Archives May 2015

THE DOWNSIDE TO POLICE UNIONS

Marshall Frank: The downside to police unions

Police unions are a valued entity for officers throughout the country. But there’s also a downside.

In the early 1970s, police officers were underpaid and understaffed. Corruption was perceived as commonplace, even if it wasn’t true. People thought cops were on the take. Working homicide in Dade County, my co-workers and I often logged 70-80 hours a week on whodunits and high-profile cases for the same small paycheck every two weeks. No overtime, no extra benefits. We might go to work on Monday and not come home for days.

Along came the Police Benevolent Association, which had been a law-enforcement fellowship. New leadership led the organization into a bargaining entity, without calling it a union. By 1972, Dade County politicians acquiesced to demands and police began receiving long-overdue benefits, including overtime pay.

That was a good thing. It also was good that the new union made sure officers’ rights were protected. The union staunchly defended cops accused of wrongdoing. But, they may have gone too far in some instances.

In the late 1970s, a small number of officers had been red-flagged as problematic, accused too often of unnecessary brutality. Whereas most officers might see one or two brutality accusations in their personnel files, a very few others had 20 and 30 complaints on record. Internal investigations often exonerated these men, though the lopsided number of complaints should have indicated a serious problem. Rather than firing or reassigning them to desk jobs, they were transferred to patrol Central District, considered the “Siberia” of assignments. Citizen complaints continued, but nothing was ever proven. The union, now a political powerhouse, made sure officers’ rights were protected.

One night, motorcyclist Arthur McDuffie, 32, led this cadre of officers on a harrowing chase through the streets of Liberty City. When apprehended, flashlights and nightsticks were used to beat the unarmed man into unconsciousness and death. Five officers were charged and tried. A not-guilty verdict led to the Miami riots of May 1980.

The department brass knew these few officers had lopsided numbers of brutality complaints. The upper echelon who were willing to act were deterred by the union and the political clout it wielded. They knew the bad cops, but nothing could be done. In truth, the department brass/union/political forces were equally responsible for the death of Arthur McDuffie.

Example Two: In my final year, 1990, I was a captain managing a unit of 60 officers and supervisors. By this time, the police union had morphed into a protection agency acting as de facto public defenders whenever a complaint was logged for wrongdoing.

I inherited one officer who, in his short three-year tenure, had established a dismal performance record, with poor evaluations and a series of reprimands and suspensions for failing to perform duties. Officer “Z” was a bad cop but remained on the job.

One day, another officer in his area called for a backup on radio. Officer “Z” would be closest, but he didn’t answer. Other officers, farther away, took the call, but no one could find “Z.” An investigation determined “Z” had abandoned his zone to attend an event at the Orange Bowl, on duty. He had violated rules and put his fellow officer in danger.

Considering his atrocious job record, I recommended termination — in vain. Officer “Z” presented his termination papers to a union rep, who in turn complained to downtown politicians, who in turn contacted the department chief, who called to let me know he wouldn’t allow “Z” to be terminated. The bad cop prevailed over the captain.

If you wonder why some notoriously bad cops (or bad teachers) stay on the job, that’s an example. Union leaders have much more political clout than department heads.

While unions are still valuable, the golden age has crested. Sometimes, greed and power is given priority over doing what’s right. That’s not a good thing.

Marshall Frank is an author and retired South Florida police detective who lives in Melbourne. His work is online at MarshallFrank.com.

POLITICS: THINKING OUT LOUD

Most of my readers know that I strive to research and verify before posting facts and opinions. Once in a great while, a reader will come up with one of those “gotchas” which causes me to restudy a point of view.  The few times that has happened, I accept as a learning process by which to do even better.

     We all naturally harbor views and opinions that may not be completely verifiable, yet very possibly true. As experienced police detectives are aware, hard evidence is not always left behind, though the circumstantial body of information may point to conclusions that offer solid information and prime suspects.

     The following list of views and opinions are based on my own insights, research, a plethora of dot-connecting and plain common sense. This time it’s just me; Thinking Out Loud

