Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Doing it right-Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Very cool to see what Northwest Bible Baptist Church is doing.  With all the negative press our profession is getting its good to see people doing the Lord's work.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Disavowed, Dishonored and Disgraced Lt Joseph Gliniewicz

This blog has long been about promoting all the good that Christian Police Officers spread throughout their communities and to educate the public about the face and heart behind the badge.  Further I have attempted to dispel the misinformation that the media consistently reports about officers and our profession.

That said, I have to address Lt Gliniewicz  of the Fox Lake Illinois Police Department.  One of the frustrating aspects of being a police officer is that the 900,000 of us in the US, who are doing all the proper ethical and moral actions, are slandered and labeled by the less than one percent who are just despicable.

Everyone in my department has known for a long time that it was probably going to eventually be labeled a suicide.  We did not have any inside information, but after hearing the 911 tapes and getting the trickle of information that the task force press conferences provided, that was the only conclusion that made sense.  Case in point, the fact that they picked up the three youths and then immediately released and exonerated them is not typical of a murder investigation.  Even if you get the wrong guys, you don't tell anyone right away because the right guys get stupid and lazy thinking they are free and clear.

That said, we have been waiting to find out how bad of a guy he is, because no one commits suicide for no reason and trust me its going to get worse than simple embezzlement.  This type of person carries others to join with his evil and leaves a trail of victims.

I may not be the first to condemn him on behalf of all of law enforcement, but let it be known that he is a disgrace to the uniform, a sorry excuse of a human being, has poisoned any good he ever did, if indeed he ever did anything good.  He is not resting in peace.

A selfish life led to a selfish death.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The media

I am asked frequently what I think of the media and why, in general, does there appear to be animosity between the two.

I like exemplary cases.  I try to collect quick stories that capture the essence of the whole based on a simple occurrence.  The following is why I don't trust, don't like, won't work with and in general shun the media.  While I do appreciate the irony that the media that was used to attack these officers, was also the media that is being used to exonerate them, the VAST majority of the time it is one sided against us.

Dorothy Bland is the worst kind of person.  Just reading her article screams, "Don't you know you I AM!"  She is the poster child of media and academia bias.  At best, the facts, will not get in the way of her agenda at worst she is simply bereft of honesty, morality, ethics and integrity.  She didn't flinch at her attempt to destroy two officers simply doing their job.  When you read the article she wrote, she equates the two officers with the Trayvon Martin case (which did not involve law enforcement) and a number of deaths, with her being slightly inconvenienced when committing a crime!  While I wish there could be a day when she needed our aid, urgently, and we simply did not show up, which we would never do, because we don't operate in the gutter she teaches in, works in and the society she thinks she lives in.  She takes their picture for her safety (and look they don't stop her) but thank goodness they were recording her for their safety.

The link to the whole article  http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20151028-dorothy-bland-i-was-caughtwalking-while-black.ece

Her article from the Dallas Morning News Titled

Dorothy Bland: I was caught ‘walking while black.’

     Flashing lights and sirens from a police vehicle interrupted a routine Saturday morning walk in my golf-course community in Corinth.

I often walk about 3 miles near daybreak as part of my daily exercise. However, on Oct. 24, I delayed my walk until late morning as I waited for the rain to stop. I was dressed in a gray hooded “Boston” sweatshirt, black leggings, white socks, plus black-and-white Nike running shoes. Like most African-Americans, I am familiar with the phrase “driving while black,” but was I really being stopped for walking on the street in my own neighborhood?

Yes. In the words of Sal Ruibal, “Walking while black is a crime in many jurisdictions. May God have mercy on our nation.”

Knowing that the police officers are typically armed with guns and are a lot bigger than my 5 feet, 4 inches, I had no interest in my life’s story playing out like Trayvon Martin’s death. I stopped and asked the two officers if there was a problem; I don’t remember getting a decent answer before one of the officers asked me where I lived and for identification.

I remember saying something like, “Around the corner. This is my neighborhood, and I’m a taxpayer who pays a lot of taxes.” As for the I.D. question, how many Americans typically carry I.D. with them on their morning walk? Do you realize I bought the hoodie I was wearing after completing the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education in 2014? Do you realize I have hosted gatherings for family, friends, faculty, staff and students in my home? Not once was a police officer called. To those officers, my education or property-owner status didn’t matter. One officer captured my address and date of birth.

I guess I was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood. I told the police I didn’t like to walk in the rain, and one of them told me, “My dog doesn’t like to walk in the rain."  Ouch!

I didn’t have my I.D., but I did have my iPhone, so I took a picture of the two police officers and the Texas license plate. One of the officers told me I should walk on the sidewalk or the other side of the street for safety’s sake.

Although I am not related to Sandra Bland, I thought about her, Freddie Gray and the dozens of others who have died while in police custody. For safety’s sake, I posted the photo of the officers on Facebook, and within hours, more than 100 Facebook friends spread the news from New York to California.

“You are now in the company of Henry Louis Gates and others with the same experience,” wrote one of my former students from Florida. “We must stop racial profiling.”

For anyone who doesn’t think racial profiling happens, I can assure you it does happen. For a sanity check, I stopped by the mayor’s house and asked him, “Do I look like a criminal?” Mayor Bill Heidemann said no and shook his head in disbelief. I appreciate the mayor being a good neighbor, but why should he need to verify that I am not a menace to society?

I refuse to let this incident ruin my life. As I was finishing my walk and listening to Urban Praise radio, I encountered an elderly white woman who asked if I would like some roses. She gave me a half-dozen roses. It was a random act of kindness and that’s why I call Janet Herbison of Gemini Peach and Rose Farm in Denton a good Samaritan. That evening I had dinner with neighbors.

The more often we talk and get to know people as humans, the stronger we will become as a nation. We are all part of the human race.

Dorothy Bland is the dean of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and the director for the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. Reach Reach her at dorothy1.bland@gmail.com

Now for the Chiefs Response

Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall says the encounter was about resident’s safety, not race.

