Nomination For a Hero Badge

The Nuremberg Trials brought us the excuse, “It wasn’t my fault… I was only following orders.” It didn’t work then.

Heman Goering at Nuremberg Trials, “I was only following orders.”

In an effort to avoid responsibility for their lack of action, Law Enforcement in Uvalde has come up with a new and improved version of the ‘Nuremberg defense.’ “We didn’t have any orders!”

Uvalde Law Enforcement, “We didn’t have any orders”

Could be worse. At least they haven’t trotted this excuse out…. yet!

The US Supreme Court has made it clear that law enforcement agencies are not required to provide protection to the citizens who are forced to pay the police for their “services.” In the cases DeShaney vs. Winnebago and Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the supreme court has ruled that police agencies are not obligated to provide protection of citizens. In other words, police are well within their rights to pick and choose when to intervene to protect the lives and property of others — even when a threat is apparent.

There are several problems inherent in the “we didn’t have any orders defense.”

The first problem is that American police officers are the least supervised worker in America. Liberals have tried to change that. The reality is that in any given situation a cop is on his own backed up by training, experience and whatever personal traits he brings to a situation. Body cams, dash cams and GPS tracking are nothing more that Sunday morning quarterbacking. Those devices aid in nitpicking but do nothing to address the problem as it unfolds.

A friend and mentor of mine recalls that when he started as a cop, in the late fifties, every officer was issued the General Orders for the San Antonio Police Department. Those orders were contained in a booklet that neatly fit into a shirt pocket. These days the SAPD General Orders require several three-inch thick three ring binders. When I started, as a cop, my department didn’t have any general orders or policy and procedure. I asked the Chief, at the time about that. His reply was, “Why would you want a policy manual? It only protects stupid cops.

I got a look at a 70’s version of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) policy and procedure manual. It has been a while, but I recall a disclaimer that stated: This manual is intended to be a guide to decision making and does not restrict an officer’s options in handling a situation in the field.

The MSM has pointed out that Uvalde law enforcement underwent ‘active shooter training’ in March. As I pointed out in a previous posting: “You can give training to the police, but you can’t make them think!” Policy and procedure are a cheap way of addressing training. Training requires time and money. Effective training may conflict with obsolete ideas held to by police administrators. A policy manual only requires an office pogue afraid to get in a patrol car and a command of bureaucratic double-talk. These days policy isn’t intended to guide. It is to provide cover and shift blame for the bosses when things go wrong.

Active shooter training is pretty unequivocal. Put in the context of a foot race. When the gun goes off, the race is on. Once the shooting starts the first cop or cops go. They don’t wait to gather a small circle of friends. The Uvalde cops didn’t have a key. But they had a Halligan tool. They had a wall of windows and the ability to establish clear fields of fire, from outside. In other words, they ignored what they were taught.

What the Uvalde cops lacked was balls and brains. Those are traits that are no longer acceptable in some police circles. Officers possessing those traits can be difficult to manage. They create problems for supervisors. SQUAT is a preferred method of policing. For the uninitiated that stands for Sit Quietly Until Action Terminates.

So, who to blame? First and foremost, it is the police administrators who encouraged a police culture that allowed this debacle to happen. Every police officer who stood around with his or her thumb up their ass waiting for somebody to do what they knew ought to be done shares responsibility. I suspect that school ought to grab a piece of the action.

I don’t know this but I’m willing to put money down that the active shooter training session wasn’t without consequences. The active shooter training practical application (tactics) took place in a school. I suspect that during that portion of the training, something in the school got damaged. It could have been scuff marks on a freshly waxed floor, dings or scuff marks on a wall. A dent in a wall locker or a broken window in a door. Once discovered the school administration raised holy hell. The cops got the message, don’t cause any damage. They took it to heart and kids died.

What do I know? I’m from the school of thought that holds with “Do the Right Thing, Right Now.”