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Law Enforcement 12

A Cop, A Fireman, and a Nurse, are playing cards at work. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

IMG_5126
Image created by: Jim Hulsey

By now you’ve likely heard about Senator Maureen Walsh and her regrettable comment suggesting nurses likely spend most of their time, “playing cards all day.”

Her exact quote was, “By putting these types of mandates on a critical access hospital that literally serves a handful of individuals, I would submit to you those nurses probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

I understand that politicians sometimes say things they don’t mean. They sometimes put their foot in their mouth, because they’re speaking about a topic they may not be experts in. I realize they may get emotional and say something they regret. I truly get it. It happens. They’re human. Just like police officers.

So how does this relate to police officers and policing?

Well, put simply, this is a glaring example of how people in the media, politics, and the general public, love to judge professions and jobs from the outside looking in. Despite the fact they have ZERO idea what it is like to “walk a mile” in any of their shoes.

I have been in law enforcement for over 13 years, I’ve seen and done a lot things in that time. You know what I’ve never done? Worked 12 hours as a nurse. I’ve never actually been a firefighter or paramedic, despite working side by side with them on a daily basis. I’ve interacted with many nurses and doctors over the years, going to hospitals with prisoners and checking on shooting, stabbing, or rape victims.

We are all public servants, but that’s where the similarities end. I couldn’t make the statement Senator Walsh did about nurses, because I have no idea what their day to day is like. So why guess and look foolish? Even worse, why make the assumption they don’t do anything but play cards and collect a paycheck?

Why are we so quick to act as if we have any clue what it’s like to do someone’s job based on assumptions, or worse, what we see on TV? Everyone complains about negativity and division in our country, yet they run around slinging assumptions and negativity like society’s existence depends on it.

The media loves to put out news that fits their bias, we already know that is a fact. We don’t need more comments like Senator Walsh’s to make things worse. Comments like hers help create false narratives. They lend credence to a narrative that can grow and become a powerful thing. One that can end in violence or death. Narratives that radicalize people and make them do things most of us can’t fathom. It’s happened with police officers, it can happen with any profession.

In all fairness to Senator Walsh, I’ve seen reports stating she might be shadowing a nurse for a 12 hour shift in the near future. I not only hope it’s true, I hope the shift shows her how truly amazing our nurses are and how they deserve our gratitude and respect. Good for her. She stepped in it, but at least she’s willing to remedy the situation and walk a mile.

If only the anti-police crowd would take a page from Senator Walsh. If only the anti-police crowd would go on a ride along with police to actually see the difficulties of the job. If only the anti-police crowd would educate themselves by attending a citizen’s academy or participating in training exercises designed to highlight the difficulties of use of force situations. If only they would choose to walk a mile in the shoes of those they condemn, before picking up their loud speaker shouting for accountability and transparency, despite the fact they have no idea what it is like to be a police officer.

If only…

An ill-advised comment was made. A mistake. A regrettable one at that. However, it is commendable that Senator Walsh recognizes that she spoke without actually knowing what a 12 hour shift as a nurse is like. Hopefully, she will soon find out.

If only everyone had the humility to seek knowledge and experience before casting judgment, our society, our law enforcement, and all public servants would be much better off.

Thank an officer, nurse, fire fighter, EMT, or any public servant today.

Without them, then who?

The Officer Next Door

 

 

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Law Enforcement 1

Dallas BLM Leader Arrested, Plays the Victim Card

Dom Pic

The minister, anti-police activist, public figure (but only when it suits him), and leader of the Next Generation Action Network, Dominique Alexander was arrested Thursday evening on two counts of family violence.

Multiple sources are reporting that the Dallas Police Department’s Fugitive Unit arrested Alexander on one felony and one misdemeanor charge stemming from a complaint received on Wednesday.

Lee Merritt, a federal rights civil attorney and Alexander were quick to take to social media to ask the public “not to pile on” regarding Alexander’s past criminal history and speculating before the investigation began to unfold.

A stark deviation from their usual tactic of publicly condemning and persecuting police officers accused of misconduct before an investigation is even started. Protests and invoking anger are all the rage when something happens they deem unacceptable. Only then is it okay to “pile on” and call for immediate justice and punishment well before facts regarding the incident are even released.

So why is this incident different? He’s a public figure. His actions, even private ones, are of public concern when you are a public figure. Especially when you are a public figure that inserts yourself into matters of criminal justice. If police officers need to be held to the highest standard of personal and professional conduct, then so too should those who seek influence over criminal justice matters.

Why does Alexander deserve a pause in judgement, yet he and Merritt have no issue telling the public how police officers are guilty before the ink is dry on the first page of the investigation paperwork?

Ah, the hypocrisy. It’s rich on this one.

Alexander took to social media as news broke about the allegation stating on Facebook, “People has been ready to take me down since day one, but the devil will not win at all.”

The victim card.

We knew it was coming.

Dominique Alexander is the victim here folks. Not the person who made the allegation. Not the person who was allegedly assaulted, it’s Dominique Alexander. In a statement issued on Facebook, Merritt asserted that the criminal justice system has an “acumen for prosecuting black men.” Once again, I’m confused. Should police have turned away the victim making the accusation once they learned the suspect was black? How would that be justice for the victim?

Which leads me to the next topic. I know some people will say, “Stop talking about them, just ignore them!” I get it, the issue with that idea is they will never stop. They constantly spread false narratives and anger toward law enforcement with no regard for the damage it does between the police and the communities they serve. They claim to be vigorous arbiters of justice; however, they only want justice when they aren’t the ones who stand accused. Furthermore, they believe their efforts are making things “better” between police and the communities they serve, but they’re wrong.

I’ve said it so many times, I’m surprised my computer doesn’t write this sentence for me. I believe in holding police officers to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. However, if Merritt and Alexander truly cared about making things better between police and the community, they’d find ways to promote unity, understanding, and education, not division.

