Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Team work

Police work is by its very nature quintessential team work.  The roles require a level of creativity yet maintain dedicated role boundaries.  A understanding of abilities or skills of individual team members and formulating a plan taking into account the abilities or lack of in a given situation.  Frankly most of the time it happen without thought since most of the department has decades of  experience with each other.

I was watching the following video and it really struck me as an analogue of what we do on the street each day.  A successful outcome of a call is really like creating a complete song...even to the part that it has to be picked up and tweaked a couple of weeks later.

Enjoy.




Monday, June 30, 2014

Finally Illinois get's something right...well sort of...

The Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 098-0650:  The no police quota act.  So on the plus side they can no longer have the list of tickets that they can say, "Why are you so far behind Ofc Brown?"  The correct answer is, "Because I am covering all his calls that he can't answer because he is always out pimping the public" but you say, "I will certainly try harder."  Then don't.

But of course with everything Illinois it can only look pleasing but never be substantive.  If you read the statute below you will see they still can evaluate us by, "Contact" and what are "Contacts"?  Interestingly they are only things that you gain by...traffic stopping people.  But its...better...hopefully the next bill will kill these..."Contacts" provision.

First the link to the statute...Public Act 098-0650

The Statute:

 
Public Act 098-0650

SB3411 Enrolled LRB098 18994 JLK 55614 b

    AN ACT concerning local government.

    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:

    Section 5. The Department of Natural Resources
(Conservation) Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois
is amended by adding Section 805-537 as follows:

    (20 ILCS 805/805-537 new)
    Sec. 805-537. Conservation Police Officer quotas
prohibited. The Department may not require a Conservation
Police Officer to issue a specific number of citations within a
designated period of time. This prohibition shall not affect
the conditions of any federal or State grants or funds awarded
to the Department and used to fund traffic enforcement
programs.
    The Department may not, for purposes of evaluating a
Conservation Police Officer's job performance, compare the
number of citations issued by the Conservation Police Officer
to the number of citations issued by any other Conservation
Police Officer who has similar job duties. Nothing in this
Section shall prohibit the Department from evaluating a
Conservation Police Officer based on the Conservation Police
Officer's points of contact. For the purposes of this Section,
"points of contact" means any quantifiable contact made in the
furtherance of the Conservation Police Officer's duties,
including, but not limited to, the number of traffic stops
completed, arrests, written warnings, and crime prevention
measures. Points of contact shall not include either the
issuance of citations or the number of citations issued by a
Conservation Police Officer.

    Section 10. The State Police Act is amended by adding
Section 24 as follows:

    (20 ILCS 2610/24 new)
    Sec. 24. State Police quotas prohibited. The Department may
not require a Department of State Police officer to issue a
specific number of citations within a designated period of
time. This prohibition shall not affect the conditions of any
federal or State grants or funds awarded to the Department and
used to fund traffic enforcement programs.
    The Department may not, for purposes of evaluating a
Department of State Police officer's job performance, compare
the number of citations issued by the Department of State
Police officer to the number of citations issued by any other
Department of State Police officer who has similar job duties.
Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the Department from
evaluating a Department of State Police officer based on the
Department of State Police officer's points of contact. For the
purposes of this Section, "points of contact" means any
quantifiable contact made in the furtherance of the Department
of State Police officer's duties, including, but not limited
to, the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written
warnings, and crime prevention measures. Points of contact
shall not include either the issuance of citations or the
number of citations issued by a Department of State Police
officer.

    Section 15. The Counties Code is amended by adding Section
5-1136 as follows:

    (55 ILCS 5/5-1136 new)
    Sec. 5-1136. Quotas prohibited. A county may not require a
law enforcement officer to issue a specific number of citations
within a designated period of time. This prohibition shall not
affect the conditions of any federal or State grants or funds
awarded to the county and used to fund traffic enforcement
programs.
    A county may not, for purposes of evaluating a law
enforcement officer's job performance, compare the number of
citations issued by the law enforcement officer to the number
of citations issued by any other law enforcement officer who
has similar job duties. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit
a county from evaluating a law enforcement officer based on the
law enforcement officer's points of contact.
    For the purposes of this Section:
        (1) "Points of contact" means any quantifiable contact
    made in the furtherance of the law enforcement officer's
    duties, including, but not limited to, the number of
    traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings, and
    crime prevention measures. Points of contact shall not
    include either the issuance of citations or the number of
    citations issued by a law enforcement officer.
        (2) "Law enforcement officer" includes any sheriff,
    undersheriff, deputy sheriff, county police officer, or
    other person employed by the county as a peace officer.
    A home rule unit may not establish requirements for or
assess the performance of law enforcement officers in a manner
inconsistent with this Section. This Section is a denial and
limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection
(g) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.

    Section 20. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by
adding Section 11-1-12 as follows:

    (65 ILCS 5/11-1-12 new)
    Sec. 11-1-12. Quotas prohibited. A municipality may not
require a police officer to issue a specific number of
citations within a designated period of time. This prohibition
shall not affect the conditions of any federal or State grants
or funds awarded to the municipality and used to fund traffic
enforcement programs.
    A municipality may not, for purposes of evaluating a police
officer's job performance, compare the number of citations
issued by the police officer to the number of citations issued
by any other police officer who has similar job duties. Nothing
in this Section shall prohibit a municipality from evaluating a
police officer based on the police officer's points of contact.
For the purposes of this Section, "points of contact" means any
quantifiable contact made in the furtherance of the police
officer's duties, including, but not limited to, the number of
traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings, and crime
prevention measures. Points of contact shall not include either
the issuance of citations or the number of citations issued by
a police officer.
    This Section shall not apply to a municipality subject to
Section 10-1-18.1 of this Code with its own independent
inspector general and law enforcement review authority.
    A home rule municipality may not establish requirements for
or assess the performance of police officers in a manner
inconsistent with this Section. This Section is a denial and
limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection
(g) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.


