Paid Vacation

Today is July 8, 2020. As I sat at my computer early this morning drinking my coffee, I realized that the 9 year anniversary of a shooting I was involved in, one in which I killed a man, had passed 5 days ago. This was the first year in which that anniversary passed without me noticing. It would appear it only took 9 years for me to finally be okay with killing a man who was actively trying to kill me at the time.

Nine freaking years!

And because this is important, my incident was a no-brainer, slam-dunk case of self-defense.  The guy was actively shooting at me, and fired the first round.  If it had been remotely questionable, or had been the subject of a protest, I can only imagine it would take MUCH longer for it to get over.

I mention all of this because I am sick of seeing all these idiotic morons running around talking about how cops shoot people to get paid vacations.  Hell, some idiots put a petition together to demand “No more paid administrative leave (vacations) for police officers” after they are involved in a shooting.

People who call this a paid vacation are complete freaking idiots who think movies like “Die Hard” and “Lethal Weapon” reflect real life.  Cops get in a shooting, yuck it up with their buddies and go back to work like nothing happened.  The fact is, it could not be further from the truth.

Let me tell you a little about my “paid vacation.”

I got home about 6 hours after my regular shift ended.  After being interviewed by homicide and IA,while I had an attorney there to represent me, because I was the suspect of a homicide.  Then I returned to the scene, looked at my shot up patrol car, and walked them through the crime scene while describing the incident. When I finally got home, I crawled into bed and hugged my wife, whom I had woken up hours before to tell her I was okay, but I had just been in a shooting.  After finally letting go of my wife, I laid there, wide awake replaying the incident in my head, for hours.

I finally fell asleep about 5 hours later, and then slept for nearly 15 hours (nearly 3 times my “normal” amount) after the adrenaline dump finally wore off.

The next day (2 days after the shooting), I had to go to the range to qualify with a loaner gun since mine was now in the crime lab. Shooting at paper has never been more stressful than it was that day. Looking at that random guy on the target pointing a handgun at me took on a whole new meaning, and my heart rate showed it.  All of the range staff complimented me on my tactics and shooting, and for surviving.  While I appreciated it, because I understood their motivation, it also bothered me (more on that later).

The next night, I went to a “critical incident stress debriefing” where I got to sit around and talk about how the shooting made me feel to a bunch of other cops. Oh boy, my favorite, talking about feelings to other guys… The chaplain who was there to run the CISD is a great guy and we are friends to this day, but I felt bad because of the constant stream of cursing that came out of my mouth.

The next day, I got to go see a shrink.  Another “oh yay” thing that has always been on my bucket list…  I remember meeting the shrink, who was a very nice woman and I immediately felt comfortable talking to her.  It was a far different experience from the interview I had with the shrink to get hired many years earlier.  I honestly do not recall any of our conversation, but I recall being comfortable talking to her, and that actually helped.  That said, I was still a paranoid cop so I was careful about what I said, because I am not a moron and I realize that if I say the wrong thing, I won’t be going back to work.

Of course, all of this took place during what would have been my actual weekend.  So I did not only NOT get extra days off (the supposed “paid vacation”), I missed my actual weekend. In retrospect, I should have put in for overtime for all of the stuff I did, but I did not.

Some paid vacation, eh?

Beyond those first few days post-incident, things were dramatically different in my personal life from that point on.

My kids were young at the time, so my wife and I decided not to tell them what had happened because they would not understand it. So that made it impossible to talk about it at home.

All of the adults in my personal life acted differently around me.  They did not know what to say or how to act.  Some even avoided making eye contact.  It was very alienating.  It was a couple years before I felt remotely comfortable at family functions again.

My personality was changed by that incident, and I am thankful my wife stuck with me.  I know I changed, I could feel it, but you would have to ask my wife or my close friends for the specifics.  I know my temper was definitely shorter for many years, but I think it is finally getting back to normal, or at least my normal anyway.

For the weeks immediately following the shooting, I would run into coworkers at the gas pumps or around the office, and they would all offer some form of praise for surviving the incident.  Some guys who I highly respected, SWAT cops and military vets, were very complimentary on my shooting and tactics.  Again, I was thankful for their sentiments, but it made me feel weird at the same time.

And before anyone, like some cop hating moron, takes that the wrong way, the folks offering praise were glad I was still alive and that I escaped uninjured (physically).  They were not celebrating the fact that I had killed a guy.

As a gun guy who loves shooting and has taken a ton of training classes over the years, I was happy to receive compliments on how I handled the shooting, especially when it was coming from guys with far more training than me, and from several guys who had been in more than one gun fight themselves.  When one of my coworkers the night of the shooting told me that when the department range master arrived at the scene, saw my car and was told what happened, and his response was “that is badass,” it made me proud.

BUT all of those compliments also made me VERY conflicted.  Not only was I a long time gun guy, but I was also raised a Catholic.  In fact, I was an altar boy in the church for years.  I had been told my entire life that killing was wrong.

And here I was, proud about how I had handled myself, when the results of my actions were the death of another man.

Have you ever felt very proud about something you did, while simultaneously feeling ashamed of it?  It really eats at you.

But here I am, mostly healthy, happy, still with my strong, brave, and oh so tolerant wife, with my three healthy sons.  Nine years later, finally (mostly) free of the “paid vacation” I got to endure, thanks to some guy that wanted to kill me for no reason other than I was the cop who showed up to that 9-1-1 call.

Paid vacation my ass!

—————————————————
Note: One of the best things I did after the shooting, that really helped me get things straight in my head, was to attend Lt. Col. Dave Grossman‘s Bullet Proof Mind seminar, and then read his book “On Killing.”  If you find yourself struggling with similar issues, I highly recommend both.

America is Breeding Mass Killers

How did we get here?  What has spawned these violent turds who decide to kill random people for no reason? That is not a simple question, nor is there an easy answer.

What follows are my thoughts on the subject, based on my life experiences, both as a recently retired career cop and as a parent.  These are not in any particular order, this is not remotely a comprehensive list, and no one aspect is solely responsible.  In my opinion, they combine together, along with other factors, and have a cumulative effect.

