FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

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)

A Cop's Dilemma: Speak No Evil

It's important for officers to show pride their jurisdictions, but should that prevent them from telling the truth?

July 15, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

Some stories seem tailor made for national reportage. A conversation that had apparently taken place last month between Officer Ted Crisco and Bob Esposito—a St. Petersburg, Fla., father—certainly appeared to be one of them.

As reported in the media, the officer had the temerity to warn the man against allowing his daughter to hang around the Northshore Pool at night. Esposito then contacted various civic leaders within the community and bent the ear of at least one enterprising reporter who took the ball and ran with it. Before long, national newswires were running editorials on how some pissed off councilmen wanted a piece of the officer's ass. The department had even initiatited an investigation into the officer's having made "disparaging comments against the city."

My first response was, How chickenshit.

I was damn near salivating when I dialed the St. Petersburg Police Department. A PIO with the department was kind enough to get back to me. He clarified the matter for me, letting me know that the officer had never been subject to an investigation, but that an inquiry had been made to determine what had actually been communicated to Esposito given the hornet's nest that been stirred up among the local politicos. He also said that there'd been some confusion over a pursuit and the reasons for its cancellation that'd preceded the conversation.

By the end of our conversation I was, at one level, disappointed: My pious outrage had quickly dissipated and whatever witticisms I'd planned around Crisco being in the frying pan were shot.

On the other, I was heartened to hear that things were not as they'd been reported. Nor was I particularly surprised that the local news reporter who'd put the ball into play had never even contacted the St. Pete PD to see if any of the information being fed him was accurate.

Still, the incident prompts me to wonder at just what point does one bite the hand that feeds them.

If an officer theoretically knows the nuances of his jurisdiction given his professional exposure to it, is he best served by not saying anything about threats to those who may otherwise frequent it? Or is he jeopardizing the business owners who likewise contribute to his salary?

It's a fair question.

On the one hand, if I was genuinely intent on acting in the best interests of a concerned citizen, I would tell him of any prospective dangers associated with the location that he intends to live or do business in.

Beyond that, I couldn't help but be reminded of a period in the early '90s when St. Petersburg's home state had to deal with another ongoing problem: Tourists were getting robbed and killed in the area around Miami International Airport.

Eventually, law enforcement authorities and civic officials effected a number of changes designed to stem the tide of violence, including improved highway lighting, signage warning motorists from entering dangerous areas, a change in the way rental cars are tagged, and a task force that vigorously attacked the problem.

No agency wants its personnel speaking ill of the city that funds its department. But to say that all areas of a city are equally safe is patently absurd. That being the case, if an officer knows that a citizen runs the risk of becoming victimized in some capacity, should he articulate the fact?

I'd love to hear your opinions on this.

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine