Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dramatic Aviation Rescue

Shortly after 1:00 pm on May 31, 2009, the United States Park Police Aviation Section responded to the Occoquan River Dam to assist Prince William County Fire Department with a hoist rescue.

When the motor on a boat became disabled, two fishermen on the river abandoned their boat as it was being swept towards the dam. The seventy two foot drop over the dam is described by one rescuer as, “Definitely fatal.” The unmanned boat was swept over the dam and dropped seventy two feet.

The two fishermen grabbed onto a pole affixed to the top of the dam. Fairfax County Police and United States Park Police Aviation effected a rescue.

United States Park Police Eagle 1 with Sgt. Kevin Chittick as Pilot in Command and Sgt. Ken Burchell as Co-Pilot approached the scene. Rescue Technicians Sgt. Mark Varanelli and Officer David Hurley prepared the hoist.

One fisherman was pulled to the shore by the Fairfax Police Helicopter. The other fisherman was rapidly approaching the dam. The second fisherman was only a few feet from being swept over the dam when the United States Park Police Aviation Officers hoisted him to safety.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Missing Girl and Wanted Person Located

On May 22, 2009 shortly after 6:00 pm, the United States Park Police dispatchers received a telephone report that a critical missing teenage girl from Montgomery County, MD was in Dupont Circle Park. The caller also said that she was accompanied by a person who was wanted by the police for a child pornography violation.

This caller learned of the missing girl and her wanted companion from a story run this afternoon on the local Washington, DC NBC affiliate’s 5:00pm news broadcast. He referred to this story when he spoke with United States Park Police dispatchers.

The United States Park Police located the person wanted in Arlington County for child pornography violations. He was arrested.

The critical missing girl was located shortly after.

The girl was taken to a United States Park Police facility to arrange for her return to Montgomery County.

Major Jon Pierce Retires

United States Park Police Major Jon Pierce will retire on May 24, 2009. Major Pierce completed a distinguished career with many notable accomplishments ranging from local and significant criminal cases in Washington, DC to international events including serving as Incident Commander of the United States Park Police actions for President Obama’s Inauguration.

Major Pierce entered service with the National Park Service in 1979 as a seasonal Park Ranger in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

In May 1987, he joined the United States Park Police where he was a distinguished graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. While in training, he received the Hawkins Award, given to the highest achieving recruit in United States Park Police basic training.

Major Pierce served as a patrol officer at the Rock Creek Station and also was a plainclothes tactical officer where he investigated many narcotics offenses. Major Pierce’s career advanced to firearms instructor, Sergeant at the United States Park Police Greenbelt and Rock Creek Stations and then as a SWAT team Sergeant.

When Jon Pierce was promoted to Lieutenant, he served as a Shift Commander, the Commander of SWAT, Commander of Aviation, Commander of the Planning and Development Unit, and Commander of the Horse Mounted Patrol.

Promoted to Captain, Jon Pierce served as the Regional Law Enforcement Specialist for the Southeast region in Atlanta, GA.

He was promoted to Major as the Commander of the Special Forces Branch and the Icon Protection Branch.

Jon Pierce’s greatest challenge perhaps, was as the United States Park Police Incident Commander for the 56th Presidential Inauguration of President Obama. This event was one of the largest public gatherings in Washington, DC history coupled with some of the most intense law enforcement and security challenges the Department has faced. With record crowd numbers and dangerously cold weather, the Inauguration was completed with no arrests and no significant incidents, injuries, or illness.

Major Pierce will return to his roots with the National Park Service as the Regional Law Enforcement Specialist in Atlanta, GA.

The United States Park Police wishes Major Pierce well in his future National Park Service endeavors and looks forward to continually working with him and using his expertise.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Road Closures Memorial Day Weekend 2009

There will be several road closures for different events during the Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday May 22, 2009:

Rolling Thunder events. Henry Bacon Drive will be closed from Constitution Avenue to the Lincoln Memorial from 7:00 PM until 11:00 PM.

Saturday May 23, 2009:

No road closures scheduled.

Sunday May 24, 2009:

Rolling Thunder. Closed from 11:30 AM until 4:00PM will be Arlington memorial Circle, memorial Bridge, Lincoln memorial Circle, 23rd Street south of Constitution Avenue, Henry Bacon Drive, Constitution Avenue from Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to 3rd Street, 3rd Street from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, Independence from 23rd Street to 3rd Street, West Potomac Park-Ohio Drive Riverside between Independence Avenue and Inlet Bridge, West Basin Drive, Jefferson drive, and Madison Drive.

