Chaos Reigns in Sacramento

On Sunday March 18, 2018, two Sacramento Police officers shot and killed a man.  The young man, Stephon Clark, was a 22 (or 23 depending on the source) year old black man, who was not armed.  To listen to Black Lives Matter or the deceased man’s family, you would think he was a fine upstanding young man, a pillar of society, who was seated in his backyard praying when two racist cops burst into the yard and shot him without an ounce of provocation.  Some news outlets referred to him as a “stay at home dad” and talked about how he was a “loving father who was turning his life around.”  To say the headlines were incendiary is an understatement.

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Despite what Black Lives Matter, the mainstream media and many of the ‘protesters’ would have you believe, Clark was not an innocent young man who played no role in his own demise.  He was a multiple time convicted felon, with priors for robbery, drugs, domestic violence, human trafficking, and illegal possession of a gun.  He was indeed the father of two kids, whom he did not have custody of.  He was staying with his grandmother crashing at his grandmother’s from time to time after his most recent release from jail approximately one month before he was killed.

Even the ultra-liberal Sacramento Bee was forced to admit that Clark was not the angel that protesters are portraying when they said the following.  Bear in mind, these are only charges that were filed against him since he turned 18, which is just four (4) short years.

“A search of Sacramento Superior Court records found four related cases for a Stephan Alonzo Clark. The most recent were two felony counts of domestic abuse, to which Clark – who preferred to go by the name Stephon – pleaded guilty and agreed to complete a treatment program. The court record also shows a 2008 robbery charge, and charges in 2013 for possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.”

On the night that Clark was killed, he was seen breaking into parked cars by a neighbor who called 911.  Sacramento Police units responded, as did the Sacramento Sheriff’s helicopter.  Upon locating him, the helicopter observed him breaking into a home by smashing out a rear window to the home.  After doing that, he fled on foot, jumped a fence into the backyard of another home, where he began walking toward the street.  About half way to the street, he was contacted by a Sacramento Police officer who told him to stop and show his hands.  Clark instead turned and ran back into the backyard of the home.  The original officer and one other chased him into the backyard and as they rounded the corner, they saw Clark across the yard reportedly pointing something at them.  The officers thought is was a gun, as is evidenced both by they shouting “gun” on the body camera video, but also based on their actions as viewed from the helicopter FLIR footage.  Seconds later, as Clark moved toward the officers, they opened fire shooting him.  He died from his wounds.  No gun was found on him, but a cell phone was.  They determined he was apparently holding the cellphone which the officers mistook for a gun.

Since that shooting happened, there have been ‘protests’ nearly every day in downtown Sacramento.  At one point, ‘protesters’ marched onto northbound Interstate 5 and stopped traffic.  They climbed onto vehicle and vandalized CHP cars that responded.  Twice in the same week, they surrounded the Golden One Center, where the Sacramento Kings play, and prevented attendees from entering the arena for a game.  After the first incident, the Kings even made a public statement in which they espoused solidarity with the protesters, even wearing warm up jerseys with Clark’s name on them, but that did not dissuade the ‘protesters’ from shutting down another game the next day.

However, before those ‘protesters’ marched to the Golden One Center, they first overran an open to the public Sacramento City Council meeting where they acted like complete buffoons, with Stevante Clark (the dead guy’s brother) strutting around and jumping up onto the dais, getting right into the pandering Mayor Steinberg’s face and screaming at him.  He continued by fronting off the Chief of Police and declaring that Steinberg is no longer the mayor.  It was a total sh!t show, and luckily for us, CBS 13 was good enough to put the complete, unedited video of it on their YouTube channel.

Finally, after nearly six (6) minutes of total loss of control, Steinberg announced a 15 minute recess, that way he would not be present when the cops cleared out the rabble.  After all, forcing people who cannot follow the rules out of the building would not be very inclusive of him…

Later, the group of protesters that were forced from City Hall marched down the street where they proceeded to shut down the Kings game as I previously mentioned.  The open public city council meeting resumed and, while most of the speakers I saw appeared to be educated and well spoken, many of their comments seemed only partially if at all related to the topic that they were supposedly there to discuss.  As the night continued, the speakers became more and more unhinged, and eventually the whole thing was shut down more than two hours early as police made an arrest or two and had to forcefully remove others.  Steinberg’s hands off, open dialogue policy is not remotely working, just like hands off policies never do.

At one point during the multiple hours long open public council meeting, one of the people speaking asked the audience to pull out their cell phones and point them at the mayor.  One of the ‘protesters’ in attendance obliged and was captured on camera doing so.  Now, I would like to personally thank this man for proving a point that many people have tried to make, that given the proper pose, as exemplified by this man, in the dark of night while chasing a man who was seen breaking into cars and a house, you round a corner and see something similar to this, it can be quite easy to mistake a man pointing a cell phone at you as someone pointing a gun at you.

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Black Lives Matter Sacramento has promised that their protest’s will continue at least through Clark’s funeral, which now boasts the Reverend race baiter extraordinaire Al Sharpton as the guest speaker who will provide the eulogy.

While it has been largely under/unreported by the media, these ‘protests’ have not been as peaceful as some would have you believe.  While they have by no means devolved into what happened in Ferguson or Baltimore, there have been numerous violent felonies committed.  ‘Protesters’ violently attacked a counter protester (cop supporter) outside of the Golden One center.  ‘Protesters’ surrounded multiple different police vehicles as they left the Sacramento jail, which happens to be located in downtown Sacramento.  In fact, an officer from an outside agency reportedly called for Code 3 cover as they got surrounded while trying to leave.  ‘Protesters’ attacked a woman who was driving down the street because she did not want to stop for their ‘protest,’ and in my opinion, she was well within her rights as those ‘protesters’ are breaking multiple laws when they flood the street and prevent people from freely travelling where they so choose.

In fact, I would argue that legally speaking, those protesters are committing a false imprisonment of every single motorist they have trapped.  The police should be arresting every one of those fools, but instead they are treating them with kid gloves.

If you want to protest, I fully support your right to do so, but your rights do not trump those of people who are completely uninvolved in the matter.  You do not get to commit crimes just because you are angry.  Letting these ‘protesters’ continue to act like this reminds me of parents of that spoiled rotten kid who is flopping around on the floor having a temper tantrum while the parents offer them bribes to stop acting like that.  What that spoiled brat needs is a smack on the ass, and that is what these ‘protesters’ need also.  Law and order applies to all people equally and cares not about skin color.  It is time the people in charge in Sacramento start enforcing the law instead of making excuses for a group of law breakers just because of their skin color.

Oh yeah, by the way, those two racist cops who shot the poor innocent church going choir boy I mentioned at the start of this, one of them just happens to be black…  Maybe, just maybe, this shooting had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the dead guy being a criminal doing stupid criminal things.

And just in case no one is aware, there are actually guns disguised to look just like a cell phone.  In fact, the department I work for has sent out officer safety bulletins describing them and included pictures of them, just like the picture of the .380ACP cell phone gun below.

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If you were previously unaware of the cell phone gun, take 45 seconds and watch this clip (starts at 4:44 mark just in case the link doesn’t work properly).  The guys in this video is pretty much foresaw exactly what happened in this situation.


For those who have not seen the video of the shooting, I include the raw footage of the incident from both officer’s body cameras and the helicopter’s FLIR footage in the following video where I breakdown the shooting.