Effective Date: 1/1/2015

Proverbs 8:15  By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Become a Police Officer dot com (We made top thirty)

I was recently notified by the associate editor at How to Become a Police Officer site that this blog had made their top thirty.

I took a look at their site and it really does have a lot of good info worth checking out if you are considering the field.  Trust me every little bit helps, I tested in an eleven department consortium, that had thirty-three positions open up over a three year period.  At the two day orientation at the local junior college about twenty-five hundred people attended each day.

I would have killed for this kind of resource back then.



Song of Songs 3:8
8 all of them wearing the sword,
    all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
    prepared for the terrors of the night.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kevlar-May she rest in piece


Most of my twenty year working life, from security guard to police officer, I have been encapsulated by a Kevlar bullet proof vest.  Its probably the single piece of equipment that every officer anywhere in the country has in common, no matter what his/her assignment, duty or rank.  I really didn't think about it past, hoping that it was true to its advertising and would actually stop a bullet as it was intended to.

Stephanie Kwolek was the inventor of Kevlar when she was a Dupont Scientist in the 1960's.  I should have thanked her when she was alive, instead I'll pay my respects.

The article I found in the USA Today dated June 20, 2014
Author: Aaron Nathans, Wilmington (Del.) News Journal
The Link USA TODAY

Kevlar inventor Stephanie Kwolek, 90, dies


WILMINGTON, Del. -- Stephanie Kwolek, the DuPont scientist whose invention, Kevlar, has saved countless lives as the essential ingredient in body armor, has died.

Kwolek died Wednesday in Talleyville, Delaware following a brief illness, said her friend, Rita Vasta, who is handling Kwolek's affairs. She was 90.

Kwolek had no remaining family, Vasta said.

"We are all saddened at the passing of DuPont scientist Stephanie Kwolek, a creative and determined chemist and a true pioneer for women in science," DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said in a written statement Thursday. "Her synthesis of the first liquid crystal polymer and the invention of DuPont Kevlar highlighted a distinguished career."

Kwolek developed Kevlar, a substance five times stronger than steel, by spinning fiber from a liquid crystalline solution. Kevlar's lightweight, durable qualities have made it a long-lived material used in body armor and other protection equipment used by police and the military.

The discovery came in the mid-1960s when Kwolek was 42, working at DuPont's Experimental Station outside of Wilmington to develop a super-strong fiber to reinforce radial tires.

She invented a solution of rigid-chain polymers that fell from her lab spatula like water. The substance was much thinner than most polymers, and when put into a machine could be spun into strong, stiff material.

She told The News Journal in 2007 that DuPont management "didn't fool around. They immediately assigned a whole group to work on different aspects. ... It was very exciting, let me tell you."

Kevlar's use over time broadened to other applications, including sporting equipment, as it minimizes vibration and can bend without shattering. DuPont recently agreed to serve as a sponsor of the ESPN X Games, where sporting equipment makes liberal use of Kevlar. DuPont will celebrate Kevlar's 50th anniversary next year.

News of Kwolek's death came a day after DuPont Protection Technologies announced that a million bullet-resistant vests have been sold using DuPont Kevlar XP since that version of the product was launched in 2008. Today, most police agencies have adopted mandatory vest requirements.

"When you think about what she has done, it's incredible. There's literally thousands and thousands of people alive because of her," said Ron McBride, former manager of the Kevlar Survivors' Club, a not-for-profit partnership between DuPont and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The group has documented 3,200 lives saved through use of Kevlar in body armor.

McBride is a former chief of police in Ashland, Kentucky. A vest with Kevlar saved the life of his son, who was serving as a naval operative in Iraq.

"She could look back on her life and say, 'Yeah, I made a difference,' " he said.

Kwolek held just a bachelor's degree from the institution that preceded Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh when she joined DuPont as a chemist in 1946.

Coming from humble roots, and having studied in a one-room schoolhouse, she found an opportunity at DuPont because many men were in the military at the time.

"She was stubborn, she clung on, and she did the work because she found it interesting," said Caroline Angel Burke, project manager at the Museum of Science in Boston, which chose Kwolek as one of a handful of engineers featured in a permanent exhibit.

Kwolek, who stood just 4 feet 11 inches tall, never married.

"In those days for chemists, when you're hot on the trail of something, there's not a lot of time to go dating," Vasta said. "She loved outdoor sports, she had plenty of friends, she socialized. But when it came to lab work, that was 100 percent of her focus."

Vasta, who counted Kwolek as a mentor when they both worked at DuPont in the 1980s, said Kwolek continued to develop Kevlar over the years before her retirement in 1986. She went on to mentor women who wanted to go into the sciences, Vasta said.

Kwolek got a nice lab at DuPont after the discovery, but recognized she was in the company of many other distinguished scientists, Vasta said. Kwolek always said that DuPont compensated her properly for her discovery, Vasta said.

In the 2007 interview, Kwolek was careful to take credit only for the initial discovery of the technology used in the development of Kevlar, crediting the team for taking it further, especially DuPont scientist Herbert Blades.

Kwolek was proud whenever first responders approached her to tell her that her vest saved their life, Vasta said.