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Ms. Bland’s comments. My officers, a field training officer and his recruit, observed Ms. Bland walking in the roadway wearing earbuds and unaware that there was a pickup truck directly behind her that had to almost come to a complete stop to avoid hitting her.

The driver of the truck looked at the officers as they passed and held his hands in the air, which implied “aren’t you going to do something about this?”

The officers turned around and drove behind Ms. Bland.They activated their in-car video camera, which shows her again walking in the roadway impeding traffic. They activated their emergency lights — no siren was ever sounded — they exited their patrol vehicle and contacted Ms. Bland.
They immediately advised Ms. Bland about the pickup truck and the fact that it was safer for her to walk against traffic so she could see the cars and jump out of the way if necessary. The interaction between Ms. Bland and the officers was very cordial and brief.

Ms. Bland had been observed earlier by these same officers, but she was not in the street and impeding traffic, so she was not contacted.

Impeding traffic is a Class C misdemeanor, and it is our policy to ask for identification from people we encounter for this type violation. I am surprised by her comments as this was not a confrontational encounter but a display of professionalism and genuine concern for her safety.

Please review the video and I’m sure you will agree the officers’ intent was simply to keep her safe. Ms. Bland never contacted the police department to voice her concerns regarding this encounter and has not returned my phone message left at the number provided by the mayor.

The citizens of Corinth as a whole are a highly educated population, and it is
disappointing that one of our residents would attempt to make this a racial issue when clearly it is not.

Debra Walthall is Corinth’s chief of police. Reach her at dwalthall@cityofcorinth.com.

Watch the Video

Back to my post...

I would hope the University of North Texas re-thinks who should be director of their journalism school, if actual, open, unbiased, journalists are who they are actually attempting to educate.

Finally, a shout out to Chief Walthall for addressing this and standing tall for her officers!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The L-Word

I was telling a story at roll call and used the word "literally" about a dozen times.  The good Sargent then made note of that and told me my story was stupid (we are outside of work friends).  Later on when I was speaking with him about another matter, he used the word "literally" and I pointed that out.  Throughout the day we both noticed that everyone uses the word "literally" often.
A couple of days later, we were playing the hot or not, name game.  This game revolves around picking a name, going to Google images and betting if the first page features hot people or not.  Then it became a game to find the ugliest name.  I said, "Bertha! That is literally my grandmothers name!"  The Sargent then replied, "what instead of figuratively being named Bertha?"  (For the record I won the ugly name game).

We realized that no one was using the word for its meaning, rather it was a cue in the sentence that the punch line was coming up in the story.  Further, no one was just saying the word, but rather pausing, emphasizing it, pausing and then getting on to the good part of the sentence.  So it became a game on the shift to not use the word for any reason or it costs you a quarter.  The money will be used for pizza and beer at the end of the year.  It is much harder than you think to stop using this one word.

A couple of weeks later the Sargent and I were on a domestic trouble call.  It is a common family tragedy.  It is a older single mom, with an eighteen year old daughter in the home and a twenty year old heroin addicted son that had been kicked out of the home a few months ago.  On this day, the mother was out of the home at her workplace and her daughter was taking a shower.  While in the shower, the daughter heard a window open and the sounds of someone in the house.  She slowly, and quietly, gets out of the shower and tries to get to her cell phone.  At this time, she can see the living room couch and there is the son passed out on it.  Daughter calls mother, mother calls us, and we all meet at the house.  We wake the son up.  He starts to rise of the couch with his hands curled in fists, decides against going for it and we walking him out of the home with a bag full of clothing and a trespass warning.

I am now providing the mother and daughter with a bunch of legal and civil advice on how to handle their current situation when I say, "We literally pulled him off your front lawn two days ago and shipped him to the local hospital".  The Sargent then points and me and yells, "Ahhhhhhhhh, you said literally!!!"  I, chagrined, look at him and say, "Ah dammit!"  Now we both realize that the mother and daughter are now just staring at us, clearly wondering if we had lost our minds.  So I explained the literally game and how I didn't have to say "literally two days ago" because I never would have meant, figuratively, two days ago.  So the mother then says, "but you used the word correctly" and I tell her that it is not the point of the game, the point is that we can not use the word at all.  I said that one of the problems is that there is not a good synonym for that word.  The daughter then starts rattling off a number of words but we all agree that none how the feeling of the L-word.

So all of us walking back to each of our cars, us to our squads, them to their mini-van, with the son walking northbound in the distance, finished the call debating the L-word game.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I'm Back

I took a break from the blog for a number of reasons.

First, at my department I was going through a tough time with the administration and its really hard to write a positive police blog when you are not really positive about police work.

Second, I began a PHD program and its taken me this long to get my feet back under me with the amount of work it takes to balance, God, family, work, school, overtime and this blog.

Third, with all the negative press concerning my profession and the massive disinformation that is out there, I see a need to be a small voice for the 99% of officers going to work, saving lives and going home.

Fourth, there needs to be an outlet somewhere that captures officers as they really are, people in an absurd environment, trying their best to aid people who hate them, work with massive budget cuts (what do you mean we are out of squad cars?) and not loose their minds in the process.

So hold me accountable to post a couple times a week again and maybe in the process place a little light into the dark.

Image result for i'm back
And bow ties are cool

Friday, July 11, 2014

Team work

Police work is by its very nature quintessential team work.  The roles require a level of creativity yet maintain dedicated role boundaries.  A understanding of abilities or skills of individual team members and formulating a plan taking into account the abilities or lack of in a given situation.  Frankly most of the time it happen without thought since most of the department has decades of  experience with each other.

I was watching the following video and it really struck me as an analogue of what we do on the street each day.  A successful outcome of a call is really like creating a complete song...even to the part that it has to be picked up and tweaked a couple of weeks later.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Finally Illinois get's something right...well sort of...

The Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 098-0650:  The no police quota act.  So on the plus side they can no longer have the list of tickets that they can say, "Why are you so far behind Ofc Brown?"  The correct answer is, "Because I am covering all his calls that he can't answer because he is always out pimping the public" but you say, "I will certainly try harder."  Then don't.

