law enforcement

  Growing up in the rough outskirts of northern Dublin at a time when joining the guards, the army, or the civil service was the height of most parents’ ambitions for their children, Luke Waters knew he was destined for a career in some sort of law enforcement. Dreaming of becoming a police officer, Waters immigrated to the United States in search of better employment opportunities and joined the NYPD.

In NYPD Green Waters offers a gripping and fascinating account filled with details from real criminal cases involving murder, theft, gang violence, and more, and takes you into the thick of the danger and scandal of life as a New York cop—both on and off the beat.

  In his 60-plus years as a trial lawyer, Gerry Spence has never represented a person accused of a crime in which the police hadn't themselves violated the law. The police and prosecutors won't charge or convict themselves, and so the crimes of the criminal justice system are swept under the rug. Nothing changes.

According to Spence, too many police officers are killers on the loose, and every uninformed American is a potential next victim. He discusses this in his new book, Police State: How America's Cops Get Away with Murder.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Sheriffs from three upstate counties are pushing for an online emergency response program to be used in schools across New York.

Lucas Willard / WAMC


Note: The audio and text of this story has been updated 5/8/14

When Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo came into office in January of last year, he said he had never heard of “Project Lifesaver.”

This fall, voters in Rensselaer County will elect a new sheriff, as sitting Sheriff Jack Mahar has decided not to seek a fourth term.

Sheriff Jack Mahar is leaving office, writing in a letter to county Republican Chairman John Rustin he would not seek re-election because he wanted to retire and spend more time with his family.

A group of some 75 University at Albany students shut down part of Washington Avenue on Wednesday afternoon in a peaceful protest, joining thousands of other Americans turning out in a show of solidarity against what's  perceived as police violence targeting black men. Events already were scheduled for today tied to Ferguson, but with Wednesday's grand jury decision not to indict a white New York City police officer caught on video putting a deadly chokehold on Eric Garner, the number of protests has multiplied.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Law enforcement officials from across the region gathered in Saratoga Springs to take part in a course designed to help police recognize and assist officers and families cope with loss and mental illness.


An upstate New York sheriff's sergeant is suspended after he was caught on video allegedly slapping a young man who did not want his car searched. The video has gone viral nationwide.

Facebook: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund recently released its mid-year report on officer deaths. The report shows 67 law enforcement officials in the United States have died in the line of duty since the start of 2014, a 31 percent increase from the same period last year. There were 25 firearm-related fatalities, five of which resulted from ambush scenarios.

One Southern Adirondack county is beginning discussions on outfitting probation officers with bullet-proof vests.

Robert Iusi, Probation Director for Warren County, says last fall, the department began reviewing how it conducts home visits with respect to probation officers heading out into the field. The comprehensive review included probation and public safety officers, emergency services, and the input of the sherriff’s office.

Wikimedia Commons/Diego Grez

There was a time when fingerprints, questioning and witnesses were the basics of a crime investigation, and they still are, but forensic science is playing a major role as well.  

Elvert Barnes/Flcikr

GOSHEN – Law enforcement across the Hudson Valley has heightened security in the wake of the Boston bombings that left three people dead and over 170 people injured on Monday. The attacks at the Boston Marathon were acts of terrorism, President Obama said Tuesday.

Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois said law enforcement is concentrating on areas where large numbers of people gather.

Last week, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, asked the County Board of Legislators to adopt a countywide ban on the compounds used in a new breed of drugs commonly known as "bath salts."   The move comes as law makers and law enforcement – on the local, state and federal level - struggle to find ways to fight the rapid rise of synthetic drugs. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente spoke with WAMC's Ray Graf.

Police in Utica spent the Fourth of July responding to two calls of people under the influence of bath salts, a drug that has become a growing problem across the country, but especially in parts of central New York where at least seven cases, including one fatality, have been reported since June. Madison County lawmakers have called on state officials to take immediate action, and there is discussion of a local law to make bath salts illegal. Madison County health director Eric Faisst says local law enforcement and health officials recently met to discuss bath salts.

The New York State Senate is expected to take action today to close a loophole in the state’s child porn laws. The bill was introduced just days after a recent court of appeals ruling which threw out a conviction against a former college professor who was found to have child porn on his work computer. The court ruled viewing the images did not constitute possession or procurement. The bill has been introduced in the state Senate by Republican Martin Golden of Brooklyn, who spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

Several top law enforcement officials in Western Massachusetts met Monday to explore new strategies for crime prevention.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

At a conference in Springfield, the retired police chief of High Point North Carolina, James Fealy said his department implemented a strategy of strong community partnerships and focused deterrence to shut down open air drug markets.   The result, violent crime over the last decade is down 47 percent in High Point.

“There’s been dramatic impact.”

Three members of the New York State Police are suspended as officials look into allegations of a prostitution ring. One of the troopers, 18 year veteran Titus Taggert, allegedly promoted prostitution while off-duty from Troop-T, the branch which patrols the NYS Thruway. For more on the case, WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke to Albany Law School professor and defense attorney Laurie Shanks.