  • I believe the global warming issue is a political sham. Indeed, some science reports espouse warming as a global problem, but the politicians on one end of the fence do all they can to cash in politically. Climate change is a natural phenomenon that has been on-going since the beginning of planet earth. It wasn’t man who created the ice age, nor other shifts in geological or meteorological phenomena. Of course, it’s important do all we can to preserve a good environment. But whenever I hear someone like the president tell us that climate change is more serious than ISIS or international terror, the first thing that comes to mind is; Is he purposely lying? Is this a political detraction?
  • The rise of ISIS rivals the rise of Nazism in the early 1930’s. It started with a band of brutal radicals, to which the general populace turned a blind eye until the treachery overflowed into their world. Our president originally dismissed ISIS as a JV unit, unimportant. The mission of ISIS is establishing fundamentalist Islamic states to blanket the entire world which will entail mass terror; it is only a matter of time. It’s destined to grow huge and not just in the middle-east. The radical Islamists and the Nazis each worshiped a god: One who could be seen, and the other who cannot be seen. But the fascist ideology is very similar. The only thing that will stop the march of fascism is a defeat from which they cannot recover. Like it or not, that could mean D-Day.
  • We know that – for many years – Barack Obama’s most influential mentor, and father figure, from ages ten to eighteen was Frank Marshall Davis, an avowed, card-carrying communist who hated the United States. We know that Barack Obama was indoctrinated at an earlier age with Islam. And, we know that Obama’s friends and associates throughout his early life were confirmed anti-Americans, communists and Islamists to which he owed his friendship and loyalty. Thus, we have elected into the White House, a man who was marinated in two ideologies which have, at one time or another, sworn to destroy and conquer the United States. It’s clear the American voters had no clue as to who or what they were voting for.
  • Race relations were at an all-time pinnacle in America until 2009, when – ironically – a black president took office. Barack Obama, and his ideology and his cronies (Holder, Sharpton, etc.) have set back race relations 40 years, or more. Could it be that it is all part of a grander plan to establish anarchy in America, thus the divide? 
  • Consider the possiblity that Barack Obama may attempt to remain in office. Outside of repealing a constitutional amendment, that can be achieved one of two ways: 1)  He can have Michelle Obama run for president, and if elected, he would remain president by proxy or 2) Obama can declare Martial Law. That can be accomplished for a number of reasons; Out-of-control border crossings, war with Iran or other major countries, anarchy in major cities, etc. On March 16, 2012, the White House released an executive order, “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” which expands and reaffirms a previous action giving the executive branch such powers to protect national security.  Basically, the federal government has the authority to take over many aspects of American society. Food, livestock, farming equipment, manufacturing, industry, energy, transportation, health care facilities, water resources, defense and construction – all of it could fall under the full control of Mr. Obama.
  • I believe the current wave of assaults and demonstrations against police is an organized effort to create anger, hatred and disorder by hired anarchists, as part of a grander plan to one day declare police incapable of maintaining the peace. That could also provide a motive for Martial Law. Hopefully not.
  • I believe Barack Obama is at the least, a sympathizer with the Muslim Brotherhood, or at the most, a stealth agent. Every action he takes in regards to the middle-east is to the advantage of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the uprising and installation of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt in 2011.
  • I believe Obama will, while president, stand by and do little or nothing to prevent an Israeli catastrophe as Iran or other proxies embark upon an overt destruction of Israel.
  • I believe Hillary Clinton (and possibly the president) was likely aware of the scheme prior to the Benghazi attack of 2012. Her actions, or inactions, prior to and following the attack, aided and abetted which could be considered “Obstruction of Justice.” Certainly the actions following the attack rivaled that of many past criminal suspects; Lie, duck and get lost.
  • For one reason or another, I seriously doubt that Hillary Clinton will make it to an election day. There are too many hammers ready to fall, and she is a grossly dishonest person. And, she is inevitably going to come under fire for so many of her major actions and inactions as debates near. It’s unthinkable that any informed American citizen could cast a vote for this woman, regardless of party.

Click here: Did Obama sign a martial law executive order? — RT USA

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/22/obamas-power-grab/#ixzz3azVscWp1 

 

BATTLECAT: A BLACK WOMAN SPEAKS OUT

Battlecat

She calls herself “Battlecat.”  Her name is Lena Pullum, apparently from Brooklyn. 

     She has something to say. She’s not a politician, not a marcher. She’s one citizen from the black community with a politically incorrect message.  She wears blue lipstick. She uses foul language and minces no words. She may be rough around the edges, but you can see she is intelligent.

     The two video links below are provided in a blog because no one needs to hear this from me, a white male career cop who leans right in most political issues.

     In link # 1 she talks for three minutes about the Baltimore rioters. Watch, listen. It’s worth the time.

     In link # 2 she talks about her view of the truth within the black community, mixed with some personal opinions about the 2nd Amendment.  This one is eight minutes.

     I hope this reaches Barack Obama, the Attorney General, the mayor of Baltimore, the New York Times and MSNBC. Don’t hold your breath.

     Remember:  If this was on a network TV show, you’d hear a lot of bleeps. Language is not for nuns.