In 1996, Kwolek won the National Medal of Technology "for her contributions to the discovery, development and liquid crystal processing of high-performance aramid fibers, which provide new products worldwide to save lives and benefit humankind." She was only the third DuPont scientist to win a National Medal of Technology or Science, Kullman said.

"She leaves a wonderful legacy of thousands of lives saved and countless injuries prevented by products made possible by her discovery," Kullman said.

In Kwolek's later years, she enjoyed being in her home, Vasta said. She left behind her lab notebooks, and "oh my gosh, they're like literary pieces," she said, noting her fluid handwriting and sketches.

Kwolek was inducted into the the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women on March 27.

Kwolek kept spools of Kevlar fabric at her home, she told The News Journal in 2007. "I never in a thousand years expected that little liquid crystal to develop into what it did," she said.

(Contributing: Maureen Milford)

Oh and just for fun...


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Motivation Part 3

We had a major incident that occurred almost two decades ago in which our town was linked to the crime but we were never able to discover where the crime had actually took place. A number of the affected departments set up an informal task force in order to solve the crime, but the leads were just not there and it went cold.

Recently the lead department received new evidence that pointed to a hitherto unknown suspect. They came to our department and coordinated with our investigation division to pickup and go speak with this new suspect.

So three-fourths of patrol is in the break room eating lunch, watching NASCAR on the flat screen television, when a senior member of our command staff walks by the room pushing a double-decker food cart. We let that go. A short time later he returns with a bunch of pizza boxes on the cart. The smart-mouth of our group, says, “Hey boss, that for us?”. He chuckles and says no. Then he and the cart disappear into the elevator and he goes up a couple of floors to the dick's offices. He and the cart return empty handed, followed by a return trip that contained drinks and finally a dessert run.

Right after the dessert run, the on-duty shift Sargent pops up and we ask him if any of the pizza that is going to our investigators and the outside department personnel is going to find its way to us. He tells us that he had not heard of the pizza and then walks out of the room. A short time later, he returned and said, yes there is pizza (like we would not recognize pizza as it went past us) but no, it was not for us. I then point out that it would take maybe 2 or at the most 3 pizzas to feed patrol and after they had bought all the other ones, how much more would it really cost to do that. A conversation soon breaks out between the three of us in patrol and the Sargent, in which we eventually concluded that in the command staffs' mind we are not worth the cost of three pizzas. I concluded the conversation by stating, “Well I for one am glad to know my actual dollar amount worth to the department. Now I can go get replacement insurance and know I am not going to overpay.” We all laugh and hit the street.

Fast forward to the next day and I am speaking now to the shift lieutenant about a different matter, when the same Sargent from the day before walks up. The lieutenant then says, “Oh that reminds me I found out about that pizza thing from yesterday.”

I think, crap, I shot my mouth off and irritated someone enough that the Lt is involved. The lieutenant then says, “If it makes you feel any better, our detectives didn't get any pizza either, they had to buy their own lunch. That was just for the officers that came in from the outside for this case.”

The Sargent and I just stare at our Lieutenant waiting for his mental bulb to light up. A few beats later it does. He sighs and states, “Wait, I think that worse. It means we care much more about a bunch of strangers we will never see again, then the actual people that work here. It makes you feel all warm and gooey inside.” And with that final statement the pizza topic was permanently shelved as an approved conversational topic.


I guess going down on the sinking boat is a little more comforting when you have company on that cruise, but then again I think we all would rather not be sinking in the first place.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Motivation Part 2

     Anyone that has read this blog for any amount of time quickly realizes that I hate traffic enforcement. Unless I need a reason to stop a load of gang bangers or a drug load, I really hate pimping the general public on silly traffic nonsense.

     The problem with my attitude is that in patrol it is an expected part of my duty day. So I decided to refocus myself now that I am back in patrol and at least fulfill my basic patrol duties.  We, as a department, are currently having a problem with our county. The court fees keep getting raised and the judges are feeling sympathetic to our traffic offenders because the fees are double the maximum possible ticket fine.  As a local department only get a percentage of the fine and nothing of the court fees. The judges are still finding the traffic offenders guilty but instead of the max fine they are taking it all the way down to twenty, ten and in one case, five dollar fines. The bottom line is the county is making bank on all of our work.

    Our administration, rightly, decided to try to keep as many tickets within the city as is possible, so that we can reap the work of our hands rather than the county. This making sense, I dedicated myself to local ordinance, equipment and parking tickets. Fast forward a year and I am getting my annual review. I have full points. Further, he lets me know that he is pleasantly surprised that I am second on my shift in total tickets written, knowing full well that it was not a passion of mine.

     However, sheepishly my Sargent, lets me know that there is one thing we have to talk about. He goes on to say that he was asked to do an audit of the total traffic stops for the department. In that audit, I am the last one on the shift in total traffic stops. So he asks me nicely, to commit to more traffic stops. I then foolishly ask if he is going to talk to anyone else about this ticket/traffic stop issue. He tells me no. So I say, “Okay, you are not going to talk to the guys who wrote less tickets than I did because they did more traffic stops than I did.”

    He says, “yes”. 

     I then ask, “But didn't our Chief rightfully say we needed to write as many as local ordinances as we possibly could. So if I write more of my tickets as moving violations, the city will get less money.”

    He responded, “Yep, that was my take away from that conversation. But remember making traffic stops, not just writing tickets are an important part of your job.”

