Thursday, December 11, 2014

Law Enforcement

2006 Michigan State Police Dodge Charger
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
I have a great deal of respect for the various law enforcement agencies in this country. They have a tough job and, for the most part, they do it with courtesy and professionalism.

I have friends who are cops. They are ready to put it on the line every day. I have had to deal with the police over the years and never felt anything but respect for the men and women "on the job."

What with all the nonsense in the media lately (no, no, this is not another media rant) I felt fortunate to have happened across this post over at Breach, Bang, Clear written by a man who knows his business. Chris Hernandez has been a marine and now he's a soldier in the Texas Army National Guard. He's also a cop. 

He's had combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and has written a couple of books as well. He's also served with French military units and speaks highly of them. (I agree with him wholeheartedly.)

Go read Chris's post, the best I've read on Ferguson and the unfortunate events in that benighted city.

Chris also has his own blog here, which is one of my "must reads." If a new post goes up, I'm on it. Oh yeah, he had a few things to say about the officer in Texas who dropped a bad guy at 104 yards. With a pistol. Fired one handed. While holding two horses!

Chris Hernandez should be on your reading list. Seriously.

Here's something else a buddy of mine posted on Facebook regarding Law Enforcement. It originally came from here.

An Officer’s Life 

You wonder why he pulled you over and gave you a ticket for speeding,
He just worked an accident where people died because they were going too fast.
You wonder why that cop was so mean,
He just got done working a case where a drunk driver killed a kid.

You work for 8 hours,
He works for up to 18 hours.

You drink hot coffee to stay awake,
The cold rain in the middle of the night keeps him awake.

You complain of a "headache," and call in sick,
He goes into work still hurt and sore from the guy he had to fight the night before.

You drink your coffee on your way to the mall,
He spills his as he runs Code 3 to a traffic crash with kids trapped inside.

You make sure your cell phone is in your pocket before you leave the house,
He makes sure his gun is clean and fully loaded and his vest is tight.

You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you,
He watches his buddy get shot at, and wounded in front of him.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls,
He walks down the highway looking for body parts from a traffic crash.

You complain about how hot it is,
He wears fifty pounds of gear and a bullet proof vest in July and still runs around chasing crack heads.
You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong,
He runs out before he gets his food to respond to an armed robbery.

You get out of bed in the morning and take your time getting ready,
He gets called out of bed at 2 am after working 12 hours and has to be into work A.S.A.P. for a homicide.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone,
He holds the hair of some college girl while shes puking in the back of his patrol car.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over,
His shift ended 4 hours ago and there's no end in sight.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight,
He can't make any plans because on his off days he still gets called back into work.

You yell and scream at the squad car that just past you because they slowed you down,
He's in the driver seat of the squad car, going to cut somebody out of their car.

You roll your eyes when a baby cries in public,
He picks up a dead child in his arms and prays that it was crying.

You criticize your police department and say they're never there quick enough,
He blasts the siren while the person in front of him refuses to move while talking on their cell phone.

You hear the jokes about fallen officers and say they should have known better,
He is a hero and runs into situations when everyone else is running away in order to make sure no one else gets hurt and loses his life doing it.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents, you don't,
He would take a bullet for his buddy without question.

You sit there and judge him, saying that it's a waste of money to have them around,

Yet as soon as you need help he is there.
Good folks to have around, let's give 'em the respect they deserve.


  1. Thanks for the post--and for the great link. I'll be checking Chris' place from now on. While I was career (30 year) Navy, followed by state emergency management/homeland security, my son is career Law Enforcement. What you, and Chris, said rings true. Thanks again.

    1. I aim to please Cap'n. Glad you like Chris's place.

  2. I agree with your sentiments.

    And then there are these...

    1. Nice Charger. I wouldn't mind having one of those, with or without lights.
    2. You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket before you leave the house,

    Ever the pedant.

