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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mailvox: a cop on the future of police work

BD reflects upon his professional observations concerning recent events.

I was a cop and investigator for around twenty years. Law enforcement goes back in my family for generations and one of my sons is a cop. I understand law and criminal justice better than most.

My grandfather told me three things that stuck with me. First, treat everyone with respect. He said, "You might be the only guy who calls the wino in the gutter, 'Sir' and mean it. You'll be the only man to show him respect all day." I'll get to why that's important in a second. Second, he said, "Walk your beat. Get to know the people. Know where the mean dogs are and where somebody has a clothesline in their back yard." That advice served me very well over the years. Almost as much as the first thing. The third big thing he said was, "Be honest. Always tell the truth. Always keep a promise. Even little ones, if you tell a guy he can smoke a cigarette while you're driving him to jail, give him a cigarette." I don't smoke but I always kept a pack and lighter in my car.

Showing respect is vital. People notice if you're a dick. They'll trust you more and respect you more if you treat them decently. I can't tell you how many people I've arrested have come up spontaneously to apologize later for being stupid and making me use force and arrest them. I got pictures of their kids in my wallet almost twenty years after I've quit being a cop.

Getting to know your neighborhood is equally important. Once they get to know you they'll stop to talk. Kids will want you to kick a ball around or shoot hoops for a minute. People will try and give you all the food and coffee you can hold. I know it goes against the rules of gratuities but don't refuse coffee (use your judgement on food). Some places it's an insult and nobody's trying to bribe you with a cup of coffee. If somebody sells food then that's different but don't say no to grandma's frybread or biscuits.

Be honest, always keep your word. You can use a little deception if you're trying to get a guy out from under a car, "We're sending in the dog!" (you don't have a dog but the drunk has forgotten that). That kind of thing nobody resents later. But if someone asks you something be honest. Saying, "I can't tell you that either way," is being honest.

The reason I'm writing this is because I read about these places like Miami and don't recognize what I used to do. My son works in a small county and the rot hasn't reached here but when he worked for the state he quit because the prosecutor would simply let the guys he caught go. Or give them a deferred sentence for 'drug treatment'. Virtually ninety percent of who you actually arrest has some drugs or alcohol problem. It's why most thieves steal to support their habit or buy smokes or get gas money. Illegals just got deported regardless of the crime.

So he went back to the county and does honest cop work where the prosecutor gives jail time to felons instead of getting them off the books as fast as they can.

My son in law is thinking of becoming a cop. He would be a good one, he's kind, honest and has integrity. He has the physical and mental abilities as well but they are not as important as character. You cannot teach those things in any classroom. That piece of shit that ran and hid from the gunfire makes me sick. If you're not brave enough to run towards gunfire find something else to do. If you do the job right it can be as satisfying as any job in the world. But if you're a corrupt piece of crap covering up crime, you're a criminal with a badge.

I don't know what's going to happen to law enforcement in general but when or if we split into different nations, Calexit, Dixie States, Texas whatever, I predict we'll see different kinds of cops on each side.  The communities will pick the kinds of police they want.

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32 Comments:

Blogger Gloriam Deo February 24, 2018 12:16 PM  

this is a good portion of why i want to become an LEO once i graduate. the ability to build relationships with your community is vital to a successful defense of that community.

Blogger maniacprovost February 24, 2018 12:28 PM  

@1
Communities don't exist in many cities and suburbs. You don't know your neighbors and being a cop won't change that. People move in and out so you would have to meet 10 new people a day, forever.

Yay America

Blogger Chesapean February 24, 2018 12:42 PM  

There's a truly great YouTube channel called, "Think Like a Cop." It is produced by retired police officer Rick Gore.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsgkhimI0MthrMZo-F2zrTQ

If you want to understand police tactics, strategy, legal freedoms and legal constraints, this is the place to go.

But before you do, I recommend watching a few videos in Mr. Gore's other YouTube channel called, "Think Like a Horse."

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwdVL0L9ljq3McWMXWrUVdg

Because the second channel is a powerhouse of insight into natural equine and human behaviors, it is the perfect primer for the first.

