Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Another person tells cops, "Don't do your job."

I've subscribed to Reason magazine for years and I regularly listen to their podcast. I've often described my politics as conservative with some libertarian tendencies. But I have many issues with the the Libertarian Party's platform. They are for open borders (as opposed to the current Democratic party which wants no borders.)

Now I've found this article interesting. The author (A columnist for the Chicago Tribune) basically wants cops to cease making traffic stops. My first thought was, "Moron, to be effective, police work has to be assertive..." Here are some of the highlights.
Curbing Traffic Stops Would Save Lives

So why do cops rely so much on the practice? Enforcing traffic laws is a large share of what they do.

Steve Chapman

Last weekend, in the wee hours of the night, Chicago police stopped a car carrying four people. When officers approached it, they saw a passenger holding a gun. The outcome was a familiar one: an 18-year-old man was shot by police...
Mr. Chapman, perhaps you missed the story from the Chicago Tribune. You are giving the reader an impression of four kids just joyriding and the police shot for no reason. From your newspaper's article:
...Officers stopped the car in an alley between Mulligan Avenue and Mobile Avenue. While the officers were asking the driver for a license and registration, the officers saw that one of the backseat passengers, the 18-year-old man, had a gun, Nagode said.

"The subject did have a weapon in his hand," he said. "He was making several statements where he was threatening in nature."

The officers exchanged words with the man, but Nagode said the 18-year-old did not put down the gun...
Mr. Chapman, perhaps you didn't know this, but private possession of a firearms in Chicago is basically illegal. Also, an 18 year old cannot possess a pistol, period. You are trying to imply the cops were wrong in stopping the vehicle and defending themselves. News flash, they were not.
...Too often, traffic stops lead to tragedy. Philando Castile was shot to death in his car by a police officer in Minnesota. Last week, a mistrial was declared for a University of Cincinnati officer prosecuted for killing 43-year-old Samuel DuBose, whose car had a missing front license plate. Sandra Bland, yanked out of her car by a Texas state trooper after allegedly failing to signal a lane change, died in jail. All three victims were black.
Yes, I saw the video of the Castile stop. Not the Facebook live stream his girlfriend did, but the one of the officer. Where the first thing he does is tell him, "Don't reach for it...Don't reach for it!" Can we say we say Mr. Castile did "reach for it," no, we didn't have that point of view. But it's not the lie put out that the cop fired without warning and for no reason.

I've been a cop for almost two decades and yes, occasionally, I get stopped. And it's rare I am not carrying a weapon. So the first thing I do as the officer approaches is put my hand out and announce, "Officer, my hands are where you can see them! I am armed!" I show him my ID, he knows I am authorized to carry a weapon, and we go on.

By the way, Sandra Bland did not "die in jail," she killed herself in jail. And the trooper is at no fault for her death. Once she was accepted by the county jail, she is their responsibility. From what I've read there are some issues with the jail staff, but the trooper is not responsible for that.
...Cops are also at risk. In March, a police officer died in a shootout with a passenger who ran from a car that had been pulled over in Tecumseh, Okla. In June, a police lieutenant was fatally gunned down after a stop in Newport, Arkansas..."

Actually LT Weatherford was investigating a vehicle break in, not on a traffic stop:
The Arkansas State Police said on Tuesday that Weatherford was responding to a vehicle break-in when he was shot.
...When an officer stops and approaches a vehicle, both the cop and the driver are vulnerable. Any wrong move or misjudgment can turn the encounter deadly.

"Traffic stops and domestic violence are the highest-risk calls—you have no idea what you're walking into," John Gnagey, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, told the Orlando Sentinel in 2010...

A seven year old quote, kinda weird. I guess Google was lazy the day you wrote this.
Even when motorists get off unharmed, the experience can be frightening, infuriating or humiliating. Stops breed fear and distrust of law enforcement, particularly among minorities.

"Even when motorists get off unharmed,..." You are implying people getting "off unharmed" is not common. From the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2011 62 million Americans had interaction with police, of which approximate 13 million were traffic stops. If 10% of those stops/investigations ended in injury or death of the officer or a citizen, we would be talking about 1.3 million people. Hate to tell you, there is not an epidemic of violence around traffic stops.
...So why do cops rely so much on the practice? Enforcing traffic laws is a large share of what they do. Ignoring motorists who drive too fast or ignore signals could foster chaos on the road...

And to let you in on a secret, it also leads to other crimes, such as Driving While Intoxicated, Operating with a Suspended License, no insurance, etc. Also, going back to that 18 year old who was shot in Chicago. Did it occur to you the four kids (around 20, at least one armed, out at 3:00 am) what were they doing. Likely planning a criminal act. The fact they were stopped (speculation on my part) may have prevented another crime later on in the night. You stop them with a traffic stop, arrest them for illegally carrying the weapon, and the armed robbery they were planning never occurs.

But there are other ways to combat bad driving. University of California, Berkeley law professor Christopher Kutz points out that police in France do traffic stops at less than one-third the rate that American cops do. In England and Wales, it's one-fourth.

The obvious alternative is using cameras. Speeders and red-light runners can be detected and ticketed by electronic means. Upon paying the fine, says Kutz, the offenders could be required to show that they are licensed and insured.

I've gotten citations from red-light and speed cameras, and while I resented the fines, I was grateful that I wasn't detained on the roadside by an armed officer. The time I got a mere warning for (barely) failing to come to a complete stop on an empty suburban street after midnight was considerably less pleasant.

Forgive me, but you claimed to have "...(barely).."failed to come to a complete stop. OK, we'll take you at your word for the moment. However, if police switched to only camera enforcement of traffic laws, what will preclude people from covering their license plates, steeling license plates of similar vehicles, etc? BTY, I will lay money the next column comes up from you will be complaints about being fined without being proven guilty of a crime, such as running a red light.

...Being a gray-haired white male, I've been pulled over only three times in my adult life. Castile, 32, had been through that experience 49 times—and "was rarely ticketed for the reason he was stopped," according to the StarTribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Joel Anderson, an African-American reporter for BuzzFeed, said on Twitter last month that he's been stopped more than 30 times since he started driving—including five times for seatbelt violations when he was wearing his seatbelt...

