to honor the memories and service of people who served the country.

Members of Salem Police Department fold American flags on Friday, June 3, 2016.
(Photo: Salem Police Department)
Several ceremonially folded American flags are now stocked in all Salem police fleet supervisor vehicles and will remain on-hand to be presented to the families of deceased veterans, Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada said.

A death investigation call sparked the idea. Oregon law requires police to respond to any unattended deaths, and the investigation indicated the man involved died from natural causes.

Salem Police Officer Chad Galusha, an Army veteran, and his colleague Officer Adam Waite, also a combat veteran, discovered during the course of the investigation that the deceased man served in World War II.

Galusha said Waite went out of his way to find an American flag to honor the man during his final transport.
read more here 

Salem Police Flags For Fallen Heroes

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fort Hood Soldier Iraq Vetearn From Oregon Found Dead

Fort Hood identifies soldier found dead off-post
Army Times
Staff report
May 4, 2016

The Army on Wednesday released the name of a 1st Cavalry Division soldier who died over the weekend.

Sgt. John Andrew Stobbe. (Photo: Spc. Micah Merrill/Army)
Sgt. John Andrew Stobbe, 31, was found unresponsive Sunday in his off-post residence in Killeen, Texas, officials said.

The circumstances surrounding his death are still under investigation.

He had deployed three times to Iraq — from December 2005 to November 2006, from June 2008 to May 2009, and from September 2010 to August 2011. Stobbe also deployed to South Korea from June 2015 to February 2016.
read more here

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oregon Pot Growers Massive Give Away to Veterans With PTSD

Oregon Growers Are Giving Away Free Cannabis To Veterans
Green Rush Daily
By Drew Jameson
APRIL 23, 2016

Roger Martin, a U.S. Army Veteran and the group’s founder and executive director, is also calling on Veterans to band together, “like we did when we were in the service.” He believes this strength-in-numbers approach help bring about the changes needed, like making cannabis a legal and accepted part of a Veteran’s medical treatment.
While the national spotlight was focused on the festivities of this year’s 4/20 celebrations, a group of Oregon growers are organizing an event to give away free cannabis to Veterans.

Headed up by the Portland, Oregon chapter of Grow For Vets, the groups are preparing for their latest cannabis give-away event. Their idea is to bring positive changes to Veterans’ lives through cannabis.

On Sunday, April 24th, Grow For Vets will be giving away free cannabis gift bags to its members who register online for the event. Veteran non-members and civilians can join the event as well.

The give-away, at Portland’s Refuge PDX center, is just the latest in a series of national events organized by Grow For Vets and meant to draw attention to the dilemma of America’s military Veterans.
read more here

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Less Than Honorably Treated Oregon Veteran Wins VA Claim

Local veteran wins VA battle in Portland
Tillamook Headlight Herald
By Brad Mosher
Updated 18 hrs ago
Vietnam-era veteran Bill Minnix talks to Sen. Ron Wyden during the Oregon senator's recent town hall in Tillamook. Minnix credits Wyden's office for helping his case with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Headlight Herald photo / Brad Mosher

Bill Minnix got some good news Tuesday.

He was told that a Department of Veterans Affairs hearing in Portland recently had decided his service from February to July in 1973 in the U.S. Air Force is considered honorable for VA purposes.

The hearing was focused on the character of Minnix’ discharge from the military in 1973, when he was given a less than honorable discharge.

The decision doesn’t change the discharge, but it opens the door to Minnix receiving full veterans benefits.

It also is considered to be a ground-breaking decision which could impact other veterans who were victims of sexual assault while in the service.

“I am quite excited. I talked to Tiffany Kelley, the attorney for the National Veterans Legal Services Program, and she said this is huge because they have had these veterans just waiting. She said that this was a huge precedent,” Minnix said.

“Monetary-wise, that is not the thing. What I am getting out of this and I feel really good about is all the people this (decision) is going to help from here on out.