   
I rejoin, “But hasn't every study from the seventies till now shown that traffic stops have little to no effect on the public's driving behavior?”. He again nods yes. I finish with, “So if I understand this, I need to do more of a thing that doesn't change the public behavior or increase safety, does not raise money for the city just to hit a magic number that someone above you has arbitrarily set, that we don't know what that is? When they have asked us to do the exact opposite, via roll call training, email, and personal visits to roll call?” He sighs, give me the shoulder shrug, that universally indicates, look its not my idea I just have to tell you about it.


    I let him know that I certainly would make more stops and just walked away shaking my head. Policy is the right thing to follow, you know, until they don't want you to follow their policy. Fun on the job.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Christmas Time-Motivation Part 1

 I am still here. I took some time off from the blog in order to achieve some fresh prospective on law enforcement. In other words, I got banged around a bit and got pissed and had to take five. The following expressed memory is not anything that made me angry, just thought it was amusing.

Any-Who, last Christmas, our DC came into the patrol room a week or so before Christmas with a big box of booze. I just happened to be there and in seeing the big box of booze and knowing the proximity to our blessed Lord's birthday, asked what purpose the box provided (hoping of course...free booze). He said, “Oh this? Its nothing.” Disappointed I went back to my squad.

A few days later I had to ask the Sargent a question and there sitting on his desk was one of the bottles of booze with a jaunty bow on top and a card close by. I asked the Sargent if that was his Christmas present from the DC and I was informed it was. So what did patrol get? A Christmas card? Nope. A merry Christmas email? Nope. Acknowledgment that it was the holiday season? Nope, zip, zilch and nothing.

So I look in my mail box and see that the Chief had given each of us a personalized Christmas card. Okay, some love for patrol, finally. I opened the card and was wished a merry Christmas among other positive Christmas suggestions and holiday desires. It was at this point, I noticed that the Chief's name was spelled wrong in the salutation section. Thinking this was inadvertent and not at all put aback by a printed signature rather a personally signed one, I found a group of us loitering around the station and pointed out the mistake. We all had a lark and a laugh, until the Sargent came over and said, “Oh I asked him about that. He said he realized that the printers had screwed up so he had a fresh corrected batch made. He gave us the misspelled cards so that the cards that go out to the real people are spelled correctly.”

I responded by telling the first story of the DC and booze. I then pointed out how all warm and fuzzy a Christmas in patrol was and said, “Merry (insert your departments name here) F'n Christmas everybody!”, and walked out into the night.

Ah if every company cared as much about the workers' personnel feelings as our departments care about ours, it would all look like a a scene out of the back room of a post office in the eighties.

Merry belated Christmas everybody.


PS: I really said F'n and not the full word, just for a point of order there.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love the Police...Kiss a Cop...Wait Don't

There are two, among many, unique aspects of the law enforcement profession.  The first is that police officers over time slowly withdraw all their socialization from any non-law enforcement source.  What that really means is that they only hang out with cops, drink at cop bars, golf with cops, work massive amounts of overtime with cops.  They even withdraw from their familial relationships.

The second aspect is that we are solely judged by the one percent that are crazy, incredibly stupid or both.  Think if any profession was judged this way.   A brilliant New York neurosurgeon made to take ethics classes because an toxicologist in Omaha felt his patients up in the examination room.  But guess what, this happens to us all the time.  I can not tell you how many trainings I had to sit through because some moron did something I would never do, have never seen, and my co-workers would never do.  Oh and then when that person gets caught, a bunch of breathless articles come out trying to find this unreported epidemic.

Put paragraph one and paragraph two together.  Think you may get tired of friends, family, acquaintances asking you about an idiot (and without doing this purposely) making you defend yourself and your profession all the time.

So just to drive myself nuts I just googled searched "police" and here is the three in depth article list below. I evidently lie, hate one of the three peoples of the book, and arrest kids for not cleaning up.  I have never lied at the stand, there is no reason to do so because if you want to keep your house you only arrest people that are so guilty its a dead bang.  No one in my state or area has placed a young man/woman into custody for not cleaning up and great... an idiot department in Florida did  something stupid in training.  There are 900,000 law enforcement personnel on the streets of the United States, they serve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, we don't stop for weather, we don't stop for disaster, we miss our children birthday parties and Christmas.  So with millions of civilian contacts a year, 99% positive or trust me we would get raked over the coals over it...what, not one positive story?

Strange then why cops only seems to love cops.

Matthew 7:2
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    In-depth articles
  1. Why Police Officers Lie Under Oath - NYTimes.com

    THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury's believing their word over a police officer's are slim to ...
    New York Times
  2. The US schools with their own police - The Guardian

    More and more US schools have police patrolling the corridors. Pupils are being arrested for throwing paper planes and failing to pick up crumbs from the canteen floor.
    Guardian
  3. How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam - Meg Stalcup ...

    There aren't nearly enough counterterrorism experts to instruct all of America's police... n a bright January morning in 2010, at Broward College in Davie, Florida, about sixty police officers ...
    washingtonmonthly.com





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blauer Clash Boot

I recently had the opportunity to try out Blauer's new 6 inch Clash Boot (Style FW016) for these last two weeks.  My department issues Blauer jackets but I was unaware they are also in the boot business. I gave it quite an extended workout since we threw a bridal shower, had two separate school orientations, three barbecues and one shift outing.   During this two week time, I think I went straight home and pulled off my gear twice and the rest of the days I wore my black polyester pants and these boots for more than 12 hours a day, both on duty and off.