"...rarely ticketed for the reason he was stopped?" OK, was he ticketed for something else? I didn't see a breakdown of what Castile had been stopped for and the results, if you have that, please put it out. Oh, to be fair, why don't you restate Mr Anderson's claim, "He alleges he was stopped five times for seatbelt violations when the was wearing his seatbelt."

Traffic stops are often an excuse for cops to search a car for drugs and guns. Curtailing police reliance on this pretext would free motorists from being dragooned to "consent" to searches for which the cops lack probable cause.

If the cop doesn't have probably cause, the driver can say, "You ain't going in there without a warrant..." I agree, stand up for your rights.
...True, the change would let criminals operate at less risk. But hassling the innocent to catch the guilty is an abuse of our constitutional principles. In Illinois last year, police conducted 2.17 million traffic stops. Just 8,938 yielded contraband—one bust for every 242 stops...

Yes, it would let criminals operate at less risk. And the general public at more. Before Rudolph Giuliani came in and instigated, among other things, "Stop and Frisk," New York was a war zone. The Big Apple had over two-thousand murders in 1990.

Sorry Mr. Chapman, effective policing, by it's nature, must be aggressive. We must go out and find the criminals, if possible, before they strike (see your example of the 4 hood rats stopped by CPD). You may not like the fact we do this job, but don't worry. In spite of your bad opinion of the cops, we will still respond to you when you're getting your ass kicked. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's great speech:
We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall -- you need me on that wall.

We use words like "honor," "code," "loyalty." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand the watch. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

RIP Commander John Koenig

Martin Landau passed this weekend at the age of 89. He became quite an accomplished actor in rolls in Hitchcock's classic North by Northwest, the real Mission Impossible, and the roll that would earn him the Academy Award, as Bela Lugosi in the film Ed Wood in 1994. But to me and countless nerds, he will always be John Koenig, Commander, Moonbase Alpha.

Space 1999 came along in 1975, at the end of the Apollo program and Americans were still optimistic about our space program. In the years of Ford and Carter, we (especially 10 year old idiots from small town Louisiana) saw ourselves colonizing the moon and reaching out to the other planets in my lifetime. Well...that didn't work out.

I still love space opera but my taste have matured. I appreciate plot, character development, etc over special effects. But I didn't appreciate this back in you younger years as I do today, and it's appropriate.

I've often looked over this scene from the first season episode Black Sun. The lunar colony is heading to a black sun and almost all of the crewmen are looking at sure death in a few hours. As Koenig and his long time friend, Professor Victor Bergman (played by British actor Barry Morse) contemplate the end, Bergman brings out "Sixty year old brandy" and pours two glasses. The hardened commander contemplates what to say for a moment, and utters, "To everything that might have been." The more optimistic Bergman thinks for a second and finishes the toast, "To everything that was."

I have to say I've stolen that toast more than once, including the time I was retiring from the Army!    :<).

RIP Martin Landau, a life well lived. It's not how you're buried, it's how you're remembered. And you sir will be remembered well.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Another memorial for a fallen deputy...

I remember Friday, Auguest 29, 2015, very well. I drove home hearing of the murder of Darci's County Deputy Darren Goforth, and later that evening (actually the next morning) I posted on listening to his fellow deputies looking for a black male in a red Ford Ranger. I passed out around 0200, but he was captured around 0500 and is awaiting trial. Shannon Miles has been arraigned and is awaiting trial (likely sometime this fall) but there is some news for his family.
Memorial for slain Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth set for installation

A memorial honoring slain Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth is expected to be installed Wednesday in the Woodlawn Cemetery in northwest Houston.

Goforth, 47, was gunned down on the evening of Aug. 28, 2015, outside his patrol vehicle at a northwest Harris County gas station.

The memorial, which features a seven-foot black granite bench with a thin blue piece of glass going through the middle, is being donated by Schlitzberger and Daughters Monument Co., Watson Sign & Monuments, and Roquemore Marble and Granite

Tony Watson, of Watson Sign & Monuments, was first reached out to Goforth's wife, Kathleen, to see if she would be interested in the memorial.

"She was beyond words, happy and pleased that we were wanting to do this for her," said Kimberly Schlitzberger. "It was a hard situation that she had already gone through so we wanted to make what came next as easy as possible..."

Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your donation to his family and the LEO Family. I can't wait to see it.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I guess Black lives (don't) Matter, after all....

This afternoon, after going though my shift paperwork, I was drawn to something on Facebook. I could not hold myself back. It's the dispatch radio recording from when NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia. Just past midnight he was murdered by a thug and you can hear her partner screaming for help. You get an idea of the confusion, the terror, the hopelessness as you know's happened. Thankfully this POS was handled by the NYPD and he will never terrorize another human being. And he had a long history of that:
"...(Alexander) Bonds served about seven years in prison for a robbery in Syracuse and was paroled in May 2013, records show. Police sources initially said he had been arrested in 2013.

Wednesday was not Bonds' first attack on a police officer. Sources told the NY Daily News he previously assaulted an officer with brass knuckles.

Bonds also recently spoke critically of law enforcement on social media, the Daily News reports, noting he seemed to have had up to six different aliases.

Records show he went by John Bonds during the Syracuse robbery arrest..."

Apparently this POS didn't care you were black Officer Familia, only that you were blue. He didn't see the nurse you were also, or the three kids left without a mother. We can only speculate why he choose you, but there is no question your uniform was the major reason.

From this morning, Officer's Familia's body being transported from the hospital.

RIP Sis...We Got The Watch.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day

Well, I will be riding in a parade today with the Blue Knights and spending some quality time with my family. Don't forget the real reason we're eating too much.  The original BREXIT! And please, take a few minutes to read why this day is so important.

Happy Independence Day!

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen united States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Friday, June 30, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Tennyson
Maury County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee
End of Watch: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Age: 64
Tour: 30 years
Incident Date: 5/5/2017

Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Tennyson succumbed to injuries sustained in a single vehicle crash the previous morning at approximately 7:30 am.

