Friday, November 12, 2010

United States Park Police Seek To Identify Skeletal Remains

The United States Park Police Criminal Investigations Branch seeks assistance in identifying skeletal remains.

These remains were found on January 16, 2003 under the eastbound span of the Roosevelt Bridge.

The forensic examination of these skeletal remains indicate the death occurred about six months prior, sometime in the Summer of 2002.

A cause of death was not determined.

A forensic anthropologist determined that these remains are of a black male 30-39 years old, 5'7" to 5'8", and he had an unusual bony growth on the upper left side of his mouth.

This growth (exostosis), would have given him the appearance of a swollen cheek or face. He likely would have had difficulty speaking or eating.

The scene where he was found indicated that he likely was homeless.

The drawing should fairly accurately reflect the bone structure, proportions, and measurements of this person's face.

The drawing shows facial hair. This is based on the premise that he was homeless, and many homeless have this length of facial hair.

If you can help identify this person, please contact United States Park Police Detective Kevin Fornshill at (202) 610-8751.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Road Rage Results In Serious Charges

Andrew Dunn, a 47 year old Silver Spring, MD resident, was arrested by the United States Park Police and charged with “Assault with Intent to Commit Murder.”

This arrest stems from a road rage incident on Sunday November 7, 2010.

Andrew Dunn and another driver were on Powder Mill Road near the Baltimore Washington Parkway on November 7 at about 4:30 pm when they exchanged words after the victim was reportedly almost run off the road.

After that, both drivers drove away with the eventual victim, following Dunn and talking with the police dispatcher, describing what happened. A short time later, both drivers came to a stop, and Dunn fired a handgun at the victim.

The gunfire did not strike the victim or his car.

The victim was able to provide US Park Police Detectives with identifying information and a description. The Detectives tracked the suspect with this information.

On Tuesday November 9, 2010, United States Park Police Detectives and SWAT Team executed a search warrant at Dunn’s home in the Briggs Chaney area of Silver Spring and recovered evidence linking him to the crime.

Dunn was arrested and charged in United States District Court for the Southern District of Maryland.

Dunn is being held pending further court proceedings.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Checkpoint Strikeforce

The United States Park Police and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program teamed up for the kick off of Operation Checkpoint Strikeforce to combat drunk driving.

This event took place on October 28, 2010.

This effort is designed to combat the scourge of drunk driving with a particular focus of the increase of offenses in the upcoming holiday season.

Washington Regional Alcohol Program also provides a “Sober Ride” service where taxis are contracted to return people home who otherwise might be drunk drivers.

For this event, we had a strong media presence getting our message out. We featured highly visual demonstrations of what drunk drivers look like and how their psychomotor skills are impacted.

Officers from the United States Park Police Traffic Safety Unit solicited volunteers to consume measured alcohol doses and submit to period testing of breath alcohol levels and Standardized Field Sobriety tests. These results vividly demonstrated to the reporters the challenges in detecting drunk drivers, but also the skills police officers have developed in combating these offenses.

The demonstration included drivers navigating a cone course while wearing “Fatal Vision” eyewear. These lenses simulate a specific blood alcohol level, in this case .17% bac. Many cones were knocked down; each could have been an innocent pedestrian.

While many may think that getting volunteers to drink alcohol is just a fun way to spend a day, the reasons are deadly serious. The volunteers seemed to enjoy themselves, but they were required to submit to stringent internal controls. These volunteers were required to be transported to and from their homes by police personnel, submit to a basic medical screening before and after the event, and were precluded from operating any vehicles for a specific time period.

This event happened on Hains Point in Washington, DC. Since this area is declared off limits for alcohol consumption by the Superintendant, the United States Park Police received a waiver for the event to allow only the two volunteers to drink for educational and public awareness purposes under close monitoring.

We would like to thank our partners in the National Park Service National Capital Region, Washington Regional Alcohol Program, and Stratacomm Communications for spreading the message of the hazards of impaired driving.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Restoring Sanity Event Critical Missing Person

The United States Park Police is seeking a critical missing person.

This person was last seen on the National Mall in the area of 7th Street at about 3:00 pm on October 30, 2010

The missing person is Gladys GERMAIN

Black Female

69 years old

Height 4’10” Weight unknown

She was last seen wearing a puffy black coat and a black baseball cap.

She speaks with what is described as a Caribbean accent, native of Haiti.