Anti-gun Policies Cost Lives In Florida

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It has been a little more than a week since the horrific shooting in Parkland, FL and as more becomes known about what lead up to that shooting, it is proving itself to be a tragically perfect example of government’s total failure, in fact it’s inability to keep people safe.  Getting beyond the mistakes that were made by multiple agencies on many levels, getting beyond the cowardice of one or more responding cops, we need to look at another aspect of this horrible incident.  Since so many people from students to school administrators, to the Sheriff of Broward County, all the way up to lawmakers on the federal level are screaming for more gun control, let’s take a close look at the effect that existing gun policies played in this incident.

Since Sheriff Scott Israel has seen fit to very publicly scream for gun control himself, and done so in the most unprofessional manner I can imagine, ripping into people who disagrees with his point of view like an emotional teenager, all on national television, so I’ll start with him.  Broward County Sheriff’s Office is a very large Sheriff’s department with, according to their website, more than 5,800 employees (includes sworn and non-sworn).  Their annual budget is $730M.  That is a very big local department by almost any standard.

Would it surprise you to find out that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office does not issue rifles to their patrol cops?  It sure as hell surprised me!  What year is this?  In this day and age, it is practically criminal to not supply your street cops with a rifle.  (Broward deputies can buy their own rifle if they desire, but the department does not issue them.)

I thought the North Hollywood Bank Robbery in 1997 taught us all that cops needed long guns?  I would think that all of the recent mass shooting incidents that our news media sees fit to talk about 24/7 for weeks on end would have taught us all that.  I would think that all of the changes in training and tactics for law enforcement over the last 20+ years would have taught us all that.  But apparently none of that got through to Scott Israel, since he refuses to issue rifles to his street cops.

Now, before anyone jumps up and claims I have no idea what is involved in providing rifles to an entire department, let me assure you I do.  I happen to work for a large agency, although not as large as Broward County, and I have worked in an administrative position on my department where my job was providing equipment for all of our patrol deputies.  I understand perfectly the difficulties in providing equipment for a large agency.  And yes, it is a much different beast than providing tools for a smaller agency.  Buying 10 of something is much different than buying 500, or 1,000 of the same thing.  I understand perfectly that there is a significant cost in trying to put a rifle in every patrol officer’s hands, EXCEPT THERE IS NOT!  The Broward County Sheriff could get all the rifles they want from the Federal 1033 program for FREE!  Zero, nada, nothing.   Instead the man in charge, the man with whom the buck stops, Sheriff Scott Israel chose not to put rifles in the hands of his deputies, but why?

There is only one reason that can explain why Sheriff Israel would make the conscious decision to not issue rifles to his troops,  and that is because Israel allowed his personal anti-gun agenda to cloud his judgement.  His personal gun control ideals influenced how he equipped his cops, and those ideals kept the necessary tools out of the hands of the men and women who most desperately needed those tools last week.

Disturbingly, Sheriff Israel is not the only policy maker who allowed his feelings about guns to cloud his judgement.  The school administration is also to blame.  If you doubt a school administration would allow their personal opinions about firearms to influence their policy making, I have some bad news for you, and a bridge to sell you.

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I spoke with a friend who works for one of the local agencies there in Florida and asked about why the school cops did not have rifles.  Turns out, the school administrators and school board actively prevented the law enforcement officers who are assigned to the schools from having a rifle on campus.   The local agencies approached the schools about placing gun safes in the school cop’s office, in which the cop could secure his rifle from his car, if he even had one, so it would be near him in the event of an emergency.  The school district administration flat out refused to allow that.  You know, because a cop carrying a rifle into an office and locking it up is super ultra mega scary and we cannot have high school kids seeing a cop carrying a long gun, or something like that.

So what that policy means in the real world is that the school cop responding to an incident on campus is required to assess the situation and determine if a rifle is needed, and make a choice on limited information:  go to the scene or to my car and get my rifle.  Most times that would mean going to the scene sans long gun, evaluating the situation and if a rifle is needed, returning to your car to get it, rather than just taking it from the office with you initially.  How on Earth does that make sense to anyone?  If schools had a firefighter located on campus, would they prevent them from having a fire extinguisher in their office?

Lastly, the delusional myth that calling anything a “gun free zone” somehow protects anyone is beyond me.  How does anyone in their right mind think that putting a sign up is going to stop someone from doing something that they want to do, especially if what that person wants to do is already illegal?  Do speed limit signs prevent speeding, anywhere, ever?  Rather than declaring a location a “gun free zone,” why not instead enact laws that simultaneously, harshly punish people who illegally bring a gun onto a school campus, but that also allow people who have gone to all the trouble to obtain a concealed carry permit to have their firearm, including teachers and other school personnel if they so desire.  Nationally, concealed carry license holders are the single most law abiding group of people there is, even more law abiding than law enforcement.  Why would you intentionally prevent potential help from having the single most needed tool in a crisis situation where every second counts, and every second means another life lost?  I cannot fathom the amount of delusion and denial that is necessary to not grasp this simple fact.

It is clear to me as a career cop that two factors combined together which allowed these horrible policies to be created.  The first factor is a irrational dislike of firearms and the second is denial.  The only way to explain a Sheriff refusing to give his patrol cops free rifles is his extreme anti-gun agenda, which he has espoused nearly non-stop since this incident.  The only way to explain a school not wanting officers to have long guns available on campus is their dislike and/or fear of firearms.  The other factor, denial, is also clear to anyone with law enforcement experience.  These administrators, both the Sheriff and the school, were in denial that an incident like this tragic shooting could ever happen.  It is clear from the policies they put in place.  If they had faced the sad reality that something like this could happen, they would have issued the proper tools and would have established policies that helped first responders, not hindered them.

Sadly, this incident is chock full of screw ups, balls dropped, bad decision making, bad policy, and sadly, one or more cowardly cops who failed to do what we took an oath to do.  There is much to be learned from this shooting.  Two of the biggest takeaways in my opinion are 1) policies derived from anti-gun opinions do nothing to keep anyone safe, and 2) if you are counting on government to keep you safe, as much as the vast majority of cops really do try, you are betting on the wrong horse.

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This piece can also be found at Full30.com and The Daily Caller

Failure To Engage That Cost Innocent Kids Their Lives

Image source: Washington Examiner
Image source: Washington Examiner

By now, you may have seen the breaking news stories about how the Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy who was assigned as a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL failed engage the gunman for 4-6 minutes.  Initially, I was angry and disgusted when I heard this, but I took a minute to gather myself.  I mean how often has the media gotten things wrong about how we do our jobs?  For all I knew, it could have been a 4-6 minute response time and they were taking it out of context in an attempt to make the cops look bad, but the media would never intentionally try to make cops look bad would they?

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Since I personally know someone who responded to this horrific scene, I reached out to him.  Not only did he confirm that the Broward deputy waited outside for an extended period of time, he said that the first responding officers (not counting the Broward SRO in question) ran right past him and he still did not move.

I’m sorry, but this sorry excuse for a cop MUST be fired! (Update: Sadly, he resigned before they could fire him.)  This deputy’s failure to engage, their total failure to do their single most important job as an SRO, to save the lives of the students who have been entrusted to you, cost innocent children their lives!  I am beyond disgusted. Cops around this country took their SRO assignments for a variety of reasons, and only some of them were for the right reason.  The right reason is to make a difference in the lives of the students, and God forbid, when that nightmare scenario unfolds and some psycho nutjob with a gun attacks the school, they are the first and immediate line of defense.  That is the job they signed up for, whether or not it was the reason they took the job.

