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

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.
    Guardian
  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 ...
    washingtonmonthly.com





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.

Break-in

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.

Sole

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.

Comfort/Insulation

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.

Aesthetics 

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.

Issues

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.

Recommendation

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


OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR:

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.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Krav Maga Institute something to consider

I ran into the Krav Maga Institute the other day.  One of the issues I have always had with self defense training in Law Enforcement is that it relies on a complicated series of moves that when performed incorrectly brings the officer into greater danger then they had before engaging the offender.  There has been a move in our industry to adopt more real world, ground based fighting techniques that are concerned with real world environments and quick brutal energy conserving offender neutralization.  I have had some training using jiu jitsu techniques and have liked the results.  This Krav Maga seems like something law enforcement officers and training coordinators should look into and consider.  Their Links: Krav Maga Institute-New York Krav Academy - Chicago. The following is a info graphic then sent me for your consideration.  Stay safe out there.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Brian Cain Online, Millennial Cop and Airdrop Tactical

I just had these three sites recommended to me.  A Blog: Brian Cain Online, a podcast: Millennial Cop and an
Brian Cain
a equipment site: Airdrop Tactical.

These are all from Officer Brian Cain.  Brian has served four years with the Marines, a police officer since 2000 and is a Chaplin for his department.

What's not to love about a believer in law enforcement who clearly is industrious.  Plus like my blog his blog also is a Top 50 blog at Criminal Justice Degree Schools.com.

So head over to his sites and check them out!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thought to Think...Agree or Disagree at least its getting the Brain Matter Moving

Do not take this as an endorsement of all/any of the ideas in this.  There is tough language in it.  I just appreciate the honesty of the presentation of it in our time of politically correct speech and the drive to make everyone always happy.  The comedian that is speaking in this is the now deceased Greg Giraldo.  I noticed that he is not using the pronoun "you" but he almost always uses "we".  His act has always struck me as an exercise of exorcising personal demons.  His Wikipedia Link




Friday, April 26, 2013

Simple Take on Gun Control

Law enforcement, on whatever level you choose to address, has always been very ineffective in the control or banishment of any type of item or substance.

Heroin has been banned since 1924.

Cocaine has been prescription only since 1914.

Until this decade cannabis has not been legal to ingest.

Don't forget prohibition.

Immigration control is nonexistent.

Not one of the proposed new gun measures would have prevented any of the recent mass killings.

Every time a new law is enacted it requires both time and money. There is a limited supply of both, so the even "saves one child that argument" does not stand. Since there is a limit to both time and money using it inefficiently takes resources from positive and successful measures and wastes them on ineffective program. Basically creating two sets of victims.

Without exception the gun violence rates for cities in America with tight gun control are significantly higher than the ones that do not.

The highest penalties in American juris prudence is for murder. If that does not stop these evil actors why would lesser penalties deter?

Finally we are at least five minutes away if you can get to a phone or someone hears you scream, why should you not have the right to protect your life after someone else has decided to take it.

I understand the need and drive of people to seek instant solutions in the wake of tragedy but the real issue is not the object but the actor. Until we address the real issue of mental illness, nothing done to control objects will have any affect at all.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Asset: Arrest, Search and Seizure Electronic Tool

The Asset: Arrest, Search and Seizure Electronic Tool was just brought to my attention.  It is a creation of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Government (first I have heard of them too).  I dropped it into my phone and I have to say I am impressed.  What this app delivers to the cell phone that is with me at all times, its equivalent in book form is filling half of my "go-bag".

Here is what I like:

1.  Portability-My reference material is stowed in my squad, which is usually far away from the call.  When a question of law arises and my backup is as befuddled as I am, someone has to stay behind while the other marches to the car and attempts to find the answer.  An Officer safety problem in all circumstances.  This app allows two of us to remain on scene to continue aiding each other.

2.  Liability-look at this app's name.  This is where you are going to get sued if you make the wrong call...just by having this on your person adds one more line to your due diligence law suit response section.

3.  Speed-this app's interface is simple and direct.  I can quibble with the long narrative sections once you hit the particular problem you are facing.  I have dropped similar long passages into my reports to justify my actions.  What I could recommend to improve this tool would be to bullet point, lets say duration with "Must be brief and accomplish only what you have suspicion of..." then click on that to get the full explication.  But this change would save, oh, about thirty seconds.

4.  Utilizing existing technology.     Most law enforcement tools are common everyday ware that is painted matte black and tripled charged.  This is using a smart phone 99% of us already have and making it useful for something other than killing time between traffic stops.

