The Unruly vs. Law Enforcement

What do you Think?

Untitled

As you might imagine, I've given this a lot of thought (that by itself is a scary thought). Simple description that will brand me or anyone else who dares to talk publicly about it, hate monger and a racist.

On one hand you have the criminal justice system. On the other hand you have the minority community (for those who can't read between the lines, I'm speaking of the black community).

For many years, the problem between these two communities has always been the fault of the criminal justice system. All the fixes are always aimed at the police and never a syllable is spoken about correcting any problems in the minority community.

Oh my, how could I even bring up the subject. Retrain the police, create new policies to guide the police on the use of force (I really like that one) and of course there's always the old standby "don't use racial profiling" when deciding to who to arrest while enforcing the law. You certainly must know what that means. Let me explain for the brain dead out there who might read this. An armed robbery has just occurred and the area police are notified that a black man, approximately 6 foot tall, wearing a black hoodie with the words "Black Lives Matter in _____________ (you can insert the name of any city you would like), carrying a large paper sack with the loot from the robbery, running west down ______________(again you may insert the name of a street of your choice) and a large silver gun in hand.

Along comes this racist cop en route to the scene of the robbery. Oh CRAP there's a guy who fits the description that the police dispatcher just put out running down __________________ (your street of choice) carrying a large paper bag, but I don't see a gun.  DOUBLE CRAP, what’s a racist cop to do. He/she is thinking "careful now, no racial profiling." 

Over simplified, not really. Cops are faced more and more with those OH CRAP situations/decisions. As an example, a female cop in Chicago a week or so ago beaten half to death because she didn't pull her weapon to defend herself in a life threatening situation. If we could talk with her today she would probably tell us she was afraid of the repercussions and the second guessing that the liberal press and possibly the U.S. Attorney General would speak of for months on end and no doubt in the end causing to her deal with possible criminal charges or even her job.

Well, you get my point. When blaming a problem on only one side of an issue, the problem will continue in perpetuity no matter how many layers of retraining, etc. that are given to the cops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Now that I think of it, OH CRAP I must really be a hate monger and a racist to even consider that there may be a problem in the minority community (read between the lines)!!!!!!!

 

Jim Trotter

DMPD Retired

 

 

   Now Hold ON

      Now hold on everybody, talk about a rush to judgment.  It seems like everybody wants to go after this poor 18 year old illegal alien -Fernando Lopez Aguilar.  He was the one driving the car at a speed that could be conservatively described as highly excessive.  He ran a stop sign on the southeast side and hit another car and hit another car which ultimately hit another.  He was driving a car with brakes that he knew did not work.  He had an 8 month old infant in the back seat of the car.  His actions took the life of 12 year old Lea Phann.  He has caused a number of people to face the burden of massive financial hardship because he did not have insurance.  Not to mention the horrible feeling of loss that Le Phann's family is having to endure.  Five ambulances were called to the scene of the horrific accident he caused and wouldn't you know it, he is the only that wasn't hurt.

     But what is so different about him than so many other drivers we have out on the street today?  They treat our laws as suggestions.  Speed limits mean absolutely nothing to them.  In actuality none of our laws mean anything to so many people today.  They view our laws as antiquated legislation that was created by antiquated people who are merely trying force a life style on them that they feel is oppressive to their style of life.  After all they have grown up being able to "live for the minute." No actually I should correct that, they live for the second, because that is actually how far they look ahead of them.

     Their attitude is very simple and this is how they conduct their lives.  Simply put they feel that the law does not apply to them.    

     This is what is out there on the road people.  We see it every day.  People driving well over the speed limit weaving in and out of traffic just because they cannot stand to be behind someone else.  They act like other motorist are either not there or have no place being on the street when they are.

     Then when they get caught or become involved in an accident it is always someone else's fault.

     Lopez Aguilar's girlfriend characterizes his actions as just a simple mistake.

