American LEOs: do you remember your oaths?

A general oath that most American law enforcement officers take is this:

” I, ___________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of _________ against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of ________; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.

Generally, upon completion of this oath, a law enforcement officer is handed her or his badge which is pinned on by a husband, wife or other important family member or friend.

That is the oath you took in America, fellow law enforcement officers.

I say “fellow law enforcement officers” because I served as a LEO for 41 years before I retired recently. I worked in the federal system and for two California agencies. I am a Sheepdog, a Silverback and an Oathkeeper. Just because I retired, my Sheepdog mindset, status and obligation has not entirely. I know who I am, what I’ve done and what I may have to do in the future.

I took the oath as delineated above and I never forgot it.

I support law enforcement. I love cops. I respect the terrifically-difficult job they must do on an hourly and daily basis. Because I was there. For, generally, twice the amount of time that most police officers put in. I did so because I believed in my role in society.

But, to me, it would appear that some LEOs have forgotten or, worse, purposely dismissed their law enforcement oaths. I love cops when I can and excoriate them when I must.

I see a disturbing trend. I see cops taking orders at face value from their supervisors or managers and then carrying them out. Or equally reprehensible, when confronted with egregious conditions, don’t act. I have taken SFPD, San Jose PD, Berkeley PD and UC Berkeley PD officers to task. OWS vs the TEA Party.

I am sorely and seriously concerned for the future of law enforcement.

In that vein, Judge Jeanine Pirro wanted to know under what conditions current peace officers operated? What laws did they uphold? Are they truly conducting themselves according to their sworn oaths?

I submit: possibly not. And that is perhaps the most disturbing trend of all.

“I hate to say this; every one of you in law enforcement who bought into this liberal nonsense also has blood on your hands,” Pirro said.

I completely concur.

“If this is a tough one for you and you are going to start listening to the ACLU or some liberal mayor who doesn’t give a damn about you, your contract or your oath, directing that you release the wanted criminal alien out the side door, then maybe you should rethink this and go into social work,” she said.

“You are too damn dumb to be in law enforcement.”

There will come a time — quite shortly, I submit — where each and every one of you in US law enforcement will have to pick a side. I say this to our military members as well.

Halfway won’t do. Non-committal won’t do. Prevaricating won’t do. You will have to, soon, decide which orders you will obey and which orders you will not.

This may create confusion in your mind and potentially place your career in jeopardy.

You will have to ask: will I obey my superiors, or will I obey the law? Will I make a stand or will I stand back because it is convenient?

People excoriate the Oathkeepers, of which I am a member. Let us not forget that their oaths are no more complicated than these:

10 Orders Oath Keepers Swear to Disobey

  1. We will not obey any order to disarm the American people.
  2. We will not obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects—such as warrantless house-to-house searches for weapons or persons.
  3. We will not obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunals.
  4. We will not obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.
  5. We will not obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.
  6. We will not obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
  7. We will not obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
  8. We will not obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.
  9. We will not obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext.
  10. We will not obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

Translated: you will hold dear the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights. As you agreed.

You will soon have to ask yourself: who am I? In what do I believe? What does my oath mean? What does my job mean?

And more importantly, do I have the testosterone or the estrogen to carry out the oath I took?

Words having meaning.

Honor your oath.



9 thoughts on “American LEOs: do you remember your oaths?

  1. I, like you, am former law enforcement. I served no where near the number of years you did, but I served long enough to know the real law enforcement that the public does not see. I also worked a tough neighborhood, and I had double the calls and triple the arrests of most other cops.

    I also know that despite what an officer thinks, despite what is in his heart, the brass upstairs calls the shots. There was a certain liberal mindset needed if you wanted to get along, and certainly if you wanted to rise in rank. And if speaking out against the system put in place was done, that officer found himself not only assigned to the worst beat, the crappiest car, denial of time off, and so on, he found himself constantly trying to avoid IA investigations for even the most trivial of actions. I was one such officer, and I had to walk a tight line.

    I have seen officers destroyed by the system for the simple crime of speaking out. And I mean destroyed to the point you will never work in law enforcement every again. Your record so filled with lies and exaggerations, no other agency would ever think of hiring you. No matter how much experience you have, if you record is trashed, other agencies would rather hire an inexperienced rookie and mold him rather than hire someone who has been documented as a trouble maker.

    And therein lies the problem. What does a ex-cop do if he has been black listed and forbidden to work in all things law enforcement. I have seen ex-cops black listed unable to get jobs as mall security because of what was in their record.

    Luckily, I got out before too much damage was done to me. I went to law school and remain able to work where I want.

    I often liken the job as police officers in a bad agency to that of a soldier in nazi Germany. I imagine these soldiers in the wermacht who only wanted to serve their county proudly and do their part. Having read a stack of books on WWII, written from both sides, I find that for the most part, the German soldiers were not hateful jew killers who wanted world domination. However, they found themselves in the precarious position of you follow orders or you end up in a concentration camp or on the Russian front during winter. It was a no win situation for many of these guys. I often wonder, that unlike the movies showing all German soldiers as sadistic scum, that some of them do what little they could to help those they were ordered to destroy. That they hated themselves but had no choice, other than the choice of live or die. And not only did they worry about their own well-being, but I am sure their families were threatened if any soldier failed to do exactly as told.

    So, maybe not to that degree, but us cops were in that position. I loved being a cop. There is absolutely no job like it. It was fun, and I never took myself too serious. Hell, after training, I never wrote a single speeding or stop sign ticket. hey, if you drove thru an intersection or got to where you were going without wrecking something…you did right. I did a lot of DUI and was what I was engaged in before I left.

    I do remember that there was concern from some on the blogs I would frequent regarding law enforcement turning on citizens if ordered to. Would they do as told if ordered to disarm citizens. Many believed that there would never be enough cops who would do this if ordered to. For me, I have my doubts. I have seen many cops…good cops…give in to the system if it meant a promotion or preferential treatment. Hell, Hitler proved you could get good men to commit even the most horrible of acts, if you applied the right pressure.

    I hope we never have to test this theory. As for Judge Jeanine, I feel what she is asking is alot and many cops will just plain not jeopardize their ability to take care of their families. I only hope that at best, that they have drawn a line in the sand where they have said, I will not go past this certain point. It’s one thing to look the other way when it comes to illegals. An entirely different issue when it comes to firing on citizens and disarming them. Again, lets hope we never find out which one the majority of cops will choose.

    In closing, it is a tough job at times…but a great one. Where else do you get a front line seat to some amazing shit that goes down. It has its moments of boredom, of simple driving down, and sometimes, severe pucker factor…all within a single hour sometimes. I miss it, and a desk going over briefs and pleadings, though may pay quite well, is not the same. I still get that anxious wishful feeling everytime I hear a siren go by and I wonder what fun that cop is heading to. I then go back to my dull job of lawyering…happy knowing I am not the target of some asshole who wants to kill me for the single fact I am wearing blue.

    • Officers destroyed in law enforcement? We only have to look as far as Darren Wilson. He will never work in a remotely-aligned job again.


  2. 29 years, 2 small cities in a big urban area. I remember. My officers remember. We remember our oaths and who we work for- the people. My officers will follow my orders, and I WILL NOT give an order that violates that oath. Stay safe.

  3. A “test” to your Oath is how you live in your retirement. Get involved with your Community and your local police. Let them know you still bleed blue.
    Your own neighborhood will be safer for this effort.

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