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

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Missed Opportunities: Could have Improved Morale

 Morale in a police department is a tricky thing.  Most of the time the budget is set a year and a half in advance and has little flexibility to add something incredible for the officers to enjoy, unless it costs nothing.  Morale builders that cost nothing are unicorns.  In my department, the Chief missed an excellent opportunity to improve morale and, in reality, decreased it.  My father-in-law (who has since passed) was the chief of two police departments in my area.  Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, on his own dime, he would buy each shift a meal, knowing that they were sacrificing their families and holidays to be patrolling the streets.  Most departments in our area do it or get with their fire department colleagues and share a meal.  It makes a bad situation, better.

The PD has never provided anything for Thanksgiving or Christmas in my department.  The Chief would give out small gift cards, and we would partner with the FD for special meals.  Somehow, with time, we no longer eat with the FD.  So this Christmas, the chief did not bring dessert, provide a meal, give a gift, give out cards, or anything.  He didn't even wish the sworn a Merry Christmas, either in person or through email...I mean...nothing.  So that, our course, was the talk of roll call for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.   The consensus was that the chief cared little or not at all for the wellbeing of his patrolmen and patrolwomen.  That idea was brought home when it was discovered that he took our social workers and support staff to Christmas lunch.

Before I was promoted, I worked closely with the Chief, and if I had told him his employee's feelings, he would have been shocked because he believed himself to be the "Chief of the People."  A quirk of this chief is that his likes and dislikes he assumes are also everyone else's likes and dislikes.  He will even argue with you when you say you like something, anything he doesn't like, he will tell you no, you really don't like that.  He doesn't care if someone does something nice for him on a holiday or even wishes him a merry (holiday here), so he doesn't think to do anything for the officers away from their families.  It also doesn't occur to him because he is home for the holidays.

So, for the price of a few meals, there was the opportunity for a real morale builder, but instead, it was a morale killer and won't be addressed because the head of our organization would never even think about it.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas

 One of the overlooked aspects of law enforcement (And FD, RN, and PW) is working weekends and holidays, when almost everyone else is off.  Today, for me, its 8 hrs OT at the desk (Double time how can you pass that up) and then 8 hrs regular shift...so my wife and daughter are on their own for Christmas Eve.  This is a common occurrence.  I work a 6 and 3 schedule so 1 out of 3 years I get the holiday off naturally.  As an example I got July 4th off but have to work Christmas Eve and Day.  So to all my fellow first responders and holiday workers of all kinds, have a merry Christmas and thank you to all the support family members that have to celebrate it alone.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Change for the Better

 Police officers are fixers.  To fix something, you must identify the individual elements, understand their integration, and devise a solution.  Typically, most of an officer's experience is within patrol, so you must have a solution before going home.  As a result, officers tend to be hypercritical and detail-orientated.  It's a good thing for the job, but it is bad for job satisfaction and a bad thing for your personal life.  I find myself falling into this mindset often.  Specifically addressing job satisfaction, roll call, breaks, and meals tend to focus on what is wrong or not going right.  So, being intentional about focusing on the positive aspects of this profession is needed.

In this vein, there is positive change for law enforcement in Cook County, Illinois.  For the majority of my law enforcement career, the attitude of the Cook County State's Attorney's (ASA) office and our sitting judges was that we signed up to be attacked by offenders on the street.  This was reflected by the ASA's absolute refusal to approve aggravated battery to a police officer (Felony level crime), and if it made it past them unless it was horrific, it either was dealt down or dropped with the judge's approval.  Basically, it started with a broken bone, and really, you needed to be shot to have this charge go through approval, not be changed to a lesser charge and have the judge convict.  This was so commonplace that routinely, when we would get a black eye, bloody nose, broken finger, or twisted knee due to the criminal actions of the offender, we wouldn't even call felony review; we would just charge simple battery (A misdemeanor) and go to court, where it would not be upgraded to a felony.

However, it appears this attitude has changed or is changing.  Recently, two of our permanent homeless men were drinking at the rear of an abandoned store.  Both suffer from some significant and untreated mental illnesses, so one got upset at the other and punched him in the eye (For snoring too loud).  My guess, by the way it looked, is he had a broken orbital bone, but while he insisted on being taken to the hospital, he refused any scans but got stitches.  The Asa's will not charge the aggravative battery without a medical diagnosis of significant damage.  When it came time to arrest his buddy for simple battery, he decided while screaming profanity and something...he was hard to understand...at us that he did not want to go without a fight.  The officers had their hands full but were able to get him into custody with very little injury to anyone despite our offender really going for it.  We got him into an ambulance and to the hospital, where it took two full doses of Ketamine to get him quieted down.

A little later, one of the officers came into the report room and pulled up his pants legs.  One side was a small laceration, and the other had a small abrasion.  We reviewed the video footage of the incident, and the offender was purposefully kicking our officer.  I said well, we might as well try to aggravated battery to police officer, but I highly doubt we will get it.

After working the case for two and a half days, the primary reporting officer called felony review...and got it!

Change for the better and something good to focus on.

Thursday, December 14, 2023


 Sometimes the simplest things can do the most good.  Every police training that I have been subjected to in my 26 years (soon 27) in this profession has begun with going around the room telling everyone your name, years of service, position within the department and one thing that makes you unique.  Everyone hates it and it serves no purpose, it is supposed to be an ice breaker and loosen up the training environment, in reality it is just another exercise that you have to endure and get it over with to start the training day.

I recently had a training day (Activate-Critical Incident Tabletop Training for Police Leaders).  It was a little unique since two of the three instructors were military with only one the police.  When we went around the room the only things we had to do was tell the room our first name and the police department we worked with.  I know it sounds like a simple thing but it was significant in that we all appreciated we didn't have to have to practice our public speaking and creative skills (Got to come up with something interesting that does not make you lame but not so weird that everyone talks about what your said for the rest of your career), we just got on with the training.  Everyone universally appreciated it.