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To all of the other SRO’s out there, no matter what city, state or agency you work for, you best look deep inside yourself right effing now and figure out if you can do your job when it counts the most.  When the time comes, are you going to saddle up, strap on that rifle and go to work, or are you going puss out and cower somewhere waiting for other real cops to show up and do your job?  If you are in the second group, please do ALL the other cops a favor and find a new line of work before you get someone killed.

To those of you who find yourself in the first group, let this incident be a solemn reminder that bad shit can and does happen, and we never know when or where it might strike.  Be prepared, always.  Train, train often and train hard.  Take all the active shooter training you can get.  Take your firearm training seriously, and take a lot of it.  Don’t just be proficient with your handgun and your rifle, master the shit out of them!  Take combat first aid classes.  There are lots of places that put it on, and some even supply you with a high quality military spec medic bag when you take them.  The kids and staff at your school are counting on you to keep them safe, and the rest of us in uniform are counting on you to represent us, your blue family, like a professional.

I have no idea how this particular SRO is going to be able to live with himself.  If that were me, and I knew my failure to engage cost someone their life, let alone a bunch of innocent kids, I cannot imagine the mental torture I would be putting myself through.  No matter how they decide to deal with this, they should absolutely no longer be allowed to wear a badge.  They have failed their employer, they have failed our profession, they have failed the country and most importantly, they failed their kids, some of whom would still be alive if they had done their job.

To everyone who has been touched by this incident, I know I speak for quite a few cops when I say on behalf of law enforcement, I apologize for this deputy’s failure to engage that cost the lives of innocent children.

Anti-Cop Activism Disguised as News

Capture“There are other things they could have done” (photo caption) says someone who has zero training or experience in the job, and almost no life experience.


The Sacramento Bee, besides being  (quoting my dad) a “pinko commie liberal rag,” has a long history of not being friendly to law enforcement, but lately it has turned from unfriendly to downright adversarial.  This recent article is a perfect example of that, and does nothing for anyone except for the cop haters.

First, let me address the facts of the incident before we get into this latest piece of Sac Bee anti-cop propaganda.  In November 2016, in the very early morning hours (5am), Sacramento County deputies were called to a house in Fair Oaks where a strange man, Jesse Attaway, broke into a home, but was chased out after trying to get the home owner to hand over the keys to his car.  The suspect started jumping fences and tried to break into several more homes.  The cops received numerous calls about the man trying to break into homes.  Cops located the burglar and when they confronted him, at gunpoint, he refused to comply with orders.  He would not show his hands and kept turning away from the cops.  Finally, he pulled his hands out of his pockets in a rapid motion and pointed something at the deputies, who thinking it was a gun, shot and killed him.

Per the news stories from the time of the incident, which coincidentally was about the same time Alfred Olango was shot for doing nearly the same thing, it was indicated the suspect’s motions looked just like someone drawing a gun and taking a shooting stance.

During the follow up investigation, it was discovered that he arrived in the area driving a stolen car, which he stole during a burglary earlier in the evening in Rocklin, CA .  In addition to the stolen car, he had methamphetamine in his pocket and according to the autopsy, he was high on meth at the time he was killed.

So, let me sum up Attaway’s crimes just the night of his death.  Multiple counts of burglary, grand theft auto, attempted grand theft auto, possession of methamphetamine, driving under the influence, and his final act, felony stupid which is what got him killed.

Now for this ridiculous Sacramento Bee article.  It starts off with a touching tale of woe, sprinkled with fictional nonsense designed to make the reader emotional, because it is easier to get you on their side if you are emotional.  “On the one-year anniversary of the day their father was shot and killed by two Sacramento sheriff’s deputies, sisters Bobbi Attaway and Sierra Rivera returned to the suburban street where he died, and where they thought they could still see traces of his blood staining the asphalt.”

Uh, no, no you didn’t.  The blood is cleaned up by a professional hazmat cleanup company.  I’ve been to scenes of outdoor homicides only days later and there is no evidence of blood stains, let alone a full year later.  But hey, it makes a more touching story if they can see their dad’s blood stains, so we’ll just say they “thought they saw” some.

But wait, we should pile on more completely irrelevant nonsense like “a father the girls described as funny and non-confrontational.”  Not sure how often his daughters were tasked with arresting their dad, but oddly enough, people behave differently when they are chilling with their family as compared to when they are stoned, in the middle of a crime spree and get caught by the cops.  I know that might seem odd, but trust me, it is true.

“How could Attaway, 41, have methamphetamine in his system, as a toxicology report found, when his daughters never knew he did drugs?”  Uh, because they live in a bubble and did not pay attention to what their dad was doing, either that or they are lying about not knowing.

You see, this was far from Attaway’s first exposure to meth.  Hell, it was not even the first time the cops found meth in his possession, and the Sac Bee damn well knows that, or they should.  It took me all of 10 minutes to check the public court records for both Sacramento County and Placer County, the two counties in which this crime spree occurred, and the two counties in which Attaway had lived.  Lo and behold, Attaway had two prior arrests for possession of methamphetamine for which he spent three years on probation.  If the Sac Bee was interested in the truth, they would have offered that up, but truth is not what they are after.

Then they go on to talk about the “civil rights attorney” which is funny thing to call a guy who has a reputation in the area of pretty much making a living off of suing city and county government agencies, especially when the cops are involved.  Beyond that, they talk about all sorts of other things, doubts, policies, other unrelated allegations, just about anything else they could throw in there before they get down to brass tacks:  the shooting was deemed a good shoot by the homicide investigators, by the district attorney’s office and by the independent inspector general.  Yes, you read that right, it was a good shoot according to everyone.

But that has never stopped the Sacramento Bee from dragging the cops through the mud.

Hell, this time around, they are also throwing some of the mud.

Cue the poorly edited cellphone video of a sad teen.  Be sure to include family photos of the suspect smiling thrown in for that extra little tug at the reader’s heart strings…

Law Enforcement Unions Betray Their Members & Attack Gun Rights

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It has been two days since a partnership between the 49ers and eight law enforcement labor unions was announced.  This peculiar collection of organizations all signed a “pledge for a more understanding and safer America.”   As a cop, this move absolutely baffles me.  When I got home from work the day this was announced, I filmed a video (video below) talking about it.  Here is is two days later and I am still having trouble discussing this without my blood pressure noticeably rising.

Why exactly am I so upset by this move?  Let’s examine this whole concept first, and to do that, we must look at the pledge being signed.  Here is the complete text of the pledge that was signed:

“We believe that the duty of law enforcement professionals does not end with responding to a call for service.  The duty of law enforcement must also include actively participating in bringing our nation together and working to foster a more understanding and compassionate national dialogue around community and police officer relations.”

“We believe that professional sports teams should utilize their capacity to reach millions of Americans to promote initiatives that help law enforcement professionals and the citizens they serve understand their respective experiences and listen to one another with an open mind and heart.”

“As such, those signing this pledge will dedicated the necessary resources to strive to make every encounter between an American police officer they serve to be grounded in mutual respect; to advocate for commonsense (sic) local, state and federal legislation that will contribute to the safety of all Americans, and work together to improve the national dialogue around race, policing and violence prevention.”

“The undersigned do pledge:

  1. To keep our citizens and our police officers safe, we will work with our local, state, and federal legislatures to ban “bump stocks” and any other mechanism that allows the conversion of a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon; armor-piercing bullets; and gun silencers.

  2. To advocate for additional mental health services to deliver the necessary care, medication and programs to those in need.

  3. To partner with professional sports franchise teams, corporations, faith-based and community based organizations to produce, promote and distribute a series of public service announcements designed to improve police and community relations.

