I apologize for my short hiatus in providing all of you with liberating, mind expanding (although regrettably hallucinogen free), empowering insight about the law, cops, society, and the world in it’s current state.
*For the record, I have never consumed a hallucinogenic substance…my insight in this area is derived solely from Joe Rogan podcasts, Wikipedia, the film “Yellow Submarine”, and the entire Grateful Dead discography.*
As the fabric of American law enforcement continues to unravel on a daily basis, I am forced to divide my time between contacting like-minded cop friends across the country, non-cop friends of mine who are continually experiencing abuse from various government entities, personal matters, and the catastrophe occuring within my own department. With that said…we continue to press on…to the end goals of personal liberty and true societal openness.
Now that all of THAT is out of the way, we can explore today’s topic: What to expect from your local men and women in blue during 2012. It’s a little late for a “Happy New Year” entry…however, it is never too late to look into what the current year holds in store for the residents of the fragile little beacon of baseball, mom, and apple pie that we all affectionately call the United States of America.
2011 saw more cops killed than any other year in many of our lifetimes. Judging by some of the default pictures of my followers, many of you are as young or younger than I. 2011 was a year that saw 177 cops in a variety of situations (from traffic stops to warrants to domestic disputes to shoot outs) succumb to the icy touch of death. This sharp increase has also happened in the midst of monumental budget cuts in the billions of dollars across the country. Cops today are doing more for less…scratch that…FEWER cops today are doing more for less. Lets not forget the layoffs and downsizing that traditionally accompanies budget cuts. What does this mean for YOU?
1. Prepare for more of the worst. More cop-directed violence = more brazen violent criminals. That’s a no-brainer of a correlation. However, that means that (as a general rule) those criminals will begin to feel a sense of empowerment; a sense of immunity, if you will. Although the violence against police is increasing, that doesn’t mean that the violence against all of YOU will necessarily increase (althought it very well might). It simply means that the criminal is going to disregard the law with more boldness. Expect more break-ins (burglaries), vandalism, robberies (especially strong arm robberies…if you don’t know what that is, google it), and theft. Some of those can be categorized as “violent crimes” and some might not be. All of them, however, have something to do with PROPERTY. In other words, depriving you of the usage of something that is yours. Other than a sociopath or a sexual deviant, a typical street level criminal wants your stuff more than anything else.
2. Take a number. That fender bender that your insurance company is forcing you to report with the local police department WILL consume several hours of your life. Pesky teenagers spray painting the fence again? Pack a lunch. Residential burglary? Identity Theft? A fist fight with no serious injuries? An armed robbery during which nobody was hurt? All of these are examples of “routine calls”. Cops are regularly trained to never treat any call as routine, however some calls will be dispatched as a lights and sirens call (code, emergency, priority, etc.) and many will not, depending on the information that the 911 dispatcher receives. Unless someone’s life is hanging by a thread, the police will be forced to take their time to arrive due to hiring freezes, layoffs, restructuring, and other manpower shortages.
3. Morale. “I hate the cops anyway, who CARES about their morale????” True, but the fact that cops are caring less and less about how they do their job WILL eventually impact you in a negative way. This means EVEN sloppier, crappier, and less involved service than you’ve been receiving in years past. The adage “you get what you pay for” holds quite true in the realm of law enforcement. Police officers who work for “boutique departments” (police departments that patrol small, very wealthy municipalities) are kept on a VERY tight leash by supervisors and are subjected to the Spanish Inquisition at the whiff of the slightest complaint. As a general rule, those places will get better police service. The flip side of that is that the cops in those department tend to be traffic enforcement Nazis (at the behest of their police chief, who answers to their mayor, who answers to their city council, who answers to the primary voting bloc in most of those cities which is typically made up of wealthy retirees who, as a general rule, drive slowly and hate loud music). Speed traps, anti-party ordinances, and armed guarding of the local Elk’s lodge are common in jurisdictions like these…but the cops are usually better educated, more respectful and professional, better trained, and (generally) more competent. If that city happens to put a premium on physical fitness, the cops will also be in tip-top shape. They will, as a general rule, earn more money and enjoy better benefits than those of surrounding jurisdictions. Cut an officer’s pay and you’re cutting his or her motivation to do his or her job in a professional, effective manner. That unfortunately means that you will get sub-par police service.
There are a multitude of other effects, but I feel that these three are the most blatant. Perhaps I’ll do a part two for this blog soon. I understand that you all know that I am a cop, and that you might think that I’m somewhat biased in this area. Yes, I’m a cop…but I’m a resident of the jurisdiction in which I live. I can’t be home all of the time, and if I’m at work (or working extended hours), I want a capable, professional, upbeat police force protecting my home and my family. I do this for a living, and I recognize the value of that.
I will reiterate the fact that I vehemently despise a staggering multitude of my co-workers. Many cops are fat, disgusting, rude, unpleasant, unprofessional, abusive, stupid, incompetent, and full of themselves. I hate those cops. They’re not worth minimum wage, if you ask me. Stringent hiring standards are paramount, but CONTINUING performance standards are just as important. Those are regrettably absent from the majority of police departments across the United States. Regardless of what my ideal for a utopian police department is, the fact that we live within our current reality persistantly rings true. Take what you have and make the best of it.
An even smaller, but much more stubborn group of you might think “To hell with cops in general…I have my own guns, a large family, and enough ammunition to invade Iran. I can take care of myself.” Very well. I’m not even going to entertain that with comment. For the rest of us who don’t walk around town with a couple of bandoliers strapped across our torsos, and who don’t reload our own ammo, we will inevitably come into contact with the police in a cop-citizen capacity at some point (off-duty cops included).
If you are a voter, ask yourself what kind of police department you would want and vote accordingly. If you are a legislator or some other person in a position of political authority, ask your constituents what kind of police department they want, do your best to lay out their options (and the pros and cons of each choice) and vote accordingly. I’m not saying that any one choice is better than the other. I’m simply cautioning all of you to choose wisely because the reprecussions of a choice like this reach farther than you might care to think. This is not a public works department, a sanitation department, or a parks and recreation department. This is the police department. The only people in this country who have explicit legal authority to remove your freedom. Once again, choose wisely.
Note: To my knowledge there has not been any empirical data gathered with regards to the full amount of municipal, county, and state budget cuts to police departments. If any of you find any data like this, please forward it to me. By my own tallies over a billion dollars were cut from police departments across the country in 2011.