She resides in New York City and was in Washington, DC for the event on the National Mall.

She is considered CRITICAL MISSING as she has dementia.

Anyone with information as to her location is asked to contact the United States Park Police at the following numbers:

Dispatch – (202) 610-7505
Criminal Investigations – (202) 610-8730

At this time we do not have a photograph available.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Traffic Closures For Weekend Of 10/30/10-10/31/10

There are several large events scheduled for the weekend including the Marine Corps Marathon. These events will have a profound impact on traffic with many streets closed at different times.

Please consider these traffic closures when making plans to travel in downtown Washington, DC.

Police officers will be at many locations to assist with traffic.

Public transportation is highly recommended.

Traffic Closures for 10/30/10:

6:00 am until 4:00 pm Jefferson Drive from 3rd Street to 7th Street

6:00 am until 4:00 pm Madison Drive from 3rd Street to 7th Street

6:00 am until 4:00 pm 3rd Street between Independence Ave and Pennsylvania Ave

6:00 am until 4:00 pm 4th Street between Independence Ave and Pennsylvania Ave

Traffic closures for 10/31/10:

4:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Marshall Drive from N. Meade Street to Route 110

4:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. North Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Lynn Street.

4:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Route 110 from I66 to U.S. Highway 1

4:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Wilson Boulevard from North Nash Street to Route 110

4:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Lynn Street from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

4:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Fort Myer Drive from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

4:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. North Moore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Lee Highway

4:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. 19th Street North from Lynn Street to North Nash Street

7:23 a.m. until 9:15 a.m. Lee Highway eastbound from Lynn to North Kirkwood

7:30 a.m. until 9:25 a.m. Spout Run Parkway from Lee Highway to George Washington Memorial Parkway

7:30 a.m. until 9:40 a.m. George Washington Memorial Parkway from Spout Run to Key Bridge off ramp

7:33 a.m. until 9:40 a.m. Francis Scott Key Bridge (all lanes)

7:35 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Canal Road NW from M Street NW to Reservoir Road NW

7:42 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. Reservoir Road NW from MacArthur Blvd. NW to Canal Road NW

7:42 a.m. until 10:25 a.m. MacArthur Boulevard NW from Foxhall Road NW to Reservoir Road NW

7:45 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Foxhall Road NW from Canal Road NW to MacArthur Blvd. NW

7:47 a.m. until 10:36 a.m. M Street NW from Canal Road NW to Wisconsin Avenue NW

7:48 a.m. until 10:40 a.m. Wisconsin Avenue from M Street NW to K Street NW

7:49 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. K Street NW from Wisconsin Avenue NW to Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway NW

7:50 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway NW from K Street NW to Independence Avenue

7:53 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Ohio Drive SW at West Potomac Park from Independence Avenue SW around East Potomac Park to Maine Avenue SW

8:02 a.m. until 12:10 p.m. Maine Ave. SW from East Basin Drive to Independence Avenue SW

8:03 a.m. until 12:25 p.m. East Basin Drive from Maine Avenue to Ohio Drive

8:06 a.m. until 12:25 p.m. Independence Avenue SW from Maine Avenue SW to Ohio Drive SW

8:10 a.m. until 12:25 p.m. Ohio Drive SW between Independence Avenue SW and Lincoln Circle

8:10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Lincoln Circle from Ohio Drive SW to 23rd Street NW

8:11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. 23rd Street NW from Lincoln Circle to Constitution Avenue NW

8:11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Constitution Avenue NW from 23rd Street NW to 15th Street NW

8:13 a.m. until 12:35 p.m. 15th Street NW/SW (Raoul Wallenberg Pl) from Constitution Avenue NW to Maine Ave. SW

8:13 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Madison Drive NW from 15th Street NW to 3rd Street NW

8:15 a.m. until 12:55 p.m. 3rd Street; Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Maryland Avenue SW

8:16 a.m. until 12:50 p.m. Pennsylvania Ave. NW from 3rd Street NW to East Capitol Circle

8:16 a.m. until 12:50 p.m. 1st Street; Pennsylvania NW to Maryland Avenue SW

8:17 a.m. until 12:52 p.m. Maryland Avenue SW from South Capitol Circle to 3rd Street

5:00 a.m. until 1:08 p.m. Jefferson Drive SW from 3rd Street SW to 14th Street SW