  1. Sanctity of Human Life – Sadly, our country has devalued human life to the point that states are passing laws which make abortion legal up to the very second of birth. Hell, some on the left have literally argued for “post birth abortion” to be legal. There is no such thing as “post birth abortion” you idiots, that is called murder.  A society that condones the murder of the most innocent of human lives cannot expect members of that society to have any respect for human life.

For the pro-abortion people in the audience, you can try to make whatever argument you want about “a woman’s right to choose” or that it is about “women’s health care” but the fact of the matter, an abortion performed by a doctor is the artificial ending of a human life.  There is absolutely no getting around that fact.

  1. The Left’s War on “Toxic Masculinity” – This is one of the most recent incarnations of the anti-male, angry feminist movement. This is not a new assault, just a new name for it. No matter what you call it, teaching young boys that masculine traits are bad is idiotic.  If you constantly tell boys that being masculine is wrong, then their mind is in direct conflict with their biology which is based on thousands of years of evolution.  How can you expect boys to grow into well balanced men when they have been told all their lives that being manly is wrong?

Stop fighting biology!  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being masculine!  Hell, if these suspects were taught how to be men, none of them would have done what they did.  A real man does not attack the innocent; a real man does not pick on the helpless.

  1. Proliferation of Psychotropic Medications – The last 30-40 years has seen an explosion in the use of dangerous psych meds prescribed to treat normal human behaviors in children, such as being a hyper active young boy. These meds are pumped into our kids by the handful, and the immediate side effects are potentially horrendous, not to mention the long term effects that the drugs have on brain development. This is not remotely to say that there are not some people out there who need some of these meds, but in my opinion, far too many are prescribed these drugs for the sake of convenience.  It is much easier to handle little Johnny when he is all doped up…

I have a little personal experience in this matter.  My middle kid was always a strong headed, hyper kid.  This did not sit well with his teachers once he got to kindergarten.  Once he got to the first grade, his new teacher was relentless.  This woman is an absolutely horrific teacher (some parents have actually removed their children from this school for one school year to avoid her), and she treated my son horribly.  She managed to convince us to take our son in to a doctor to be tested for ADHD.  We did, and the testing was ridiculous and consisted of practically nothing other than sitting in the office talking to the doctor.  The doctor prescribed my son Adderall, at 7 years old, because he had trouble paying attention and sitting still in class.  After several months of being on the meds, one day when he came home from school he said he wanted to die.  My 7 year old son wanted to die!  That was it, right then and there he was taken off the meds, never to see them again.  Eventually he learned to control himself, much like we learned to ignore his teacher’s complaints about him being fidgety.  Fast forward a couple years, and with better teachers, he not only learned to control himself better, but he excelled academically.  Turns out, not only did he have a lot of energy, but he was bored out of his mind because the lessons the teacher was churning out were below his level.  A good teacher would have recognized this, and in fact a good teacher at the same school did recognize it.  Now, many years later, he is in high school with straight A’s in advanced classes.

  1. Lack of Human Contact – Going hand in hand with the assault on masculinity and the use of psych meds to treat normal conditions, we have the “don’t let the kids touch each other” mentality in many public schools. This may also be occurring in private schools, but I have no personal experience with that. Many of you may not be aware of this, but in many public elementary and middle schools, the kids are not allowed to touch one another, at all.  Like, not even a handshake or a high-5.

This is insane.  Human contact is part of being human.  It is a normal behavior and a normal desire.  Again, the reason for these rules is convenience.  It is easier to prevent fights if the kids are not even allowed to touch.  You avoid injuries from accidents, such as someone falling while playing tag, if the kids cannot even play tag.

This also applies to kids being home schooled, because while I absolutely understand not wanting to have your children brainwashed by the leftists running the schools, a lack of socialization at young ages can lead to odd behaviors as teens and young adults.  I’ve observed this personally, both at work and in my personal life.

If kids are raised and they do not know how to mentally handle normal human physical contact, what are we teaching them?  That the desire to touch someone is wrong?  Again, we are trying to fight biology, and it has negative consequences.

  1. Participation Trophy Generation – The whole participation trophy mentality is idiotic. In many youth sports, they have stopped keeping score. Schools have removed letter grades and replaced them with numbers because letter grades are “too harsh.”  I can’t count the number of speeches I’ve heard adults give to kids telling them “you are all winners.”  No, no you are not!  Some of you are going to lose.  Kids need to learn how to deal with not only losing, but also how to be a good winner.

Losing, or being taught how to accept a loss, teaches grace and humility.  If you go your entire childhood being told how special you are and that you are a winner, imagine what that does to your self-worth when you suddenly realize you are in fact NOT special, or at least no more special than anyone else.

In life, there is only one winner, whether it is an individual or a team.  Raising our kids is supposed to prepare them for life.  Telling them lies their entire childhood is hardly preparing them for reality.

  1. No Personal Responsibility or Accountability – This part touches so many of these other factors, it is almost a constant, but it is a very important aspect on its own. From a very early age, our kids are being taught nothing is their fault.

Can’t sit still?  It’s not your fault, you have a disease.  Here, take this pill.

Can’t control your temper?  It’s not your fault; it is the “toxic masculinity” coming out.

You lost the soccer game?  It’s not your fault. The ref made some bad calls, the coach screwed up, your teammates made mistakes, you name it.

And hell, why should it be any different for our kids?  Half of society, the liberal half, is saying the same thing constantly about many behaviors, up to and including criminal activity.

It’s not your fault you chose to sell drugs and ended up in prison, it’s the “institutional racism” that is pervasive in the criminal justice system.

You should not have to sit in prison even though you committed what you knew was a felony when you did it.  You should be released early, and not be able to have your parole violated, and should be able to vote even if you are still in prison, and you should be able to serve on criminal juries…

The political left is all about lack of accountability for one’s actions.  You can see it in all of their policies.  You should be able to kill your baby because no one should have to suffer a lifetime for a mistake in the heat of the moment.  No one should be separated from their children just because they chose to violate well known laws and tried to illegally enter another country.  No one should have their right to vote taken away just because, as an adult, they made such poor life decisions that they ended up in prison.