Click here: Little Black Ghetto Bastards of Baltimore

Click here: Black on Black crime and Why we NEED the 2nd Amendment by BattleCat Pullman You Tube Brand New Star

A MOTHER'S DAY TRIBUTE

VivienP1
Her name – is – Vivien.
     I say “is” because she still lives in the mind and heart of at least one person in this world. Among her contributions to humanity, she was a truly dedicated mom in every sense of the word. While she may no longer exist among us these last forty years, she still deserves to be honored this day.
     Vivien Peterson was born in Chicago, 1910, the eldest of two daughters to humble Norwegian parents. Both girls were beautiful and exceptionally talented. Frances was a natural blonde and went on to become a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall, New York. Vivien was a striking redhead who kept her dark auburn color throughout life. Later, people compared her glamour and talents to Rita Hayworth.
     Vivien studied piano and dance, and voice, and became a local sensation of sorts, busily peforming classical concerts, musical theater and vaudeville by the time she was sixteen. She met Arthur, a Jewish entertainer already famous in vaudeville circuits for his comic rube character, often billed on the marquees with burgeoning stars like Rudy Vallee, Milton Berle and Fanny Bryce. He had been partnering with Ginger Rogers when he fell head over heels in love with Vivien. She was 19 when they married. Vivien became his straight woman, joking, dancing and drawing laughter from avid audiences.
     Life was good for the loving couple in the 1930’s. While most Americans were suffering through the depression, their income was far above the norm. Vivien gave birth to two boys in the late 1930’s, but the happiness didn’t last long. Arthur, the rube comic, died shortly after the birth of the second son. With vaudeville now relegated to the history books, Vivien used her talent in New York night clubs to make a living. She shared the stage at the Queen’s Terrace with Jackie Gleason and Sophie Tucker still in their formative years. The boys were often cared for by her mother and sister.
     Night clubs were a magnet to organized crime gangsters. They swarmed around Vivien like moths to the flame. She married again, to a professional gambler named Willie who had long placed her on a pedestal.
VivienTall
 
     Tragedy struck again when her eldest son drowned in Flushing Bay at the age of seven. After then, Vivien’s hair turned forever white, though she made good use of Clairol to keep herself an auburn redhead.   
     Following the death of her oldest boy, Vivien became more protective of her remaining son. She, Willie and the boy moved to Florida as the great war still raged on in Europe and the Pacific. Willie opened an illegal casino in a Miami Beach hotel, protected by the chief of police, mayor and other officials, all on the take. Life was good again. Vivien doted over her son who she envisioned as a future concert violinist. She made sure he had private violin lessons, shoe inserts for his flat feet, swimming lessons, bedtime stories and lots of love.
     Cigarette smoke and booze prevailed throughout the living room as New York gangsters and their ladies often visited the apartment. Vivien bellowed songs like Sophie Tucker from the piano while the boisterous array of northern visitors and friends delighted in her ebullient personality, not to mention her dazzling beauty.
     Willie died of natural causes in 1949, leaving Vivien with nothing but a car and a wad of cash from his pocket. Twice widowed and with a son to support, she went back to work teaching in a dance studio and playing ballet music on the piano for the students for $15 a week. It was the first time since childhood that she experienced poverty. Despite the hardships, her son remained her first priority, making sure he still had love and attention, private music lessons, inserts for those shoes, an education and plenty of food even if she had nothing to eat for herself.
     She remarried one more time in the mid 1950’s when Bernie the Bookie, another old-time mobster who’d been a widower, came panting after her. With her son now a teen, life was happy again. She became a business woman and opened her own dance studio, eventually earning love and respect from hundreds of students who remained devoted friends with her forever.
     Ten years later, 1966, Vivien became a widow once again. Bernie died of heart failure at the same time she was fighting brain cancer. She succumbed later that same year. In her last months of suffering, she had no one to care for her, except her adult son who nursed and loved her for six long months until he watched her take her last breath.
     Vivien’s heart may have stopped in June of 1966, but her son’s heart continues to beat today fueling warm memories of the greatest of mothers that anyone could ever dream of. Her son never quite made it to the concert halls, but he still plays violin to this day, thanks to her.
     As that boy lives on, Vivien will remain alive. He’s 76 now, and hopefully has many more years ahead before her memory dies with him.
     Before passage of time renders her extinct, Vivien is honored this day for gracing planet earth with the most wonderful of moms who ever lived. She not only taught her son about devotion, integrity and sacrifice, she was a colossal role model for instilling strength and resilience in the hardest of times. Without her guidance and eternal optimism, he may not ever have managed his own hardships, and gone on to enjoy the successes in his own life. For through Vivien, he learned the essential art of loving and being loved. 
     Now and forever: Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.    
VivienP8
     

A MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE

VivienP1

Her name – is – Vivien.