Blogger Lovekraft February 24, 2018 12:47 PM  

Somewhat off-topic, but had to put this commentgold here (found at heartise):

"While I have wanted to feel bad & have introspective thoughts for the slain kids in Florida, I haven’t been able to do anything but cringe in disgust at how it is being used. I just read that now China says we should have gun control like them. FFS even the Chinese are making a show of this? The unreal global pressure to fall in line with leftist totalitarians may be too much to bear. Game has the answer for this ridiculous bullshit. Here’s my deal with the devil that I would sign onto this evening:

POTUS games the nation by with “Agree & Amplify”: He announces that he will abolish the 2cd amendment, However…there are conditions:

POTUS will nationalize the NRA and make them report directly to the Armed Forces, which we will now call the Peoples Liberation Army of America ( PLAoA ). All political parties are abolished. The new “Peoples Party” is appointed by a new vote, overseen by the POTUS & hand picked by the PLAoA.

Follow China’s example on border control and kill anyone that violates the sovereignty of our borders. Sanctuary cities are blockaded and declared renegade provinces subject to eventual re-unification with the body politic. Any foreign entity helping them or recognizing them is at war with the PLAoA. Birth Control is abolished until the native population shows it can reproduce at replacement levels.

Since we are now under totalitarian control that is modeled on China, POTUS & can adopt the same social policies for homosexuals, mentally ill people, women, porn stars, sex workers, muslims, churchians/cuckstians & minorities ( like the Chinese Uighurs) that don’t embrace the new USA. Any rebellious useful idiots can all go feed worms.

For shits & giggles, POTUS & the Peoples Party make claims to the Baja Peninsula, all islands conquered in WW2, & the entire Gulf of Mexico is part of our exclusive economic zone. This will get the MiC on board at first, but the screws will turn on them too. Let’s see what $700B/yr can actually buy when the shareholders at LM/Boeing/Raytheon/Northrup etc. all have the PLAoA’s guns to their heads & access PIN’s to their bank accounts.

And for Israel, well…with all we have going on, we just don’t have any more shits to give…just like China.

The sad thing is that if a nightmare like this were to actually happen, and the body count reaches 20-30 million, ( proportional to China’s slaughter) America would recover and return to a better heritage condition than any possible future under the existing path we are on. Just like China has today."

Blogger Dos Voltz February 24, 2018 12:53 PM  

What a great post by BD, thanks Vox.

You mean, Andy Taylor was doing it right the whole time?

Blogger Rick February 24, 2018 12:58 PM  

I’ve worked with and have known a lot of ex Navy (career types, officers, etc) and they too would have been disgusted by the deputy hiding. Wondering if this cop is ex-mil (before becoming a cop)?

Anonymous Anonymous February 24, 2018 1:03 PM  

Even Barney Fife would have run toward the shooting. Shaking and clumsily fumbling for his one bullet. But he wouldn't let kids die while he was breathing.

--ZhukovG

Blogger pyrrhus February 24, 2018 1:43 PM  

Sums it up very well. Most of of LEOs I have had contact with, professionally or personally, have been professional and respectful..About 20-30% have not, including a couple with serious anger management problems...The major problem with modern law enforcement is that absolutely nothing is done about the bad apples, and particularly the violent bad apples. These misfits even get promoted in many cases. And believe me (as many recent examples demonstrate), they are a danger to the public.

Blogger Crew February 24, 2018 1:50 PM  

More on the school resource officer:

https://wsvn.com/news/local/student-to-stoneman-douglas-officer-you-could-have-saved-a-lot-of-lives/

Anonymous Anonymous February 24, 2018 1:52 PM  

@pyrrhus: In my short time with a badge, I observed that Law Enforcement was an attractive career for what we now call Gammas. I would surmise that, depending on a department's requirements, only higher functioning Gammas might get in. But, I definitely knew a few 'Gammas with Guns'.

--ZhukovG

Blogger The Pepe report February 24, 2018 1:55 PM  

My most recent experience with a cop was awesome.... I was pulled over for using my cell phone in bumper to bumper traffic.... The cop was a white guy about 6 feet tall with big strong looking forearms probly in his late 50s. I apologized for using my cell phone. I told him i was calling my wife to tell her i was stuck in traffic which was true. He looked me right in the eye and said he was going to let me off with just a warning. He said u have to decide if its worth 380$ and three points on your license. I said it wont happen again. He was really awesome.

Blogger Rick February 24, 2018 2:04 PM  

Pepe — you did nothing wrong. Except pre-crime. Yet — you were threatened.
He may be a nice guy, and not look at it that way, however.

Blogger LateIntoTheFray February 24, 2018 2:12 PM  

Like any field, the leadership will determine where policing goes. Two short stories that reinforce the part about the role of the prosecutors. My son is an officer here in an eastern state that I have called ‘California East’ for years. My nephew is one in an adjoining state that has leftie cities but the rest isn’t so bad yet. Both are suburban departments that have instituted body cameras in the past few years. Current trend is that any officer in a ‘diverse’ community will almost always be accused of racism, using excessive force, etc. at one or more points in their career.