  1. Media Sensationlization – Anyone who follows my social media has heard me harp on this, but I am going to say it yet again. The sensationalism by both the mainstream media and on social media of the suspects in these mass shootings is a motivating factor in many of the shootings that follow. The perpetrators know that the public will learn their name, their history, and whatever they claim was their “reason” for committing their heinous acts.

We are our own worst enemies!  The media is making these worthless turds into celebrities, and they are doing it because the public eats it up.  Until we stop consuming the information, until the cost to produce it outweighs the income derived from publishing it, the media will not change their ways.  Until the public decides our collective safety outweighs their morbid desire to know about the suspect, nothing is likely to change.

Final Thoughts – Why should we expect anything different from our young men when they have been told all their life that nothing is their fault, they are a winner no matter what, that being masculine is bad, we are pumping them full of psych meds that have horrific side effects, and they will be famous, whether or not they live or die?  Hell, I’m honestly surprised we don’t have more incidents than we do when you look at what we as a society are doing to the young men in this country.

You may notice I did not mention anything about gun laws or gun control.  That is because gun laws are far stricter now than they have been in almost any time during the history of this country, except for the ten years when the federal Assault Weapon Ban was in place.  The reason that federal law was allowed to sunset is because it was shown to have no effect on gun deaths.

Sixty-five years ago, anyone could walk into a hardware or sporting goods store, anywhere in the US, buy a gun with cash and walk out the door.  Trucks in high school parking lots had guns in the gun racks in the rear windows so the student could go hunting after school.  Schools taught firearm safety and some schools had actual gun ranges on campus.  The guns the left has chosen to call “assault weapons” were in fact readily available to anyone who could afford one.  The AR-15 was available to the public in the early 1960’s.  The AK-47 is called that because it was accepted into service in 1947.  Both the M-14 and the FAL date from the mid 1950’s.  The Thompson sub-machine gun used to be available to anyone that wanted it and could be purchased at the hardware store.

YET, despite the ready access to guns, including full-auto guns, we did not see the level of violence that we see today.

That is because here in America, we don’t have a gun problem, we have a people problem.  Until ALL of us are willing to admit that and actually address the problem instead of a symptom, we will never find a cure.

SacBee Digs Deep to Find Bad Cop Story to Run

Yesterday, July 24, 2019, the Sacramento Bee published a “Breaking News” story about a dirty cop that was using his position to coerce women into having sex with him.  That behavior is not only reprehensible, it is criminal, but hold that thought for just a few moments.

The Bee initially tried to disguise their cop hate story as a “yay, this lawmaker is sooooo incredibly awesome (gush, gush) because he wrote a bill that will make sure sexual predator cops are held accountable.”  In fact, here is the exact quote:

“California Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham has proposed a bill that, along with an amendment to the SB 1421 police transparency law, would go a long way to better holding rogue law enforcement officers accountable for sexual misconduct.”

And from there, they delve into their “breaking news” story, about a Sutter County Deputy who, between 1996-2003,  used his position as a deputy to coerce four women into sleeping with him. Yes, you read that right, the incidents occurred between 16 and 23 years ago…

*cough*Breaking News *cough*

That sexual misconduct was reported to the Sutter County Sheriff, 15 years ago, and they completed both an internal investigation and a criminal one.  Not only was the deputy fired for his conduct, but he was criminally convicted on some lesser charges (because they were unable to prove the more serious ones) and he was placed on probation for five years.  Both the investigation and criminal case were completed in 2005, 14 YEARS AGO!

But somehow, to the cop haters at the SacBee, this is “Breaking News”????

Hell, the suspect completed his probation nearly a decade ago.

So, how is this case, which the Bee delves into at great length, evidence that this bill being proposed now is necessary?  Some 15 years before the bill was proposed, the “rogue sexual predator” cop was already held accountable, convicted and fired.

In fact, rather than show a need for new legislation, this case actually shows it is not needed because the system in place did what it was supposed to do – punish the dirty cop and get him removed from law enforcement.  Cops have long held that no one hates a dirty cop more than good cops, and this case is a perfect example of the right thing being done by the cops.

Instead, all this article was was yet another excuse for the cop hating, commie a-holes at the Sacramento Bee to drone on and on about how much they hate cops.  And sadly, the real victims of all this cop hate are the members of the general public because all that this media sanctioned cop hate does is compound the Ferguson Effect, and causes cops to become reluctant to do their jobs.

There is a reason that my first job at 13 years old was as a paper boy for the Sacramento Union… My dad refused to let me be a carrier for the “pinko commie, cop hating rag” that is the Sacramento Bee.

Thin Blue Line Hawaiian Shirts?

So, I have a thing for Hawaiian shirts because they are cool on hot days, and conveniently, due to their loose fit, they easily conceal my firearm.  However, I also like wearing pro-law enforcement attire. Sadly, no such single shirt currently exists, or at least I have been unable to find any despite my best efforts.

So, I put together this poll to try and gauge interest.  I figure if enough people show interest, perhaps I/we can convince one of the pro-LE shirt companies out there to produce them.

This is just a poll and by answering the question, you are in no way obligating yourself to a future purchase.  Thank you in advance for participating.

[forminator_poll id=”2407″]

How a Kid Who Hated Cops Became One

The following is a guest piece, written by a man who just recently got sworn in as a Deputy Sheriff.  It describes his personal evolution.
————————————————————————

I got sworn in to the Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy Sheriff just recently after a long 22 weeks of POST Academy training. I remember day one of the academy thinking to myself, “Here we go. It’s going to be a long 22 weeks.” Those 22 weeks passed me by like if it was a dream. We started off with nearly 100 recruits and just shy of 70 graduated.  However, let’s rewind the clock back to a different life.

As a youngster in the 90’s and 2000’s, I did not like cops nor did I trust them because I had negative experiences with cops as a kid. I remember one time the first words out of a cop’s mouth toward me was “are you on parole or probation?” when all I was doing was sitting in a park watching a movie on my laptop as a college kid back in 2012.