Instead, they sit on their activist perches determining themselves what our criminal justice system should look like. Apparently, to them, justice is selective. Justice is only justice when it’s convenient or fits their narrative. Justice should only be sought when they give their stamp of approval on which crimes should be taken seriously (not ones with black anti-police activist suspects). They also want to decide which crimes should be deemed a hate crime, or which police officer should be fired or thrown in prison. Again, all before any investigation is complete.

In true Merritt fashion, he immediately came out in support of Alexander. It wasn’t until he actually spoke to the victim of Alexander’s assault, did he reverse course in a released  statement late Thursday in support of the victim. In that statement he also denounced the idea Alexander thought he could escape accountability due to his position as an activist. Good for Merritt on this one. But that doesn’t change his history of slinging premature guilty verdicts. This is just another example of him running to the spotlight before having any of the facts. I guess he will never learn.

In a move not surprising to most in the Dallas area, the newly elected District Attorney has recused himself from the case against Alexander, citing a conflict of interest. Also not surprisingly, Alexander campaigned for DA John Creuzot during the election process, which is why he will ask the judge to appoint a pro tem.

I won’t speculate on the outcome of this case when it comes to prosecution, but it sure seems like Dallas is following in the footsteps of Chicago when it comes to criminal justice and District Attorney’s policies.

I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or not.

The Officer Next Door

 

 

 

Law Enforcement 2

Dallas BLM Leader Under Investigation for Domestic Abuse, Claims It’s a “Private Matter”

alexander pic 2
Source: Facebook

Dominque Alexander has been a public figure and police critic for years in Dallas, Texas. In fact, the protest he organized and led on July 7, 2016, resulted in the deaths of five (5) Dallas area police officers. The deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11. I’m not blaming Mr. Alexander for what happened on that horrible July day. I’m simply highlighting the undeniable fact he’s been a public figure in Dallas for years. 

Despite all this time in the limelight, fighting for “transparency” and “accountability” for police officers, he inexplicably suggests a domestic violence complaint made against him is a “private matter.” Lee Merritt – a vocal civil rights attorney in Dallas – released a statement on Facebook today also suggesting it’s a private matter. However, Merritt was wise enough to acknowledge the fact Mr. Alexander is a public figure. Therefore, much like when police officers are accused of misconduct, such allegations become of a matter of public concern. 

A statement posted on Facebook by Lee Merritt regarding the allegation can be seen here:

Dominique Alexander doesn’t seem to realize how the “public figure” game works and feels we should effectively “mind our own business.” Apparently, accountability and transparency are apparently only applicable to public figures who wear badges.

Dominque made this known adding his own comment on Merritt’s Facebook statement. 

Private life

Is this guy serious? A private matter? I don’t think so sir.  

You CHOSE to be a public figure despite your background and issues in the past. That’s part of being a public figure. Welcome to the real world. 

I highly doubt the next time a police officer is accused of domestic violence, Lee Merritt or Dominque Alexander will rush to a podium, hold a press conference, or take to social media, to make a statement asking for everyone to “withhold judgement until due process can be carried out.” I doubt he will say that any prior discipline the police officer may have received in the past is irrelevant.

Why is it activists scream and yell on a daily basis calling for “transparency” and “accountability” but don’t seem to think it applies to them? 

Merritt ended his statement with, “We will not pile on as the family investigation begins to unfold.”

Well isn’t that convenient? Believe all accusers unless you’re the one being accused, do I have that right? I’m trying to wrap my head around how this activism game works with Mr. Merritt and Mr. Alexander. 

It’s interesting Mr. Merritt seems completely comfortable telling people to wait to pass judgement when it’s a fellow social justice activist accused of wrong doing. However, he has no issue with publicly and maliciously persecuting police officers based on an allegation alone.

Remember the DPS Texas Trooper accused of rape that caused national outcry and death threats toward the Trooper?

I do. 

Mr. Merritt was one of the first to break the false Trooper rape story and call for justice to be immediately served. Mr. Merritt took it further accusing the Texas Department of Public Safety of not following “proper protocols” asserting they were “protecting” the trooper accused of the horrific rape. Before any video was reviewed, or any facts had come out, Mr. Merritt had no issue at all accusing the Trooper AND the Texas Department of Public Safety of wrong doing. Mr. Merritt’s public release where he makes such assumptions and allegations early into the process can be seen below. 

As you may also remember, the entire allegation was proven false by the body camera footage and Mr. Merritt issued an apology with egg on his face. The death threats the Trooper received and the national embarrassment of such a horrible claim apparently made better by simply saying sorry. 

A few questions come to mind given Mr. Merritt’s track record of quick condemnation and allegation slinging against police officers on a national scale.

Why isn’t he condemning Mr. Alexander with the same relentless vigor before the facts come out as he does when it involves an allegation against police? Why in this case, must we withhold judgement and wait for the investigation to play out? Why isn’t Mr. Merritt attempting to push a narrative, create some anger, or organize an anti-domestic violence protest? Why does it seem they are incredibly selective on the justice they seek? Why doesn’t it apply across the board? 

The glaring bias and hypocrisy of both Mr. Merritt and Mr. Alexander are now on full display. 

I guess it’s rather obvious. They don’t really want justice for EVERYONE. They only want justice when it suits their agenda. Even in Mr. Merritt’s statement today, he inexplicably mentions race when condemning violence against women. “Violence against black women is intolerable.” he stated.

I understand the need for such specificity. I condemn violence against ALL women. I don’t care what their race happens to be. It’s wrong. No matter what. Period.

If the Texas DPS Trooper had in fact committed the horrible crime of which he was falsely accused, I’d have happily called for his immediate termination and punishment to the fullest extent of the law.

That’s how transparency and accountability are meant to work. 

You don’t get to pick and choose when those rules are applied, even if it makes your “team” look bad. 

As I’ve said multiple times regarding police officers and accountability. 

Support the good. Honor the fallen. Condemn the bad. 

This should apply to all public officials and persons who hold themselves out to be public figures, all the time. Not just when it’s convenient. That’s part of the gig. 

If the accusations against Mr. Alexander are proven to be false, then I will accept such findings. As of now, only two things are for certain: Dominque Alexander has been accused of domestic violence and the investigation is underway. 