    1. As to (1), concur.

      As to (2), I pasted all that text in from Facebook. Yes I should have double checked the spelling AND the grammar. Mea culpa

      For those late to the party, Buck was right, I updated the post to fix that.

      Thanks for spotting that Buck.

  3. Excellent article.

    I have been pulled over by police several times. I have my license, registration and proof of insurance ready before the officer approaches my window. I roll down the window and put both hands on the wheel. When the officer approaches I refer to him as Officer, and remain calm and polite the whole time. I have not been shot or beaten up yet. I do understand why black people sometimes have an attitude, they are often profiled unfairly, still if you respect the officer he will probably also respect you.

  4. <a href="'>Here</a>'s what someone else thinks.
    The language is a little raw so I wouldn't play it at work unless there are earphones.

    Like Joe, I too have had business meetings with police, at their request, on several occasions.
    I have always found that if I am nice to them, they return the favor.
    I can truly appreciate that they want to be able to see both of my hands when they are approaching.

    I found nothing about Chris Hernandez post with which to disagree.
    I'm pretty sure the speaker in the video concurs.

    1. Mama always said you catch more flies with honey.

      Then my brother would ask why do you want to catch flies?

      Then my Dad would chime in that bullcrap was even better at catching flies.

      But yeah (I'm even digressing in comments now!) nice is best.

    2. Forgot to mention, I agreed with her.

      Keepin' it real.

  5. LEO's who do it right, absolutely.

    Agencies, not so much, and certainly not without a grain of salt.

    Leadership, ethics, and honor come from the person, not the uniform.

    As much as I'd like agencies and LEO's to be universally wonderful, there are outliers, and as with much of our society, the trend is pointing in the wrong direction.

    That said, I absolutely honor those who do it right. The link below is probably worth visiting, but be warned, it's brutal and it hurts a very great deal to watch.

    1. Another link I'll have to visit after work!

      Concur on the "Leadership, ethics, and honor come from the person, not the uniform." That's true in many fields.

    2. BTW big thanks for the link. Great reading there I'm gonna have to make time for.

    3. Good video. Which Pacino movie was that? My brain is slow tonight. (Sure, like tonight is different. Heh.)

      Some of the footage was sobering to say the least.

  6. I have enough LEO relatives, past and present, to staff a small police force. The majority are/were Peace Officers. The minority, POLICE! I have the highest respect for Peace Officers.

    1. I'm not sure what the distinction is between the two. Legally I see references to "peace officer" in New York, Texas and California.

      When did "police" become an epithet? Perhaps only within the LEO community is there a distinction? No such distinctions I am aware of here in the east, at least not viewed from a non-cop perspective. I'll have to ask my State Trooper buddy.

    2. Not sure what the distinction is, but I believe in Texas it means they are limited in jurisdiction only by the state border. You can get arrested by a police officer from my town while he's visiting Dallas.

    3. Wikipedia (Peace Officer article) lists statutory distinctions for peace officers for California, Texas and New York. In some jurisdictions "peace officer" coincides with "law enforcement officer."

      As usual, once you let politicians define things it quickly gets out of hand. I'll stick with the generic "police officer" for the most part. Though LEO works for me as well. (Too many episodes of Law and Order and NCIS I suppose...)

    4. Sorry to be obtuse. My definition is a Peace Officer keeps the peace and protects the populace from criminals. POLICE like to throw their weight around, it is all about them. Badge heavy, as it is known in LEO circles.

      My late brother in law was a County Deputy. When he had arrest warrants for non-violent offences, like failure to appear, he would make contact and encourage people to drive themselves to jail. He would ask questions like, "Do you have someone to watch your kids"? He once had twenty-three out of twenty-four turn themselves in during a three day period. Make no mistake, when nothing but force would work, he didn't hesitate. He was my personal definition of a Peace Officer.

    5. Okay, kind of a personal way of looking at it.

      Badge Heavy - seen a few of those, not good, thankfully rare in my opinion. YMMV.

