By now, most of us have had it with this story. As reported on Yahoo news, and every other place on earth, former Milwaukee Police Officer Oscar Ayala-Cornejo decided to lie about his citizenship to allow himself to become a police officer. I can understand Continue Reading
I just don’t understand why cities insist on destroying their own police departments. I just about flipped when I read this article. LAPD officers who work gang enforcement or narcotics teams will now have to supply all of their financial information to the city. This will include thier SPOUSE’S information as well. We are talking credit card, mortgage, bank account – all that stuff.
What the *$%*)#&%#(*?
As this press release from their union shows (issued a few months ago), the cops are too smart for this. They will all quit those task forces. Then, there are no cops working to fight gangs and take drugs off the street. The cops’ worries include court motions to expose their personal information, and the fact that records clerks and other non-sworn persons will have access to the information. These same clerks are periodically arrested for gang crimes, parole violations, drugs, etc…
My two worries?
1. Identity theft.
2. Gang members bribing clerks to get to the cops’ home addresses.
Well done, Los Angeles…you might actually chase the last few good cops out of that department.
Talk about poetic. I couldn’t make this one up; it really happened. Of course his sister says that he just, “Had his ways…” but a career criminal is no longer among us. I hope the alligator didn’t get sick.
Police work is a 24/7 business. That comes with some good and some bad. On the negative side, I frequently have to work weekends, holidays, nights, etc. The trade off has been that I more or less avoid “Monday Syndrome.” After all, as any psychologist worth their weight knows, it is the end of the weekend that kills you. I never have a weekend, so… you get the picture.
Until today. My partner’s weekend just happened to coincide with the “real” one, so we both jaunted off to work early Monday morning. I made it there just fine. My partner, on the other hand…
No one hurt, by the way; just an ego slap. Have a good week.
I have to admit that sometimes I just don’t get it. I have spent over ten years squarely on the “cop side” of most every dispute. When the union wants to pressure the management, I have their back. When the city offers a terrible contract, I write letters. I am, pardon the cliche, a cop’s cop.
But I have to call B.S. when I see it. The Associated Press is reporting in this article that the New York City police union is suing to prevent mandatory alcohol breath testing after an officer fires their weapon. The union representative apparently sees no reason to subject his constituents to, “the humiliation and psychological trauma” of a mandatory breath test.
I have probably administered 500 of those things and I assure you the humiliation and trauma is no more than that experienced when blowing up a balloon. Arguably less, since balloons make you look so silly. I simply cannot fathom why a police officer who just shot or shot at someone would want to hide their sobriety status. Continue Reading
As I mentioned in my prior posts, I will include, from time to time, my observations on the world - and the police world in particular. These opinions are not derived, I assure you, from scientific studies, nor are they the final results of much deep thought. They are just the stuff that gets shoved into a cop’s head after a decade or so.
Your Grandma Was Wrong
So your grandma told you people are basically good. Bull. In the last several patrol shifts, in neighborhoods that cross all socioeconomic barriers, the following have taken place:
1. A mother of three, living in a twin bed with all three kids, fighting violently with police who tried to arrest her. The kids were not hurt, thanks to the professionalism of our women and men in uniform. Well done, Mom.
2. A 90 year-old man with dementia left in his bed for weeks by his children. Bed sores, sickness, infection, etc. Thanks for raising me, dad.
3. A young man who wanted to join a gang. Nothing new here, except the gang didn’t want him. So they beat him into the ICU. He was fourteen or fifteen, at the oldest.
4. Finally, some common sense. These geniuses killed a cat and hung it from a tree on a public highway. Why? Tired of the cat messing up the house.
I once met a police psychologist who gave a good presentation on why cops are “different” than other people. His hypothesis was that all humans can take only so much “evil stuff” before it gets them in some way or the other. Cops, he said, get their dose for life in the first five years of their career. Not so far off, doc.
What do you think?
I certainly hope I am wrong, but I think we might be looking at the next “incident” in police work coming to us soon from Florida. See this article and video for the details, but in summary, here is what happened:
A young girl was being arrested for stealing things. That is because stealing is wrong. Then she resisted lawful efforts to handcuff her. That is wrong, too. Then she bit the police officer. Still wrong. Eventually the police officer grew tired of all this malarkey and punched the suspect once, pepper sprayed and arrested her. That is allowed.
The cop did right, the suspect did wrong. So that’s the end of this post, right?
Not so fast.
You see, there is a problem in this video; one that is clear as day, but many of you might have missed it. In this video, the cop is white and the suspect is not. That will make this arrest an “issue.” It shouldn’t, but it will. Note the interview in the news video. She is concerned that the cop did not explain what he was doing, and that he did not read the girl her rights. What? Her rights? Should he have done that before or after the bite? Continue Reading
It never ceases to amaze me. From time to time I stand at a critical or dangerous incident and think, “what on earth are you thinking?” I started this as a young patrol officer when suspects would continue to fight with 3, 4, or 5 police officers who were subduing them. Sometimes I would say out-loud, “Dude, do you think you can actually win this…knock it off!” Of course that was generally ineffective.
Anyhow, last shift the officers who work for me had to arrest a guy for beating up his wife. Nothing too serious on the injuries, but he was going to jail for certain. Who is there to arrest him? Count with me here, folks: three armed police officers (guns drawn), one police sergeant, one police canine (sounding quite hungry) and the Philosophical Cop.
As much as I fancy myself a philosopher, I am frequently reminded that what really excites me is being a cop.
Since my own blog description predicts I will be talking about my “…decade of policing,” I have decided to post (almost) daily the observations that stick to the fly paper in my head. Many will be from last night’s shift; others might be from years ago. I hope you find they continue to change the way we each look at policing. That remains my global mission. Here goes.
My First Observation: Over 10 Years Ago…
One of the first things I ever remember considering “as a cop” was how kids looked at me. I love kids, so I always looked and cooed and smiled. Before I was a cop, and to this day if I am out of uniform, they would generally look back, cry, or do nothing at all.
When I try this in uniform, kids light up. They giggle, laugh, and point. How cool is that? For years I have been carrying little stickers and badges and toy police cars for the occasion. Nothing makes my day like, “MOMMY! The police man gave me a real badge. LOOK M-O-M-M-Y!”
Sadly, after about 17 years, the smiles turn into middle fingers, and the chants are somewhat less — umm — adorable. Sigh.
But hey, smile at that uniform, little ones…you might just be staring down the philosophical cop.
I received an email from a college student doing research on police response to domestic violence calls. They were interested in knowing (1) why domestic calls were so dangerous for police officers, and (2) how we handled these incidents. I thought they were both good questions. And since more than half of my calls in the past decade have been domestics, it is fair to say that cops deal with more of these than any other single problem.