Law enforcement is under fire, from every aspect of society. I am grateful that Congressman Gowdy honored our fallen Sheepdogs.
Law enforcement is under fire, from every aspect of society. I am grateful that Congressman Gowdy honored our fallen Sheepdogs.
I didn’t think so.
Apparently, no one else does either.
Baltimore Police Working To Retain Officers Despite High Crime & Overtime Issues
by Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s growing concern over a shortage of police officers in Baltimore City. Despite ramping up recruiting efforts, there’s still big turnover in the department.
For only the second time in the last two decades, Baltimore hits 100 homicides before the end of April.
The murder rate is up 30 percent over last year — a grim milestone. The murder that pushed the city over the 100-mark happened on Lombard Street, one of the busiest intersections downtown.
The number of officers is at its lowest point that it’s been in the past decade, which has become cause for concern.
The city is operating with hundreds of fewer officers than at any point over the past decade.
Considering Baltimore PD, the city itself, its contentious relationship with its mayor and attorney general, this is not a shocking situation with which the police department finds itself.
The department is spending almost $1 million dollars a month just on overtime to keep up.
That’s what immediately occurs when you have insufficient personnel to cover various shifts and assignments. It’s a stopgap measure and usually challenges the budget of the applicable city or county. It’s also a measure that generally irritates the specific county supervisors, city mayors or managers involved.
This is very telling information with a rather insightful statement proffered from a citizen.
It’s noticeable to community activist Ericka Alston-Buck, with Penn-North Kids Safe Zone.
“When I walk up to one of the officers, the first thing I ask is what district are you out of, because 9o percent of the time, they’re not a western district officer, so everyone is working overtime.”
“There needs to be something attractive about being a police officer here in Baltimore City. I don’t see the attraction,” she says.
Apparently neither do a lot of other people.
Because these days that, above, is the attraction. Translated: not so much. How many Millennials and GenZr’s are interested in that kind of confrontation, with no reaction allowed?
The issue just didn’t emerge this week. BPD began having recruitment issues directly following the Freddie Gray incident.
What to do? I know. Relax standards. Hello, anyone remember Rampart?
A bright spot now for recruitment efforts: Maryland regulators just relaxed standards for marijuana use, making more people eligible to become officers.
Outstanding. More officers laboring under the influence of THC. Good for the manufacturer of Doritos, perhaps.
The beginning salary for a city officer is just under $49,000 plus benefits.
That’s what starting custodians make in California schools. Custodians who have no responsibility to wield power, arrest people or utilize deadly force.
This at a time when Baltimore just hit 100 homicides prior to the end of April, up 30% from last year at the same time. But pay close attention; the issue in Baltimore isn’t about pay necessarily. It’s about applicants. There aren’t enough. They can’t fill the positions they already have, much less attempt to expand the department.
Why would that be?
It stems from a number of factors, to include Black Lives Matter and the “hands up don’t shoot” lie.
The Ferguson Effect is another factor as the label of “overpolicing” has been charged to American departments. The uptick in the shootings of officers is also an issue, not necessarily the consequence of a given call but specifically the ambushing and targeting for assassination of police officers while on duty.
Baltimore is now also operating under a federal consent decree as it has been accused of over policing.
Some in Chicago, for example, are even calling for the entire defunding of the Chicago Police Department.
Following the Freddie Gray death, state attorney general Marilyn Mosby charged seven Baltimore Police officers, five of whom are black. Not one officer has been found guilty, and charges were dropped entirely on three of the officers. Over policing? How about Mosby’s over-charging? A federal judge in January allowed a suit against Mosby for malicious prosecution to proceed.
People are now concluding there are too many marks in the negative column as opposed to the positive column regarding a police officer career in the city of Baltimore.
But it isn’t only Baltimore affected. Police recruiting around the country is down and becoming quite difficult. The attrition rate for police officers (14%) is higher than both nursing (12%) and teaching (13%). Pay, “disqualifying behaviors,” and credit problems are also issues,
This all gets down to riots, this gets down to crime, and this gets down to war. What commonality do rioters, criminals and despots have? They are all predators of opportunity and weakness.
With that in common, what happens when people stage a riot and there is no one to respond? What occurs when there is a crime and there is no one to respond? What happens when there is a war and there is no one to defend the nation?