For Lopez Aguilar to have inflicted this much carnage, both to people and property he had to have been driving like a bat out of hell.  His actions almost resemble a death wish.  That does not even come close to be a mistake or even poor judgment.  This was out and out criminal behavior.  But what the heck, he was having fun.

     None-the-less we should not be condemning him.  Because after all he was having fun and we do not want to inhibit his freedom to just whatever he damn well pleases because we could hinder his creativity and we might lose a gifted artist or brilliant physicist or the next leader of the free world.  Regardless of how much their fun threatens our safety.  You cannot expect them to be accountable for their own actions when so many of you out there today feel that we should not be putting restrictions on people, like have them obey the laws and respect people and their property.  That is until something like this happens and now you want something done and you want it done right now and further more you want to know who to blame for it.  If you are one of those people who feel that we should be promoting a fuzzy warm feeling with people who are out of control and let people do whatever makes them happy so we don't hurt their feelings, then look in the mirror and say, shame on you.

 

David F. Brown

DMPD Retired

 

 

The Unruly vs. Law Enforcement

     I have been retired from the police department for thirteen years now, I saw firsthand the problems that officers are dealing with on the street today, but to a lesser degree back in 2003 at the end of my career.  But I knew this was coming.  For years society has been demanding a kinder, gentler cop.  When in reality society has been becoming more and more violent -not just toward the police but each other.  Look what goes on in Chicago week after week.  Dozens of people being shot, quite a few of them killed. We deal with the same problems here in Des Moines just not to the same magnitude.

    I saw how more and more frequently when an officer would attempt to make an arrest that the suspect would turn violent and resist the officer.  It was like we were expected to make an appointment with the suspect to schedule a convenient time to take them into custody.  And if the officer used force to make the arrest then they were subjected to criticism from the community and intense arm chair quarter backing from some very wishy washy administrators.

    The trouble today is that we have a select group in our society -and this group is not limited to one particular racial group, it is a generation of people who honestly feel that our laws simply do not apply to them.  Our laws are an inconvenience to them.  They want to go out and do whatever they want and expect to get away with it.  And if confronted by the police they will just fight their way out of it and if the police so much as raise an eyebrow to defend themselves they will bring down a media firestorm on the officer(s) involved.  It is always someone else's fault, is their defense and method of operation.  

     The bigger and scarier problem is that we have a large number of people in our society who feel we should simply acquiesce to the their desires and beliefs.  If we just ignore them and promote a warm fuzzy feeling our world will be a much safer and peaceful place.  It is a good thing for people who feel like that, that being stupid is not against the law.

     Thankfully we have some good men and women who want to do the job of police officer.  They are our first and last line of defense.  They are out there to protect us from all the bad things that threaten our well being.  Unfortunately they cannot protect us from stupidity. 

 

Sgt. David F. Brown

DMPD Retired

 

 

 

WHAT FERGUSON MEANS FOR AMERICA'S COPS

 

Every police officer in America knows one thing – it could have been him.

Or her.

It could have been him or her, instead of Darren Wilson, who pulled that trigger on Michael Brown.

Or some such similar young man.

Every cop in America knows that, in return for choosing a career in law enforcement, the rules of the road are now that, at any minute, it all could be over and you could become hated and condemned all across the country.

No one would have your back, even the president could denounce you.

Because you defended yourself.

In a twist on biting the hand that feeds you, we are instead tying the hand that defends us. We are sending them out, and waiting for the first chance to gut them.

It is an incomprehensible act of ingratitude.

All across American law enforcement, officers know that the new reality facing them when they pull their gun is: By defending myself, I could be condemning myself.

Take Darren Wilson.

A good cop on routine patrol. He’s coming back from a call and has brief contact with two individuals. Nothing comes of it until he moves a ways down the block and gets a radio description of a wanted individual matching one of the young men he’s just seen.

Rolling back up on the two individuals, the larger of them – Michael Brown – lunges into the driver’s window of the squad car and begins assaulting Darren Wilson. Michael Brown then tries to take away the officer’s gun.

