A luxury of this column is the autonomy I enjoy in deciding what goes in it. Usually, I try to have a consistent theme; occasionally, it actually pertains to patrol.
But there are things that, while perhaps worthy of a mention, don’t warrant a whole column. And so I decided to make a column out of several of them. My boss and the economy permitting, I’ll probably do this again from time to time.
First, a very sincere thanks for the comments that many of you have left regarding this column in the last two years. Quite a few have given me considerable food for thought and availed me contacts for other ideas and material. There was only one smart-assed one I could recall, which considering the demographics of law enforcement was something of a surprise.
In response, I’ve e-mailed a few of you, but have always wanted to respond within the patrol column itself. But as I don’t want to have it appear that I’m leaving a comment to something I’ve written, the page’s current limitations have been something of an inhibiter to my doing so.
I’ve asked for some modifications to the Website to be made, but will probably just start replying in the comment section out of desperation until something more viable pans out.
• Having recently watched a dramatization of LAPD’s North Hollywood Shootout, I recalled how I felt watching it play out live on television. I remembered wondering how difficult it would be to have someone scale the rear of the bank or otherwise get on the roof and toss a Molotov cocktail on one of those murderous bastards as they stalked back and forth in front of the back. Just thinking outside the box and still wondering…
• Speaking of murderous bastards, it was nice to see O.J. Simpson get some measure of overdue justice. Aside from giving me one more reason to wonder why this country adulates the mercenary athlete (did you know that in a 1977 poll of students, Orenthal was voted the number one hero in America?), he has completely compromised my ability to refer to “orange juice” by its shorthand.
Some have bemoaned O.J.’s current conviction as payback for the murder acquittal. I feel that it might have offset some of the miscarriage of justice perpetrated by the “jury nullification” of his first trial. (Which includes the cowardly acquiescence of two jurors who believed that he was guilty but voted for acquittal so they could go home, thereby precluding the possibility of a hung jury and a second trial.)
• Something I wish I did far more often than I did working patrol: Take pictures. For better or worse, the officer just starting his patrol career has the opportunity to document this phase in his career in a manner that none of his predecessors had. And you don’t even need an expensive camera. Inexpensive digital cameras and even the cell phones y’all carry will do just fine. Just remember not to do it when it isn’t convenient.
• Unsubsidized and therefore sincere opinion: Gould and Goodrich sells a damn fine shoulder holster—at least for my Beretta. Looks nice, too.
• Obama and guns. I don’t know what changes in gun ownership his administration will attempt to effect in the coming years, but I do know that every U.S. citizen should watch the following cautionary item from across the pond.
• While I’m throwing up links, I want to include this one as I consider Gary Delagne something of a hero of mine, and I wish all members had the balls to be as candid with the news media as he is on this video.
Again, I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas. I hope that each of you will remember that the best gift that you can give your loved one’s year round is to finish your shift safely. So lighten up on the gas pedal, be careful on the brake, and watch your six on the bad guys.