A Stake in the Outcome

Blog Post

There is a wide variance of opinions by this blog’s readership when it comes to the roll of the police/sheriffs/state police in society.

One thing that strikes me is that many believe that the outcome of police actions is something that police officers concern themselves with. In rural jurisdictions where everyone knows everyone, maybe. In urban settings, no. If a person is found not-guilty by a jury, that’s on the jury. If evidence is excluded and a motion to dismiss is granted, often the arresting officers are never notified. There is rarely time and with the volume of arrests and activities, by the time something goes to court, the officers may only have a vague recollection of the matter.

Most police officers in urban environments feel ‘punished’ on a regular basis whether justified or unjustified by administration, by the public in general and by working conditions, which are rarely optimal.

Once in the system, they tough it out until they can leave the business with a pension which will see them into their dotage. In the mid 1970’s the average life expectancy of a police officer in the US was 54 years. Many agencies at the time pegged retirement age at 55. That wasn’t accidental. However, fewer officers smoke, drink and the life expectancy is more in line with the general population these days.

You can help the police care less about their jobs, and about doing a good job. They don’t need to stop the suspicious vehicle cruising a neighborhood at night (trust me, you can’t drive down the street without violating SOME provision of the vehicle code, so there can be cause for a traffic stop). They don’t need to respond promptly. There is no legal requirement that they respond at all. Maybe a social worker will be sent to comfort the victim of an armed robbery or a rape or an arson. No need to get the courts involved. That seems to be a flavor of the moment. Many states are releasing people convicted of serious violent felonies decades earlier than they would otherwise be eligible. (It’s job security for the police)

I have a son-in-law in the business in Southern California and he along with many others are considering relocating out of state and commuting to work for their three-day (12 hour) shift and bunking in a commonly shared apartment, then driving home for their four days off. My family has real estate agents coming by next week to give them a sense of the market value of their home. It’s not a threat. It’s cause and effect. I am not personally in favor of that sort of work situation, for the historical record.

There may be a move to force officers/deputies to live in the cities or counties or states where they work, but the courts have routinely shot those actions down. And they all have the shared apartment for a local address anyway.

The loss of qualified immunity on top of everything else may please members of the public, but the officer’s stake in the positive outcome from policing will drop even if cities and counties buy massively expensive malpractice insurance. The truth is that once an officer is sued, and a payout is made, they wouldn’t be insurable and they’d have to quit anyway. And while some of you are thinking that only bad apples can be sued, think again. They can be personally sued presently under qualified immunity if they act outside of the lawful scope of employment.  Nobody would last long enough on the job to figure out how to do the job. Hiring standards drop, convicted felons who are judgment proof because of their poverty carry badges and guns. And how cool is that? You can sue them all you want.

As I’ve pointed out on this blog often enough, it doesn’t matter to me personally. There are no police/sheriffs where I live. The White Wolf Mine is remote. I can call a sheriff and somebody may show up in a few hours or the next day or even within the week. Whatever problem would force me to call the sheriff will be solved hours before they arrive. So if no deputy sheriff ever arrives, it’s no big thing. Fund, defund, disband, whatever. People sort things out on their own in the remote corners of America.  But it’s not that way in the inner cities.

And while I have removed myself from the equation and somebody driving down the dirt road to my house is an event, that’s not true of family.  Most are forced to work and live in areas where police/sheriffs are needed. For their sakes, I do care.

25 thoughts on “A Stake in the Outcome

  1. We got out of Lost Angeleez, but not as rural as I would have preferred. Our City Police seem to be decent folk, and our Sheriff is also “OK”.

    My poor sister still lives IN Chicago, in the “Beverly” neighborhood. It’s almost out of the city, so she’s not too close to the Bad Areas, but she was thinking of buying a gun “just in case”. Living in Chicago, she’s already looked into it, but because it’s not easy to do, she kept putting it off.

    Hope it’s not too late….