“They are many other ‘other than honorable’ discharges. Some are called undesirable. Some are called personality disorder discharges,” he added.
read more here

Saturday, February 6, 2016

PTSD 90 Year Old WWII Veteran Forced From Home By VA?

Veterans Administration forces 90-year-old chaplain from home
Portland Tribune
Written by Molalla Pioneer
Friday, 05 February 2016
Baker was also a prolific writer. He wrote eighteen (18) books addressing depression, pain, forgiveness and many other issues.
COURTESY OF BAKER FAMILY - Don and Martha Baker in 2011
The Veterans Administration has ordered a 90-year-old chaplain, who once preached before President Gerald Ford, to move from his home of five years. Don Baker will be forced to relocate from the Molalla Manor Care Center, to the nearest VA sanctioned facility in Woodburn, 15 miles away.

“This move will be very difficult for him, because his health is tenuous,” said Baker’s daughter, Kathryn Thomas Barram. Baker suffers from Post-Tramautic Stress Disorder stemming from his service in the Air Corps during World War II, said Barram.

Last month, the Veterans Administration notified Baker’s family that it was pulling its contract with Molalla Manor.

Baker was ordered to move within six weeks.

Armed with more than 200 pages of testimony supporting the chaplain, his physicians and family appealed to the VA to reconsider its decision. The VA denied the formal appeal, but extended the relocation date by 12 days to Feb. 12, 2016.

"This is a shame - not ethical treatment of a family and a patient," wrote Baker's physician, Ray E. Smucker, M.D. in his letter to the VA. "Is this the care the VA expects for their patients? I would understand if his care was at risk. His care at Molalla Manor has been great over the years."
read more here

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Surprised Veteran Goes Home Again

ACCESS helps vet recover home he didn't know he had
Mail Tribune
Nick Morgan
Jan. 17, 2016

If Louie Painter hadn't purchased a new car in April, he wouldn't have a home.
Jodie Barnes, ACCESS housing counselor, left, Louie Painter and Dave Struble
Lithia Chrysler Superstore salesman, stand outside Painter's home on Friday.
Barnes and Struble helped Painter get back into a home he didn't even know he
owned. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch
The 71-year-old retired veteran had been living a nomadic life in the wake of his divorce in 2007, traveling to military bases across the country while living in the back of his truck.

But that began to change in April when he traded in the truck, and by May he was living in the 2,600-square-foot east Medford home he previously thought he no longer owned.

It was while Painter was at the Lithia Chrysler Superstore trading in his truck for a new black Dodge Challenger that friend and salesman Dave Struber told him he would've qualified for a lower interest rate if he didn't have a house in foreclosure.

“If the car dealer who was selling him a car didn’t tell him, he still wouldn’t know,” ACCESS housing counselor Jodie Barnes said.

The news was a complete surprise to Painter, who was renting a home at the time he bought the vehicle.

"He was just living his merry way, assuming he was not a homeowner anymore," Barnes said. Painter had purchased the home in 2006 with his former wife, Nancy, but when they divorced, he left possession of it with her, or so he thought. He recalled signing documents authorizing a short sale while on the road and sending them to his ex-wife via fax. He had put the home along with much of his previous life behind him.
read more here

Marine From Florida Among Missing After Helicopters Collided

Marines Identify 12 Missing After Helicopter Crash Off Hawaii
NBC News
January 17, 2016

The Marine Corps on Saturday released the names of 12 Marines missing after two helicopters apparently collided in mid-air off the coast of Oahu Thursday, as the search continued for the missing air crew for a second day.

The missing air crew were identified as:
Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.
Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri.
Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama.
Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24,Chaska, Minnesota.
Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania.
Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina.
Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama.
Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.
Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida.
Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts.
Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon.
Coast Guard and other aircraft and ships spent a second day searching for the missing Marines, but weather and high swells were hampering the effort.