  4. To engage in a constructive dialogue around issues critical to improving the health and welfare of all our residents”

Since the pledge can really be split into two main topics, I will examine them one at a time. The first part of this pledge is the “more understanding” goal of the pledge.  You know, that misunderstanding that originated with a 49er player, Colin Kaepernick, when he began disrespecting the flag and the country because of his baseless, negative opinions of law enforcement.  You know, the guy who wore anti-police pig socks; the guy who donated $25k to a “charity” that honors a convicted cop killer; the guy who started a trend in the entire NFL of millionaires protesting “police brutality and racism.”  That is apparently the “misunderstanding” that we are going to deal with, the misunderstanding started by the 49ers, spurred on by the 49ers and the rest of the NFL, the misunderstanding that neither the 49ers nor the NFL have done anything to try and correct thus far, the misunderstanding that has football stadiums around the country empty on game days, the misunderstanding that has the NFL reeling from their financial losses due entirely to their complete mishandling of this whole situation.

These rich, privileged athletes, men who get paid millions to play a game, are out there spreading lies that have been created by Black Lives Matter, a very anti-police organization.  You see, most of America understands that when you point to situations like the following as a reason to protest police, you have no argument:

“In early 2016, I began paying attention to reports about the incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police.  The posts on social media deeply disturbed me, but one in particular brought me to tears: the killing of Alton Sterling in my hometown Baton Rouge, La. This could have happened to any of my family members who still live in the area.” 

Alton Sterling was a convicted felon who was threatening people with a gun in front of a convenience store, and when the cops contacted him, he fought the cops and was shot while reaching for the loaded handgun in his waistband.  That is absolutely not “unarmed black people being killed by the police.”

So why on earth would law enforcement labor unions partner with the very people furthering the lies perpetrated against our profession?  This makes absolutely no sense.  This is a perfect example Stockholm Syndrome.  If the 49ers had done something, anything that qualified as an apology, and then took steps to right their wrong, then I could see, at some point down the road, working with them to clear up their misunderstanding, because let me be clear, the misunderstanding is 100% on them, but that has not happened.  What has happened is that the 49ers dangled a shiny carrot (money) in front of a bunch of politically minded union presidents and they bit.  However, most of the working cops, the people on the streets doing the actual cop work are not so willing to forgive and forget, especially something as damaging as these NFL protests have been, not only to law enforcement specifically but to the entire country.

The second part of this pledge is nothing but a steaming, unfounded pile of leftist crap being used to push an anti-gun agenda, which is sadly not surprising since unions typically kiss up to liberal politicians.  But in reality, gun control is something that no law enforcement labor union should ever be involved in pushing.  We, law enforcement, are complaining about how the public perceives us.  We have a HUGE public image problem right now (thanks in part to the 49ers), and so the solution these union leaders see to that problem is to publicly call for the infringement on the rights of Americans?  To quote the great Pepper Brooks, that is a bold strategy.

But hey, maybe I should take a closer look at what they are calling for before I completely dismiss their ideas.  They want to ban bump stocks, or “any other mechanism that allows the conversion of a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon,” armor-piercing bullets and silencers (suppressors).  In doing so, they are claiming this is only “commonsense.”  So, since it is supposedly common sense and law enforcement unions are calling for their bans, the calls for these particular items to be banned must reasonably be based on their prevalent use in crimes, right? Well, as it turns out, not really.

One person on my FB page asked me for my reasoning for opposing banning these items.  In short, because the Second Amendment, however my opposition really requires a much more in depth explanation as I realize not everyone out there understands how firearms work.

“Bump stocks” – They have been around, commercially available for about a decade. They have sold tens of thousands of them in that time, and since they were introduced, one person has misused them criminally, ONE. They are a novelty item and they provide zero tactical advantage, which is why no serious shooter has them installed on a gun that they might need to use as a go-to defense gun. It can be argued, and I would agree, that a good shooter with a dialed in bolt action rifle and a good scope properly sighted could have done far more damage in the same time frame that the monster in Las Vegas did with his large array of AR’s.

Hell, a bump fire stock is not even necessary to bump fire a rifle. I’ve bump fired just about every semi-auto rifle I own, including a couple of WWII rifles.

“Any other mechanism that allows for the conversion of a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon” – Complete and utter hyperbolic bull crap! A bump stock does absolutely NOT convert a semi-auto gun to full-auto.  If a bump fire stock actually did that, the BATF would never have approved them as non-NFA items, but they did, twice, under Obama.  The reason a bump stock is legal is that for each round that is fired, the trigger is activated manually by the user, just like any other semi-auto firearm.  Much of the legislation that is being pushed as a ban for bump stocks aim to cover “any item that increases the rate of fire of a semi-auto rifle.”  So, what exactly is the rate of fire of a semi-auto weapon?  There is no standard as it only fires as fast as the user can pull the trigger.  These laws are so ridiculously loosely worded that gun oil could be banned because a properly lubricated gun operates smoother and faster than a dry gun.  So are they going to ban gun oil?  There are countless videos that show how a rubber band can be used to assist in bump-firing a gun, or a stick, or a belt loop.  Are they going to ban all of those?

‘Armor-piercing ammo’ – So, are we talking legitimate, designed to pierce hard armor armor-piecing ammo or are we talking out our butts like most anti-gun people do? You see, the anti-gunners want to ban any ammo that will pierce soft body armor (like what I wear at work).  They throw out my profession as justification for that desire. The problem is, any full size rifle cartridge will piece soft body armor, even if it is not true ‘armor-piercing’ ammo.  If they are talking about actual armor-piercing ammunition, I know of no case where legitimate, true “armor-piercing” ammo was used.  In every case I could find when searching the internet, the ammo that is called “armor-piercing” was in fact just standard rifle ammo.  This again is a non-issue as “armor-piercing ammunition” is not being used by people to commit crimes. There is no justification for banning it.

Silencers / suppressors – Yet another non-issue. They are almost never used in crime, they don’t actually silence a gun, they merely partially suppress the sound and in most cases, hearing protection is still required even when the firearm is equipped with a suppressor, they are already an NFA item requiring a background check and a tax stamp before you can even get one. The problem is that morons and idiots see them in the movies and think that is how they work. Need I point out that movies are make believe?”

In summary, when pushing for legislation, especially legislation that infringes on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Americans, it should be imperative that one would have solid justification for doing so.  In this instance, all of the items these traitorous union leaders and the 49ers are calling to ban, when examining the case from a logical (not emotional) point of view, there is no compelling argument to ban them.

In the last two days, ever since I first shared a news story about this incident on my Facebook page, I have been contacted by members of at least four of the eight unions that signed this pledge.  Those members told me that every cop they knew was furious that their union participated in this.  Several of them were talking about having an immediate call for the removal of their leadership because this move is completely against the views of the membership.  I can tell you, if my union had been part of this, I would be leading the call for an immediate removal of anyone involved in the decision.

This entire pledge is completely moronic, and shows just how low these union leaders will stoop to support liberal objectives just so they can try and get those same liberals to throw a few scraps to the unions.  Oddly enough, the liberals they are sucking up to are the very same liberals who are constantly, publicly attacking law enforcement.

To be quite frank, these unions signing this pledge reminds me of the Jewish Nazi collaborators from WWII, which leads me to wonder exactly what personal benefits the leaders of these unions must be getting in order to sell their membership down the drain like they have.

EDIT:  When originally writing this, I neglected to name the unions that participated in this fiasco from the start.  They included the San Jose Police Officers Association, Los Angeles Police Protective League, NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association, Oakland Police Officers Association, Long Beach Police Officers Association, Portland Police Association, Deputy Sheriffs Association of Santa Clara County and lastly, the Sacramento Police Officers Association.