The nephews town had someone come in to file a complaint against one of his guys (he’s a sergeant). He took the statement, reviewed the body cam footage and saw it was a flat out lie. The department filed charges for making false statements, etc and the prosecutors perused it. In my sons department, people come in to make complaints, the department tells them they have body-cam footage and asks if they would like to see it before filing the charges. The perps review the footage and if it clearly shows they are full of crap, they leave, nothing done to them. If it’s vague or inconclusive, they go ahead and file…playing the police abuse lottery.

Blogger Skyler the Weird February 24, 2018 2:45 PM  

I worked Ident in a County Sheriff's dept once in a large Southern city. Most of the Deputies and Jailers were politically connected in some way. The more technical civilians usually weren't.

When the Sheriff lost his reelection bid, the New guy found he couldn't just fire commissioned officers and replace them with cronies. He tried to get rid of the civilians instead and found it takes a while to search a plain arch or central pocket loop whirl.

A lot of the Deputies were fine people. Others who got the job because they were related to Commissioner Billy Bob or Reverend Wakanda were incompetent at best or thought that gun and badges made them God.

Blogger tz February 24, 2018 3:14 PM  

Why I moved to small town America.
At the end of the school year, the city police play dodge ball with the middle school students.

But most places, especially blue pimples are more like this

Blogger DonReynolds February 24, 2018 3:19 PM  

One of the important roles that fall to retired police officers is to speak publicly and truthfully about the reality of law enforcement work. This is very important, and they know it. They know that police officers and sheriffs deputies almost never have the ability to speak at all, most certainly not to the media. Retired cops cannot be fired or demoted or assigned to a crap detail or end up guarding a cranberry silo on the night shift.

The same is true of Border Patrol officers. Those still working are not able to speak, unless they want to stop working.

Blogger The Pepe report February 24, 2018 3:28 PM  

I did something wrong i broke the rules. I increased the chances of an accident to myself and others i should not have done that i was lucky

Blogger Azimus February 24, 2018 3:31 PM  

Reading this cop's thoughts is a melancholy reminder of how much we've lost as a people and hardly remember.

Blogger Chris Mallory February 24, 2018 4:22 PM  

Which was more likely to cause an accident? You making a call at low speed. Or the government employee forcing you exit the flow of traffic, sit on the side of the road,and then reenter traffic.
The way you described your encounter sounded like a letter to penthouse. A badly written one at that.

Blogger Anonymous Conservative February 24, 2018 5:24 PM  

I hate to say it, but if he isn't cautioning his son about staying squeaky clean to avoid being turned by intel these days, he isn't fully situational aware. Police Officers who lurk here need to understand what the School Shooting situation means for them.

Intelligence is now like skynet when it was becoming self-aware. I'm sure intel, particularly at the department level still does good stuff. You may have been approached about dropping some issue to smooth over their work, and it went well.

But know the power it has, realize it has to take orders from above just like you do, and recognize that in its eyes, you are a threat, and it is beginning to deal with threats.

Don't cut corners or break rules, because if you are a threat, and you are, they are on you, and watching everything. The drunk nurse who cries about how her life is being ruined, and then asks for a date when you give her a warning, could be one of them. Suddenly you've accepted sex to let off a drunk driver, and good luck when she shows up with semen stained panties, and the claim you let her off in return for the sex. The officer who males a bad call and asks you to look the other way in the report may be one of them, and now you are complicit.

Stay squeaky clean, and maintain your autonomy, because bad things are happening, and they may one day want to do a shooting where you are. Don't let them clean you out of the department and out of their way, or worse turn you to their ends and make you stand down.

It is a good post for country policing, but in more populous areas, things are changing rapidly, and young officers need to be aware.

Blogger Thot February 24, 2018 6:12 PM  

"Showing respect is vital. People notice if you're a dick. They'll trust you more and respect you more if you treat them decently."

What I find AMAZING is that ANY person in an authority/leadership position has to have that explained to them. How phenomenally dense do you have to be to not understand how not coming off as a DICK is in your best interest when working with others/leading others/advising others? Though I can say I know one person who is capable of leading, intelligent enough at least, but knows they are too much of a dick to be any good at it.

Not saying that the gentleman who wrote this didn't know this before his grandfather told him.