Just a simple thing that would make all training better.


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Now That I Finally Have Time

 This year has been a bit of a milestone in my adult life.  First, on January 3 of this year I was promoted to Sergeant and by the luck of the schedule I was able to land on afternoons, basically skipping midnights, which is a gift for a not so young 50 year old.   The second is that I completed my PhD in June and the diploma is sitting in my living room (walk in the robes next week).  Third, the biggest jump in pay is from Sgt 1 pay to Sgt 2 pay after a year, which will be January 3 and I will have credit for 27 years of service January 8.  So unless a miracle happens and I can advance again next year it is time to go.  Currently I have a number of applications to criminal justice tenure track professorships in this state and in the south that all start August-September-October 2024.

I have been neglecting this blog simply because something had to give between working a more than full time job, a side job, full time school and not neglecting my family.    But now I have a little more time and will go back to regular posting.  The only difference is I will probably go away from long form posts and keep it short and sweet unless something grabs me.

So if your still out there come on back!

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Story 2 for the Safe-T Act


Now to be fair, they supposedly fixed this problem with a rider bill, but I think it illuminates a couple of key concepts of the people that proposed and who support this bill.  It also demonstrates that no law enforcement practitioners were consulted in the creation of the monstrosity.  What drives me totally nuts is that I am part of a profession that is totally data-tracked and data-driven.  You can go to my department tomorrow and FOIA every arrest that I have initiated in my 25-year career and also get each arrestee's demographics, which is something you can do at every department for every officer that has ever served since 1970.  So when there is a belief that cops are just running around using the obstruction of a peace officer charge to either discriminate, rehabilitate, or just for "s and g's," where is the proof?  Mine the data, show the misuse and make corrections, but instead, on the backs of some antidotal stories and anti-police agenda in which the truth does not matter, this section of the Safe-T act came to be.

What they proposed was to eliminate our ability to charge obstruction to a police officer as a single stand-alone charge.  Still, rather they attempted to have an arrestable criminal act that was committed first, and then we could charge obstruction if we had the elements that fit the statute.  What they kept in was we cannot charge resisting arrest if we did first have an arrestable charge that preceded the resisting.  This proof was no prosecutors or police were part of the bill.  You already cannot charge resisting arrest without a criminal act first being committed.  They can't be arrested without first committing a criminal act.  If anyone in my area tried that, it wouldn't have made it past the first court date, and the assistant state's attorney would have called the chief about it.  So they solved a non-problem.  What they were trying to address was the situation in which, let's say, a retail theft charge, an officer attempts to take the offender into custody and resists the arrests.  Later in court, the offender beats the retail theft but is convicted of resisting arrest.  This happens frequently, and I had more than a couple of public defenders argue that he can't resist arrest for a crime he didn't commit.  They always lost that argument because he/she did spin around and tried to punch me in the face in order to get away.  Lossing the original charge didn't change the fact that the offender was attempting to injure or kill the officer to get away.

So here is the story, and this happens often.  Adult mother lives with her adult son and his wife.  The adult son is beating his wife in their back bedroom.  She gets away from him long enough to call 911.  We arrive and find mom standing in the doorway, braced, trying to keep us out. Meanwhile, we can hear the blows raining down on the wife.  Now my ability to make physical contact with another is because I can prove that either I have a detainable offense or articulable claim of health and safety for another.  So in these cases, we warn the mother to move or be arrested.  She does not move, so the first officer takes her into custody for obstruction of a peace officer, and the rest run in to save the wife and arrest her husband.  Now, if you take my ability to arrest solely for obstruction away, what criminal act did she also commit?  There is not one, and the mother is not attempting to harm herself, so I cannot use that reason to make contact with her.  If this had been carried through in the bill, I would still grabbed the mother and moved her out of the way, run in and saved the wife, and charged the husband.  Then later, the state police would have come to the station and arrest me for the battery to the mother since I did not have a legal justification to make physical contact with her...this is how screwed up the bill really is.  

It would have prevented us from removing anyone from our crime scenes, standing at our car door to keep us from exiting the squad and going to the incident, would have allowed the public to keep us inside or outside of any building, and the other thousand of problems it would have created.  When this section was presented for the first time in roll call, the entire room understood the ramifications and the absolute gift it would have been to street gang members and criminals.  But none of this occurred to the writers and supporters, but the criminals certainly knew (a bunch arrested told us they could not wait until January 1, 2023, when we couldn't do anything to them anymore).

One of my sayings has always been, "There are two ways to fight crime, fighting crime or not finding crime" not finding crime is always celebrated as a crime reduction and a budget-friendly act.  Had this gone through, they would have celebrated the reduction of obstruction charges as lowering the crime rate, proving we were abusing the charge, and overlooking all the new unnecessary victims. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Story One of the Safe-T Act


This fine young gentleman had a hammer in his backpack and walked down Golf Rd, breaking out the back windows of multiple cars.  He hit Schaumburg for 80 different cars, and what the article does not mention, he also hit our town for at least 60 more (business parking lots), that we know of; a lot of the owners didn't bother to report it since there will never be restitution made.  So this is where the current system succeeded.  He could not post bail and had to stay in lockup for the weekend until he could attend bond court.  He could have been charged with at least 140 Criminal Damages to Property-all felonies.  He is only 20 years old and has a serious criminal history.  When he was staying with us, he was unable to victimize anyone else, at least for the weekend.  He, of course, was immediately released without having to post bond on electronic monitoring, when he got to bond court.  So he is now free to go berserk once more.  He is also extremely mentally ill, but since he refused all offers of aid and did not say in any officer's presence that he was going to kill himself, no one could compel him into the hospital for mental evaluation (a discussion for another time).