 


This is the video I filmed the day this partnership was announced.  A warning for those with sensitive dispositions, there are a few expletives in this video.

 

No Rest for the Weary

Service

Yesterday, our Facebook page was pretty quiet.  That is because all of us admins who live in Northern California made the trip to Roseville, CA to attend the services for Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy Bob French.  There were thousands of officers there from all across the country in attendance.  NYPD, Chicago PD, Aurora (CO) PD, and so many other agencies, not to mention just about every agency from CA was represented.  In addition to the cops, the number of Firefighters who showed to pay their respects was amazing.  Topping off all those first responders, the outpouring from the general public was tremendous.  On such a sad day, it served as an excellent reminder just how many folks, most of whom are part of the silent majority in this country, actually appreciate what we do.

As we sat in the huge church that was filled to capacity (standing room only) waiting for the service to begin, they ran a slide show to music showing pictures from Bob’s life, both at work and his private life.  Moments before the service was to start, about 20 people from the Sacramento Police Department section jumped up and rapidly made their way to the exits.  One of those people was their new chief, and the rest appeared to be other command staff and supervisors as there was a collection of bars, stars and stripes.  As they left, nearly all were either reading something on their phones or were talking on them.

To those of us in this line of work, when something like that happens, it is a very bad sign.

People in the audience began talking amongst ourselves wondering what was going on, and just as the service started, we got word that two (2) Sacramento PD officers had just been involved in a shooting, and both were shot.  One was reportedly shot in the chest, the other in the leg.  Their condition was unknown at the time, but we did hear that the suspect was deceased.

Holy crap!  This cannot be freaking happening!

Here we are trying to honor the life and service of a heroic cop who was shot and killed last week, and now we have two more members of our blue family shot?  Their condition is unknown?

Talk about a flurry of emotions.  What should have been a calm time to mourn the loss of a brother was now a mix of sadness, loss, anger, frustration, anxiety, restlessness, grief and hatred.

There is not much more weary a group than those mourning the murder of well-liked coworker, and those people cannot even get three hours to allow their souls to heal just a little before same thing has potentially occurred again.

Thankfully, shortly after the service began, word made its way around the room that the injuries received by both Sac PD cops were not life threatening.  Thank GOD!

Now we could get back to healing.

The first law enforcement speaker to give a eulogy was Sheriff Scott Jones.  In my opinion, his eulogy was absolutely amazing.  He started by thanking all in attendance, and thanked the family for allowing us to honor their loved one.  He continued by welcoming the various dignitaries who were present (thankfully, Governor Moonbeam smartly chose to be unavailable).  Then, mere seconds after greeting the politicians who were present, he began talking about how angry he was, saying “I feel angry that his killer should never been out of prison,” very obviously referring to AB-109, which is the reason Deputy French is no longer with us.

Sheriff Jones’ eulogy seemed, at least to me, to be very honest and from the heart.  He very clearly was feeling the same things many of us in that giant room were.  His words spoke to me, they rang true, for like Sheriff Jones, I too was full of mixed emotions.  I would encourage anyone who has not seen it to take a few minutes and watch.

The following piece was included in the program they handed out at Deputy French’s service.  It is attributed to Lt. Al Benner, Ph.D. from the San Francisco Police Department.

“To function effectively in our job, you must annihilate, smother and suppress normal emotions like fear, anger, revulsion, and even compassion.  To do otherwise it to invite overwhelming doubt or hesitancy when decisive action is required.  The penalty for your achieved competence is a mindset that might as well be a foreign language to your social contemporaries.  We are…..victims of our own success.  When these same normal and appropriate emotions…..surface in personal relationships, we automatically shut down and wonder why, over time, that the people we care about the most complain that we are aloof, cold and uncommunicative.”

From all accounts given at the service by the people who knew him, Bob managed to walk a thin line between what is discussed in the excerpt above, yet still maintaining compassion.  It takes a very strong human being to do that.

Law enforcement as a whole is weary, we are tired, we’re sad, and angry.  Despite that, we will suit up and carry on, because that is what we do, that is who we are.  We have to, because if we don’t, who will?

Deputy Killed After Putting Himself Between AK Toting Felon and Fellow Officers

Bob

In my position here with this blog and with my Facebook page, I sometimes become privy to official information before it is released via official routes.  That is exactly what has happened in the case of the murder of Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy Bob French.  The original, official versions of the incident in which Bob was killed left a lot to be desired.  There were inconsistencies and blatantly erroneous information in the official versions, leaving those with intimate knowledge of the case extremely frustrated.  To many folks who knew the full story, it felt as if the department was hiding the truth.

Come to find out, there were a couple of completely erroneous rumors floating around the department regarding the incident and management was trying to get all their ducks in a row, evidence wise, so that they could dispel all of those rumors at the same time that they released the full story about how heroically Bob acted that day, and heroic he was.

What follows is a Readers Digest version of what transpired that day.  Not having access to the actual evidence, what follows is what I have been told by a number of sources who have had direct access to the evidence, and directly from those who were at the scene.  There may be some minor discrepancies, but the overall picture should be accurate.


Detectives were going to contact the hotel room related to an earlier stolen vehicle.  The room was supposed to be unoccupied, with only some physical evidence inside to be recovered.  Deputy Bob French was one of the deputies on that call.  Bob was in his car and was positioned two businesses to the east.  He was the only cop in a car at the time, and was in position in case one of the stolen vehicle suspects who might possibly be at the hotel, made it to a car and fled.

As detectives attempted to enter the supposedly empty hotel room, the suspect inside, a man who would have been in prison were it not for AB-109, opened fire with a handgun through the hotel room door and walls, striking two CHP officers, injuring one seriously and the other not quite as bad.  The injured CHP officers and one other Sacramento Deputy fled to the stairwell and began to head to the parking lot to be evacuated to the hospital for medical treatment.  All of this was broadcast via the radio, and additional resources began heading to the scene, including Bob.

At that time, the suspect in the room, who was now armed with a folding stock AK (which is not a “high powered” rifle as has been reported to the media), started to flee out the back of the room onto the balcony.  One solo Sacramento County deputy was on the back side of the hotel at that time, and due to the ongoing investigation, his name is being withheld.  That deputy, who was armed only with his handgun, engaged the suspect in a firefight that lasted more than 60 seconds.  The deputy was miraculously not hit, but everything around him was shredded by the incoming rounds fired by the suspect.  The suspect, realizing the deputy was not going to disengage, managed to get to the ground and fled east, the same direction the other deputy went as he evacuated the two wounded CHP officers.

Let me just say this right here, that unnamed deputy who was by himself on the rear of the hotel, that man is a big damn hero!

While that firefight was occurring, Bob had driven his car from the location down the street to the front of the hotel.  As he parked, the deputy and two wounded CHP officers exited the building and ran toward Bob.  As they reached Bob’s car, one of the wounded officers started to get into the rear seat of his car.  Bob told them to head to the evacuating deputy’s car which was a few feet away so that Bob could watch their backs.

As they ran from Bob’s car to the other car a few feet away, the suspect emerged from the same location from whence the injured cops had just come.  As he exited, he saw the cops and immediately engaged them with his AK.  Bob stepped forward and returned the favor with his AR, causing the suspect to slow and redirect his fire, at Bob.  Bob continued engaging the suspect in a firefight for a short while, as Bob used the rear corner of his patrol vehicle as cover.  During this time, the deputy who evacuated the wounded CHP officers sped off to the hospital with the more serious of the wounded cops.