The environment I grew up in taught me that it was an “us vs. them attitude,” them being law enforcement. I thought to myself “well f**k them then”; they don’t care about answering our calls. A car in my neighborhood got broken into, it took cops like an hour for some kind of response, and even then I don’t remember them showing up that night. The influences and media portrayals of cops were that they could do what they want and get away with things because they have a badge. The Media tends to be full of shit when it comes to those portrayals.  Even the friends I had influenced me to have poor perceptions of a lifestyle I did not understand…that is until I started to fill out an application to join the Sheriff’s Department.

Initially, I filled out an application to join the Sheriff’s Department. I did my written exam and VPAT (Validated Physical Ability Test) along with my background packet. I remember scrolling through the massive background packet that every applicant had to fill out detailing every memory we could cram into our Personal History Statement. After the background packet was submitted, I had to follow up with a polygraph exam to re-confirm I was truthful throughout the entire packet. I can recall the faces of those applicants who failed the polygraph test.

To simply get hired as a recruit by an agency is very difficult because the background investigators will go through as much detail as time permits about a person’s life. Integrity and moral character are huge factors that are sought from a candidate. Take it as a hint that not every person from the street can even be considered to become a recruit, much less a cop without surviving a long hiring process and training.

One might wonder why the hell did I even apply to be a cop if I hated cops, right? As cliché as it sounds, I still have to say that my opinions toward cops did not change until July, 2016 when then Dallas Chief of Police David Brown said “We are hiring. Get out of that protest line and fill out an application.” As they say, “Can’t beat them? Then join them.” Quit being part of the problem and become part of the solution is what I told myself, and there I was, filling out an application. If it wasn’t for the random shared post that I somehow ran into which Deputy Matt shared I would have never liked his page nor become more aware of how a first responder thinks. I followed up on posts written and shared by the page admins through the years since July 2016.

Moving forward into October 2018, I remember going on my first ride along. I can recall vividly the events of that night.  I remember leaving the station at the end of the shift with a different perspective than I came into the station with. It’s one thing to hear about it from news or online, it’s another thing to witness it first-hand. Later that year I was offered the position of DST (Deputy Sheriff Trainee) and got my academy start date. I was excited and naïve on what waited for me.

Throughout the academy, I learned to do many things with my fellow classmates to the point where we started to shed our individualism and come together as one. One of the hard realities that our class had to come to terms with was the risk involved with the career paths we have chosen. Deputy Matt once wrote an article about having to attend officer funerals; I believe it was for Sacramento Sheriff’s Department Dep. Robert “Bob” French.  I had to re-read that article to help me get the words out of my mind as I struggled to articulate myself to write this.

I remember attending my first officer funeral and it hit home, because I can still hear the voice of a panicked deputy as he called out “officer down” on the radio; everyone stopped doing what they were doing and listened to the radio. Deputy Matt would harp on recent events and saying that there is a war on cops. I always thought that he was exaggerating a bit before I started the academy. Since then, I’ve sat down for 2 officer funerals during my academy and witnessed a department tradition done for the EOW (End of Watch) anniversaries of deputies. I can still see the sister of Deputy (name removed) cry over his gravestone after all these years.

It’s funny looking back at the entire hiring process on how stringent the background investigators are when it comes to screening applicants; roughly 4 out of every 100 applicants that get screened are selected to be hired as Deputy Sheriff Trainees. It is said that out of those 4 applicants hired as recruits, about 3 make it to graduation. I graduated with just shy of 70 other faces, who I know I will always remember.  The sad truth is that I anticipate at least one of us to be gone before finishing our careers.

Now I see what Deputy Matt meant by the war on cops; it’s very real. The Media portray us as corrupt, abusive and because of that, the suspects are not afraid to pick a fight with us. The fight will come to each one of us one day and we must train and prepare for that fight when it comes.

Yes we wear a uniform, a badge, a vest, carry a gun, look serious and at times look militaristic, but underneath that uniform we still bleed, cry, love and fear like everyone else.

Instructors asked us recently “why are we here?” I’m here because as a Peace Officer, I want to use my knowledge to help close the gap of misunderstanding between the public and LEO’s and to clear the misconceptions that the media portray about my brothers and sisters in blue. Some may think that I’m a dumb, naïve boot; maybe, but I cannot let myself forget the “why am I here?” otherwise I may lose sight of who I am.

PTSD? Me? GTFOH!

Well, shit!  Apparently I’ve been dealing with the adverse effect of “cumulative PTSD” for about seven (7) years, but I had no idea it was even a thing, let alone that I was dealing with it. I just knew some things were not right, but did not know why.

Before I go any further, this is not intended as a “woe is me” story.  This is a “if this sounds like you, please get some help so you can get better” story.  Preferably, do it BEFORE you leave the job, unlike me, so workers comp or some other insurance will cover it, hopefully.

Let me back up a few weeks and fill in some blanks.  As I have mentioned before, I am friends with a number of folks who run other pro-LE Facebook pages and we have a group where we can privately talk amongst ourselves.  Oddly enough, this group has turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me, on the internet that is.  We are able to share things with each other and get honest, no BS answers, and in the best cop fashion, with absolutely no sugar coating.

A couple quick notes to make what will follow make more sense.  I retired back in January and the plan was to escape California post haste.  Sadly, a few things have come up family wise that have delayed our great escape indefinitely.  While my retirement is more than adequate to live on in Texas, in California it is barely enough to scrape by, so I decided to seek part-time employment to get me by until we can vacate, and since I know and love cop work, I figure why not find a part-time cop gig.  With that in mind, I submitted an application with a small local agency.

That was when I ran into problems, again.  What follows is a post I shared with the group I mentioned above.  For those easily offended by curse words, this is your warning that some will follow.

I mentioned about 2 weeks ago that I had applied for a reserve officer position with a small local agency. After I spoke with the chief, a man I have known a long time, I got scheduled for a formal interview, to be followed by a complete background and a psych.

Within hours of getting scheduled for the interview, I was in full-on panic mode, completely mentally imploding, lying on the couch unable to do anything. It was like a full on panic attack or something. I have never felt anything like it.

The next morning, still barely able to function, I emailed the chief and pulled my application. Almost immediately, I felt better, and by that evening, I was back to normal.

What the fuck?

I’ve not said anything to anyone, other than my wife, about this up until now.

