Some of you chose to post some questions on the comments. I did not receive any emails, unless I missed them, so I have pasted everyone's opinions here. I don't agree with everyone and I am sure everyone does not agree with me. However, that's what makes America beautiful. I think. That and Dwayne Johnson...and trees...and birds...and flowers...and...
1. Why do you think police become corrupted and how?
They Call Me The Fireman: Cops, like ANY other profession, have their bad apples. Even the Fire Department has them. (shhhhhh) Simple fact of life.
Kat: Lack of oversight, greedy with power, ability to mess with people.
Bob G: With power comes responsibility. Police HAVE power, but a few can't (or won't) handle that responsibility part - ergo they let the power run away and the corruption/abuse of the power that was GIVEN by we, the people takes center stage.
Yuri: Why do cops become corrupted? Seeing their superiors get away with bs. Losing their ideals when they arrest the same perp over and over again. Some because they can. Local news broke the story of two cops committing armed robbery, flashing their badges. One was even using his department issued firearm.
Fargo: Police are given a lot of power. With that comes those that can't handle it, or those that become greedy. I have seen cops fall from grace. I have seen some do some questionable things. I have not worked next to corruption in the pure sense. It does exist. I have friends that work in corrupt agencies but choose not to go to the dark side. I think power breeds corruption. It takes the right kind of people to carry the badge.
2. What is your favorite cop hero story?
They Call Me The Fireman: One of them - the cop in NY that bought the homeless guy boots. Or was it DC.
Kat: I heard one about a cop jumping into a cold river to save someone without hesitating.
Bob G: Hard to say...so many in cities across America every day...that are RARELY reported!
Yuri: Favorite cop hero story? I'll go with the officer in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Capt. David Huff.
Fargo: I have seen many. I will have to say one that touched me the most was the local deputy (Converse County) that dove into the water to save a teenager and drowned. Sad story...the call wasn't what it appeared and he lost his life, but he still went out as a hero, doing what a great cop would do.
3. What do you think about the new police training on active shooters in schools, businesses, etc.?
They Call Me The Fireman: I like schools having armed people around. Well trained, with current recurring training.
Kat: Since I work in a school this one hits close to home. I've heard the new response of run, hiding and fighting. I think its better to do something than to hide in a corner. However, I know going up against someone with a pile of textbooks vs gun might not do much but at least its something. The local sheriff talked about arming our dean of students (also a cop) just in case of these situations. I would probably jump in the middle of it like I tend to with fights (which is not the smartest thing to do but that is how I react to those things
Bob G: The "new" rules make as much sense as "duck and cover" did for a NUCLEAR BLAST!
Armed and trained people who can engage an active shooter and take him down BEFORE rampant carnage ensues is always preferred.
Yuri: What do you think of "run, hide, fight?" Only plane thwarted on 9/11 was by people willing to fight. Evil must be met with force.
Fargo: I like school resource officers and cops in schools, banks. I remember a time we didn't need them. As a parent, they give me extra security. Training civilians to run, hide, and fight is an individual choice. If I wasn't trained, I would not sit idle while someone approached me or those near me just to shoot us. However, I wouldn't expect everyone to react that way. It's smart to show others to think outside the box and by golly, if I can staple a bad guy to the floor until the cops get there...so be it. Or maybe that doorstop will come in handy for stoning a gunman to death. How about that American flag pole...spear anyone? If a bad guy comes into my office...watch out...letter openers are great as well as the butcher knives in the commercial kitchen next to the conference room.
4. What book are you reading now? Do you like it? Will you finish it? Do you read books? Why or why not?
They Call Me The Fireman: Finished one about nuclear war today, on to your suggestion I think. www.kindlebuffet.com Free books and more free books.
Kat: I just finished a Dick Francis mystery, decent, about horse racing though. Not sure its my type of book though. I inhale books all the time. Not much else to do out in the middle of nowhere. Goodreads.com is good for new books.
Bob G: Working on several books (when I can get some QUIET time to hear myself read).
I prefer books to kindle...even IF I have to wearing "reading glasses"...lol. I like books simply because I was brought up to view them as places you take your mind to and learn from.
Yuri: What books are you reading now? Not reading any books right now. I do love reading. It could be said I've a reading addiction. I've missed work from staying up to late to finish a book. I'm working on moderation.
Fargo: I read constantly. Never get tired of knowledge or entertainment. I am a sponge.
5. Do you work out regularly? If so, what do you do? Why do you like it?
They Call Me The Fireman: I constantly fly off the handle and jump to conclusions.
Kat: No, I should.
Bob G: Yeah, I work out...out in the garden! Used to bike 20 miles several times a week, but I was younger then. Now, I exercise "my right to be a curmudgeon and LIFT a lot of cold beverages...does that count?
Yuri: Do you work out regularly? Used to run/jog every day. Knees don't like it as much anymore...use a recumbent bike now.
Fargo: Yes. Always. Often. I want to stay young and healthy as much as I can. I enjoy life too much to have my health slow me down. I also cannot be heavy or it makes my asthma more difficult to tolerate.
6. As a property owner, what do you think about city codes, ordinances, HOAs, or other regulations on your property? What is good and bad about covenants?
They Call Me The Fireman: You agreed to the HOA when you bought the place. Live with it. Codes, fair is the word.
Kat: I'm not a property owner..
Bob G: What covenants and regulations? Seriously, I am all for proper and fair regulations and/or covenants for property owners (keeps neighborhoods unified and nice)...as long as EVERYONE is held to the SAME accountability.
