Thursday, February 24, 2011

Getting the police department you deserve.

Simply put, the command staff of the department is really messed up. There are bad officers out there. The guild is being irresponsible with the President talking about de-policing.

What needs to happen is that the guild, and the rank and file, need to get off their asses and speak out about bad cops. It is very unlikely to happen because no one wants to be next. But it has to happen. The Guild doesn't protect rookie officers on FTO from abuse, but they protect bad cops from investigation and punishment. Until that changes it will be the command against the rank and file and nothing will change.

Someone put a fake Seattle Times front page with a message from the Seattle police.  It said, "We are trying to kill everyone."  In various forums, people said it was cool, that they liked it, that it was awesome and funny.

My point about the political and protest statement that people think is so cool, is it will cause a great majority of the officers (who are good officers by the way) to entrench even more. You don't want your officers to feel like they are targets for violence (Monfort ring a bell and the calls for "well, they deserved it?") any more than you want your citizens to become targets for violence.

The only way for this ugly situation to stop is for three things to happen:

1) The populace decides to support the good cops instead of spouting all the hateful and often misleading rhetoric about how their jobs aren't that dangerous, how they are fat and sit around and eat donuts every day, how they look for excuses and opportunities to use violence against us, how all cops are murders, and on and on. To stop taking out your bad mood about getting a speeding ticket you damn deserved, because you were speeding, out on the officers who you ask to control traffic. To get between the little anarchist thugs and the cops who are trying to protect you and your property and who, by the way, would like to go home at night to their families, just like you.

2) The officers to demand, of their command staff and their union to do what is right to *get rid* of substandard cops, to demand higher standards and higher pay to go along with it (and we should pay it if they meet those standards), to push for professionalism in their ranks, to reach out to the populace, drop the officiousness and defensiveness and serve the community. They also need to tell their union to stop the political whining in the guardian about having to learn about cultures other than those created by straight, white, men.

3) The command staff needs to stop playing politics with police jobs, support their good officers, give the substandard officers a chance to come up to standards, get rid of the officers who don't and challenge the union to work with them to do the same.

Then, we get the police department we deserve, and police get the support and respect they deserve.

Until then, attacking the police as if they were one single organism reinforces the problem. You want a jumpy, entrenched police force who, struggling with the demands of the job and wanting to make it home at the end of the night alive, errs on the side of their fears and uses force too quickly or goes too far?

Keep celebrating events like the actions of Monfort, and saying the police are all drunks and murderers.

You just might create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And you will deserve what you get.


  1. Good Blog, Donn. I hope it happens.

  2. If more good cops and good teachers got celebrated in the culture it would go a long way towards public support of both those vital institutions. Silence is always the enemy of change.


Feel free to comment on this blog but do not forget that I am the publisher in this space. Questions and respectful dialogue are encouraged. Typical net forum and blog behavior (lack of critical thought, unfounded assumptions, and deductions based on same) are not tolerated.