But of course with everything Illinois it can only look pleasing but never be substantive.  If you read the statute below you will see they still can evaluate us by, "Contact" and what are "Contacts"?  Interestingly they are only things that you gain by...traffic stopping people.  But its...better...hopefully the next bill will kill these..."Contacts" provision.

First the link to the statute...Public Act 098-0650

The Statute:

Public Act 098-0650

SB3411 Enrolled LRB098 18994 JLK 55614 b

    AN ACT concerning local government.

    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:

    Section 5. The Department of Natural Resources
(Conservation) Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois
is amended by adding Section 805-537 as follows:

    (20 ILCS 805/805-537 new)
    Sec. 805-537. Conservation Police Officer quotas
prohibited. The Department may not require a Conservation
Police Officer to issue a specific number of citations within a
designated period of time. This prohibition shall not affect
the conditions of any federal or State grants or funds awarded
to the Department and used to fund traffic enforcement
    The Department may not, for purposes of evaluating a
Conservation Police Officer's job performance, compare the
number of citations issued by the Conservation Police Officer
to the number of citations issued by any other Conservation
Police Officer who has similar job duties. Nothing in this
Section shall prohibit the Department from evaluating a
Conservation Police Officer based on the Conservation Police
Officer's points of contact. For the purposes of this Section,
"points of contact" means any quantifiable contact made in the
furtherance of the Conservation Police Officer's duties,
including, but not limited to, the number of traffic stops
completed, arrests, written warnings, and crime prevention
measures. Points of contact shall not include either the
issuance of citations or the number of citations issued by a
Conservation Police Officer.

    Section 10. The State Police Act is amended by adding
Section 24 as follows:

    (20 ILCS 2610/24 new)
    Sec. 24. State Police quotas prohibited. The Department may
not require a Department of State Police officer to issue a
specific number of citations within a designated period of
time. This prohibition shall not affect the conditions of any
federal or State grants or funds awarded to the Department and
used to fund traffic enforcement programs.
    The Department may not, for purposes of evaluating a
Department of State Police officer's job performance, compare
the number of citations issued by the Department of State
Police officer to the number of citations issued by any other
Department of State Police officer who has similar job duties.
Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the Department from
evaluating a Department of State Police officer based on the
Department of State Police officer's points of contact. For the
purposes of this Section, "points of contact" means any
quantifiable contact made in the furtherance of the Department
of State Police officer's duties, including, but not limited
to, the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written
warnings, and crime prevention measures. Points of contact
shall not include either the issuance of citations or the
number of citations issued by a Department of State Police

    Section 15. The Counties Code is amended by adding Section
5-1136 as follows:

    (55 ILCS 5/5-1136 new)
    Sec. 5-1136. Quotas prohibited. A county may not require a
law enforcement officer to issue a specific number of citations
within a designated period of time. This prohibition shall not
affect the conditions of any federal or State grants or funds
awarded to the county and used to fund traffic enforcement
    A county may not, for purposes of evaluating a law
enforcement officer's job performance, compare the number of
citations issued by the law enforcement officer to the number
of citations issued by any other law enforcement officer who
has similar job duties. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit
a county from evaluating a law enforcement officer based on the
law enforcement officer's points of contact.
    For the purposes of this Section:
        (1) "Points of contact" means any quantifiable contact
    made in the furtherance of the law enforcement officer's
    duties, including, but not limited to, the number of
    traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings, and
    crime prevention measures. Points of contact shall not
    include either the issuance of citations or the number of
    citations issued by a law enforcement officer.
        (2) "Law enforcement officer" includes any sheriff,
    undersheriff, deputy sheriff, county police officer, or
    other person employed by the county as a peace officer.
    A home rule unit may not establish requirements for or
assess the performance of law enforcement officers in a manner
inconsistent with this Section. This Section is a denial and
limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection
(g) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.

    Section 20. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by
adding Section 11-1-12 as follows:

    (65 ILCS 5/11-1-12 new)
    Sec. 11-1-12. Quotas prohibited. A municipality may not
require a police officer to issue a specific number of
citations within a designated period of time. This prohibition
shall not affect the conditions of any federal or State grants
or funds awarded to the municipality and used to fund traffic
enforcement programs.
    A municipality may not, for purposes of evaluating a police
officer's job performance, compare the number of citations
issued by the police officer to the number of citations issued
by any other police officer who has similar job duties. Nothing
in this Section shall prohibit a municipality from evaluating a
police officer based on the police officer's points of contact.
For the purposes of this Section, "points of contact" means any
quantifiable contact made in the furtherance of the police
officer's duties, including, but not limited to, the number of
traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings, and crime
prevention measures. Points of contact shall not include either
the issuance of citations or the number of citations issued by
a police officer.
    This Section shall not apply to a municipality subject to
Section 10-1-18.1 of this Code with its own independent
inspector general and law enforcement review authority.
    A home rule municipality may not establish requirements for
or assess the performance of police officers in a manner
inconsistent with this Section. This Section is a denial and
limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection
(g) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.

Effective Date: 1/1/2015

Proverbs 8:15  By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Become a Police Officer dot com (We made top thirty)

I was recently notified by the associate editor at How to Become a Police Officer site that this blog had made their top thirty.

I took a look at their site and it really does have a lot of good info worth checking out if you are considering the field.  Trust me every little bit helps, I tested in an eleven department consortium, that had thirty-three positions open up over a three year period.  At the two day orientation at the local junior college about twenty-five hundred people attended each day.

I would have killed for this kind of resource back then.

Song of Songs 3:8
8 all of them wearing the sword,
    all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
    prepared for the terrors of the night.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kevlar-May she rest in piece

Most of my twenty year working life, from security guard to police officer, I have been encapsulated by a Kevlar bullet proof vest.  Its probably the single piece of equipment that every officer anywhere in the country has in common, no matter what his/her assignment, duty or rank.  I really didn't think about it past, hoping that it was true to its advertising and would actually stop a bullet as it was intended to.

Stephanie Kwolek was the inventor of Kevlar when she was a Dupont Scientist in the 1960's.  I should have thanked her when she was alive, instead I'll pay my respects.