My bizarre mental meltdown freaked my wife out to the point that she asked me if I was feeling suicidal. Just to be clear, I am absolutely NOT remotely feeling suicidal. She just sees stuff on TV and movies about cops and vets committing suicide so she that was the first thing that went through her head.

I’m really not sure what is going on with me. I know it is not PTSD. Nothing about this fits the criteria for PTSD. I’m not having nightmares about shootings or calls I was on. I am not remotely feeling suicidal, or homicidal. I am not reliving incidents. None of the things that would bring about a diagnosis of PTSD, but there is definitely something going on.

I have specifically noticed that since my most recent shooting in 2011, things that never used to bother me much, if at all, really get to me.  Interviews for jobs used to be slightly stressful, but not incapacitating like they have been since that shooting.

Back about 5 years ago, I was one of four candidates for a spot in our air ops division as the observer (TFO). During one of the trial flights while working as the TFO, something I had done a number of times both before and since, my brain decided to implode on me and I started having a similar incident to what happened 2 weeks ago, just not to the same extreme. My heart rate was up, I felt short of breath and nauseous. It got so bad I had to have the pilot take me to the hangar in the middle of the flight. At the time, I played it off as airsickness, but it wasn’t.

A couple years later, another spot at air ops opened up and as soon as I submitted my application, I felt that same feeling coming on, so I pulled my application within hours.

Then 2 weeks ago with that reserve spot, it was the same feeling, only times about 100.

I don’t fucking get it. Shit that should stress me out, like going to active shootings before I retired, never fucking phased me at all. When I was at the shooting where my academy mate Bob French got killed (http://www.those-who-serve.com/…/tired-of-burying-coworkers/) I was calm as fuck, handling business as if I had never left patrol.

But now, just the simple act of applying for the position of a reserve officer causes me to melt down and completely incapacitates me.

So I say again, what the actual fuck?

Much to my surprise, a number of the replies I got were “sounds like PTSD to me.”  One person in particular alluded to something I had never heard of, cumulative PTSD.  You see, I was looking at my symptoms and comparing that to an older clinical diagnosis model for PTSD from 15+ years ago, a list I got from the shrink I saw after my most recent OIS.  Turns out, not surprisingly, some things have changed and there has been a lot of research done on PTSD during those years which has yielded a better understanding of the subject.

We all have long known that first responders get changed by the things they routinely encounter on the job.  We deal with stuff that is not normal on a daily basis, things that can cause a normal person to experience a traditional onset of PTSD, but to us it is just another day at work.  Add to that the stress of 1) dealing with groups that exist solely to share their hatred of cops, 2) a media that makes us a constant target for not only those cop hating groups, but thanks to their biased reporting, the general public as well, 3) politicians, up to and including the former POTUS, that love to throw us under the bus in order to curry favor with their voter base, 4) the constant social media onslaught against our profession, and 5) burying our coworkers who were murdered, time and again.  That prolonged exposure to unnatural shit and negative attitudes is not good for us, and they are now considering the results of that prolonged exposure to be “cumulative PTSD.” 

I found a good article about cumulative PTSD on PoliceOne (not a big fan of theirs lately based on the AP articles they have chosen to publish, but this particular article is good info).  If you have been a first responder for any length of time, I highly recommend you read the article and look at the list of symptoms.  I was shocked as I went down the list and found that about 60% of them described me.

This is where I talk about how lucky I am.  My former union has a counselor they deal with for this type of stuff, and they also have a fund that allows them to offer this service free to members.  While I am no longer a member, I was when I incurred this “injury.”  I put that word in quotes because many of us don’t want to admit we are injured, but that is exactly what PTSD is, an injury.  Thankfully a union rep that is in the group I mentioned contacted me and offered to get me to the counselor they deal with, and I took them up on it.

I met with the counselor for the first time yesterday, and she told me that I am most definitely dealing with some cumulative PTSD.   In talking to her, I remembered another issue I encountered.  About the same time that I was putting in for Air Ops the first time, I was dealing with some major digestive system issues that caused me to lose about 20 pounds and be on light duty for about 6 weeks.  My doctor thought it was Crohn’s Disease, of which I have a family history, but all the extensive and highly invasive tests came back negative.  At that point, they could not find a medical cause and told me it was “just stress.”  Eventually the symptoms went away, so I just forgot about it, until yesterday. 

Cops are great for just rubbing some dirt on it, ignoring what bothers them, pushing it down and pressing on.  But take it from me, that won’t make this better.  In fact, doing that makes this worse.  I am writing this piece in hopes that it might help someone dealing with the same issues realize you are not alone, and you are not abnormal.  

My wife had been telling me for a long time that she thought I had some PTSD, but not only did my symptoms not match the traditional PTSD diagnosis list, but dammit, I did not want to admit I might have a problem.  Turns out, she was right, again.

For me, it took my recent job application meltdown to wake me up.  Please don’t let it get to that point for you.  Look at the list of symptoms.  If you see yourself in that list, do not ignore it.  Do not just rub some dirt in it and press on.  Get some help, so you can get back to normal.  If you are worried about potential issues on the job, there are confidential resources that you can reach out to on your own.  No one at your employer needs to know. 

You have dedicated your professional life to helping the public.  You owe it to yourself, your family and friends to take care of you also. 

Resources (not remotely comprehensive):

  • Safe Call Now – Safe Call Now is a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide
  • Call For BackupHumanizing the Badge’s unique #CallForBackup Suicide Awareness and Prevention Campaign seeks to address those concerns, and to teach officers how to help one another – and themselves – deal with the unique stresses of their chosen profession.
  • The Wounded Blue – The mission of The Wounded Blue is to assist injured law enforcement officers who are injured physically and psychologically
  • Code 9 Project – Our mission is to provide education, support and viable self-help tools to all Public Safety Personnel and their families for the purpose of managing and reducing the compressive stress effects, such as PTSD and suicide. 

There are lots of resources out there. If you know of another, verified, legitimate resource, please feel free to provide us with their information so that they may be added to the list above. The best way to do that is to message us at our Facebook page.

Mayor Jacob Frey is a Dangerous Moron

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is a complete freaking moron, and if the Chief Medaria Arradondo agrees with him, as the Star Tribune article seems to indicate, same goes for him.

