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Thursday, March 31, 2011

[NJ] Piscataway Police Sgt. David Powell's last stand.

As a commander of the Piscataway police SWAT team, Sgt. David Powell knew when to move in to save hostages and designed drills to teach other officers how to as well. On Sunday, Powell was on the opposite side...

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Apr. 2, 2011, 10:00 am at the Piscataway Funeral Home. Guestbook here.

Who knew what when, and for how long now?

How many domestic incidents were there, and were they handled as the law directs, or in a way to protect his career? How much action was taken to support and protect the family?

Does Piscataway Police Department have an officer-involved domestic violence policy that lays out clear procedures to follow?

Under the restraining order was Powell allowed to keep his guns in his home?

What points of intervention were passed over?

...[Retired Plainfield Police Capt. Mark] Edwards was on his way to the funeral of 52-year-old Plainfield Police Lt. Ronald S. Lattimore, who fatally shot himself last week, when the news about 46-year-old Piscataway Sgt. David Powell hit the airwaves... As a commander of the Piscataway police SWAT team, Sgt. David Powell knew when to move in to save hostages and designed drills to teach other officers how to as well. On Sunday, Powell, 46, was on the opposite side, barricading himself inside his house and declaring he had taken hostages... Powell's standoff began shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday when the 46-year-old off-duty officer refused to go to police headquarters to respond to a report that he had violated a restraining order earlier in the day... [Powell] refused to surrender and threatened to kill any officer who approached the house... He walked onto his front porch and fired multiple shots from a 9-millimeter submachine gun... Powell, who had been a member of the Middlesex County SWAT team and a commander of the Piscataway SWAT team, lived in the house on Parkside Avenue for a nearly 20-year period, a time marked by disputes according to neighbors...


N.J. COP DEAD AFTER SIEGE WITH OWN FORCE
UPI
March. 28, 2011
[Excerpts] A New Jersey police sergeant died of an apparent gunshot after a 10-hour standoff with his own force... Detective Sgt. David Powell, 46, a 21-year veteran of the Piscataway police, had just endured a difficult divorce, his mother, Diane, told The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J... Kenneth D'Annunzio, a volunteer firefighter, said police asked Powell to come out around 4 p.m., when four gunshots were heard from the house. A SWAT team - which Powell once commanded - and other police began to disperse around 2 a.m... "To be quite honest, this incident doesn't surprise me," neighbor [W.R.] told WABC. "What surprises me is that it took this long to get to this point. I really thought this would have blown up sooner"... [Full article here]


VETERAN NJ COP DEAD AFTER STANDOFF WITH POLICE
WABC Eyewitness News
Anthony Johnson
March 28, 2011
[Excerpts] A veteran New Jersey police officer is dead following an armed standoff with authorities that ended early Monday morning. The incident ended around 2 a.m., nearly 10 hours after it started. And when it was all over, 46-year-old Piscataway Police Detective Sergeant David Powell, a 21-year veteran, was dead. While the results of an autopsy are pending, it has been preliminarily determined that Sgt. Powell was the victim of a gunshot wound. What's not clear is who fired the shot.... Police say he was home alone at the time and his family was not harmed. Several shots were heard throughout the day. It is still unclear what sparked the incident, but there are reports that Powell had some previous personal issues... "To be quiet honest, this incident doesn't surprise me," neighbor [W.R.] said. "What surprises me is that it took this long to get to this point. I really thought this would have blown up sooner." Neighbors say Powell was recently going through a divorce from his second wife and had some emotional and legal problems... Shortly after 6:45 p.m., Powell stepped outside onto the front porch, armed with a 9 mm submachine gun. He fired several shots and police returned fire... The New Jersey Attorney General's Office is participating in the investigation... [Full article here]


NJ POLICEMAN DIES IN HOME STANDOFF WITH OFFICERS
MSNBC
3/28/2011
[Excerpts] A veteran New Jersey police officer who violated a restraining order was shot and killed during a nine-hour standoff at his home... [Sgt. David] Powell's standoff began shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday when the 46-year-old off-duty officer refused to go to police headquarters to respond to a report that he had violated a restraining order earlier in the day, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan... Neighbors said his wife and daughter had moved out of the house. Shortly before 4:30 p.m., Powell told police he was holding hostages. Piscataway police went to the residential neighborhood and summoned the Middlesex County SWAT team. They cordoned off surrounding streets and talked with Powell, who refused to surrender and threatened to kill any officer who approached the house... [Full article here]