The article I found in the USA Today dated June 20, 2014
Author: Aaron Nathans, Wilmington (Del.) News Journal

Kevlar inventor Stephanie Kwolek, 90, dies

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Stephanie Kwolek, the DuPont scientist whose invention, Kevlar, has saved countless lives as the essential ingredient in body armor, has died.

Kwolek died Wednesday in Talleyville, Delaware following a brief illness, said her friend, Rita Vasta, who is handling Kwolek's affairs. She was 90.

Kwolek had no remaining family, Vasta said.

"We are all saddened at the passing of DuPont scientist Stephanie Kwolek, a creative and determined chemist and a true pioneer for women in science," DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said in a written statement Thursday. "Her synthesis of the first liquid crystal polymer and the invention of DuPont Kevlar highlighted a distinguished career."

Kwolek developed Kevlar, a substance five times stronger than steel, by spinning fiber from a liquid crystalline solution. Kevlar's lightweight, durable qualities have made it a long-lived material used in body armor and other protection equipment used by police and the military.

The discovery came in the mid-1960s when Kwolek was 42, working at DuPont's Experimental Station outside of Wilmington to develop a super-strong fiber to reinforce radial tires.

She invented a solution of rigid-chain polymers that fell from her lab spatula like water. The substance was much thinner than most polymers, and when put into a machine could be spun into strong, stiff material.

She told The News Journal in 2007 that DuPont management "didn't fool around. They immediately assigned a whole group to work on different aspects. ... It was very exciting, let me tell you."

Kevlar's use over time broadened to other applications, including sporting equipment, as it minimizes vibration and can bend without shattering. DuPont recently agreed to serve as a sponsor of the ESPN X Games, where sporting equipment makes liberal use of Kevlar. DuPont will celebrate Kevlar's 50th anniversary next year.

News of Kwolek's death came a day after DuPont Protection Technologies announced that a million bullet-resistant vests have been sold using DuPont Kevlar XP since that version of the product was launched in 2008. Today, most police agencies have adopted mandatory vest requirements.

"When you think about what she has done, it's incredible. There's literally thousands and thousands of people alive because of her," said Ron McBride, former manager of the Kevlar Survivors' Club, a not-for-profit partnership between DuPont and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The group has documented 3,200 lives saved through use of Kevlar in body armor.

McBride is a former chief of police in Ashland, Kentucky. A vest with Kevlar saved the life of his son, who was serving as a naval operative in Iraq.

"She could look back on her life and say, 'Yeah, I made a difference,' " he said.

Kwolek held just a bachelor's degree from the institution that preceded Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh when she joined DuPont as a chemist in 1946.

Coming from humble roots, and having studied in a one-room schoolhouse, she found an opportunity at DuPont because many men were in the military at the time.

"She was stubborn, she clung on, and she did the work because she found it interesting," said Caroline Angel Burke, project manager at the Museum of Science in Boston, which chose Kwolek as one of a handful of engineers featured in a permanent exhibit.

Kwolek, who stood just 4 feet 11 inches tall, never married.

"In those days for chemists, when you're hot on the trail of something, there's not a lot of time to go dating," Vasta said. "She loved outdoor sports, she had plenty of friends, she socialized. But when it came to lab work, that was 100 percent of her focus."

Vasta, who counted Kwolek as a mentor when they both worked at DuPont in the 1980s, said Kwolek continued to develop Kevlar over the years before her retirement in 1986. She went on to mentor women who wanted to go into the sciences, Vasta said.

Kwolek got a nice lab at DuPont after the discovery, but recognized she was in the company of many other distinguished scientists, Vasta said. Kwolek always said that DuPont compensated her properly for her discovery, Vasta said.

In the 2007 interview, Kwolek was careful to take credit only for the initial discovery of the technology used in the development of Kevlar, crediting the team for taking it further, especially DuPont scientist Herbert Blades.

Kwolek was proud whenever first responders approached her to tell her that her vest saved their life, Vasta said.

In 1996, Kwolek won the National Medal of Technology "for her contributions to the discovery, development and liquid crystal processing of high-performance aramid fibers, which provide new products worldwide to save lives and benefit humankind." She was only the third DuPont scientist to win a National Medal of Technology or Science, Kullman said.

"She leaves a wonderful legacy of thousands of lives saved and countless injuries prevented by products made possible by her discovery," Kullman said.

In Kwolek's later years, she enjoyed being in her home, Vasta said. She left behind her lab notebooks, and "oh my gosh, they're like literary pieces," she said, noting her fluid handwriting and sketches.

Kwolek was inducted into the the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women on March 27.

Kwolek kept spools of Kevlar fabric at her home, she told The News Journal in 2007. "I never in a thousand years expected that little liquid crystal to develop into what it did," she said.

(Contributing: Maureen Milford)

Oh and just for fun...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Motivation Part 3

We had a major incident that occurred almost two decades ago in which our town was linked to the crime but we were never able to discover where the crime had actually took place. A number of the affected departments set up an informal task force in order to solve the crime, but the leads were just not there and it went cold.

Recently the lead department received new evidence that pointed to a hitherto unknown suspect. They came to our department and coordinated with our investigation division to pickup and go speak with this new suspect.

So three-fourths of patrol is in the break room eating lunch, watching NASCAR on the flat screen television, when a senior member of our command staff walks by the room pushing a double-decker food cart. We let that go. A short time later he returns with a bunch of pizza boxes on the cart. The smart-mouth of our group, says, “Hey boss, that for us?”. He chuckles and says no. Then he and the cart disappear into the elevator and he goes up a couple of floors to the dick's offices. He and the cart return empty handed, followed by a return trip that contained drinks and finally a dessert run.

Right after the dessert run, the on-duty shift Sargent pops up and we ask him if any of the pizza that is going to our investigators and the outside department personnel is going to find its way to us. He tells us that he had not heard of the pizza and then walks out of the room. A short time later, he returned and said, yes there is pizza (like we would not recognize pizza as it went past us) but no, it was not for us. I then point out that it would take maybe 2 or at the most 3 pizzas to feed patrol and after they had bought all the other ones, how much more would it really cost to do that. A conversation soon breaks out between the three of us in patrol and the Sargent, in which we eventually concluded that in the command staffs' mind we are not worth the cost of three pizzas. I concluded the conversation by stating, “Well I for one am glad to know my actual dollar amount worth to the department. Now I can go get replacement insurance and know I am not going to overpay.” We all laugh and hit the street.