He was en route to a local high school when his patrol car left the roadway on Iron Bridge Road, near Running Deer Drive, in Columbia. The vehicle went down an embankment and struck a group of trees. He was transported to a local hospital before being transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He succumbed to his injuries on May 6th, 2017.

Deputy Tennyson had served in law enforcement for 30 years and was assigned as a school resource officer. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Mark Burbridge
Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office, Iowa
End of Watch: Monday, May 1, 2017
Age: 43
Tour: 12 years
Badge # 78-10

Deputy Sheriff Mark Burbridge was shot and killed at the Pottawattamie County Jail, in Council Bluffs, as he and another deputy returned two inmates to the jail after a court appearance.

As the deputies began to take the inmates into the jail one of the inmates attacked them. The inmate was able to disarm one of the deputies and shot them both. He then stole the transport van and fled from the jail. He shot a citizen nearby when he attempted to carjack the man. He then abducted another citizen and forced her to drive him from the scene in her vehicle.

The subject was located by Omaha, Nebraska, police officers after releasing the woman. He was taken into custody following a high speed pursuit and charged with numerous felonies related to the carjacking and weapons possession. The man had just been sentenced to 55 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder.

Deputy Burbridge had served with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office for 12 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Justin L. Beard
Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana
End of Watch: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Age: 26
Tour: 3 years, 6 months
Badge # 2276

Deputy Sheriff Justin Beard was killed in a vehicle crash while responding to a burglary alarm during a severe thunderstorm at approximately 6:00 am.

He was traveling on Louisiana Highway 34, south of West Monroe, when his patrol vehicle left the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned. Deputy Beard, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered fatal injuries.

Deputy Beard had served with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office for 3-1/2 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Officer Down

Sergeant Meggan Lee Callahan
North Carolina Department of Public Safety - Division of Prisons, North Carolina
End of Watch: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Age: 29
Tour: 5 years

Sergeant Meggan Callahan was killed after being assaulted at the Bertie Correctional Institution at approximately 5:30 pm.

An inmate service a life sentence for murder initially set a fire inside the prison. Sergeant Callahan responded with two other offices. She was using a fire extinguisher to put out the fire when she was attacked by the inmate that set the fire. He gained control of the fire extinguisher and struck Sergeant Callahan in the head with it, seriously injuring her.

Medical staff at the prison and other first responders provided medical aid but she succumbed to her injuries approximately one hour after the attack.

Sergeant Callahan had served with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety for five years.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Officer Down

Corporal Stephen J. Ballard
Delaware State Police, Delaware
End of Watch: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Age: 32
Tour: 8 years, 6 months
Badge # 1305
Cause: Gunfire

Corporal Stephen Ballard was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious vehicle at a gas station on Pulaski Highway, near Salem Church Road, in Bear, Delaware.

He made contact with two people he observed in the vehicle, at which point one of the men began struggling with him. The man pushed Corporal Ballard away from him and began to run. After taking several steps he turned around and opened fire on Corporal Ballard, wounding him. The man then chased Corporal Ballard as he sought cover behind a vehicle. The man shot him numerous times, including several times after Corporal Ballard fell to the ground.

Responding officers apprehended one of the subjects at the scene. The second subject fled to his home where he barricaded himself inside. After a long standoff, the subject exited his home and opened fire on officers, who returned fire killing him.

Corporal Ballard had served with the Delaware State Police for 8-1/2 years and was assigned to Troop 2, Glasgow. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and parents.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Again, this is why we don’t rush to judge an event.

I’ve been hosting this blog for 8 years and the post that got the most traffic was on another incident where the cop was seen to be in the wrong. I’ve learned over the years to wait this out, you have to see all the evidence in an event.

In 2016, we were introduced to the latest Youtube/BLM celebrity, Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile. When I first saw this video, my first thought was “How cold…her boyfriend is bleeding out and all she is concerned about is getting on Facebook live.” Well, after the officer was put on trial and found not guilty, the video from the officer was released. A few things I would like to point out.

1:05 Starts talking to him

1:39 Officer Yanez tells Castile, “Don’t reach for it man!”

1:40 The officer loudly tells Castile, “Don’t pull it out!”

1:42 Officer Yanez pulls his weapon

1:43 Officer Yanez fires

2:07 He calls for assistance and medics

5:00 The supervisor talks control and moves Officer Castile away.

6:11 Back-up officers pull Castile out and start chest compressions.

8:50 Ambulance arrives.

When I first watched Ms Reynolds video, I had a question of why didn’t the officer call for medical support. But I also knew this was one side of what happened, so I should hold judgement until we see the dash cam video and other evidence is presented. Now that I see this I can say Officer Yanez acted quickly and properly, asking for backup and medical assistance. The back up arrived within three minutes and relive Yanez, and conduct first aid on Castile. In less than seven minutes an ambulance.

And after seeing this, I see no issue with the officer’s actions. It’s my opinion, but to say the least I’m in doubt the sincerity of his girlfriend after her only though of after her boyfriend was wounded was to get this on live stream. And it is also the judgement of the jury. Does this make the man "innocent," no. It means, in the eyes of the law, he is not guilty.

One other point I would make about this. I carry a pistol pretty much everywhere I go. If I am pulled over, the first thing I do it put my hands out of the window and announce, "Officer, my hands are where you can see them. I am armed." I present my ID and he knows he has a "friendly." Carrying a weapon is a responsibly and you must think of things such as what to do when confronted by a law enforcement officer. I have to wonder if Mr. Castile ever thought that situation through. I would think that should be on his mine seeing he had been stopped for traffic over fifty times.