What happens when you run out of Sheepdogs to defend the Sheep against the wolves?
Ask the citizens of Berkeley on Saturday, April 15th, when Americans were left to fight it out on the streets of the United States as law enforcement officers were either forced to or willingly allowed violence to occur directly in front of their eyes.
What happens then?
Obey the law.
Texas House Passes Bill to Jail ‘Sanctuary’ Sheriffs, Police Chiefs
by Bob Price
The Texas House passed a tough anti-sanctuary bill containing provisions making it a crime for sheriffs and chiefs of police to refuse to cooperate with immigration officials. They could also be removed from office for providing “sanctuary” for the criminal illegal aliens in their jails.
How did this come to be such an issue? Predominantly when Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez (D) proclaimed her jurisdiction lawless insofar as her nestling arms became a sanctuary for illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico. Straw, meet camel’s back. Shake hands and come out legislating. So Texas did.
Senate Bill 4 finally passed the Texas House Thursday afternoon by a vote of 94-53 along party lines.
Following the bill’s final passage in the House, the Texas House Republican Caucus sent out a statement saying the bill ensure federal immigration laws that are on the books will be followed and enforced in Texas. The caucus stated the bill prevents local entities from creating policies that threaten public safety.
“The purpose of this legislation is to protect Texans from criminals who are here illegally. We are trying to make sure those bad actors are detained until we can determine their status, ” said House Administration Committee Chairman Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth). “This bill will not affect law abiding citizens, only those that are in trouble with the police.”
Of particular gall to Leftists and lawbreakers is this aspect of SB4, which provides penalties for those in law enforcement who fail to comply.
|SECTION 5.02. Chapter 39, Penal Code, is amended by adding|
|Section 39.07 to read as follows:|
|Sec. 39.07. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH IMMIGRATION DETAINER|
|REQUEST. (a) A person who is a sheriff, chief of police, or|
|constable or a person who otherwise has primary authority for|
|administering a jail commits an offense if the person:|
|(1) has custody of a person subject to an immigration|
|detainer request issued by United States Immigration and Customs|
|(2) knowingly fails to comply with the detainer|
|(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.|
|(c) It is an exception to the application of this section|
|that the person who was subject to an immigration detainer request|
|described by Subsection (a)(1) had previously provided proof that|
|the person was a citizen of the United States.|
Caucus Chairman Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), said, “House Republicans have proven time and time again that we are committed to protecting the rule of law and keeping our communities safe. We will continue to work tirelessly to pass legislation that ensures the safety of Texans, such as Senate Bill 4.”
The crime imposed would be a Class A misdemeanor for not complying with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.
The measure was passed by the Texas Senate in early February.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has steadfastly said that he would sign the bill and has pushed for its passage. It would go into effect on September 1.
So what was happening in Travis County at the behest of and with the support of Sheriff Sally Hernandez? From the TexasTribune.com:
Report: Travis County released dozens of undocumented inmates wanted by feds
by Julian Aguilar
Travis County officials declined dozens of requests from federal immigration agents to hold inmates in the days leading up to the county’s recent showdown with Gov. Greg Abbott over its new “sanctuary” policy.
And people say law enforcement isn’t politicized? Locally? Federally? Alphabet agencies?
The White House’s first-ever report on local governments that don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents shows Travis County officials declined dozens of requests to hold inmates in the days leading up to the county’s recent showdown with Gov. Greg Abbott.
Between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3, Travis County sheriff deputies declined more than 140 requests – known as detainers – from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to hand over undocumented immigrants for possible deportation, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Travis County was far and away the Texas leader in declining ICE detainers, according to the report, which mentioned only two other Texas counties. Williamson County declined four recent detainers and Bastrop County declined three.
Last month, Abbott pulled state grant funding for Travis County programs after Sheriff Sally Hernandez, a Democrat, said after her 2016 election victory that she would only honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on a limited basis.
This is Sheriff Sally “Sanctuary Sally” Hernandez. She thinks the law is flexible and only a mere suggestion or hint.
