Sunday, June 19, 2016

10 REASONS COPS ARE DIFFERENT--and why no one wants to be one anymore

Following after my comments is a good summary of police work, written about 5 years ago.

Comes Obama interference and Ferguson.

What I see is:
--- Liberal pressure to make everyone equal. This is like they award grade schoolers a "Participation" trophy for showing up.
     My experience in law enforcement showed my that you have to have self-discipline as it         applies to emotional control and motivating one's self to stay in good physical; AND           mental health.

    The average person now, it seems, subscribes to the 60's phrase of "If it feels good-Do it".

--- They critics don''t like it that you appear cold and unfeeling. Yet, on the other hand, show some emotion and they will criticize you for that.

     My experience was that there are MANY people out there who will try to bluff you,    threaten you, into not taking any action on an observed violation of law. The result is you
 approach everyone with a presentation like the Terminator .
    Someone once asked my if I ever shot anyone in my 30+ year career. No. Why not?
  My answer was--If they are convinced before hand that they will be shot, they will not try to do something that would get them shot.

  But they Liberals want you to approach someone with a Dr Phil demeanor--which would tell them that you can be intimidated.

--- Liberals (and about 98% of attorneys are,, from my experience)  do not know one big fact of life. And this applies to international relations-- There are MANY people out there that that comply with only one thing: The prospect of a horrendous ass-kicking.  Touchy-Feely and "Negotiations" do not motivate them


1) Law enforcement officers are seen as authority figures. People deal with them differently and treat them differently, even when they are not working. When a problem occurs, everyone looks to the officer to "take charge," to "solve the problem." Some say the cop is never off duty. Even when the officer is not working there is a tendency to attack problems and take charge. Sometimes taking charge is not preferable, and can cause particular strains in our world where many people like to linger with problems, never really solving anything. Recognizing the difference between a "problem solving" situation, where action is desirable, and a more passive situation, where action may alienate others, is difficult for the cop.
2) They are isolated. The wearing of a badge, uniform and gun makes a law officer separate from society. This segregation leads to many psychological effects which research shows can create negative personality traits. For example, psychological research shows the wearing of a uniform will tend to make any person de-humanize people who are without a uniform. Just wearing a badge or a gun can cause people to act more aggressively. These are changes that could happen to anyone wearing a uniform, badge and gun, thus these factors are expected to operate in some way on the police officer. Many officers suggest there is a "role," or "mask" which they put on along with their uniform. Sometimes this role leaks into their personal lives and changes the course of their relationships and leisure time. 
3) Law enforcement officers work in a quasi-military, structured institution. There are mental health concerns associated with working within a "quasi-military structure" and other mental health concerns of working in an "institution." Military organizations require the sacrifice of the individual for the good of society. The "individual" is not a consideration; the "goal" of the group is paramount. In a military organization, the focus is on punishing the individual if he is not up to standards. It is a de-humanizing process to recognize that you are only valued as a part of a machine. The _institution' takes the same attitude, only a step further. In an institution, you are locked in a set process and the process is more important many times than, not only the individual, but also the goal. When an officer does a remarkable job of police work, perhaps even saves a life, he can still be reprimanded if he doesn't file the proper paperwork. The paperwork describing an action in many cases is more important to the institution than the action itself. Both the quasi-military nature of police work and the functioning within an institution combine for a mental health situation that is quite undesirable and very stressful.
4) Shift work is not normal. The "rotating shift" schedule is very taxing on an officer's life. Our bodies are adjusted on what is called "circadian schedules" which is a repetitive daily cycle. Our bodies like to have a regular eating time, sleeping time, waking time, etc. An officer doing shift work never gets a chance to stay on a schedule. This upsets his physical and mental balance in life. The changing work schedule also upsets the routine patterns that are needed in healthy marriage and family development. Strong marital and family development is based on rituals, like dinners together, "inside jokes," repeated activities, etc. The rotating shift worker has less chance to develop these rituals and his relationships suffer. This predisposes the officer's family to potential problems ranging from divorces, to children acting-out. 