The officer gets off a round, Michael Brown attempts to flee, and then charges at the officer, twice, before being shot to death.

In the mind of witnesses and Darren Wilson, Michael Brown was set to attack and was an immediate threat to the life of Officer Wilson.

So Officer Wilson did what his training taught him to do. He did what instinct, morality and the laws of men command him to do – he defended himself.

And his life is ruined.

His career is over, his family is threatened, his name is destroyed, he has been vilified across the country and by the nation’s most prominent voices.

People have rioted demanding imprisonment for him, and there have been countless threats on his life.

His life, as he knew it, is over.

Because he was a cop and he defended himself.

An entire society has forgotten that Darren Wilson is not the perpetrator of a crime, he is the victim of a crime.

Likewise, it has been forgotten that Darren Wilson was an officer of the law with a duty to act, and that he was on patrol that day in the name and service of the people.

And it is dispiriting to see how instantly the people have turned on him and his profession.

You get up in the morning and put on a uniform that carries with it the obligation to potentially die in the service of your community, to put yourself between the good people and whatever species of hell pops up, and then, when you are literally fighting for your life and the community’s protection, nobody has your back.

Everybody curses your name.

Millions hate you.

Much of the nation turns against you.

In the matter of some 20 seconds.

Damned if you do, dead if you don't.

Every cop in America wakes up every day knowing that that could be his fate. By the happenstance of random probability, the unpredictability of criminality, some wild hare seizing upon who knows what thug, and that could be you.

And it wouldn’t matter who you were, or what good you had done, or how many years you had served, or what you had made of your life and to what good cause you had dedicated it.

Al Sharpton would be yelling your name, mobs would be burning your effigy, and the president would be undercutting your profession.

And who wants that?

What kind of person, having seen on the nation’s newscasts the destruction of Darren Wilson, wants to risk that?

How many law enforcement officers will think of the danger associated with their thankless job, see the risk facing themselves and their family, recognize that it is completely unfair and wrong, and quit?

How many will lay down their badge and their career and walk away?

Probably none.

Because that’s the kind of people most of them are. They press on. They do their duty. They don’t quit.

That’s who they are.

More at issue is: Who are we?

Are we the kind of society that looks on and does nothing, or are we the kind of society that values law enforcement and what it does, and has its back?

Are we the kind of society that can look at the matter in Ferguson and push back the anti-cop prejudices and honestly consider the situation of Darren Wilson? Can we recognize the injustice of his situation?

Not that he wasn’t prosecuted, but that he was ever suspected. That an officer of the law, the victim of a violent and felonious attack, can be forced into a fight for his life, and then be condemned for winning.

Would society have preferred he die?

We all know that if the cop had died, instead of the guy who attacked him, that none of us would have ever heard of this. The president wouldn’t have commented, the nation wouldn’t have noticed, nobody would have given a damn.

Dead cop, no problem.

Dead thug, raise holy hell.

And every cop knows that.

And carries that sad realization 24 hours a day.

The president said we need to train our police better. Maybe we need to train our society better.

Maybe we should train the Michael Browns of the world to respect the law, and maybe we should train the rest of us to respect the law enforcers.

And have their backs.

Or at least understand the horrible risk and reality Ferguson creates for them.

Because every cop knows today could be his day.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2014

 


 



Ferguson Missouri - One Persons View

     I am very proud to have been associated with the law enforcement community for the nearly thirty years that I was with The Des Moines Police Department.  I have been retired for eleven years and I still never miss a chance to speak to or waive to an officer even though I might not know them personally.  Whether they are municipal police officers, county deputies or State Troopers, the people who make up the ranks of first line law enforcement personnel are very special people.

     I never knew an officer who would come to work thinking to themselves or saying; “Gee, I hope this is the day that I get to blow some scum bag away”.  But, every officer I knew never came to work without realizing that they might never see their family or loved ones again.