Isn’t it odd that all the law enforcement officials who take the greatest umbrage to the enforcement of laws on the books and cooperation with federal law enforcement all have Mexican last names? I don’t see, for example, very many officials with the last name of “Martin” or “Washington” or “Vang” or “St George” or “Jackson” or “Nguyen.” I wonder why that might be?
Sheriff Sally Hernandez. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Sheriff Lupe Valdez. Chief Art Acevedo. Anyone besides me start to sense something of a theme here?
Yet: a recent poll reveals that Texans overwhelmingly support (by 93 percent), a police officer being able to check a person’s immigration status when they are arrested for a crime.
What is it with law enforcement in Leftist cities and some courts who seem to think the law does not apply to them, and that they may either selectively choose to flaunt it entirely or interpret it in a fashion that is not in keeping with precedent or the letter of the law itself?
What happens to a nation when those tasked with upholding the law are now those who break the very statutes they are sworn to obey?
What, then, becomes the true purpose of law enforcement or the judiciary?
To pick and choose? To tick off boxes on a sheet as if you were ordering a sandwich? “I’ll have ham but no pickles”?
“I’ll enforce rape laws but I won’t enforce drug laws or those having to do with illegal aliens”?
Gonzalez reportedly told those gathered at the rally that Senate Bill 4 will make local communities more dangerous and is bad public policy.
Bad for illegal Mexicans. Bad for illegal aliens. Bad for breakers of our laws.
When the enforcers of our laws decide which laws they will selectively enforce, how long will it be before the populace decides which laws it will obey?
Oh, right. That’s happening already, albeit on a smaller scale. I’m suggesting a national scale. A scale far, far beyond that of any law enforcement response. You are pushing, Leftists, for a Second Civil War.
What happens when citizens individually — like the government — arbitrarily decide what laws they will or will not obey? Then en masse?
I am watching American law enforcement disintegrate right before my very eyes. These so-called “law enforcement officers” dishonor their oaths and dishonor myself and those who put in years of service to our communities. They dishonor those who fought and died behind those laws and for those laws, from the soldier to the beat cop.
If you don’t care for laws, stay out of law enforcement.
But that would be too judgmental now, wouldn’t it?
At least Berkeley PD offers its officers two ways to defend themselves in terms of one shotgun and one rifle per car. Shotgun left, long rifle right.
[This post has taken over a week to write because of the serious conflicts I feel when putting fingers to keyboard on what, to me, is a deeply disturbing topic.]
As a recently-retired law enforcement officer from two venues, federal and local, who served 41 years on the job, I am a Sheepdog, I am an Oathkeeper, I am a Silverback, and I am disgusted with the reaction — or the lack of reaction — once again — from the City of Berkeley Police Department (CA) with regard to the Saturday, April 15th riots ostensibly the result of a demand for the revelation of President Trump’s tax records.
This was nothing more than an excuse to riot, and nothing more than another reason for Antifa to corral its paid members once again in order to appear at a specific event. These are not local “protesters,” ladies and gentlemen. These are George Soros-paid, nomadic rioters who do the bidding of Antifa and anarchists across the nation. The faces begin to repeat. The difference, this time, was that pro-Trump members were present as well.
The Berkeley Police Department needs to be — again — named and shamed, as well as Chief Andrew Greenwood, City of Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and the UC Berkeley Police Department Chief Margo Bennett. This is the same Chief Margo Bennett who had her gun, badge, laptop, credentials, iPad and other very personal items recently stolen from her official government vehicle. Charges? Discipline made public? Of course not. She willingly carries political water for Leftists.
They were and are in collusion to step away from situations that they know, full well, will likely lead to violence on the UC Berkeley campus and in the city. This is entirely despicable.
First the background, from the UKDailyMail.com:
Anti-Trump protest turns into a massive brawl: Twenty one are arrested after hundreds of Tax Day protesters trade punches with Donald supporters in Berkeley
by Abigail Miller
A ‘Patriots Day’ rally was held in support of President Donald Trump in Berkeley, California Saturday
It coincided with thousands who marched across the country to pressure Trump to release his his Tax returns
The protest turned violent as counter-protesters showed up and both sides broke through netting
Hundreds threw stones, lit fires, tossed explosives and tear gas and attacked with makeshift weapons
Police stood by through the violence and at least 15 people have been arrested due to violence in Berkeley
Please note that last bullet point. Police stood by.
