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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Strange then why cops only seems to love cops.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blauer Clash Boot

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


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


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


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

BOA Lacing System

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


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


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


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

Their link Blauer

Increase costs for Police only Raise your Taxes

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

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


The Real Costs of Policing the Police

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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