Looking at the Dallas Police Department

In Tuesday’s post, I talked about problems with the Dallas Sheriff’s Training Academy. Greg left a comment that included this statement:

Morale is poor, professional deputies are seeking retirement or employment by other, less politicized agencies.

And today I wake up to find out that perhaps problems aren’t isolated to the Sheriff’s Department.

DALLAS — Many Dallas police officers aren’t happy with the current state of the department, according to the result of a morale survey released Thursday by the Dallas Police Association.

Eighty percent of the 1,279 officers who responded to the survey rated their morale as low or the lowest it’s ever been.

According to the article, the DPD employs 3,500 officers. So one-third of the officers respond overwhelmingly saying morale is low….really low.

The survey found, among other things, that:

  • 71 percent believed that they are not allowed to perform police duties that residents expect.
  • 87 percent felt they do not have the support of the command staff to do the job in the manner they’ve been charged.
  • 78 percent would not recommend DPD to other potential law enforcement candidates.
  • 54 percent were not satisfied with their job.

Many officers have described a general dissatisfaction with the direction of the department.

Dallas police officers have been frustrated by the department’s handling of two controversial police shootings, which ultimately resulted in the firing of the officers and their indictment. Officers have also been upset by policies that say makes it difficult to do their jobs, such as the foot chase policy. More recently, Brown has been engaged in a long-running battle with the DPA over management of the Dallas police academy

WOW. If nothing else that 54% job dissatisfaction rating should scare the stuffing out of people. It is entirely possible those dissatisfied with their job will respond by either cracking down on people or by sloughing off and letting people get away with too much. Either way, not good for anyone going through or living in Dallas.

Maybe it is time we took a serious look at the laws and what we expect law enforcement to do about those laws. For far too long it seems we’ve let political correctness, the War on (Some) Drugs, Terrorism, etc drive us in directions that are hurting us in the long run. — Then maybe act on that serious look at let law enforcement get back to the motto so many are ignoring “to protect and serve”.

Please join the discussion.

 

 

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.

 

 

Yeah, About that Claim of Terrorizing People….

….I’m gonna need you to, um…perhaps retract that outrageous claim. The Fort Worth Police department made the claim in an email

An email from Sgt. Ray Bush, with the Fort Worth Police Department, said Jack in the Box employees at the South Freeway location on Sycamore School Road, were scared about the armed men protesting outside of the restaurant.

“They locked themselves inside a freezer for protection out of fear the rifle-carrying men would rob them,” the email stated. “The demonstration had no signage that would have alerted anyone to their real purpose, and to our knowledge they did not attempt to contact anyone in the Fort Worth Police Department to advise us prior to the demonstration.”

The Media ran with it, seemingly without trying to vet, for days. Even when the story started falling part (from O.C.T.’s FB page)

Open carry activists at a Fort Worth Jack in the Box drew the attention of police following a 911 call. (Photo credit: Facebook)

From the Open Carry Tarrant County FB Page

The anti-rights advocates still haven’t seen fit to address the issue by printing a retraction — despite the company in question saying the story is false

An earlier version of this post included information from Sgt. Ray Bush of the Forth Worth Police Department, who wrote in an email last week that the employees at the Jack in the Box where Open Carry Texas staged a demonstration “locked themselves inside a freezer for protection out of fear the rifle-carrying men would rob them.” However, Brian Luscomb, vice president of corporate communications for Jack in the Box, told the New York Times this evening, “Our employees told us that they did not hide in the freezer.” We have amended the post to reflect this new information.

And don’t you love how the NYT puts the retraction at the very bottom of the page? Now, we are starting to get information regarding the — yes, I said THE – 911 call that was made. So far it is the only one that has been released in regards to this demonstration.
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It looks like that is the only call made. So let’s see; friendly smiling faces (the guy posing with the OCT group is the manager), non -terrified appearing employees in the background, no 911 calls released from the employees. Even the 911 caller didn’t sound terrified or excited. You know what I think happened – NOTHING, at least until the police over reacted.