Other units arrived and also engaged the suspect.  One of these responding units was positioned behind Bob and perfectly captured the ensuing firefight on the in-car camera system.

During the gun battle, one of the suspect’s rounds hit the window of Bob’s car and ricocheted, sending a large fragment of the bullet into Bob’s shoulder, between the top edges of the vest panels.  That bullet fragment somehow missed all of the bones and went directly to Bob’s heart, entering his left ventricle.  I have been told that even if a trauma surgeon was on scene and started working on Bob at this point, Bob would not have made it.

That fact did not stop Bob though.  He shook it off, likely not realizing how badly he was injured, and reengaged the suspect who was just getting into a car at this time.  As the suspect fled through the parking lot, he continued firing his weapon at the cops, and the cops present, including Bob, did the same in return.  (The suspect later died from the wounds he received during this gun battle.)

Once the suspect left the parking lot, Bob walked back up to the front of his car.  It is at this point that it appears, at least from the video, that Bob realizes he is seriously injured.  Bob, being the calm, seasoned cop that he was, dropped the magazine out of his rifle, cleared the chamber and returned the rifle to the gun lock in his car.  He sat down, then fell to the pavement.

At this time, one of the deputies on scene ran to him.  In typical, calm Bob fashion, with his chew still in his cheek, Bob provided a suspect and suspect vehicle description.  As he laid on the ground waiting for medical help to arrive, again in typical Bob fashion, he told one of the cops there with him “hurry up and move me, the Goddam asphalt is hot.”

I’m told Bob was talking up to the end, and only spit his chew out once he was in the ambulance.  Bob, being the tough bastard he was, lived for 10 minutes after receiving a non-survivable wound.

Between Bob and the unnamed deputy on the back side of the hotel, those two men almost assuredly saved the lives of the two CHP wounded officers and the deputy who was evacuating them.  Bob died a huge hero.  Bob’s story deserves to be told.   His heroism must be known.

Bob, thank you for your service and your sacrifice.  We have the watch from here.  Rest in peace brother.


 

* This recounting of the events is in no way meant to downplay the actions of any of the involved officers. From what I have been told, there were a number of heroic actions performed that day, by a number of different people, up to and including the firefighters who tirelessly tried to save Bob.  I’ve been told that the professionalism displayed at this incident, especially considering the circumstances, was awe inspiring.

 

Copyright (c) 2017 Deputy Matt and Others Who Serve, all rights reserved.

F–king Tired Of Burying Coworkers

 

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The following was sent to me just a short while ago by a Sacramento County deputy who wants to remain anonymous.
-Matt


Today, a man I have known for 22 years, a man with whom I attended the academy, a man who was a father, a grandfather, a slightly goofy, cowboy boot wearing, chew spitting, lifted truck driving, well intentioned country bumpkin was murdered while doing his job, because he was doing his job.  He was shot in the back by a worthless piece of shit who had just shot two other cops, because they too were doing their jobs.

Bob and I were not close.  He and I had different interests, worked different shifts, and had a different way of doing things.  We did not always see eye to eye, but we always got along at work.  Even if we did not agree on something, we were always polite to one another.  I’m going to miss him, more than I ever thought I would.

This is the eighth (8th) coworker from my department I have had to bury during my career.  I’ve come very close to burying several others, but by the grace of God, they are still with us, although some of them were forced to leave the job due to the extent of their injuries.  Countless others have left the job due to debilitating injuries, both physical and emotional.

This job is a destroyer.  It directly takes the lives of an average of 150 people every year, and those are just the people who die on the job.  That does not account for those who leave the job because they are broken, either physically or mentally.  That also does not include the 300 cops who take their own lives every single year.  A very close friend of mine was almost part of that last statistic, but thankfully he is not only still here with us, but he sought help and even though he has left the job, he does what he can to teach others about what can happen to us that leads us down that path.

Beyond the deaths and physical injuries, this job destroys marriages, family lives and social lives.  If you let it, it will take everything from you.

What thanks do we get for following this noble calling?  There are organizations dedicated specifically to hating us.  There are lawyers whose careers are spent suing us.  We are called racists, no matter what race we are.  We are called pigs, because we dare enforce laws enacted by the very people elected by those calling us pigs.  We are called murderers by the families of felons, who given the chance, would have killed us instead.  We are portrayed as evil humans by the media and politicians.  Every single split-second action of ours is second guessed, under a microscope, for months and years.

We endure this all for a salary that, even in the best of situations, puts one in the middle class, but in most places, leaves one looking for a second job just to make ends meet.

Today, I find myself really pondering why I am still doing this.  I know I am not alone.

In a few days, I will put on my dress uniform, join thousands of other officers at a church, and bury yet another coworker.

This society as a whole takes us cops for granted.  While a news story about a murdered cop gets headlines, to most who see that headline, the thought of the cop’s loss vaporizes as they turn the page or click the next link.  While my coworkers and I will never forget his name, most of the society he protected daily has already forgotten it.

This shit is beyond old.

I’m sick and fucking tired of burying coworkers.

We have the watch from here, bro.  Thank you for your service.  May you rest in peace.

This undated photo provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department shows Deputy Robert French. A gunman with an assault rifle shot and killed French, 52, and wounded two California Highway Patrol officers Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 at a Sacramento, Calif., hotel that was later surrounded by officers searching for suspects. French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, died on the way to a hospital. (Sacramento County Sheriff's Department via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department shows Deputy Robert French. A gunman with an assault rifle shot and killed French, 52, and wounded two California Highway Patrol officers Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 at a Sacramento, Calif., hotel that was later surrounded by officers searching for suspects. French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, died on the way to a hospital. (Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

Copyright (c) 2017 Deputy Matt and Others Who Serve, all rights reserved.

Law Enforcement’s Blue Falcon Personified

LtTimCover

The term Blue Falcon is one that is used in both the military and law enforcement.  If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is the same as saying “buddy f—ker,” except in a more socially acceptable manner.  It is the person who intentionally throws his coworkers under the bus to make himself look good.  Now that we all have an understanding of the terminology, let’s take a close look at a blue falcon extraordinaire.

Up until a few days ago, I was blissfully unaware of the existence of a man known as Lt. Tim McMillan.  When I was asked about him by an administrator of another law enforcement related Facebook page, I decided to look him up.  Boy oh boy, Lt. Tim’s page is the epitome of a completely narcissistic blue falcon!

Upon initial glance at his Facebook page, I was struck by all the memes present there.  Not that memes are a bad thing.  Hell, I share memes quite often myself, but when you make your own memes with photos of yourself and you include quotes from yourself, you just might have a problem.  In fact, the meme that was pinned to the top of his page (which has since been replaced after I called him out for it) is pictured below, with my response to it.  When I shared it, someone asked if Lt. Tim was wrong.  Yes, Lt. Tim is absolutely, unequivocally wrong.  A good leader (as a lieutenant, he is supposed to be a leader) does not tell an employee who is having some trouble on the job to pound sand (leave for those unfamiliar with that term).  A leader helps that employee find their path again.  Granted not all people can be saved, but you do not immediately dismiss someone.

