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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).
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Remove the Incentive to Serve and You’ll Get No Service

Law enforcement is a calling for many officers, one that involves risk and sacrifice. But when they are vilified for doing their jobs, expect those officers to stop taking risks and making those sacrifices.

June 02, 2015  |  by Ron Martinelli

Baltimore, the new epicenter of police hate just recorded its deadliest month in 40 years. The city’s more than 100 shootings and 43 murders have taken it over the brink of violence. Baltimore’s clueless Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declared this past weekend, “The killing of African-Americans in Baltimore has got to stop.” However, this time I don’t think she was referring to police officers killing Baltimore citizens. Isn’t it interesting how quickly the narrative has changed in only 30 days?

It’s now Baltimore’s criminals who are killing each other, and innocent citizens. Imagine that? Is this a new socio-criminal revelation, or is it the history of the city and many others like it that no one wants to talk about?

Where are the jet-hopping racial activists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton screaming “No justice. No Peace!”? Where are the Million Man Marchers clogging the streets of Pennsylvania Avenue, crying out against injustice? They are AWOL and don’t look for them to appear anytime soon. The rocketing crime and murder rates of Baltimore, Chicago, and similar urban cities doesn’t fit into their anti-police narrative, so don’t expect them to get outraged about it.

As a criminologist, I can tell you exactly why Baltimore and similar cities are experiencing through the roof violent crime rates, but that’s for another column. However, as a retired police officer, I will share with you one component of the equation. Police officers have begun to take a serious look at what has happened to their once proud profession and, at least in Baltimore, they have made a choice, they are not taking risks anymore.

Police work, to most of us in the law enforcement “family,” is not simply a job—it’s a calling. We joined to serve and protect our communities. Unlike TV and movie portrayals of cops and detectives, 95% of police work is mundane and uneventful, with a 5% adrenalin rush of excitement. Cops don’t like criminals, “perps” and “bad guys.” They threaten our communities, our families and friends. And we are willing to take risks and make sacrifices to stop that threat.

Service people (like the military) want to serve, but they want to be appreciated for their service and they want to be supported by their communities and governments. They want to be trained and led properly and professionally–not politically. They want to see commitment for the mission of crime or terrorist suppression and elimination and they want to be fully supported when they do their jobs properly and legally.

When support of policing is lacking, when severe criticism for a relative few rogue officers is heaped upon all men and women wearing the badge, officers will circle the wagons for self-preservation. Just like soldiers, law enforcement officers will be there for their fellow officers, but now they’ll think twice before they will be there for the public, especially when they are swarmed by angry mobs during calls for service.

Politicians, community leaders, and citizens had better begin to wrap their heads around the fact that how they treat police officers ultimately affects the safety of their communities. You see without real justice, there can be no peace.

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist and police expert whose Forensic Independent Review Team investigates police uses of force at





Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Tom Ret @ 6/2/2015 3:40 PM

This article makes sense to those in law enforcement and hopefully anyone who is not brain dead but that still leaves out the democratic liberals who identify closer with the rioters than the police. Most likely they will still blame law enforcement for all of society's ills rather than take responsibility for their own
failed policies and thus their attempt to retrain the police. As long as the public keeps voting these bozos into office it will get worse before it gets better.

kevCopAz @ 6/2/2015 7:35 PM

Right on target DR! This IS what you get when you arm chair quarterback & then not back cops but instead play to the THUGS and the crowd! I say its about time that PD fights back by going by the book and doing what is "wanted" by the fickle public. Let them get exactly what they wanted, the police to "leave us alone" now you got it, you are being left alone to your "community" thugs. Even the innocent citizens deserve this to an extent simply because they didn't step up and back the police and defend the defenders when the Mayor,DA, "community" and press jumped on us (PD) So its about time that LEOS do as "demanded of them", sit back, be nice, respond to calls and do ABSOLUTELY no on-view aggressive police work and let the chips fall where they may. Good for you BPD, F the public, "demands" and elections have consequences, live with them. Perhaps a taste of the thugs "justice" will cause the folks to remember what real justice is and how much they need the cops!

Bobby Deal @ 6/3/2015 12:52 AM

well said!

Mjg @ 6/3/2015 5:22 AM

Very well written! You are right on point! After serving 30 yrs in law enforcement and having a rewarding career I knew I was appreciated and the citizens were always there to show their appreciation.

How things have changed. There is a total breakdown of family values which has continued for almost three generations now and we are seeing the effects of children NOT being brought up with values and respect. It is a sad time in our country. The only way this will be fixed is when ALL people join together and demand respect and support those values. We are leading this country down a very dangerous road.

Diver1000 @ 6/3/2015 6:14 AM

Here is my question. At what point do we begin to hold the behavior and actions of the suspect in the accountability of their death. Our society seems to completely ignore the actions of the suspect that placed the officer in a position of having to use deadly force. This is not to say that officers screw up sometime. But it seems that no wants to hold the suspect accountable for their actions. It's immaterial as to the color of the officer's of the suspect's skin. The primary element that needs to be looked at before any conclusion is drawn is what actions put the officer and the suspect at this place and at this time and stop trying to make it about race.

S.S. @ 6/3/2015 7:57 AM

Good job BPD, you are doing your job. As far as going that extra mile...for what? So you can possibly get fired, suspended and/ or arrested. Screw that! Now lets see what you citizens of Baltimore do. All of you a**holes who were rioting and looting and destroying your own community. You can kill yourselves for all I care. what I feel bad about are the children. It's sad, but these liberal idiots, including that "media whore" D.A. that's there. This is YOUR FAULT. SO SCREW YOU!!! WATCH YOURSELVES AND EACH OTHERS BACK BPD OFFICERS.

Jon Retired LEO @ 6/3/2015 1:41 PM

Dr. Martinelli tells it like it is!

James @ 6/3/2015 8:53 PM

Great article and right to the point. Let me make another point. You know all those dirtballs and skels that you are now meeting in your neigberhoods? Those are the people we in Law Enforcement have kept from robbing your homes, murdering your family members, and hooking your kids on drugs. And what did we get in return? A President with no clue calling us murderers, charlatans making money demanding we be arrested, and mama's who let the streets raise their kids looking at their dead kid after he pointed his gun at a cop and instead of taking the blame for being a crap mother, instead tells us he was a good boy and the cops had no right to defend themselves. Well to all of them, those days are over. We will do what's necessary to do to survive our shift and keep them from getting to those who respect the badge and the person who wears it. The rest of you? Well you reap what you sow. And you just learned life is a &%$#@!

maria @ 6/4/2015 5:42 AM

I say bravo to the officers. Not only for risking your lives daily, but for standing your ground on this issue! YOUR LIVES MATTER!!!!

Todd @ 6/4/2015 7:05 PM

Thank you for what you do.

Edward @ 6/22/2015 12:06 PM

We hold the military to a specific standard as determined by citizens through there representatives. Why are police any different. we as citizens determine what is acceptable, and not person regardless of their office should be above the law. The issues is not an intolerance of the police, as the media may have you think, but a disgust with individuals who deem their lives more valuable and actions appropriate. We have a constitution, which you swore to uphold, that protects us from the overreach of government, including professional police forces. We don't hate you, we need you. We appreciate the efforts of the men and women in blue, but we can not ( and you should either) tolerate rogue elements that act out of policy and social mores.

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