Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Check Please!

One thing many civilians may not realize when winter rushes in and they are tucked away in their nice warm homes equipped with hot cocoa and blankies, is that the PoPo are out in the elements. Defending your honor, your castle, your sanctuary...and nowadays safe space. 

Equally as grueling is working as the PoPo in 117 degrees while wearing multiple layers and a vest. 

Ok. Maybe not. But you get my snow drift. 

We had no choice. It was do or be unemployed. How many sick days or vacation days do you have for inclement weather? And that's not really cool either. People frown on fair weather cops. So we have to suck it up and go out there. 

I don't miss working in these winds recorded yesterday...

It would have appeared that Casper won the prize...until later...
Give those Clark people a beer!
I wonder if a human can stand up in that kind of gust?
Wanna try? Let's play human bowling pins.

I feel pretty warm and fuzzy to have been privileged to have watched all this from the comforts of my desk. Outside...it was a balmy 4 degrees by the time I got to work. One thing over this direction we do have is ice...freezing rain. Well, Fargo...numb-nuts....did not put the car in the garage during all this and woke up to a Vader Popsicle. Who looked like a first class boob outside with a blow dryer at 5:30 a.m. trying to thaw the doors? Yeah. Me. It rose up to a nice 4 degrees by the time I got to the office...

OK... back to the point of this post... don't forget our boys and girls in blue and other colors who have to work in this stuff...icy roads...below zero temps...whiny citizens...winds...yuck. 

They don't get to hide in an office. 

Sometimes they can retreat to their patrol car if the wind doesn't knock the door back in their faces when they get in and out. Yep. Don't miss those black eyes either. 

And not everyone looks as great as I do in those fur hats...

This is me...1)wishing upon a star...2)posing in summer wearing a winter hat...3)trying out sexy lip poses...4)this is not me.

I think we all need to have some compassion and buy them a warm cup of coffee from time to time. A meal would be nice. Unless you worked for my department and those things would be considered gratuities and you could get fired for accepting kindness. What a crock. I understand why people administrators don't go down that road, but an anonymous kind gesture is not easily refused when the bill is paid or the coffee is on the table. Then what? 

Who wore it better? 

Here is a good summary from Clearwater Police Department: 

A gratuity is the receipt of free meals, services, or discounts. Nonfederal police usually do not regard these as forms of corruption ("not another lecture on the free cup of coffee or police discount"). These are considered fringe benefits of the job. Nevertheless, they violate the Code of Ethics because they involve financial reward or gain, and they are corruption because the officer has been placed in a compromising position where favors (a "fix") can be reasonably expected in the future. When there is an implied favor (a "wink and nod"), it's called "mooching". When the officer is quite blatant about demanding free services, it's called "chiseling".

Gratuities often lead to things like kickbacks (bribery) for referring business to towing companies, ambulances, or garages. Further up the scale comes pilfering, or stealing (any) company's supplies for personal use. At the extreme, opportunistic theft takes place, with police officers skimming items of value that won't be missed from crime scenes, property rooms, warehouses, or any place they have access to. Theft of items from stores while on patrol is sometimes called "shopping".

And I could add that we all might be familiar with the theory of the Slippery Slope. So that is why the brass nuts stop the buck before it gets passed. Here is a comparison again taken from the Clearwater Police Department using the Broken Window theory to explain the Slipper Slope. 

The Slippery Slope theory is curiously similar to the law enforcement "Broken Window" theory of urban decay: if a neighborhood allows a broken window to go un-repaired, residents will overlook trash; then ignore decaying properties; then accept street crimes; and ultimately a continual degradation of the neighborhood, allowing crime to flourish.

So what changed all this? September 11, 2001. We can be forever grateful. Blah. Maybe society would have molded our philosophies this way anyway, but at that moment in time...we were awakened and police life changed drastically and RIGHT NOW. There were no choices. There was no discussion. Society defines the blue line. Events define the blue line. It is what it is. 

I still pick up the tab. I still buy the coffee. Fuck the rules. I know my gestures are pure of heart. And there is always that free show of love of the blue line...

Go hug a cop. 

But give notice of incoming affection prior to landing. 


Well Seasoned Fool said...

Strange winter. All that bad stuff has stayed North of Glendo. Since we don't go North of US 26 we've only had to deal with the fringe.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
Hey, I spent my share of days driving about in craptastic weather conditions, sitting in traffic, being redirected by a mounted LEO who advised me about a shooting the next block over (back in Philly).
I hear where you're coming from.

Hair dryers, deicer, using a Zippo to heat the key (an upside to smoking?)...all work well enough MOST times.
A GOOD ice storm will negate ALL of those!
---Got a nephew who's a captain in the Alexandria FD - don't envy THOSE guys out in the cold, using WATER that turns the engines and streets into impromptu ice sculptures.
---I'll bet you look DYNAMITE in a fur hat (trooper style of course).
--- Your former dept looked DOWN at a cuppajoe or a meal from civvies?
Tha5t's a new one on me.
---My "take" on this is that it helps to REENFORCE the damn "code of ethics". The LEOS out there CHOSE to do what they do...no one got 'em in a judo-lock and FORCED them to put on the shield.
---But I also understand that in times and cities past, such "amenities" were expected by SOME cops and one hand washed the other (with businesses and people) well enough until it was shut down.
---I feel in times after 911, there became TWO blue lines -
-The first was the one that the LEOS lived and adhered to.
-The other is what the public is permitted to perceive, and that can be something totally different from the original "mission-statement" of law-enforcement.'
Well said, Kiddo.
I'm with 'ya 100%, and it never hurts to share some compassion and charity once in a while to those who serve our communities and protect our streets.

Roll safe down there, dear.

Cheryl said...

I often check to see what the weather is doing north of Kansas as it often gives me a head's up on what to expect here. Those winds speeds and temperatures are mind numbing as well as body numbing. I don't think a person my size could actually stand in a wind speed of even 60 MPH.

As for the free cup of coffee and such for police or any public service worker. That's petty to categorize that as "enticement" of some type. I appreciate the slippery slope aspect if there became an expectation that they were demanding freebies but putting them in the position of refusing an offer of a free cup of coffee or a piece of pie is trivial. We have bigger problems such as the current negative portrayal of law enforcement at the hands of the media to reckon with.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Glad to live in the tropics. Grateful to the men and women in blue who take on such a dangerous but essential job.

Old NFO said...

I've bought a few lunches for the folks in blue... And I'll buy a few more... :-)