Had this occurred after January 1, 2023, we could not have held on to him.  The second he was captured and processed, he would have to be released and given a notification to go to court.  The number of victims does not come into account, and worse yet, this would be considered a non-violent crime since it is CDP.  He then would have the ability to go take out another 80 cars, be arrested, bonded out, rinse and repeat over and over.  One of the falsehoods that supporters of this bill are saying is that we have the ability to contact the on-call emergency judge and get a writ and hold him over for a pre-trail hearing.  The problem in Cook County District 3, is good luck in getting a hold of that judge; in emergency situations in the past (homocide, kidnapping, and sexual assault), we have sent a car to his/her home to wake them up.  Are we going to do that for a property crime?  It is a non-violent crime, and the judge, knowing that at the pretrail hearing, he will be immediately released on electronic monitoring (will discuss the 24 grace period with that later).  Further, how long can we hold onto a prisoner, where he is eligible for release, to dig up a judge and get the paperwork completed to hold him?  I see a lawsuit right there, "officer, you could have released my client immediately after processing, but you determined he was a threat to the public, so you held him for two hours in order to contact a judge?"  What if the judge doesn't grant it?  Then I illegally detained him for an extra two hours?  There is literally no process in place to address this.  So what are the perimeters to get him held, 80 cars, 140 cars, 2000 cars?  How many victims are needed before his supposed injustice of not being able to post bond is overcome?

Here is a brief list (and certainly not complete) of some of the extreme crimes that they will be immediately released:

Aggravated Battery

Aggravated DUI

Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding



Drug-Induced Homicide




2nd Degree Murder

Threatening a Public Official

Nearly All Drug Offenses

The question is still in place how many of these crimes must be committed in a row before we can take the risk of holding a prisoner that could normally immediately hit the street, how long do we have, and what the point if even we get that writ, he goes to bond and is immediately released on electronic monitoring.

Safe-T act is only about making it safer for offenders to make new victims.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

                                                 Back because of Safe-T

Between trying to finish my Ph.D. program, being in a new position of Crime Free Multi-Housing Coordinator which has being a event coordinator as part of it (20 days on, one day off, 10 of which were 12+ hour days) and being on the edge of promotion, I have let this blog rest.  It would take quite the push to get me back to regularly posting again, and that push is the, signed into law in 2021 by Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Safe-T Act...it is that bad.

Before I post a series of short stories that should illuminate just how foolish and dangerous this legislation is, I think it would be a good start to outline the philosophical stance that the proponents of this law have taken.  The biases of this and other legislation like it ( in committee are laws banning the use of criminal background checks in tenant applications, the removal of all SRO's from public schools, the removal of stand your ground and changing the use of force from stopping threat to equal force (he has a knife I can't shoot him I have to use a force equal to his knife)) is their view on criminality or how criminals are created.

The position is simple, they believe you can never be a criminal or a person that commits criminal acts without that criminal first having been a victim themselves.  It is a view of humanity that has us all as naturally good and evil only occurs as a result of personal trauma.  Thus the focus is in addressing their victimhood and once that is accomplished then they stop being a criminal.  They plan on getting to the criminal's victims at a later date.  So they see the criminal justice system and the agents that implement it as victimizers of the victims (criminals).  This is the way no cash bail came into affect.  The criminal cannot control themselves and thus shouldn't have to pay a penalty for committing their criminal acts.  It is unfair that a rich criminal should get right back to the streets and the poor criminal have to wait until their trial.  This can further be seen in the total lack of coverage of the victims in the press (Labor day week end 2022, Chicago, 55 shot 11 fatally-name one of them), while a potentially questionable act of one officer (of the 900,000 of us nation wide) is national news-we are victimizers or the victims.  This is the 24hr holiday from electronic monitoring that they are granted before even potentially being violated-why should a victim have his or her daily routine changed.  This is the reason for drastically reducing or eliminating jail sentences.  This is the constant move to allow more expungements (they did not mean to do it).  I can go on and on and on.

In further posts I will outline different acts of this bill, but it does make sense if you see it from their philosophical stand point-one that will do nothing but create hundreds of real victims in a flawed and deeply foolish position.



This is dedicated to every person that has served in law enforcement with honor and sacrifice.  Your good deeds, dedication to justice, service to your communities, and your aid rendered to victims will never be forgotten.  We may never know individually who each and everyone who has served and your individual deeds, but each municipality would no longer exist without your good works, each and every city is your living memorial.  (The acknowledge page of my hopefully completed before end of the year dissertation)

Monday, June 1, 2020

Solution-less Problem of Perceived Racial Inequality in Law Enforcement

It has to be said, there is no systemic racism in law enforcement.  Frankly, in my 23 years in law enforcement I do not even know one officer that was bias against another group based on their race, ethnicity, orientation, creed, sex or...whatever.  Does this mean that like machines our services are identically provided to everyone in the same measure?  The answer is "no", and usually that is based on an individual basis.  Case in point, I responded to a fraud call where there was a complainant who paid for a product that was clearly counterfeit and wanted to get his money back.  The complainant refused to provide me with his name, how much he felt he should be refunded and said, "Just get my F@#$ing money back!"  Needless to say I did not stick around long, and he did not get access to our full resources, but it was not because he was a member of a group.  It was due to him being a crazy jerk.
This is not to defend any officer's illicit, stupid or negligent behavior.  There is not an officer that I have spoken with about Floyd that felt that officer's behavior was nothing but stupid and reckless.  We are trained not to use choke holds and to stay off the neck unless deadly force is necessary and clearly this was not the case.  The image of the officer kneeling on his neck, being a smart-ass with his hands in his pockets is proof he needed to be fired and investigated for criminal conduct.