     I say “is” because she still lives in the mind and heart of at least one person in this world. Among her contributions to humanity, she was a truly dedicated mom in every sense of the word. While she may no longer exist among us these last forty years, she still deserves to be honored this day.

     Vivien Peterson was born in Chicago, 1910, the eldest of two daughters to humble Norwegian parents. Both girls were beautiful and exceptionally talented. Frances was a natural blonde and went on to become a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall, New York. Vivien was a striking redhead who kept her dark auburn color throughout life. Later, people compared her glamour and talents to Rita Hayworth.

     Vivien studied piano and dance, and voice, and became a local sensation of sorts, busily peforming classical concerts, musical theater and vaudeville by the time she was sixteen. She met Arthur, a Jewish entertainer already famous in vaudeville circuits for his comic rube character, often billed on the marquees with burgeoning stars like Rudy Vallee, Milton Berle and Fanny Bryce. He had been partnering with Ginger Rogers when he fell head over heels in love with Vivien. She was 19 when they married. Vivien became his straight woman, joking, dancing and drawing laughter from avid audiences.

     Life was good for the loving couple in the 1930’s. While most Americans were suffering through the depression, their income was far above the norm. Vivien gave birth to two boys in the late 1930’s, but the happiness didn’t last long. Arthur, the rube comic, died shortly after the birth of the second son. With vaudeville now relegated to the history books, Vivien used her talent in New York night clubs to make a living. She shared the stage at the Queen’s Terrace with Jackie Gleason and Sophie Tucker still in their formative years. The boys were often cared for by her mother and sister.

     Night clubs were a magnet to organized crime gangsters. They swarmed around Vivien like moths to the flame. She married again, to a professional gambler named Willie who had long placed her on a pedestal.

VivienTall

 

     Tragedy struck again when her eldest son drowned in Flushing Bay at the age of seven. After then, Vivien’s hair turned forever white, though she made good use of Clairol to keep herself an auburn redhead.   

     Following the death of her oldest boy, Vivien became more protective of her remaining son. She, Willie and the boy moved to Florida as the great war still raged on in Europe and the Pacific. Willie opened an illegal casino in a Miami Beach hotel, protected by the chief of police, mayor and other officials, all on the take. Life was good again. Vivien doted over her son who she envisioned as a future concert violinist. She made sure he had private violin lessons, shoe inserts for his flat feet, swimming lessons, bedtime stories and lots of love.

     Cigarette smoke and booze prevailed throughout the living room as New York gangsters and their ladies often visited the apartment. Vivien bellowed songs like Sophie Tucker from the piano while the boisterous array of northern visitors and friends delighted in her ebullient personality, not to mention her dazzling beauty.

     Willie died of natural causes in 1949, leaving Vivien with nothing but a car and a wad of cash from his pocket. Twice widowed and with a son to support, she went back to work teaching in a dance studio and playing ballet music on the piano for the students for $15 a week. It was the first time since childhood that she experienced poverty. Despite the hardships, her son remained her first priority, making sure he still had love and attention, private music lessons, inserts for those shoes, an education and plenty of food even if she had nothing to eat for herself.

     She remarried one more time in the mid 1950’s when Bernie the Bookie, another old-time mobster who’d been a widower, came panting after her. With her son now a teen, life was happy again. She became a business woman and opened her own dance studio, eventually earning love and respect from hundreds of students who remained devoted friends with her forever.

     Ten years later, 1966, Vivien became a widow once again. Bernie died of heart failure at the same time she was fighting brain cancer. She succumbed later that same year. In her last months of suffering, she had no one to care for her, except her adult son who nursed and loved her for six long months until he watched her take her last breath.

     Vivien’s heart may have stopped in June of 1966, but her son’s heart continues to beat today fueling warm memories of the greatest of mothers that anyone could ever dream of. Her son never quite made it to the concert halls, but he still plays violin to this day, thanks to her.

     As that boy lives on, Vivien will remain alive. He’s 76 now, and hopefully has many more years ahead before her memory dies with him.

     Before passage of time renders her extinct, Vivien is honored this day for gracing planet earth with the most wonderful of moms who ever lived. She not only taught her son about devotion, integrity and sacrifice, she was a colossal role model for instilling strength and resilience in the hardest of times. Without her guidance and eternal optimism, he may not ever have managed his own hardships, and gone on to enjoy the successes in his own life. For through Vivien, he learned the essential art of loving and being loved. 

     Now and forever: Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.    

VivienP8