At least 21 people have been arrested after violence broke out Saturday between groups of Trump supporters and detractors holding rallies in downtown Berkeley, according to police.
Hundreds of people with opposing opinions on President Donald Trump threw stones, lit fires, tossed explosives and tear gas and attacked each other with makeshift weapons as police stood by.
As police stood by.
Berkeley PD’s mission statement reads as follows:
Our Mission is to safeguard our diverse community through proactive law enforcement and problem solving, treating all people with dignity and respect.
The Berkeley Police Department’s Vision is: We will be a team of leaders at every level. We will foster strong relationships with our community, inspiring trust through our service, building on our historic tradition of progressive policing, and dedicated to the safety of all. As members of this community, we will provide proactive law enforcement and problem solving, holding these as our core values:
Integrity: We are ethical, fair, and trustworthy in all we do.
Safety: We strive to keep our community and each other safe.
Berkeley PD also has a “Protest 101” link on its site.
Welcome to Protest 101
Protest 101 is a guide to assist anyone interested in organizing or participating in a safe and legal protest, march, demonstration, rally or labor action in the City of Berkeley.
During demonstrations, protest marches, public rallies or labor actions, the Berkeley Police Department is responsible for providing for the safety and security of the general public, while both monitoring and facilitating any peaceful demonstration.
Berkeley PD swears it provides safety and security for the general public during protests.
Here are the — there is no other word for it — riots that occurred April 15th, Saturday.
The situation devolving. No police around. “We will provide proactive law enforcement.”
No police around. “We will provide proactive law enforcement.”
No police around. “We will provide proactive law enforcement.” As CNN even admits, “we have been watching these pictures for some time now.” Translated: where are the police?
An Antifa woman got punched. She’s no “local.” She admits it was a six hour drive for her.
Violence should come as no surprise to her. She was already speaking and writing about advocating violence.
No police around. “We will provide proactive law enforcement.”
As the man in the video stated, to me it makes no difference. A woman can injure or kill you as easily as a man. When you attend an event expecting to create violence, be surprised not when violence is visited upon you. Antifa came mentally prepared for war, dressed for war, identities masked, armed for war, carrying metal poles on which flags were attached, possessing chemical weapons and M-80s, according to Antifa protocols. You can download an Antifa manual here.
Antifa by the way, should you care, is keeping a database of all your registered Disqus comments with your associated personal information. Gosh. Is BZ registered on Disqus? Uh, not just no but hell no.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Berkeley PD officers were busy sitting and standing next to their elderly Ford CVPI riot vehicles, buffing their nails, balancing their checkbooks or playing Angry Birds . How do I know this is a riot vehicle tasked with riot duty? Because otherwise you never put more than two officers in one car and simultaneously equip them with helmets, gear, long batons and filtered masks. Captain Obvious calling. A Leftist journalista named Shane Bauer (no relation to Jack) from Leftist rag Mother Jones walked up to the Berkeley PD officers in said tasked riot vehicle and asked questions. Frankly, they were excellent questions.
I tell a police officer I’ve been seeing people get beat up all day and they haven’t been around. “Okay, and?” he says. pic.twitter.com/OuGEcvvb8R
— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) April 15, 2017
The answers and responses were both enlightening and yet vastly depressing.
It is important to note there are two entirely disparate responses from two officers here, and the body language is markedly different for widely divergent reasons. Paul Ekman taught me how to read body language in an interview/interrogation room, as did Carl Stincelli.
The standing officer says nothing. He is a cipher. The officer in the car responds, “that would be a good question for the Chief of Police.” He pulls up his left hand and lets it drop back on the sill. He is not happy to be where he is, on the sidelines. This is a highly conflicted officer, depressed yet resigned.
Officer Shannon, #120, standing, doesn’t like to be questioned and makes a referral to the department PIO. “What’s your next question?” You can see there is another Berkeley PD black-and-white unit in the background to the left. Waiting.
“Mmm-hmm. Okay. And?”
He couldn’t be more dismissive. The day’s events aren’t about the issue, it’s about him. Many, many factors here. Of these few seconds I can draw something of a conclusion.