Okay that out of the way here is my basic point.  A problem that does not exist can never have a solution.  Nor can a metric be created to provide data to measure the solution's effectiveness.  So here we are...we will never have a solution for this issue, which is not real, and thus can never show a reduction.  Chicago had 490 murders in 2019.  That's a real problem with supporting data.  If I come up with a potential solution and it is enacted, the test of its effectiveness is also simple.  If murders go down, significantly, then it worked, if they do not then it did not.  The rage over the perceived racial bias in the treatment of people by police will not decrease because no one can show improvement or reduction.  So like every other incident of this type the different governmental bodies will impose new rules, procedures and standards for which we will all comply and much like the traffic stop data, it will show there is no bias and no continuing bias.  Eventually every law enforcement officer will be audio/video monitored throughout their entire shift.  When a racial bias does not present itself, it will simply either be ignored or conspiracy theories on how we are manipulate the image/data will come forward, as it has every other time.  But the negative feelings will continue and frustrations mount and will explode into senseless violence once again when another person dies in police custody for whatever reason.  There is no emotional relief possible.  There is no ability to feel like this is getting better because it does not exist in the first place, thus creating a cycle that will continue to repeat well beyond my future retirement date and be an issue for officers for decades to come.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Helping Others

We in American are extremely blessed, overabundantly, exuberantly and impossibly blessed. I often catch myself worrying over some trivial problem or becoming frustrated in the perceived tardiness of something I desire.

God gives/blesses to one so that they may give to another. There is war, famine, disease and death still to be found in this fallen terra firma. Rather than becoming frustrated because you lack that plasma television or your boss just yelled at you, rather, spend your time and set your mind to the task of looking for ways to help others. In this country and elsewhere.

You will quickly find that having less creates more joy than having more.

Let's all begin our search anew and be the light to all we meet.

Matthew 25: 34-46

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

I am still around

I know that I have posted this type of post in the past, but I have not given up on this blog.  I just have so few hours left to me that when I prioritize my family, my church, my job, and my school (Projected graduation for the Ph.D. program mid year 2018) the blog gets a little left out.  The Ph.D. program is an accelerated one, and I have no breaks other than Christmas (Two weeks), so I plan on doing a post a day to make up for the neglect.

To all the Law Enforcement Officers-Stay Safe

To all the supporters-Stay True

To all the believers-Keep Praying

To everyone else-I pray and serve you.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Playing hooky...I am in a PhD program that is expiated so rather than 16 weeks long it is 8.  So when one class ends on Sunday at 1159am, the next one begins at 1201am Monday morning.  All that said to say I have been neglecting the blog because something had to go...work, plus part-time work, family, church and school has allow me little time for anything else.  I don't even watch television any more...other than game of thrones binge watched.  I am even a season and a half behind in Doctor Who...who would have thunk it?  Anyway I need to get back to the blog thing when I can...kicked in a door at the local Motel Six and had to sit with a whimpering, crying guy, for about two hours, that was all "F*** the police!" till we blew the door in, so I do have material.  Anyway to quote the X-Files the truth is out there.  Police work is far from anything other than honorable and in the end all the black lives matter lies will eventually be exposed, most like the hate speak against us in the late 60's early 70's.  Take a look at the recent Harvard study on police shootings that you haven't heard about.  What?  No bias?  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Doing it right-Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Very cool to see what Northwest Bible Baptist Church is doing.  With all the negative press our profession is getting its good to see people doing the Lord's work.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Disavowed, Dishonored and Disgraced Lt Joseph Gliniewicz

This blog has long been about promoting all the good that Christian Police Officers spread throughout their communities and to educate the public about the face and heart behind the badge.  Further I have attempted to dispel the misinformation that the media consistently reports about officers and our profession.

That said, I have to address Lt Gliniewicz  of the Fox Lake Illinois Police Department.  One of the frustrating aspects of being a police officer is that the 900,000 of us in the US, who are doing all the proper ethical and moral actions, are slandered and labeled by the less than one percent who are just despicable.

Everyone in my department has known for a long time that it was probably going to eventually be labeled a suicide.  We did not have any inside information, but after hearing the 911 tapes and getting the trickle of information that the task force press conferences provided, that was the only conclusion that made sense.  Case in point, the fact that they picked up the three youths and then immediately released and exonerated them is not typical of a murder investigation.  Even if you get the wrong guys, you don't tell anyone right away because the right guys get stupid and lazy thinking they are free and clear.

That said, we have been waiting to find out how bad of a guy he is, because no one commits suicide for no reason and trust me its going to get worse than simple embezzlement.  This type of person carries others to join with his evil and leaves a trail of victims.

I may not be the first to condemn him on behalf of all of law enforcement, but let it be known that he is a disgrace to the uniform, a sorry excuse of a human being, has poisoned any good he ever did, if indeed he ever did anything good.  He is not resting in peace.

A selfish life led to a selfish death.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The media

I am asked frequently what I think of the media and why, in general, does there appear to be animosity between the two.

I like exemplary cases.  I try to collect quick stories that capture the essence of the whole based on a simple occurrence.  The following is why I don't trust, don't like, won't work with and in general shun the media.  While I do appreciate the irony that the media that was used to attack these officers, was also the media that is being used to exonerate them, the VAST majority of the time it is one sided against us.

Dorothy Bland is the worst kind of person.  Just reading her article screams, "Don't you know you I AM!"  She is the poster child of media and academia bias.  At best, the facts, will not get in the way of her agenda at worst she is simply bereft of honesty, morality, ethics and integrity.  She didn't flinch at her attempt to destroy two officers simply doing their job.  When you read the article she wrote, she equates the two officers with the Trayvon Martin case (which did not involve law enforcement) and a number of deaths, with her being slightly inconvenienced when committing a crime!  While I wish there could be a day when she needed our aid, urgently, and we simply did not show up, which we would never do, because we don't operate in the gutter she teaches in, works in and the society she thinks she lives in.  She takes their picture for her safety (and look they don't stop her) but thank goodness they were recording her for their safety.