PISCATAWAY STANDOFF, PLAINFIELD SUICIDE HIGHLIGHT OVERWHELMING STRESS COPS CAN FACE: Mental health issues a growing concern
njpressmedia.com
Mark Spivey
Mar. 28, 2011
[Excerpts] Retired Plainfield Police Capt. Mark Edwards was "shocked, but not surprised" when he heard on the radio Monday morning that a veteran Piscataway police officer had been killed after exchanging gunfire with police during a nine-hour standoff at his home. Edwards was on his way to the funeral of 52-year-old Plainfield Police Lt. Ronald S. Lattimore, who fatally shot himself last week, when the news about 46-year-old Piscataway Sgt. David Powell hit the airwaves. Little sense could be made of either incident Monday, but Edwards said both underscored the notion that the mental health of police, fire and emergency workers is something that demands close and constant scrutiny. "It's not uncommon for there to be a domino effect (with incidents like these)," Edwards said. "This is stressful work." Edwards, who served as a stress counselor to Plainfield officers during much of his nearly 27-year career in law enforcement, today remains an active counselor and board member of the New Jersey Critical Incident Stress Management Team, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that offers support to emergency service personnel and their family members during and following periods of personal or professional crisis. Those workers are twice as likely as the average person to get divorced, three times more likely to suffer from alcoholism and between three and seven times as likely to commit suicide, Edwards explained, citing national statistics. Edwards's organization focuses closely on "critical incidents" that can include the on-duty use of a service weapon, a traumatic injury or even an investigation into a child's death... "The old concept from old-timers was to "bite your lip, be a man, man up,' " Edwards explained. Police suicide, specifically, is a phenomenon that only recently has been examined closely on a national level — the National Surveillance of Police Suicide Study was the first report of its kind to study actual suicides on a daily basis across all 50 states for an entire year. The study found that a little more than 140 U.S. police officers killed themselves in 2008, a figure that rose slightly in 2009... Edwards spoke highly of the Cop 2 Cop program, but added that it's critical that leaders of police departments everywhere make their officers aware of the availability of help in facing mental health issues... "Sometimes, we feel we're invincible," Edwards said. "Like it will never happen to us." [Full article here]


FATAL STANDOFF INVOLVING PISCATAWAY POLICE OFFICER REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION: No new information released in probe of police officer's death
njpressmedia.com
Joshua Burd
Mar 29, 201
[Excerpts] The investigation continues into the fatal shooting of a township police sergeant who barricaded himself and exchanged gunfire with officers outside his home Sunday evening... [Sgt. David] Powell, a 22-year department veteran, was the only person injured as a result of the nine-hour standoff on Parkside Avenue... The incident began around 3:30 p.m. Sunday when police contacted Powell via phone calls and text messages, asking him to report to headquarters after a report that he had violated a restraining order earlier in the day... ... [Full article here]

PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE: PISCATAWAY OFFICER SAID HE HAD HOSTAGES, FIRED SHOTS FROM PORCH
APP.COM
Mar. 28, 2011
[Excerpts] ...Ballistics tests will determine the source of the gunshot that killed Sgt. David Powell... An investigation is continuing and officers remained at the scene throughout the morning... "This incident did not come as a surprise,'' said [W.R.], whose husband, James, worked with Powell on the force before retiring. "There were other issues in the past that led us all to believe that this was on the horizon," [W.R.] said. She described his personality as "mercurial" and said that Powell, who had recently gone through a second divorce, was living with his sister... Another neighbor, who did not wish to be identified, said Powell's second divorce became final late last year. His wife and daughter had moved out of the house. The neighbor also said Powell had a grown son from his marriage. Charing Mack, another neighbor, said Powell "seemed to be a nice man,'' who would greet her when they were outside... [Google him here]


OFFICER KILLED IN 7-HOUR STANDOFF WAS A FORMER COMMANDER OF PISCATAWAY POLICE SWAT TEAM
The Star-Ledger
By Tom Haydon Sue Epstein
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
[Excerpts] As a commander of the Piscataway police SWAT team, Sgt. David Powell knew when to move in to save hostages and designed drills to teach other officers how to as well. On Sunday, Powell, 46, was on the opposite side, barricading himself inside his house and declaring he had taken hostages... Police Chief Richard Ivone called Powell a decorated officer who was respected in the department and was most recently assigned as a road sergeant in the patrol division. However, Ivone said, "there was a domestic situation that led to tragedy"... Powell, who had been a member of the Middlesex County SWAT team and a commander of the Piscataway SWAT team, lived in the house on Parkside Avenue for a nearly 20-year period, a time marked by disputes according to neighbors. [W.R.], who lives two doors away from Powell, said she knew he had problems for several years, and he should have been given help. "I’m extremely angry. This incident doesn’t surprise me. I really thought this would have blown up sooner. Imagine having to live two doors down from this," said [W.R.], whose husband is a retired Piscataway police officer. Representatives from the Cop2Cop counseling service for law enforcement were at the police department Monday, Ivone said. He said all township officers, including Powell were aware of the program, but it’s uncertain if Powell had called the counselors... Powell’s mother, when asked about her son, who grew up in Dunellen, said he had just gone through a difficult divorce. Her voice breaking with emotion, Diane Powell said he was "a loving father and a good son." She ended a telephone call, saying she couldn’t talk any longer... [Full article here]


PISCATAWAY POLICE OFFICER WHO DIED FOLLOWING 10-HOUR STANDOFF WAS A 21-YEAR VETERAN AND FATHER OF TWO
The Star-Ledger
By Sue Epstein
March 28, 2011
[Excerpts] ...Kenneth D’Annunzio, a volunteer firefighter with Arbor Fire Department in Piscataway, said police asked the barricaded officer to come out of the residence around 4 p.m., when four gunshots were heard coming from the house. D’Annunzio, who said he has known the officer for a few years, described him as a “very nice guy, very sweet, easy to get along with.” “I’d trust him with my own kids,” D’Annunzio said. “I couldn’t believe he was doing this"... [Full article here]

PISCATAWAY POLICE SERGEANT DIED FROM GUNSHOT WOUND AFTER FIRING SUBMACHINE GUN AT FELLOW OFFICERS
The Star-Ledger
Tom Haydon
March 28, 2011
[Excerpts] A Piscataway police sergeant died from from a gunshot wound after he barricaded himself in his home, told police he had hostages, then stepped on his front porch and fired a submachine gun at officers who returned fire... Powell, who had been a member of the Middlesex County SWAT team and a deputy commander of the Piscataway Police Department SWAT team, had lived in two-story house near the end of Parkside Avenue for a nearly 20-year period that had been marked by disputes, according to neighbors. [W.R.], who lives two doors away from Powell, said she had seen police officers at Powell's house several times in past years... Powell's mother, Diane Powell, said her son was "a loving father and a good son." Her voice breaking with emotion, Diane Powell said her son just went through a difficult divorce. She ended a telephone call, saying she couldn't talk any longer. [Full article here]


SELECTED COMMENTS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

...Unfortunately he realized that he was screwed as Law Enforcement Officers are second class citizens when it come's to domestic violence laws...

...Tough for his family and really tough for his brother officers, having to take down one of their own...

...A cop owning an illegal submachine gun. Did this gun just fall into his hands when he "snapped" or did he acquire it ahead of time!...

...I can hear the anguish and grief coming from his mother. As a mom myself I have to say I really feel for her. The real issue I have as in most of these cases is whether those at the top did all they could. They must have been aware of his falling apart and should have stepped in before it came to this. I wonder if they really did all they could for this man and his family...

...If he had restraining orders against him and number of calls to the house why did the police allow him to have a machine gun or any type of assault weapons...

...A divorce should automatically require a psych eval and a week off...

...Do cops have psych evals every year? Maybe they should. Maybe 2 times a year...

...[W.R.] had better make nicey nicey with the police dept, or she will have massive tickets. Why? Because she told the truth about a guy who shot a SUBMACHINE gun at police officers whom he worked with...

...I saw the interview of [W.R.]. She just said that there were numerous incidents over the years. Her husband was a cop and she could probably tell the difference between a sane cop and one who is losing it. Nothing personal against the cop... its just a sad story when mental illness or severe depression set in...

...in another article it is stated that Mr. Powell was off-duty, but he was asked to report to police HQ as it had been alleged that he had violated a restraining order. He apparently refused to go to HQ and stated he was holing up in his house WITH hostages. that doesn't go over very well with police-- or the SWAT team, so they paid him a visit. that's when "barricading oneself in one's home" becomes a distinct no-no.... when someone(s) lives are in imminent danger. I feel so sorry for his kids....they don't ask for this.... RIP to Mr. Powell and God Bless those he left behind...

...he was on the force for 22 years not 21...

...Reading between the lines it sounds like Powell snapped after learning his colleagues at the station expected him to come down and address the allegation. Perhaps in the 'old school', this sort of thing would be swepted under the carpet, dismissed or what have you. Perhaps Powell felt betrayed by his fellow thin blue-liners that he worked with for 20+ years and this led to him snapping...

...If any others are going through depression in their lives they should take this situation and learn from it. Get help...ask for help....don't let it turn into tragedy.
RIP Sgt Powell...

...How about putting your great minds together to suggest ideas for how to keep incidents like this from happening instead of implying the reporter should withhold facts? How about organizing buying flowers or supporting your local police? How about asking how the domestic issues were handled and if this was avoidable or not? There is always something positive that can be brought out of a negative. Make it mean something...