Fast forward to the next day and I am speaking now to the shift lieutenant about a different matter, when the same Sargent from the day before walks up. The lieutenant then says, “Oh that reminds me I found out about that pizza thing from yesterday.”

I think, crap, I shot my mouth off and irritated someone enough that the Lt is involved. The lieutenant then says, “If it makes you feel any better, our detectives didn't get any pizza either, they had to buy their own lunch. That was just for the officers that came in from the outside for this case.”

The Sargent and I just stare at our Lieutenant waiting for his mental bulb to light up. A few beats later it does. He sighs and states, “Wait, I think that worse. It means we care much more about a bunch of strangers we will never see again, then the actual people that work here. It makes you feel all warm and gooey inside.” And with that final statement the pizza topic was permanently shelved as an approved conversational topic.

I guess going down on the sinking boat is a little more comforting when you have company on that cruise, but then again I think we all would rather not be sinking in the first place.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Motivation Part 2

     Anyone that has read this blog for any amount of time quickly realizes that I hate traffic enforcement. Unless I need a reason to stop a load of gang bangers or a drug load, I really hate pimping the general public on silly traffic nonsense.

     The problem with my attitude is that in patrol it is an expected part of my duty day. So I decided to refocus myself now that I am back in patrol and at least fulfill my basic patrol duties.  We, as a department, are currently having a problem with our county. The court fees keep getting raised and the judges are feeling sympathetic to our traffic offenders because the fees are double the maximum possible ticket fine.  As a local department only get a percentage of the fine and nothing of the court fees. The judges are still finding the traffic offenders guilty but instead of the max fine they are taking it all the way down to twenty, ten and in one case, five dollar fines. The bottom line is the county is making bank on all of our work.

    Our administration, rightly, decided to try to keep as many tickets within the city as is possible, so that we can reap the work of our hands rather than the county. This making sense, I dedicated myself to local ordinance, equipment and parking tickets. Fast forward a year and I am getting my annual review. I have full points. Further, he lets me know that he is pleasantly surprised that I am second on my shift in total tickets written, knowing full well that it was not a passion of mine.

     However, sheepishly my Sargent, lets me know that there is one thing we have to talk about. He goes on to say that he was asked to do an audit of the total traffic stops for the department. In that audit, I am the last one on the shift in total traffic stops. So he asks me nicely, to commit to more traffic stops. I then foolishly ask if he is going to talk to anyone else about this ticket/traffic stop issue. He tells me no. So I say, “Okay, you are not going to talk to the guys who wrote less tickets than I did because they did more traffic stops than I did.”

    He says, “yes”. 

     I then ask, “But didn't our Chief rightfully say we needed to write as many as local ordinances as we possibly could. So if I write more of my tickets as moving violations, the city will get less money.”

    He responded, “Yep, that was my take away from that conversation. But remember making traffic stops, not just writing tickets are an important part of your job.”

I rejoin, “But hasn't every study from the seventies till now shown that traffic stops have little to no effect on the public's driving behavior?”. He again nods yes. I finish with, “So if I understand this, I need to do more of a thing that doesn't change the public behavior or increase safety, does not raise money for the city just to hit a magic number that someone above you has arbitrarily set, that we don't know what that is? When they have asked us to do the exact opposite, via roll call training, email, and personal visits to roll call?” He sighs, give me the shoulder shrug, that universally indicates, look its not my idea I just have to tell you about it.

    I let him know that I certainly would make more stops and just walked away shaking my head. Policy is the right thing to follow, you know, until they don't want you to follow their policy. Fun on the job.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Christmas Time-Motivation Part 1

 I am still here. I took some time off from the blog in order to achieve some fresh prospective on law enforcement. In other words, I got banged around a bit and got pissed and had to take five. The following expressed memory is not anything that made me angry, just thought it was amusing.

Any-Who, last Christmas, our DC came into the patrol room a week or so before Christmas with a big box of booze. I just happened to be there and in seeing the big box of booze and knowing the proximity to our blessed Lord's birthday, asked what purpose the box provided (hoping of course...free booze). He said, “Oh this? Its nothing.” Disappointed I went back to my squad.

A few days later I had to ask the Sargent a question and there sitting on his desk was one of the bottles of booze with a jaunty bow on top and a card close by. I asked the Sargent if that was his Christmas present from the DC and I was informed it was. So what did patrol get? A Christmas card? Nope. A merry Christmas email? Nope. Acknowledgment that it was the holiday season? Nope, zip, zilch and nothing.

So I look in my mail box and see that the Chief had given each of us a personalized Christmas card. Okay, some love for patrol, finally. I opened the card and was wished a merry Christmas among other positive Christmas suggestions and holiday desires. It was at this point, I noticed that the Chief's name was spelled wrong in the salutation section. Thinking this was inadvertent and not at all put aback by a printed signature rather a personally signed one, I found a group of us loitering around the station and pointed out the mistake. We all had a lark and a laugh, until the Sargent came over and said, “Oh I asked him about that. He said he realized that the printers had screwed up so he had a fresh corrected batch made. He gave us the misspelled cards so that the cards that go out to the real people are spelled correctly.”

I responded by telling the first story of the DC and booze. I then pointed out how all warm and fuzzy a Christmas in patrol was and said, “Merry (insert your departments name here) F'n Christmas everybody!”, and walked out into the night.

Ah if every company cared as much about the workers' personnel feelings as our departments care about ours, it would all look like a a scene out of the back room of a post office in the eighties.

Merry belated Christmas everybody.

PS: I really said F'n and not the full word, just for a point of order there.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love the Police...Kiss a Cop...Wait Don't

There are two, among many, unique aspects of the law enforcement profession.  The first is that police officers over time slowly withdraw all their socialization from any non-law enforcement source.  What that really means is that they only hang out with cops, drink at cop bars, golf with cops, work massive amounts of overtime with cops.  They even withdraw from their familial relationships.