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, searchers had scoured more than 5,000 square nautical miles, the Coast Guard said.
read more here
Sergeant Dillon Semolina
‘He Was Just A Fun-Loving Kid’: Missing Marine Left Mark On Community

Corporal Christopher Orlando
Family of missing Hingham Marine speak about son

Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Bundy bodyguard lied about being a Marine

Report: Bundy bodyguard lied about being a Marine 
KGW Staff
January 07, 2016
Brian Cavalier looks on as Ammon Bundy speaks to members of the media in front of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on January 5, 2016 near Burns, Oregon. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
BURNS, Ore. -- The personal bodyguard of armed activist Ammon Bundy and his father Cliven Bundy has lied about service in the U.S. Marine Corps, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The British newspaper reported that it confirmed from the Marine Corps that Brian Cavalier, 44, never served in any capacity.

Cavalier has openly talked about being in the Marines and serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He wears a shemagh scarf often worn by veterans who served in the Middle East.

Confronted at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge about the discrepancy, Cavalier was described by the newspaper as "nervous and the bravado of previous days vanished."

He asked the Daily Mail for its source. When told it was the Marine Corps, he said "That's unfortunate they would say that. It is what it is."
read more here

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Militia takes over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters

Militia takes over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters
Oregon Live
By Les Zaitz
January 2, 2016
Ryan Payne, an Army veteran from Montana, questioned why more Harney County veterans aren't defending the Constitution by standing up for local ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven. Payne, a militiaman, participated in the arm standoff last year in Nevada between a rancher and agents of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Hammonds are going to prison for burning bureau land south of Burns. Les Zaitz | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Update at 9:15 p.m.: Statement from Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward: "After the peaceful rally was completed today, a group of outside militants drove to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, where they seized and occupied the refuge headquarters. A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution. For the time being please stay away from that area. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation."

The Bundy family of Nevada joined with hard-core militiamen Saturday to take over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 50 miles southeast of Burns for years.
Rancher Dwight Hammond Jr. greets protesters outside his Burns home on Saturday. He and his son Steven are to report to prison on Monday on federal arson charges. An estimated 300 marchers went by the Hammond home, pausing to leave flowers and cheers. Les Zaitz | The Oregonian/OregonLive

The occupation came shortly after an estimated 300 marchers — militia and local citizens both — paraded through Burns to protest the prosecution of two Harney County ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who are to report to prison on Monday.

Among the occupiers is Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and two of his brothers. Militia members at the refuge claimed they had as many as 100 supporters with them. The refuge, federal property managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was closed and unoccupied for the holiday weekend.
read more here

Oregon ranchers' fight with feds sparks militias' interest
Oregon Live
By Les Zaitz
December 31, 2015
The first fire came in 2001: a simple prescribed burn, intended to take out invasive juniper, by Steve and Dwight Hammond's account.

But federal prosecutors said the men's real motive for starting the blaze, which consumed 139 acres and forestalled grazing for two seasons, was to cover up evidence of an illegal slaughter of deer. The government presented evidence that Steven Hammond called an emergency dispatcher to ask if it was OK to burn -- roughly two hours after they already lit the fire. His attorney said in court that Hammond called the land bureau beforehand.

The government acknowledged that the next fire, in 2006, was intended as a defensive move. Steve Hammond set backfires to keep a lightning-caused fire from burning onto the Hammonds' ranch and hitting their winter feed.
U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan said at the men's original sentencing in 2012 that such a term would be unconstitutional as cruel and unusual punishment.

"It would be a sentence which would shock the conscience," Hogan said before sentencing Dwight to three months and Steve to one year.