Anonymous Anonymous February 24, 2018 7:02 PM  

I think genuine peace officers are a prerequisite to civilized life in an urban community. That's why I've been ticked off by the "duhhh cops are statist" people. Sure some cops are corrupt, and what we've seen exposed in South Florida rises to a new level of evil. Bad cops have to go out the window (of a very very tall building). Good cops are to be appreciated.

For what it's worth, my experience with law enforcement has been 98% positive. I had one weird experience about a year ago when I was driving through what looked like an accident scene that had cooled down. One cop leaped out of his car, signalled me to stop, and started screaming inanities at me I remember something about "You think it's all about you, don't you?". I had no idea what the guy was so upset about, but I gathered he thought I had done something wrong by driving through this area of police interest.

Now, there were no ambulances. Nothing at all going on except about a dozen cops standing around on the sidewalks talking. Police cars not going flashy-flashy. Nobody directing traffic. I was at the intersection before this apparent cop convention when the light turned green. I know enough to be cautious around where the cops are busy, so I looked around very carefully, waited about 30 seconds, the slowly proceeded through the intersection.

So when the cop stopped ranting long enough to take a breath, I said "Officer, if it's so important that I not drive through here, then why is no one doing traffic control?". He looked back to the intersection...and realized I was right. So he reached into his cop back-brain and yelled, "Get out of here, or I'll give you a ticket!". I said, "Yes officer", and continued my drive home.

When I got there, I fired up the computer, and sent an email to the Chief of the local police, with copies to everyone I could get an email address of who worked for the city, as well as a local TV investigative reporter. (I call this the "CC Nuclear Option".) I described the incident as truthfully and politely as I could, and asked for either an explanation of what I had done wrong or an apology. I also pointed out that I did not leave the scene because I was afraid of getting a ticket, but because I considered the officer's command to leave the area something that I felt obliged to obey.

Within hours, I got a call from a police captain (the one in charge of civilian damage control) who apologized to me sincerely and said that the officer had clearly been in the wrong. (He also said he had reviewed the tapes of the whole scene!) He also explained the background--I guess there was a car chase, and the "subject" had gotten away. I told the captain I understood the officer's frustration, that I was satisfied with his apology, and that I would leave any disciplinary action against the officer entirely up to the man's superiors. End of story.

Blogger Emmett Fitz-Hume February 24, 2018 7:08 PM  

Can concur and support everything BD has written here.

I am lucky to work for a smaller agency in a very rural area (Lawdog's stories ring quite true where I work, though we are well north of the Mason-Dixon line). I am also lucky to have been trained by an old school peace officer.

That part matters quite a bit, as you can expect. But the field is changing and changing drastically.

ZhukovG made a good point about the field attracting Gammas.

I don't believe it was always this way, and is only becoming this way now where I live and work (Blue cities and such have been this way much, much longer). I would theorize that back in the day, the job attracted mostly Deltas; those decent, dependable guys who had no plans for college. They were probably decent athletes but not enough to ride that to a scholarship. Many served in the military but many did not (though, being Deltas, they had a lot in common with those who served). These were solid guys. For the most part. There's always a bad apples of course.

Large numbers of Gammas bring whole bushels of bad apples. Secret Kings with badges and guns. It's no wonder we see so many 'Officers' who 'Fear For Their Life'. Which, by the way, exactly what many agencies train officers to say from day 1 of their academies.

Many agencies require/recommend college degrees (or a certain number of college credits). This is where so many Gammas come into it in my belief.

When I first started reading VD, his Socio-sexual Heirarchy hit me like a ton of bricks. It explained so much, efficiently. It predicted to so much, so accurately.

So much becomes clearer when you can put words to the phenomena you observe.

I encounter young officers from other agencies (I am in my mid 40s and am almost the youngest officer in my department!) who are so obviously socio-sexually stunted that they take any glance from a woman, suspect or not as an indicator of interest. Then get bitter when they realize the truth, though they never admit the truth.

Imagine 25 year old men wearing uniforms and badges, carrying weapons who are so emotionally stunted that they have never had sex, and not for religious reasons, but because even in uniform, the creep women the hell out. It is quite common and still shocks me every time I hear about it.

I could go on and on. BD told it true.


Anonymous Anonymous February 24, 2018 7:37 PM  

And then there was the day my wife and I were driving down a street near our home when she noticed a woman being dragged into a van by a man. The woman was screaming, and clearly not going voluntarily. I stopped the car, and went to investigate. I have always told myself I would never do this, that I would just call the cops, and stay out of it. Sure, it was possible--even likely--this was what is called a "domestic dispute". I don't advise people to do this...but I did it. I can't quite describe my state of mind. It's as though I was watching myself from a distance, and I was saying to myself "This ain't Mexico. This is not how we do things here." But I wasn't feeling angry. Indeed, I felt a strange emotional coldness.