The second aspect is that we are solely judged by the one percent that are crazy, incredibly stupid or both.  Think if any profession was judged this way.   A brilliant New York neurosurgeon made to take ethics classes because an toxicologist in Omaha felt his patients up in the examination room.  But guess what, this happens to us all the time.  I can not tell you how many trainings I had to sit through because some moron did something I would never do, have never seen, and my co-workers would never do.  Oh and then when that person gets caught, a bunch of breathless articles come out trying to find this unreported epidemic.

Put paragraph one and paragraph two together.  Think you may get tired of friends, family, acquaintances asking you about an idiot (and without doing this purposely) making you defend yourself and your profession all the time.

So just to drive myself nuts I just googled searched "police" and here is the three in depth article list below. I evidently lie, hate one of the three peoples of the book, and arrest kids for not cleaning up.  I have never lied at the stand, there is no reason to do so because if you want to keep your house you only arrest people that are so guilty its a dead bang.  No one in my state or area has placed a young man/woman into custody for not cleaning up and great... an idiot department in Florida did  something stupid in training.  There are 900,000 law enforcement personnel on the streets of the United States, they serve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, we don't stop for weather, we don't stop for disaster, we miss our children birthday parties and Christmas.  So with millions of civilian contacts a year, 99% positive or trust me we would get raked over the coals over it...what, not one positive story?

Strange then why cops only seems to love cops.

Matthew 7:2
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    In-depth articles
  1. Why Police Officers Lie Under Oath - NYTimes.com

    THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury's believing their word over a police officer's are slim to ...
    New York Times
  2. The US schools with their own police - The Guardian

    More and more US schools have police patrolling the corridors. Pupils are being arrested for throwing paper planes and failing to pick up crumbs from the canteen floor.
  3. How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam - Meg Stalcup ...

    There aren't nearly enough counterterrorism experts to instruct all of America's police... n a bright January morning in 2010, at Broward College in Davie, Florida, about sixty police officers ...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blauer Clash Boot

I recently had the opportunity to try out Blauer's new 6 inch Clash Boot (Style FW016) for these last two weeks.  My department issues Blauer jackets but I was unaware they are also in the boot business. I gave it quite an extended workout since we threw a bridal shower, had two separate school orientations, three barbecues and one shift outing.   During this two week time, I think I went straight home and pulled off my gear twice and the rest of the days I wore my black polyester pants and these boots for more than 12 hours a day, both on duty and off.


The first thing that I always do to see if I have a good pair of boots or not, is too wear the heck out of them right out of the box.  A good boot will require little to no break in period, lesser boots take some time to finally be comfortable to wear.  I have had boots give me blisters within one day, found rub points on my toes and heals and signs of poor stitching that have wore holes into my socks.  I wore these boots everyday for two weeks with no foot discomfort or any sign of stitches popping through.  They broke in quickly and easily, I basically forgot I was wearing new boots as I went throughout my day.  Now I have had other boots that broke in easily but toward the end of the first week and into the second they continued to break in resulting in a loose fit that made them steadily unwearable.   I did not find this to be an issue with these boots, they kept their out of the box firm hold.


These Clash boots have a more tennis style sole that differed from my Rocky's that have more traditional flat and wide sole.  I was initially concerned because the sole that Blauer selected can sometimes be awkward to stand on for hours at a time.  I was pleased to find that this was not the case.  This sole provided a good base of support, ware-ability, and nice flex.  It had good traction on the street and in the fields.  It held firm in the rain and had good traction on greasy floors.  I was very pleased that when I had to go into the ER for an incident (dog bite if you must know) they did not squeak.  I have had a number of boots issued to me that when I would walk those halls they were incredibility loud.  The only way to stop that was to walk on my toes, not a good look for a uniformed police officer to be prancing through the halls of our local hospital.  Driving the squad was no problem at all, which is nice having had boots in the past that made pushing the gas and break peddles a chore.


I wore these boots in temperatures ranging from 70 degrees to one day of 98 degrees.  I was comfortable for the most part.  My feet were never cold but on the high degree day I did take off soaking socks.  These boots seem to be insulated to a moderate degree range so as to make them usable for most of the year.  I will be updating this review when I wear the boots in winter but I was basically comfortable most of the time.  I have to be fair in that I have never worn any type of footwear that at the high nineties my feet didn't sweat.

BOA Lacing System

Ok, this is my favorite thing about these boots.  There is a dial that you turn to tighten the wires to tighten the fit of the boot and you pull the dial out if you want to release the bindings and remove the boot.  I had this system on a pair of North Face boots and the boot itself wore out before this lacing system even showed any signs of wear.  I loved the fact that I could adjust the fit of these boots any time I wanted and it took about a second to do it, boot removal was just as quick.  If for no other reason it is worth getting the boots for this feature.  As an example, I came in from the street sat down at our lunch table popped the dial let my feet breathe and dry a bit and when it was over a few twists and I was back out again.  No other boot could do that in that amount of time.


Ok there is not much anyone can do here.  If it had a radical look, or color or whatever it would not work with our uniform code and thus be unwearable.  I could have done without the suede but it did not ruin anything.


As you probably guessed, I really enjoyed these boots.  But they were not perfect.  But then nothing is.  A couple of issues.  One, the sole stops just below the toe area.  I noticed that I was scuffing the leather toe almost immediately, requiring some quick shinning each day.  I have always preferred the sole to include a toe cap in order to protect my feet when I have to kick something and to protect the leather from scuffing. These boots have a heal/Achilles plate that serves this purpose for the back of the boot it just needs one for the front.  Second, the knob of the BOA system gets hooked on your pants legs.  I had to pull the cuff of my pant off the knob so that it fell to the bottom of the boot numerous times.  A minor problem but after you have to do it a bunch of times it can get a little irritating.


