Example of Abuse– and Culture

This is an anecdote regarding the abuse of power and responsibility that law enforcement officers have.

The reporting officer alleged that both Ruiz and Glashoff found women’s profiles had been browsing women on dating websites like Tinder, eHarmony, and Match.com while working at the investigations bureau office of the Fairfield Police Department

Court documents allege the officers then used a police-issued computer to look up the women they found appealing in a confidential law enforcement database that connects to the DMV and state and federal records.

 

Now spending time on dating sites instead of solving crimes is a bad problem….but the major concern is the use of the database for personal reasons. This is a great example why registries for anything, especially gun ownership, is a bad idea in my opinion. The ease of abuse is frightening.

What is worse in my view is this:

Court documents go on to say Sgt. Ruiz and Detective Glashoff would perform the searches and have conversations about the dating sites in front of other officers.

The court documents allege another Fairfield officer reported the incidents to his superior back in June.

Emphasis above mine — because consider how long it had probably been happening, how they got the idea that it was okay to even run the searches and why every single officer who knew about it didn’t immediately stop it.

One — just one — officer complained when probably several or more knew about it.

The goal of the Investigation Bureau operates using two divisions: Major Crimes Division and Quality of Life Division.

Major Crimes Division

Major Crimes Division is commanded by a Lieutenant and Sergeant.
The division employs 10 detectives who handle crime in the following catagories:

The division also has a Police Probation Team Unit that addresses juvenile crime and diversion.

Quality of Life Division

Quality of Life Division is commanded by a Lieutenant and two Sergeants (Gang Unit and Narcotics Unit).
The division uses several units to address crime in the community:

How many officers knew about their activities? We’ll never know– and isn’t that a problem also — but it was probably more than 1….probably half a dozen or more. How many officers have done the same or related invasion of privacy? We won’t know and isn’t that another problem.

 

And isn’t this just lovely?

If the allegations are found true, the officers could face felony criminal charges.

Both officers remain assigned to their regular duties.

Yeah— facing the possibility of felony charges and still working — able to access the same databases….doesn’t that just thrill everyone?

And this is a relatively passive abuse; what happens when the police have other tools available to them?

 

The deputy police chief in Dallas told Fox News over the weekend that Americans had the misperception that police forces were over-militarized because departments had not painted armored vehicles blue.

During an interview about the unrest after Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro pointed out to Dallas Deputy Police Chief Malik Aziz that “the perceived militarization is a problem.”

Aziz argued, however, that police departments were not over-militarized, and that people were more concerned about the misapplication of military equipment that was procured through Department of Defense programs.

“There are a lot of applications for it,” he insisted. “What is catching so much attention is the misapplication or the misuse or the deployment of it. And I’ve heard that from around the United States.”

 

The equipment used in policing is an issue; the way it is used is an even greater problem. Deputy Police Chief Aziz is correct in that aspect. So what does he offer as a solution?

But Aziz said that local police department still needed to solve the problem of “misuse or misapplication.”

“And that comes with training,” he continued. “We’re going to have to train police departments to respond. We’re going to have to train leaders, chiefs of police to respond better for leadership and command decisions. And that way, people won’t feel like they don’t have any value or equity in the system when it looks like a war zone.”

Training — professionals involved with resolving problems well recognize how vacant and nearly worthless that answer truly is. We need to train officers in ethics, morality, not breaking the procedures and policies??

That is the solution???

So Deputy Police Chief Aziz just what is the correct training needed to deploy sniper rifles to cover a peaceful protest? What is the correct training need to roll out Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles during riots — making sure the paint scheme is correct?

There has to be a better answer.

 

 

 

 

Training Effectiveness

Let’s imagine there is an organization providing training for people wanting to get their Concealed Handgun License — in one class only 7 out of 27 students passed the written examination on the first attempt. An examination that requires students only to get 70% of the answers correct.

Well that could be a fluke, right? Just a bunch of people who didn’t take it serious.

What if you found out that out of the last 4 classes there were similar problems; students seemingly unable to master the concepts of when to use force, what the law says, etc?

I don’t know about you but I would worry just how much those students had learned.

 

Now what if I told you that organization was the Dallas Sheriff’s Training Academy?

 

An exclusive NBC 5 investigation reveals a crisis inside the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.  

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Training Academy is at risk of being shut down by the state because last year’s recruits did so poor on the state’s basic licensing exam.

