Photo: Kelly Bracken.
Increasingly, there are so many things falling on the law enforcement radar that I feel self-conscious running at the mouth on any one of them. Not to worry, I will continue to do so. But increasingly I want to use this blog in a Bottom Line capacity, sharing information and insight on a variety of matters that fall on the law enforcement radar.
Among them is a series of planned podcasts wherein Editor David Griffith, Web Editor Paul Clinton and my disagreeable self will roundtable on a variety of matters that fall on the law enforcement radar (déjà vu). In the meantime...
I am jealous of Jack Dunphy. I am jealous over the fact that he doesn't have an editor leaning over his back and telling him to "dumb it down" and excising some lynchpin latin phrase. I am jealous that he appears in more varied media than I.
But there is one thing I am not jealous of Jack Dunphy about. The fact that he is obligated to write under a pseudonym.
In fact, I find this singular exception to be something of a tragedy. Few things have been of as much profit to LAPD in recent years as Jack Dunphy's gadfly ambassadorship on behalf of it. He has been able to say the things that many on the department would like to but don't for fear of reprisal, and he has done so with a beguiling intelligence that serves notice to the various bugbears both within and without the department: You will get called on your absurdities.
Not that he doesn't couch his observations from time to time, a singular prudence probably owed to the anticipation of that day when his anonymity evaporates (believe me, if some dude running around with the moniker of Deep Throat is gonna get outted, you can bet the innocuous Jack Dunphy is marking time).
In the meantime, if you haven't become familiar with the scribe that is Jack Dunphy, please Google him. Every police department should be so lucky as to have one working for it.
Even if the department doesn't necessarily appreciate it.
Another stop stick tragedy came in the form of North Carolina Trooper Bobby Demuth. I don't know where some bad civil cases proscribed a death by Dodge Car unto our profession, but I sure hope that more police departments follow the Dallas Police Department's example in ceasing to deploy these death sticks.
Art imitates life, life imitates art, sociopathic dipshits imitate movies in an East Los Angeles robbery.
I received an e-mail from a reserve deputy who was understandably disappointed that he was not allowed to carry off-duty. To my mind, if a person is deemed sufficiently trustworthy to enforce the laws of a state while armed, to perform the same functions of a regular officer and incur the same risks, he or she deserves the right to carry 24/7 at his or her discretion (might they not fall victim to something such as this). Generally speaking, the right to carry a concealed weapon is one of the few compensatory overtures that reserve officers otherwise get in the law enforcement community—and one they all deserve. Otherwise, why in the hell are they carrying a firearm in the first place? Anyone want to tell me where I am wrong here?
Not that I am always correct. A reader's recent rebuttal of an assertion of mine gave me pause to go back and re-evaluate my posture, an eventuality not without precedent. While I don't think anyone will accuse me of arbitrary flip-floppery, I believe one's mind should be flexible enough to reconsider old prejudices and biases.
But then I also believe that if someone has made an error, or possibly wronged another, they have some recourse to make things right. Apologizing can go a long way to rectifying wrongs. It doesn't always work; I'm still deliberating on the apology of one repeat offender. But you can at least have some peace of mind of knowing that you tried.
And trying to make amends has been something of a practice throughout my life (said life and the manner in which it has been conducted obliging me to the overtures). Hell, there is one deputy that I routinely apologized to as a matter of principle, long after he or I even knew what the hell I was apologizing for. But it was enough that I was sufficiently ashamed of my actions that I always felt the need to do so. I dare say there might be a handful of supervisors with whom I'd want to make amends. But definitely not more than five.
Unfortunately, there is another train of thought that frowns upon the acknowledgment of error or wrongdoing. That appends John Wayne's image to a line from an old movie advocating one to never.
I wonder which one was at work here.
I also wonder how much heartache could have been spared if someone simply owned up to a dumbassed mistake early on.
If the cops involved aren't sleeping so well these days, I can see why. But it isn't for them that I am sharing the following info, but those cops who are performing the job conscientiously during exotic hours.
As falling asleep—or falling back asleep once awakened—can sometimes be difficult, I want to pimp an app that you can download on your iPhone.
The White Noise app comes with a variety of sounds to mask the ambient aural environment. They include a thunder storm, a floor fan, the sounds of rain on car, and twilight insects (not the Patterson/Stewart kind). There are even more that you can upgrade to. Hook up the train version with your next 4.5 seismic event, and you'll have a Sensurround experience. I am extremely partial to the ocean waves one, and several times in the past month it has sent me off to Little Nemo Land in record time.
One caveat: Use of the app will sap your battery if you leave it going all night, so leave the iPhone plugged in or set the app to time off (easily accomplished).
Increasingly, police departments are using Web sites to post police blotters and keep locals informed on their local problem children. Here's a novel variation. You might want to see if your local college or community college wants to have someone take a crack at something similar. Or, not.
Elections are coming up, so if you happen to have some on-duty down time, please roll by your polling places and ensure that there's none of that voter intimidation b.s. being pulled by the likes of the Black Panthers again.
Because if you won't stop it, who will? Certainly not the likes of Eric Holder and company.