5) Camaraderie can be a two edged sword. The law enforcement job nurtures a sense of teamwork and unity with co-workers, what was once called "esprit de corps." The fraternity helps the officer on the job feel secure about getting the needed support in dangerous situations. It also stimulates a sense of belonging that can create an "us and them" view of the world. This makes the law enforcement "clique" harder to leave when retiring and makes officers more protective of each other. It also makes it more difficult to accept someone within the fraternal organization leaving or being killed. This adds to the stress of an officer.
6) Even the stress is different. Officers have a different kind of stress in their jobs, called "burst stress." Burst stress means there is not always a steady stressor, but at times, there is an immediate "burst" from low stress to a high stress state. In other words, officers go from complete calm, to high activity and pressure in one "burst." The normal stress situation for most of the rest of the work force consists of a stress building process that can be either reduced or adapted to before it gets "out of control." This is not the case for the officer, because "out of control" can happen in seconds (see "A Cop's Story" for a good example of burst stress). The law enforcement job is reactive, not proactive. Officers cannot usually control entrance into most situations they face, unlike most people who get warnings. They have to react, not prevent problems. It is difficult to defend against burst stress.
7) The need to be in constant emotional control. Law enforcement officers have a job that requires extreme restraint under highly emotional circumstances. They are told when they are extremely excited, they have to act calm. They are told when they are nervous, they have to be in charge. They are taught to be stoic when emotional. They are to interact with the world in a role. The emotional constraint of the role takes tremendous mental energy, much more energy than expressing true emotions. When the energy drain is very strong, it may make the officer more prone to exhaustion outside of work, such as not wanting to participate in social or family life. This energy drain can also create a sense of job and social burnout. 
8) No gray areas. The law enforcement officer works in a fact-based world with everything compared to written law. Right and wrong is determined by a standard. They have a set way of going about gathering the proper evidence for the law and can justify their actions because they represent the "good and right side." In the real world, clear rights and wrongs are not as likely to occur. The newspapers are an opinion-based system, the court system is an opinion-based system and, needless to say, relationship decisions and proper parenting techniques are opinion-based systems. Adjusting from right and wrong, black-and-white systems, to opinion-based systems is very difficult and requires a complete change in mental attitude.
9) The "at work" world of the officer is very negative. He sees the bad part of society - the criminal, the abuser of the rules. This may skew the officer's opinions on the character of the average human being. It creates a cynicism, a critical view of the world. It is hard to adjust to trusting a fellow human being when so much of the day is spent with people who are not trustworthy. It is hard to believe in positive intentions of people, when the day is spent with people who are intending to hurt each other. This lack of trust can show up in the way the officer deals with people on a personal level, with neighbors, with a spouse. It can even show up in the way children are raised, as police parents may tend to be stricter in discipline and more careful with privilege.
10) Even the children are affected. The children of law enforcement officers have a more difficult adjustment. As a young child, the police officer parent is seen as holding a prestigious, desirable position. The young child and his friends look up to the police officer as a minor celebrity, a person of great respect. As a teen-ager, their parent is part of the authority of society. Since teens rebel against authority anyway, this can cause a double rebellion against the parent both in their role as caretaker and as a symbol of the authority of society. Frequently, the officer's child is either overly compliant because of the rules imposed, thus causing depressive problems or personality restriction, or the teen becomes overly rebellious of the rule-oriented parent - the best child or the worst. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Five P's and caring about results