This was an easy decision to recommend these boots.  I could have written this review after the second day but waited and wore them for two weeks in case there was a material quality problem or they started to show early signs of wear, neither became an issue at all.  I have already spoken with our quartermaster to see about making these standard issue at my department.  The price point of a little over a hundred dollars makes them an excellent buy also.  I have already put my old boots out to pasture.

Their link Blauer

Increase costs for Police only Raise your Taxes

I just saw this Op-Ed piece from the New York Times.  There are always costs with every new policy, policy change and the training that goes with it.  My experience has always been that it is a huge waste of time.  99% of the officers are usually doing the right thing already but you still have to sit through an 8 or a 16 hour training that only enriches the training providers.  Anyway for your consideration.

The link to the article http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/opinion/the-real-costs-of-policing-the-police.html?_r=0


The Real Costs of Policing the Police

MANAMA, Bahrain — SETTING aside the legal wisdom of the recent decision by a federal judge against the New York Police Department and its stop-and-frisk policy, one thing seems clear: the judge’s remedy will be enormously expensive and time-consuming to implement, and at a time when the number of stops is falling dramatically.

No one, of course, should be stopped by a police officer on the basis of skin color or ethnic origin. The judge, Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, found that the benefits of ending what she considers to be unconstitutional stops would far outweigh any administrative hardships.

Still, the reforms she has laid out are sweeping in their impact on the department and its 35,000 officers, who have been excoriated and vilified in the months leading up to the trial and in the aftermath of the ruling.

The city has filed a notice of appeal, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he hopes the appeal process would allow current stop-and-frisk practices to continue. But Mr. Bloomberg, an independent, leaves office at the end of the year. The Democratic candidates vying to succeed him have vowed to scale back, or even halt, the practice.

Judge Scheindlin named a monitor — Peter L. Zimroth, a former corporation counsel — to oversee changes in training, supervision, monitoring and discipline. Officers, in effect, will be untrained in the old policy, then trained in new stop-and-frisk procedures. They will be taught about racial profiling and “unconscious racial bias,” and what constitutes a stop and the legal basis for a search. They will learn how to fill out a new stop-and-frisk form, with the current checkboxes replaced by a “narrative section where the officer must record, in her own words, the basis for the stop.” Finally, a facilitator will also be appointed to work with community groups and other “stakeholders” on the reforms.

Court-appointed monitors are nothing new in police departments. Nationally, there have been about two dozen in the past 20 years. And while there is no agreement on the efficiency and effectiveness of these monitors, the one thing that all police chiefs involved agreed with is that the monitoring always lasted longer (some more than 10 years) and was vastly more expensive than expected.

New York’s experience is not likely to be different. The training regimen laid out by Judge Scheindlin will require transferring dozens of officers from precincts and permanently reassigning them to the police academy as trainers. Because minimum staffing levels are required by the department, much of the new training will have to be done on overtime, unless the city spends money to expand the number of officers.

Front-line ranking officers (sergeants and lieutenants) will likely require one week of training, while patrol officers and detectives will require at least two days. My estimate is that this remedial process will cost tens of millions of dollars and last at least 10 years. This does not include the incalculable but sizable costs of taking an officer off patrol for training. Nor does it include the cost of the monitor, staff, expert advisers or the yet-to-be-named facilitator and his or her staff.

MANAMA, Bahrain — SETTING aside the legal wisdom of the recent decision by a federal judge against the New York Police Department and its stop-and-frisk policy, one thing seems clear: the judge’s remedy will be enormously expensive and time-consuming to implement, and at a time when the number of stops is falling dramatically.

The facilitator will hold town hall meetings to receive as much input as possible, particularly from those most affected by police searches. But Britain’s experience, following riots in London in August 2011, offers a cautionary tale. There, community members were asked for their ideas about the underlying problems that caused the disturbances, only to have their hopes for change dashed.

In New York, Judge Scheindlin also ordered a one-year program requiring officers from the precinct in each borough with the highest number of stops to wear body cameras. This program could involve some 2,000 officers, including those assigned to public housing. The judge cites the success of a similar program in Rialto, Calif., but that city of 100,000 can’t be compared to New York. (Rialto had 54 police officers, half of whom wore cameras.) The judge argued that body cameras will, among other things, “encourage lawful and respectful interactions on the part of both parties.” But anyone who watches the reality show “Cops” has good reason to be skeptical.

The prolonged controversy over stop-and-frisk has chilled officers’ enthusiasm and initiative. As a result, the number of stops has dropped sharply, from 203,500 in the first three months of 2012 to fewer than 100,000 stops over the same period this year. Cops have gotten the message.

Judge Scheindlin made clear that she was “not ordering an end to the practice of stop and frisk.” A few years from now — after the facilitator has gotten the community’s input, the monitor’s agenda is in place, the new, time-consuming stop-and-frisk form is available, and the Police Department is geared up to train its 27,500 front-line officers and detectives — the problem may already have fixed itself.

John F. Timoney, a former first deputy police commissioner in New York City, police commissioner in Philadelphia and police chief in Miami, is the author of “Beat Cop to Top Cop: A Tale of Three Cities.” He is a consultant to the Interior Ministry of Bahrain.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Law Officers Combat Kinetics, Unarmed Panoply - L.O.C.K.U.P.

I just went through a one day defensive tactics refresher and our trainer brought a number of new maneuvers that he had just learned through the L.O.C.K.U.P. system.

This system fit my criteria for real world, officer useful, defensive tactics, in that it has simple moves that don't require continuous training.  An emphases of ending the offenders resistance in as quick of a manner as possible.  It allows for options based on the actions of the offender/resister from simple soft physical control all the way to lethal force.  And finally, a mistake does not put you completely in the resister's power.

