FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).
December 2018 (2)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (3)
August 2018 (6)
July 2018 (4)
June 2018 (3)
April 2018 (1)
March 2018 (2)
January 2018 (1)
September 2017 (1)
August 2017 (1)
May 2017 (1)
April 2017 (1)
January 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
September 2016 (1)
June 2016 (2)
May 2016 (3)
April 2016 (2)
March 2016 (1)
February 2016 (3)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (5)
October 2015 (1)
September 2015 (3)
August 2015 (3)
July 2015 (6)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (2)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (1)
January 2015 (1)
December 2014 (9)
October 2014 (2)
September 2014 (2)
August 2014 (2)
July 2014 (1)
June 2014 (2)
May 2014 (2)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (2)
February 2014 (3)
January 2014 (3)
December 2013 (2)
November 2013 (2)
October 2013 (3)
September 2013 (5)
August 2013 (3)
July 2013 (3)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (5)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (3)
December 2012 (5)
November 2012 (2)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (2)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (3)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (6)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (3)
January 2012 (5)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (3)
October 2011 (3)
September 2011 (3)
August 2011 (2)
July 2011 (2)
June 2011 (3)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (3)
March 2011 (5)
February 2011 (3)
January 2011 (3)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (3)
March 2010 (3)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (3)
December 2009 (4)
November 2009 (4)
October 2009 (2)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (5)
June 2009 (3)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (3)
January 2009 (2)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (3)
October 2008 (3)
September 2008 (3)
August 2008 (2)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (5)
March 2008 (4)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (3)
December 2007 (2)
November 2007 (5)
October 2007 (4)
September 2007 (4)
August 2007 (5)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (4)
May 2007 (5)

Courage When It Counts

Someone has finally publicly acknowledged the race war currently going on in Los Angeles.

June 13, 2008  |  by - Also by this author

My novel's shot.

It's dead.

I'm screwed.

And who do I have to thank for it?

My former boss.

How did he accomplish this? Simple. He showed some balls. Yesterday, Sheriff Lee Baca of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department said something that needed to be said.

Something that needed to be articulated a long time ago. Something LAPD Chief Bratton could have acknowledged and didn't.

That there's an ongoing race problem between blacks and Hispanics in Los Angeles County that is resulting in deaths on both sides.

The mercenary dramatist in me saw something to be mined there. And the current climate of denial gave me inspiration to write a novel on the ongoing problem, one where all the people in power are scared shitless to acknowledge something that everyone in law enforcement recognized, but nobody wanted to admit. Not that I didn't have ample research material.

A little over a decade ago, I was witness to a similar flare-up in Industry Station's jurisdiction. During one stretch, we had eleven murders in 14 days. It got to the point where we had trainees with multiple 187s under their belts and every deputy that got a "shots fired" call knew what they were rolling on before they got there. The only question to be answered was which side had gotten the upper hand.

And such was the case when I responded to Rimgrove Park one sunny afternoon. A 16-year-old black male and his uncle had gone to the park to shoot some hoops, completely unaware of the hostilities that had been taking place in the area. For some 40 minutes, Hispanic gang members sat on bleachers nearby in quiet deliberation before suddenly opening fire on the two. Though wounded, the uncle was able to find refuge in a park restroom. His nephew fell where he'd stood, center-punched in the chest. The last thing the young man saw was my ineffectual presence standing over him.

When I got back to the station, the first thing I did was check the victim's Juvenile Automated Index Number and anything else I could. I was looking for a criminal history, or any gang affiliation the boy might have had. Something that would comfort me with the knowledge that it was simply karmic justice for some evil that he'd perpetrated.


It's probably a sad commentary to say that it was the first murder to truly haunt me for some time, but it was. More than that, I was pissed off. For I knew that if I was a parent and aware of the problem in the area, there would have been no way in hell my son would have been on the court that day, regardless of race.

That night, I was up until well past midnight on the phone with various bureaus on the department, all of whom probably thought I was nuts (not a novel observation). I wanted someone to go to the media and let the public know what was going on, something that might prevent the murder of another child. They collectively demurred and I was told to stand down.

I was tempted to contact the news media myself, but don't believe in anonymity.

Furthermore, I suspected that when the news media contacted the Sheriff's Department for verification, it would probably get a Bratton-like reply by those in power at the time, and I would look like an alarmist chicken little.

Thankfully, the players were arrested and the killings stopped.

But in recent years they've resumed. The catalysts? Who knows? I could fill any number of speculative columns and not get close to the answer. But the more pressing issue is what is going to be done about it.

In bringing a widely known but little spoken of problem out in the open, Sheriff Baca has taken the first step.

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

spoc711 @ 6/14/2008 6:53 AM

Great article and right on point, for too long LE administrators have taken the easy road, all too common they fear the truth, there is a racial problem in the county, city or schools, but its easier to put their heads in the sand then to admit there's a problem on their watch...PC has taken over common sense. Braveo to Sheriff Baca...for taking the bull by the balls....and speaking the plain truth!!

mtarte @ 6/14/2008 11:44 AM

If LE administrators grew a pair and used them to speak the unvarnished truth, their political masters would become apoplectic with rage and fire them. However, if a city is ever to get a handle on problems like this, the raw truth must be told, regardless of the damage to the community's image or the outrage of the politically correct "community leaders." Protection of the public, through good law enforcement AND information must be paramount. All other considerations, image, people's "feelings" or anything else must be secondary.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

Politics Trumping Tactics: [Don't] Sit Down… You're Rocking the Boat
Elected officials have one underlying goal that informs and influences all their other...
Foot and Hoof Patrol: Meaningfully Connecting Cops and Citizens
Foot patrol is the essence of community policing—officers on foot create opportunities for...

Police Magazine