We will see what happens and react accordingly. Like we should do with ALL accusations and investigations. No protests. No calling for punishment before we even know the facts. We wait and let the system do what it is designed to do, seek truth and justice.  

It’s really that simple. People should take note. 

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

Dallas BLM Leader Under Investigation for Domestic Violence, Claims It’s A “Private Matter”

alexander pic 2
Source: Facebook

Dominque Alexander has been a public figure and police critic for years in Dallas, Texas. In fact, the protest he organized and led on July 7, 2016, resulted in the deaths of five (5) Dallas area police officers. The deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11. I’m not blaming Mr. Alexander for what happened on that horrible July day. I’m simply highlighting the undeniable fact he’s been a public figure in Dallas for years. 

Despite all this time in the limelight, fighting for “transparency” and “accountability” for police officers, he inexplicably suggests a domestic violence complaint made against him is a “private matter.” Lee Merritt – a vocal civil rights attorney in Dallas – released a statement on Facebook today also suggesting it’s a private matter. However, Merritt was wise enough to acknowledge the fact Mr. Alexander is a public figure. Therefore, much like when police officers are accused of misconduct, such allegations become of a matter of public concern. 

A statement posted on Facebook by Lee Merritt regarding the allegation can be seen here:

Dominique Alexander doesn’t seem to realize how the “public figure” game works and feels we should effectively “mind our own business.” Apparently, accountability and transparency are apparently only applicable to public figures who wear badges.

Dominque made this known adding his own comment on Merritt’s Facebook statement. 

Private life

Is this guy serious? A private matter? I don’t think so sir.  

You CHOSE to be a public figure despite your background and issues in the past. That’s part of being a public figure. Welcome to the real world. 

I highly doubt the next time a police officer is accused of domestic violence, Lee Merritt or Dominque Alexander will rush to a podium, hold a press conference, or take to social media, to make a statement asking for everyone to “withhold judgement until due process can be carried out.” I doubt he will say that any prior discipline the police officer may have received in the past is irrelevant.

Why is it activists scream and yell on a daily basis calling for “transparency” and “accountability” but don’t seem to think it applies to them? 

Merritt ended his statement with, “We will not pile on as the family investigation begins to unfold.”

Well isn’t that convenient? Believe all accusers unless you’re the one being accused, do I have that right? I’m trying to wrap my head around how this activism game works with Mr. Merritt and Mr. Alexander. 

It’s interesting Mr. Merritt seems completely comfortable telling people to wait to pass judgement when it’s a fellow social justice activist accused of wrong doing. However, he has no issue with publicly and maliciously persecuting police officers based on an allegation alone.

Remember the DPS Texas Trooper accused of rape that caused national outcry and death threats toward the Trooper?

I do. 

Mr. Merritt was one of the first to break the false Trooper rape story and call for justice to be immediately served. Mr. Merritt took it further accusing the Texas Department of Public Safety of not following “proper protocols” asserting they were “protecting” the trooper accused of the horrific rape. Before any video was reviewed, or any facts had come out, Mr. Merritt had no issue at all accusing the Trooper AND the Texas Department of Public Safety of wrong doing. Mr. Merritt’s public release where he makes such assumptions and allegations early into the process can be seen below. 

As you may also remember, the entire allegation was proven false by the body camera footage and Mr. Merritt issued an apology with egg on his face. The death threats the Trooper received and the national embarrassment of such a horrible claim apparently made better by simply saying sorry. 

A few questions come to mind given Mr. Merritt’s track record of quick condemnation and allegation slinging against police officers on a national scale.

Why isn’t he condemning Mr. Alexander with the same relentless vigor before the facts come out as he does when it involves an allegation against police? Why in this case, must we withhold judgement and wait for the investigation to play out? Why isn’t Mr. Merritt attempting to push a narrative, create some anger, or organize an anti-domestic violence protest? Why does it seem they are incredibly selective on the justice they seek? Why doesn’t it apply across the board? 

The glaring bias and hypocrisy of both Mr. Merritt and Mr. Alexander are now on full display. 

I guess it’s rather obvious. They don’t really want justice for EVERYONE. They only want justice when it suits their agenda. Even in Mr. Merritt’s statement today, he inexplicably mentions race when condemning violence against women. “Violence against black women is intolerable.” he stated.

I understand the need for such specificity. I condemn violence against ALL women. I don’t care what their race happens to be. It’s wrong. No matter what. Period.

If the Texas DPS Trooper had in fact committed the horrible crime of which he was falsely accused, I’d have happily called for his immediate termination and punishment to the fullest extent of the law.

That’s how transparency and accountability are meant to work. 

You don’t get to pick and choose when those rules are applied, even if it makes your “team” look bad. 

As I’ve said multiple times regarding police officers and accountability. 

Support the good. Honor the fallen. Condemn the bad. 

This should apply to all public officials and persons who hold themselves out to be public figures, all the time. Not just when it’s convenient. That’s part of the gig. 

If the accusations against Mr. Alexander are proven to be false, then I will accept such findings. As of now, only two things are for certain: Dominque Alexander has been accused of domestic violence and the investigation is underway. 

We will see what happens and react accordingly. Like we should do with ALL accusations and investigations. No protests. No calling for punishment before we even know the facts. We wait and let the system do what it is designed to do, seek truth and justice.  

It’s really that simple. People should take note. 

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 4

Heartfelt letter to fallen Maine State Trooper from person at scene of his tragic death

Trooper Campbell

This letter was posted on Facebook by the person identified as the driver of the car Maine State Police Detective Benjamin Campbell stopped to help. This is posted with direct permission from the author, Robert A.

Dear Detective Ben Campbell,

Today, I lost control of my car and did a 180 on I-95 South. I was shaken up, but otherwise fine. I called 911 and requested help in getting turned around on the busy highway.

You stopped to help me. You took my ID as per the standard. You came back to return it. You wore one of the warmest smiles I’ve ever seen. A smile that, without words, could give the world a moment of peace were it to look upon. I honestly felt safer in that moment as you stood by my drivers side window.

That changed. In a split second, I saw your smile turn to the briefest shade of concern as a logging semi came over the hill, before a tire came into my peripheral vision.

I blacked out. My first and only thought upon waking up was “I’ve died, haven’t I?” I couldn’t see anything but bright white light. Then my ears began ringing. I was able to open my eyes. My glasses partly crushed as I lifted my head before they fell off. My airbag had deployed. You weren’t beside me anymore…

I stumbled out of my car, moving to the other side of the guard rail to avoid anything else hitting me.

That’s when I saw you. Two tires had fallen off the truck. One struck my car, the other struck you.

Out of breath and still dizzy, I came to your side, pleading for you to wake up. You responded with a sound so haunting, I don’t dare describe it out of respect.

My mind raced. It had been years since I had any formal CPR training, and I was afraid that if I touched you without knowing just how bad you might be hurt, I’d just make it worse. I began waving and jumping up and down at oncoming traffic, desperately trying to get others to stop and help.

I leaned over you as another trooper and the driver of the semi came to help.

I looked into your eyes
You looked back
And then… You were gone…

The news reports you died in the hospital, but I knew in that moment, it was over…

I should have died twice today. I survived a high-speed spinout. When death came for me a second time, you were there. You traded your life for mine in the line of duty.

I vow for as long as I live, I will never forget your smile. I will never forget your kindness. I will never forget your sacrifice.

I owe you a debt I don’t think I can repay.

Rest in peace. May your soul find tranquility.

–  Robert A.

Never forget Trooper Campbell.

– The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 0

The Truth About Dirty Cops

Officer in cuffs

There’s nothing worse than a dirty or corrupt police officer.

I’ll say it again for the people in the back and those stuck in “we hate the police” echo chambers, THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN A DIRTY POLICE OFFICER!

It’s been said multiple times, but one thing I’ve learned writing police related articles on this website and running multiple police related social media pages, people honestly believe police officers support, protect, or shield the dirty ones.

The truth is, they couldn’t be more wrong. Apparently, this topic needs to be addressed more often and more clearly, so people stop believing such falsities and mistruths about the policing profession.

It’s easy to hate a group or profession if you convince yourself they’re ALL corrupt and part of a conspiracy.

Changing the narrative and shining the light on the police profession’s hatred for corrupt police officers isn’t an easy one. It’s a lofty goal, I realize that. I’m fighting the media and other “sub-groups” who have much more reach and influence on society than I do.

That won’t stop me from writing articles trying to fight the anti-police narrative, in hopes of making our communities and police officer’s safer. If you read this and appreciate the message, do me a favor and share it. It’s the only way the message will get out. We can’t let the false narratives win and allow the target on our first responders backs to remain, simply because no one stood up and said the truth.

So here we go.

If you truly think the 1% of dirty or corrupt police officers represent the profession as a whole, or worse, the 99% support or embrace the dirty 1%, ask yourself this question: What do police officers nationwide stand to gain by protecting bad and dirty cops?

I’ll tell you, NOTHING.

Why?

For starters, this is 2019. Nearly everything we say or do is on video. Whether it’s from body cameras strapped to the officer’s own chest or surveillance cameras nearly everywhere in public, you’re likely on video more than you realize. This holds especially true for police officers. This is a good thing. Police officers should be held to the highest standards and the public is not wrong for having an extremely high expectation of professionalism and honest conduct. The point is, because we are always on camera, eventually, a bad police officer will be found out and it will come to light. It’s inevitable. Like the officer in New Jersey in my previous article, his bad actions were bound to see the light of day eventually, so protecting such a vile, corrupt, excuse of a police officer, serves no purpose. 

If it’s on video like the New Jersey hospital incident was, two things should happen. First, the officer should be immediately fired. Second, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Double the prison sentence while you’re at it. Yes, you read that right. Double their sentence if they’re found guilty, ESPECIALLY if it’s on video. There’s nothing to debate, if it’s on video. They of all people should know better, so they should be punished more harshly. If the max is 20 years, give them 20 years. Ten years for breaking the law and the second ten years for disgracing the badge and making the job of the good ones more difficult and dangerous. I have no problem with that. I don’t speak for all police officers, but I can only imagine they share this sentiment. If only the police haters knew how much the good ones despise the crooked and dirty police officers. I hope they’re listening.

Unfortunately, despite all of these facts, people walk around in a “bubble” with the belief police officers nationwide are party to a huge conspiracy called the “thin blue line of silence.” Even in 2019 with cameras everywhere, on police officer’s chests, in their squad cars, and cameras in every citizen’s pocket, people think officers will stop at nothing to protect one another. Maybe decades ago, when everything was decided solely on witnesses and testimony of those involved and nothing more. I realize body cameras are not a 100% corruption ending invention, but as I mentioned, there’s almost always another set of “eyes” watching you. Police officers are human and therefore susceptible to being imperfect or corrupt. It’s true. However, I believe we’ve come a long way and officers collectively hate dirty police officers and actively work to get rid of them. 

The more prevalent cameras become, the more and more police officers are being held accountable, especially internally. Police officers are now going to prison for bad shootings and civil rights violations. Officers are now testifying openly about what was “right” or “wrong” which ultimately helps prosecute dirty police officers. A much needed change for law enforcement as a profession. It’s here. It’s happening. It will continue to happen. For the betterment of everyone involved.

Ask any police officer, “What the most stressful part of the job?” I can almost guarantee they instantly answer, “Internal discipline and punishment from the command staff.” It’s not running toward gunfire, it’s not searching a building with a possible armed suspect inside, it’s the internal accountability. Why? It has an effect on promotions, pay raises, being able to work overtime, the list goes on. Officers are always under scrutiny, when in the streets and back at their police stations. Just because the public doesn’t see the internal accountability for police officers, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Maybe that should change? I don’t know. That’s beyond my pay-grade.

If a police officer is corrupt, dirty, or flat out criminal, there’s only one place for them, prison. It’s really that simple. This clearly needs to be said more often. I have no issue saying it, in hopes it prevents deadly ambushes like what took place in Dallas and Baton Rouge in 2016.