Break-in

The first thing that I always do to see if I have a good pair of boots or not, is too wear the heck out of them right out of the box.  A good boot will require little to no break in period, lesser boots take some time to finally be comfortable to wear.  I have had boots give me blisters within one day, found rub points on my toes and heals and signs of poor stitching that have wore holes into my socks.  I wore these boots everyday for two weeks with no foot discomfort or any sign of stitches popping through.  They broke in quickly and easily, I basically forgot I was wearing new boots as I went throughout my day.  Now I have had other boots that broke in easily but toward the end of the first week and into the second they continued to break in resulting in a loose fit that made them steadily unwearable.   I did not find this to be an issue with these boots, they kept their out of the box firm hold.

Sole

These Clash boots have a more tennis style sole that differed from my Rocky's that have more traditional flat and wide sole.  I was initially concerned because the sole that Blauer selected can sometimes be awkward to stand on for hours at a time.  I was pleased to find that this was not the case.  This sole provided a good base of support, ware-ability, and nice flex.  It had good traction on the street and in the fields.  It held firm in the rain and had good traction on greasy floors.  I was very pleased that when I had to go into the ER for an incident (dog bite if you must know) they did not squeak.  I have had a number of boots issued to me that when I would walk those halls they were incredibility loud.  The only way to stop that was to walk on my toes, not a good look for a uniformed police officer to be prancing through the halls of our local hospital.  Driving the squad was no problem at all, which is nice having had boots in the past that made pushing the gas and break peddles a chore.

Comfort/Insulation

I wore these boots in temperatures ranging from 70 degrees to one day of 98 degrees.  I was comfortable for the most part.  My feet were never cold but on the high degree day I did take off soaking socks.  These boots seem to be insulated to a moderate degree range so as to make them usable for most of the year.  I will be updating this review when I wear the boots in winter but I was basically comfortable most of the time.  I have to be fair in that I have never worn any type of footwear that at the high nineties my feet didn't sweat.

BOA Lacing System

Ok, this is my favorite thing about these boots.  There is a dial that you turn to tighten the wires to tighten the fit of the boot and you pull the dial out if you want to release the bindings and remove the boot.  I had this system on a pair of North Face boots and the boot itself wore out before this lacing system even showed any signs of wear.  I loved the fact that I could adjust the fit of these boots any time I wanted and it took about a second to do it, boot removal was just as quick.  If for no other reason it is worth getting the boots for this feature.  As an example, I came in from the street sat down at our lunch table popped the dial let my feet breathe and dry a bit and when it was over a few twists and I was back out again.  No other boot could do that in that amount of time.

Aesthetics 

Ok there is not much anyone can do here.  If it had a radical look, or color or whatever it would not work with our uniform code and thus be unwearable.  I could have done without the suede but it did not ruin anything.

Issues

As you probably guessed, I really enjoyed these boots.  But they were not perfect.  But then nothing is.  A couple of issues.  One, the sole stops just below the toe area.  I noticed that I was scuffing the leather toe almost immediately, requiring some quick shinning each day.  I have always preferred the sole to include a toe cap in order to protect my feet when I have to kick something and to protect the leather from scuffing. These boots have a heal/Achilles plate that serves this purpose for the back of the boot it just needs one for the front.  Second, the knob of the BOA system gets hooked on your pants legs.  I had to pull the cuff of my pant off the knob so that it fell to the bottom of the boot numerous times.  A minor problem but after you have to do it a bunch of times it can get a little irritating.

Recommendation

This was an easy decision to recommend these boots.  I could have written this review after the second day but waited and wore them for two weeks in case there was a material quality problem or they started to show early signs of wear, neither became an issue at all.  I have already spoken with our quartermaster to see about making these standard issue at my department.  The price point of a little over a hundred dollars makes them an excellent buy also.  I have already put my old boots out to pasture.

Their link Blauer


Increase costs for Police only Raise your Taxes

I just saw this Op-Ed piece from the New York Times.  There are always costs with every new policy, policy change and the training that goes with it.  My experience has always been that it is a huge waste of time.  99% of the officers are usually doing the right thing already but you still have to sit through an 8 or a 16 hour training that only enriches the training providers.  Anyway for your consideration.

The link to the article http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/opinion/the-real-costs-of-policing-the-police.html?_r=0


OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR:

The Real Costs of Policing the Police

MANAMA, Bahrain — SETTING aside the legal wisdom of the recent decision by a federal judge against the New York Police Department and its stop-and-frisk policy, one thing seems clear: the judge’s remedy will be enormously expensive and time-consuming to implement, and at a time when the number of stops is falling dramatically.

No one, of course, should be stopped by a police officer on the basis of skin color or ethnic origin. The judge, Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, found that the benefits of ending what she considers to be unconstitutional stops would far outweigh any administrative hardships.

Still, the reforms she has laid out are sweeping in their impact on the department and its 35,000 officers, who have been excoriated and vilified in the months leading up to the trial and in the aftermath of the ruling.

The city has filed a notice of appeal, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he hopes the appeal process would allow current stop-and-frisk practices to continue. But Mr. Bloomberg, an independent, leaves office at the end of the year. The Democratic candidates vying to succeed him have vowed to scale back, or even halt, the practice.

Judge Scheindlin named a monitor — Peter L. Zimroth, a former corporation counsel — to oversee changes in training, supervision, monitoring and discipline. Officers, in effect, will be untrained in the old policy, then trained in new stop-and-frisk procedures. They will be taught about racial profiling and “unconscious racial bias,” and what constitutes a stop and the legal basis for a search. They will learn how to fill out a new stop-and-frisk form, with the current checkboxes replaced by a “narrative section where the officer must record, in her own words, the basis for the stop.” Finally, a facilitator will also be appointed to work with community groups and other “stakeholders” on the reforms.