It is something to consider.  It works. I have the bruises to prove it.  The following is an exert from Police Combat Web Site followed by a brief bio by the systems founder from the same site Lt. Kevin Dillion

 About LOCKUP ®
Created for law enforcement, security and military personnel, the L.O.C.K.U.P.® (Law Officers Combat Kinetics Unarmed Panoply)  program teaches arrest and control maneuvers for all levels of physical resistance and aggression. With a primary focus on techniques for UNARMED police combat, L.O.C.K.U.P.®, developed with over 60 years of combined law enforcement and martial arts training, combines dynamic arrest and control tactics with basic fighting skills and applications. The result is that police, security and military personnel can better  protect themselves and the public they are sworn to serve.L.O.C.K.U.P. ® teaches reliable and retainable empty-hand maneuvers that can be effectively deployed by trained personnel during violent physical altercations. It adapts specific fighting maneuvers to fit an officer’s physical and physiological change during these altercations, thus maximizing effectiveness of the combative movements. Incorporating numerous police combat concepts, techniques and maneuvers, L.O.C.K.U.P. ® is not based on any one martial art or fighting system. It is designed specifically for law enforcement to meet the needs for today’s “officer on the street” who receives limited training, wears restrictive uniforms and body armor, and is bound by laws, regulations and ethical values. - See more at: http://www.policecombat.com/sample-page/#sthash.ezl843f2.dpuf
Lieutenant Kevin Dillon (Ret) 
is a twenty-five year veteran law enforcement officer, retired from the Wethersfield CT Police Department, a suburb of the state’s capitol of Hartford, CT after serving as the Detective Bureau Commander for the past three years.  Lieutenant Dillon also has commanded the department’s patrol division and served as training supervisor. As a  SWAT team member since 1993, he served as an operator, Team Leader and Commander of the regional thirty-five member SWAT team (Capitol Region Emergency Services Team.) and remains a consultant with the team. 

Lieutenant Dillon is a National Academy graduate of the F.B.I.  session 223. He has also received certification from Force Science Institute in Analysis in Use of Force incidents.

Friday, July 19, 2013

For Your Consideration: Police Chief David Couper

About a year ago in my guest book I received a heads up on the work that Ret. Police Chief Couper is doing.  Looking into it, I see a fellow believer in Christ, a believer in higher education to obtained by law enforcement officers to be utilized within our profession and a passion to raise a great institution to even greater heights.

He has been the Chief of the Madison WI with a 20 year law enforcement background and now is ordained into the ministry in the Episcopal Church and serves at St. Peter's in North Lake WI.

His work is something worth checking out for anyone in our field, thinking about entering our field or just curious about law enforcement and its continued striving toward improvement.  I hope he keeps up the good work.

His Blog Improving Police

His Book Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption, and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation's Police

And an interview with him:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Miguel Trevino Morales - We got another cartel member

Miguel Trevino Morales "40"
American Justice can be slow but it has perseverance.  I have said this before but the war on the Mexican Drug Cartels is very similar to the war on the Colombian drug cartels in the 80's.  The following is an article from the Washington Times about "40"- Miguel Morales.

 Link to the article http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/16/los-zetas-drug-cartel-boss-trevino-morales-capture/?page=all#pagebreak it is by Jerry Seper

Los Zetas’ drug cartel boss, Trevino Morales, captured in Nuevo Laredo near border

The notoriously violent leader of the Mexico-based drug cartel known as Los Zetas, whose bloodletting and butchery had become its trademark, was captured Monday by Mexican marines near the border city of Nuevo Laredo, intercepted in a pickup truck containing more than $2 million in cash.

Miguel Trevino Morales, 40, was taken into custody in a pre-dawn raid along a dirt road when a marine helicopter halted the truck just outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which has long been the headquarters of Los Zetas.
Trevino Morales, also known as “Zeta 40,” was arrested with two companions, a bodyguard and an accountant, and Mexican authorities seized eight weapons from the vehicle, according to Mexican government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez.

In a statement, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration congratulated the Mexican government on the Trevino Morales arrest, noting that the drug boss had been wanted for years.

“His ruthless leadership has now come to an end,” the DEA said. “Thanks to the brave men and women of the Government of Mexico, Trevino Morales will now be held accountable for his alleged crimes.”

The statement described Trevino Morales as of one of the “most significant Mexican cartel leaders to be apprehended in several years” and pledged to continue to support the Mexican government “as it forges ahead in disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations.”

Recent law enforcement intelligence bulletins said Los Zetas had expanded its operations into the U.S., recruiting American prison and street gangs, and non-Mexicans, for its drug trafficking operations in Mexico and the U.S.
An FBI intelligence bulletin noted that “multiple sources” reported the shift in Los Zetas recruiting. The cartel sought to maintain a highly disciplined and structured hierarchy by recruiting members with specialized training, such as former military and law enforcement officers.

Trevino Morales is fluent in Spanish and English, and had established what U.S. authorities described as criminal contacts on both sides of the border.
The expansion of Los Zetas operations across the southwestern border has long been a concern of U.S. authorities. Trained as an elite band of Mexican anti-drug commandos, Los Zetas evolved into mercenaries for the infamous Gulf Cartel, unleashing a wave of brutality in Mexico’s drug wars.

Violence continues to be Los Zetas’ trademark.

“See. Hear. Shut up, if you want to stay alive,” read a note written in block letters on blood-splattered poster board after a December 2009 killing spree in the border town of Reynosa, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas.
Los Zetas has used beheadings and dismemberments to punish rivals or betrayers, establish turf, terrorize citizens against testifying and press political leaders to collaborate. Many of the gang’s targets have been Mexican military and police personnel, but U.S. law enforcement authorities also have come under attack.

As early as 2008, the FBI warned U.S. authorities that Los Zetas was attempting to gain control of drug routes into America and had ordered its members to use violence against U.S. law enforcement officers to protect their operations.
Los Zetas also has pushed its way into legal and illegal businesses by killing, kidnapping or extorting those in control. According to U.S. law enforcement and intelligence reports, gang members use their massive supply of weapons and high-tech equipment to instill fear to take over businesses.

Seeking to grab a larger portion of the $25 billion cocaine, heroin and marijuana market in the United States, Los Zetas is estimated to have between 1,000 and 3,000 hard-core members and 10,000 loyalists across Mexico, Central America and the United States.

A 2009 indictment handed up in federal court in Washington said Trevino Morales was actively involved in managing the activities of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, including the coordination of cocaine and marijuana shipments into the U.S. and the receipt of bulk cash shipments into Mexico from the United States.