NBC 5 Investigates obtained records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which certifies Texas Police Academies, that indicate only 25 percent of last year’s recruits passed the exam on the first try.  

Their records show 27 recruits took the exam at the academy in 2013 but only seven passed on the first try. The state requires 80 percent of recruits pass on the first attempt and every police academy in Texas did that last year, except Dallas County who had the worst percentage in the entire state.

NBC 5 Investigates learned the state put Dallas County’s academy on probation last fall, which means they are at risk for losing their license.

NBC5 posted that report back in May — sorry blog and real life issues kept me from addressing this sooner.

Does that fill you with confidence and security knowing that it took multiple attempts for the majority of the class to get a “C” on the final exam? In interest of full disclosure, for a Concealed Handgun License with its admittedly shorter/less comprehensive test also requires a passing grade of 70% on the examination.

Before last year, the academy had stellar grades.  In 2012, recruits logged a 100 percent passing rate.

Law enforcement training experts said a sudden drop often points to a poor recruiting class or poor teaching and that both could be a problem.

 

Follow up investigations reveal that the issues do not appear to be with a single class.

NBC 5 Investigates obtained copies of the scores for the last four academy classes. A score of 70 is a passing grade for individual cadets, but in the last four classes the average score on the problem solving and critical thinking portion of the test ranged from just 50 to 60 percent. Three of the last four classes had failing scores on the force options section — which gauges their knowledge of when it’s OK to use a weapon.

Recent Dallas County academy classes also had scores averaging below 70 percent in test areas including controlled substances, arrest search and seizure, traffic laws and crisis intervention – mental health code training.

In one recent academy class, the average score on the family code and juvenile justice portion of the test was a mere 36 percent.

So, let’s consider the ways that the recent classes, including the 2012 class which had a 100% pass rate could have passed.

a. The prospective peace officers took the test repeatedly until they got it right.
b. The prospective peace officers received illegal assistance in passing the test.

Does either scenario fill you with confidence and security about the peace officers coming out of that organization? Especially when you consider that once they passed the test; any department or agency could have hired them!

 

The anti-rights cultist generally harp on how people who carry firearms need to be trained like professional law enforcement officers are trained. Yet the reality of the situation is peace officers aren’t held to incredibly high standards. I’ll be covering the training requirements in more detail later. I want to assure people this isn’t a knock on law enforcement in general; more of pointing out the problems with a major training institution and the tendency of the antis to put law enforcement on a pedestal.

The simple fact is most officers are decent people trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately they are also working for agencies usually headed by political appointees or elected officials trying to stay in office. Unfortunately most officers do not possess the in depth knowledge of the law or the Constitutions.

In fact, I was shocked that for a Basic Peace Officer certification only 8 hours out of 643 — a measly 0.16% of the of the time — is spent on the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution and the Texas  Constitution.

Please join the discussion.

 

And thanks for sticking around and the messages regarding the blog; it really helped to know that people were reaching out to me during the past couple of months.

 

 

Around the Web

This image has been going around the net for a while. My son T.R. sent it to me a couple of days ago.

Many people (mostly anti-rights cultists) are shocked to find out that the Supreme Court ruled that criminals don’t have to register their firearms .

We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under 5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under 5851.

Yep, the case was U.S. v Haynes.
I wonder if the antis really want to keep calling me an “unconvicted felon“?

Please join the discussion.

Teaching Kids

In yet another not so stunning announcement we see the decline of our civilization spelled out.

A Cincinnati high school is paying its students to go to school.

The Dohn Community High School, a charter school in Ohio, started a program this week that would pay seniors $25 weekly and underclassmen $10 weekly in Visa gift cards for showing up to class every day, being on time and behaving in school. The move aims to encourage students to stay in school and graduate from the school where 90 percent of its students live in poverty. Fewer than 20 percent are in two-parent households.

 

This isn’t going to teach kids it is important to go to school; it is going to teach kids that they should get paid for doing what should be a basic expectation.

I wonder if the next step is to pay them by the answer on each quiz or homework assignment. Oh, let’s pay them for eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. We can (and remembering some fellow students from my high school days) pay them to actually bath and groom themselves.

 

This isn’t teaching them responsibility, it is teaching them that society owes them for just showing up.

Meet the next generation of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Please join the discussion.

Ironic Quote of the Day

From the “Occupy Dallas” group:

 

“I know we’re supposed to be helping the 99 percent, but they need to help us help them by not being a drain on our resources,” said Otto Wagner.