    1. Some people who live in “denied areas” when it comes to buying firearms for themselves rely on friends from other states to buy them and then “loan” those firearms to friends and family.

  2. I just read a friend post about having a black friend who reported she had been pulled over 20 times in her first year of driving.
    Was it insensitive to suggest that she should have paid attention in Driver’s Ed?

    1. Clearly that is racist. I’m sure that her encounters with law enforcement had nothing to do with her driving skills, or lack thereof and her danger to other drivers on the road.

    2. I’ve got a black friend who habitually pushes the limits on the road. He must lead a charmed life because with crap he does when I’m a passenger, it’s a miracle he still has a license. But if he weren’t so lucky? I don’t think he’d play the race card, but who knows? I’ve told him myself he’s damned lucky not to have had his license revoked. Then again, my sister-in-law is equally lucky, and is an erratic driver, to boot. Of course, she’s a very pretty and very charming little brunette, so maybe she got off with warnings when others, like me, would not. But jeez, to suggest that black or Hispanic drivers get pulled over because they routinely violate the rules of the road? That’s racism, straight-up, just like suggesting DWA (Driving While Asian by new immigrants with new cars) is a thing in some places.

  3. Some politician once said , “before voting on a law, don’t think about the good intent of it, imagine your worst enemy being in power, and stretching that law as far as possible from it’s intent.”
    I think that is what happened to qualified immunity. It’s not the concept, but the stretch. How to fix, I don’t know.

    1. There have been a lot of laws that have been stretched in the past. It takes people of good will in office to make them work as intended.

      It’s a lot like those two white lefties who found the need to arm themselves and stand in front of their mansion in St. Louis. The law says that they have the right of self defense. The BLM County prosecutor had a different take on “the law”.

    2. Agreed. Qualified immunity has been egregiously abused in a lot of places, like asset forfeiture, and no-knock raids by SWAT. How to fix it without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I don’t know.

      1. I’m prejudiced in favor of aggressive policing. I’ve seen it run both ways and the citizens are better served by police who work hard to keep the undesirables at bay. And the zombie apocalypse is undesirable.

        1. It seems the zombie apocalypse is upon us and the zombies have official sanction.

          1. They are heroes of the Revolution. If Biden was elected, he’d drape Medals of Freedom on them.

  4. The Left’s Sicko Gameplan: Attack anything in society that was historically “off limits” because these things are required for law and order, morality, and decorum. Demand safety (for some) yet create chaos to the other.

    With the chasm between good and evil widening, police are now in the cross hairs (even more so than under Obama)…because they stand against the anarchy tide from the bored and self-disenfranchised wacko’s. 99% of cops are good people, and highly trained for their low salary’s. Eliminating Qualified Immunity is another step in the destructive process to scare police into giving up. Retirements are way up. It’s good to be rural because the SWHTF.

    Will the heeled-over ship get righted? I believe November will make that happen. Until then I’m seeing the loons already trying to wreck Independence Day weekend. As with you, being more remote significantly helps…it’ll be flag out front, brats and burgers on the grill, adult beverage in hand, friends around…and all the crazy will seem far away for the time being.

    1. Eventually, if things go crazy enough, they’ll get around to coming for people like us, CAMPERFIXER. Of course by then there will be fewer crazy people.

      1. Bring it on. When they drive up in their Prius’s and get high-centered on the driveway, then run out of battery power trying to get unstuck, maybe they’ll think twice and go back to town…unless they are as stupid as they appear.

        (I’m not really an angry guy, but even Jesus got his ire up to combat the fools.)

  5. I think civil lawsuits are several (at least) orders of magnitude greater a problem in the US than bad cops.

    In the realm of bad cops, the overwhelmingly primary problem (as mentioned here) is Civil Forfeiture, which turns law officers into nothing more than licensed highwaymen. Next down the list is no-knock warrants.

    Everything left after those is statistically meaningless.

    1. As I’ve said before, I’m with you on civil forfeiture IF it is used to fund law enforcement. If they apply it to services for the blind or some other worthy purpose, then taking property from drug dealers eliminates the highwayman angle.