7:35 a.m. until 1:17 p.m. 14th Street SW from Jefferson Drive to northbound HOV lanes

7:35 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. HOV lanes from 14th Street SW to HOV ramp at South Eads Street

7:40 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. South Eads Street from South Rotary Road to Army Navy Drive

7:45 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Army Navy Drive from South Fern to 12th Street South

8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. 12th Street from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive

8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Crystal Drive from 12th Street to 23rd Street

8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. 15th Street from Crystal Drive to South Eads Street

8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. South Fern Street from Army Navy Drive to South Rotary Road

8:00 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. South Rotary Road from South Fern Street to Columbia Pike

8:00 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. Columbia Pike from S. Rotary Road to Washington Blvd. on ramp

8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Washington Boulevard from Columbia Pike to Route 110 off ramp

4:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Route 110 ramp from Washington Boulevard to Route 110

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Award From Anti-Defamation League

The United States Park Police is proud to be the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League's "Shield Award."

This award recognizes law enforcement professionals for their significant contributions of protecting people from hate groups, hate crimes, extremism, and terrorism.

The United States Park Police received two of these awards.

The first award was to the Force as a whole for its response to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting in June 2009.

The second award was to Detective Kevin Fornshill for his ongoing and long term investigations of hate crimes.

The United States Park Police was the first uniformed law enforcement agency on the scene of the terrorist assault on the museum. Our officers secured the scene, initiated the investigation, assisted in the building's evacuation, and handled the incident until the death of Special Police Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns turned this scene into a homicide to be handled by the Metropolitan Police Department.

Detective Kevin Fornshill has handled investigations into hate groups and individuals, provided training to our agency as well as many others concerning hate crimes, and is considered a subject matter expert on these crimes. His long term investigations and intelligence gathering has kept our community safer.

Other recipients of the ADL Shield Award are the Norfolk Police Department Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force CT-4, and Holocaust Memorial Museum Special Police Officers Jason McCuiston and Harry Weeks.

The most moving segment of this awards ceremony was the presentation of this award to Holocaust Memorial Museum Special Police Officer Stephen Johns. Officer Johns received this award posthumously, having been murdered in the line of duty. His mother and son received this award for him.

With several hundred people in attendance, the room was quiet as Officer Johns' mother spoke about her son. Most of us never met her son, but we all know of him and think of him.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Daring Hoist Rescue In Shenandoah National Park

The United States Park Police Aviation personnel made a daring hoist rescue in Shenandoah National Park.

Eagle 1 flew to Stoney Man Mountain on Friday October 8, 2010 at about 7:00 pm to assist National Park Service Rangers with a 66 year old male who had fallen about twenty feet down a cliff and had suffered head trauma. Sergeant Craig Davis piloted the craft with Sergeant David Hurley and Officer Brooke Robbins in the Rescue Technician positions. The NPS Rangers were with the patient at the cliff base.

When Eagle 1's staff located the rescue scene, they found that the sun had almost set and the winds at the cliff face were high and erratic. The NPS Rangers were requested to move the patient nearer the top of the cliff. After the Rangers repositioned the patient, the Eagle's staff hoisted him aboard the aircraft while being buffeted by strong winds.

The patient was flown to Fairfax Hospital where he was treated further.

These types of hoist rescues are difficult, however the United States Park Police trains with surrounding First Responder Units frequently so that they can perform these missions safely.

This mountain is 4011 feet high and located at 38.598 n/78.372 w.

Photo courtesy Ranger Scott Gray of Shenandoah National Park.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Strong Storms Pound Washington, DC

A powerful line of thunderstorms pounded Washington, DC at the height of morning rush hour August 12, 2010.

This cell passed through at about 7:30 AM. As it approached, the sky became so dark that it appeared night had fallen.

Many trees came down in the Metropolitan area with the District 3 area in Rock Creek Park especially hard hit. Beach Drive was closed its entire length.

Most treacherous were the flash floods. Several vehicle along the Beach Drive corridor were swept away by the flooding. Fortunately there were no injuries.

Bradley Broadus, a District of Columbia resident, was driving his mini van on Broad Branch Road near Brandywine Street.

Mr. Broadus relates, " I looked in my rear view mirror, saw a wall of water coming at me, and bailed out of my car. I scrambled up the hill and clung to a fence when my car washed downstream."

