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

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Evolution of American Policing

Law Enforcement is very sensitive to public opinion and even more so to civil lawsuits.  The restrictions placed on me in 2010 are triple what they were in 1997 when I started.  Here is a perfect example, the first video is of a fan running on the field at a Phillies game and getting tased.  (An aside, the second a fan touches the field he/she has committed a crime.  The longer you chase someone the higher the chance that the offender does something even more stupid than running on the field and more important the higher chance someone gets hurt.  I was chasing someone and wearing the extra 40 pounds of gear and that caused an injury that cost me 9 months in recovery).  The officer stopped the offender, got him off the field and no one got hurt.

The second video is an Orioles game about a month later. after the blow back from the public that the officer at the Phillies game was just too mean to the fan on the field, so they just let him go on and on till he got tired.

The Police will stop enforcing the laws when all the public cares about is the wellbeing of the criminals and turn into meter maids with guns.  Oh wait isn't the national trend for the last five years showing an ever increasing number of citations issued and an equal lowering of initiated arrests?  That must just be a hitch in the numbers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's a Flood! Well in my basement at least.

Had about 5 inches come into the basement last night.  Spent all day cleaning up.  Learned two things: 1) check the basement if its pouring outside and 2) we have too much clothes...time to give a bunch away once they are clean again.  I wonder if with a little tile I could pass the basement as my new indoor pool.

Jude 1:12
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Three Fallen Brothers

Three of our fallen Chicago Pd brothers, by the hands of others in the last two months. End of tour.  Please be safe out there, each and everyone of you, they are and will take our lives.  Our prayers are with the families they left behind and thoughts go to the promised day when peace is everlasting.

Michael R. Bailey, 62, a 20-year veteran weeks from retirement, was shot a little after 6 a.m. while cleaning his Buick -- a retirement gift to himself -- in the 7400 block of South Evans Avenue, police said.  He had just gotten home and was still in his uniform when as many as three men approached, a source said. Preliminary information indicates Bailey announced he was an officer, and there was an exchange of gunfire between Bailey and at least one of the men, a source said.  The officer's son, who was home at the time, grabbed one of his father's guns and ran outside after he saw his father on the ground, the source said. It was unclear if the son fired any shots at the attackers.  The men fled and were being sought this afternoon, the source said. Three handguns, including one belonging to Bailey and another believed to belong to the assailants, were found at the scene.
Thor Soderberg

Thor Soderberg, 43, a 11-year police veteran.-Before ripping away Chicago police officer Thor Soderberg's handgun and shooting him dead with it, Bryant Brewer, a felon with a long arrest record, inexplicably tried getting inside the last place anyone would expect him to go: a renovated police facility full of cops.  Moments before Soderbergh, an 11-year police veteran, was killed Wednesday, Brewer strolled down 61st Street, screaming and hollering at no one in particular before he tried opening a locked door to the oldEnglewood police station that now serves as a police deployment center, according to a witness.  After Brewer killed the officer, he fired shots at a stranger sitting across the street and then peppered the facade of the police building with gunshots before being shot by responding officers, prosecutors said Friday.

Tom Wortham, 30, 3-year veteran.-Late Wednesday, Wortham became the latest casualty, fatally gunned down in front of his family homejust steps from the basketball courts after four men tried to rob him of a brand-new motorcycle, Chicagopolice said. His father, a retired Chicago police sergeant, witnessed the attack from the front of his home and wielded his own weapon to try to defend his son.  One of the robbers was killed and a suspect was critically injured. A third suspect surrendered to police by late afternoon, and the last was picked up during a traffic stop Thursday evening, sources said.  Wortham was a three-year officer and a first lieutenant in the Army National Guard. He had returned from Iraq in March.
Tom Wortham

Friday, July 16, 2010

Going out of business-The Police Business that is

One of the reasons to go into law enforcement and not the private sector (and I promise you my roommates in college consistently called me in the 90's telling me what they were making and what they were buying and what a dumb ass I was to be a cop.  Further, they had an open offer that when I was done "playing around" I could get a real job through them...What a turn around a bad economy can make in people's thinking, their opinion about my stupid decision has changed 180 degrees but I digress) is the security of the job and the stability of the position, well until the automatons take over.

What I am seeing for the first time ever is towns giving up their police forces or cutting them down to nothing.  Its a good trend for those who survive the purging and go back to "just the facts ma'am" from "oh sweet old lady your lonely let me have a cup of coffee with you and draw up an action plan".  But a troubling trend nevertheless.

Here is a brief summary of towns that have given up their Police departments.

San Luis, Colorado.  Chief and five officers gone.  Sheriff to take over.  Link: http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/article_fe7833bc-8668-11df-afee-001cc4c03286.html

Maywood, California.  41 officers.  Sheriff to take over.  Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/29/news/economy/city_fires_employees/index.htm

Bethel, Maine.  Five officers, Sheriff to take over.  Link:  http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/penny-pinching-towns-put-police-out-to-pasture/19550879

Fallowfield, Pennsylvania.   Five gone, Sheriff to take over.  Link Same As above.

Oakland, California.  80 Officers 10% of force.  Link:   http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/07/13/state/n172707D60.DTL

Etc Etc Etc.

Now I must acknowledge that there is an incredible duplication of services as each of these tiny cities throughout the Unites States fielded their own public services, fire and Police, that economies of scale would have produced better results.  But they have managed to keep their police and fire while cutting everything else.  Now it seems we are now on the block.  It can also be seen with the larger department pairing down their staffs in the hundreds, just look at Chicago Pd, 4,000 down and counting with no end in site.Your neighborhood watch better become armed.

Genesis 47:18
When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, "We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Discipline or rather the lack there of it

Discipline...I am in vast need of a lot more lately.  Since law enforcement is a 24 hour, 7 days a week gig, you can quickly get out of your rhythm with all the different work schedules this job necessitates.   As a result, you tend to stop exercising because you are not hitting the street or the weights at the same time everyday.  Or eating right when you are in your 16th hour and the only thing open is fast food.  Or sleep, one day its bed before ten, the next after two with the corresponding wake up time differentials.  Missing family functions and not being there when the kids get up or go to bed or hit the ballfields etc.  

The only thing I am maintaining is family and church (read attending services) time and that's important but wow am I letting two many other things go because I will not simply force myself to due what must be done regardless of the time of day or work load.

So I am now attempting to, in no particular order:

1.  began running again...5 times a week...right now hitting 3
2.  volunteering with my church or really doing more with what I am volunteering for.
3.  practicing my music
4.  staying in touch with my friends (Jason...Jason...I think I remember someone with that name...)
5.  getting the important chores around the home completed...have a porch to finish and a basketball hoop to put up.
6.  get writing again-to include getting to the blog much more often.
7.  loose 15 pounds...its just got to go
8.  getting my physical and dental checkups done...off by years
9.  get back to school.
10.  drink less beer

There is a reason that veteran cops get heavy, smoke and are divorced...when you let all these things and more go because of your work schedule and duties you turn around and they are not around to recover.

Proverbs 1:2-4

 2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
       for understanding words of insight;
 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
       doing what is right and just and fair;
 4 for giving prudence to the simple,
       knowledge and discretion to the young-


I have been in the field a bunch in the last two weeks in different surveillances. Its primarily spent hunkered down in my car, sitting still watching the target for hours at a time.  I did it again today.  I have not burned any calories or moved any major muscle groups but I am sore and tired as if I had one of the 16 hour days.  I always find it surprising that I am not flying off the walls with excess energy but rather just want to go to bed early.