Emphasis mine — so is the laughter.

Freedom and Responsibility — “should he be allowed to die”

Jay Livingston from Montclair Socioblog doesn’t think that the issue I previously discussed (here)  is about “the right to die”.

I am certain that Blitzer did not mean that his hypothetical victim of illness wants to die any more than a careless driver who gets in an accident wants to die.

Which is hard to understand since he phrased it this way in his original post:

The question is not whether he should have bought insurance – of course he should have.  The question is: given that he doesn’t have insurance, should society just let him die.

Should society let him die?

Well he made his choices didn’t he? I respect a person’s freedom to choose. That is the most fundamental right we have.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the incredible story of Viktor Frankel:

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Our freedom — our freedom to choose whether or not to do what it takes to stay alive. If you deliberately and knowingly chose to fore go the actions need to keep you alive, aren’t you choosing to die?

Shouldn’t we respect your right to die?

 

Medic Morgan has other thoughts on the subject:

That is not the argument at hand. Ron Paul was asked if a 30 year healthy male who had CHOSEN not to purchase health insurance suddenly became a vegetable on life support–racking up at least $1,500 in intensive care–should we just let him die? He can’t posthumously pay his hospital bills for being kept on life support.

First, lets note that Wolf Blitzer kept changing the question.

After setting up the person deliberately chose not to purchase insurance, Wolf statedAll of the sudden he needs it, he goes into a coma”. Later after Ron Paul tried to answer, it was “needs intensive care for 6 months”.

Well, very few people just drop into a coma. Most are conscious when they go to the hospital, wouldn’t you agree?

Every time I’ve entered the hospital, I’ve sign a statement of financial responsibility. I or my estate is obligated to pay for any and all charges occurred in my treatment, right?

So actually he can posthumously pay his bill.
And unless he has specified otherwise, every person knows that a hospital will do all it can do to save a life, up to and including being kept on life support
(I strongly encourage everyone to have a medical power of attorney and medical directives on record by the way. It is the responsible thing to do.)

This man, who could recover or could be a vegetable on life support forever, did not choose to die. He chose not to pay a couple hundred bucks a month for something he almost surely would never need. Are you saying that he did choose his fate? He chose to die by choosing not to get health insurance?

This is absolutely going to sound cold and callous but the answer is yes.

This hypothetical man chose not to take the steps need in order to insure his survival.

The idea that medical care is “something he almost surely would never need. “ is false. At one point or another everyone is going to need medical care.

I don’t care how you pay for that medical care. You can have comprehensive insurance, you can have catastrophic care insurance, you can pay for it out of your savings, heck…you can even put it on your credit card for all I care.

 

Or should the tax payers foot the bill for this man’s unlikely misfortune?

Needing medical care isn’t “unlikely”. If you can imagine yourself not needing medical care, you can imagine the opposite. In choosing to not take responsibility you are choosing the consequences. It really is that simple.

Please join the discussion.

 

By the way….Medic Morgan is a new blogger — just starting EMT -B and recently purchased her first firearm. I hope everyone will add her to their bookmarks or blog rolls. I’ve already bookmarked her blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will be asked to sign an agreement regarding treatment consent and financial responsibility for expenses for which you are responsible, including services not covered by your insurers. Please read it carefully.

Freedom

One of the problems I have with many ultra-liberals/far left folks is the contradiction regarding freedom to choose.

The question is not whether he should have bought insurance – of course he should have.  The question is: given that he doesn’t have insurance, should society just let him die.

“No . . .” Paul starts to say.  But you know those Republican debate audiences, especially the Tea Party folks.  When it comes to righteous death, they’re just so darned irrepressible.  Sure enough, a few of them shouted, “Yes.”  Go to the video  and listen, if you can, to the enthusiasm for letting someone die.

 

Watch the video:

 

The enthusiasm was for the freedom to choose. The enthusiasm was for personal responsibility.

To say that people were cheering for letting someone die is a distortion at best, a lie in reality.

Listening carefully I heard only 2 — two people yell yes. Hardly an overwhelming enthusiasm, wouldn’t you say?

I find it interesting that many liberals are so willing to require everyone to accept a person’s choice — Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgender, Abortion, Drugs, Vegan, etc — but will not accept a person’s choice in if they die or not.

(I also have problems with the conservatives views on choice also, don’t get me wrong).

I think Ron Paul had the right answers in this case.

Please join the discussion.