 

Come on seriously Fort Worth Police department; how many times have their been reports of Armed people strolling about in a parking lot and problems arise from it.  Not to often. Add to that no other reports of shots fired, no other 911 calls.

We can debate the merits of Open Carry and the methods used by this advocacy group all day long; in the end that misses any important point. The point that even in a state were Open Carry isn’t that common; it just doesn’t generate the level of hysteria or concern from ordinary people. Let’s keep going and make sure everyone realizes this; let’s point out the lies of the media and the Mom’s Demanding Attention And Bloomberg’s Money.

 

Please join the discussion.

Federal Property -Research

The recent kerfuffle; really should say the latest outbreak of the long running problem, had me doing a little research into the legal basis for federal ownership of property.

Found this informative report (PDF Alert)

Federal Land Ownership: Constitutional Authority and the History of Acquisition, Disposal and Retention.

Put together by the Congressional Research Service; a group I never knew about until I found the report. I’m not through reading it yet but lots of great information and some really surprising numbers.

“The federal government has retained about a third of the 1.8 billion acres it acquired in North America. These lands are heavily concentrated in 12 western states (including Alaska but not Hawaii), where, in total, the federal government owns more than half of the land (ranging from 30% in Montana to 84% in Nevada). “

Emphasis Mine.

Take a look at the report if you are interested in the constitutional and legal issues. I’ll try to post more later (maybe today, maybe later this week).

Thanks for sticking around folks.

Texas CHL Law Update

I might have mentioned this in passing but I didn’t cover in any detail. On 1 Sep 2013, a few firearm related bills were enacted into law.

One of those was Senate Bill 299 which changed section 46.035 as shown below

AN ACT

relating to the intentional display of a handgun by a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subsections (a) and (h), Section 46.035, Penal Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays fails to conceal the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place.

(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that  the actor, at the time of the commission of the offense, displayed the handgun under circumstances in which the actor would have been justified in the use of force or deadly force under Chapter 9.

SECTION 2. The change in law made by this Act applies only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date. 

SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.

How big of a change is this? Really really big folks.

Remember in Section 411.171 there is this definition:

(3) “Concealed handgun” means a handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.

This removes considerable worry about a shirt riding up or the wind blowing a cover garment up and exposing the firearm.Combine that with the protection of displaying in situations where the use of force or deadly force would be appropriate and the really helps the gun owner.
Not quite Open Carry but on the way. Even more importantly was the fact this bill wasn’t a stretch, it wasn’t an oddity in an otherwise hostile legislative session; it was 1 of 14 bills (Link edited — Happy Cormac???????)  that generally improved the rights of the people.

Please join the discussion.

 Aaron Spuler looked at the bills back in June 2013  - good recap

Positive Open Carry / LEO Interaction

Congrats not only to the Come and Take It – Texas group but the Austin Police officer !

This is how it should be.

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Now if we can get Open Carry of Handguns.

 

What Would the Antis Suggest?

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Okay…middle of the day; no apparent attempt to determine if the house was empty; dude just breaks a window and starts climbing in.

The home owner protecting at least his property; if not his life investigates the noise and sees the criminal breaking in. Shoots and kills the criminal breaking into his home. That is how it went down.

What will continue to go down is the police will finish their investigation, the District Attorney will present the case to a grand jury, and they’ll decide to bring charges or not. Still a costly process but one I don’t expect to end with charges brought. Especially not with the mom saying “yeah, this sounds like something he would do”.

But let’s turn the clock back and ask the antis what would they rather have the home owner do?

A.) Call the police and wait?
B.) Run out his house, leaving possessions – including a firearm behind for a criminal to steal and use for illegal drugs?C.) Fight him hand to hand after the criminal has gotten inside the house?
D.) Meekly stand there and let an unknown person with unknown intentions do what ever he wants to him?

3of those possibilities would have increased, not decreased, crime. One would still be violence but puts the home owner at a disadvantage. Either not used to physical violence, due to age, etc.

In contrast, the home owner’s actions not only stopped this crime but put an end to a long (some said 18 page rap sheet) career of crime.  Based on the recommendations of the anti-rights cultists; it is almost as if they want MORE crime to occur not less.

Please join the discussion.