5.  It's free and not even a free trail edition.  My three years of no pay increases really make this a great feature.

6.  Updates.  I can not tell you how many times non-current information has risen up and bit me as a police officer.  Just last week I realized that they changed the statute numbers for retail theft...caught it just in time but had that gone to court it would not have been fatal but certainly embarrassing.  The stuff defense attorneys LOVE.

7.  Citations:  Peppered through they have the case law that led to the procedures that are in place.  There are reasons for everything even if the courts are just making them up as they go along.

The downside

Its primary focus is that state of North Carolina (no surprise there)...while there are many similarities, there are some differences I found that would not be the same for us here in the Midwest...since it would only require small changes here and there...I am hoping they have future plans for a state by state version.  When they do I certainly will be using it.

If this is what is coming from this UNC program I certainly applaud them for it and look forward to seeing what else they produce.

Links: UNC Asset App Link  I-Tunes Preview of ASSET: Arrest, Search, and Seizure Electronic Tool

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting

As I am waiting for my wife to come out of a medical procedure I am reminded about when I first became a TFO with the Feds and went on my first couple of surveillances.

As a patrol officer everything is quick, you stabilize the scene, make sure everything is safe and stays safe, get everyone off the road or out of the house, write a quick report and go 10-8. If the case would take longer than a shift, or goes out of town or had complexity it would just be shipped to the investigators.

So when I was on my first surveillance we followed the guys right to the deal, the deal was made and we followed them away. I, while driving, threw on the full gear and got ready and waited for the take down. I waited, and waited and waited. After we had followed them for another six hours I broke for the post surveillance meet geared up. I was meet with quizzical looks and soon after derision. We ended up following those two guys for another three weeks before there was a bust signal. Those first months I was just crawling out of my skin sitting in my car waiting for something to happen and waiting for something to do. Then no matter what, I had paperwork that would take days, weeks, in one case, years, to complete. It was a culture shock.

The funny part, is when I first came back to patrol I keep saying, "what's all the hurry?"

So here I sit waiting again, somewhere between the zen of an TFO and the impatience of a patrolman waiting for the surgeon to stop cutting on my wife. Funny where a worried mind takes you.

Picture Credit: http://www.apuregeneration.com/blog/what-are-we-waiting-for/3763

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rest

On a much needed vacation into the great southwest.  Throughout the Bible there is a theme of hard work followed by rest.  Started in creation with The Lord creating for six days and resting on the seventh and placed as a mandatory work week for the Israelites.  You then factor in all the time off they took for festivals, holidays and the like and you get a number of rest days throughout the year.

Police Officers tend to come in two flavors when it comes to the idea of work and rest.  The first is always at work.  The 80 hr a week guy.  The someday the spouse is going to make the calculation that he/she can have all your money and none of your time or half of your money and all of someone else's time.

The second is the vacation bank at zero guy.  The 35 hr a week guy.  The counting days till he/she can burn a sick/return/vacation/holiday guy.  The why did you ever pick this job because you hate it so much guy.  The selling real estate off his/her cell phone in the squad guy.

I have been both of those guys throughout my career and I have to say both have significant downsides.  The blend of rest and work is always the best way to go.  Strange how that Bible thing keeps saying to do what is best for all of us.


Genesis 2:2

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Repost from great Blog: Adoro te Devote

This blog post just came to my attention from the Blog: Adoro te Devote called: Police, Justice, Saints

See it and read the rest of the posts here: Link to Orginial Post and The Blog Itself




The most common encounter with the Police, for most people, is either because something bad happened to them, such as a burglary or car accident or some other thing, or, perhaps, a traffic stop, better known as “being pulled over."

Has this ever happened to you?

How did you react?

Did you curse or maybe even go so far as to swear (take the Lord’s name in vain)? Did you break into a sweat, feel your blood pressure increase, hear your own heart beating in your ears without benefit of a stethoscope? (As an aside…did you identify any heart problems in that experience?)

Most importantly, did you harbor resentment against the cop who had the audacity to stop you?

Think about it, and after reading this post, think about it even harder.

Last Sunday when heading back to Minnesota from my short hiatus in Wisconsin, I was driving happily along the freeway, enjoying the fall colors, creeping past a few cars, always mindful of my speed, especially since Wisconsin and Minnesota do not have reciprocity.

Then I happened to see, in a flash, the blue car with the white stripe sitting in the median.

Whenever I see a squad car, I check my speedometer and usually see I am fine. That day, I saw that I was doing something around 80 in a 65.

Crap!