    6. I think that's a very appropriate definition. I know most of the folks in the law enforcement building (houses city police, county sheriff and local state Highway Patrol) and I think that definition applies aptly to almost all of them. There is one, however...Allergies are bad here in the Hill Country and I keep a box of Kleenex on the dash of my truck just in case I get a case of the sneezes. I'm driving to the school where my office is and see a police car going the opposite way. I generally wave at them as they go by and so I do. I continue on my way and as I'm turning into the parking lot, I see him screaming through the school zone lights blazing. I know I wasn't speeding, so I continue in and park. He slams to a park behind me and comes rushing up to the window. Like someone has described, I've got my license and registration out and hands on the wheel, window down. I ask him what's the problem Officer? He says your inspection is out of date. One Week. Easily 50-75 cars delivering kids to the school. Definitely Police!

    7. I'll stick with an old school term, "Asshole." He's definitely a shining example of that species.

      (Besides which Juvat, just blame maintenance! Hahahahaha...)

  7. I started losing respect for the police when asset forfeiture started and they dive bombed anything that looked like it could be seized and forfeited. At least at the start there was semblance of law. For the last 20 years an awful lot of police departments leap on any excuse to take cash from drivers for no reason at all and never even bother to file charges and then refuse to ever hand any money back without being taken to court. There are thousands of such seizures every day in America. It's a lucrative form of highway robbery and it funds police departments with off-budget money to go out and buy new patrol cars and whatever else they want and that the municipal council or city executives didn't authorize them to buy or employ. I wouldn't say the trend is downward, I'd say it has fallen off a cliff.
    Many outstanding police officers from San Diego and Alameda, Fresno and Contra Costal Counties worked for me. Back then, none of them would dream of acting like police do on our roads today. And what's with SWAT teams doing no-knock raids at 0400 on the wrong house and walking away after the expected catastrophes they leave in their wake?
    I'm afraid American police are beginning to resemble their Mexican counterparts in way too many ways. When the town cops fail along the border the Federales have to come in, disarm the police and assume police responsibility to try to clean up the mess. We may reach that point soon. Sad to say.

    1. Because I avoid spending too much time in big cities I haven't seen this kind of thing. Have just read about it.

      But yeah, not good when those things happen.

  8. That says it all, however it seems to apply less and less to the badge heavy ones today...

    1. Badge heavy described a number of Air Force Security Policemen of my acquaintance back in the day. I think Juvat may have mentioned the whole "19 year old with a gun, a badge and a beanie" syndrome.

    2. Well, that settles what Monday's post will be about.

  9. I'll throw one more rock. The Air Force Security personnel out of Warren AFB Cheyenne around the missile silos scattered along Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming seem to act as though their authority extends to the public lands surrounding the installations. A lady friend and I out rock hounding had a very unpleasant encounter with a puffed up 1st Lt and his squad. We weren't impressed with his assumed authority, and explained, in some graphic detail, .......................nothing more to add.

    1. Very, very few Air Force Security personnel ever impressed me. Many of them were puffed up little tyrants.

      In German, in the old days, the field police were referred to as Kettenhunde, chained dogs. For the gorgets they wore on duty and for their attitude.

  10. I remember visiting Selfridge ANGB back in 1982 and sitting at the picnic area out by the point where the canal entered Lake St Clair at about midnight when 3 air police with M16s leaped out of the woods and demanded to know if the baby carriage was mine. When I told them no, they went to the fifth degree and demanded ID. I said sure, it's right across the street. They accompanied me and my girl friend to my parents house on Strauble Circle and when they saw the sign on the yard decided they didn't need to trouble me for any ID after all. Who takes M16s to a baby carriage roust? :) It was our first time living in quarters on an Air Force Base.

    1. See Juvat's latest for another SP clown story.

      The AF Security Police tended to be a-holes.

  11. Sent here by Well Seasoned Fool. Great post and links! I'm a fan.

    1. Welcome aboard, any friend of his is a friend of mine.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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