Court-appointed monitors are nothing new in police departments. Nationally, there have been about two dozen in the past 20 years. And while there is no agreement on the efficiency and effectiveness of these monitors, the one thing that all police chiefs involved agreed with is that the monitoring always lasted longer (some more than 10 years) and was vastly more expensive than expected.

New York’s experience is not likely to be different. The training regimen laid out by Judge Scheindlin will require transferring dozens of officers from precincts and permanently reassigning them to the police academy as trainers. Because minimum staffing levels are required by the department, much of the new training will have to be done on overtime, unless the city spends money to expand the number of officers.

Front-line ranking officers (sergeants and lieutenants) will likely require one week of training, while patrol officers and detectives will require at least two days. My estimate is that this remedial process will cost tens of millions of dollars and last at least 10 years. This does not include the incalculable but sizable costs of taking an officer off patrol for training. Nor does it include the cost of the monitor, staff, expert advisers or the yet-to-be-named facilitator and his or her staff.



MANAMA, Bahrain — SETTING aside the legal wisdom of the recent decision by a federal judge against the New York Police Department and its stop-and-frisk policy, one thing seems clear: the judge’s remedy will be enormously expensive and time-consuming to implement, and at a time when the number of stops is falling dramatically.

The facilitator will hold town hall meetings to receive as much input as possible, particularly from those most affected by police searches. But Britain’s experience, following riots in London in August 2011, offers a cautionary tale. There, community members were asked for their ideas about the underlying problems that caused the disturbances, only to have their hopes for change dashed.

In New York, Judge Scheindlin also ordered a one-year program requiring officers from the precinct in each borough with the highest number of stops to wear body cameras. This program could involve some 2,000 officers, including those assigned to public housing. The judge cites the success of a similar program in Rialto, Calif., but that city of 100,000 can’t be compared to New York. (Rialto had 54 police officers, half of whom wore cameras.) The judge argued that body cameras will, among other things, “encourage lawful and respectful interactions on the part of both parties.” But anyone who watches the reality show “Cops” has good reason to be skeptical.

The prolonged controversy over stop-and-frisk has chilled officers’ enthusiasm and initiative. As a result, the number of stops has dropped sharply, from 203,500 in the first three months of 2012 to fewer than 100,000 stops over the same period this year. Cops have gotten the message.

Judge Scheindlin made clear that she was “not ordering an end to the practice of stop and frisk.” A few years from now — after the facilitator has gotten the community’s input, the monitor’s agenda is in place, the new, time-consuming stop-and-frisk form is available, and the Police Department is geared up to train its 27,500 front-line officers and detectives — the problem may already have fixed itself.

John F. Timoney, a former first deputy police commissioner in New York City, police commissioner in Philadelphia and police chief in Miami, is the author of “Beat Cop to Top Cop: A Tale of Three Cities.” He is a consultant to the Interior Ministry of Bahrain.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Law Officers Combat Kinetics, Unarmed Panoply - L.O.C.K.U.P.

I just went through a one day defensive tactics refresher and our trainer brought a number of new maneuvers that he had just learned through the L.O.C.K.U.P. system.

This system fit my criteria for real world, officer useful, defensive tactics, in that it has simple moves that don't require continuous training.  An emphases of ending the offenders resistance in as quick of a manner as possible.  It allows for options based on the actions of the offender/resister from simple soft physical control all the way to lethal force.  And finally, a mistake does not put you completely in the resister's power.

It is something to consider.  It works. I have the bruises to prove it.  The following is an exert from Police Combat Web Site followed by a brief bio by the systems founder from the same site Lt. Kevin Dillion

 About LOCKUP ®
Created for law enforcement, security and military personnel, the L.O.C.K.U.P.® (Law Officers Combat Kinetics Unarmed Panoply)  program teaches arrest and control maneuvers for all levels of physical resistance and aggression. With a primary focus on techniques for UNARMED police combat, L.O.C.K.U.P.®, developed with over 60 years of combined law enforcement and martial arts training, combines dynamic arrest and control tactics with basic fighting skills and applications. The result is that police, security and military personnel can better  protect themselves and the public they are sworn to serve.L.O.C.K.U.P. ® teaches reliable and retainable empty-hand maneuvers that can be effectively deployed by trained personnel during violent physical altercations. It adapts specific fighting maneuvers to fit an officer’s physical and physiological change during these altercations, thus maximizing effectiveness of the combative movements. Incorporating numerous police combat concepts, techniques and maneuvers, L.O.C.K.U.P. ® is not based on any one martial art or fighting system. It is designed specifically for law enforcement to meet the needs for today’s “officer on the street” who receives limited training, wears restrictive uniforms and body armor, and is bound by laws, regulations and ethical values. - See more at: http://www.policecombat.com/sample-page/#sthash.ezl843f2.dpuf
Lieutenant Kevin Dillon (Ret) 
is a twenty-five year veteran law enforcement officer, retired from the Wethersfield CT Police Department, a suburb of the state’s capitol of Hartford, CT after serving as the Detective Bureau Commander for the past three years.  Lieutenant Dillon also has commanded the department’s patrol division and served as training supervisor. As a  SWAT team member since 1993, he served as an operator, Team Leader and Commander of the regional thirty-five member SWAT team (Capitol Region Emergency Services Team.) and remains a consultant with the team. 

Lieutenant Dillon is a National Academy graduate of the F.B.I.  session 223. He has also received certification from Force Science Institute in Analysis in Use of Force incidents.