LtMcmillan02

Furthermore, examining his specific example, a dislike of and by the public, gee, I wonder why cops might find themselves disgruntled by the public…  Could it be from going to the same people’s homes for the same problems over and over; could it be from dealing with the dregs of society every day, all day; could it be from attempting to solve a problem faced by the community they serve only to have that very community attack them for being there; could it be from the effects of PTSD, a common problem in law enforcement; could it be from compassion fatigue? Also, where might a cop get the impression that the public dislikes cops?  Could it be from all the media stories, the protests, the groups calling for murders of cops, from politicians denigrating our profession, from groups calling for the elimination of all law enforcement, or from the unprovoked ambush attacks on cops which have left many of our coworkers dead?   Gee Lt. Tim, it seems to me that feeling a bit uneasy about those matters is actually a normal response to what law enforcement is facing today.  But hey, you go right ahead and completely dismiss those concerns and tell those cops to take their years of training and experience and beat feet.

Continuing down the rabbit hole that is his Facebook page, I am struck by how many posts I read that sounded like they should have been on Cop Block or the Free Thought Project.  It is almost as if this guy never spent a day doing actual cop work.  In one post, he is clamoring about how many illegal immigrants are being arrested and placed in “detention camps inside America,” then cries about why they are not being deported.  You see, Lt. Tim is a Trump hater, which is neither here nor there, but in this instance he is blaming Trump for a lack of deportations of those illegals, claiming he is holding them here in order to increase revenue for private prisons instead of realizing they are unable to deport them due to all the legal battles being fought with liberal politicians who are suing the administration preventing those deportations.

AlligatorFurther down, I find a post about a story I immediately recognized.  A short while ago, a brave Florida cop who had a snare pole and the proper training, removed an ornery alligator from a person’s front porch.  When I began reading his post, I immediately assumed he was going to be praising the work of that Florida cop.  Sadly, I assumed incorrectly.  Instead, Lt. Tim McDouchebag decided to use that incident as an apples to rocket engines comparison.  Good ole Tim here decided to say since this properly trained and more importantly, properly equipped cop was able to remove an alligator off a porch, then no cop should ever have to shoot someone’s dog.  Don’t believe me?  Here it is in his own words:

“Next time you here (sic) someone defending why an officer shot and killed someone’s family dog, remind them of the time you read about and watched the video of a Boynton Beach Police Officer wrestling an alligator with his bare hands.”

On a related side note, notice Lt. Tim also likes to lie (just like Cop Block) in order to make other cops look bad.  In this instance, while the officer was indeed brave, he was most notably NOT “wrestling an alligator with his bare hands.”

Continuing further down, I find a post from July 29th (15 days ago) in which Lt. Tim shared a HuffPo article titled “Police Officers Overwhelmingly Agree That Bad Cops Aren’t Held Accountable” and in sharing it, he made the same logical fallacy that the HuffPo author did by suggesting that because officers believe there are issues with the internal disciplinary processes at their department, and because we do not immediately denounce a cop’s actions when the latest incident hits the media, that means cops as a whole are defending bad cops’ actions.  As a police administrator, he should damn well know that the overwhelming vast majority of the incidents that have drawn substantial public ire over the last few years have all been perfectly legitimate uses of appropriate force, and the few instances that were not legit, have resulted in the cop being charged criminally.  Yet he is acting as if that does not happen.  Who is this guy kidding?  Yes, all good cops detest the bad cops.  Yes, most cops will admit that there are problems with the disciplinary process (in most cases, thanks to civil service laws and unions).  But neither of those mean that we should immediately jump on the public outrage bandwagon every time a new incident draws the attention of the cop hating groups and the mainstream media.

website

I could continue on and on about the stuff he has posted on his Facebook page, but I won’t because I would be here all day.  Instead, I am going to move on to his website, which is quite narcissistically found at www.lttimmcmillan.com.  Wow!   Look at all those photos and meme-like graphics of Tim, put together by Tim, on Tim’s website named after Tim…  So, if you are at all like me, you are wondering who is Lt. Tim and what has shaped his lifelong desire to serve the public as a peace officer?

“Lieutenant Tim McMillan never grew up wanting to be a police officer. In fact, as a child Lt. McMillan dreamed of being a research psychologist or an astronomer. However, in July of 2002, after two of his friends were murdered during a robbery, Lt. McMillan decided he wanted to do something to make a difference within his community.

At 21-years old, Lt. McMillan entered The Georgia Basic Law Enforcement Academy, and in 2003 he would become a sworn police officer with the Garden City Police Department in Georgia.”

Wait, it was not a lifelong desire but rather something he stumbled into?  Even 9/11, just a few months prior, did not prompt him to serve his community? It was not until the loss became very personal that he considered the career.  Okay…

Also, am I the only one who finds it odd that Lt. Tim has all sorts of photos of himself, in full uniform, clearly displaying his department badge and patches, on a website that he runs for his own financial gain?  I mean, after all, they guy is promoting himself as a public speaker and is even pushing his upcoming book.  This seems pretty damn unethical, especially coming from a guy screaming about police ethics.

“Can I interest you in a ticket to the police ball instead this traffic citation I am about to fill out…”

Speaking of his upcoming book, how does a guy with such horrific grammar score a book deal?  His website if riddled with grammatical errors, wrong words and other literary issues.  For instance, taken directly from the page about his forthcoming book; “In the darkness of tragic death, my desire to be a law enforcement officer was born.  One Day in October details the trails and tribulation of a skinny 21-year-old kid, who became a cop; and story a cop who never wanted to be a cop.”  The correct phrase is “trials and tribulations” and I am not sure what he was trying to say in that last sentence, but it is clearly not worded properly.

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So, for the past 14 years, Lt. Tim has worked for a tiny police department in Garden City, Georgia.  I have absolutely nothing against small agencies, but the size is relevant in his case.  As of 2016, Garden City had a population of 8,900 people.  According to the Garden City PD’s website, they have 39 sworn officers and 6 support staff.  You know it is a small town when they actually advertise that their police department is open 24/7.  While I know nothing about his career as a cop, I do know that he has only been a cop for 14 years, and during that time he has received numerous degrees in subjects that have little to do with law enforcement, such as a BA in Mathematics.  He boasts of being the officer of the year, but when you consider the small size of the department, you realize the choices are limited.  He also says he is a 7 time Chief of Police Accommodation recipient, which again the size of the department is a significant factor, and to be honest, a written pat on the back from the chief does not mean a whole lot in the scheme of things, not nearly as much as the subject of that accommodation does (or doesn’t).  I’ve received written commendations, accompanied by a ribbon to wear on my uniform, for such ridiculously mundane tasks as driving people to a symposium in a department vehicle during normal duty hours.

Another reason the size of his agency is relevant is that many administrators like to promote educated people, because one would assume the more educated a person is, the smarter they are.  However, that is not necessarily true.  I know some very highly educated people with multiple degrees that are complete morons when it comes to surviving in the real world.  Even if it were true, being smart does not necessarily make one a good leader.  There is much more to leadership than intelligence.  I highly suspect (just a guess on my part) that ole Lt. Tim here rose through the ranks based on his education.

No grammar errors here...
No grammar errors here…

Reading Lt. Tim’s bio reminds me very much of a coworker of mine.  The guy is a very intelligent, very book-smart individual who was one of the worst beat partners I’ve ever had.  He constantly turned ridiculously nothing calls into all day events, did his own thing by himself while ignoring all the other calls for service that were occupying his beat partners, was continually patting himself on the back while undeservedly belittling his beat partners.  They guy had the unbelievable ability to arrive at a call late, while everything was calmed down, and turn it into a complete mess, and later blame the original officers for the shit show he created.  Thankfully, he is no longer a beat partner; sadly he was promoted, and is now the most hated supervisor that I can recall in my 22 years on my department.  Not only is he hated by those who work under him, but he is hated by his fellow supervisors, and even by people from other departments.  He is my local version of a Lt. Tim.

