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eOPOTA course covers use of new OH-1 Crash Report

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) has released OH-1 Crash Report Update on its eOPOTA online training program under an agreement with and support from the Ohio Department of Public Safety.


State v. Broughton — Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County), June 7, 2012

Question: May a peace officer perform a protective sweep in the passenger compartment of a suspect’s car when the suspect is removed from the car for a non-arresting offense?

Quick answer: Yes, if the officer has reasonable suspicion that the suspect is dangerous and would gain immediate control of a weapon upon returning to the vehicle.


State v. Byrd — Second District Court of Appeals (Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, and Montgomery counties), June 15, 2012

Question: Is an officer’s pat-down constitutional when a suspected gang member is stopped in a high crime area and admits to having marijuana in his pants pocket?

Quick answer: No, not without any particularized suspicion that the suspect is armed or presents a danger to officers.


State v. Miklas — Seventh District Court of Appeals (Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe, and Noble counties), June 6, 2012

Question: Is a suspect’s confession involuntary when a peace officer questioning the suspect asks if he’d like to write an apology letter to the victim?

Quick answer: It depends on the totality of the circumstances.


State v. Robinson — Ninth District Court of Appeals (Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne counties), June 4, 2012

Question: Does a peace officer violate the Fourth Amendment by searching inside a suspect’s pocket or socks without a warrant?

Quick answer: Yes, but only if there are no warrant exceptions that will justify the warrantless search.


United States v. Collins — Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee), June 12, 2012

Question: Does a peace officer’s factually accurate statement to a suspect violate the Fifth Amendment as an un-Mirandized interrogation if the suspect responds with an incriminating statement?

Quick answer: No.


United States v. Jackson — Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee), June 19, 2012

Question: Is a peace officer’s inventory search illegal if the officer follows his department’s inventory policy?

Quick answer: No, as long as the policy is well-established and authorizes a search of all interior areas of the vehicle before ordering a tow.


United States v. Laudermilt — Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia), May 3, 2012

Question: Is a peace officer justified in conducting a warrantless protective sweep of a home after arresting a suspect inside the home?

Quick answer: Yes, if the officer reasonably believes another individual is inside the home and poses a danger to those on the scene.


United States v. Stubblefield, et al. — Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee), June 19, 2012

Question: (1) Does a peace officer’s use of a drug-detection dog prolong the time necessary to complete a traffic stop? (2) Can a dog’s reliability be established so that his positive alert is sufficient probable cause to search? (3) Does a drug-detection dog’s alert allow a peace officer to search anywhere in the vehicle? (4) May a peace officer arrest a suspect based on what’s discovered during the search, even if the evidence has no relation to the drug-detection dog’s alert?

Quick answer: (1) No, in most cases, but it also depends on the facts and circumstances of the traffic stop. (2) Yes, an officer’s testimony as to a dog’s training and certification may establish the reliability of the dog. (3) Yes, under current federal law, a drug-detection dog’s alert provides probable cause to search every part of the vehicle and all containers within it. (4) Yes, if the officer has knowledge and reasonably trustworthy information to believe that the suspect has committed a crime.


United States v. Williams —Second Circuit Court of Appeals (Connecticut, New York, Vermont), May 17, 2012

Question: Does a peace officer violate the Fifth Amendment when he briefly questions a suspect on the scene and later gives Miranda warnings before questioning at the officer’s station?

Quick answer: It depends on the totality of the evidence surrounding the questioning.


City of Wickliffe v. Petway — Eleventh District Court of Appeals (Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage, and Trumbull counties), June 4, 2012

Question: If a peace officer witnesses a vehicle weaving slightly within its own lane of traffic, does this observation provide probable cause or reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop?

Quick answer: No, more evidence of either a traffic violation or erratic driving is needed to justify a stop.


De-escalation techniques can be effective with special needs populations

Peace officers are trained to maintain safety when responding to dispatch calls, which sometimes requires more authority and control when a suspect ignores the officers’ verbal commands. However, the typical command and control techniques aren’t the best response with certain subjects. For example, using a more commanding presence with a special needs person in crisis actually may escalate an already-tense situation.