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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Police as victims

I ran into this article in the USA Today the other day.  Link http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-01-26-copshootings26_ST_N.htm

I believe it is needed. I always find it interesting that the Officer that is injured or murdered is always perceived to have a share of the blame for their injury or death (see paragraph 2 of following article). What happens to victim's rights when the Police are the victims? Where is the outrage? If the victims were not Police, there would be a number of people screaming in the press about blaming the victims.

Maybe it would be better to study the criminals that committed these crimes against these Officers to see if their behavior is the pattern and not ours. I have a couple of ideas on why this is happening but will wait for this study to come out to see if I am on the right track. Further in my experiences the violent attacks on Police is not the only thing on the up swing but I bet you will find more "obstructing justice" "resisting arrests" charges and non-life threatening injuries to police then ever before. They do not get the same press but it will show that while crime itself is still going down or at least staying at the same level, these incidents have been rapidly increasing.

The Article

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is preparing to review a rash of deadly attacks on police following the fatal shootings of 10 officers since Jan. 1.

Bernard Melekian, the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services director, said analysts would study whether deficits in training, resources or officer behavior may have contributed to a troubling series of violent attacks in at least five states.

"I think it is too early to tell if there is an underlying theme here," Melekian said Tuesday. "The fact is that police work is an inherently dangerous business; very often you don't know where the danger is coming from."

The Justice review comes after two officers were shot to death in St. Petersburg, Fla., Monday while police in Miami were mourning the murders of two officers there.

POLICE: 2 Fla. officers slain, suspect dead

"I have never seen anything like it," said Craig Floyd, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which closely tracks officer deaths. "We must do everything in our power to stop these senseless and heinous crimes against our law enforcement personnel," he said in a statement.

The January shootings follow a year in which overall police deaths increased 40% from 2009, including a 20% spike in the number killed by gunfire.

Less than a week before the end of the month, the 10 firearm-related police deaths mark the third-highest January total in the past 20 years, according to the police memorial fund.

"Coming off 2010, my gracious, it's a really bad way to start a new year," said Mark Marshall, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Marshall, the police chief in Smithfield, Va., said the association is just beginning to assemble a national database, tracking assaults on police that result in serious injury and death.

The database, part of the Center for the Prevention of Violence Against the Police, will be used to help determine whether new training or resources are needed to better deal with violent confrontations.

"Clearly, there must be some common denominators out there," Marshall said. "If we can identify some of them, we can do some good, even if it means one less officer is killed. This is of great concern to us."

In recent years, police officials, including former Miami police chief John Timoney, have identified several factors contributing to the violence. Among them:

•More desperate offenders who are increasingly willing to target police.
•Officers' inconsistent use of body armor. Some, including the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, have suggested that up to half of all police do not wear armor regularly.
•Offenders' access to high-caliber weapons.

"In some of these recent shootings in St. Petersburg, Miami and Detroit, it seems like these people were ready and willing (to target police)," Marshall said.

Four officers were wounded Sunday in Detroit when a gunman entered a neighborhood police precinct station and opened fire.

DETROIT: Police ID gunman who shot 4 officers at precinct

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement think tank, said many of the violent encounters have pitted police against high-risk offenders being sought by police in more focused efforts to combat crime in their communities.

"In these high-risk encounters, we need to take a hard look at how police are approaching these situations," Wexler said.

In the Detroit attack, officers barely had a chance to respond. Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said the gunman, Lamar Moore, entered the station at 4:25 p.m. and began blasting away with a shotgun.

Two of the four wounded officers remain hospitalized. Moore, the subject of a sex crime investigation at the time, was killed in an exchange of gunfire.

In the aftermath of the attack, Stephens said metal detectors and or officer-screeners have been positioned at the entrances to all nine police buildings in the city as a precaution.

"We really don't know (what drove Moore to attack)," Stephens said.

Melekian said he hopes the Justice Department review of the shootings will be instructive.

"We'd like to produce a document about what occurred that addresses the issues of training, equipment and the state of mind of the officers," Melekian said.

"A lot of what happens is in the hands of the suspect. As an officer, you don't know who you've talked to today who could have killed you but decided not to."