I’m sure most of us, at one time or another, have encountered our own version of Lt. Tim.  Sadly, not only for the employees of the Garden City PD, but for the entire profession, the real Lt. Tim not only appears to have the support of his chief, but he has amassed a large collection of followers on his social media pages where he continues to inflict damage on the profession, much to the delight of those who follow him.  And despite his cute little memes with his personal favorite sayings, nothing about this guy indicates that he is a proud public servant, but rather quite the opposite.  Everything about him, from his Facebook page to his website, screams “hey, look at me!”

The Ford Explorer & Carbon Monoxide

FordPIU

Back in March 2017, there were several incidents involving Ford Explorer cop cars (Police Interceptor Utility) and carbon monoxide poisoning.  Several officers were involved in single vehicle crashes for unknown reasons, some of which involved career ending injuries.  At the time, the descriptions provided by the officers in those crashes seemed to point to, at least the potential of, carbon monoxide poisoning.  One of the most comprehensive articles I saw about the issue was from Law Enforcement Today in which they documented a number of incidents, including one in which an officer from the Austin Police Department (TX) was involved.  As noted in that Law Enforcement Today article, after the accident in Austin, the Austin PD took a very smart step and installed carbon monoxide detectors in their cars.

Here at my department, our patrol fleet is comprised of 55% Explorers, and the rest is either Crown Vics or Tauruses.  Based on that makeup, when I first heard about these potential issues, I became concerned and did some digging around.


Side Note: Just for a little personal background on me, so you know where I am coming from.  I have been a car guy all my life. I grew up in the garage working on cars with my dad.  Prior to entering this career, I worked in a number of jobs in the auto industry (parts sales, restoration, minor mechanical work).  Early in my law enforcement career, I was the Assistant Fleet Manager (a deputy position at the time) for my department.  I spent 15 years in a patrol car, and I am now a full-time EVOC (emergency vehicle operations course) instructor.  To this day, I still am a car guy and enjoy working on cars on my off time.  So, when I say I have a bit of knowledge about cars and how cops use them, I am not just basing that on hypothetical information I read in a book.  Additionally, going all the way back to my childhood years, I’ve been a Ford guy.  I’ve owned six fords over the years, five of them classics, and I still own one now.  I am not some Ford hater just out to bash them.


Fast forward a few months and we are still seeing reports about carbon monoxide issues in the Ford Explorers.  On July 11, 2017, an article came out that talked about five (5) Austin cops being hospitalized for carbon monoxide issues.  Remember where I mentioned that Austin PD installed CO detectors in their cars? Well, as it turns out, those CO detectors all showed harmful levels of CO present in the cars.  In fact, a sixth cop had the detector alert him/her but they did not need treatment.

Jump forward eight more days and yet another news story about another cop in another city being hospitalized for CO exposure.  This time it was a cop for the Meridian Township Police Department, and yet again, a CO detector was in the car to confirm actual harmful levels of the deadly gas.

This is legitimate problem.  It is not just some paranoid cops smelling something and then getting their hypochondriac on.  There is actual verifiable evidence that the problem not only exists, but also that it is not limited to just one department.

Then on July 28th, a news story hit the interwebs that says Ford plans to fix all the Ford Explorer cop cars that have carbon monoxide concerns.  In that news story, the Ford representative is apparently blaming vehicle upfitters for the problem.  The statement appears to blame the issue on “holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utilities that had police equipment installed after leaving Ford’s factory.”  Really?  Every cop car since the dawn of cop cars has had police equipment installed in it after leaving the Ford factory.  Not that a hole in the car could not be to blame, but if it were really the fault of the equipment installers, do you really think Ford would be stepping up to the plate to pay for the repairs?  I smells me a scapegoat…

Back when the whole CO issue started popping up, I made a bunch of phone calls to talk to different folks at different agencies about what they were experiencing.  While I am not able to name the agencies, I can tell you that one of them is a very large statewide agency with a huge fleet of cars.  At the time of my phone conversations, they had about 1800 Ford Explorer cop cars.  They had also experienced several officers complaining of carbon monoxide problems, and several of those cops were taken to the emergency rooms for treatment.  That agency conducted an extensive amount of scientific testing using very precise testing equipment, and of all the cars tested, they only found one vehicle that they could confirm CO infiltrating the cabin, but it was not entering where Ford is claiming it enters.  They found the CO entering through the steering column, and it would only do it at high speeds. That particular car also had some damage to the exhaust system, damage that is all too common on the Explorer.

folding-parking-postDamaged exhaust system you say?  Yes, and in my opinion, this is likely a major contributing factor in this whole CO debacle.  Let me explain.  The Ford Explorer cop car has less ground clearance than the Crown Vic it replaced.  I can only surmise the Explorer’s lower ride height was done to improve its cornering/handling characteristics.  In addition to the lower ride height, the lowest part of the car is the exhaust system.  In fact, the lowest part of the exhaust is just behind the engine, where the exhaust down pipes turn rearward, and it is the middle of the car (side to side).  It is in the best possible position, if your intent was to have it hit the ground.  You see folks, cops don’t drive like regular people.  We routinely have to jump curbs, go over center divides in the roadway, travel off road at less than ideal speeds, drive across freeway medians, and so on.  Ford, who has been building cop cars for as long as they have, should know this.  Yet, the design of the exhaust system in the Explorer seems to indicate otherwise.  The exhaust is so low on the Explorer that it will not clear a fold-down pole blocking access to a bike trail (like the one pictured).  How do I know?  A coworker nearly ripped the exhaust off of his Explorer going over one of those.

I spoke to two of the mechanics that work on the patrol cars for my department and asked them about the exhaust systems.  They both noted that nearly every single Explorer in our fleet has some damage to the exhaust system.  They said that they have replaced an inordinate number of exhaust manifolds on the Explorer, but they did not keep track of how many.  You remember that large statewide agency I spoke to about the CO issue?  They kept numbers.  They have replaced more than 800 broken exhaust manifolds, at the cost of nearly $500,000 to the taxpayers.  You see, Ford refuses to pay for the repairs if there is a single scratch on the exhaust.  That agency echoed the same thing that our mechanics told me, and that was nearly every car in the field has damage to the exhaust.  If my memory serves me, they said that at least 80% of their fleet had damage to the exhaust.

Here is the biggest problem with the exhaust system design.  The first part to make contact is the bottom of the down pipes.  Depending on the severity of the contact, the rearward force on the exhaust system can cause the rear exhaust manifold (more like a traditional tube header than an exhaust manifold, but with a catalytic converter built into it) to break causing an exhaust leak.  That exhaust leak is in the engine compartment, and coincidentally enough, that leak sits almost directly below the fresh air intake for the ventilation system.

PIU-Exhaust

Now, this is just an educated guess on my part, and please bear in mind that I am just a dumb cop, and clearly no rocket scientist, but it would seem to me that an exhaust leak just below the air intake for the HVAC system, caused by a poorly designed exhaust system,  just might be the culprit.  Additionally, since the piss poor design of the exhaust system, on a vehicle the manufacturer sold for use as a cop car, and should reasonably have known would be driving over obstacles, left said exhaust system in a location where anyone who understands cop car usage would have reasonably known it would be damaged.  Thus it would seem to me that not only should the manufacturer be on the hook for the repairs to said damaged exhaust systems, but it would seem to me that they should also be tasked with designing a replacement exhaust system that will not be so easily damaged.

But like I said, I am just a dumb cop so what do I know…