Friday, July 19, 2013

For Your Consideration: Police Chief David Couper

About a year ago in my guest book I received a heads up on the work that Ret. Police Chief Couper is doing.  Looking into it, I see a fellow believer in Christ, a believer in higher education to obtained by law enforcement officers to be utilized within our profession and a passion to raise a great institution to even greater heights.

He has been the Chief of the Madison WI with a 20 year law enforcement background and now is ordained into the ministry in the Episcopal Church and serves at St. Peter's in North Lake WI.

His work is something worth checking out for anyone in our field, thinking about entering our field or just curious about law enforcement and its continued striving toward improvement.  I hope he keeps up the good work.


His Blog Improving Police

His Book Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption, and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation's Police

And an interview with him:






Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Miguel Trevino Morales - We got another cartel member

Miguel Trevino Morales "40"
American Justice can be slow but it has perseverance.  I have said this before but the war on the Mexican Drug Cartels is very similar to the war on the Colombian drug cartels in the 80's.  The following is an article from the Washington Times about "40"- Miguel Morales.














 Link to the article http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/16/los-zetas-drug-cartel-boss-trevino-morales-capture/?page=all#pagebreak it is by Jerry Seper

Los Zetas’ drug cartel boss, Trevino Morales, captured in Nuevo Laredo near border


The notoriously violent leader of the Mexico-based drug cartel known as Los Zetas, whose bloodletting and butchery had become its trademark, was captured Monday by Mexican marines near the border city of Nuevo Laredo, intercepted in a pickup truck containing more than $2 million in cash.

Miguel Trevino Morales, 40, was taken into custody in a pre-dawn raid along a dirt road when a marine helicopter halted the truck just outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which has long been the headquarters of Los Zetas.
Trevino Morales, also known as “Zeta 40,” was arrested with two companions, a bodyguard and an accountant, and Mexican authorities seized eight weapons from the vehicle, according to Mexican government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez.

In a statement, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration congratulated the Mexican government on the Trevino Morales arrest, noting that the drug boss had been wanted for years.

“His ruthless leadership has now come to an end,” the DEA said. “Thanks to the brave men and women of the Government of Mexico, Trevino Morales will now be held accountable for his alleged crimes.”

The statement described Trevino Morales as of one of the “most significant Mexican cartel leaders to be apprehended in several years” and pledged to continue to support the Mexican government “as it forges ahead in disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations.”

Recent law enforcement intelligence bulletins said Los Zetas had expanded its operations into the U.S., recruiting American prison and street gangs, and non-Mexicans, for its drug trafficking operations in Mexico and the U.S.
An FBI intelligence bulletin noted that “multiple sources” reported the shift in Los Zetas recruiting. The cartel sought to maintain a highly disciplined and structured hierarchy by recruiting members with specialized training, such as former military and law enforcement officers.

Trevino Morales is fluent in Spanish and English, and had established what U.S. authorities described as criminal contacts on both sides of the border.
The expansion of Los Zetas operations across the southwestern border has long been a concern of U.S. authorities. Trained as an elite band of Mexican anti-drug commandos, Los Zetas evolved into mercenaries for the infamous Gulf Cartel, unleashing a wave of brutality in Mexico’s drug wars.

Violence continues to be Los Zetas’ trademark.

“See. Hear. Shut up, if you want to stay alive,” read a note written in block letters on blood-splattered poster board after a December 2009 killing spree in the border town of Reynosa, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas.
Los Zetas has used beheadings and dismemberments to punish rivals or betrayers, establish turf, terrorize citizens against testifying and press political leaders to collaborate. Many of the gang’s targets have been Mexican military and police personnel, but U.S. law enforcement authorities also have come under attack.

As early as 2008, the FBI warned U.S. authorities that Los Zetas was attempting to gain control of drug routes into America and had ordered its members to use violence against U.S. law enforcement officers to protect their operations.
Los Zetas also has pushed its way into legal and illegal businesses by killing, kidnapping or extorting those in control. According to U.S. law enforcement and intelligence reports, gang members use their massive supply of weapons and high-tech equipment to instill fear to take over businesses.

Seeking to grab a larger portion of the $25 billion cocaine, heroin and marijuana market in the United States, Los Zetas is estimated to have between 1,000 and 3,000 hard-core members and 10,000 loyalists across Mexico, Central America and the United States.

A 2009 indictment handed up in federal court in Washington said Trevino Morales was actively involved in managing the activities of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, including the coordination of cocaine and marijuana shipments into the U.S. and the receipt of bulk cash shipments into Mexico from the United States.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Krav Maga Institute something to consider

I ran into the Krav Maga Institute the other day.  One of the issues I have always had with self defense training in Law Enforcement is that it relies on a complicated series of moves that when performed incorrectly brings the officer into greater danger then they had before engaging the offender.  There has been a move in our industry to adopt more real world, ground based fighting techniques that are concerned with real world environments and quick brutal energy conserving offender neutralization.  I have had some training using jiu jitsu techniques and have liked the results.  This Krav Maga seems like something law enforcement officers and training coordinators should look into and consider.  Their Links: Krav Maga Institute-New York Krav Academy - Chicago. The following is a info graphic then sent me for your consideration.  Stay safe out there.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Brian Cain Online, Millennial Cop and Airdrop Tactical

I just had these three sites recommended to me.  A Blog: Brian Cain Online, a podcast: Millennial Cop and an
Brian Cain
a equipment site: Airdrop Tactical.

These are all from Officer Brian Cain.  Brian has served four years with the Marines, a police officer since 2000 and is a Chaplin for his department.