Maybe this message will gain traction and those who need to hear it most, will attempt to look at things with some semblance of objectivity and honesty about the way things actually are in the policing profession.

One can hope.

Support the good. Honor the fallen. Condemn the corrupt.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 0

I Hate Dirty Cops

Roy Oliver
This photo provided by the Parker County Sheriff’s Office shows Roy Oliver. Oliver, a Texas police officer, faces a murder charge in the shooting of a teenager after being fired earlier in the week over the incident, authorities said Friday, May 5, 2017. Oliver fired a rifle at a car full of teenagers leaving a party April 29, killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. (Parker County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

There’s nothing worse than a dirty or corrupt police officer.

I’ll say it again for the people in the back and those stuck in “we hate the police” echo chambers, THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN A DIRTY POLICE OFFICER!

It’s been said multiple times, but one thing I’ve learned writing police related articles on this website and running multiple police related social media pages, people honestly believe police officers support, protect, or shield the dirty ones.

The truth is, they couldn’t be more wrong. Apparently, this topic needs to be addressed more often and more clearly, so people stop believing such falsities and mistruths about the policing profession.

It’s easy to hate a group or profession if you convince yourself they’re ALL corrupt and part of a conspiracy.

Changing the narrative and shining the light on the police profession’s hatred for corrupt police officers isn’t an easy one. It’s a lofty goal, I realize that. I’m fighting the media and other “sub-groups” who have much more reach and influence on society than I do.

That won’t stop me from writing articles trying to fight the anti-police narrative, in hopes of making our communities and police officer’s safer. If you read this and appreciate the message, do me a favor and share it. It’s the only way the message will get out. We can’t let the false narratives win and allow the target on our first responders backs to remain, simply because no one stood up and said the truth.

So here we go.

If you truly think the 1% of dirty or corrupt police officers represent the profession as a whole, or worse, the 99% support or embrace the dirty 1%, ask yourself this question: What do police officers nationwide stand to gain by protecting bad and dirty cops?

I’ll tell you, NOTHING.

Why?

For starters, this is 2019. Nearly everything we say or do is on video. Whether it’s from body cameras strapped to the officer’s own chest or surveillance cameras nearly everywhere in public, you’re likely on video more than you realize. This holds especially true for police officers. This is a good thing. Police officers should be held to the highest standards and the public is not wrong for having an extremely high expectation of professionalism and honest conduct. The point is, because we are always on camera, eventually, a bad police officer will be found out and it will come to light. It’s inevitable. Like the officer in New Jersey in my previous article, his bad actions were bound to see the light of day eventually, so protecting such a vile, corrupt, excuse of a police officer, serves no purpose. 

If it’s on video like the New Jersey hospital incident was, two things should happen. First, the officer should be immediately fired. Second, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Double the prison sentence while you’re at it. Yes, you read that right. Double their sentence if they’re found guilty, ESPECIALLY if it’s on video. There’s nothing to debate, if it’s on video. They of all people should know better, so they should be punished more harshly. If the max is 20 years, give them 20 years. Ten years for breaking the law and the second ten years for disgracing the badge and making the job of the good ones more difficult and dangerous. I have no problem with that. I don’t speak for all police officers, but I can only imagine they share this sentiment. If only the police haters knew how much the good ones despise the crooked and dirty police officers. I hope they’re listening.

Unfortunately, despite all of these facts, people walk around in a “bubble” with the belief police officers nationwide are party to a huge conspiracy called the “thin blue line of silence.” Even in 2019 with cameras everywhere, on police officer’s chests, in their squad cars, and camera in every citizen’s pocket, people think officers will stop at nothing to protect one another. Maybe decades ago, when everything was decided solely on witnesses and testimony of those involved and nothing more. I realize body cameras aren’t a 100% corruption ending invention, but as I mentioned, there’s almost always another set of “eyes” watching you. Police officers are human and therefore susceptible to being imperfect or corrupt. It’s true. However, I believe we’ve come a long way and officers collectively hate dirty police officers and actively work to get rid of them. 

The more prevalent cameras become, the more and more police officers are being held accountable, especially internally. Police officers are now going to prison for bad shootings and civil rights violations. Officers are now testifying openly about what was “right” or “wrong” which ultimately helps prosecute dirty police officers. A much needed change for law enforcement as a profession. It’s here. It’s happening. It will continue to happen. For the betterment of everyone involved.

Ask any police officer, “What the most stressful part of the job?” I can almost guarantee they instantly answer, “Internal discipline and punishment from the command staff.” It’s not running toward gunfire, it’s not searching a building with a possible armed suspect inside, it’s the internal accountability. Why? It has an effect on promotions, pay raises, being able to work overtime, the list goes on. Officers are always under scrutiny, when in the streets and back at their police stations. Just because the public doesn’t see the internal accountability for police officers, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Maybe that should change? I don’t know. That’s beyond my pay-grade.

If a police officer is corrupt, dirty, or flat out criminal, there’s only one place for them, prison. It’s really that simple. This clearly needs to be said more often. I have no issue saying it, in hopes it prevents deadly ambushes like what took place in Dallas and Baton Rouge in 2016.

Maybe this message will gain traction and those who need to hear it most, will attempt to look at things with some semblance of objectivity and honesty about the way things actually are in the policing profession.

One can hope.

Support the good. Honor the fallen. Condemn the corrupt.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 2

Corrupt Drug Dealing Officer Beats Patient in Hospital, Sentenced to Prison (VIDEO)

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New Jersey – A former New Jersey police officer was recently sentenced to more than 5 years in prison after it was discovered he was a disgrace to the badge, sadly, in more ways than one.

Former police officer Ruben McAusland is seen in the vidieo below slapping a suicidal patient back in March 18, 2018. The officer who took the video, Roger Then, has also pled guilty for his role in the hospital assault according to northjersey.com.

But wait, there’s more. This joke of a former officer also sold drugs he stole from crime scenes. That is what the FBI was initially investigating when this horrible video was discovered.