Exodus 20:13

You shall not murder.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Event Part 2

I know that no one cares, but in the spirit of the look at me culture that America is turning into where fame is based not on accomplishment but on notoriety, I give you another random event.

Last Wednesday while I was at the Dupage Airport I ran into Bruce Weber, the head basketball coach for the University of Illinois.  He had on an orange sweater and everything.  Nice guy, he posed for a picture with one of the random workers at the airport with no hesitation and with a smile.


Just a random event.

Just road the elevator with Fox news reporter Larry Yellen and his cameraman on their way to cover some more Chicago board of election briefing about the order to keep Rahm Emanuel on the ballet even though he has been declared a "non-resident" by the appeals panel.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

BEARS and packers...Go Bears

The key to the game. 

If the packers defensive front three can put pressure on Cutler and make him move around they will win.  If the BEARS offensive line can hold up and force the packers to use different blitz packages to put pressure on Cutler then the BEARS win.

Prediction:  BEARS by 10.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What you say...hurts.

One of the mysteries that is attached to my wife, is how can such a beautiful, smart, funny, loving, fun and artful woman be so insecure about herself.  My wife's self evaluation about anything that she has accomplished boarders on self-loathing to the point of self deception about her true talents and abilities.  (I do have to note that when I first met her back when she was 14 years old she was much more extreme than now, nearly three decades later.  We are all works in progress and she is mastering this hurtle as time and success is mellowing her negative insights.)

I have always wondered about the genesis of this problem.  She came from an intact family with plenty of positive interactions for most of her life and when there was a family crisis or problem to solve she was assigned the task above her other two sisters and she got it solved.  There is no negative school history or an issue that she has failed to overcome to lower her perceived self value. Her parents were not hypercritical.  There has been no negative traumatic event or a foundation of unresolved guilt.

But something that happened the other day has enlightened me on how she became to have this self image.  It is an example, though minor in nature, that provides an insight on what probably has been happening to her since the beginning and started her on this path.

She was asked to give a short speech about her mother at her mother's birthday party that was to be given after her older sister's speech but before her younger sister's speech (crazy that organizational method).  This being a milestone birthday for her mother, a hall had been rented and a large number of guests had been invited.  My wife agonized over this speech and still could not come up with a topic or structure even days before the event, other than to express the desire to anyone within earshot that she would rather be driven through a bed of broken glass then give this speech.  But when the time came she knocked it out of the park, she got genuine laughs, kept it clean and precise and basically made a great speech about her love and respect she had for her mother.  When she returned to our table, everyone at our table complimented her on the speech and I told her she hit a home run.  Her younger sister then went up and gave a muddled "look at me speech" and then sat down.  At this point her father got up and started his speech by saying, "Well you all know who the public speaker in the family is",  and nodded to my wife's younger sister.  Immediately my wife's face sagged and she just quietly put her note cards away.  I, as is usually the case, made matters worse when I said with some bitterness, "I guess you shouldn't of wasted everyone time, with your poor public speech".  Then everyone at the table, including me, told her she had the best speech and not to worry about what had just been said.  My wife responded that it was fine, she was not angry and had not expected anything different.

Here is the lesson I learned from this admittedly minor, but painful occurrence.  Words hurt.  I have always tended to shoot from the hip, say what I want and not care how anyone took it or who I hurt.  Now, being a father and trying to raise my children in a Godly home I now see that I need to make sure my words are a positive influence on my children and not seeds of future injury.  My wife's father was not trying to make my wife feel bad or even make an evaluation about her speech but his poorly chosen words and the fact that he did not address his other two children's speeches like he did the third, created a situation where my wife's old wounds were opened again.  I even believe that if he read this blog entry he would immediately call my wife and apologize and try to make it better (unfortunately that horse has long been let out of the barn) for something that he said that he had never intended to hurt her.  But his words supported how she felt about her performance and all of our table praise could not change it nor his apologizes.  It was just another cut in an already begun ritual of the death of a thousand cuts.

This is an area that I have always been challenged with and my big mouth has gotten me into more trouble than a flaming rat at a fireworks factory, but it took a speech at a birthday party to really send the message home.  I hope that you are doing better at this task than me, but I hope to do better.