What I sense is this: he is a veteran officer. After all the years of putting up with ever-changing administrations (Berkeley PD lost its last Chief, Michael Meehan, in September of 2016 amidst allegations of slow and poor decision-making, spending too much time on community actions outside the department, and being a deficient advocate and supporter of the officers overall: low morale.) and watching his department and his profession deteriorate before his very eyes. Is he really dismissive on its face, or is he truly disgusted? Is he tired of having to be another coprophagic Berkeley PD officer? In one sense, I can’t fault his demeanor.
This is Officer Jeff Shannon on a better day. Imagine having to work for Berkeley PD. Dude, you need a leader. Many leaders. You have none.
Here, a Berkeley PD sergeant stands back, knowing full well what’s occurring around him. Note the stripes. He is a supervisor. He was given an order. Clearly by his Lieutenant or his Captain, directly from the Chief of Police in Berkeley via, I suggest, its mayor.
I ask a cop why they’ve been hanging back as a brawl is happening half a block away in Berkeley. “I’m not at liberty to discuss my tactics.” pic.twitter.com/teGEYBV1ho
— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) April 15, 2017
He too is doing nothing. For, I submit, the same reasons as delineated above. However, the Nuremberg Defense does not apply. More on this later.
After watching these two videos, I wanted both to cry and to rip some administrator’s head off their shoulders. You can be certain — and never admitted — that Berkeley PD Chief Greenwood received a phone call from either the mayor or a mayoral subordinate to stand back unless absolutely necessary to intervene. There was also likely a Lieutenant or a Captain on site to determine just what would constitute “absolutely necessary.”
Yet, as the Berkeley PD officers stood by, this was occurring. Here, a Trump supporter got smashed in the head by an Antifa person with a large, heavy Kryptonite bicycle U-lock. Why? Because possession of a bike lock could easily be explained-away to cops by Antifa rioters. I had to be prepared to lock up my bicycle, after all. Right? Really? So what’s it doing in your hands instead of on your bicycle?
The person he struck was completely unarmed.
You can see the results. Only after the injured man was removed from the scene did the Berkeley Police Department even remotely become interested. This crime falls into and should be investigated as 245 PC, Assault With A Deadly Weapon. The bike lock. Felony.
Further, just who was the heavy bike-lock swinging individual? He was allegedly identified by a number of sources on the internet as an individual named Eric Clanton, who is employed as a professor for Diablo Valley College. Please check this site. The story is not over. Here is his photograph by which he may be compared to future violence.
More on the story of Eric Clanton.
Here, Antifa rioters, predominantly dressed in black with masks take, literally, a heavy skateboard — again, easily explained-away to local Berkeley PD cops as a form of transportation — to the head of a pro-Trump advocate.
Let there be no mistake. This wasn’t something of a “sudden and spontaneous” reaction to the “need” for President Trump to expose his tax records though no one — specifically the American Media Maggots — much cared about the issue intrinsically. It was simply an excuse to riot. Funded by anarchist George Soros.
Where were the riots regarding Obama’s failure to release college transcripts and records? Where were the riots regarding the failure to release IRS documents? The release of documents regarding James Foley’s aborted rescue mission? That’s just the tip of the Leftist iceberg. I term that Historical Alzheimers.
Berkeley’s stand-away orders were documented here.
Is this truly how you wish to be remembered, members of the City of Berkeley Police Department? Because, as of this point, this is your collective and individual legacy. Your history is such that you already stood down when Milo Yiannopoulos came to speak. You want to be known as nothing more than an infantile internet photo and meme? How callow and dismissive can you be? Where are your testicles?
As in: you dishonored your oaths, you stood by whilst people were injured, you weren’t simply not proactive; you weren’t even interested in being reactive for a time. There have already been three Antifa riots at Berkeley this year.
As opposed to Berkeley PD, here are cops with actual balls, who insisted on unmasking Antifa protesters at Auburn University in Alabama, recently.
Take a note, Berkeley PD.
Yet even so, Auburn officers were seriously negligent. Did you not hear the clank of a flag pole? The officers allowed a heavy metal pole into the event, saying “get your pole”? The heavy clank of metal is called a clue. That is a significant weapon. Do. Your. Jobs.
We are coming closer to a bottom line. What is one of its aspects?