That's the trouble where we live...we're about the ONLY ones that "play by the rules"...everyone else IGNORES them, and that's why city departments know me by my FIRST name.
Yuri: Ordinances, HOAs? I'm okay with city ordinances, but I refuse to buy property with a HOA. Too much petty BS IMHO.
Fargo: I have lived in an area with an HOA. Sucks ballz. Covenants are nice to have a nice neighborhood if they are enforced. All the organizations can be good or bad and can breed corruption or stealing. I have seen all. I prefer to live in the country with no rules. However, here in the "big city", I bend them. Talk about corruption example. LOL
7. What police agency do you think is the most corrupt? And why?
They Call Me The Fireman: The upper Bigby Bridge police department in MN. in other words, who knows. Is an agency corrupt, or are the people corrupt?
Kat: Not sure
Bob G: That's a hard one, because the depth of corruption varies as well as the circumstances surrounding it.
I would say the "worst" agencies are ones that have the upper echelon brass being the most corrupt. And that's a trickle down problem.
Yuri: What police agency do you think is the most corrupt and why?
a) BATF --> Fast and Furious. Any plumber who reloads can be charged with having bomb making materials.
b) Detroit PD --> Can you say Krugerrand?
c) FBI --> Benghazi (Come on..CNN can find witnesses.)
In general..the more political a policing agency, the more likely to be corrupted.
Fargo: I, too, am not sure if an agency is corrupt, or individuals-whether acting alone or together. Why do they do it? Power and money. Greed.
8. How do police agencies battle corruption? What is the best checks and balances in place?
They Call Me The Fireman: Openness. Complete and total, except when it interferes with a ongoing investigation, then you have a random group of civilians to review. (Cop appointed groups tend to lean towards the cops.
Kat: Have checks and balances and have oversight committees and take complaints seriously but listen to both sides of the story.
Bob G: (Did not answer this one)
Yuri: How do police agencies battle corruption? Sunshine. No appointed Chiefs.
Fargo: Standards. Accountability. Good leadership. Reviews. Being accessible. I don't know that I fully swallow IA departments. They are selective in their work. The FBI will come in and clean house when an agency is out of control. The media and citizens can keep a department honest by participating in their community. We also had citizen academies which was a good way to expose our internal organs to the pubic, so to speak.
9. Overall, (the sum of the parts) do you have a favorable outlook on police? Or unfavorable? And why?
They Call Me The Fireman: Favorable.
Kat: I have a favorable/realistic outlook on cops. My dad was one for 30+ years. I have other relatives who are cops. I grew up in a neighborhood where cops and firefighters lived. I know how tough the job is and I also know that most cops have a strange sense of humor. I was taught to respect them and treat them well
Bob G: I come from a police family back in Philly, so my bias is obvious and just. We NEED the police, now more than ever.
Still, what citizens have to understand is that the LEOs are there to protect and serve the COMMUNITY, and NOT individuals within that community.
YOU are still your FIRST, BEST defense in certain situations
Yuri: Overall, do you have a favorable outlook on police? My local PD--> Favorable. Large Metro PD-->Neutral. Federal Agent--> Wary/Unfavorable. Why the distrust for larger forces? They have to answer to a politically driven director. Zimmerman: Case in point.
10. Open ended question. What question do you have that you want answered and discussed?
They Call Me The Fireman: What is the true meaning of life?
Kat: Not sure.
Bob G: Got a lot of them, but I suppose I'd have to ask WHY the drive-by media is always looking for the bad things police may or may not do (alleged by dubious people daily) and why certain sub-cultures operate with a "hate the police" mentality.
I'll never live long enough to figure those out...
Yuri: Open ended question? You've described the police as a para-military organization. The military is for killing people and breaking things. With whom are the police at war? In what ways is a warrior mindset inappropriate for a peace officer? Your story about Wheels looking for The Body after pulling over a jeep full of kids who set off a firework, is a mild example or what I'm talking about.
Fargo: to They Call Me The Fireman-the true meaning of life is what you make it. It's internal. It's exciting. It's fun. Of course, if you are a sour puss poopy pants...it sucks for you. It's in the heart of everyone...whether someone leaves a good mark or enjoys it...is up to that person. It's kind of like answering "why is the sky blue?", but then you knew that already. ;)
to Bob G-The media, to me, is a checks and balances of our country. It can be hostile. It can be gentle. They hate the police because some idiot decided to take their booze away during Prohibition and it's been downhill since. Why subcultures hate the police? They are doing something wrong and have a bad attitude.
to Yuri-I don't think the military has that simple of a meaning. They were made to defend our lands and have expanded to help other countries by doing so. It's all about us in the long run...some way or another. The police are not at war. The people are. Police are peace keepers. The warrior mindset, in it's true good sense is never inappropriate. And military tactics have proven to be the best methods for our safety in a bad situation. The warrior mindset goes beyond tactics, operations, and digs into the mental status of a person. Wheels in his "everything is a homicide" tactics was not meant to portray him as evil. He is nowhere near that. When "kids" are in the military they are trained one way and he so wanted to find everything, investigate to the fullest, and find that "big bust". It's a learning process. To me that isn't a warrior mindset. It's just a kid that tried too hard with the tools he was given in life at the time and how his misperceptions of good police work was. He really is a great officer and a sweet kid. I just had to steer him a little.
I hope I answered every questions and posted all your responses to the discussion. Thanks for giving your input. It was very interesting. And my opinion, obviously, isn't always right, it's just an opinion. It was nice to get other perspectives!