To anyone who carries a weapon, or wants to, think before you do. To all my fellow cops, be safe out there.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Officer Down

Agent Benjamín De los Santos-Barbosa
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Age: 32
Tour: 5 years, 6 months
Badge # 36373
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 4/16/2017

Agent Benjamín De los Santos-Barbosa succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained four days earlier following a vehicle pursuit in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

He and three other officers attempted to stop a vehicle for having illegal window tint. The driver, who was on parole for narcotics charges, led officers on a pursuit until he encountered a broken down vehicle in the roadway on Callejón Comercio. He then backed into the patrol car and opened fire as he exited his vehicle, striking Agent De los Santos-Barbosa in the head. The other officers, as well as a bystander, returned fire and wounded the subject.

The man was taken into custody and charged with 15 counts including murder, narcotics violations, and weapons violations.

Agent De los Santos-Barbosa remained on life support so that his organs could be donated.

Agent De los Santos-Barbosa had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 5-1/2 years. He was predeceased by his sister, who also had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department but was slain in 2010 while off duty. He is survived by his nephew, who he obtained custody of after his sister's murder.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff David Wade
Logan County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Age: 40
Tour: 3 years
Badge # 221

Deputy Sheriff David Wade was shot and killed at approximately 8:30 am as he attempted to serve an eviction notice at a residence near the intersection of CR 66 and Midwest Boulevard, outside of Mulhall, Oklahoma.

He encountered three subjects at the residence and began checking their identifications. One of the subjects opened fire on Deputy Wade, striking him multiple times. The man then stole Deputy Wade's patrol truck and fled the scene. He then abandoned the vehicle and carjacked a citizen in a nearby town. The subject was taken into custody several hours later.

Deputy Wade was able to radio for backup after he was shot. He was flown to a hospital in Oklahoma City where he passed away several hours later while in surgery.

Deputy Wade was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Logan County Sheriff's Office for three years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Kevlar from cornstarch...

One of the great inventions of the last century was Kevlar, a relatively light weight composite that could stop bullets. Originally invented by a Dupont chemist named Stephanie Kwolek. Her invention has saved countless cops and soldiers over the decades. Now it looks like we have the next generation of body armor, from of all things corn starch.

Air Force cadet creates bulletproof breakthrough

The cadet developed a cake-like batter that hardens with massive force

Air Force cadet Hayley Weir had an idea that turned out to be a game changer. "It was just the concept of going out there and stopping a bullet with something that we had made in a chemistry lab."

The 21-year-old Weir approached Air Force Academy Assistant Professor Ryan Burke with the idea. He was skeptical.

"I said, 'I'm not really sure this is going to work, the body armor industry is a billion-plus-dollar industry," he noted.

Weir's idea was to combine anti-ballistic fabric with what's known as a shear thickening fluid to create a less heavy material to use in body armor. She demonstrated the principle to Burke by combining water and cornstarch in a container and asking the professor to jam his finger into the paste-like goo.

"I jam my finger right into this bowl, and I almost broke my finger! Hayley's laughing because I've got this finger that I'm shaking and I'm saying, 'You know, that's pretty impressive stuff.'"

Convinced, Ryan worked with Weir for several months in a small lab at the Air Force Adacemy in Colorado Springs. They were helped and advised by Dr. Jeff Owens, Senior Research Chemist at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

They tried combining several different ingredients to come up with the exact formula for the shear thickening fluid, and the correct way to layer it with ballistic fibers.

"The pieces are not new," Weir explains, "everything that we've used in there has been researched (before) in some capacity for ballistics protection."

They tested their combinations on the firing range, failing time and again, until one day their quarter-inch thick design repeatedly stopped a round fired from a 9mm handgun.

Weir and Ryan's excitement was tempered by the range safety officer who pulled his .44 Magnum and told them bluntly, "This will fail."

Ryan says, "We loaded it in and it stopped it. And it stopped it a second time, and then a third time."

They realized they had hit on something special, that could potentially lighten the average 26-pound body armor kit worn by servicemen in the field by as much as two thirds.

"This is something that our competition doesn't have right now," Weir explained. "And with this advantage our soldiers, if they wear this body armor, will be able to move faster, run farther, jump higher."

Body armor for the military and first responders may not be the only thing that can be improved by the new fabric. It could possibly be used to reduce or replace the thick metal plates that protect military aircraft, tanks and other vehicles.

"And there's some significant gravity and weight behind that," Ryan said. "And what it could mean for people like my friends who are still active duty in the military, that are going downrange, serving overseas...."

Thank you LT Weir. If this works out, that's a major load off my back every day. And more people saved.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Officer Down

Master Police Officer Jason G. Harris
Spartanburg Police Department, South Carolina
End of Watch: Thursday, April 13, 2017
Age: 39
Tour: 12 years
Incident Date: 4/11/2017

Master Police Officer Jason Harris died of injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident while on patrol.

Officer Harris was responding to assist an officer at the scene of a burglary. He was traveling east on Union Street when his motorcycle struck the right rear side of a westbound car as it was turning left into a private driveway. Officer Harris was thrown from his 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle and seriously injured.

He was taken to Spartanburg Medical Center where he underwent multiple surgeries before succumbing to his injuries two days later.

Officer Harris had served with the Spartanburg Police Department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Officer Down

Trooper Anthony J. Borostowski
Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin
End of Watch: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Age: 34
Tour: 3 years
Badge # 2603

Trooper Anthony Borostowski was killed in a single vehicle crash at mile marker 89 on eastbound I-90/94 in Sauk County.

He was on patrol at approximately 4:00 am when his patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Trooper Borostowski was a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard and had served with the Wisconsin State Patrol for three years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

China and her navy....

China has come late to the concept of naval power projection. But she is coming on strong. China just launched her first nationally developed carrier, after launching a refitted carrier. Now to add to this, we have a submersible "arsenal" ship.

China is developing a warship of naval theorists' dreams

An arsenal ship that can be submerged in water.

The Chinese navy is taking arsenal ships in a new direction—as giant submersibles. Post-Cold War naval theorists have long dreamed of recreating the old battleships' power through massive "arsenal ships," or warships carrying hundreds of guided missiles that could fire at land and sea targets. Now it looks like China wants to make that dream a reality...