Americans are left to fight it out on the streets of the United States as law enforcement officers are either forced to or willingly allow violence to occur directly in front of their eyes.
As an aside; an examination of body language at the Berkeley riots by a female member of society.
Interesting take on the situation from an uninvolved third party.
A few unresolved issues remain.
Were official Berkeley PD munitions fired only at Trump supporters?
Was Berkeley PD therefore supporting Antifa violence?
The Chief of Berkeley PD Greenwood has already spewed political bullshite. Of course, to be expected.
What about the Mayor of Berkeley? Breitbart.com indicates he may be a sympathizer of the groups that organized the riots in the first place.
Berkeley Mayor Is Member of Antifa Facebook Group that Organized Riots
by Tom Ciccotta
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin is a member of the anti-fascist Facebook group, By Any Means Necessary, which orchestrated the riots that occurred ahead of a scheduled lecture by Milo Yiannopoulos.
BAMN. Are you simultaneously shocked and non-plussed?
Berkley Mayor Jesse Arreguin was revealed to be a member of the anti-fascist group, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), on Facebook. BAMN orchestrated the violence that shut down a scheduled lecture at UC Berkeley featuring Milo Yiannopoulos in early 2017. Arreguin is allegedly also friends with BAMN leader, Yvette Felarca, on Facebook.
Berkeley Mayor is a Member of Facebook Group for Militant Leftist Organization That Orchestrates Riots https://wearechange.org/berkeley-mayor-member-militant-leftist-group-orchestrates-riots/ …
You’ll love this additional bit of buttery goodness from, of all least-quoted sources, TheBlaze.com:
Antifa wants combat training and firearms after losing the ‘Battle for Berkeley’
Last week supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with members of the leftist group known as Antifa (short for anti-fascist) in Berkeley California. The meeting of the two groups soon erupted in violence, with Antifa using mace, M80’s, and various other weapons to attack Trump supporters.
According to Rebel Media’s Lauren Southern, Trump supporters were told by police not to bring any weapons, as police would protect them. Upon Anitfa’s arrival, the police retreated, leaving the Trump supporters to utilize whatever weapons they could get their hands on. Regardless, the Trump supporters routed Antifa after one of their members threw a smoke bomb, not realizing the wind was blowing in Antifa’s direction.
This loss prompted Antifa members to begin discussion about how they could better prepare themselves for future skirmishes against Trump supporters.
Perfect. “Better prepare themselves.”
Here is where I draw the line. Perhaps you have been waiting for this. Because it’s all I have left.
Truly, whether or not the mayor issued an order to stand down from his office to Berkeley Police Chief Greenwood is pretty much immaterial. And whether or not Berkeley Police Chief Greenwood issued a sub rosa order to his Captains and Lieutenants to stand down is also mostly immaterial. (I still believe both of those things to be accurate, however.)
Do you know why?
Because the real power, the true power of any law enforcement agency rests in the hands of two people, two archetypes: 1) Its Training Officers, and 2) Its Sergeants or first-line supervisors.
First line supervisors can make or break each and every department for which they work. Why? Because they not only relay but are tasked with enforcing the policies and orders issued by their specific departments, the state in which they reside and the oaths they took to support and defend the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights, with those they supervise.
You and I both know and can instantly recall bosses who were, on one hand, absolute garbage and those whom we respected and honored. We can all name names. We never forget.
Your best bosses were four things:
Translated to cop work, a grizzled old Sergeant once told my young ass that I’d have a successful, productive and satisfying career if I did these three things:
These are the bosses you would waltz straight into Hell standing beside, working for, because they inspired you, inspired confidence, trust and loyalty. They had your six.
I found out early: the more I treated my troops like adults, the more they responded like adults. I watched: the more people were micromanaged — myself included — the less inclined they were to make decisions, stand on their own two feet, take charge or be independent. I wanted the job to get done. I knew with that the morale would be good.
I would consistently tell my troops: give me every reason to support you and I will. Lie to me, undermine me or fail to do your job and it won’t be pretty. For all of those reasons and more I had people who always wanted to work for me. I didn’t play favorites. I expected people to work. When the job got done they could be people. We could have fun. We could laugh. Job first, though. And I would grant you perks.
I would also speechify my new Lieutenants, who were legion in my career. They didn’t speechify me, I speechified them. My job was to look out for them and tell them what they didn’t want to hear, but what they needed to hear no matter the circumstances. My job, I told them, was to provide them with as much information as necessary to answer, to the best of their ability, questions posed to them by Captains. I never wanted them to be caught flat-footed. When they were caught wanting I was caught wanting. Not optimal. Many disbelieved what I told them. They were the ones proven wrong. I didn’t possess decades of experience under my belt for nothing.
That said, a Good Sergeant is one who looks out for his or her troops, values the troops and knows full well that it is they who truly get the job done, not the Chief and not the Sheriff. Chiefs and Sheriffs come and go like soiled toilet paper, flushed down the political Toilet of Life.
That said, I also told my troops this: if it is politically or fiscally expedient, you will be sacrificed. I would watch their six but they had to watch their own six. If they produced. If they worked. If they were honest. I told them genuinely: never adore your department because it will never adore you back. Be realistic. But be true.
That’s what a Good Sergeant does. That’s what a Sheepdog does. That’s what a Silverback does. That’s what an Oathkeeper does.
I once had a deputy who was a great worker but who strayed. He got into trouble. I never once reprimanded in public. I took him aside. All I had to do is tell him that I was disappointed in him. I could see the tears welling. He changed and got back on track.
That’s what a Good Sergeant does, and how effective a Good Sergeant can be.
Where were the Good Sergeants working for Berkeley PD? Because, trust me, in a similar circumstance, knowing people were getting hurt in front of me — no matter what my fucktard managers or executive staff said — I would have intervened.
And my troops would have followed me. Now you know why.
Once one element was committed, my element, the others would have followed suit because someone took a stand and waded into the maelstrom.
Sure, as cops we all know what the Ferguson Effect is. Proactive law enforcement has plummeted for obvious reasons.
But for fuck’s sake, if we can’t even be reactive when violence exists right in front of our faces, then why do we even exist? Why did we go to work that day?
You Sergeants could have made a difference. You know who you are. So do your troops.
Managers manage things. Leaders lead people.
Yes, your career could suffer. You might not promote. I didn’t. I was told that directly to my face, because I had ethics in the face of dishonesty. Those are stories for another day. That’s why I was called Sergeant and not Lieutenant or Captain. That’s what my badge read. The one under which I retired.
But, as I’ve always said, it gets down to: can you sleep at night?
I sleep like a baby.
Berkeley PD Sergeants: how are you sleeping these nights?
Weld County Deputy Samuel K. Brownlee, a law enforcement officer in Colorado, had his life cut short on duty by a carjacker on November 23rd of 2010. He was disarmed in a physical confrontation, shot three times and killed by the suspect. He left behind a wife and children. One son was named Tanner Brownlee, who was 15 when his father was slain.
His father’s actual patrol vehicle, the one he specifically drove, subsequently came up for auction in 2015.
The son wanted to purchase the car in order to keep the memory of his father alive as long as possible.
Then something brilliant occurred.
This is called humanity.
This is called the goodness of people.
What a stellar display. One man paid $60,000 for a car worth $12,500 with 147,000 miles on the odometer, and then turned the keys over to the son, Tanner Brownlee, of the fallen officer.
That man was Steve Wells, a rancher, who’d made money from oil drilling on his property yet knew hard times as he was adopted himself.
“It never crossed my mind not to,” Wells said. “I wanted to hand the keys to that young man.”
Wells is a man who embodies America. A man who instills hope. Because he himself had no real father but was not aborted.
When Wells learned of the special auction of the fallen deputy’s retired patrol car, he knew he found a perfect opportunity to give back in a big way.
“Here was a man who lost his life as a deputy sheriff for the people of Weld County,” Wells said. “His son wanted something to remember his dad by and the fact that that young man could sit behind the wheel of that car and look through the windshield that his dad did was extremely important to me. It was just something I felt I had to do.”
It was time, he thought, to pay it forward.
“When the auction was over and I walked up and I handed him those keys. That is a lifetime moment. It was for him and it was for me,” Wells said. “That was a moment that, for me, meant everything.”
People insist we’re not an exceptional nation.