“When you’re conditioned to believe that every person encountered poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build meaningful relationships with those same people.”

This is not “fear based training.”  That is officer safety 101, you dolt!

As cops, every time we encounter people in the execution of our duties, initially we do not know who we are dealing with, whether or not they are wanted, what they may have just done, or what they are willing to do to avoid going to jail. Being cognizant of that fact has absolutely NOTHING to do with “warrior training,” whatever the hell that is, but instead it is appropriately referred to as caution.

Being cautious is how you don’t get killed by the seemingly normal looking guy you just pulled over for rolling a stop sign or a broken taillight, who unbeknownst to you, just murdered his girlfriend after a drunken argument, or say the guy you stopped for a missing registration sticker who just blew up a federal building

This idiot mayor would have cops walking up as officer friendly, not considering the driver or passengers as potential threats as they politely greet that man driving away from the murder he just committed, or the guy who committed the largest mass murder by a single suspect in American history.

This is what happens when you don’t consider everyone a threat.

Cops should absolutely consider everyone a threat, until they prove otherwise. That is how cops survive their career, at least physically (it is very debilitating mentally in the long run). It is called officer safety. It is called vigilance. It is what keeps cops alive.

Letting your guard down while in public, in uniform, gets cops killed. It happens multiple times every single year. Sometimes it happens when they are in a restaurant having breakfast, sometimes at lunch, sometimes when they are parked in a car, and sometimes when you are dealing with a simple car crash

Those are just four of the hundreds of ambushes on cops that have occurred during recent years.  Not all ambushes are fatal, and not all of them make the news, let alone the national news.  You see, it is not very newsworthy when cops get attacked in the line of duty and survive, but it happens 60,000 times a year, and of those 60,000 times, in 2017, more than 17,000 officers were injured (statistics from 2017 LEOKA report). 

Knowing the facts, that cops get assaulted by the people we contact on a very frequent basis, is not “fear based training.”  It is REALITY based training.  So, despite what the idiotic Mayor Frey thinks, there is a damned good reason that officer safety training requires cop’s to consider everyone they encounter as a potential threat.  Because they are. 

Jacob Frey perfectly exemplifies the reason that people with no experience, no expertise and no relevant training should absolutely NOT be making rules about police training, or as we are seeing in California right now with AB 392, attempting to write laws about use of force.  They do not possess the knowledge of the facts or the statistics that have, over the past couple hundred years, shaped the training cops receive.  But what makes people like Frey and the California legislators even more dangerous is that they have zero skin in the game.  No matter how wrong they might be, it will never pose a danger to them. 

And really, who cares if a bunch of silly cops get hurt or killed, right? After all, for the last decade or so, hating on the cops has been part of the Democrat/Socialist platform.

An Important Conversation About Cops, Soldiers, PTSD and Suicide

There is a private group on Facebook that a number of us who run law enforcement related pages belong to. We use it to discuss all sorts of things that we cannot talk about in public, from stupid jokes to stressful things going on in our own lives or with our own agencies. Not every member is a cop. Some are former cops, some are cop spouses, some are just highly outspoken supporters of law enforcement. Cops generally get other cops, but these folks also understand all the other crap that comes along with running a pro-LE social media page, the good and the bad. It truly is one of my favorite places in all of social media.

Every once in a while, a conversation in that group touches on something extremely important and should be shared publicly. The following fairly long conversation is one of those. I am sharing with the permission of the members who wrote these remarks, although most of their names have been removed for privacy.

Be forewarned, this was originally a private conversation between cops and warriors not intended for the public, so the language is raw. I chose to leave it that way because that is real life, and cops and warriors all know and accept that.


Landon Steele: (In sharing this ^^^ news article about two vets killing themselves at two different VA facilities in Georgia)

Goes double for you (cops). No deployments. You deploy everyday. I’m at a homeless shelter for vets and these guys are bitching about the VA. You guys/ ladies don’t get shit.

Longest rant ever. Been asked about this a few times today by several veterans on the ranch. Here’s my take.

Most vets aren’t fucked up because of some shit they saw or did, they’re fucked up for a few other reasons. They were sent to war by a society that abhors violence to the point squirt guns for a 5 year old is bright orange and the taking of it to school will get a call for SWAT. However that same society can’t get enough killing and war on Netflix.

Strange right?

So these young warfighers come back from the military (not combat necessarily) where they literally were taught to be appropriately violent, as are a lot of healthy, functional societies and that tribe is now gone.

They don’t miss war or killing or any of that shit, they miss the closeness of the tribe. Gender, race, sexual preference didn’t matter because their life depended on everyone in their tribe.

Now they come home after fighting the LONGEST fucking war in American history and their tribe is gone.

To add insult to injury they return to a society that doesn’t have a roll in what they did in war as the native Americans did, or Israelis do, because everyone in those societies had to fight so everyone understands and PTS was, or is, pretty much non-existent. But in America its kinda assumed now that if you did some shit overseas you must have the PTSDAIDS so eventually troops think they do.

There’s nothing wrong with our troops, there’s something really fucked up about what they come back to.

The VA is the largest medical system in the US, funded by people who voted for politicians who literally wish we would all go away. Over worked, underfunded. The employees at the VA for the most part are vets or civilians who literally care beyond words, but the system is dicked up because our society is dicked up.

Notice I didn’t say anything was wrong with America because we still have enough people who knowingly sacrifice their safety or lives and fully expect not to get a fair health deal after.

Before we point the veteran finger of righteousness at the VA, let’s look at who funds them, who did you vote for?

When we fix us as a society then the VA won’t have these issues. In the interim, your best, brightest and most motivation Americans will be killing themselves because we ALL failed them.


Landon Steele: I would say there are compounding factors that actually make your (cops’) current job harder and reintegration harder because it’s every time you get off shit, not a 6 or 9 month break. You roll two deep or alone so it’s gotta be more fucked then when I worked.

“AJ”: There’s just so much wrong with America right now. The entire United States focus is on sexual identity, racial tension, and police brutality.

Day in and day out I see mental health problems. Often I see veterans who have been pushed back and back over and over by the VA, and they aren’t allowed to see any other MD or psych. Men are stubborn. If you push us back enough times we just say fuck it and fix it on our own, which is resulting in all of these suicides by military and LE. 

There’s so many options, but those options get burned out so fast because once an option opens, everyone flocks to them because in the beginning they actually give a damn about patients. Govt. needs to realize the mental health issues we have right now and throw triple the amount of money into the pot because it is rapidly becoming a life and death issue for them, and people they want with them. Never did you hear about suicide by cop until the last 10 or so years. Now it’s almost daily.

Landon Steele: bro, what fucks me up is my guys (soldiers) not being able to do it and do crazy shit on purpose to get blue (cops) to shoot them. It fucks the officer up when they find out why the weapon was empty. It’s the same team. Bridging that gap is huge and problematic. (emphasis added by me)

“AJ”: Yep. And it blows bringing them in for a psych and the doc releasing them, only to get re-dispatched to that residence days later to them with their skull in pieces dead. These people specializing in mental health fail these people daily because they reject the “maybes” cause all the fucking facilities are full

Landon Steele: Why there isn’t a med system for LEO or a preventative clause that says just because an officer has PTS doesn’t mean the chief can pull your shit?

Me (Matt): I never served in the military, but I think you might be onto something brother. As for cops, I’ve said the same thing. We don’t get a 6 month deployment, we are deployed for our entire career, and being in condition orange all the time is not good for you. It helps you survive the day, but in the long run, that level of heightened awareness for extended periods of time is very bad for the human body and mind.

LT: Hits home Matt. I was in D.C. for police week few years ago. In D.C. I found that I couldn’t relax, even in the company of cops, because I was in fucking D.C.

I couldn’t relax enough to sleep thinking someone was going to break in the house we rented or steal my car parked in the alley. I was on vacation surrounded by my own team and was basically standing sentry the whole time. It robbed me of actually enjoying police week.

“KD” (a cop’s wife): The only place I’ve ever seen my husband (the cop) completely relax was vacationing with our son at Shades of Green; 100% ID check and a closed campus was a whole new world. It was amazing.

“Paddy”: I did all 3…

Military (didn’t do shit- peacetime Army).

Cop (saw my fair share)

PMC (private military contractor) in Iraq (on the road or taking IDF every day)

Came back seriously fucked up- physically and mentally. What kept me together (barely at times) was the brotherhood.

Men & women I knew calling up randomly to say hi and see how I was doing. I did the same for them. All of us were a bit off- but it didn’t matter.

Guy named Boone Cutler before he came up with the Spartan Pledge coined another term:

Unassimilated Warfighter (emphasis added)

It resonated with me and addresses the societal issues anyone who runs towards gunfire deals with.

We are our own society, our own class, and we look after our own. We have our own codes of behavior, our own ethical standards, our own moral standards. 

IMO fitting into modern society and culture, or trying to, is a bad thing. Square pegs in round holes. Modern society is diametrically opposed to the values most of us hold.

Individual accountability, personal responsibility, honor, loyalty, steadfastness… these words at best have no meaning for society at large and at worst are derided and mocked.

They hate us because we don’t care about race, religion, sexuality, or gender. Our only metrics are “Can we trust you” and “Are you squared away”.

We look down on those who seek to play the victim, to portray themselves as weak as possible. Society celebrates them and makes them heroes.

Fuck that noise.

Honest question: Would the average Veteran, cop, firefighter, or medic ever come up with “I was out and two guys who voted for someone else beat me up- feel sorry for me”?

Now if I said would we come up with “I was out and got jumped by 4 dudes and I knocked them all smooth the fuck out”…. 😂

Shit- after Trump got elected there was a 17% spike in “hate crime” attributable to false reports.

I think that a lot of the stressors (outside of financial ones) come from trying to fit into a society that stands opposed to what we carry in our souls, who we are as human beings.

When I finally realized that my society consists of those who have walked the line, not the whining bunch of intersectional dipshits that colleges churn out, shit started getting better.

“Chuy”: Damn Bro, This.^^^

Me: No fucking shit, Chuy! You (Paddy) need to post that somewhere that I can share it on my page.

In fact, the combo of yours and Landon’s should be a blog post somewhere (after that, they all gave me permission to copy and paste it here)

“KD”: Most ancient and tribal societies had a warrior class; they weren’t expected to be ‘like everyone else’ when they weren’t in the thick of the fight. It’s like expecting a high drive Malinois to *also* be a Golden Retriever the minute the harness comes off.

We’ve been so safe here, for so long, society has lost touch with why you’re needed. It’s why Kipling wrote ‘Tommy’, in 1890.

And Landon, I’ve seen you defending LE on other threads when their experience is minimized and belittled, and I appreciate you so much for that.


I honestly believe this is a very important conversation that needs to be shared both with soldiers and cops. We don’t have the same jobs, but we do have the same kind of brotherhood. We are all on the same side, and we need to look out for one another. That starts with recognizing what causes the problems we both face, which is essentially the same problem: modern society does not want us, does not want to be reminded we exist, and we generally don’t fit in. 

In my opinion, and clearly that of some others, that is what is causing the very high suicide rate among soldiers and cops.


(For those wondering who Landon Steele is, he is not a cop. He is a US combat medic, PMC, and has worked private, armed security in conjunction with cops. If you don’t know who he is, it might be worth a google… Plus, there is this video.)

Becerra Files for Emergency Stay in Overturning of CA’s Magazine Capacity Law

On April 1st, three days after Federal Court Judge Robert Benitez ruled California’s magazine capacity law unconstitutional, Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed for an emergency stay pending appeal.

On April 1st, a mere three days after Federal Court Judge Robert Benitez ruled California’s magazine capacity law unconstitutional and granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs, Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed several documents requesting an emergency stay in the vacating of the unconstitutional law, pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit.  In other words, he is appealing the decision and is asking the courts to, at least temporarily, undo Judge Benitez’s ruling.

In filing for the emergency stay, Becerra says the following:

“Even if this Court, or the Ninth Circuit, ultimately issues a stay pending appeal, the State will suffer irreparable injury if LCMs are permitted to flow into the State in the interim.”