Mr. Broadus' car was found about a quarter of a mile away against the supports for the bridge carrying Ross Drive over the creek.

Officer Farrell of District 3 arrived and waded through high rushing water to see just a corner of the vehicle poking above the torrent. She said that the water was above her knees at the peak of this flood. She was able to break a rear window attempting to see if anyone was in the car. Shortly, Mr. Broadus came down the road to report that he owned the car and that no one was in it.

Within about one half hour, the waters receded to more normal levels and Mr. Broadus' car was winched out of the stream. The District of Columbia Fire Department Rescue Squad 2 personnel assisted in this recovery. While the water had receded substantially, they assisted by hooking the car to the tow truck, stood by if any recovery people were hurt, and monitored the creek for any hazardous spills that may have gone into the water.

The photos show the final resting of Mr. Broadus' car, the DC Fire Department hooking up the car, the amount of damage flash floods can cause, and a very lucky Bradley Broadus!

To get a sense of how deep the water was, when looking at the photo of the car against the bridge, the water was several feet above the bridge deck, about midway up the railing!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Park Police Seek Robbery Suspect

The U.S. Park Police is investigating a Robbery that happened on May 5, 2010 at 2:30 am in “P Street Beach”, Northwest, Washington, DC. “P Street Beach” is a park located at 23rd Street and P Street NW and going down a long hill towards Rock Creek.

The suspect is an Hispanic male, with a thin beard, wearing black pants, blue t-shirt, black striped hat and carrying a black backpack with a Nike swoosh and black string shoulder straps.

The suspect stole the victim’s wallet and used his stolen credit card throughout the Dupont Circle area.

Any one with any information about the described suspect is asked to contact the U.S. Park Police tip line at 202-610-8737.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Weekend Road Closures June 19th and 20th

There will be road closures in the downtown area during the weekend of June 19th and 20th to accommodate the Washington DC Triathlon.

The following closures and times will be implemented:

Saturday June 19, 2010

• West Potomac Park will close on Saturday 6/19/20 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm for the swim practice. Tourmobile will have access during this closure

Sunday June 20, 2010

• 3:30 am – 4:00 pm West Potomac Park will be closed. Tourmobile will be given access as soon as the road is cleared even if it is closed to other traffic

• 5:00 am – 11:00 am the following closures will take place:

• Independence Avenue from 14th Street to 23rd Street

• Constitution Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue to 23rd Street

• Rock Creek Parkway from Calvert Street to Ohio Drive

• Parkway Drive

• Daniel French Drive

• Henry Bacon Drive

• 23rd Street, 17th Street, 15th Street, between Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue

• Memorial Bridge

• Raoul Wallenberg Place

• Maine Avenue from East Basin Drive to Independence Avenue

• Pedestrian access to Memorial Bridge will be closed from 5:00 am until 8:00am

United States Park Police Officers will be in the area to assist motorists and pedestrians. These closures will significantly limit vehicle traffic and parking. We advise visitors to use public transportation.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Potomac River Haz Mat

United States Park Police Aviation personnel patrol National Park Service lands from the unique perspective of the air.

This vantage point furthers our mission of public safety, Icon protection, and preservation of natural resources.

Aviation patrols on June 8, 2010 touched on all three of these elements.

Aviation Sergeants Kevin Chittick and Chris Perkins completed their patrols of the downtown Washington, DC area and moved up the Potomac River towards Great Falls National Park where two people drowned the week before.

After clearing this treacherous river area, they headed down river for continued checks of the National Mall when they spotted a hazardous material situation impacting on NPS land.

These two saw a cloudy substance in the Potomac River near Little Falls Dam. The source was difficult to locate, however their diligent search indicated that the origin was near the reservoir that supplies drinking water for Washington, DC and Arlington, VA.

United States Park Police ground units and District of Columbia Fire Department staff followed the sightings reported by US Park Police Aviation and confirmed the origin as a facility managed by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.

The Fire Department HazMat teams sampled the product and determined it to be “an organic substance” not dangerous to flora or fauna.

As this product was in proximity to the C and O Canal and flowing into the Potomac River, United States Park Police Detectives from our Environmental Crimes Unit will follow up the initial investigation to determine if further study is needed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rolling Thunder Road Closures

Several roads will be closed on Sunday May 30, 2010 to accommodate the “Rolling Thunder” event.