The men served their time and went home to raise cattle. But their case, it turned out, was far from settled.

read more here

Monday, December 28, 2015

Family Hasn't Given Up on Mike Robinson, Oregon Missing Veteran

No trace of missing Bend man who left town in July
The Bulletin
By Tara Bannow
Published Dec 26, 2015
Robinson’s military service included a nine-month deployment to Kuwait. In the months before he disappeared, he had struggled with depression and anxiety and had complained about not being able to see a counselor through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Family members and rescue workers say they believe a 23-year-old Bend man missing since late July may have hitched a ride and could be living in another state.
Mike Robinson left Bend in late July with his black lab, Charlie.
His wife reported him missing less than a week later, and his
abandoned pickup was found Aug. 5 near Riley
No one has heard from Mike Robinson, an Army veteran who suffered from depression, since July. His wife reported him missing in early August, less than a week after he left town with his black Labrador, Charlie. Robinson left notes in his apartment imploring loved ones not to come looking for him and to let him “rest in peace.”

The Harney County Sheriff’s Department found Robinson’s abandoned pickup truck Aug. 5 on U.S. Highway 20 near Riley, out of gas. In a note left in the truck, Robinson wrote he was happy now and promised to contact loved ones in the future, said his mother, Becky Deem of Mariposa, California.

Deem said she’s not sure whether Robinson was referring to contact from beyond the grave or from across the country. He has friends and relatives in other states he might have gone to see, she said.

“It’s kind of hard to interpret what he was actually getting at there,” she said. “If he actually decided to commit suicide or if he decided to just disappear and become a homeless person. We really don’t know what to think about it.”
read more here

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Unspeakable Grief, Life and Death of James Morris

The headline "Veteran who killed himself during traffic stop suffered from PTSD" from the Bulletin in Oregon happens far too often. The article, much like the military, covers a trouble life Morris had before the military, almost as if it is supposed to absolve them when veterans commit suicide. The trouble is, facts prove them wrong every time they try to do it.

“Everybody was just a little bit too late. I’ve beat myself up, because what more could I have done? I know ultimately it was his decision to pull the trigger, but what could we have done?”
That came from his teacher and it couldn't have been more true. The trouble is, it is an all too familiar story.

James Morris did not commit suicide before entering into the military.  He did not commit suicide while deployed into Afghanistan.  He did everything he could to survive there but beyond that simple fact, he was willing to risk his life to save others. According to the military, every soldier is trained to be "resilient" yet this same training has not been able to prevent suicides of non-deployed servicemembers. No one can explain how those facts turned into a veteran who no longer wanted to live after all that. Then again, the military doesn't have to account for the suicides of service members they trained to be resilient when they become veterans.
"In the weeks leading up to his death, James Morris went to classes at the local community college. He played video games with his younger brother. He watched “Jeopardy” with his grandma.

All the while, a gun Morris had stolen from his grandma’s house was stashed in the glove box of his 2005 Hyundai Elantra.
In Afghanistan, Morris would go on multiday convoy missions. That’s where a group of soldiers drives for hours from one camp to another to deliver supplies or personnel. The job carried the daily risk that an improvised explosive device could go off or that the convoy would be ambushed."
The VA rated him with service connected disability of PTSD by 70%. So he wasn't one of the veterans not even trying to get help. He was not willing to give up on his future, or he wouldn't have enrolled in classes. He did not surrender hope for a better future willingly. It was eroded on a daily basis.
"James got brushed under the carpet,” said his mother, Tammy Boyd, of Bend. “He was in the war, but he lost the battle here. That could have been prevented and it’s something that needs to be changed. Somebody needs to do something.”

A police officer pulled Morris over for a burnt out headlight at Badger Road near SE Third Street shortly after 8 p.m. on Nov. 27. He and his younger brother, 24-year-old Andrew Boyd, had been on their way to Walmart. When the officer walked back to his car to run Morris’ information, Morris pulled out the gun, which was tucked near his left leg.

“He told him, ‘I’m sorry, bro, I’m gonna commit suicide,” Tammy Boyd recounted.

Andrew tried to pull the gun away . The first bullet flew just past his face.

For Morris, the second shot — just behind his left ear — was fatal.