I hit the brakes immediately; only an arrogant idiot continues in his bad behavior as he encounters an authority figure. Looking into the air and whistling, for some reason, just doesn't seem to be effective while driving.

I watched in the rear-view mirror as the dreaded Wisconsin State Patrol car pulled out of its spot and accelerated, knowing darn well that it was because I was the idiot that cop was after.

Carefully, when I could, even though I hadn’t yet seen the lights, I moved into the right lane, and, still watching, saw immediately when that terrible Car of Judgment changed into my lane, following me. I knew what that cop was doing in preparation for the stop and I knew that it was over.

When I saw the lights come on, I was happy to see that we were approaching a rest stop, and although it had not been my plan to rest there, I took the exit and pulled over, thinking about the safety of the State Trooper who was stopping me.

My idiocy and inattention to my speed had put that cop in danger; I was glad for the opportunity to minimize it as much as possible while still stopping obediently without causing that unknown cop any additional stress.

Traffic stops are stressful enough.

I know; I’ve been there. I HATED freeway stops. In my department we walked up on the passenger side where we could, but all too often, the offender, in doing what he was taught, pulled up tight against the median or sound barrier in order to be out of traffic. That meant that I, as the Offending Police Officer, had to hang my authoritative rear end out into 65 mph freeway traffic, and God (as well as all cops know), drivers are oddly attracted to light.

Traffic stops are what kill most cops, y’all. It’s not Hollywood’s version of shootouts or cop show’s depiction of dangerous people who are stopped. Simply put, it is average people doing stupid things that force the police by necessity to be placed in a dangerous position that leads them into being killed.

Think about that and think about it hard the next time you complain you are stopped.

If that cop stops you and is hit by someone else, it’s YOUR FAULT. Period. Deal with it.

Were it not for your own breakage of the law, that cop would not have been standing there talking to you about the dumb thing you did to cause him or her to be standing there. And therefore, he or she would not be present in that location to be taken out by a drunk, or a driver even less inattentive than you, etc.

I’m sorry, I’ve been digressing. We were talking about ME weren't we?

Yeah. Me. The Offender.

I pulled over, finding that my cousin’s instruction on my cop-status-even-after-leaving-law-enforcement still remains: once a cop, always a cop. While I greatly cared about my own problem of, well, quite honestly, either paying for a ticket I couldn’t afford on the spot, or going to jail if I couldn’t or didn’t have the proper information, it was more important to me that the officer who was stopping me not be killed in doing so.

Yeah, my cousin (God rest his soul) was right. That training in stopping and being stopped really changes those who experience it. His observation, as I have now learned, goes far deeper than mere training; it goes all the way to deep respect and a true desire for the good of the other, if we are to become philosophical about this.

I also have to say that, even further, when you’ve broken the law, you know it, and you KNOW when what is happening to you is Justice.

As I waited for that Officer to approach my window, I thought hard about Justice. I knew I was caught breaking the law. It didn’t matter that I had not intended to hit such a speed. The fact was that I had not realized I was going so fast, and only that Squad had made me look, at that moment, at my speedometer. Yes, this traffic stop was objectively Just: I was breaking Wisconsin Law, and I was going to pay for it.

I watched to see how the officer would approach. She was coming up on the right (shoulder) so I closed my left window (to block traffic noise), opening the right one, my driver’s license already in hand.

She bent down and said to me, “You know I got you speeding.”

"Yeah.”

I was resigned to my fate already, wondering how I was going to pay this fine without going to jail.

I handed her my license and realized I was an idiot for not also having my insurance out, for which she had to ask. As I dug through my purse pocket, I found old insurance cards and began to panic. Was it even POSSIBLE that I did not put my current insurance in my purse??

I’d CITED people for having no insurance for that very failure!

As I, in growing panic, went through thing after thing in that pocket, my hands beginning to shake, I envisioned my car being towed in one direction while I, in handcuffs, went in another to await court the next day.

My friends, speaking as a former cop, even the most strict of MN cops did not recognize WI cops for being merciful. I’m sure they had the same opinion of us, all because of reciprocity laws.

The law is what it is. We were servants of that law....as was the Trooper at my window.

Thankfully I found my insurance card and handed it over. Then she asked me for Registration.

For those who don’t know, in Minnesota, this is sent to you by the State when it is time to purchase your tabs. There is something that is noted as a “cab card”, and that is your Registration. To be safe, when you purchase your Tabs, take everything the State sends you and keep it in your glove box to prove your Registration. Anyone can see your Tabs on your plate, but the Registration has a bit more info and is easier for a cop to see if they have to stop you when you do something dumb.

I knew mine was in my glove box…somewhere. I told her verbally where it was, knowing what it is like to stand outside that window. She gave me permission to open my glove box, and I let her get a good view before I reached into it.

I also had to tell her that I was removing my seat belt in order to better access the contents. (I did NOT need a seat-belt ticket added on to what I was certain to be paying!). She told me that was fine.

Great. I paged through a whole bunch of crap I didn’t even realize was in my glove box and couldn’t find the document. My hands were shaking, I had already said to myself, “I was IN law enforcement…I know better than this…!” (I think she heard this although I meant only to be berating myself! *embarrassing*!)

Finally she said, “That’s fine. Does your car come back to you?”

“Yes. I am the only owner, everything is current.”

I’ll never forget what she said next: “I’m only going to write you a warning today. Stay in your car and I’ll be back."

I sat back, amazed.

I am the first person I know of from Minnesota who has EVER been let go with a warning from the Wisconsin State Patrol.

She would have been well-justified in writing me a ticket, which she told me when she came back, started at $200.

I don’t know why she let me go. Had I been stopping me, I am not at all sure that I would have been so merciful. 80 in a 65 ISN'T small potatoes! That’s speeding in any state, no matter what the law. ONE mph over the limit is an objective breakage of the law.

I was over by about 15 mph.

She handed me the Warning, my license and insurance, reminded me to keep it to 65, and told me to be safe. I told her the same.

As I drove off, I pulled out my rosary and I prayed it in both thanksgiving for this great mercy, and I prayed it for the Trooper in both reparation and for her safety.

I screwed up, she caught me, and because of my actions, I put her in danger.

Don’t comment below and say that by being a Trooper she takes that risk; that’s quite obvious and actually is a really stupid comment. She doesn't go into business to ask YOU to put her in danger!

The fact is this: you and I, when we break the law, whether frivolously by mistake or intentionally out of arrogance, we both put the officer who is bound to do his or her job, in serious danger.

Danger that would not exist for them were it not for our personal actions.

If you are one of those who were ever stopped for a traffic or other offense, how did you react?

Were you arrogant? Angry? Did you wonder why they weren't stopping "REAL CRIMINALS"?

If you have broken the law, i.e., committed a crime, it means you are a criminal!Suck it up and admit it, and if you are truly a good citizen, realize that your own actions have placed another human being in danger.

If that cop died while stopping you, you’d live with that for the rest of your life.

So don’t let it happen. Ever.

If you don’t want to watch your speed for your own sake, even if you think it’s nothing to pay a ticket here and there, then think about the cop who might die just to inform you that you’re doing something stupid and should probably slow down before you kill someone.

I don’t personally know the cop who stopped me, and even if she had written me a ticket and made me pay on the spot or, had I not had documentation I legally must carry, had taken me to jail, this post would not change. (Well, it might be more interesting if she had arrested me and taken me to jail...)

But I still want to apologize to her for putting her in danger, and for that matter, the county Deputy who stopped me a few years ago when I missed a 40 mph sign in a speed trap. He was in even MORE danger because, after all, the roads were slippery and he didn’t have the buffer zone of being on an exit ramp.

I don’t know why the WI State Trooper let me go, but I do know this: I want her action to bear fruit. I want to remind people, in the name of the Wisconsin State Patrol, to keep an eye on your speed, not just for yourselves, but because of all the police officers who are willing to put themselves at risk so that others might not be killed by your stupid actions.

I took the lesson and hope it remains with me. As a cop I made traffic stops I intended to be “educative” to the driver.I am grateful to be the one receiving the education and know full well that should I breech the law again, I will not be granted another mercy.

Pray for the Police, every day. Pray for their safety, for their families who wait for them to come home at the end of their shift. Then thank God for them, for were it not for our law enforcement officers, we’d all be living in chaos.

When I was sworn in, my Mom gave me a medal, which she’d had blessed, of St. Michael the Archangel.(I don’t have it anymore as after I left, I gave it to another aspiring police officer. I also used to pray Psalm 190 every day before I went to work.

September 29 was the Feast of the Archangels, October 1st is the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Patron of Missionaries, and October 2nd is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. If Police Officers, everwhere, don’t fit into those categories (including missionary) I don’t know who does!

Please offer your prayers for those men and women who live among you, those you view with dread in your rearview mirror, and those you call 911 for when you are in need of help. Asd the intercession, for them, of the Archangels, of St. Therese, and of the Guardian Angels, for their own protection and for their ability and vocation (small “v”) to protect

And please, in your charity, pray especially for MN State Trooper, Officer Ted Foss, who was killed in a traffic stop. He was the husband of a friend and professional reference and the reason we, by law if not by common sense, pull into the opposite lane in MN if we see a squad car responding to an incident on the side of the road, be it traffic stop or accident or mere assistance to someone in need of help.