What's not to love about a believer in law enforcement who clearly is industrious.  Plus like my blog his blog also is a Top 50 blog at Criminal Justice Degree Schools.com.

So head over to his sites and check them out!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thought to Think...Agree or Disagree at least its getting the Brain Matter Moving

Do not take this as an endorsement of all/any of the ideas in this.  There is tough language in it.  I just appreciate the honesty of the presentation of it in our time of politically correct speech and the drive to make everyone always happy.  The comedian that is speaking in this is the now deceased Greg Giraldo.  I noticed that he is not using the pronoun "you" but he almost always uses "we".  His act has always struck me as an exercise of exorcising personal demons.  His Wikipedia Link




Friday, April 26, 2013

Simple Take on Gun Control

Law enforcement, on whatever level you choose to address, has always been very ineffective in the control or banishment of any type of item or substance.

Heroin has been banned since 1924.

Cocaine has been prescription only since 1914.

Until this decade cannabis has not been legal to ingest.

Don't forget prohibition.

Immigration control is nonexistent.

Not one of the proposed new gun measures would have prevented any of the recent mass killings.

Every time a new law is enacted it requires both time and money. There is a limited supply of both, so the even "saves one child that argument" does not stand. Since there is a limit to both time and money using it inefficiently takes resources from positive and successful measures and wastes them on ineffective program. Basically creating two sets of victims.

Without exception the gun violence rates for cities in America with tight gun control are significantly higher than the ones that do not.

The highest penalties in American juris prudence is for murder. If that does not stop these evil actors why would lesser penalties deter?

Finally we are at least five minutes away if you can get to a phone or someone hears you scream, why should you not have the right to protect your life after someone else has decided to take it.

I understand the need and drive of people to seek instant solutions in the wake of tragedy but the real issue is not the object but the actor. Until we address the real issue of mental illness, nothing done to control objects will have any affect at all.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Asset: Arrest, Search and Seizure Electronic Tool

The Asset: Arrest, Search and Seizure Electronic Tool was just brought to my attention.  It is a creation of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Government (first I have heard of them too).  I dropped it into my phone and I have to say I am impressed.  What this app delivers to the cell phone that is with me at all times, its equivalent in book form is filling half of my "go-bag".

Here is what I like:

1.  Portability-My reference material is stowed in my squad, which is usually far away from the call.  When a question of law arises and my backup is as befuddled as I am, someone has to stay behind while the other marches to the car and attempts to find the answer.  An Officer safety problem in all circumstances.  This app allows two of us to remain on scene to continue aiding each other.

2.  Liability-look at this app's name.  This is where you are going to get sued if you make the wrong call...just by having this on your person adds one more line to your due diligence law suit response section.

3.  Speed-this app's interface is simple and direct.  I can quibble with the long narrative sections once you hit the particular problem you are facing.  I have dropped similar long passages into my reports to justify my actions.  What I could recommend to improve this tool would be to bullet point, lets say duration with "Must be brief and accomplish only what you have suspicion of..." then click on that to get the full explication.  But this change would save, oh, about thirty seconds.

4.  Utilizing existing technology.     Most law enforcement tools are common everyday ware that is painted matte black and tripled charged.  This is using a smart phone 99% of us already have and making it useful for something other than killing time between traffic stops.

5.  It's free and not even a free trail edition.  My three years of no pay increases really make this a great feature.

6.  Updates.  I can not tell you how many times non-current information has risen up and bit me as a police officer.  Just last week I realized that they changed the statute numbers for retail theft...caught it just in time but had that gone to court it would not have been fatal but certainly embarrassing.  The stuff defense attorneys LOVE.

7.  Citations:  Peppered through they have the case law that led to the procedures that are in place.  There are reasons for everything even if the courts are just making them up as they go along.

The downside

Its primary focus is that state of North Carolina (no surprise there)...while there are many similarities, there are some differences I found that would not be the same for us here in the Midwest...since it would only require small changes here and there...I am hoping they have future plans for a state by state version.  When they do I certainly will be using it.

If this is what is coming from this UNC program I certainly applaud them for it and look forward to seeing what else they produce.

Links: UNC Asset App Link  I-Tunes Preview of ASSET: Arrest, Search, and Seizure Electronic Tool

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting

As I am waiting for my wife to come out of a medical procedure I am reminded about when I first became a TFO with the Feds and went on my first couple of surveillances.

As a patrol officer everything is quick, you stabilize the scene, make sure everything is safe and stays safe, get everyone off the road or out of the house, write a quick report and go 10-8. If the case would take longer than a shift, or goes out of town or had complexity it would just be shipped to the investigators.

So when I was on my first surveillance we followed the guys right to the deal, the deal was made and we followed them away. I, while driving, threw on the full gear and got ready and waited for the take down. I waited, and waited and waited. After we had followed them for another six hours I broke for the post surveillance meet geared up. I was meet with quizzical looks and soon after derision. We ended up following those two guys for another three weeks before there was a bust signal. Those first months I was just crawling out of my skin sitting in my car waiting for something to happen and waiting for something to do. Then no matter what, I had paperwork that would take days, weeks, in one case, years, to complete. It was a culture shock.

The funny part, is when I first came back to patrol I keep saying, "what's all the hurry?"

So here I sit waiting again, somewhere between the zen of an TFO and the impatience of a patrolman waiting for the surgeon to stop cutting on my wife. Funny where a worried mind takes you.

Picture Credit: http://www.apuregeneration.com/blog/what-are-we-waiting-for/3763