His mother took him off life support early the next morning."
So when you read the rest of the story of James Morris, keep in mind that left behind are family members, friends and other veterans he was willing to die for. All of them are wondering when someone will actually do something that will spare others from such unspeakable grief.
"If there’s one thing Wilson wants people to know about her grandson, it’s that he had a good heart. He was clever. He wrote music, played guitar and the keyboard.

“He was always, always friendly,” she said. “Always smiling. He was just a good boy.”

Ultimately Boyd wants people to know that her son was not just the vandal some have made him out to be.

“I want him to be remembered as the honored sergeant that he was, as the good boy that he was,” she said, “and the troubled, troubled man that he had become.”"

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oregon Iraq Veteran Combat Medic Faces Judge--May Get Justice

Former combat medic admits robbing credit union in Eugene
Former military medic Jace Heney is to be sentenced Jan. 20 after pleading guilty to robbing a credit union
The Register Guard
By Jack Moran
OCT. 15, 2015

A former military combat medic who pleaded guilty on Wednesday to robbing a credit union near downtown Eugene in November told a judge that he committed the crime during a period in which he used hard drugs to alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Heney admitted being the person who robbed an Oregon Community Credit Union branch at 488 E. 11th Ave. on Nov. 4. The robber handed a teller a demand note and later fled after taking $1,800, according to an investigator’s affidavit filed in court.

Authorities circulated surveillance photos of the robber and subsequently received several tips from members of the public who said they thought the man depicted in the images was Heney, according to the affidavit.
Aiken thanked Heney for his military service and asked that he and Weintraub, as well as the federal prosecutor handling the case, contact officials with a federal Veterans’ Court program in Virginia to get an idea of how cases similar to Heney’s are handled there.
read more here

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Oregon Student Suspended For Wearing Patriotic T-shirt?

Oregon middle school student suspended for wearing fallen soldier shirt showing gun
October 9, 2015

An Oregon eighth grader is speaking out after he says he was suspended from school for refusing to take off a T-shirt meant to pay tribute to fallen soldiers.

The controversial shirt, worn by Alan Holmes, shows a helmet and a firearm in what's commonly referred to as a battlefield cross.

"Standing for those who stood for us," its caption reads.

The patriotic student, whose brother is a Marine, says he'll continue to do just that.

"If they won't let me wear a shirt that supports the people that keeps us free, I'm not going to support them," he told KPTV in a video interview.

Alan's father, who was called to pick him up from Gresham's Dexter McCarty Middle School outside Portland over his attire, says he's proud of him.
read more here

Friday, October 9, 2015

Eugene Police Chief Says Killing Veteran "Tragedy for family and community"

Police chief rules officers followed policy in Brian Babb shooting, announces more reforms
But Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns also says his officers followed department policy
The Register-Guard
By Christian Hill
OCT. 9, 2015
The deadly encounter occurred less than an hour after Babb’s therapist called 911 to report that Babb, who suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, was suicidal and had fired a gun in the house.
Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns announced Thursday that his sworn officers followed department policies during their response to a 911 call that ended when an officer fatally shot a veteran in emotional crisis.

The March 30 killing of Brian Babb, a former captain in the Oregon Army National Guard who deployed to Afghanistan, prompted many questions in the community about the department’s handling of the call and prompted the department to make a series of reforms to improve its response to residents in emotional crisis.

Kerns again called Babb’s killing a “tragedy for his family and our community.”

“The experience of this incident has caused us to re-examine our practices and philosophies thoroughly and to advance our performance in high-risk complex calls for service,” Kerns wrote in concluding the 16-page report of his findings after the months-long internal review of the officer-involved shooting.
Kerns said the shift of the initial dispatcher ended during the police response and another dispatcher took her place. Kerns said he didn’t know the exact time of the shift change, and his report is silent on what effect, if any, it had on the police response.

His report said a dispatcher also erroneously reported over the radio to responding officers that Babb had fired his gun into a window, confirming what The Register-Guard had previously reported.
The Eugene Police Department has announced nearly a dozen policy changes and directives in the wake of the March 30 fatal shooting of Brian Babb to improve its response to veterans and other residents in emotional crisis:
1. Organize program to provide support for struggling veterans before they reach crisis.
2. Instruct supervisors to not interrupt if a resident is talking with a mental health professional.
3. Have at least 2 crisis negotiators respond to calls involving mental health crises.
4. Require that officers be sent to the location of a therapist if they are engaged with a barricaded subject to work together to resolve crisis.
5. Develop a decision-making model, similar to one in Scotland, to help officers navigate dangerous encounters.
6. Track the deployment of department’s armored vehicle.
7. Study the use of armored vehicles audio and video equipment so it — rather than an exposed officer — can monitor surroundings.
8. Instruct officers who completed 40-hour crisis intervention instruction to take refresher course.
9. Develop crisis intervention training program for 911 center personnel.
10. Require 911 call takers and dispatchers who initially take “high-risk” call to remain on it until conclusion.
11. Allow officers to wear emblems on uniforms denoting their military service to help connect with veterans.
read more here

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Marine and Air Force Veterans First to Respond to UCC Shooting

Police: First responders at UCC are military vets who ran toward gunfire, 'saved lives'
FOX 11 News

ROSEBURG, Ore. (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — In a press conference updating the investigation of the shooting at Umpqua Community College, authorities confirmed the names of the two officers who engaged in gunfire with the shooter, shortly before he killed himself.

Chief Jim Burge of the Roseburg Police Department said Sgt. Joe Kaney, and Det. Todd Spingath were first to arrive on-scene. They were in plain clothes, without body armor, but still ran toward the gunfire at Snyder Hall.

"They knew that they could be injured or killed as they ran toward the sound of gunfire" he said.
Sgt. Kaney, a former Marine, has been with the department for 23 years, receiving a medal of honor and purple heart for his service in a previous shooting incident in 2005 - where he was wounded in the ankle.

His coworker, Det. Spingath, was described as an Air Force veteran, employed with the department for 16 years. He was the recipient of a medal of valor for his role in the same 2005 shooting.
read more here

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oregon Hero Thought of Others While Being Shot

Former JBLM soldier emerges as hero in campus shooting
Seattle Times
By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter
Originally published October 2, 2015
Chris Mintz, surivor of the Umpqua Community College shooting, Thursday, was shot seven times. Mintz, 30, is an Army veteran who lived in Tacoma about 10 years ago while stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, according to Mintz’s brother. (Family of Chris Mintz)
An Army veteran who once served at Joint Base Lewis McChord is emerging as a hero who tried to protect classmates in the shooting rampage that took place at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore.

Christopher Mintz, 30, was shot multiple times and suffered wounds to both legs, his stomach and back but is now recovering at an Oregon hospital, according to his cousin, Derek Bourgeois, who says he spoke briefly with Mintz Thursday evening after surgery.

“He said he wished he could have saved just more people,” Bourgeois told The Seattle Times. “He was just out of surgery and struggling to get out a few words.”
read more here
Oregon shooting hero tells gunman, 'It's my son's birthday today' 
By Don Melvin
October 2, 2015

(CNN)When Chris Mintz heard gunfire at Oregon's Umpqua Community College on Thursday, his thoughts were not of himself.
Instead, he thought first of protecting others.

Then he thought of his 6-year-old son, Tyrik.

Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the College on Thursday. Nine others were injured.

When the shooting broke out, Mintz, 30, an military veteran and a former high school football player in Randleman, North Carolina, tried to save the lives of others.

"Tries to block the door to keep the gunman from coming in," his aunt, Wanda Mintz, told Fox 8, a CNN affiliate in High Point, North Carolina.

"Gets shot three times," his aunt said. "Hits the floor."

"Looks up at the gunman and says, 'It's my son's birthday today,' " his aunt said.

Still, there was no mercy. The gunman shot Mintz again. It's not yet clear exactly how many more times, but both his legs are broken, said family members who talked to him by phone on his way into surgery.
read more here