When I got to the van (the woman was now sitting next to the man, looking scared to death, and he was about to pull away), that's pretty much what I told the guy. Another witness had also stopped and had called the police. So I told the jerk, "you are waiting here for the police. I don't know what is going on, but you are waiting here for the police, and they will talk to you."

He told me he was leaving, so I did something else that the rules of sensibility that I have always sworn to obey prohibit: I displayed my carry gun. I didn't point it at him, I just took it out very ostentatiously, and said very emphatically "You are staying here. We are talking to the police."

Tactically, this was utterly stupid. But I figured this guy probably watched TV, and believed guns are magic. So he wouldn't do the obvious thing: put the van into gear and run me over. Sure enough, he stayed put. Or maybe that shows he wasn't really evil...it did turn out to be "domestic", by the way.

Next scene: two carloads of city cops arrive. I have stowed my pistol. The cops divide everyone up and start questioning people. I told my interrogator what I had observed, and that I had acted on the presumption that was a possible kidnapping. He nodded. Cops then have a conference. My cop comes back, says "You did the right thing sir". He asks for my name and phone number, and I gave it. He didn't even ask me for my carry permit (which I have, of course.)

I'm not telling this story to show how brave or cool I am. The story doesn't show that. What I did was not, strictly speaking, even sensible. I acted out of what I can only call a "core conviction" that is buried somewhere down in my basic brain wiring. Someday it may get me killed. I note that it hasn't yet, and it's been a while. No, I'm telling the story to explain how useful the police are, and why I regard the police in my town highly. How could I have taken care of this myself? I don't have the personality for conflict resolution. And if I had done this in some other place, like Broward County, what do you think they would have done to me?

Cops are a good institution, as long as they more or less do what they are supposed to do.

Blogger Banshee February 24, 2018 7:48 PM  

Concur. When the police are good, they are usually excellent. They work hard, they do what's right, and they keep the peace. There are police SWAT teams who are honest and brave, and who don't shoot people they don't have to shoot.

But there are also very bad police and sheriff's deputies out there. There are cowards with guns, and sadists, and thieves. They do not keep the peace. They do not help citizens. They are a danger to everyone.

Where I used to live, there was an incident where a man with mental illness and a drug problem made a gun threat and barricaded himself in his apartment. Since his apartment overlooked a school, the SWAT team had to be called. But they dealt with the problem quickly, and without having to shoot anyone or destroy anything, because they used good judgment. They weren't unprepared, they weren't cowards, and they were professional servants of the law.

Unfortunately, not everybody is like that SWAT team, or the SWAT team from Coral Springs. Some of them are like those corrupt creatures from Broward County's sheriff department.

Blogger Technomad February 24, 2018 9:59 PM  

One problem with this is that cops, all too often, will defend or make excuses for the bad eggs among them, instead of seeing to it that the bad cops are turfed off the force. And then they're oh-so-surprised that people lump them in with the bad cops.

Blogger Randy February 24, 2018 10:13 PM  

The Broward deputy that failed to enter the school should be charged with dereliction of duty. Knowing that he will never be prosecuted, I offer these instead.

http://i.magaimg.net/img/2qfv.jpg

http://i.magaimg.net/img/2qgf.jpg

http://i.magaimg.net/img/2qj4.jpg

Blogger RC February 24, 2018 10:23 PM  

Let's just rename it Coward county.

Blogger flyingtiger February 25, 2018 12:22 AM  

Thieves steal because they get a rush doing so. The dope is to help them come down. Sort of like having a beer after a rough day at the office.

Blogger McChuck February 25, 2018 8:40 AM  

This is a story of policing in a white neighborhood. Blacks still won't accept you if you're decent to them, but they might be slightly less hostile. "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

Blogger Matthew February 25, 2018 8:56 AM  

flyingtiger wrote:Thieves steal because they get a rush doing so. The dope is to help them come down. Sort of like having a beer after a rough day at the office.

Maybe in North Korea.

Blogger lowercaseb February 25, 2018 12:54 PM  

Chesapean wrote:There's a truly great YouTube channel called, "Think Like a Cop." It is produced by retired police officer Rick Gore.

...

But before you do, I recommend watching a few videos in Mr. Gore's other YouTube channel called, "Think Like a Horse."


I took a look and these are both great channels. Thanks for the heads up...I want to subscribe before they start getting pulled down because this guy does not pull his punches in what he thinks about the left.

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