According to NorthJersey.com, McAusland gave the following excuse for his long list of disgraceful actions while he was a police officer at his sentencing hearing:

“I was afraid that people would say that I was a success, that I forgot where I came from,” McAusland said. “So I kept my friends.”

One of those friends made him a drug proposition, McAusland said.

“I just saw it as a shortcut,” the convicted cop said. “It started off as something really small and it snowballed into something else.”

What a joke. This guy was never meant to be a police officer. He was a thug that slipped through the cracks.

Apparently, there are a total of six (6) corrupt police officers from the Paterson Police Department that have been arrested as a result of this FBI investigation. How embarrassing.

To say these officers were a disgrace to the profession is an understatement.

Truthfully, I wish McAusland’s sentence was longer. The punishment for police officers like him should be doubled. Why? For starters, it’s on video. He did it. He’s guilty. Secondly, whether we like it or not, their actions reflect on the hundreds of thousands of officers that share their profession. Lastly, they betrayed the trust of the community they swore to protect. Their disgrace will linger for years and make policing more challenging for the good officers who do the job the right way, day in and day out.

I understand why some people don’t like the police. They see stories like this one and figure that’s how most police officers operate. It’s a lazy way of thinking, but it exists. In the comments of YouTube video you can see the comments, “All Pigs are dirty… Not one clean one in America, Not one!” Stories like this are what create radicals willing to kill and ambush police officers to “settle the score.”

And that ladies and gentleman is the very reason I started this website!!!

My number one goal has been to share an officer’s perspective and fight the false narratives that make the police profession more dangerous. False narratives and beliefs like ALL officers are dirty or corrupt, lead to tragedies like what took place in Dallas, Texas on July 7th, 2016. Or what transpired in Baton Rouge on July 17th, 2016. Ambushes carried out by radicals to settle the score.

I want to prevent such tragedies from happening again. But that won’t be achieved by simply beating the “look at things through the police officer’s eyes” drum and calling it a “win.” It also means calling out “officers” like Ruben McAusland.

So hear me when I say this.

Those “officers” in the video are scum. They do NOT represent 99.9% of police officers. Anyone who defends such actions by a police officer, isn’t a police officer, they are a criminal. Any police officer who acts like these “officers” from Paterson, New Jersey, deserve the harshest punishments allowed by law.

I don’t have any sympathy for these “officers.” I don’t care where they came from. I don’t care if they lived in a bad neighborhood or whatever their excuse may be. Once you join the blue family, you are on the right side of the law and it’s expected you stay that way. These are no “brothers in blue” of mine.

July 7th, 2016 was possibly the worst day of my life.

If something like that happens again, because of officers like these, it damn sure won’t be without me condemning their cowardly and corrupt actions with vigor and anger.

Prison is a good place for Ruben McAusland. I hope it’s a rough few years. The damage he and his corrupt colleagues have caused, will last far longer than their prison sentences.

For that, I will never forgive them.

Support the good. Honor the fallen. Condemn the corrupt.

– The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

You’ve Asked How to Help, Here’s Your Chance

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Fairly often, I get messages asking how to help support police officers, this website, and the overall purpose of The Officer Next Door.

The best way is simply sharing my content if you like it!

However, if you already do that and want to help financially to offset the costs of running The Officer Next Door, here’s your chance!

Not everyone collects challenge coins, so I opted to start with stickers. Who doesn’t like stickers?!

More importantly, as a way of paying it forward, I am excited to donate a portion of the proceeds to BlueHelp.org, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, that helps fight the suicide epidemic plaguing the law enforcement profession.

Thank you for your support, together we can make a difference.

The Officer Next Door

Officer Next Door Stickers

The Officer Next Door Logo 3″ x 3″ high gloss stickers. Thank you for your support!

$4.00

Law Enforcement 11

An Open Letter to the Anti-Police Crowd

Dear Anti-Police Crowd,

Whether you believe me or not, I hear you when you voice your opinions and concerns about police officers. I support your right to peacefully march or protest for causes you believe in. I understand the emotions you feel when someone you care about dies at the hands of another. The truth is, we are more alike, than we are different.

I know what it’s like to bury someone you love, went to school with, or in my case, wore the same uniform. I understand the feelings you experience when you hear about the latest tragedy and think, “That could have been me.” It’s our worst nightmare, for both us. Like I said, we are more alike, than we are different.

I know how frustrating it is to be judged solely based on your appearance and not your character. I know I made a choice to wear this uniform, but the principle is the same. Nobody should be judged by appearance alone, it’s that simple. I ignore the dirty looks, the insulting comments, and the people who spit in my direction as I pass by. Whether you believe me or not, I go to work every day hoping to be a positive influence and strive to treat everyone the same.

We both want safe neighborhoods, the ability to succeed, and a fair justice system across the board. Like you, I want to see the bad guys go to jail and the good guys protected from violence and evil. I take it personal when someone is hurt or killed on my watch. I’ll give my life to save yours, whether you believe me or not, it’s true.

I can say this with absolute certainty, all good police officers despise the bad ones. When necessary, we have no issue with them being fired or sent to prison. There’s no place for a dirty or corrupt police officer in our profession. Their lack of integrity, poor decisions, or corruption, wipe away all the good we’ve done and erodes the vital trust of the community. This sentiment is shared across the entire profession, whether you believe us or not, we simply hate dirty police officers.

The truth is, police officers are human. Just like you, they can make mistakes. Despite their humanity, the highest standards of accountability are paramount. However, accountability must be a two-way street. Collectively, we must look at incidents objectively and assign blame fairly. If we approach our future with a willingness to walk in “each other’s shoes,” and learn from our mistakes, the progress we can achieve is endless. Through understanding, true change is possible.

Behind my badge is a heart like yours. In the end, we all want the same things.

I hope you see, we really are more alike, than we are different.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 4

I’ve Seen Evil

Photo credit: Jason Bullard and Karen Solomon for Blue H.E.L.P

As a police officer, I’ve seen evil.

Unfortunately, I see evil all the time.

Evil has many forms and doesn’t always look the same.

I saw evil at the drug overdose, where I found a mother holding her dead son in shock and disbelief.