I find it quite entertaining that the Attorney General is claiming that there will be “irreparable injury” to the state by allowing “LCMs” (large capacity magazines) to enter the state, when the one of the reasons Judge Benitez granted summary judgment in the first place was the fact that the state was unable to prove in the slightest that a magazine ban prevents harm, and would thus, possibly, be a reason to allow a law which clearly violates the Second Amendment.

Becerra continues further on in the application, saying:

 “Defendant brings this ex parte application for good cause on the ground that the State will suffer irreparable and immediate injury until a stay pending appeal is issued.  California has restricted the acquisition of LCMs for nearly two decades, and until the Judgment is stayed pending appeal, individuals will be free to acquire new LCMs, and there is evidence that sales have begun already.”

The fact that Becerra points to the longstanding prohibition in California against the importation of “LCMs” as part of his reasoning for the emergency stay should make one wonder if he even read the ruling in which the law was found to be unconstitutional.  Specifically, the following two remarks from Judge Benitez’s ruling would directly apply to the entire basis of the emergency stay request.

“The AG’s evidence demonstrates that mass shootings in California are rare, and its criminalization of large capacity magazine acquisition and possession has had no effect on reducing the number of shots a perpetrator can fire.” (page 51, line 16)

And…

“No case has held that intermediate scrutiny would permit a state to impinge even slightly on the Second Amendment right by employing a known failed experiment. Congress tried for a decade the nationwide experiment of prohibiting large capacity magazines. It failed. California has continued the failed experiment for another decade and now suggests that it may continue to do so ad infinitum without demonstrating success. That makes no sense.” (page 59, line 14)

I’m no lawyer.  The only law classes I have ever taken were nearly 30 years ago when I was getting my criminal justice degree from CSU Sacramento.  But even this dumb former street cop is smart enough to know that using a failed argument, one that was specifically cited in the ruling of a case in one direction, really does not hold much weight when trying to argue that ruling should have gone the other way.  That said, this is California, and we do have a plethora of liberal activist judges, so I would not be in the least bit surprised if Becerra is able to get this emergency stay granted. 

In the short term, a stay placed on the ruling, and the pending appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is bad news for California gun owners.  It would mean that we are still in the same boat that we have been in since 1994, and that being we are unable to legally purchase standard capacity magazines. 

BUT this appeal will be good news for the entire nation, because if the 9th Circuit hears the case and agrees with Judge Benitez, it will only strengthen the case law standing of the original summary judgment ruling.  If the 9th Circuit disagrees with the ruling, then the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which I would hope would hear the case so as to finally establish some continuity to the various circuit and district court rulings on the matter, and the fact that the Supreme Court continues to grow more constitutionally conservative with the appointment of new judges, this would be a good thing for gun owners across the country. 

Media and BLM, You Are Making Things Worse, Not Better!

police-car-in-the-rearview-mirror_4ung4bk2g__F0000

This morning, I woke up really early and was chatting with a buddy of mine who is a graveyard patrol sergeant with my former agency.  He was telling me about something that happened with his shift last night.  This is something the public absolutely NEEDS to hear!

We cops, or former cops in my case, know this to be true, but unless you see it first hand, you would never know because these stories are NOT reported by the media, unless of course they publish the story of the “poor, innocent person who was harassed by the cops” as if it were gospel, and without any opportunity for the cops to tell their side.

Rather than me retell the story, with his permission, I am just going to put the transcript of the conversation here, other than removing the names of people involved.


Me – Hey bro, what’s up?

Sarge – It’s 4:30 why the hell do you get up this early?

Me – I can’t sleep. Haven’t been able to for years. I’m lucky if I get 5-6 hours. I went to bed last night at about 9:30 because I was beat tired. So here I am, wide awake at 4am.

Sarge – You’re going to love this…

Sarge – A fine example of how the media lying and pushing a false narrative causes problems……tonight one of my guys tried to stop a car driving real fast with no headlights. The driver failed to yield so several more units jumped into it as the driver continued to refuse to pull over.

We followed him to a ghetto apartment with a dark parking lot where he finally stopped. The initial deputy approached the car (we discussed this after) and directed the solo driver (young black male) to get out of the car. Right away the driver is yelling “fuck you what did I do wrong” blah blah blah.

Deputy pulls him out dude wont cooperate as two deputies try to cuff him. He gets twisted up but no more than needed. He is screaming for help in the complex because we are “going to kill him”. He didn’t stop because he was afraid the cops would shoot him

22 yrs old, driving home from his Walmart job……suspended license but no criminal history. His girlfriend came down and we had a long discussion about why there were so many cops and her boyfriend’s poor choices. She said “well he’s scared cuz white cops be killing black men”……

Anyway dude got a bump on the head and expensive citation….his girlfriend and I left on good terms but she still thinks cops are out killing black men…..

Thanks media you’re fucking chaos has created this!! Dumbass kid probably would’ve gotten a warning Had he stopped……

Me – Kevin ****** and I almost shot a Hispanic kid one night back in late 2014. He would not put down a knife because he knew we were going to kill him just like we did Mike Brown.

Me – Thank God we finally convinced him to put it down

Me – Kid was only 14 or 15 years old

Sarge – Yup had one or two of those….seems so much worse right now…..this chick tonight was convinced we are killing people. I told her I’d be happy to sit down and talk to her about it…..but tonight we agreed to disagree


Anyone with knowledge of the actual facts knows cops are not running around killing young black men, especially those who are not doing anything wrong.  The statistics, at least during my entire lifetime, have NEVER supported those claims.  In fact, the statistics prove the exact opposite, but thanks to the mainstream media insatiable desire to air stories that cause societal discord, because it makes them money, and thanks to racist, criminal sympathizing anti-cop groups like Black Lives Matter, huge portions of the population, and sadly it is the portion that is most likely to come into contact with law enforcement, do not know the truth because they only see what they are being spoon fed.

In the story recounted by my buddy, had the young man driving the car not been poisoned by the media and BLM, he likely would have just pulled over when the cops lit him up (activated their lights to pull him over), and at worst, he would have gotten a ticket for driving on a suspended license and potentially had his car towed.  Instead, he ran from the cops, got twisted up, cuffed, got to sit in a cop car for a while, and he got a MUCH more expensive ticket.