So Why Aren’t you still a Cop?
Although I am a bit on the old side to start another police career, it is a topic that remains pretty consistent, especially when talking to former colleagues. Turns out I was pretty good at it, maybe really good at it. Do I miss it, sure, especially the people. Most of the politics is still there, probably a bit worse, but the day to day is pretty much the same. At 56 there are plenty of guys still working the street, even kicking in doors. But command was my love, and working field command as a Lieutenant was the most rewarding job ever held. Remaining in command of SWAT, working nights, and being able to lead as well as mentor was fantastic. Given most suit creatures disappeared about the time my shift started it was blissful, productive, and rewarding. Most of my time was spent in the trenches with the heart of any police department, the men and women working the streets (uniform, plain clothes, and undercover). Life was really good until the ultimate transfer to the world of the suit. That along with the subsequent refusal to put me back on the street expedited my retirement and current writing career. Command positions are difficult to walk into these days making return all but impossible without working my way back through the ranks. Another option would be a full time armorer / trainer, but those positions are coveted and seldom hire outside. Still, all those things are surmountable; that is not what keeps me out of police work. The most critical issue is the average police chief’s lack of intestinal fortitude, courage and backbone. If the Chief is a man then retractile testicle disorder (sucking your testicles into your stomach) seems to be a large part of the problem. Chief’s who are women don’t suffer that malady, but the other indicators are often present.
Most Chief’s were not born with Chryptochidism, the failure of the testicles to drop. Some seem to have them removed shortly after getting the job, others must suck them into their stomach for safe keeping. Hopefully they drop back out at some point. Woman generally don’t suffer this ailment (I would say can’t but its a different world these days) , but they most certainly can suffer from a lack of courage or backbone, the result to the men and women on the street is the same. This transformation seems to occur within a few months of promotion (if not already absent to get the job). So why is this?
Chiefs have changed
In my years on the job there are several reasons this happens. For many it is nothing more than a bigger retirement check. Making it to their pension trumps all, even their officers. Many agencies have long held traditions of promoting the least qualified, weakest, and most untrustworthy up the chain of command and why buck tradition. A few start out with the right stuff, only to shove it in a closet to keep their jobs. Politicians are pretty slimy by nature and design. In many cases they choose the chief resulting in similar qualities. Some politicians specifically look for Chief’s who will eat their own to keep their jobs. Given the recent portrayal of cops as evil you need a chief with little or no police experience, loyalty, or fortitude to “cull the herd” removing the evil bad apples. But the one least obvious and possibly most pervasive is the control the media has on what a chief is “supposed” to look and act like.
The Power of the Media
Police work is not immune to the power of media, and social media. For many years small departments and their chief’s simply did their jobs looking to just please their overlords (mayors) and more importantly the officers they serve. Many (if not most) still do, it is a calling some still follow. But as chief’s from rural America started making it on national news, Facebook, or other media, fame and political correctness prevailed. Unpolished presenters and possibly fantastic chiefs were derided. Polished presenters oozing slime and dripping political correctness were (and are) held up as the example. Catering to prevailing political agendas, adhering to political correctness, and sucking up to constituencies (theirs or the mayors) became the norm – often still is. People loved it, media propagated it, politicians clamored for it, and those bucking the trend were quashed; maybe until now.
A Hopeful Trend
Social media has its benefits, mostly its complete lack of censorship. Mainstream media, the masters of propaganda, simply cannot control it. Hitting phones, tablets, and computers uncut, censored, or altered means it reaches real people and real fast. Editors cannot simply skip it or trim it to further their personal or organizational bias or agenda. That is one reason print media is fading (or at least changing), it is more about an agenda than truth. Real people see it, and if they like it we get more. There is no better example than Sheriff Clarke of Milwaukee County. While others have spoken out similarly none have stuck around and pushed the conversation forward. He is the Yang to the Yin so prominently propagated by the media. He says what many people think and continues to do so. Never met him, but he seems to remain a cop, a real one, with ties to his men and women, not just sound bites looking that way. If not, he is one hell of an actor. I have met a few like him, unfortunately they remain in the shadows. Of late it seems to be catching on. As officers are getting ambushed and murdered in the streets others are starting to see that acquiescence to the political correct norm can have deadly consequences. It seems ideas matter, who would have thought so – apparently Sheriff Clarke. He seems to recognize that the left leaning propaganda machine wanted a war against the police and just might be getting it. The power of propaganda has killed millions in history, today is no exception. Sheriff Clarke wants to stop it, and thankfully more are jumping on that bandwagon, we can just hope and pray it continues.
The War on Cops
For the haters that will come out of the woodwork, many of them chiefs, yep I have considered doing the chief’s job. Have no doubt, I am certain it is a job I can do. Its why those student loans for my Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Administration keep getting paid. Never played the game well enough to make the “boys club” called the FBI Academy. It is something that comes up occasionally. Given a mayor with a “set” or semblance thereof, and the ability to remain a cop it may occur some day. But like Sheriff Clarke I am unwilling to compromise my values or the men and women currently getting shot and killed for things like eating pizza, pumping gas, or sitting in their homes. Maybe the trend will move away from politicians as chiefs more interested in agendas than people? Maybe the media will start deriding the politicians and holding up the executives having kept their courage and fortitude. If current Presidential elections are a clue, we may be heading that way. For the sake of every man or woman who leaves their desk putting their lives on the line (uniform or not) we can only hope and pray that is the case!
As a passing thought lets take a look at Brazil, a place we may be headed. Social media and the Internet are filled with videos of ambushes, shootings, and killings, generally in Sao Paolo. Recent training with two long time veterans of that police department made it clear they are mostly attacks on off duty police. You see, there is a war on cops there, the enemy in their case are the criminal cartels. Most officers are attacked when off duty often in the presence of their family. Why, because criminals are cowards, and thats how they work. They loose when fights occur on duty. So, ambushes are the order of the day, sound familiar? We have cities in America rivaling the population of Brazil so picture that multiplied by 100 or 1000. Thankfully in America you can still protect yourself, guns are banned in Brazil. something else our current administration would have tomorrow if they could.
While there is no “official” war on the police in America, there sure seems to be an unofficial one. Fought mostly by thugs empowered by some of our politicians, the media that supports them, and the fame it brings. So, ask yourself, is this where we are headed? Is that where we want to go? The next time you see some Moron claim “climate change” is the most prescient threat to the world ask yourself “will I live long enough to find out”…..