I saw evil when I arrived at the shooting minutes after it took place and watched the victim take their last breath.

I saw evil when I arrived at the freeway accident caused by a drunk driver and put sheets over the deceased.

I saw evil at every domestic violence call and I saw the marks evil left behind physically and emotionally.

I’ve seen evil alright.

As a police officer, when I hear about a tragedy anywhere in the world, I can’t help but think about evil.

Whether I want to or not, I think about what the evil looked like.

I think about the brave souls who ran to confront it.

And worst of all, I think about the people who didn’t deserve to experience it.

Evil.

It’s everywhere it seems, yet books about law enforcement tell police officers, “There is more in this world besides evil!”

I know it’s true, yet it’s persistence is formidable. We see it so often, it’s hard not to become skeptical of humanity.

I’m not complaining. As some critics say, “It’s what we signed up for.” And to some degree, they’re right, I signed up to fight evil.

That part is true.

What I didn’t realize is the effect it would have on me. Once you see evil, it changes you forever.

The badge and uniform I wear, don’t protect me from evil. Evil has killed many like me, in more ways than one.

Evil has killed many officers on-duty. Sadly, evil has killed even more officers by their own hand.

We are not impervious to evil.

The badge and uniform don’t protect us from evil, because what’s behind them, is no different than anyone else.

My heart hurts and tears fall, just like everyone else who confronted by true evil.

Despite all of this no matter what, I want you to know, I will never quit and let evil win.

I wake up every day hoping to prevent evil and if I’m unable, I will fight to hold it accountable.

I live to protect and serve. I laugh and cry. I succeed and I fail.

Because in the end, I’m a police officer by profession, a human by nature, and a warrior by choice.

Rest easy knowing, I will fight evil, in hopes you never will.

Evil will not win.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 6

250 Miles and Three Words

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My entire life I have been the daughter of a police officer. I never felt that my dad was in any danger when he left for work every day. He had a ‘regular’ job and he came home every day in one piece. I didn’t give his job a second thought.

On August 9th, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. On August 11th, 2014, I walked into my middle school to students yelling “f*** the police”. Hearing kids yell obscenities about police officers, about my father, put his job into perspective.

I realized that his job wasn’t a nine to five; it’s an eight hour shift with a side of two AM call-ins to work a wreck where a four year old child died. I realized that we don’t talk about his day at dinner because he’d rather not talk about the shooting that occurred earlier in the day. I realized that I could tell him goodbye in the morning and never see him again, because he decided to protect and serve a community that didn’t care if he was protected.

What the students at my school don’t realize is that the police, they curse, have a family they hope to go home to every night. They have a spouse that depends on them. They have a son that looks up to them. They have a daughter that they hug in the morning and hope that they’ll get to hug her again that night.

I am that daughter. Now, because of an event 250 miles away and three simple words, I am a daughter that is scared. I fear losing my father to people who don’t respect him like I do. I’m afraid I’ll hug him one morning and won’t be able to hug him that night. But, from all of my worry comes a lesson; I don’t take my father for granted. He gives me my freedom by willingly serving an ungrateful community. I appreciate everything he’s done for me even if others don’t. I respect him for leaving me every morning, not knowing what he has planned for the day, to keep me safe.

Every morning, I do the same thing. I wrap my arms around my father and feel his bulletproof vest under his navy blue uniform and I hug him a little tighter. My head rests against his cold, silver badge over his heartbeat and I stay a little longer. I don’t want to let him go because I don’t know what lies ahead, but I let go. As he walks out the front door, I pray for one more day.

-The Daughter of a Police Officer

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 32

I Made It Home The Way I Left – A Day In The Life of a Police Officer

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You’ve heard this line before. “Every day, I kiss my family goodbye, hoping I return the way I left.”

It’s just another shift, another day in the life as a police officer.

I walk out the door and head to my car. My mind already starting to think about the shift ahead. I’m in uniform, so naturally I’m in “police mode” as I drive to the station. I wonder what will happen today.

As I near the station, the stress settles in, I wonder what kind of internal nonsense will be thrown my way. Will it be internal affairs saying they’re conducting another investigation? Could my promotion be in jeopardy? Or will it be my sergeant with the latest policy changes or list of new “initiatives” they’re implementing. Which is code for “another hat to wear, more work to do, but no more time to do it.”

It seems every shift starts with a barrage of negativity from within, we need to do this, stop doing that, do more this, nothing positive, nothing but negative that rolls downhill. It just never ends.

The “beatings will continue until morale improves.” That t-shirt couldn’t be more true most days.

We wear many hats during our shift. We are police officers, mental health workers, social workers, civil dispute solvers, armed secretaries, accident investigators, and worst of all, “uniformed parents” for those who don’t know how to parent themselves.

Luckily, today was a good day. No scolding from the command staff, no negativity, just the usual information on recent crimes. No good news of course. We are police officers, so inherently all we hear about is crime, sadness, and people being harmed. It takes a toll, but we don’t admit it.

Finally, I’m out in the field. A small sense of reprieve washes over me as I enjoy being out in the neighborhood I patrol. I get my usual coffee and head to take care of the list of “checks” I was assigned from my supervisor. Drive by this vacant house, stop by a recently vandalized park, and check on a business that was robbed last week.

As I’m approaching my first “honey-do” item from my supervisor, an officer calls out for help on the radio. Shots were fired in the area and he’s in a foot pursuit. I’m not far away so I rush to his aid.

The “honey-do” list from Sarge will have to wait another day, surely I’ll hear about it tomorrow.

Driving fast with lights and sirens, I rush to help my fellow officer. His voice was elevated, as he was running and trying to talk on the radio. I round the corner and see the suspect running across a field with an object in his hand. My adrenaline is pumping as I get closer and closer to the suspect.

Before I know it, I’m on the ground running after a guy I’ve never met. I don’t know why he’s running, what he just did, or what he plans to do next, I can only assume the worst but hope for the best. I’m really hoping that isn’t a gun in his hand.