The submersible warship has four stages: submerged, partial exposure of the superstructure, raising the hull to the 'waterline' and as a low draft, and operating as a high-speed hydroplane.
...What's the big deal about an underwater arsenal vessel? Well submerging all or even most of a large warship would reduce its radar and visual signature, as well as protect it against most missile threats.

There are two concepts in circulation: one is a high-speed warship with much of its hull submerged but otherwise has a functional superstructure with defense weapons and radar, the other is almost completely submerged arsenal ship with two conning towers. The scale of the designs are significant; either ship would displace roughly about 20,000 tons at full load...

...For stealth operations, the arsenal ship would have most of its hull inherently submerged, with only the bridge and a few other parts of the ship above the waterline, reducing the radar cross section. But when traveling with a high-speed naval taskforce, the arsenal ship will sacrifice stealth to use its flat hull bottom to hydroplane at high speeds, cutting across the waves like a speedboat or amphibious armored vehicle.

The second design is more conventional, it is essentially a giant, conventionally propelled submarine with two conning towers stuffed with snorkels, periscopes, and communications antennae. Given its need to keep up with high-speed surface ships and its lack of high-speed endurance underwater, this arsenal ship design would operate similarly to WWII submarines; the majority of its voyage will take place on the surface, and will submerge only during combat and under attack.

Chinese research institutes have been testing sub-models of both arsenal ship configurations since 2011, including open-water tests for the hydroplane arsenal ship and laboratory tests for the arsenal submarine. Unverified rumors on the Chinese internet claim that a full-scale, proof-of-concept is under construction at Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industrial Corporation, to be launched after 2020.
An arsenal ship can rely on the carrier's airwing and surface warship escorts to protect it against airborne threats, while providing the carrier group hundreds of extra missile launchers holding anything from air-defense rockets to land-attack cruise missiles.

I remember a great quote from the movie, The Hunt for Red October:

Skip Tyler: When I was twelve, I helped my daddy build a bomb shelter in our basement because some fool parked a dozen warheads 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Well, this thing could park a coupla hundred warheads off Washington and New York and no one would know anything about it till it was all over.

Conceivably this could park itself off of coast of Japan or South Korea and devastate a target area. There is no guarantee the missiles will only have conventional warheads.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

For cops, Must Have, Should Have, Good to Have.

PoliceOne was good enough to publish an article I wrote on police patrol equipment. To the cops out there, please, let me know what you think:

A cop's guide to the supplies you will want on patrol 
While there is no one way to do the job, this is a list of basics for every cop on the street 
Jun 5, 2017