The link to the whole article  http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20151028-dorothy-bland-i-was-caughtwalking-while-black.ece

Her article from the Dallas Morning News Titled

Dorothy Bland: I was caught ‘walking while black.’

     Flashing lights and sirens from a police vehicle interrupted a routine Saturday morning walk in my golf-course community in Corinth.

I often walk about 3 miles near daybreak as part of my daily exercise. However, on Oct. 24, I delayed my walk until late morning as I waited for the rain to stop. I was dressed in a gray hooded “Boston” sweatshirt, black leggings, white socks, plus black-and-white Nike running shoes. Like most African-Americans, I am familiar with the phrase “driving while black,” but was I really being stopped for walking on the street in my own neighborhood?

Yes. In the words of Sal Ruibal, “Walking while black is a crime in many jurisdictions. May God have mercy on our nation.”

Knowing that the police officers are typically armed with guns and are a lot bigger than my 5 feet, 4 inches, I had no interest in my life’s story playing out like Trayvon Martin’s death. I stopped and asked the two officers if there was a problem; I don’t remember getting a decent answer before one of the officers asked me where I lived and for identification.

I remember saying something like, “Around the corner. This is my neighborhood, and I’m a taxpayer who pays a lot of taxes.” As for the I.D. question, how many Americans typically carry I.D. with them on their morning walk? Do you realize I bought the hoodie I was wearing after completing the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education in 2014? Do you realize I have hosted gatherings for family, friends, faculty, staff and students in my home? Not once was a police officer called. To those officers, my education or property-owner status didn’t matter. One officer captured my address and date of birth.

I guess I was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood. I told the police I didn’t like to walk in the rain, and one of them told me, “My dog doesn’t like to walk in the rain."  Ouch!

I didn’t have my I.D., but I did have my iPhone, so I took a picture of the two police officers and the Texas license plate. One of the officers told me I should walk on the sidewalk or the other side of the street for safety’s sake.

Although I am not related to Sandra Bland, I thought about her, Freddie Gray and the dozens of others who have died while in police custody. For safety’s sake, I posted the photo of the officers on Facebook, and within hours, more than 100 Facebook friends spread the news from New York to California.

“You are now in the company of Henry Louis Gates and others with the same experience,” wrote one of my former students from Florida. “We must stop racial profiling.”

For anyone who doesn’t think racial profiling happens, I can assure you it does happen. For a sanity check, I stopped by the mayor’s house and asked him, “Do I look like a criminal?” Mayor Bill Heidemann said no and shook his head in disbelief. I appreciate the mayor being a good neighbor, but why should he need to verify that I am not a menace to society?

I refuse to let this incident ruin my life. As I was finishing my walk and listening to Urban Praise radio, I encountered an elderly white woman who asked if I would like some roses. She gave me a half-dozen roses. It was a random act of kindness and that’s why I call Janet Herbison of Gemini Peach and Rose Farm in Denton a good Samaritan. That evening I had dinner with neighbors.

The more often we talk and get to know people as humans, the stronger we will become as a nation. We are all part of the human race.

Dorothy Bland is the dean of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and the director for the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. Reach Reach her at dorothy1.bland@gmail.com

Now for the Chiefs Response

Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall says the encounter was about resident’s safety, not race.

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Ms. Bland’s comments. My officers, a field training officer and his recruit, observed Ms. Bland walking in the roadway wearing earbuds and unaware that there was a pickup truck directly behind her that had to almost come to a complete stop to avoid hitting her.

The driver of the truck looked at the officers as they passed and held his hands in the air, which implied “aren’t you going to do something about this?”

The officers turned around and drove behind Ms. Bland.They activated their in-car video camera, which shows her again walking in the roadway impeding traffic. They activated their emergency lights — no siren was ever sounded — they exited their patrol vehicle and contacted Ms. Bland.
They immediately advised Ms. Bland about the pickup truck and the fact that it was safer for her to walk against traffic so she could see the cars and jump out of the way if necessary. The interaction between Ms. Bland and the officers was very cordial and brief.

Ms. Bland had been observed earlier by these same officers, but she was not in the street and impeding traffic, so she was not contacted.

Impeding traffic is a Class C misdemeanor, and it is our policy to ask for identification from people we encounter for this type violation. I am surprised by her comments as this was not a confrontational encounter but a display of professionalism and genuine concern for her safety.

Please review the video and I’m sure you will agree the officers’ intent was simply to keep her safe. Ms. Bland never contacted the police department to voice her concerns regarding this encounter and has not returned my phone message left at the number provided by the mayor.

The citizens of Corinth as a whole are a highly educated population, and it is
disappointing that one of our residents would attempt to make this a racial issue when clearly it is not.

Debra Walthall is Corinth’s chief of police. Reach her at dwalthall@cityofcorinth.com.

Watch the Video

Back to my post...

I would hope the University of North Texas re-thinks who should be director of their journalism school, if actual, open, unbiased, journalists are who they are actually attempting to educate.

Finally, a shout out to Chief Walthall for addressing this and standing tall for her officers!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The L-Word

I was telling a story at roll call and used the word "literally" about a dozen times.  The good Sargent then made note of that and told me my story was stupid (we are outside of work friends).  Later on when I was speaking with him about another matter, he used the word "literally" and I pointed that out.  Throughout the day we both noticed that everyone uses the word "literally" often.
A couple of days later, we were playing the hot or not, name game.  This game revolves around picking a name, going to Google images and betting if the first page features hot people or not.  Then it became a game to find the ugliest name.  I said, "Bertha! That is literally my grandmothers name!"  The Sargent then replied, "what instead of figuratively being named Bertha?"  (For the record I won the ugly name game).