     What happened in Ferguson Missouri on the 9th of August was truly unfortunate for both Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown who was shot and killed by Officer Wilson.  It could have been easily avoided had the two men acted differently when they encountered each other that day.

     Destiny had placed them on a collision course that would end Brown’s life and change Wilson’s forever. 

     On the morning of the 9th of August, 2014 officer Darren Wilson put on his uniform and got ready to go to work as he had done for the past six years.  He probably bid his family good-bye and headed off to do the job that he had been doing by all accounts in an exemplary manner since joining the Ferguson MO police department.

     Sometime during that morning 18 year old Michael Brown got up and put on his sense of entitlement and set off to do what he probably did on a regular basis.  Now news accounts have said that he did not have a criminal history.  Is that because he was now an adult and his juvenile past was not available for scrutiny by the press?  Or was he just doing what he had been doing all along and just had not been caught?  Or did he for some reason on that one day in his life make a very poor decision?

     At 11:51 a.m. that morning a robbery was reported at a convenience store, a description of the suspects and their direction of travel was broadcast by police dispatchers.

     At 12:01 p.m. Officer Wilson encounters Brown and another individual walking down the street.  I am sure that he tells –not ask, but tells these two people to get out of the street.  And that is where this situation goes sideways.

     Officer Wilson is paid by the citizenry of Ferguson to enforce the law.  Walking in the street for no reason is against the law.  Officer Wilson as I understand it had not made a connection to the robbery report and these two people at that point in time.  Now he could have ignored this situation and driven on past and left Brown and his friend stay in the street and serve as an irritant and hazard to other motorist in the area.  But he decided to do what he was paid to do, he told them to get out of the street.  A pretty simple, reasonable and lawful order, don’t you think?

     Brown and his friend could have simply complied with the order and done as they were told to do.  But no, they displayed the C-O-C syndrome (contempt of cop).  They became verbally aggressive and challenging to the officer.  Now would you want a police officer on your communities police department that turned tail and retreated under such aggression, or would you rather have cops that stand their ground and refuse to back down to trouble?  Officer Wilson apparently is one of the latter.

     He called for back up and started to get out of his car.  It was initially reported that Brown and the other man pushed the door of the squad car shut on Officer Wilson pinning him between the door and the frame of the car.  At some point during that period Brown and his friend tried to take Officer Wilson’s pistol.  It was also reported that “witnesses” claimed that Officer Wilson pulled Brown into his car through the open driver’s side window.  I would find that allegation very hard to believe.  Any officer who has any common sense at all would not do such an utterly stupid thing.  If you are going to engage someone in physical combat you want space to be able to maneuver.  The space between the steering wheel and your chest would not be what you would want.  Brown was something close to 6’4” and weighed in the area of 250 pounds.  I don’t think it would have been physically possible for anyone to perform such a feat –especially while in a sitting position.

     I of course can only speculate from my experience on the streets of Des Moines, but my speculations make more sense and are easier to fathom than what the accounts of the alleged witnesses are.  I think that Brown inserted himself through that window in an attempt to further assault the officer and possibly disarm him.

     Studies have shown that there are people out there that actually practice techniques in disarming police officer’s.  Studies in case histories have shown that if they try to take an officers gun once they will try to do it again before their threat to the officer is neutralized.

     The officer for obvious reasons cannot relinquish that weapon.  The offender could use it on the officer or some other innocent citizen.  It is not a question of pride by the officers that they protect their sidearm; it is their duty and responsibility.

     I continue to speculate on what happened next.  I think that Brown was either forced back and away from the car by Officer Wilson or he maneuvered for position on his own in an attempt to continue his assault on the officer.  Officer Wilson decided to use that space to get out of the confines of his car so he could better defend himself.  He exited his patrol car and drew his weapon.

