Middletown may restart Citizen Police Academy

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 4:52 PM

            Participants in Hamilton Police Department’s Hispanic Police Academy learn about firearms safety. The Middletown Police Department is planning to restart its Citizen Police Academy in 2018. CONTRIBUTED
Participants in Hamilton Police Department’s Hispanic Police Academy learn about firearms safety. The Middletown Police Department is planning to restart its Citizen Police Academy in 2018. CONTRIBUTED

A Facebook post that inquired how many people in Middletown would be interested in participating in a Citizen Police Academy has already resulted in more than two dozen people interested in signing up.

Lt. Jimmy Cunningham said police Chief Rodney Muterspaw posted the inquiry last week on the Middletown Division of Police’s Facebook page.

“It’s going to happen in early 2018,” Cunningham said.

RELATED: Middletown’s revamped Neighborhood Watch wants to hear your concerns

He said the last time Middletown police hosted a citizen police academy was about 10 years ago. Since then, he said budget cuts and lack of community interest were two reasons why the department has not hosted an academy.

“It shows transparency and gives the community an idea of what goes on in the police department,” he said.

Cunningham said the program runs six to eight weeks on a weeknight and those who participate learn more about police procedures, policies and tactics as well as going on a ride-along with a patrol officer and spending some time at the police shooting range getting familiar with weapons. Participants will also learn about making traffic stops as well as how evidence is collected and how criminal investigations are handled.

He said the department’s instructors teach the various classes during the citizen police academy.

RELATED: 18 graduate Hamilton’s Hispanic Citizens Police Academy

Cunningham said about 20 people are accepted in a class, but that the details and participation costs are still being worked out. He said more information will be coming later this year.

“It’s a great community tool and gives police a chance to give back to the community,” he said.

Other area communities such as Trenton, Monroe, Hamilton, Fairfield Twp., and West Chester Twp. have hosted citizen police academies in the past several years.

Indiana Task Force 1 heads to WPAFB for Hurricane Maria deployment

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 6:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 10:55 PM

Indiana task force

UPDATE @ 10:55 p.m.

Nearly 30 members of Indiana Task Force 1 staying tonight at a Beavercreek hotel may be enjoying their last good sleep for awhile.

RELATED: Hurricane Maria: Live updates

The task force is ready to fly out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Thursday or Friday for the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Maria. They arrived tonight in the Dayton area, packed and ready to go to help out victims in the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rico took a lot of devastated hits,” Tom Neal, Indianapolis Fire Battalion Chief and IN-TF1 member.

He is one of the members on his third deployment to a region affected by a hurricane.

RELATED: U.S. coastal development continues despite lessons of past storms

“Went to Harvey as part of the support team and then was on my way out the door to head home from Houston and then got diverted to Florida for Hurricane Irma,” Neal said.

Puerto Rico was hit by two hurricanes this month.

“We’re just now starting to get some of those damage reports out from the area that’s been hit with the hurricane,” he said.

Part of the task force includes four K-9s. The dogs will be asked to do a couple tasks.

“Both have live find as well as human remains detection so we will have the capability ... at the same time as the same handlers,” Neal said.

The team could be deployed anywhere from 10 to 14 days up to three weeks.

UPDATE @ 8:25 p.m.

Indiana Task Force 1 is holding an impromptu press conference at 9 p.m. outside their Beavercreek hotel.

The task force will be leaving from Wright Patterson Air Force Base for Puerto Rico after it was hit by Hurricane Maria. The task force has not been told when they would be deploying.

Indiana task force


Indiana Task Force 1 is preparing for deployment to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravages the island.

RELATED: Hurricane Maria: Live updates

The urban search and rescue team is sending 27 members to join rescue efforts.

They are headed to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and are scheduled to depart Thursday or Friday, according to the team’s social media posts.

IN-TF1 earlier this month was deployed for back-to-back responses for hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

1 million Ohio public employees, retirees may see pension cut

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 5:50 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 5:50 PM

Pension cuts protested at Ohio Statehouse

Ohio’s biggest public pension system is considering cutting the cost of living allowances for its 1-million members as a way to shore up the long-term finances of the fund.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System trustees on Wednesday discussed options that could affect all current and future retirees, including tying the cost of living allowance to inflation and capping it and delaying the onset of the COLA for new retirees.

No decision has been made and trustees will discuss the options again in October. So far, some 72,000 members responded to an OPERS survey about possible changes. OPERS spokesman Todd Hutchins said 70 percent of retirees responding to the survey report that they prefer that the COLA be capped, rather than frozen.

Related: Ohio public pension systems shift health care costs to retirees

OPERS is the latest of the five public pensions systems in Ohio to consider benefit cuts.

The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio in April voted to indefinitely suspend the COLA for retired teachers. Trustees said they weren’t certain that the cut would be enough to shore up the finances of the $72-billion fund.

Related: Retired teachers to lose cost of living increase

Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund is expected to hire a consultant to help restructure its health care benefits. OP&F announced in May it would switch in January 2019 to issuing stipends to each retiree, who can then use the money to purchase coverage.

Related: Retiree health care cuts looming for cops and firefighters in Ohio

School Employees Retirement System, which covers janitors, bus drivers and cafeteria workers, is taking steps to link its cost of living allowance to inflation, cap it at 2.5 percent, and delay its onset for new retirees.

Related: School employees protest proposed pension cuts at Statehouse

Combined, Ohio’s five public pension systems have 1.9 million members, beneficiaries and retirees and have nearly $200 billion in investments.