County Recorder Helen Purcell: 'I take full responsibility for what happened' in Arizona elections

Election officials are taking 'full responsibility' for the long lines and confusion Arizona voters experienced during Tuesday's presidential election.
"I would just like to reiterate again, I take full responsibility for what happened yesterday," Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell told the county's Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, a day after voters waited in hours-long lines--some up to 5 1/2 hours--to vote in Tuesday's presidential preference election.
"I made an error in judgment in planning this election," Purcell said.  "I should have had more polling places, and I am very sorry about that."
All day Tuesday, many polling booths in Maricopa County showed lines of voters snaked around buildings waiting hours-to cast their ballots.
There were 60 polling locations in Maricopa County. A dramatic decrease from the 200 during the 2012 presidential primary. Most elections have about 700.

San Jose Police Department Hoping "Retention Program" Slows Officer Retirement Rate
VIDEO at Link
The San Jose Police Department is proposing what some call a drastic measure to stem the flow of retirements. The plan is coming out as newly released police academy numbers reveal the department faces more problems recruiting new officers.
The number of San Jose police officers has dropped by several hundred over the past five years, mainly after a bitter pension fight with the city. Thursday, Mayor Chuck Reed and mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo both endorsed an “officer retention program” proposed by the police chief. The program, which NBC Bay Area first revealed last week, offers longtime cops a chance to retire but stay on the job. In essence, they can bank pension money while earning pay.
"We've certainly seen in other departments that this is something that is very popular with officers,” Liccardo said. “We'd expect that to be true here. Obviously, it needs to be negotiated at the bargaining table."
Police union president Jim Unland said similar plans have caused other cities major problems.
"To be concentrating their efforts on some political 'double-dipping' stunt, two months before the election, they need to be concentrating on what it's gonna take for us to recruit and retain new officers,” Unland said.
New police academy numbers show, for the second time this year, only 29 recruits in a class that fills 60. "Again, starting next year we'll see historic low staffing numbers in San Jose,” police union board member James Gonzales said.
The efforts to solve the staffing problem will get major tests soon as the city finds out just how many academy graduates stay on the force, as well as if or when the proposed officer retention program proposal goes before the full city council.
Tom Saggau, spokesman for the union, said changes in the city's rules granting disability retirement to officers injured in the line of duty who can no longer serve as cops are leading to a lack of qualified recruits.
Before the rules took effect, based on city policies after the passage in 2012 by city voters of the Measure B pension reform measure, police and city firefighters received "guaranteed" disability retirement when they were injured, but now they may have to take other jobs with the city unrelated to police work, Saggau said.
"Nowhere else in the state does that happen" aside from San Jose, Saggau said.
Recruits are bypassing San Jose for academies elsewhere, thinking that "if I get hurt, I may not get taken care of" and "do I really want to drop into the mosh pit or go to another city in California?" Saggau said.
"Twenty-nine in 60 in the tenth largest city in the country is pretty pathetic," Saggau said.
San Jose's police training facility used to have to turn away applicants until now, Saggau said. "No other police agency is having trouble recruiting."
The drop in recruits, coupled with 51 officer resignations in 2014, three pending resignations, 30 officer retirements and another 69 retirement applications pending, comes as the department is having a hard time responding to reports of serious crimes, which can take an average of 20 minutes in some parts of the city, according to Saggau.
"That is just bad for everybody," he said.
But David Vossbrink, spokesman for the City Manager's office, said while the union was right there are 29 recruits, the city had budgeted for only 45 trainees, not 60, as the capacity for the third academy authorized this year.
Vossbrink said it was not true that the city does not provide city police and firefighters with disability retirement if they are injured to such an extent they can no longer work for the force or at all for the city.
New regulations, however, do require that if an officer is injured and cannot continue as an officer but is able bodied enough to fill another position in city government, such as crime prevention, they are offered to work that new city job, Vossbrink said.
The tougher standards on disability retirement were put in force by the City Council after an auditor's report revealed San Jose's rate of disability retirement for police and fire employees "has been much, much higher" that other cities, to the point of abusing the retirement system, Vossbrink said.
"The union comes back with the same old trope here," Vossbrink said. He acknowledged that the city's police force, based on the approximately 400 officers lost in recent years, is "well under" the number that the city has committed funds to in its current budget and that it is a "challenge to fill vacancies."
"No one disputes that," Vossbrink said.
Other factors making it harder to recruit more cops is that San Jose's overall compensation package is "not as competitive as other agencies" and Mayor Chuck Reed has maintained that the POA "is actively encouraging" recruits not to apply to the academy and "encouraging officers to leave" the force, Vossbrink said.
The city itself sets higher standards than other cities for those it selects into the police academy, including the equivalent of a minimum of two years of college, because "our goal is to have a quality police force," he said. 

An evaluation from someone that was law enforcement:

Just my opinion ( I am retired LE). Anyone of ANY rank in LE that forgets that the absolute basic reason for LE existence is to protect life and property needs to find another job. ALL sworn officers have a DUTY to protect people and their property. As a former Marine Corps Officer, I was not obligated to follow any order that was either illegal or immoral. In fact, if someone senior to me ordered me to do something illegal or immoral, they were committing a crime and subject to arrest for doing it . Just my opinion, but when innocent civilians are being attacked and I have a riot stick, handgun, less lethal available and a bunch of my buddies around me, there is only ONE course of action - defend the innocent. Any mayor, police chief or any other elected official that doesn't understand what I just wrote needs to find a new job or profession. They disgrace those of us who have worn uniforms and/or badges.
One, I worked nights with a man who had flown F-4 Phantoms off a carrier and over Vietnam.  He said early on in his Navy Flight Training, he was introduced to the five P's: 
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
In the case of the Maricopa County (Around Phoenix AZ) Recorder, there were SEVEN presidential primaries before Arizona's. In ALL of them, turn-out was well over 100 per cent of any previous primaries.
SO, you reduce the number of Polling places from 200 to 60? 
In the case of San Jose, Trump has been to several locations in California prior to this. In each case, "Activists" AKA Thugs, showed up to create havoc. 

A crowd of anti-Trump demonstrators gathers in front
Consider the Following factors: 1. The City authorities knew where the rally would be. 2. They knew that those attending would have to park at a predictable location. (At least the Thugs figured it out and jumped the rally attenders going back to their cars) .
Logically, a Police planner would provide a protected access to and from the Rally from Parking. 
The Result: Officers in riot gear, standing with their backs to walls, not taking any action when observing a rally goer being assaulted.
There are two possible conclusions: 
1. The San Jose police leadership is incompetent 
2. Police personnel were ordered NOT to take any action against Thugs when they attacked Trump supporters