     People have said that Brown had his hands up and was saying, “Don’t shoot”.  In my career I encountered numerous people in similar situations during which I was forced to pull my pistol and point it at them in order to attempt to protect myself or someone else and to take them into custody.  During several of those incidents the suspects in those cases were also saying to me “don’t shoot”, while with each utterance of the phrase they kept stepping closer to me.  And I think that is what happened in the case involving Officer Wilson and Michael Brown.  Officer Wilson knew Brown had already tried at least once to disarm him; he could not let that happen.

     The confrontation continues and probably escalates once Officer Wilson exits his squad car and it culminates with Michael Brown being shot and killed.

     At 12:04 the backup units that Officer Wilson requested when he knew he was going to have trouble with Brown and his associate arrived on the scene.  Three minutes is all it took for all of this to take place.  From my own experience it probably seemed like an eternity to Officer Wilson.

     Shortly thereafter, all of the experts started coming out of the walls and out from under their rocks.  Everybody has an opinion on what Officer Wilson did wrong.  I heard one man (possibly Michael Brown’s father) saying something like, Officer Wilson had not been trained on how to deal with teenagers. 

     I would argue that maybe Michael Brown, like so many other people of his vintage had not been taught how to deal with people in positions of authority.  Not just the police but teachers, employers, business owners and even their own parents. 

     Their own parents?  That is almost a joke.  For nearly two decades we have had an inappropriate number of babies having babies.  The people who have turned out these kids knew nothing or cared nothing about how to get along in life.  And now their kids are out there and the only thing that they have been told by –and I use the term loosely, their parents is; “DON’T YOU LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHAT TO DO”.  I think the same message is also preached to them secretly by a lot of our community leaders.

     Another expert, a medical examiner by the name of Parcells says that it is obvious to him that by the pattern of the wounds that were inflicted on Michael Brown that he was bent over and was surrendering when Officer Wilson shot him.  Really?  To me it would suggest that Brown was bent over and charging Officer Wilson much like an offensive lineman would go after a quarter back.  Seven shots were fired.  And the progression of the shots from the head down the same side of the body would or could be attributed to Brown’s continued forward motion as he moved in on Officer Wilson to continue his assault on him.  Just because someone gets shoot does not mean they are going to go down.

     They all want to lay blame on everybody except Michael Brown who was the real catalyst on this whole incident.  By now -unless you have been living in a cave for the past month, you have seen the video of the robbery.  First of all the media keeps referring to Brown as if he were a little kid.  The video clearly shows that he, by his size alone would be a formidable opponent in any arena.  You can see him assault the clerk of the store.  So he was already hostile and aggressive before ever seeing Officer Wilson. 

     Don’t let the experts convince you that this poor unarmed youth was shot and killed over a $48.00 package of cigars.  He was shot and killed because he assaulted a police officer and was attempting to disarm him.  I could hear Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson now if he had been successful in gaining control of the gun and it went off and killed the officer.  They would be saying that it was just an accident, he did not mean for it to happen.  Because he is so young you can’t hold him responsible for his bad decisions.  BULLSHIT!  Brown like so many others out there of his generation (and this is not limited to one racial group) think that they have some sort of guaranteed right of entitlement coming to them have absolutely no idea what is life is all about.  They have no social skills whatsoever.  They can barely speak English in order to form a sentence.  They think that a sentence is something that ends in 10 to 15 years. 

     Community leaders scream about giving these people jobs and the problems will be healed.  A group of protesters were yelling: “NO JOBS NO PEACE”.  Give them jobs doing what exactly?  Like I said, they can’t speak in a language that the average person can understand.  They can’t make change without the use of a computer.  They refuse to take direction from supervisors.  They want a job that they can show up to when they feel like it, oh yeah, and they want a managerial position on their first day.  Good luck.

     People are screaming that they want Officer Wilson in jail, Hell they want him in prison.  The case is being referred to the Grand Jury down there.  Someone said, and they better indict him.  What’s next if he is indicted and it goes to trial?  Are they going to say, and you better find him guilty.  I think there is a word for talk like that, it is called extortion.