By Mike Thiac, P1 Contributor 
I spent years training new officers as a Field Training Instructor and now as a Field Training Supervisor. A question I often get asked is, "What equipment do I really need on the street?" I’ve usually answered that there is no one way to do this job and the equipment needed varies. I’ve also suggested that as they see other cops working, "adapt what works for you," as there is no copyright on this. Good ideas are best shared. 
That being said, here is a list of some basics for every cop on the street. This is a list organized by the "must-haves" (don’t go out without them), the "should-haves (not war-stoppers, but highly recommended) and the "good-to-haves" (not necessarily needed, but they make life easier), in no particular order. Is it complete? Not really. Everyone has a different situation, but here are some requirements and suggestions. 
Must-have for every cop 
Uniform: Clean, with insignia (badge, name plate, etc.). Look like a professional. Don’t forget haircut, and men, shaved. 
Primary duty weapon: Cleaned, loaded with operable ammunition. Ammunition is cheap, your life is not. Replace your daily load regularly (like every year during your birth month). The odds are you will never fire your weapon outside the range, but a firearm is like blood or a parachute. You don't need it unless you need it badly. 
Comfortable shoes/boots: You will be in them all day and your feet will start to hurt if mistreated. I suggest at least two pairs so you can rotate them. 
Body armor: Wear it, end of discussion. Why anyone would not wear it is beyond me. If you will interact with the public, be prepared that some of the public will not like you, even if you’re working the station desk. More than a few front desk officers have been in a firefight. A friend suggested investing in a ceramic trauma plate to cover your chest. It replaces the Kevlar trauma plate, but they are rated to stop shotgun shells and rifle bullets over a critical area. 
Radio: Have faith, your police computer will fail, or you will be chasing a suspect and you will need to call out locations. Make sure you charge your battery before each shift. 
Flashlight and a backup: Being able to see in the dark is absolutely critical. Believe in bad luck, the bad guys are out there and they will see you. Make sure you see them. 
Baton/Mace/CED: Intermediate weapons, as allowed by your agency. Give yourself more options other than command presence, verbal orders, physical force and deadly force. 
Personal affairs in order: Congratulations, young man or woman, you are in a profession where death or serious bodily injury is a distinct possibility. Is your family ready? Have you set up a will, living will, medical power of attorney and final directives?  Does your family know where they are? Even if you're single, you need to plan for the worst because someone may have to make decisions for you.
If you're a single parent, or both you and your spouse are cops, have you planned for your children if something should happen? If the answer is "Mom and dad will take care of the kids...," do mom and dad know that? Have you discussed this with them? Do they have (or are able to obtain) your kids’ medical and education records? Have you given them a power of attorney for this matter? Have you planned for switching schools, or if you are in a hospital for long-term recovery, will one parent move into your house?
Questions like this should be answered before you get on the streets. LegalZoom offers online services and many police unions or agencies offer assistance in this. Also, if you have a "change of life" such as divorce, marriage or birth of a child, make sure things like insurance policies and pension benefits are updated. 
Should-have for every cop 
Back-up weapon: Assume you need to use deadly force and for whatever reason you cannot use your primary weapon (e.g. strong arm injured, mechanical failure), what do you do?  A backup weapon can be a lifesaver. 
I suggest you orient it to your weak hand (for most of us, the left) so if your strong hand is injured, you still have a plausible threat of deadly force against your target. I recommend something small without an exposed hammer (have faith, it will catch on something when you desperately need it) so you can get it out easily.
Personally, I carry a snub-nose .357 Ruger LCR in my left cargo pocket. No exposed hammer, no parts to jam. I yank the trigger, it will fire. Even if you don't hit your target, you may scare the person enough that he or she runs or you can back off and reassess. Again, whatever works for you. 
Long weapon: A shotgun or rifle – some type of longer range weapon. I carry a Remington 870 and an AR-15. It's a fact there are people out there with more lethal weapons, and the threat has changed with active shooter being a plausible situation. You need something with more effective range than a pistol. And in certain situations, the intimidation factor may help you avoid a conflict. Is there a more intimidating sound than a shotgun being racked? 
Extra ammo: Ammo is cheap, life is not. Extra rounds for anything you carry, preferably in a magazine so it's quick to reload. 
Water: Back in my college Army ROTC days, a very wise master sergeant made a point that has stuck with me since. If you are in a long firefight (for police, see hostage situation, active shooter or barricaded suspect) you need two things to survive: water and ammunition. 
A few bottles of H2O can be a godsend in the middle of a hot summer day while you’re manning a post. For a few dollars you can put a case of water in your patrol vehicle and you're set. It may be warm but at least you're hydrated. And your buddies who didn't think of this will like the fact someone brought the water! 
Long handcuff key: The small key that comes with the set is good as a backup, but a long one will make it much easier to double lock or unlock handcuffs. 
Medical info card: Prepare for the worst, you're going down. Type up a medical information card and put it where it's easy to find (wallet, behind the trauma plate on your body armor). Don't think, "This is personal." If a medic is looking at this you are hurting and they will need to know personal information. What to put on it?  Your info (name, DOB, phone number), blood type, medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure), medications you take (even your vitamins; the doc needs to know), names and contact information of your doctor, and some emergency contacts (name, address and phone number). Assume you will not be in any condition to answer medical questions. That may save your life. 
Leg restraints/hobble: Assuming your agency allows this, have it available. When a suspect starts kicking even though he's handcuffed, you still have to secure/transport him. You may have them at the station, but the sooner he's restrained the better. 
Extra handcuffs: Assume you will have more than one suspect, or a very large one that needs a few cuffs. They are not that expensive and most companies give you a lifetime warranty: They break, they exchange them. 
Change of underwear/uniform/shower stuff: If you are stuck at the station for a very long shift (emergency, natural disaster, etc.), your uniform will get icky. A shower and just the change of underwear and socks will make you feel much better. If you can spare a uniform, keep a backup in your locker or car. 
Phone/fax numbers for every office and emails you will need:  Your station, the investigative branches you deal with, the DA, any courts you will deal with, etc. Have them in your smartphone.  Make sure they are the phone numbers that get picked up, not the ones with voicemail. 
Required forms and a file to carry them in: This includes booking forms, vehicle tow slips and evidence submission forms. Waiting on forms or filling them out later only delays getting your job done. Have your paperwork ready. 
Gloves: Nitrile exam gloves, like the EMTs and paramedics wear. You don't want to be exposed to a suspect's bodily fluid and dirt. 
Medical kit (tourniquet, blood stoppage): Given the lessons from the Boston Marathon bombing and other mass-casualty incidents, you should have a tourniquet and know how to use it. When someone can use a rice cooker to make a bomb, bleeding out is very possible. Being able to stop blood loss is critical, even in a large city with ambulance support minutes away. What happens in a rural sheriff's office where you have a deputy 30 miles from medical support?  Be prepared!  Amazon.com sells the North American Rescue Military Issue Combat Application Tourniquet for around $30. How much is your life worth? 
More than one pen: Sounds amateurish, but I've had to explain to more than one officer (including senior officers) they need a backup pen. Count on it, once you desperately need to write something down, your pen will fail. Personally I carry three in case someone stole (excuse me, borrowed) my second. 
Note pads: A major part of what we do is writing, field notes, complainant's statements, etc. You’re going to need something to write on. Be ready, have your memo and a small pad in a pocket, next to more than one pen!
Wrist watch: Younger people are often not using a wristwatch for various reasons (I have a phone, I don't like the mark it puts on my wrist). Cops aren’t normal young people. You need to know the time so have a wristwatch. 
Hand cleaner: We generally don’t deal with clean people and work like this is dirty. Mike Rowe, you’ve cleaned a sewer, but have you handled a homeless, mentally unstable person who hasn’t taken a shower since the Bush administration or a two week old dead body? Get something that kills germs and use it. 
Map of your area: Again, have faith in technology. Have faith it will fail when you need it. Get a Rand McNally (rookies, ask the old dudes about it) or something similar and have it ready. 
A thumb drive: Old dudes, ask the rookies about it. It can hold documents, video of crimes, digital forms, etc. Police work has moved into the 21st century, gotta go with it. 
Your supervisor's phone number/email: No matter if you’re an officer, sergeant, or chief, you need to be able to contact your boss. At the first meeting with my squad, I sent them a text message with my name, unit number, cell and home number. I’d rather they ask me a question on my time off than have to write letters explaining a mistake later. Also, bad news only gets worse with time. 
Clipboard of some type: A simple wooden one (less than a buck at Wal-Mart) or metal one that can hold forms; you need something to write on. It also doubles as something you can paste cheat sheets to (checklist for DWI, drug cases, etc.). 
Narcotics testing supplies: It can help determine if the suspect you are dealing with got "robbed" by his dealer when his cocaine turned out to be sugar. 
Good to have 
Camera: Photos are great and it’s nice that your iPhone can take them, but thanks to some court rulings, the defense may be able to take your phone. So pick up a cheap digital camera for work. You can get a decent camera from Amazon.com for less than $50 with over 10 megapixels (old dudes, ask the rooks to explain megapixels) for good clarity. Don’t forget a case for it and an adapter for the memory chip to go into a USB port. 
Fingerprint kit: Very old school, but prints are great evidence and they can be easy to take. Most agencies will issue an officer the basics (brush, tape, dust) and go from there. Again, not something you do on every case, but for the more serious cases (aggravated assault) it can make the difference. 
Cheat sheets: Some officers are more attuned to certain things than others. Some officers are proficient at narcotics investigations or DWIs, they can handle all procedures from memory. If you are not that proficient, a quick checklist can really make an unfamiliar call go faster. 
Spreadsheets for tax-deductible stuff: Rookies, get in the habit of filing the long form on TurboTax (or with your accountant). But it’s good to set up a spreadsheet of annual expenses for work (e.g. ammo, weapons, range cost, mileage to authorized extra jobs or training at the range). Like many professions, you will be "self-funding" for a lot of your equipment and other costs. You can get some of that back on your tax bill, but have the documentation ready when the IRS comes calling with a word that strikes fear into the heart of any tax-paying citizen: "audit." 
Disinfectant spray for back seats: Again, you’re not dealing with the cleanest people on earth and you will be amazed at how far the smell travels up wind from the back seat to the front seat, even at 60 mph with the windows open. Lysol or something similar can help (don’t forget to list it on your spreadsheet). 
Plastic bags for suspect's items: A good way to know a suspect doesn’t have anything on him is to take it out of his hands and pockets. However, you have to put it somewhere. A cheap Ziploc bag can hold everything and you can just hand it off to the jailer as you book him. 
Paper bags and rubber bands for suspects involved in shootings: A shooting suspect will need his hands swabbed for gunpowder residue. Keep them covered with paper bags (large lunch bags). Do not use plastic bags – paper reduces sweating and allows testing. 
Paper clips to test drugs: When you test cocaine, it’s easier to dip the end of a paper clip into the testing liquid and touch it to the sample. 
Phone apps: Get apps for drug recognition (iPharmacy), decibel reader (Decibel 10: Noise dB Meter) or even a police scanner to listen to nearby agencies during an emergency, saving your radio.
Pre-formatted reports for repeated calls: Every station will have a place that calls multiple times a week, such as the grocery store with the shoplifter, etc. A lot of the report will be the same, why reinvent the wheel. Just have the basic data saved on a Word file, copy and paste, and then make the updates (e.g. the date and time) needed.
Masks for spitters: Not often, but on occasion you have a spitter. A simple mask, like they wear in the emergency department, is a useful spit blocker. 
Pocket knife/multifunctional tool: The Leatherman was the original multifunctional tool, but there are others, plus countless pocket knives. Being able to cut something is critical at times, and a tool that cuts wires can also be of great help. 
Tablet with a map program: While many police cars have computers with map programs, a tablet (iPad, Surface) can be very useful. If you are serving a warrant or planning officer deployment around a disturbance, having a map of the area will allow you good situational awareness of your manpower. 
Blank CDs: Often data needs to be tagged into evidence. Blank CDs are inexpensive and you can download a large amount of data and tag it for later investigation/court. 
Binoculars: Being able to see at a greater distance than your normal eyes can be a great help if you are searching for a suspect, a lost child, etc. 
Pain reliever, eye drops, cold medicine, etc.: Working nights or evenings, in hazardous conditions (floods, etc.) is part of the job. When everyone is home because of the weather, cops, firefighters and EMTs are working (yes, you are the essential employees – you don’t get flood/snow days) and, you will get headaches, colds, etc. Have something to help you when you’re on the job. Keep aspirin, eye drops, and cold medication in your locker or duty bag. 
Digital audio recorder: Again, don’t use your smart phone but allow someone to talk into a digital recorder and download it and tag it. Digital recorders can be picked up for less than $20. Remember you just need a basic recorder, not something for a concert. Nothing will incriminate a defendant more than their own words.
This is not intended as an exhaustive list. Adapt it to how you work on the street. Remember you don’t have to buy everything at once. Observe how others do the job and use their knowledge and experience to ensure you accomplish your greatest goal: Go home at the end of the watch.

