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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Its been busy

I try to get at least one post a week and hopefully find time for two, but this week would not allow this. The week consisted of getting up in the early morning and coming back in the early morning so I was a little long in getting a post up. In the next day or two I will do a regular post but until then enjoy this.

Ex-con allegedly targets cops for robberyNew York | July 23, 2007 12:01:13 AM IST

An ex-con allegedly tried to rob two people in New York, police said, but didn't notice his intended victims were police officers -- in uniform.

Police said 33-year-old Jermaine Washington allegedly was so intent on robbing someone Saturday that he pulled a fake handgun on the two armed police officers as they walked through Riverside Park, The New York Daily News said Sunday.

It was stupid criminal tricks, a police source said. The guy didn't even look to see who was coming.

After Washington allegedly pulled his fake gun, the two officers drew their real weapons and Washington surrendered after a short but tense standoff.

Job Security is a great thing in these tough economic times.

Proverbs 14:7
Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Coming up Empty

Our team recently completed a project and while arrests were made and a small amount of narcotics were recovered, for all intents and purposes, we came up empty in this investigation. Sometimes you just strike at the wrong time. In this case we slowed them down but did not knock them out.

Logically, this has frustrated the case agent, the team and me. Primarily because of the time spent here when other cases that could have garnered better results were temporally sidelined (looking back is always done with perfect vision). But I was struck by the swing of emotions that I went through in about ten minutes. There was the thrill of the take down, the panic when we realized that what we thought would be there was not, the rush of anger as we scrambled to the new locations and the frustration when we struck out.

This reminded me of variable-ratio conditioning. This is the mechanism that get people addicted to slot machines. The payoffs are random and could yield different outcomes (1 coin on the second pull, 15 coins on the 14th pull). It is considered the best way to have an animal (or man) conditioned to repeat an action for the longest amount of time. IE he/she will pull on the lever of the slot machine as many times as it will take as long as they believe that the next pull could yield the reward.

This is very similar to what any Police Officer experiences when they go out on patrol. You could score the big incident (bank robbery) or medium incident (major traffic accident) or low incident(telephone harassment-the bane of many a police officer) or nothing at all.

This would suggest that the nature of Police work could have an addictive quality to it. This could explain why so many officers prioritize this job over everything else (our 75% divorce rate is an example of this).

Is Police work addictive? I will have to figure this out...well once I get back from my double shift at work.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Recently, we began a project that has both built in time constraints and is very surveillance heavy. So I have spent the last four days sitting in a car making sure my head is not above the window line for thirteen hours at a time.

A long time ago, the bad guys started watching for cars sitting around where they were "working" that would routinely come and go (Det. eating, going the bathroom etc). If the drug dealers saw this pattern, they would quickly shut down and disappear. In order to counter, their counter surveillance, we arrive in the early morning and stay, in basically one place, until night fall.

This week was the first week I have had of multiple stints of this type of surveillance. I can not remember when I have been this sore. Everything hurts and not like the R.E.M. song. I am still trying to figure out why after doing nothing for thirteen hours, it feels like I have been digging a ditch for those same thirteen hours. Plus, you have not lived till you have to create a bathroom schedule and pack three lunches keeping in mind that your food will be staying with you the whole time (I will not make a salami sandwich again...at the end my car smelled like a dumpster in the back of an Italian deli).

I did not think it was possible but I ran out of food, reading materials, people to talk to on the phone and people to send text messages. I have realized that I could never be a monk, I simply do not want to sent that much time with myself.

Anyway when you see surveillance on television or in movies, they have space, the bad guys show up quickly with their intentions clear and the protagonists do not smell of rotting sandwiches. I wanted to provide a slice of reality and I hope that my next assignment does not find me sitting in a cardboard box next to a warehouse (its been done).

Joel 2:20
"I will drive the northern army far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land, with its front columns going into the eastern sea and those in the rear into the western sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise." Surely he has done great things.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Second set of operating verses

I have long used Romans 13:1-5 as operating verses of my work for the Lord in law enforcement. Again this year I am going through the, year through the Bible, style Bible study, and discovered these verses at the beginning of May that will now operate as my second set of verses of Biblical wisdom to govern me in my work and in my life. You got to love the Cop verses, especially verse 8.

Psalm 101
A psalm of David.
1 I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride.
6 I will search for faithful people
to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the Lord from their grip.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I think I like this for all the wrong reasons

Professionally this hits home...well if home is a card board cut out of a house that your were tricked into buying.