Monday May 25, 2009:

Memorial Day Parade. Henry Bacon Drive closes at 5:00 AM and remains closed throughout the Memorial Day Parade. During the Memorial Day parade, from 12:00 noon until 4:00 PM, Constitution Avenue from 7th Street to 23rd Street NW. Jefferson and Madison Drives (in the Mall) from 4t Street to 15th Street, and 15th Street and 17th Streets from Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Critically Missing Person Found In East Potomac Park

On Sunday May 17, 2009 family members of a critically missing person came to the United States Park Police Central District Station seeking assistance in locating their missing relative.

These two stated that their relative had been reported missing to the Washington DC Metropolitan Police on May 8, 2009, that he had not been heard from since, and that he had significant health issues that could preclude him from seeking assistance. Further, the missing man also suffered from diabetes, which without routine medication could cause significant illness.

The family members felt that since their relative had ties to the Downtown area, specifically East Potomac Park, that he may be in this area.

United States Park Police Officer Antolik commenced a diligent search of areas that the missing man might be in. After about an hour of searching, Officer Antolik located the man.

The missing man was treated by DC Fire Department EMS Personnel and transported to George Washington University Hospital. He appeared to be healthy and is expected to recover well.

Search For Missing Child On Haines Point

On May 17, 2009 at about 6:00 pm, United States Park Police Officers were alerted to a child’s bicycle leaning against the sea wall on Haines Point at Bay 9 and a fishing pole next to it with the line in the water. There were no people around the bicycle.

Concerned that a child may have gone into the water and be unaccounted for, the United States Park Police and the Washington, DC Police Harbor Patrol commenced a search to ascertain the welfare of the bicycle’s owner.

While United States Park Police Officers scoured the area and interviewed passersby, the Harbor Patrol deployed divers into the water to assure that there was no one in the water.

In the course of this investigation, the ownership of the bicycle determined. United States Park Police Officers went to the home of the owner of the bicycle and learned that the child was accounted for. The bicycle had been stolen from the owner over a week ago. The water search was completed to assure that even if the rider was not the owner, he or she could be accounted for. The extensive dive search did not indicate anyone in the water.

The United States Park Police reminds the public that bicycle registration with your local government can greatly assist in the return of lost and stolen property, as well as assist authorities in accounting for people who may have been the victims of accidents or crimes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sgt. Giannino Receives Hakim Farthing Award

Officer Hakim A. Farthing was killed in the line of duty on August 10th 2002. He was a Patrol Officer assigned to District Five Anacostia Station. While assisting units from the District Four Greenbelt Station with traffic control at a motor vehicle crash on the southbound lanes of the B-W Parkway at the split to New York Avenue, an intoxicated motorist drove past a barricade and fatally struck Officer Farthing. The motorist attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended a short distance away by the United States Park Police.

In 2002 the United States Park Police and Fraternal Order of Police jointly created the Hakim Farthing Award for Excellence in DWI and Traffic Enforcement. This award honors and rewards the diligence and dedication of Force members who keep our streets safe through active enforcement of traffic law. In addition, this award pays homage to the memory of Officer Hakim Farthing, who was killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

In 2008, Master Patrol Officer (MPO) Anthony Giannino was assigned to the Central District Station. MPO Giannino consistently led his squad and station in arrests of impaired operators of motor vehicles. His dedication to improving the safety of our roadways was highlighted by MPO Gianninno leading his squad in a majority of the 2008 Smooth Operator campaign.

MPO Giannino’s efforts to protect our park lands and reduce motor vehicle accidents led to his selection as the 7th annual Farthing Award winner. During 2008 MPO Giannino made ninety traffic arrests, with sixty three of them for DWI/DUI. He issued three hundred and fifty eight traffic citations. MPO Giannino provided assistance to other Force members and other law enforcement agencies in the development of their DWI/DUI cases by conducting seventeen Breath Tests for suspected impaired operators.

For these actions, Anthony Giannino received the 2008 Farthing Award.

Anthony Giannino was promoted to Sergeant in 2009.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Successful Search Potomac River

Saturday May 9, 2009 United States Park Police patrolling the George Washington Memorial Parkway were approached by two hikers stating that their hiking companion was separated from them and may be lost in the Potomac River in the area of Gulf Branch. These two hikers had scaled a cliff in the area of the Potomac Overlooks along the Parkway.

Lt. Libby, the US Park Police Officer originally contacted, implemented a multi agency search involving the United States Park Police, the DC Fire Department, the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department, and the Arlington County Fire Department.

