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The cost of fast-forward reform

If it isn't apparent lately everything has been about sound bytes, knee-jerk reactions, click-bait headlines, and edgy hashtags.

I've seen hashtags like #defundthepolice, #abolishpolice, #policereform and so on.

Our own mayor wants all sorts of changes done within 90 days.  She is going to force reform one way or another.  I've seen the new co-chair of the working group for the city say if she doesn't get her way, she has the ability to go over the mayor and superintendent and have a federal judge force the changes.

Let us be honest, we all dislike change.  New schools, new grade, new house, new job, new significant other....everything comes packaged with an awkward and anxious-filled phase.  Learning the ropes, where things are, trying not to look lost, and so on.  But for whatever reason cops hate change even more.

I don't have an exact answer why, my own personal opinion is I don't feel I've been doing anything wrong.  It took a while to learn the rules,…

I'd loot too

I know what you are thinking...
WHOA!  FULL STOP!  Did that cop say he would loot too?  Is he an anarchist?  A rabble rouser?  A criminal cop?
I'm none of those, and nor would I loot.
Now.
Based on my life's circumstances and how my finances are in place I don't need to.  I can fully support my family, pay my bills, and have a few hobbies.  I can keep a roof over my head, food on the table, and clothes on everyone's back.
Even as a kid growing up in a large family, my father worked and was our main source of income.  I got a paper route at a young age to start saving money with, and was able to buy myself toys and eventually a car when I was old enough.  My mother did some in home babysitting to shore up some more family finances, so I had plenty and was taken care of.
But I still had the spaghetti dinners, the whatever-lunch-meat-on-sale sandwiches, we drove (very) old cars, I wore hand-me-downs from other families being the eldest in mine, my first bicycle was probably som…

Society's failings are not the police's fault

One of the narratives that is alive and strong today, more so in certain circles, is that the police are nothing more than a wing of the government that is meant to oppress, tax, and murder.  Usually along with that narrative is that modern policing sprout from slave catchers pre- and during the Civil War era in the US.  That frame of mind does nothing but put police on the same plane as the pro-slavery supporters, Nazis and bloodthirsty communists of the 20th century, and the sociopaths that police routinely put behind bars.
More times than I care to count I have been on the scene of a shooting, usually a young man, more often than not black/African American, and normally known to us from arrests or not-so-positive interactions.  Usually they are in their gang's territory, or were followed.  In any case, there are usually young teenagers or young adults.  Many have been in and out of bad homes, or come from single parent house holds, or even just raised by grandma.  They found s…

"It's what they signed up for" - Line of Duty Death

Every time a police officer is killed in the line of duty a piece of a community goes with him or her.  Sometimes it is the newest rookie on the street or the well worn veteran officer that leaves us.  Behind them there are memorials, funeral services, bagpipes played, tears of sadness, laughs from memories, salutes, fly overs, news cameras, and names etched in stone.  
Caskets and honor guards, roses and wreaths, freshly dug earth and granite head stones, 21 gun salutes and mounted officers; all the components of a fallen officer's funeral we know in every minute detail.
Every officer knows that this tour, today's date, their last radio transmission may be their last.  
Every officer knows the cost, but never counts it.   Every officer knows the price, and is willing to pay it. Every officer knows the sacrifice, and has already made it when they pinned on the badge.
Most cops have experienced death in one form or another.  Whether a fatal crash, homicide scene, well-being ch…

Unspeakable Evils

Let's be honest, shall we?
Humans do some really fucked up shit to each other.  
There really isn't another way to put it.  We are the smartest animals on the planet, with a conscious and internal moral compass, that we are able to somehow completely ignore and perform some heinous acts on each other.  Whether it is a heat of the moment, gripped by passion kinda situation, or something premeditated and played out several times over before the plan is executed, we do harm against each other.
Recently in Chicago a young mother was killed in a drive-by.  While she may not have been a saint by societies standards, she wasn't a monster like the 2 individuals were that took her life.  If you haven't seen the video it's hard to watch.  When I first saw it, along with several other officers, being angry or incensed would be an understatement.
No mother, no matter how big or little of a criminal they might have chosen to be deserves to die holding their baby in the streets…

What should you ask that cop friend or family member?

Last year, 2018, more cops took their life than were killed in the line of duty.  2019 hasn't started off much better for Chicago or the US.  Just about every cop has been touched by suicide of a brother or sister in blue, myself included.  Even when it isn't someone we know, the sadness still dwells in our hearts, but we regroup and return to duty.
Our veterans of our wars take their lives at an alarmingly high rate, roughly 22 per day.  But other than a push-up challenge and a few celebrities speaking out on it, its probably not on the forefront of most people's minds.  We've asked them to put themselves in horrific situations and circumstances and then forget their service outside of a few holidays.
Most know it's rude to ask a service member if they have taken a life in war, and most people wouldn't ask that.  Most people would probably ask about what cool weaponry they used or their fallen brethren.  Most people know not to ask the sensitive questions.
Bu…

Dealing with death - One cop's perspective

There's a weird thing about police work.  It never stops.Like never?Never.While some officers work smaller areas, towns, cities, or middle of nowhere, there is still something to do.  Calls to be handled, complaints to be listened to, reports to be filed.  Always something needing to be done or someone needing something. As you move into larger cities or municipalities or departments the shift seems to go from things needing to be done to things needing to be done NOW.Traffic crashes, burglaries, crime scenes, stolen car recoveries, complaints and reports as usual and then, as population density increases so does violent crime.  Seems that the closer and denser people are to each other, the more the violence potential increases.  Sprinkle in low employment, poor services, deserts of all types, and you have created society's powder keg of violence.And with violence comes death.  And usually violent deaths.Any cop who has handled a murder scene, or their first dead body, they…