We realized that no one was using the word for its meaning, rather it was a cue in the sentence that the punch line was coming up in the story.  Further, no one was just saying the word, but rather pausing, emphasizing it, pausing and then getting on to the good part of the sentence.  So it became a game on the shift to not use the word for any reason or it costs you a quarter.  The money will be used for pizza and beer at the end of the year.  It is much harder than you think to stop using this one word.

A couple of weeks later the Sargent and I were on a domestic trouble call.  It is a common family tragedy.  It is a older single mom, with an eighteen year old daughter in the home and a twenty year old heroin addicted son that had been kicked out of the home a few months ago.  On this day, the mother was out of the home at her workplace and her daughter was taking a shower.  While in the shower, the daughter heard a window open and the sounds of someone in the house.  She slowly, and quietly, gets out of the shower and tries to get to her cell phone.  At this time, she can see the living room couch and there is the son passed out on it.  Daughter calls mother, mother calls us, and we all meet at the house.  We wake the son up.  He starts to rise of the couch with his hands curled in fists, decides against going for it and we walking him out of the home with a bag full of clothing and a trespass warning.

I am now providing the mother and daughter with a bunch of legal and civil advice on how to handle their current situation when I say, "We literally pulled him off your front lawn two days ago and shipped him to the local hospital".  The Sargent then points and me and yells, "Ahhhhhhhhh, you said literally!!!"  I, chagrined, look at him and say, "Ah dammit!"  Now we both realize that the mother and daughter are now just staring at us, clearly wondering if we had lost our minds.  So I explained the literally game and how I didn't have to say "literally two days ago" because I never would have meant, figuratively, two days ago.  So the mother then says, "but you used the word correctly" and I tell her that it is not the point of the game, the point is that we can not use the word at all.  I said that one of the problems is that there is not a good synonym for that word.  The daughter then starts rattling off a number of words but we all agree that none how the feeling of the L-word.

So all of us walking back to each of our cars, us to our squads, them to their mini-van, with the son walking northbound in the distance, finished the call debating the L-word game.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I'm Back

I took a break from the blog for a number of reasons.

First, at my department I was going through a tough time with the administration and its really hard to write a positive police blog when you are not really positive about police work.

Second, I began a PHD program and its taken me this long to get my feet back under me with the amount of work it takes to balance, God, family, work, school, overtime and this blog.

Third, with all the negative press concerning my profession and the massive disinformation that is out there, I see a need to be a small voice for the 99% of officers going to work, saving lives and going home.

Fourth, there needs to be an outlet somewhere that captures officers as they really are, people in an absurd environment, trying their best to aid people who hate them, work with massive budget cuts (what do you mean we are out of squad cars?) and not loose their minds in the process.

So hold me accountable to post a couple times a week again and maybe in the process place a little light into the dark.

Image result for i'm back
And bow ties are cool

Friday, July 11, 2014

Team work

Police work is by its very nature quintessential team work.  The roles require a level of creativity yet maintain dedicated role boundaries.  A understanding of abilities or skills of individual team members and formulating a plan taking into account the abilities or lack of in a given situation.  Frankly most of the time it happen without thought since most of the department has decades of  experience with each other.

I was watching the following video and it really struck me as an analogue of what we do on the street each day.  A successful outcome of a call is really like creating a complete song...even to the part that it has to be picked up and tweaked a couple of weeks later.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Finally Illinois get's something right...well sort of...

The Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 098-0650:  The no police quota act.  So on the plus side they can no longer have the list of tickets that they can say, "Why are you so far behind Ofc Brown?"  The correct answer is, "Because I am covering all his calls that he can't answer because he is always out pimping the public" but you say, "I will certainly try harder."  Then don't.

But of course with everything Illinois it can only look pleasing but never be substantive.  If you read the statute below you will see they still can evaluate us by, "Contact" and what are "Contacts"?  Interestingly they are only things that you gain by...traffic stopping people.  But its...better...hopefully the next bill will kill these..."Contacts" provision.

First the link to the statute...Public Act 098-0650

The Statute:

Public Act 098-0650

SB3411 Enrolled LRB098 18994 JLK 55614 b

    AN ACT concerning local government.

    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:

    Section 5. The Department of Natural Resources
(Conservation) Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois
is amended by adding Section 805-537 as follows:

    (20 ILCS 805/805-537 new)
    Sec. 805-537. Conservation Police Officer quotas
prohibited. The Department may not require a Conservation
Police Officer to issue a specific number of citations within a
designated period of time. This prohibition shall not affect
the conditions of any federal or State grants or funds awarded
to the Department and used to fund traffic enforcement
    The Department may not, for purposes of evaluating a
Conservation Police Officer's job performance, compare the
number of citations issued by the Conservation Police Officer
to the number of citations issued by any other Conservation
Police Officer who has similar job duties. Nothing in this
Section shall prohibit the Department from evaluating a
Conservation Police Officer based on the Conservation Police
Officer's points of contact. For the purposes of this Section,
"points of contact" means any quantifiable contact made in the
furtherance of the Conservation Police Officer's duties,
including, but not limited to, the number of traffic stops
completed, arrests, written warnings, and crime prevention
measures. Points of contact shall not include either the
issuance of citations or the number of citations issued by a
Conservation Police Officer.

    Section 10. The State Police Act is amended by adding
Section 24 as follows:

    (20 ILCS 2610/24 new)
    Sec. 24. State Police quotas prohibited. The Department may
not require a Department of State Police officer to issue a
specific number of citations within a designated period of
time. This prohibition shall not affect the conditions of any
federal or State grants or funds awarded to the Department and
used to fund traffic enforcement programs.
    The Department may not, for purposes of evaluating a
Department of State Police officer's job performance, compare
the number of citations issued by the Department of State
Police officer to the number of citations issued by any other
Department of State Police officer who has similar job duties.
Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the Department from
evaluating a Department of State Police officer based on the
Department of State Police officer's points of contact. For the
purposes of this Section, "points of contact" means any
quantifiable contact made in the furtherance of the Department
of State Police officer's duties, including, but not limited
to, the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written
warnings, and crime prevention measures. Points of contact
shall not include either the issuance of citations or the
number of citations issued by a Department of State Police

    Section 15. The Counties Code is amended by adding Section
5-1136 as follows:

    (55 ILCS 5/5-1136 new)
    Sec. 5-1136. Quotas prohibited. A county may not require a
law enforcement officer to issue a specific number of citations
within a designated period of time. This prohibition shall not
affect the conditions of any federal or State grants or funds
awarded to the county and used to fund traffic enforcement
    A county may not, for purposes of evaluating a law
enforcement officer's job performance, compare the number of
citations issued by the law enforcement officer to the number
of citations issued by any other law enforcement officer who
has similar job duties. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit
a county from evaluating a law enforcement officer based on the
law enforcement officer's points of contact.
    For the purposes of this Section:
        (1) "Points of contact" means any quantifiable contact
    made in the furtherance of the law enforcement officer's
    duties, including, but not limited to, the number of
    traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings, and
    crime prevention measures. Points of contact shall not
    include either the issuance of citations or the number of
    citations issued by a law enforcement officer.
        (2) "Law enforcement officer" includes any sheriff,
    undersheriff, deputy sheriff, county police officer, or
    other person employed by the county as a peace officer.
    A home rule unit may not establish requirements for or
assess the performance of law enforcement officers in a manner
inconsistent with this Section. This Section is a denial and
limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection
(g) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.

    Section 20. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by
adding Section 11-1-12 as follows:

    (65 ILCS 5/11-1-12 new)
    Sec. 11-1-12. Quotas prohibited. A municipality may not
require a police officer to issue a specific number of
citations within a designated period of time. This prohibition
shall not affect the conditions of any federal or State grants
or funds awarded to the municipality and used to fund traffic
enforcement programs.
    A municipality may not, for purposes of evaluating a police
officer's job performance, compare the number of citations
issued by the police officer to the number of citations issued
by any other police officer who has similar job duties. Nothing
in this Section shall prohibit a municipality from evaluating a
police officer based on the police officer's points of contact.
For the purposes of this Section, "points of contact" means any
quantifiable contact made in the furtherance of the police
officer's duties, including, but not limited to, the number of
traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings, and crime
prevention measures. Points of contact shall not include either
the issuance of citations or the number of citations issued by
a police officer.
    This Section shall not apply to a municipality subject to
Section 10-1-18.1 of this Code with its own independent
inspector general and law enforcement review authority.
    A home rule municipality may not establish requirements for
or assess the performance of police officers in a manner
inconsistent with this Section. This Section is a denial and
limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection
(g) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.

Effective Date: 1/1/2015

Proverbs 8:15  By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Become a Police Officer dot com (We made top thirty)

I was recently notified by the associate editor at How to Become a Police Officer site that this blog had made their top thirty.

I took a look at their site and it really does have a lot of good info worth checking out if you are considering the field.  Trust me every little bit helps, I tested in an eleven department consortium, that had thirty-three positions open up over a three year period.  At the two day orientation at the local junior college about twenty-five hundred people attended each day.

I would have killed for this kind of resource back then.

Song of Songs 3:8
8 all of them wearing the sword,
    all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
    prepared for the terrors of the night.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kevlar-May she rest in piece

Most of my twenty year working life, from security guard to police officer, I have been encapsulated by a Kevlar bullet proof vest.  Its probably the single piece of equipment that every officer anywhere in the country has in common, no matter what his/her assignment, duty or rank.  I really didn't think about it past, hoping that it was true to its advertising and would actually stop a bullet as it was intended to.

Stephanie Kwolek was the inventor of Kevlar when she was a Dupont Scientist in the 1960's.  I should have thanked her when she was alive, instead I'll pay my respects.

The article I found in the USA Today dated June 20, 2014
Author: Aaron Nathans, Wilmington (Del.) News Journal

Kevlar inventor Stephanie Kwolek, 90, dies

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Stephanie Kwolek, the DuPont scientist whose invention, Kevlar, has saved countless lives as the essential ingredient in body armor, has died.

Kwolek died Wednesday in Talleyville, Delaware following a brief illness, said her friend, Rita Vasta, who is handling Kwolek's affairs. She was 90.

Kwolek had no remaining family, Vasta said.

"We are all saddened at the passing of DuPont scientist Stephanie Kwolek, a creative and determined chemist and a true pioneer for women in science," DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said in a written statement Thursday. "Her synthesis of the first liquid crystal polymer and the invention of DuPont Kevlar highlighted a distinguished career."

Kwolek developed Kevlar, a substance five times stronger than steel, by spinning fiber from a liquid crystalline solution. Kevlar's lightweight, durable qualities have made it a long-lived material used in body armor and other protection equipment used by police and the military.

The discovery came in the mid-1960s when Kwolek was 42, working at DuPont's Experimental Station outside of Wilmington to develop a super-strong fiber to reinforce radial tires.

She invented a solution of rigid-chain polymers that fell from her lab spatula like water. The substance was much thinner than most polymers, and when put into a machine could be spun into strong, stiff material.

She told The News Journal in 2007 that DuPont management "didn't fool around. They immediately assigned a whole group to work on different aspects. ... It was very exciting, let me tell you."

Kevlar's use over time broadened to other applications, including sporting equipment, as it minimizes vibration and can bend without shattering. DuPont recently agreed to serve as a sponsor of the ESPN X Games, where sporting equipment makes liberal use of Kevlar. DuPont will celebrate Kevlar's 50th anniversary next year.

News of Kwolek's death came a day after DuPont Protection Technologies announced that a million bullet-resistant vests have been sold using DuPont Kevlar XP since that version of the product was launched in 2008. Today, most police agencies have adopted mandatory vest requirements.

"When you think about what she has done, it's incredible. There's literally thousands and thousands of people alive because of her," said Ron McBride, former manager of the Kevlar Survivors' Club, a not-for-profit partnership between DuPont and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The group has documented 3,200 lives saved through use of Kevlar in body armor.

McBride is a former chief of police in Ashland, Kentucky. A vest with Kevlar saved the life of his son, who was serving as a naval operative in Iraq.

"She could look back on her life and say, 'Yeah, I made a difference,' " he said.

Kwolek held just a bachelor's degree from the institution that preceded Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh when she joined DuPont as a chemist in 1946.

Coming from humble roots, and having studied in a one-room schoolhouse, she found an opportunity at DuPont because many men were in the military at the time.

"She was stubborn, she clung on, and she did the work because she found it interesting," said Caroline Angel Burke, project manager at the Museum of Science in Boston, which chose Kwolek as one of a handful of engineers featured in a permanent exhibit.

Kwolek, who stood just 4 feet 11 inches tall, never married.

"In those days for chemists, when you're hot on the trail of something, there's not a lot of time to go dating," Vasta said. "She loved outdoor sports, she had plenty of friends, she socialized. But when it came to lab work, that was 100 percent of her focus."

Vasta, who counted Kwolek as a mentor when they both worked at DuPont in the 1980s, said Kwolek continued to develop Kevlar over the years before her retirement in 1986. She went on to mentor women who wanted to go into the sciences, Vasta said.

Kwolek got a nice lab at DuPont after the discovery, but recognized she was in the company of many other distinguished scientists, Vasta said. Kwolek always said that DuPont compensated her properly for her discovery, Vasta said.

In the 2007 interview, Kwolek was careful to take credit only for the initial discovery of the technology used in the development of Kevlar, crediting the team for taking it further, especially DuPont scientist Herbert Blades.

Kwolek was proud whenever first responders approached her to tell her that her vest saved their life, Vasta said.

In 1996, Kwolek won the National Medal of Technology "for her contributions to the discovery, development and liquid crystal processing of high-performance aramid fibers, which provide new products worldwide to save lives and benefit humankind." She was only the third DuPont scientist to win a National Medal of Technology or Science, Kullman said.

"She leaves a wonderful legacy of thousands of lives saved and countless injuries prevented by products made possible by her discovery," Kullman said.

In Kwolek's later years, she enjoyed being in her home, Vasta said. She left behind her lab notebooks, and "oh my gosh, they're like literary pieces," she said, noting her fluid handwriting and sketches.

Kwolek was inducted into the the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women on March 27.

Kwolek kept spools of Kevlar fabric at her home, she told The News Journal in 2007. "I never in a thousand years expected that little liquid crystal to develop into what it did," she said.

(Contributing: Maureen Milford)

Oh and just for fun...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Motivation Part 3

We had a major incident that occurred almost two decades ago in which our town was linked to the crime but we were never able to discover where the crime had actually took place. A number of the affected departments set up an informal task force in order to solve the crime, but the leads were just not there and it went cold.

Recently the lead department received new evidence that pointed to a hitherto unknown suspect. They came to our department and coordinated with our investigation division to pickup and go speak with this new suspect.

So three-fourths of patrol is in the break room eating lunch, watching NASCAR on the flat screen television, when a senior member of our command staff walks by the room pushing a double-decker food cart. We let that go. A short time later he returns with a bunch of pizza boxes on the cart. The smart-mouth of our group, says, “Hey boss, that for us?”. He chuckles and says no. Then he and the cart disappear into the elevator and he goes up a couple of floors to the dick's offices. He and the cart return empty handed, followed by a return trip that contained drinks and finally a dessert run.

Right after the dessert run, the on-duty shift Sargent pops up and we ask him if any of the pizza that is going to our investigators and the outside department personnel is going to find its way to us. He tells us that he had not heard of the pizza and then walks out of the room. A short time later, he returned and said, yes there is pizza (like we would not recognize pizza as it went past us) but no, it was not for us. I then point out that it would take maybe 2 or at the most 3 pizzas to feed patrol and after they had bought all the other ones, how much more would it really cost to do that. A conversation soon breaks out between the three of us in patrol and the Sargent, in which we eventually concluded that in the command staffs' mind we are not worth the cost of three pizzas. I concluded the conversation by stating, “Well I for one am glad to know my actual dollar amount worth to the department. Now I can go get replacement insurance and know I am not going to overpay.” We all laugh and hit the street.

Fast forward to the next day and I am speaking now to the shift lieutenant about a different matter, when the same Sargent from the day before walks up. The lieutenant then says, “Oh that reminds me I found out about that pizza thing from yesterday.”

I think, crap, I shot my mouth off and irritated someone enough that the Lt is involved. The lieutenant then says, “If it makes you feel any better, our detectives didn't get any pizza either, they had to buy their own lunch. That was just for the officers that came in from the outside for this case.”

The Sargent and I just stare at our Lieutenant waiting for his mental bulb to light up. A few beats later it does. He sighs and states, “Wait, I think that worse. It means we care much more about a bunch of strangers we will never see again, then the actual people that work here. It makes you feel all warm and gooey inside.” And with that final statement the pizza topic was permanently shelved as an approved conversational topic.

I guess going down on the sinking boat is a little more comforting when you have company on that cruise, but then again I think we all would rather not be sinking in the first place.

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.
  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 ...