EDM Wednesday Briefing: Officer Killed in Line of Duty, Orlando Manhunt Over, Dakota Access Pipeline
Emergency and disaster management briefing for Jan. 18, 2017: An armed suspect shot and killed a police officer in Little Elm, Texas, the week-long Orlando Manhunt is over after the suspect was taken into custody on Tuesday night, the National Guard deploys an anti-drone missile launcher for observation and safety at the Dakota Access Pipeline drill pad site, central Italy is struck with three large earthquakes, Bagnell Dam upgrades scheduled to begin in March, a recent poll reveals 9 of 10 police officers fear for the safety while on the job, and three workers are dead after entering a manhole in Key Largo, Florida.
- A police officer in Little Elm, Texas was shot and killed Tuesday after responding to the report of a suspect with a gun. Identified as Jerry Walker, he is the first Little Elm police officer to be killed in the line of duty. The alleged suspect barricaded himself in the home of an elderly female relative, whom authorities were able to remove through a window to safety. The suspect, after an approximate six hour standoff, was found dead in the home.
- After a weeklong manhunt, Markeith Loyd, the man wanted in the fatal shooting of an Orlando police officer was caught Tuesday night. The alleged suspect shot and killed Master Sgt. Debra Clayton outside a Wal-Mart store on January 9 after she attempted to confront the suspect. At that time, Loyd was wanted for questioning in the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend in December. Loyd faces multiple charges, including those in connection with the shooting of his girlfriend and her unborn child, and charges are pending regarding the police shooting death.
- As the ongoing protests continue at the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the North Dakota Army National Guard has deployed an anti-drone missile system to protect the area near the drilling pad by Lake Oahe. Authorities indicate its presence is strictly to monitor the “ungoverned encampments to help protect private property and maintain public safety” according to the Morton County Sheriff's Department, who further noted that the tubes are not loaded. In December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted the construction of the pipeline citing the need for a broader environmental impact statement to be conducted, possibly finding a better alternate route for the pipeline.
- Three large earthquakes hit central Italy in about an hour Wednesday morning, January 18. The region struck by the earthquakes was approximately 62 miles northeast of Rome, and while shaking was felt in the city of Rome, no victims have been reported. The first quake, which occurred at 10:25 a.m. and was a magnitude 5.3, hit north of the Amatrice area, the area heavily impacted by three quakes in 2016, including a devastating quake in August. The second quake was measured at 5.7 and struck in the same region about 50 minutes later, while the third quake, a 5.3 magnitude occurred 10 minutes later in the same area. The Rome Metro and some schools were evacuated as a precaution.
- In a recent announcement, Ameren Missouri, owner of the Bagnell Dam which holds back Lake of the Ozarks, stated that the dam will receive $52 million in upgrades beginning this spring. Part of the upgrades will include the addition of 68 new anchors that help hold the dam to bedrock. The company is set to begin the upgrades in March of 2017 and estimates the construction will take approximately 18 months to complete.
- A recent poll reveals that 93 percent of police officers are increasingly worried for their safety while performing their jobs. The poll was conducted to highlight the ongoing debate of police methods and conduct after the recent deaths of black Americans that have resulted in high profile protests and destructive riots. Results also revealed that while 86 percent of the public believes they understand the nature, duties, risks, and responsibilities of those serving in law enforcement roles, 83 percent of police officers believe the public does not fully understand all of the risks, duties, and responsibilities shouldered by law enforcement personnel.
- Three contract workers are dead after entering a manhole to investigate a sewage backup, in Key Largo, Florida. After receiving complaints about sewage backing up in a small community on Long Key Road, private contract workers went into a manhole to investigate, and were overcome with poisonous gas. The gases present, hydrogen sulfide and methane gas, also nearly claimed the life of a fire fighter who went down to assist the three workers. The fire fighter, whose name has not been released, is currently still in a coma and the neighborhood was evacuated until the area was deemed safe.
— Gino Tocchesi (@tocchesi) January 18, 2017