About the author 
Michael A. Thiac is a Houston Police patrol sergeant and field training supervisor with over 18 years experience. He is also retired from the Army Reserve, after spending 23 years in intelligence. When not on patrol, he can be found at A Cop’s Watch
Author's note: The statements, opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed herein are solely those of the author and not in any official capacity as an employee of the Houston Police Department and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or official policies of the Houston Police Department. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Longest Day of all Time....

I've been meaning to post this for a couple of days. Last week we passed D-Day, the 73rd Anniversary, and you can't think of that without the worlds of Reagan in 1984:

"We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history...

...Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your ``lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor...''

...Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause..."

I saw this last week and it just shows, incredibly, what a massive effort it was to invade Europe in the summer of 1944. Over 150 thousand men, over 13,000 casualties, and Americans suffered over 3,000 deaths that day. And still they came to retake the continent of Europe from NAZI tyranny.

I doubt there will every be anything to match this from the end of time. If only for the fact you could never hide something this large. And the debt owed the men here can never be repaid.

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Levi Pettway
Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, Alabama
End of Watch: Monday, April 10, 2017
Age: 61
Tour: 12 years

Deputy Sheriff Levi Pettway was killed in a single vehicle crash on Alabama 21 in Hayneville.

Deputy Pettway's patrol car left the roadway and struck several trees. Rescue crews extricated him from the vehicle but were unable to revive him.

Deputy Pettway had served with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office for 12 years and was assigned as the school resource officer at The Calhoun School. He is survived by his wife.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I guess her complaint didn't go over as well as she thought it would....

My agency recently started to field body worn cameras last year and my station was last to get them. The good part of that is they had time to work out most of the bugs, but we still have battery issues. But during training one point was made by the instructor. Before we had a lot of complaints against officers that were looked at by Internal Affairs and found to be "Undetermined." They could not prove or disprove the accusation. With video evidence, more cases are being declared "Exonerated," i.e. the action didn't happen or it did happen and was justified.

I guess this "aggrieved oppressed citizen" didn't realize she was on camera.
Woman who accused Greendale police of profiling has withdrawn her complaint

GREENDALE — A woman who accused Greendale police of profiling her during a traffic stop has withdrawn her complaint. This, after Greendale police completed an investigation into the matter.

Katherine Torres filed a complaint with the police department on Friday, June 2nd. Torres says she was driving back to work from her lunch break on that Wednesday when a Greendale police officer pulled her over. Torres says the officer’s first questions were not the ones she expected.

