Speaker Meeting 21st August 2017

George Leon - An Arresting Tale

Church Wilne Rotary members welcomed George Leon to its speaker meeting at the Royal Oak, Ockbrook on Monday 21st August when he gave a presentation entitled "An Arresting Tale".

George had been a policeman in southern California, USA for 35 years. George said there was a huge difference between the USA and Great Britain in both the legal structures and their law enforcement. The USA comprised 50 states and each state had its own law.

Each state is divided into counties and California had 58 counties. Each county had its own sheriff. He had been a policeman in San Diego County since 1978.

During the 1970's there had been mass resignations and a huge drive in trying to fill vacancies. Nevertheless 50% of applicants automatically failed the criteria for admission due to drink and driving laws, drugs and violence.

As a policeman he faced gun crime on a regular basis. When he joined the police force his handgun was a Smith and Wesson but due to an increase in violent crime this was ultimately replaced by a Glock Model 21, a much more powerful semi-automatic weapon.

When he first started as a patrolman he did not carry a shotgun but due to the rising crime rate was later allowed to do so. This was a Remington 870 pump action shotgun. George told the Club of a bank robbery in Hollywood when the robbers had AK47 guns together with 100-round magazines and were dressed in body armour. The police were only equipped with 90mm handguns and the bank robbers were overcome only by the sheer number of policemen at the scene.

Automatic weapon and handgun for police use

He also told the Club of a shooting by James Huberty at McDonalds in 1984 when Huberty fired 245 rounds using a 9mm pistol and a shotgun, killing 21 people and wounding 19 others. He was shot by a SWAT sniper.

In 1995 a criminal called Shaun Nelson stole a 57 ton tank and drove on the freeway. Having got stuck on the central divide he was shot by a policeman and died at the scene.

George also showed us a video of the San Diego bus chase in which a bus was stolen and its occupants taken hostage. The bus was driven through built-up areas injuring many of the public and was finally brought to a halt by a spike strip.

The stolen tank on a rampage

The end of the incident

The vote of thanks was given by John Barrett who thanked George for an extremely interesting and revealing insight into the American police force.

For more information on Rotary, our speaker evenings, events and the main activities organised by our club please contact Rotarian Nigel Roberts at: rccw1220@gmail.com

Ray Terry
For the Rotary Club of Church Wilne


31st July 2017

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