Resources including marine and aviation assets commenced a search of the Potomac and the shoreline from the original location south to the area of Key Bridge.

After extensive searching, the United States Park Police officers along the Potomac shoreline located the missing person, a 60 year old visiting resident from Australia.

It was determined that this was in fact the missing person. He had not entered the Potomac River. He suffered from minor bruises and scrapes from his efforts to exit the area by climbing a cliff. He refused medical treatment and is expected to recover well.

Friday, May 8, 2009

US Park Police Seek Suspect

The United States Park Police is seeking the public’s help in locating Stephen Foxwell who is wanted for “Harassment by Computer.”

Foxwell has emailed a series of threatening messages containing profanity and threats of physical harm to prior employers. His threats are also anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic in nature.

Foxwell was born in the United Kingdom and speaks with a British accent.

He is known to live for short periods in various apartment complexes in the Northern Virginia area.

Those who know his whereabouts should contact local law enforcement authorities or the United States Park Police Criminal Investigations Branch at (202) 610-8737 or Detective Kevin Fornshill at (202) 610-8751.

US Park Police Promotion Committee Receives Award

United States Park Police Chief Salvatore Lauro presented the Chief’s Certificate of Appreciation to the US Park Police Promotion Committee.

In March 2008 the Core Promotion Committee was appointed and began work on the process for the ranks of Lieutenant and Sergeant. The Force had not conducted a promotion process for these two ranks since 2003.

Achievements of the Core committee included the following:

Review and approval of test items and exercises

Completion of a crediting plan to rate and rank candidates for each position

Validation of Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs) needed to perform duties and development of benchmarks for each KSA

Provision of Assessment Center methodology training and a written examination sample pre-test

Administering of the written examination to candidates simultaneously in four distant geographical locations

Development of video exercise scenarios for the Assessment Centers and training of outside assessors to be used as evaluators

Administration of the Assessment Center to candidates simultaneously in Washington, DC, New York, and San Francisco

The Promotion Committee, through their focus, intensity, and persistence made the entire process a very positive experience for the candidates and provided the Force with a quality pool of future leaders.

The recipients are:

Major Jeanne O'Toole
Captain Jackie Burks
Captain Richard Pope
Lieutenant Dennis Maroney
Lieutenant Stacey Collins
Lieutenant Keith Rogers
Lieutenant David Buckley
Lieutenant Constance Leonard
Ms. Yvonne Buggs

US Park Police Aviation Paramedic Receives Lifesaving Award

Park Police Chief Salvatore Lauro presented the United States Park Police Lifesaving Award to an Aviation Paramedic.

On November 15 2008, Aviation Rescue Technician Officer Timothy Ryan aboard Helicopter Eagle 1 responded to a two car crash involving serious injury. This crash was on the Baltimore Washington Parkway at Beaverdam Road.

Officer Ryan was directed to one of the two ambulances to render assistance to a patient with an injury described as an “isolated arm injury.”

Officer Ryan instantly realized that his patient might be suffering from two collapsed lungs that were filling with blood. He upgraded the status of his patient to Priority One – the most serious classification - indicating injuries that are immediately life-threatening.

Officer Ryan inserted a needle into the patient’s chest cavity to relieve internal pressure on the lungs. Almost immediately, the patient’s oxygen levels rose and the patient stated that he had far less difficulty breathing.

Listening to the patient’s lungs, Officer Ryan confirmed the presence of breath sounds which had been absent prior to the decompression. This procedure, needle decompression thoracostomy, is rarely performed in the field, let alone in the stressful chaotic environment of a vehicle crash on a highway.

Officer Ryan looked beyond obvious injuries, and identified and effectively treated the condition that could have had dire consequences for the patient.

San Francisco Personnel Receive Lifesaving Award

Park Police Chief Salvatore Lauro presented the United States Park Police Lifesaving Award to San Francisco Field Office personnel.

On February 19, 2009, Officer Scott Huther observed a vehicle stopped in the right lane of Highway 101 on the Golden Gate Bridge. The driver had exited the car and climbed over the guard rail and the pedestrian rail apparently intending to jump. Officer Huther followed the woman onto the walkway calling to her not to jump. The woman climbed over the guard rail to the outer girders and said that if Officer Huther came any closer, she would jump. Officer Huther continued to talk to the woman, attempting to calm her.

Sergeant Todd Roth, a Crisis Negotiator, arrived to assist Officer Huther. Sergeant Roth established a rapport with the woman and moved to a position near her to continue the dialogue. After thirty minutes, Sergeant Roth persuaded the woman back over the guard rail where trained bridge crewmen, secured with safety tethers, grabbed her and pulled her to safety.

Officer Huther and Sergeant Roth demonstrated alertness, highly effective communication skills, and split-second timing to prevent a tragic loss of life

Department Of The Interior Valor Award

Three United States Park Police Officers received the Department of the Interior’s highest award for valor.

Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, presented them with this prestigious award at the Department of the Interior 66th annual Honor Awards Convocation on May 6, 2009.

On February 11, 2008, United States Park Police Officers Angelo D. Herron and Michael W. Young and Sergeant Russell E. Fennelly, all assigned to District 4, responded to a motor vehicle crash on the Baltimore Washington Parkway in Greenbelt, MD. The crashed vehicle had struck a tree, overturned, and was on fire.

The sole occupant was pinned in the vehicle with his legs trapped under the dashboard and front console.

The flames from the vehicle fire lit a brush fire next to the vehicle further complicating rescue efforts.

Officer Herron attempted to free the occupant with no success. Officer Young and Sergeant Fennelly arrived and tried to assist in this rescue.

With the fire growing in size and spreading towards the fuel tank, Officer Herron continued his efforts to free the pinned driver while Officer Young and Sergeant Fennelly worked from both sides of the vehicle with fire extinguishers in an attempt to halt the spread of the flames.

These efforts succeeded and the fire was put out.

The driver was finally removed by the Fire Department using heavy extrication equipment and found to have a broken leg and broken pelvis.

The Officers were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Without the heroic efforts of these three, the car crash victim would certainly have perished.

Jason Wu Promoted To Major in San Francisco

Captain Jason Wu will be promoted to Major and command the San Francisco Field Office.
Wu began his career with the US Park Police in December 1988 and has served in San Francisco the entire time.

During his tenure, he has received numerous awards and commendations. including a meritorious duty award, the California Highway Patrol “10851” award for stolen vehicle recovery, and an award from the San Francisco Police Department for his off duty apprehension of a fleeing felon.

In 1993, over 200 illegal aliens smuggled from China came ashore at the Presidio. Jason Wu served as the only interpreter for law enforcement, medical, and media personnel, utilizing his fluency with multiple distinct Chinese dialects.

Jason Wu served in both operational and administrative commands as a Detective, Sergeant and Lieutenant, implementing a community-oriented policing model for the San Francisco Field Office.

Upon his promotion to Captain in 2006, he was assigned to the Pacific West Region, where he supported the regional director in management and oversight of law enforcement programs, policy formulation and execution, development of LE standards, and other duties, all while keeping the NPS philosophy in the forefront.

Jason Wu is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with a BA in psychology. He and his wife Jennifer have three children.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Serious Car Crash Baltimore Washington Parkway Numerous Injured

On Tuesday May 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm, units from the United States Park Police District 4 and the Prince Georges County Fire Department responded to a single vehicle car crash northbound Baltimore Washington Parkway south of Interstate 495.

Officers found a mini van carrying 9 passengers had overturned and several occupants appeared to have been ejected.

The Prince Georges County Fire Department dispatched 1 Heavy Rescue Squad, 3 Engine Companies, 5 Basic Life Support Units, 1 Advance Life Support Unit, 1 EMS Supervisor, and 2 Chiefs.

Three patients were transported to Prince Georges Hospital Center in Cheverly, one with serious head trauma, three patients were transported to Washington Hospital Center Medstar Unit with serious injuries, and three people refused treatment.

No injuries appear to be life threatening.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Horse Mounted Patrol Graduates

On May 1, 2009 five Officers and one Sergeant graduated from the United States Park Police basic Horse Mounted Patrol program and are poised to assist the Department in providing a unique form of police service.

This ten week program is designed to take officers from having minimal to no prior knowledge of horsemanship and quickly form them into competent, safe, and effective mounted patrol officers and stable managers. The challenging training tests the physical and mental desire and ability of the candidate officers.

After completion of this program, the mounted officer and horse become a team that is able to effectively perform routine urban and back country patrols, work in small and large teams as an outstanding crowd management agent, and also provide a positive image of the Department and Park Service to the public.

This training program is well known and respected by other law enforcement agencies. The United States Park Police Horse Mounted Unit training staff has provided mounted patrol training for police departments from around the United States and around the world such as a recent training program for the National Police of the Republic of Georgia.

The graduates are:

Sergeant Cynthia Sirk
Officer Mark Asmussen
Officer Jeffrey Bloch
Officer David Nichols
Officer Kathryn Swarthout
Officer Roy Williams, Jr.