Body found behind abandoned house ID’d as Kettering woman

Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 6:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:45 PM

FROM SCENE: Detectives respond to body found in Dayton

UPDATE @ 11:45 p.m. (Sept. 20):

The Kettering woman found dead in Dayton under suspicious circumstances is survived by two children.

The body of Deanna Prendergast, 39, was found Friday behind a vacant home in a neighborhood off North Main Street.

“When the public found her, they indicated there was some kind of door on her,” Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said.

READ: Man recovered from Wolf Creek in Dayton was focus of endangered missing alert

Officers found two steak knives and a phone close to Prendergast’s body. She had abrasions and it appeared she’d been there for some time, according to a Dayton police report.

The discovery shocked Prendergast’s neighbors in Kettering. One woman, who didn’t want to be identified, said Prendergast left her home a few months ago and had been seen panhandling at street corners in Kettering and Dayton.

READ: 2 motorcycle crash in Fairborn sends 3 to hospital

“Saw her on Main Street with the same sign, ‘homeless have two kids, anything will help,’ ” the former neighbor said. “It’s sad. My heart breaks for her children.”

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has not determined a cause of death for Prendergast.

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UPDATE @ 9:25 a.m. (Sept. 19): 

A woman who was found dead behind an abandoned house in Dayton has been identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office as Deanna Prendergast, 39, of Kettering. 

TRENDING: Woman sues Ohio funeral home, alleges baby’s ashes were mishandled

Prendergast’s cause of death and results of her autopsy are still pending. 

UPDATE @ 11:11 a.m. (Sept. 18):

A Dayton police report revealed knives and “overdose evidence” were recovered from the scene where a woman’s body was found “covered in insects” and “in a significant state of decomposition” Friday afternoon.

The woman’s identity has not been released pending notification of family, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.  An autopsy on the woman had not yet happened on Monday morning, a spokesman said.

LOCAL NEWS: 5 overdose patients driven to Sidney hospital

Officers responded to a vacant house on East Hudson Avenue after someone called police saying someone was found deceased with a wooden door over her, the report said.

The woman was not clothed, according to the report.

A black cell phone and two kitchen-style steak knives were found near her body.  The report also said the woman “appeared to have multiple abrasions on her body.”

Due to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the woman’s death homicide detectives were called to investigate.

The coroner’s office has not determined how the woman died.

UPDATE @ 7:40 p.m. (Sept. 15)

Homicide detectives are leading the investigation into the death of a woman whose body was found early this evening face down behind an abandoned house in Dayton.

“At this particular time it is undetermined the way this person passed away,” Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said.

The body found is that of a white woman who appears to be between 35 and 40. She has not been identified, but Coleman said the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office will be performing an autopsy.

The woman was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Dayton Fire Department, Coleman said. No drug paraphernalia was found near the woman, and there was no obvious trauma to her body.

>>>More police and crime news

A witness said it appeared a door was placed on top of the body but Coleman said he was not able to substantiate that report. Also, it’s not known whether the woman died where she was found in back of 17 E. Hudson Ave. or was placed there.

“We need the help of the public, we need the help of witnesses to come forward to determine how this lady passed away,” Coleman said. “It’s not fair for this lady to die in this manner and nobody to come forward.”

UPDATE @ 6:55 p.m.

Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said the body found was that of a female. It is still too early to tell how she died, he said.

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m.

The body found next to a vacant house did not die recently, according to a Dayton police call log. 

The deceased person found in back next to the garage is covered, according to reports.


Detectives are responding to a body found early this evening in Dayton.

The deceased person was found at 17 E. Hudson Ave., according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

The body was next to a garage behind DJ's Furniture, 2100 N. Main St.

The gender of the deceased person nor manner of death was immediately available.

We have a crew on the way and will update this report as we learn details.

Record drug bust in NYC yields enough fentanyl to kill 32 million people 

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:34 PM

(New York City Police Department)
(New York City Police Department)

The New York Police Department arrested and charged four people after carrying out the largest fentanyl bust the city has ever seen.

>> Read more trending news

NYPD announced in a press release that its officers seized a total of 122 kilograms (nearly 270 pounds) in narcotics, worth $30 million in street value, following a bust at a Queens apartment and the secondary bust of a vehicle in the Bronx. Police reported 64 kilograms (over 140 pounds) of pure fentanyl and 48 pounds of fentanyl mixed with heroin.

The seizure was carried out after investigators witnessed transactions in New Jersey Walmart and Home Depot parking lots.

“The sheer volume of fentanyl pouring into the city is shocking. It’s not only killing a record number of people in New York City, but the city is used as a hub of regional distribution for a lethal substance that is taking thousands of lives throughout the Northeast,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl account for nearly one-third of all overdose deaths. Authorities estimate that the drugs might have yielded 32 million lethal doses.

All four defendants will face charges for criminal possession of a controlled substance (CPCS), while two will face conspiracy charges:

Rogelio Alvarado-Robles of Queens: 2 counts of CPCS in the 1st degree, 2 counts of CPCS in the 3rd degree
Blanca Flores-Solis of Queens: 2 counts of CPCS in the 1st degree, 2 counts of CPCS in the 3rd degree
Edwin Guzman of Bronx: 1 count of conspiracy in the 2nd degree, 1 count of CPCS in the 1st degree, 1 count of CPCS in the 3rd degree
Manuel Rivera-Santana of Bronx: 1 count of conspiracy in the 2nd degree, 1 count of CPCS in the 1st degree, 1 count of CPCS in the 3rd degree