      No knock warrants – I don’t think that they even issue those anymore. If you plan to execute a search warrant before 8 am or after 8 pm you need to have it endorsed by a judge for early or late service. Those are not ‘no knock’ warrants.

    2. Many of the stupid regulations and head-scratchers and nonsense that people freak out about now regarding the police are the direct result of civil lawsuits because feelings hurt or whatever by ‘concerned citizens.’

      It’s what led to the overwhelming use of ‘less-than-lethal’ weapons that are useless against between 30-40% of the people the weapons are used against. Like people on drugs or with messed up nervous systems that don’t react at all to tasers. Or people on drugs or who have a high tolerance to pain don’t react at all to beanbags, baton rounds, rubber bullets or such other physical strike systems. Or people on drugs or who have a high tolerance to pain that don’t react at all or very much to CS spray, pepper spray, tear gas or any other chemical agent.

      It’s what led the LAPD to use push-strikes against Rodney King, rather than blowing him away as soon as he got some strikes in during his epic stand against the LAPD.

      It’s what led to pert-near universal adoption of no-hand-holds like the knee across the back of head or neck that everyone who is a complete idiot says caused poor George Floyd to leave this mortal world, completely ignoring his heart and health condition and the handful of meth and fentanyl that he shoved down his own throat so he wouldn’t get caught with them on his body while on probation as a violent offender….

      Civil lawsuits have led to a lot of coply stupidity and asshattery of regulations and anti-training training.

      Civil Forfeiture is a useful weapon against criminal gangs and career criminals, if used properly. It was a response to the issue that drug criminals often had tons of money that they had no record of getting (according to the IRS) and easy access to high-priced lawyers and high-priced politicians.

      A better way to attack illegal cash is to get rid of the Income Tax and go to some sort of flat rate National Sales Tax. That way, no matter who is buying, the money is collected.

      As to No-Knock Warrants, those have been and always will be a bull-scat move. The whole concept of a warrant is that it is a legal document available at the time of the serving of the warrant that proves the cops have the right to do what the warrant says can be done. Breaking into someone’s house and then leaving it after trashing the house violates the whole concept of warrants and warrant serving.

      And, quit using SWAT to serve non-criminal or misdemeanor warrants on non-violent offenders, using the ‘They Need Training’ justification for using them. Bull-scat. This is how non-violent offenders and their families get injured by SWAT members.

      I worked for a PD. Worked in a regional combined drug task force, so I do know what I speak of. We operated properly. Some of the other special units of the local sheriff or police or even feds? Not so much.

  6. I have (or had, we are getting old) 50+ first cousins. A large number were in law enforcement in one way or another, some third generation. To my knowledge, none of their children or grandchildren are joining. Speaks volumes to me.

    1. There will be a big business in private security and bodyguards with the departure of what we know of as ‘traditional policing’.

      Taxes won’t go down. You’ll just need to pony up the rental fee for protection, or handle it yourself.

      1. I heard on the radio today that the city of Los Angeles is scaling back it’s police force. 65 current officers to be let go in what is likely the 1st round of lay-offs. Then some nincompoop on the city council said something like, ‘We have to insure that those officers do not transfer into school security.’
        I guess they think they are serious. But they sure are short sighted.

        1. Rick, they may be able to do it through lateral transfers to other law enforcement agencies (LA Sheriff, other LA County law enforcement). The city council has promised to get the police out of the schools, and in those gladiator academies, it was always a good idea to have somebody to be on site when a teacher is gored with a shank or when they throw acid at a teacher. But they can call 911 like everyone else and wait for officers to become available and respond.

          LA City has also eliminated its special victims unit, so child abuse and rape cases won’t get the special handling that they used to receive. They’re going to replace the police officers with social workers. Maybe it will work. But normally unarmed social workers don’t go into Watts (77th Street Div.) or Southwest Division at night. It’s an invitation to be carjacked, and the women raped. Or maybe they just stay in the station and the victims come to them? Unless you’ve dealt with victims of horrible torture and abuse, it’s difficult to explain why that won’t work.

          LAPD has been broken for a long time. They’re just putting the final nail in the coffin. Best not travel there without the capacity to defend yourself.

          A friend who lives near me in AZ traveled to Walnut Creek, CA (used to be very nice). He called the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and told them that he was in town, gave his name and explained that he was carrying a 1911 with a few (dozen) spare magazines, and didn’t have a California CCW. The Sheriff’s Sgt. gave him his name and badge number and said that the Sheriffs and police couldn’t protect him and it was good that he was armed. And if anyone had a problem with that, they should call the CoCo County Sheriff’s Sgt. That’s where things stand.

          And a lot of people in the US seem to be relieved that there are are areas like Atlanta or Los Angeles that will have very thin law enforcement coverage. Roaming mobs can take what they want to from the taxpayers.

  7. Worked at a local PD, was staff support to a regional Drug Task Force (that did quite well in making cases and arresting the proper people.)

    At the request of one boss, I started internally tracking all cases we generated, From the start to the overly long finish through the courts. I kept my guys and gals informed of what was happening to their arrests and how the local state attorney’s office was throwing a mega-good case away through ridiculous plea deals even before the local leftist judges threw the case away. And followed the perps through their wonderful excursions through the penal/probation/parole systems.

    It got obvious that both the State’s Attorney’s Office and the local judiciary were not concerned with enforcing the law and punishing the criminal. To see a major dealer, with a long rap sheet while on probation for multiple felonies, get ‘Drug Court’ for dealer-weight drugs, because the SAO pled huge amounts of drugs down to nothing, completely ignoring the probation violations, and then the Judge gives the jerk a slap on the hand and treats the multi-felon as a first-time misdemeanor possession case, and see it happen over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, kind of sucks the will to actually enforce the law, since the people who were supposed to prosecute and then sentence the criminals weren’t going to, well, yeah.

    Wonder why cops get frustrated? Because, a lot of times, no matter what they do, the Prosecutor or State Attorney, the Judge, the idiots who get on jury duty, all take the criminals’ side and not the side of the Law.

    I’ve been expecting some blowback to happen from the LEO community. I’ve seen dedicated cops, so pissed at the community they’re trying to help turn on them, that they quit, leave, or commit suicide. I’ve seen a cop, a good cop, get railroaded by his own department for actually being a good cop, so bad that he almost ended up in prison, while known criminal cops rise in the ranks.

    If I could become a cop today, I wouldn’t.

    1. I worked with JDIG – Norwalk, CA, and then ran a version of JDIG that focused on Asian Organized Crime, structured like a JDIG. I don’t know that they even exist in California these days because drugs are legal. They are still federal felonies, but the state is open for business if you’re a criminal.

      Yes, it’s a frustrating business. I left/retired in 2007 and went to work with the non-law enforcement and non-military intelligence community overseas, working on classified projects, then largely on similar targets because one of the portfolios I managed was the Latin American Counter Narco-Terrorism Program Office (DOD program). And then I ran agents, and then I quit and went into the consulting business, where I remain today.

      Because I still have a son-in-law in the business and because I’m attached to police work through friends and work history, I see the crap that the politicians are shoveling and it disgusts me. I’m not given to promoting conspiracy theories, but there are powerful globalist interests who are not amused at America First. They were far more content with America Last.

      1. “there are powerful globalist interests who are not amused at America First”

        Tom Kratman uses the term “tranzi” (transnational progressive) to describe these people (or rather their dupes). Older synonyms have been labeled as “hate speech” or dismissed as “right-wing dog whistles”. I wait with bated breath to see when “tranzi” becomes hate speech.

        1. We can pivot to TROTZI if “Tranzi” get’s blacklisted. But maybe “blacklist” has been blacklisted. I’m so confused.

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