Proverbs 12:18
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Second Chance-Part 2

I was talking to a Officer friend of mine about my earlier post about "The Voice" Ted Williams.  I pointed out that the arrests and personal conduct that tends to go with drug addiction and homelessness, that I was sure he had committed, had not, as of yet, come out in the press.  America loves a good underdog, second chance story until they find out about all the poor choices and victims (family, friends, society) the person conducted/created before their "second chance".

Ted Williams is no exception.  But second chances are not about giving someone a new opportunity to turn their life around, rather its two opportunities; one to get their life fixed and the second to rectify all the damage they perpetrated.  Its still a great story, its about beginning the process of personal redemption  and public reconciliation.

Here is what is on the plate for Ted:
1.  With money coming in again and life stress-ors building find another way to deal with life other than drugs and alcohol.
2.  Reestablish connection with children and family-both personally and financially.
3.  Become a life lesson and show others that you can go from the top to the bottom to the top again.

Life is about making mistakes and turning around and fixing them.  Undue the damage that has been done, as much as possible.  Its not about turning your back on the past and only walking forward its about stopping and reaching out one hand to recapture the past and the other hand into the future and pulling yourself along following a positive path.

You know, the straight and narrow path created by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit.  If you are on this path and led by the Holy Spirit then the above is already being done.

Search ReReconciliation

Search ResultsReconciliation

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Second Chance

I hope everyone is having a blessed New Year with their family and friends.

The New Year is about getting  a new start and a second chance.  The same "second chance" that Jesus give us in forgiving our sin, his is a permanent second chance.

I ran into this video on the web and it just strikes a chord with me...a real second chance.  Watch the following video and then read the article from the New York Post.


The article from the New York Post.

Homeless man with 'golden radio voice' gets his chance

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/homeless_man_with_golden_radio_voice_91PQ3yMBa58vOf1n4MuToJ#ixzz1AJUBuh5R

The homeless man with the "golden radio voice" wanted a second chance -- and did he ever get it.

As soon as Ted Williams, a panhandler who became an online hit after video of him begging on an Ohio roadside was posted to the Internet, appeared on a local radio show this morning the offers began pouring in -- including a dream job with the Cleveland Cavaliers and a free house.

"The Cleveland Cavaliers just offered me a full-time job and a house! A house! A house!," repeated a stunned Williams, 53, on local radio station WNCI.

A caller to the show who said she represented the Cavs offered Williams, who shot to stardom after local newspaper the Columbus Dispatch on Monday posted video of his perfectly-pitched panhandling, a full-time job doing voiceover work for the team and parent company and a free home in Cleveland.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, native trained to be a radio announcer before drugs and alcohol ruined his chances at a career, and he was reduced to begging on the side of a road in Columbus, Ohio, before the newspaper found him.

Local police would refer to Williams as "Radio man," when chasing him from his usual begging spots, Williams said.

"I've been out there about a year; I just didn't know anything like this would ever happen," an overwhelmed Williams said earlier in the show. "There's so many words. I've already been characterized to [Scottish singing sensation] Susan Boyle ... I'm just so happy."

Before the Cavs made their bid, the station said a group of credit unions offered Williams a contract worth up to $10,000; a caller claiming to rep MTV expressed interest in having him guest-announce a show; and callers who said they were the voiceover actors behind plugs for "The Simpsons" and "Entertainment Tonight" said they wanted him to compete on their upcoming "America's Next Voice" -- where the prize includes a home studio.

For a man suddenly thrust from an Ohio roadside into the hearts of the world, Williams set his sights low.

"Just to get back to some normalcy and responsibility -- If I can a job, whether it's a twenty-five or even $18,000, I'd be happy," he said. "At least I know God has me where he wants me."

A second chance.  I have dealt with the homeless on multiple occasions (as all who are in law enforcement do) and they are usually addicted, mentally ill and hopeless.  The best that we can do 90% of the time is just get them to some place warm-outside the city.  Its good to see that there is hope for the hopeless, after seeing so many un-savable ghosts wonder into and out of our lockup.