“The first thing he asked me was, ‘Are you a U.S. citizen?’ Then he asked for my Social Security, then he asked for my license and, finally, he asked for my insurance card,” Torres said in a news conference on June 2nd.

Greendale police say after the complaint against the department, they began an investigation to determine if Torres’ allegations were accurate.

On the date that Torres was pulled over, Greendale police say they had four officers participating in the state “Click It or Ticket” initiative. They say 34 traffic stops were conducted — and 35 citations were issued to motorists with a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

A police sergeant observed a vehicle which did not have a front license plate attached or displayed — a violation of Wisconsin State Statutes. The sergeant stopped the vehicle and identified Torres as the driver. Torres was issued a citation for failure to fasten seat belt and given verbal warnings for two other violations.

The news release issued on Tuesday, June 6th says the Greendale police sergeant asked Torres for her social security number “which is consistent with Greendale policy. Wisconsin law allows collection of social security numbers by law enforcement. The Greendale Municipal Court uses the social security number to assist in the collection of unpaid forfeitures through the State’s Tax Intercept Program.”

Officials says they reviewed the audio and video recording captured on the sergeant’s in-squad video system. The news release says the allegation that the sergeant questioned Torres about her citizenship is false. It says he “asked Ms. Torres for her contact information, insurance information and verified address, consistent with proper procedure. He never questioned her citizenship or immigration status, as alleged by Ms. Torres.”

Again, Torres has withdrawn her complaint...

I wonder why. Could it be that she was shown to be a liar?

A friend who's used these cameras on his department over the last few years said one of the first things he noticed was if someone was being aggressive, refusing to answer simple questions (e.g. name), he would put his camera on and the person would calm down. Knowing they were on camera and their was evidence supporting the officer made them think a bit.

Sergeant, glad that you were exonerated on this matter. Take care.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Even for the Manhattan tabloid New York Times, this response to withdrawing from the Paris Treaty is baaaaad.

I actually disagree with the president on this. He should have simply announced, "The Paris Climate agreement is a treaty and before it can be in effect, it must be ratified by a vote of two-thirds of the Senate. So I've submitted it to the Senate for 'advise and consent,' so until this is approved, it has no binding on the United States." I know, a quaint idea, having treaties approved by the Senate, rolling the Constitution.

But I've seen this and I almost lost my coffee. Enjoy.
Opinion (COMMENT: At least they called it opinion.)

Trump’s Stupid and Reckless Climate Decision


Read his bio. It's classic!
JUNE 1, 2017

People say, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. We should be so lucky. President Trump has a hammer, but all he’ll use it for is to smash things that others have built, as the world looks on in wonder and in fear. The latest, most troubling example is his decision to obliterate the Paris climate accord: After nearly 200 years of scientific inquiry and over 20 years of patient diplomacy that united every nation save Syria and Nicaragua, we had this afternoon’s big game-show Rose Garden reveal: Count us out.

It’s a stupid and reckless decision — our nation’s dumbest act since launching the war in Iraq....
Yo Billy, where have you been the last decade? Obamacare? The Iran Nuke Deal? B Hussein Obama sticking his nose and ears into Syria, Libya and Egypt? The Iranians taking our boats without consequence?
...But it’s not stupid and reckless in the normal way. Instead, it amounts to a thorough repudiation of two of the civilizing forces on our planet: diplomacy and science. It undercuts our civilization’s chances of surviving global warming, but it also undercuts our civilization itself, since that civilization rests in large measure on those two forces.

Slight bit of hyperbole there Billy?
Science first. Since the early 1800s we’ve been slowly but surely figuring out the mystery of how our climate operates — why our planet is warmer than it should be, given its distance from the sun. From Fourier to Foote and Tyndall, from Arrhenius to Revelle and Suess and Keeling, researchers have worked out the role that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases play in regulating temperature. By the 1980s, as supercomputers let us model the climate with ever greater power, we came to understand our possible fate. Those big brains, just in time, gave us the warning we required...

OK Billy, one question. What should the temperature be? If you can say without question it's "warmer than it should be," then you know what it should be. Otherwise, how do you know if the current temp is not the "correct" temp? So please Billy, enthrall me with your acumen.
And now, in this millennium, we’ve watched the warning start to play out. We’ve seen 2014 set a new global temperature record, which was smashed in 2015 and smashed again in 2016. We’ve watched Arctic sea ice vanish at a record pace and measured the early disintegration of Antarctica’s great ice sheets. We’ve been able to record alarming increases in drought and flood and wildfire, and we’ve been able to link them directly to the greenhouse gases we’ve poured into the atmosphere...

I know, a radical few questions. So we never had "drought and flood and wildfire" before we had cars during gas and ships or trains burning coal and diesel? And how were they directly related to "greenhouse gases?" BTY, isn't the largest greenhouse gas in the atmosphere di-hydonated oxide, sometimes know as water?
...This is the largest-scale example in the planet’s history of the scientific method in operation, the continuing dialectic between hypothesis and skepticism that arrived eventually at a strong consensus about the most critical aspects of our planet’s maintenance. Rational people the world around understand. As Bloomberg Businessweek blazoned across its cover the week after Hurricane Sandy smashed into Wall Street, “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”

Science is not consensus, it's observations, analysis, testing, proofs, review by non-interesting reviewers. And Bloomturd as a source, spare us.
But now President Trump (and 22 Republican senators who wrote a letter asking him to take the step) is betting that all of that is wrong. Mr. Trump famously called global warming a hoax during the campaign, and with this decision he’s wagering that he was actually right — he’s calling his own bluff. No line of argument in the physical world supports his claim, and no credible authority backs him, not here and not abroad. It’s telling that he simultaneously wants to cut the funding for the satellites and ocean buoys that monitor our degrading climate. Every piece of data they collect makes clear his foolishness. He’s simply insisting that physics isn’t real.

Are you one of the people who say biology is just a social construct? There are no male or females?

Read the rest if you want, but it's great. Billy here sounds like he's about to loose it, I would actually enjoy watching him have his stroke (tongue in cheek).

Have a great weekend!