     We went through nearly the same thing in Des Moines, Iowa in 1982.  A young police officer on patrol saw what he felt was a suspicious person who was acting in a bizarre manner up around a house in a residential area near the fairgrounds.  During the fair we have always been plagued by a rash of burglaries in that area due to the high volume of people in the area who are in town for The State Fair.  The burglars have learned to blend in with the rest of the crowd. 

     The officer got out of his car to check on this individual.  Almost immediately the suspect became irate and agitated and started assaulting the Officer.  The suspect managed to take the officer’s nightstick away from him and started beating him with it.  The suspect was very powerful and was relentless in the beating.  The officer was forced back toward his squad car and ended up in the back seat of the patrol unit with the suspect on top of him still beating him in the head with the night stick. 

     The officer realized he was on the verge of blacking out and finally managed to wrestle his revolver out of his holster.  He fired all six rounds ultimately killing the suspect.

     Needless to say this set of a fire storm here.  Our department was raped by the media.  Community leaders were outraged and wanted this officer’s job and his head.  Unfortunately we had an administration that was limp wristed and wishy-washy to say the least.  The rank and file begged for the chief to make a statement supporting the officer and the department.  He basically cowered in his office while the onslaught from the media and community leaders tore the department apart.  What all of that generated was a feeling in the officers of the department of “why should we even care”?

       Officers just decided to go out on patrol and do absolutely nothing.  It was not a case of “the blue flu”; it was just a horrendous realization of where every one of us stood in the eyes of the administration.  This went on for weeks.  It was tearing our department apart from the inside out and yet the chief still refused to be the chief and take a stand for the department.

     Finally the president of the union made a statement on behalf of the officers of the department.  The message was simple, “If you don’t want to get hurt by the police, then don’t try to hurt us”.  Did that make everything right with the world?  No, but it reunited the department and we knew if we all stuck together that we would weather the storm and be able to do the job we came here to do.

     The worst seed something like this can plant in an officer’s mind is the seed of hesitation and make them second guess themselves.  Officer’s lives and civilians lives often hang on split second decisions that we (officers) have to make everyday.

     Because of all of the negative publicity that has been generated through the media by people like Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, I doubt that Officer Darren Wilson could receive a fair trial in Outer Mongolia.

     Where is all rhetoric those two generate when it comes to some place like Chicago?  Ten, fifteen and upwards of twenty people are being shot there every weekend.  This is the picture I would like to see; Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson walking arm and arm down a street in a crime ridden neighborhood in Chicago at 2:00 AM on a Saturday morning -without a cop in sight.

     Our illustrious United States Attorney General Eric Holder has also weighed on this at the direction of the President.  Why doesn’t he just tell people that if they have a problem with something a police officer says or does, that the street is not the place to handle it?  File a complaint with the police department.  Go to court and contest the charges against you.  We hear and see stories everyday where police officers are disciplined and even terminated from the jobs when allegations of wrong doing are leveled at them and found to be substantiated. 

     The days of the good old boy internal philosophy in handling complaints against cops by police departments are long gone.  The police do an excellent job in identifying problem officers and ridding them from their ranks.

     The police do not go out on the street looking for fights.  But when someone decides to fight or even threaten the police we sure as Hell do not want cops who are supposed to be protecting us who will turn tail and run.

Sgt. David F. Brown
DMPD Retired


 

Two Men Get Second Chances

Earlier this summer two Des Moines men experienced life changing events in their lives. In fact I will say that their experiences also had an affect on the entire city of Des Moines.

Police Lieutenant Joe Gonzalez was critically injured after being pinned between a wall at The World Food Center and a truck that was trying to back up to a loading area there. Joe’s injuries could have easily been fatal had it not been for his strong will to survive coupled with the support of his family, friends and the entire community.

Joe has been a police officer for nearly forty years. He has dedicated himself to his profession and this city. Unfortunately the severity of the injuries he sustained in this accident have forced him to leave the job that he truly loved.

Joe is not bitter or vindictive over this accident. He summed his feelings up very well in a television interview by saying, “I am thankful for the second chance”.

