There used to be a TV Show about cops that went against the formula. If it wasn’t the best cop show ever, it was in the top three. The show was “Police Story.” There were no stars that showed up week after week. This meant that when the good guy went down the alley, after a bad guy, there was no guarantee that the hero was going to come out alive. Police work is like that.
Most people do not understand that a street cop is one of the least supervised workers in America. The advent of GPS and cameras just ensures that the Sunday morning quarterbacks will have a front row seat, AFTER a decision is made.
Another thing about police officers is that the higher one climbs in the rank structure the less discretion the individual has.
In my experience, being confronted by the unknown and then being forced to deal with it is a feature, not a bug. I wanted to walk down the alley.
Police administrators on the other hand want to maintain the status quo. As long as “shit doesn’t happen” no blame attaches. There are many good police Chiefs out there. Then there are Chiefs who got to where they are by avoiding responsibility and always having a fall guy waiting in the wings.
I won’t name names but there was one San Antonio Police Chief who came here by way of Minnesota and Washington D.C. who demanded that EMS hold off on transporting an injured officer. The Chief was on the way to the scene. No sense in wasting a good crisis. Dramatic photo opportunities don’t grow on trees. The news media loves him. The rank and file cops, not so much.
This leads me to my current observation. Police administrators are not doing themselves any favors. Take a survey of recent news stories.
In Dallas, a hair salon owner was arrested and jailed for violating the coronavirus lock down order. Come Friday (tomorrow) she could open legally. Seems like a whole lot of effort for a questionable order.
In Los Angeles the city council has decided to publicly humiliate hotels that refuse to accept homeless people who cannot and will not pay for the room.
The Los Angeles City Council is poised to ignore the Fifth Amendment.
In New York, Governor Cuomo has banned public protests.
We don’t need no stinkin’ First Amendment in New York.
What has that got to do with anything? I was assigned to a narcotics task force for fifteen years. Damn near every case we made was a felony. Almost without exception, we found guns at every search warrant we executed.
Most of the defendants we dealt with were engaged in multiple crimes, over and above dope dealing. We were confronted with murderers, thieves, prostitutes, pimps, and rapists. The potential for confrontation with violence was high. It was the most fun I could have with my clothes on.
Task Force members were assigned from participating police departments. When we had an operation in the area of operations of a participating agency, we would inform the Chief and invite him along to participate.
Most Chiefs showed up once. There was only one Chief that showed up on a regular basis.
A typical search warrant entry on a three bedroom house was over and done in less than a minute, from curb to back bedroom. That entailed exiting the raid vehicle, forming a stack, hitting the door, sweeping through the house, confronting and controlling the occupants. The business of the search could take hours or occasionally days.
Most of the Chiefs were not interested in a return engagement. Future invitations were met with excuses. The Chief was engaged in an inventory. Did the reams of paper actually contain 144 sheets? Just how many paper clips were in a box?
Yeah, our heroes, Chiefs. Not brave enough to support the troops. To scared to point out any improprieties that they thought they saw.
The Chinese Virus is the gift to politicians and chicken hearted police administrators. It allows them to indulge their bullying instincts and fascist impulses without actually risking a confrontation.
The targets “Joe Citizens” want to do the right thing. People are actually willing to suspend disbelief and go along with the idea that the politicians know what the right thing entails.
It’s one thing to push around people who are not inclined to question authority. For politicians and minor tyrants it satisfies the ego without having to risk a fight.
The problem arises because given a taste of tyranny, the bully and fanatic always wants more.
It used to tickle me to see the Highway Patrol swagger about all superior, because they were the state police. Yeah, it’s easy for a trooper to be tough. After all somebody has to issue tickets to grandparents, housewives, tourists and guys just trying to get down the road.
It becomes a whole ‘nother story when the target of the swagger pushes back.