St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;

and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -

by the Divine Power of God -

cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,

who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen

Posted by Adoro at Friday, October 01, 2010

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thrift Shop by macklenmore and ryan lewis

I don't know why but I love this song.

Thought it was cool since there was no official clean radio edit video these guys (Director: Ethan Burch Directors of Photography: TJ Clounie, Matt Shouse)...did their own enjoy.




Maybe there is a little to much of me in this to not like it...

Sygyzy

Excellent article to read

Juli Adcock, a frequent commenter on this blog has written an article on Law Enforcement Today entitled, "Chris Dorner No Excuses". It's worth the read.















Sygyzy

Monday, March 11, 2013

In Memory of the Fallen

It totally rankles me that in our society we publish the heck out of the agents of evil and the victims quickly fade from view, remembered only by the friends and family they left behind.  I can't name one of the victims of  jeffrey dahmer, ted bundy or david berkowitz (son of sam), just to name a few.  The only one I could come up with was Sharon Tate in the manson murders.

So in an effort to keep the memory of the victims of that ex-LAPD psychopath, justly fired, alive over his memory, as much as this blog can, here are their names.




Police Officer Michael Crain
Riverside Police Department, California
End of Watch: Thursday, February 7, 2013

His Officer Down Memorial Page Link






A fund was set up for anyone wishing to make a donation to Crain's family.

Checks can be mailed to:
Riverside Police Officers Association Assistance Fund (RPOA)
1965 Chicago Ave., Suite B
Riverside, CA 92507





Detective Jeremiah MacKay
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, California
End of Watch: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

His Officer Down Page Link






A memorial fund has been established for the MacKay family.
To contribute: Detective Jeremiah MacKay Memorial Fund, c/o SEBA, Attn: Ellen Monsalve, 735 E. Carnegie Drive, Suite 125, San Bernardino 92408.





Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence

They passed together as they were going to go through life on February 3, 2013.

In memory of the couple and to continue their legacy, the Quan and Lawrence families have established the Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence Girls Basketball Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit www.leaap.org or email lapdleaap@gmail.com.
www.leaap.org (Link)

Our prayers are with their family, friends and co-workers.

*uncapitalized names done purposefully because to capitalize them would show a sign of respect they certainly do not deserve.


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
― Mahatma Gandhi


Psalm 37:9
For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

sygyzy







Monday, February 11, 2013

Humor in the Locker Room

Police Humor is.........................silly
Police Humor is also a little.........rough




It is the end of the week for my shift key, the end of the duty day and there were three of us left in the locker room.  My two shift mates are in the first bay and I am alone in the second.  As we are all ripping off our gear and uniforms, the quickest way possible to get our days off time maximized, a conversation springs up between the two officers about their family plans for the weekend.  This rolls on for a little while and when it has run its course, they feel the social obligation to ask me the same question they had asked each other.

So I share with them that my two children will both be out of town at different winter camps for the weekend, making it a date night for my wife and I.  One of the two asked me for the names of the camps and I informed them that it is through my church, Harvest, for both kids.  Officers are never one to miss the opportunity for a pun and so I am asked, "So what, they are heading out to gather some corn?"

I respond, "No that's a common misnomer, what they actually do is head out into the night and harvest organs from unsuspecting citizens from different towns, pack them in ice and place them into their bathtubs with a phone on their chest with a note to call 911 as soon as they wake up.  It's what we do to fund raise.  The irony is that our biggest market for our organs is India for people missing their organs that had this happen to them and their parts shipped here.  It's the circle of life."

Then one of the two said, "Look all I was trying to do is make a simple joke about harvesting grain because of your church's name and instead I got a run down of your whole weekend."  By this time I had completed my change over to civilian clothing and walked over to their bay.  Challenged by his comment, I started breaking down my entire weekend minute by minute.

The first responded by saying, "bye, thanks, have a good weekend", and with his pants unzipped and unbuttoned hopped out of the room trying to move and get his boot on simultaneously   I followed the other one out into the hall still breaking down the weekend when he suddenly put his fingers in his ears, started transitioning between humming and yelling, "I cant hear you!".  Then with fingers in place and maintaining his humming and shouting, he sprinted up the stairs and past the roll call in progress, looking for all the world like a ten year old that doesn't want the secret revealed.

I simply got to walk to my personal car with a grin on my face.


Exodus 12:9
Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs.