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Okay folks, I am going spiritual and philosophical on you. Well, maybe. Sort of. You get the idea. In my works with the school system, I have made a friendship with a man who is paid by the school district and is the court liaison between the school district and the courts. Any students  arrested on or off campus and have court appearances, he is there to bridge the information gap for the judge, State Attorney and the Public Defender. His info is vital for judges when they sentence kids. He has a long track history of working with troubled kids as a social worker, probation officer and now court liaison. The man knows kids.

The other day, we were talking in my office and we were discussing several kids that we knew were always in court and on probation. We discussed our theories on why the kids act the way they do. We talked about how it all comes back to home life. The more parents separate themselves from their moral duties to guide their children, the more it seems government or schools try to pick up the pieces. What is wrong with this picture?

This court liaison friend of mine said he began his career 25 years ago running a home for at risk youth. He said he came up with every reason it was someone elses fault the kids wasnt being a productive citizen. He blamed the teachers, police, counselors, judges, and everyone else he could name. He said to me one day he realized that he was making excuses for the kids and that the root of all the issues was that the kids were not accepting responsibility for their actions and the parents failed to teach consequences.

I am truly thankful to my Heavenly Father for having loving parents (although not perfect) that snatched a knot in my head when I stepped out of line. Who also loved me and supported me in sports, scouts,etc.  As I have 4 children myself all under the age of 7, I know the pressure is on me to teach them correct principles and to let them govern themselves. Of course this “governing” is very limited to age proper “governing: if you catch my drift. As they increase in maturity and so forth I will loosen my “parental grip.”

Through my religious and Christian upbringing I know that the family unit is the most important thing on the face of the earth. Parents have moral obligations to raise productive citizens. Governments have moral obligations as well to make sure that the laws support the parents in these endeavors. There is a lot more I would like to explain. However, I have a document that I have copied and pasted below that explains what I truly believe is the cause of societies ills today. I hope you all enjoy it. If some of you really do enjoy it and respond to this post, I will mail you a copy of this document on certificate paper/stock and you can frame it and place it on your wall as I have done. This document is just that important. In fact, I believe tha this is one of the most important documents in our time. Especially in a time where morals are declining everyday.  Sometimes when things get so bad and when society’s moral compass is so clouded and broken, you have to restate the fundamental principles that this great country was founded upon.  This document is entitled, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

Here it is below:

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Understand this,we can catch the world’s most wanted fugitives, we can have the most arrests, we can be the best in our in service training, but it don’t mean a hill of beans if we don’t take care of our moral obligations to our families.  Our true success lies in our marriage, our roles as fathers and mothers and the rearing of God-fearing children with a clear and strong moral compass who can be a light in the dark world we live in.

I plan on giving a framed copy of this declaration to my court liaison buddy. I have given away many as gifts. I feel so strongly about its contents that I feel that everyone should have one hanging in their homes as a reminder of who were are and what we are to become after this life.

If this discussion offends some, I hope you can find the real message behind this post. We are in a sinking world, and evil world all around us. Police everywhere can see clearly as I do, how wicked this world is becoming. Just pick up a  newspaper or search the local google news, you can find all the evil going in th world today. While we are yet police serving and protecting our communities, we must also be vigilant in protecting and nurturing those in our own families.

Take care of yourselves and those you hold dear. As you walk the warriors path, I pray that you may take time to teach those who are a little weaker, and those who need to have their moral compass “realigned.” We are sometimes the only good in our communities. Let’s be Christlike in all we do and lead others to live a moral and honest life.  To sum this all up here is a quote I heard long ago. “No Other Success Can Compensate for Failure in the Home.” (I am stepping off my soap box now).

” Clean shirt, new shoes
and I don’t know what I am gonna do.
Silk suit, black tie, I don’t need a reason why.
They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
cause every girl is crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.” – from ZZ Top, “Sharp Dressed Man”, Eliminator Album-1983

You know, I have spent part of my career as a School Resource Officer, 5 years actually. I have worked with a lot of youth from a lot of different backgrounds. I have developed  a few opinions on youth today, as I am sure some of you have as well.  Like freckles on a red-head, there are thousands of theories why or why not youth today are better or worse today.

Recently, I was speaking to an educator about the dress of our youth, particularly in schools. If you look back over the years the trend has come from the “torn and worn” look of the 80’s, to the “baggy/oversized “look of the 90’s and now to the ridiculous and idiotic look of sagging pants to the point of showing your underwear. I mean kids can’t even walk down the street without holding up their pants with one hand. Just a few days ago I saw an older male (30-40 years of age) walking down the street with 3, yes I said “3” different undergarments on. He had his jeans sagging all the way to his knees, underneath that was a pair of “ballers” or gym shorts sitting just below his buttocks area, and then under that you saw his boxers. It looked so ridiculous I thought to find something in the law to penalize him with. Okay, I am just kidding on that one. Although my opinion is there should be some sort of penalty for such foolishness.

But where have we gone wrong? Is this epidemic just a small bi-product of a larger problem in our society? I would say “yes.”  Although my college professor in my freshman “Juvenile Delinquency” class disagreed with my theory that parents and family breakdown are the main contributing cause of delinquency in juveniles, I still stand by that theory with a death grip.

I digress a bit  and apologize for getting off topic. Back to my conversation with the educator. He brought up an excellent point about why youth today dress in such disarray.  He stated that teachers today have dressed down over the recent years and so have the kids. I remember like you all do the “casual Friday ” dress down in the workplace. I understood the idea behind it, but was it the right thing to do? I mean, we all have heard the phrase”dress to impress.” But it seems that is a long forgotten phrase today.  

Can we really blame kids for slouching so much? I say we may have contributed to their fashion to some degree because of this new stance on dress. It is no wonder that teachers have lost respect in the classroom. Most of them dress in blue jeans and tennis shoes. I have even begun to see flip-flops daily in some of our schools. The bar has dropped in expectations in ourselves and our goal to be professionals.

In law enforcement, my Agency issued uniform in still the laughable polyester. We no longer where collar brass, but still use the traditional metal badge and name tags. We also where a firearms pin, and a “yellow ribbon” on our pockets and an American Flag pin. Goodness! In the sun we look like a sheet of tin foil! Although I wish we would go to embroidered and cotton uniforms with cargo pocket BDU’s, there is something to be said for the polished and professional look of shiny leather and boots.

Everything has its pro’s and con’s. I think personally that my Agency’s daily uniform should be more relaxed and subdued. I think comfort and durability are most important in law enforcement uniforms. There is a time and a place for shiny , pressed, creased, and sharp uniforms. But not day-to-day wear.

What are you guys opinion on the matter? Do you agree with dressing down? What does your agency wear? Does the uniform make the man,per se? Chime in and let me know what you think! ….And by the way enjoy the music video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-y33Uq6HGs&feature=player_embedded

Police officers stand on guard during the G20 summit in Toronto

I read an article entitled,” Houston Chief Worried Over Residents Filming Officers” that really got me boiling. You can find the article here at http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/150906-houston-chief-worried-over-residents-filming-officers. I urge you to read this article before reading my response so we can have an educated debate over its meaning and implications.

I have no problem with someone having their rights. In fact, our country is founded upon our right to live free and do as we please until we trample on the rights of others. If I wanted to, I could play my music in my home as loud as I want until the cops come and tell me to be quiet. Even then, if I do not turn it down in my state all you would get is a civil infraction or ticket for disturbing the peace. There are tons of examples like these. However, if I am on duty and your right to film me is so important that you can stick a camera in my face on a traffic stop or at a domestic then I have a problem.  I understand the need for law enforcement to have a certain level of transparency. I understand there is a small group of rogue cops out there that give the rest of us a good cops a bad name. You find bad apples in every profession. To prove my point look at the men of the cloth and the Catholic Church. Case in point.

What really gets me is that the fact of a viral video gets out and only certain contents of it are posted. No one can ask themselves “what happened prior to this?”  “What actions or dangers did this person just place the peaceful public in?”  “What is the condition of the victim of this heartless persons crime?”  These questions seem to never be asked by mainstream media or news outlets. The only people asking for explanations are the people involved in the event. By all means, if someone just raped or killed another person and we as cops hunt you and track you and get you in our grasp it does not always call for a violent response. However, force will be used against you one step above proportionate(according to law) levels to place you into custody. As cops we don’t mind fighting. We fight people everyday. Just ask yourself how many people do you know that would like to go to jail? None. And half of them resist going every time we deal with them. We prefer not to fight you but will if necessary.

I can promise you this, 99% of most cops worth their salt would have a hard time letting someone walk in touching distance to them on a traffic stop or high priority call with a camera in their face distracting them. This brings up serious officer safety issues and issues with all who are on scene, witnesses, suspects and victims alike. We do not know who you are. We do not know your intentions. We do not trust you until we run you through NCIC and run locals on you and confirm your identity. We work often by ourselves and have to take everything as a threat first until it is proved differently. If we don’t do this with ferocity, we lose our lives.

We deal with the worst of the society. There are people who scheme and plan our demise. They would love nothing more than seeing us hurt, maimed or dead. This is the reality that we live in. We have to or we shall surely die. We are not paranoid. We are aware of the evil out there and deal with it head on. If we are not aware and keep officer safety at our forefront at all times we are no good to the public. A dead cop is not a good cop. Ask the many recruits who got hired at your local agency and got fired or was “washed out” in FTO for failing to use good officer safety techniques.

PRESSCalifornia Highway Patrol officers took cover behind a cruiser door.

Although, if you film me from across the street I have no problem. If you happen to be filming and the suspect resists arrest and hits me or does anything like that and you catch it on your iPhone then prepare to have that phone seized and used as evidence. There are consequences to all that you do in public.

It may be your right to film me in public, but it is not your right to come to work place and interfere with serving the public and protecting its citizens. Justice will be served, but not with your mug all in my way. If you impede me from effectively performing an investigation and solving a crime, then you sir or ma’am, shall prepare yourself to be arrested for obstruction of justice or other applicable laws.

As you may be able to tell, this is a sensitive subject. It should be. The public needs to understand this. Understand we don’t come to your job and film you making mistakes and questioning you on camera why you are doing one thing or another. Let me go to the mayor’s office and try that. It would not fly. No one wants that scrutiny on their jobs. But we as cops deal with everyday. We are not what the media and certain communities say we are. We have accountability. We have anal retentive supervisors all around us everyday. Every work place has them. But not like in law enforcement. We have people complain on us for no reason. I have been the victim of frivolous citizen complaints before. I had to prove my actions even when wrongly accused. I had no way to avoid them. Even when the investigation was over and the case was closed and I was later exonerated, it still was placed in my personal file. Now is that fair? I have 3 of these in my file and none me guilty of the charges against me.

I tell you all this because many good cops are in the same boat. This is the stuff the public does not understand. I had no recourse available to me to get those files destroyed. They are there forever. What is fair about that? I know I ran off a cliff with this post. But it steams me to see my fellow brothers in arms railroaded in the media. What recourse do we have? Majority of us cannot even afford an attorney in these situations. We aren’t in this business for the money. It is for the satisfaction of preserving the peace in our community and putting bad guys where they belong. Because we do this day in and day out, you sleep peacefully in your beds at night. Your kids play at the park without threat or harm. Order is kept and the evil is kept at bay. We are the shepherds and you are the sheep. We lie and watch for the wolves that sneak among the fold. We are naturally peaceful like you. But we have the killer instinct to rid the evil of the day as well so the rest may live peaceful and prosperous. We serve and protect you so you can live your own American Dream as you please.

What is that smell?

I don’t  know what it is. I actually know what it is and hate it. But what I mean here is that in the last week while off-duty and out and about in public, I have come across 2 different occasions where people had the amazing strong smell of marijuana, cannabis, or as some know it as “mary j” about their person.

I will admit, before becoming a cop I lived a pretty sheltered life. I did not go to places where this was prevalent, did not hang out with people who smoked weed, did not know any friends who believed in partaking in this mess.  The worst thing I knew of people doing on the outside of my circles of friends were those who smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol. I graduated high school (public) in 1992. Like most average schools, my high school was a fair mix of redneck, thug, preps, jocks  and nerds. I fell somewhere between the jocks and the preps. I digress.

But last week, Saturday, February 12th, I was at my son’s YMCA sponsored basketball game. Here I am watching my son and all the other 5-6 year olds learning what to do with the basketball and two knuckleheads walk past me sitting on the gym bleachers and they reek of weed. I think to myself, “I am a cop, I should confront them.” However, I do not confront them. Reading this, some may say I had a duty to act and deal with the situation. But, for those non-cops out there we take in consideration a ton more than what you see on the surface.

You see, I had my other kids and wife with me, problem “numero uno.” That is a problem because if I confront them and the situation gets ugly I risk the safety of my family. Second, I do not know if these guys are armed. I am armed and always are, but this has obvious implications.  Thirdly, if they actually still had weed on themselves and didn’t just smoke it all up in the parking lot before they entered the school gym arresting them is only a misdemeanor (if it’s less than 20 grams) in the state I live in. Is getting into a confrontation with 2 unknown thugs, unknown weapons, unknown criminal history, my family in close proximity worth a misdemeanor if it goes south fast? Listening to reason the answer is a resounding “no.”

You may say that  had a duty to act. I say, only if the cards are in my favor. If I were alone might I act as one would think I should. Quite possibly. But even then I would have called a patrol unit to the scene and provided a witness statement to smelling the weed on the 2 thugs. That is as far as I would have taken it. However, I get away from my initial point of this story.

Yesterday, I was at a local redbox to rent a movie after a wonderful dinner with my wife for Valentine’s Day. When I pull up I see a black male standing at the redbox finishing his transaction. He leaves and I exit my car and walk to the redbox. He gets in his car and sits there a minute. Immediately I smell a fresh and strong odor on marijuana about me and all the way to his Jeep. I look back at him and look at my cell phone and think to call my dispatch to have a road unit respond to deal with him. However, my wife is waiting on me to return to finish our evening. Even if I called to give a tag to the Dispatch, I would still have to get involved if they(patrol) stop the vehicle. Probable cause would demand I write a statement and if an arrest is made, I would be subpoenaed to court to testify against him. My night would be a waste. My queen would certainly hand down some form of punishment for being a no-show.

Again, I have a conflict of mind and spirit. Oh, the moral decision. Oh, the ethical decision. Decisions, decisions! Guess what I do? I carry on as if I never knew anything had happened. I had a duty to my wife. But, I admit I was torn terribly. I thought a few times to call it in,to maybe jot down the tag. I did type it in on my phone to save for later. But I went about my business. I bring these two stories up to say how these incidents have become more frequent in my experience where they were nonexistent before.

SO, what does this mean? Is our society going from bad to worse? I could agree with that. Are most people smoking weed on a daily basis? Probably so. Or is this situation an anomaly? Maybe.

So, what do you think blog world? What would have been the right thing to do? How should I have acted? What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

Egypt,How About That Change?

Posted: February 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Boston Tea Party

How can one think about anything else today when a cause for freedom has erupted for 18 days in Egypt. This event has taken over the mainstream media.  Our news outlets swarm, hover over, and beat to death anything that is considered “newsworthy.” On a day like today, when the repressive President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak decided to step down after pressure from its people who thirst for democracy it was indeed newsworthy. I applaud the Egyptian people. This event makes me reflect on many ideas. 

One, it is amazing what the will of the people can do no matter how repressive or oppressive its government is towards the people. Case in point Tiananmen Square, China and now Cairo, Egypt. If there were more events like these before my time I apologize for not mentioning them. These two, I can say that I witnessed personally.

Two, keeping with the theme of change-here in the good ole U. S. of  A. people claim they want change. They entrusted politicians (again) in 2008 found in the name of Obama that he would bring the change they wanted. 2 years later, people feel now want a complete overhaul of the government; a downsizing of it as well. It makes me wonder how much will the American people take. The view from over here when watching the events in Cairo seem barbaric to a point. We Americans have a sense of civility about us that we feel that those days of taking it to the streets in protest over serious issues like toppling its leaders out of office are over or not needed. But, I feel this attitude over the years has gotten us to where we are today. Political correctness rules the day over common sense. Christianity is attacked in every aspect of society; school, sports, news media, and public.  How dare you say a prayer in school! You must allow Muslims to have their prayers. This is not about Christians vs. Muslims. Rather, it’s about America getting away from who it is.

The Tea Party showed me that there is some fight left in us lazy and overweight Americans who seem to uphold primetime tv shows and texting rather than standing up for freedom. I wonder how long the peaceful Tea Party will continue on. I wonder if Americans will ever actually boycott the government like the real tea party that occurred in Boston, Massachusetts on December 16, 1773. What will it take America? It kind of excites me to think what real changes could be made if it were to happen. But the real question is whether or not America cares that much.

Some will say, well the need for violent protests are not necessary because we have free elections. We vote in and out politicians as often as we want. Well, I fear that this process has began to be unfruitful. I am not calling for a massive overthrow of the government. It is actually scary how easy I can get myself down this path. I guess I am feeling extra patriotic now that some people in this world still fight for freedom and never give up. 18 days is not easy to keep up in the face of violence and impossible odds. But Egypt showed that it would do whatever it takes to get an oppressive dictator out of office and hand the power back to the people of Egypt.

It kind of makes what George Bush did in Iraq after 9-11-2001 seem like he cheated democracy’s natural evolution. What we saw in Egypt proved you need not military power to topple a country. If the mass majority of the people want it, they can have it. Wake up America! Will you rise up from the liberal and sarcastic ways, or will you sit idly by. Time will only tell. Just remember to ask yourself, how do you like the “change” you voted in 2008?

Hello World!

Posted: February 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

“Hello world!” is right. I am coming out and starting a journey into the unknown. I am writing this blog from a police officers perspective. Well, that’s because I am a law enforcement officer. I have been working as a police officer for over 8 years now. 5 of those years involve being a school resource officer. It seems almost that this is all I know. I had a blog once before and it gained a lot of popularity. I ended it due to pressures from my place of employment. Through that period of “chastisement” I learned a few things. First, write anonymously. This I did the first time. However, it was not as anonymous as I had thought. This time, they will never know who I am unless they have a subpoena. This time as well, I will not write in detail the activities of my day per se. However, I will comment on my perspectives from my daily experiences being a police officer, father, role model, husband and human. I sincerely hope to offer some insight to the world I live in.  Yes, this may sound crazy, but the world I live in is different and separate from the world those outside of law enforcement live. I am a Shepard, and you are my sheep. I watch at night when others are asleep. I watch over the masses and protect them from harm.

I hope that my blog will inspire and give insight to what that is that I do and my brothers behind the badge do as well. Our path is not easy. It is the warriors path. This may sound cliché to some, but once you begin reading my experiences and that of other officers in the news you will understand why I call those in my profession “warriors.”

This is the first post. I hope the journey is as worth the ride it was last time. I am excited. I hope you are too.  To get the juices flowing on what it is that we police officers do, I am awakened to the wonderful explanation Paul Harvey gave on police officers. I think it will do just fine to prove the point. See below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB9-NcunsKc