...Another good man dead... Rest in peace Sir...

...A man is not a good man when he throws his 9 years old daughter out into the street! This man had no business coming within 50 feet of a gun. He knew he shouldn't have violated the restraining order and did so anyway. The police department had no right to reinstate this officer after he was suspended for 60 days!...

...RIP my HKA brother. We all have our problems and apparently yours were to great to overcome. Good or bad right or wrong you will be in our thoughts forever. Never judge a man until you have walked in his shoes...

...Don’t they have any sense there? Why even bother him. They call, and he doesn’t want to come in, fine, just protect the person who has the order of protection and wait for his next shift to talk with him. To have someone dead over this type of stuff is sickening. They know when he is due in next, they know he is a cop and has a gun, they know how to protect people. As soon as he shows he is not stable enough to come in, just leave him alone, protect the other person, and wait until his next shift. To go to his house for an armed confrontation has to be the most stupid response possible...
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety repeat hx terroristic threatening new jersey fatality fatalities suicidal suicide by cop new jersey state politics]

5 comments:

  1. Retired Plainfield Police Capt. Mark Edwards:
    "It's not uncommon for there to be a domino effect... This is stressful work."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sgt. Powell's suicide-by-cop coming right behind Plainfield Police Lt. Ronald Lattimore's suicide reminded me of two earlier NJ fatal officer-involved cases that were too close together:

    SHOOTING SPREE COP FOUND DEAD
    CBSNews
    Apr 10, 2002
    [Excerpts] A police officer killed himself after shooting to death five people and wounding his boss, shocking a community still reeling from an almost identical rampage in February. The latest shootings happened a mile away from where a former police officer allegedly went from house to house killing four people... Edward Lutes, 42, was found dead in his car in the driveway of a Barnegat Township home about 10 a.m. Wednesday. Police said the Seaside Heights policeman killed five neighbors and shot his boss Tuesday night... On Feb. 21, former Newark police officer John E. Mabie allegedly killed his granddaughter and three neighbors in the community with a .38-caliber revolver...

    NEW JERSEY TOWN HIT BY A 2ND OFFICER'S RAMPAGE
    Mew York Times
    By RICHARD LEZIN JONES
    April 11, 2002
    [Excerpts]
    DOVER TOWNSHIP, N.J., This blue-collar Jersey Shore town was reeling today from the second rampage in two months in which a police officer [Edward L. Lutes Jr.] is said to have stormed into his neighbors' homes and shot several people to death...

    SUSPECT CALLED DEDICATED, BUT 'HE HAD A LOT OF LOSSES'
    Mew York Times
    By Robert Hanley
    April 11, 2002
    In his 17 years as a police officer in this coastal community, Edward L. Lutes Jr. exemplified meticulousness and efficiency, his friends said. He stayed physically fit with regular workouts, always showed up for work with a freshly pressed shirt and trousers, and favored a closely cropped crew cut. Considered a weapons expert, he helped form the local Police Department's special assault team seven years ago...

    NEW JERSEY TOWN: WHY US?
    CBSNews
    By Lloyd de Vries
    Apr 11, 2002
    More details are emerging about what may have sparked a deadly shooting rampage by a Seaside Heights, N.J., police officer... The first shooting spree was bad enough: A retired police officer allegedly guns down his granddaughter and three neighbors. The second one was frighteningly similar: A SWAT team officer fatally shot five neighbors before wounding his boss and then killing himself...

    ReplyDelete
  3. FAILED REPORTING or MURDER COVER UP?
    1.Reporter NEVER asks, "Why were the cops at his home in the first place?"
    2.Reporter NEVER says, "The police department has yet to give a reason for their presence";
    3.Department disparages Powell @0:56 'Second divorce, emotional & legal problems';
    4.Neighbor new there was a growing problem;
    5.Uploader Comment offers special insight NOT contained in the report; states 'Powell violate a restraining order';
    HE FOUND SOMETHING OUT & THEY ELIMINATED HIM

    ReplyDelete
  4. looking back at this event if people really only knew the past two years before. Sickening and sad for all involed

    ReplyDelete
  5. Officer Powell was a dear friend of mine from our college years in the mid 1980's. He was a kind, caring person, a good friend and always positive and fun to be around. He had a lovely tenor voice and we sang in the college choirs. To learn of his death in such an awful manner has been very heartbreaking. The Dave Powell I knew would not have done this. I can't imagine what he must have been going through or enduring to drive him to this. None of us can know; none of us should judge; all of us should pray for his family and children. Godspeed Dave. I will always remember your friendship and kind heart.

    ReplyDelete

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