At about 11:30 am, the following roads will be closed. They are expected to be reopened at about 3:30 pm.

• Memorial Bridge and Memorial Avenue from Route 110 to Arlington Memorial Circle
• Ohio Drive from Independence Avenue to Virginia Avenue
• Ohio Drive, riverside, from Inlet Bridge to Independence Avenue
• Independence Avenue from 1st Street SW to 23rd Street SW
• Constitution Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 23rd Street NW
• 3rd, 4th, 7th, 12th, 14th, 15th 17th, and 23rd Streets between Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue and one block north of Constitution Avenue and one block south of Independence Avenue at those streets
• Henry Bacon Drive and Daniel French Drive

There will be United States Park Police Officers in all of these areas to assist motorists and pedestrians.

Visitors to areas affected by these closures, such as the National Mall and the Monuments and Memorials will find public transportation to be the best method to arrive. These visitors should allow some extra time for their trip.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Click It or Ticket

With an average of 8 fatal traffic crashes a year on the Baltimore Washington Parkway, the United States Park Police is increasing enforcement for seatbelt usage on this roadway.

Traffic Safety Unit Crash Reconstructionists have identified a lack of seat belt usage as a major factor in about half of these fatal crashes.

We firmly believe that a combination of education and enforcement will assist in reducing this toll.

The rate of compliance with seatbelt usage in Maryland, at 94%, is the highest on the East Coast.

The Baltimore Washington Parkway has a compliance rate slightly lower than Maryland’s average at about 90%.

Unbelted passengers die in traffic crashes because they are ejected from vehicles or are severely tossed around inside crashing cars.

Seatbelts will save lives.

Those refusing to use seatbelts claim a false sense of security because their cars have airbags. Airbags are a supplemental restraint system - just that, a supplement-not the whole safety package.

Some refuse to use seatbelts because they fear being trapped in a crashed car.

This is simply misplaced logic.

Should you be involved in a serious crash, your chances for survival are substantially increased if you wear a seatbelt.

Wearing a seatbelt costs nothing; receiving a ticket for not wearing one will cost you.

Crashing a car without a seatbelt may cost you and your friends and family everything.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shooting On Baltimore-Washington Parkway

United States Park Police Detectives are looking for a suspect who shot and wounded a motorist on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Shortly after 11:00 pm on Sunday May 23, 2010, a motorist driving a red sedan struck another vehicle from behind. The operator of this striking vehicle, after rear ending the other vehicle, fled the scene of this crash. This crash happened on Maryland Route 198 west of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

After fleeing the scene of the crash, the striking vehicle entered the Baltimore-Washington Parkway southbound from Route 198. The vehicle that was rear ended followed the fleeing vehicle onto the Parkway.

The struck vehicle pulled alongside the fleeing vehicle and a passenger in the struck vehicle fired upon the fleeing vehicle with a gun.

The operator of the fleeing vehicle was shot several times in the arm. This adult male sustained NON-life threatening injuries. The adult male passenger in this vehicle was not injured.

The vehicle containing the shooter may be an SUV and it may be black in color.

United States Park Police Detectives are looking for any witnesses who may have seen either the original crash that started this event or any witnesses who may have seen the shooting.

Witnesses are asked to call the United States Park Police Criminal Investigations Tip Line at (202) 610-8737.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Greenbelt Theft From Auto Suspect

The United States Park Police Criminal Investigations Branch is investigating a Theft from Auto that happened in Greenbelt Park on August 16, 2009.

Credit cards were stolen from a parked car.

These credit cards were used in several stores in Silver Spring, MD and Greenbelt, MD.

The suspect we are looking for was video taped by store security cameras using the stolen credit cards.

We are looking to identify a white male appearing to be 30 – 40 years old, heavy set, and possibly balding or having a very short hair cut.

Anyone with information about this offense or the pictured individual is asked to contact the United States Park Police Tip Line at (202) 610-8737.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

US Park Police Looking For Theft Suspect

The United States Park Police Criminal Investigations Branch is seeking a suspect who has used stolen credit cards and checks.

These credit cards and checks were stolen from a parked car on Saturday March 6, 2010. The car was parked at the Thompson’s Boat Center Parking Lot which is located near the intersection of Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Avenue NW Washington, DC.

We are looking for a black male 40 to 50 years old who appears to be about 6’5” tall.