The second incident involves David Flores who was released from prison after serving approximately sixteen years for his involvement in the shooting death of Phyllis Davis who was unfortunate enough to drive into the middle of a rolling gun battle that Flores and several other people were involved in. She was just minding her own business and driving home from work. She died at the scene before she could be transported to a hospital or say good-bye to her family.

Flores had direct involvement in that incident. But he refuses to accept any real responsibility for his actions. It is always someone else’s fault according to his way of thinking. At his last court appearance prior to his release he cried saying that the State had already taken his twenties and half of his thirties and he was not going to give them any more of his life. It is not a question of what he gave, but that of what his actions caused to be taken.

Both of these men have been granted a second chance in their lives.

Lieutenant Gonzalez is still in the recuperation stages of his recovery after the accident. Once he has fully recovered it will be interesting to see what positive things he does with his life personally, professionally, spiritually and possibly politically.

Since his release from prison we have already seen four examples as to how Mr. Flores plans to conduct his life.

Two things are certain about the events concerning these two men. The city of Des Moines was a lot safer when Lieutenant Gonzales was on the police department. And the city of Des Moines was a lot safer when David Flores was in prison.

Sgt. David F. Brown
DMPD Retired


 

Police Departments Today

For years now I have watched as police departments all over the country have tried to create a "kinder, gentler cop".  They want officers who will go out on the street and promote a fuzzy warm feeling between the citizens and the police.  They are teaching these cops that all the problems of the world can be solved with one great big group hug.

Unfortunately while the police have been being programmed toward that attitude society has been becoming more and more violence oriented.  Look what has happened in Des Moines over the past few weeks.  I mentioned Chicago in a letter to the editor a while back.  Look what happens there every day and every night.  Murder after murder and it just does not seem to stop.

The people who are creating all of these problems have absolutely no fear whatsoever of getting in trouble with the police.  The law is a joke to them.  They have been told by people who are responsible for their upbringing -parents, community leaders, clergy members and so on, "DON'T YOU LET ANYBODY TELL YOU WHAT TO DO".  That goes for teachers, business owners, employers and the police.  Everyday right here in Des Moines the police respond several times a day to schools where a student is out of control and the teachers or principal cannot bring them under control.  Quite often the police have to go to the schools because there is an irate parent there who is threatening to do harm to the staff because their child was the recipient of some sort of disciplinary action.  That is sure different from when I was in school.

"Real police work" in a nut shell amounts to this; encountering situations and people who are out of control and bringing them under control.  It would be great if a cop could walk up on a bunch of gang members or just plain old thugs in general who are fighting between themselves, assaulting an individual or damaging someone's property and be able to say: "Would you please cease and desist from this totally sociably unacceptable behavior, before it warps the psyche of the rest of the community"?  If the cops said something like that the people to who it was addressed would look at them and say: "WHAT the _ _ _ _ did you say?"  In order to take control of people when they are out of control you have to speak the language they understand.  And yes that language can get quite colorful.  And sometimes you have to take physical control over these situations and people.  And yes sometimes someone gets their feelings hurt or actually physically hurt.  But these situations and people have to be brought under control before they are totally out of hand.

I am not saying that cops need to go out and start cussing a blue streak or act like storm troopers during every call for service that they make.  But when push comes to shove and the police need to respond then they should do what they need to do in order to gain the upper hand on the situation.  And they should know that the administration, not only within the police department but over at city hall as well is going to support their actions and understand why they did what they had to do.

Here is a news flash for you.  The next big war we fight in this country, is going to be right out in the streets of our cities.  And it is going to be between the police and the good citizens who will be fighting the black, Hispanic, Asian and white gangs who are trying to take over our communities.  When your neighbor's blood is running in your street, how are you going to feel when you see the police driving by yelling over their public address system in their cars; "CEASE AND DESIST!.  CEASE AND DESIST!"  

Sgt. David F. Brown
DMPD Retired

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