The photographs were developed from video in the stores in which the suspect apparently used the stolen credit cards.

Anyone with information about this offense or the suspect is asked to call the United States Park Police Tip Line at (202) 610-8737.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

US Park Police Seek Sexual Assault Suspect

The United States Park Police Criminal Investigations Branch is seeking a suspect wanted for a sexual assault that happened in Rock Creek Park.

This assault happened on the Holly Trail, which is a trail through the wood in Rock Creek Park near 16th Street and Holly Street NW.

The assault happened on Saturday May 1, 2010 shortly after 2:00 pm.

The victim was grabbed from behind, wrestled to the ground and assaulted. The assailant was armed with a knife. The victim believes she may have been successful in turning the assailant's knife on the attacker and cutting his hand. She also may have bitten the assailant's hand.

The United States Park Police is seeking an Hispanic male in his twenties with a dark complexion. This suspect is about 5'6" tall and slender build. He has dark curly hair. He was wearing a blue polo shirt, blue jeans, and a black ball cap with a white emblem on it. He also was riding a black mountain bike.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the United States Park Police Tip Line at (202) 610-8737. Information left in languages other than English can be translated.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Honoring The Fallen

Every year we join togethor at Saint Patrick's Church in Washington, DC to celebrate the lives of those who made the supreme sacrifice in law enforcement.

Command staff, line officers, honor guards, mounted units, motor units, and pipe and drum units from all of the area police and law enforcement agencies present a moving and dignified image for those who share the sense of loss to our community.

While the officers and the public can see the pagentry, we are here for those who watch from above, those who are our eternal back up.

As the service begins and the units march into postition, many passers by inquire as to what is happening. The response they make upon learning is a solemn glance at these units, a slow nod, and a sincere thank you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Water Rescue Training

Professional athletes claim that the way they train is the way they play.

It is no different for First Responders.

The United States Park Police Aviation staff trains on an ongoing basis with partners from the agencies we work with daily.

On May 2, 2010, the District of Columbia Fire Department, Washington, DC Police Department Harbor Patrol, and the US Park Police Aviation conducted water rescue training in the Anacostia River.

For this drill, a vehicle was submerged upside down with people trapped, and another victim floating away.

The Police and Fire boats responded and deployed divers for the rescue. US Park Police Aviation arrived to hoist a victim from the waters.

The Aviation staff made a sucessful recovery with a hoist operation into the aircraft.

United States Park Police Aviation has a long history of difficult rescues resolved well. These pilots and paramedics have rightfully received significant recognition for these operations.

They play the way they train.

This training session was done on a hot and steamy morning. The EMS providers will tell us that proper hydration is critical to good health. That includes our canine partners with the DC Fire Department Search and Rescue Unit!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Newly Trained Mounted Officers

After ten grueling weeks of training, six United States Park Police Officers and Sergeants have completed Mounted Patrol School.

This training is considered to be some of the most physically challenging police training available with many sore muscles resulting!!

The following can rub horse liniment on their weary bodies and sigh with a great sense of accomplishment.

Sergeant Shain Mellott
Sergeant Patrick Kaiser
Officer Erin Brown
Officer Laura Teeple
Officer Gary Fuller
Officer Thomas Gordon

Serious Bus Crash West Potomac Park

Two buses collided in West Potomac Park on Friday April 30 leaving two injured

This crash happened on Ohio Drive at about 11:00 am and involved a head on collision.

One bus appears to have crossed onto the wrong side of Ohio Drive and struck what appears to be a stopped bus.

The driver of the stopped bus was able to get out of his bus and was treated by District of Columbia Fire Department personnel. He was transported to George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The operator of the other bus was tightly pinned in the wreckage. DC Fire Department crews used saws, prying tools, and hydraulic spreaders to remove large parts of the front of this bus to free the driver. This extrication took almost one hour.

United States Park Police Detectives and Crash Reconstructionists are investigating this scene to ascertain causative factors.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ice Rescue/Hoist Training

Interagency training is an ongoing and necessary event to keep our first responders current and skilled in difficult evolutions.

The United States Park Police and the Montgomery County Maryland Department of Fire and Rescue Services work very frequently with each other, at times, on a daily basis. Water rescues and ice rescues are an example of difficult missions that both agencies are tasked with.

United States Park Police Aviation spends many flight hours patrolling the Potomac River. Often our Aviation Section is involved in rescues of swimmers in trouble, boaters who have been separated from their craft, and climbers and hikers who are injured on cliffs along the Potomac River.

Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services has one of the most proficient teams of firefighters and medics to mitigate these incidents. The MCDFRS Swift Water teams have boats, ropes, swimmers, climbers, and medics who boldly plunge into dangerous waters to make many saves every year.

Often, the areas they work in are difficult to access for rescues and patient extrications. The best tool to finalize the rescue or locate victims is from the air. This is where the United States Park Police Aviation teams enter the rescue scenario.

Our helicopters are crewed by personnel who will fly into challenging areas such as in the Potomac Gorge where winds can be erratic and perform hoists of patients or insertions of swimmers. After the rescue, our Paramedics will treat and transport the patients.

It is critical that these teams work together BEFORE these difficult rescues are needed. The flight and ground crews must learn good communications skills with each other, make certain all radio frequencies will never fail, understand each others’ safety needs, concerns, and protocols, and even get to know each other to develop comfort and trust in the others’ skills.

February 17, 2010 turned out to be a great day to test these needs. The mission was ice rescue from frozen bodies of water combined with hoist techniques into the helicopter. The ground training at Montgomery County, Maryland Fire Station 14 was extensive. Since this training can be hazardous, much time was spent on skills including ropes, knots, patient/victim approaches, securing techniques for the patient, and advanced medical treatments for the hypothermic victim. While this is critical for “real” scenarios, it is also critical in training. Safety officers were identified, distress messages passed along, interagency communications systems tested, tethers implemented, and many repeated admonitions about the need for personal flotation devices. No trainee or trainer would approach the scene without the proper safety equipment…No exceptions!

After the ground training, all participants met at the side of United States Park Police helicopter Eagle 1 for a flight briefing. This included evacuation procedures, hoist safety, fire safety, and proper approaches.

Now, everyone was ready to go out on the ice.

After meeting at a local golf course with a pond, the trainers (properly secured for safety!) used a saw to cut a hole in the 6” thick ice.

The “victims” wore dry suits and flotation devices and they enjoyed an invigorating swim in a pond with a hole in the ice.

When Eagle 1 approached, the rescuers secured the victim and prepared the hoist. Up went the victim in the Billy Pugh rescue net!

All participants learned quite a bit about ice rescue and helicopter hoisting operations. This training advanced the ongoing interagency working of the United States Park Police and the Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

None of the victims who spent time in the ice hole turned down the hot coffee after they got off the aircraft!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cabin Fever

The United States Park Police understands that many people are suffering severe "cabin fever" from spending so much time indoors during this blizzard.

Our friends with the Horse Mounted Patrol feel the same way.

A couple of our horses got out for a bit and kicked up their heels (hooves, maybe?) so that they could be ready to patrol!!

These horses live at the Edgewater Stables. The photographs are curtesy of Arvin Reynolds, farrier for our Horse Mounted Patrol.

The Big Dig

Now that the Blizzard of 2010 has abated, the United States Park Police is digging out.

We maintained our normal complement of patrols throughout these challanging times, securing Icons and Memorials, providing Parkway patrols, and all of our regular duties, but we ramped up the additional public safety work of checking for stranded visitors.

Many of our officers spent several days living at the various stations, sleeping on cots, and fueling their bodies with MREs.

Our dispatchers never let the radio system become compromised with many long hours.

Aviation was utilized in Loudoun County, Virginia when the county Sheriff's Office was concerned that there may be missing drivers mired in snow and unable to be located except from above.

SWAT and Motors continued to provide escorts for the various dignitaries they routinely protect.

We benefitted from the extra efforts of our partners within the National Park Service, most especially the roadway and tree crews who cleared many miles of roads, moved and cut hundreds of downed trees, and at times, plowed a path for our patrols to respond to the police calls in hard to reach areas.

We are very proud of all of our staff for an incredibly well done job under trying conditions!

These photographs are an overview of Washington, DC after "Round Two" of this blizzard on February 10, 2010. You will see National Park Service areas such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington House, the Jefferson Memorial, the Frederick Douglas House, the United States Park Police District 5 Station and Anacostia Operations Facility, the Aviation unit hanger "Eagle's Nest", Great Falls, and also some general views of the Washington area including the National Cathedral, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Reagan National Airport.