Before long, the suspect tires and is taken into custody without incident. It turns out he did have a gun. Thankfully he tossed it to the ground just before giving up and laying down.

The gun is reported stolen, taken in a home break-in the week before. The guy is wanted for aggravated robbery and happens to be a convicted felon. A great outcome all around.

A gun off the street. A violent person in jail for his warrant and new gun charge.

As we walk him to the squad car, we hear the usual appreciation from his friendsin the neighborhood. “F*ck the laws!” As they video us talking to their phones like reporters for the 5 o’clock news. Their account of what happened filled with embellishment and anger.

“Y’all are racist!” Another kid yells as he videos us defiantly.

We’re recording too. The entire thing is on video. What should be a rock solid case, could very well turn into more probation. But that is out of our hands. Sadly, we will see this guy again. “Criminal justice reform” they call it.

As I get back to my squad car, I notice a missed call from my wife. The kids are already asleep. I missed my chance to say goodnight.

The rest of shift is fairly uneventful. I even managed to grab a bite to eat with my buddy that works the same area.

We had a few laughs and talked about the latest changes made by the command staff. It’s amazing how much policing has changed over the years. I head back to the station nearly an hour before my shift ends. It’s mandated I download my body camera and squad car footage before I go home every night. I complete the required paperwork that once took ten minutes, now takes almost twenty.

I head home almost on time. I sneak into the house trying not to wake everyone. The dog greets me at the door and my wife is relieved to hear the sound of velcro as I take off my bulletproof vest.

To her, I made it home the way I left.

A quick shower and I hop in bed. My wife has already fallen back to sleep knowing I’m home safe. I lie down but can’t fall asleep. My shift plays back in my head as if it’s a movie. Did I do all the required paperwork? Did I forget to put anything in that arrest report? As I close my eyes, images from the dead body call just before shift end pop into my head.

Frustrated, I toss and turn for 30 minutes and finally drift off to sleep. It’s not a restful sleep. My dreams are vivid and unfortunately, I’m at work again. I can’t escape it as I’m in a yet another foot pursuit, only this time the guy turns quickly and shoots four times. I stop and squeeze the trigger as hard as I can, but no matter what I do, my gun won’t fire. The bad guy keeps shooting and I’m panicking. What the hell is wrong with my gun!? Eventually, a bullet slowly rolls out of my gun and I wake up in a panic.

My wife asks me if I’m okay. I lie and say, “Yes, just another dream.” She’s heard it before.

Physically, I made it home the way I left, but with each shift, I’m forever changed.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

The “Thin Blue Line of Silence” Doesn’t Exist – Facts Over Feelings

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Luckily, I don’t believe the “thin blue line of silence” exists in 2019.

Say what you want. Conjure up conspiracy theories. I am telling you right now, the “thin blue line of silence” is no longer an epidemic or real thing. I know this article will cause plenty of anti-police groups to attack my social media page or comment on my website with profanity laced ignorance, so be it.

At least read what I have to say about “dirty cops” before you lose your mind with anti-government rhetoric and “bootlicker” comments.

You can support police and condemn the bad ones. This doesn’t make you a “bootlicker.” Nor does that mean you don’t support the police.

Good police, don’t support bad police, it’s that simple.

But here we go anyways.

The Police Perspective

Policing in 2019 has evolved in many ways that not only enhance transparency, but embrace it. Almost every police officer I’ve asked about the use of body cameras, has told me they love them. Why? Because they protect them.

Many skeptics seem to believe police officers will go to great lengths to lie for each other. Luckily, with the implementation of body cameras, most things are recorded. As such, there’s little debate about what happened during an incident once you hit play. How can you lie if it is on video?

Did the officer swear, be disrespectful, say something racial, plant evidence, or sexually assault a prisoner?

All these things have been alleged and quickly disproven by body camera footage. Conversely, any lying on the part of police officers, will be quickly exposed and handled accordingly.

Simply put, bad police officers make the job of good police officers more difficult. As such, it does no police officer any good to protect one that is openly in the wrong, dirty, or corrupt.

Eventually that “bad” police officer will do something stupid, make headlines, causing the profession as a whole to take two steps backwards with the community. Why would any police officer want that to happen? Potentially make their job more dangerous or difficult?

Here’s a newsflash, working riots or protests as a police officer are not fun. Not even a little bit.

What’s almost comical is the notion that zero accountability or discipline takes place internally. If you were to take a poll of 1000 police officers about the stressors of the job, I can almost bet with complete certainty the number one cause of stress as a police officer, comes from the internal workings of the job.  Internal discipline, policy changes, pressure to perform, poor leadership or management, the list goes on. It’s commonly talked about by police officers as their biggest stressor and likely a big contributor to the police suicide epidemic we are now seeing.

Also, not every “bad” or ‘dirty” cop is conducting such corrupt behavior out in the open. We live in a time where you are on camera nearly every minute you are in public. If you add in a body camera (assuming a dirty cop would properly use it) then they’re almost always on camera.

As such, if they are operating in a manner that is corrupt or dirty, you can be rest assured they are doing so in a manner that is hard to see or detect. But not everything they do that is “dirty” is out in the open. They could be tipping off drug dealers of impending drug raids, running an illegal side business, or any other number of corrupt acts that may not always pertain directly to their daily duties or be visible to co-workers.

There is this overwhelming belief from people that comment on my articles on social media or this website, that police officers should be “arresting” their fellow officers or watching their every move to keep them accountable. This sounds good in theory, however, most police officers are either in their patrol car alone, or have a partner.

If you have a partner, odds are you and that partner answer and handle most calls alone as a pair. Therefore, your ability to “oversee” the actions of your co-workers during the shift is impossible, or improbable. Of course, these dynamics vary depending on the size of the city, department etc. It’s like suggesting the secretary on the third floor should be able to tell you if the secretary on the fifth floor takes too long of a lunch break every day. Police officers operate independently more often that the public realizes.

Either way, police officers owe it to themselves to report anything illegal, corrupt, or immoral. I believe this happens far more than the general public realizes. I can think of multiple examples off the top of my head, but maybe that’s because I pay attention to such things.

Quick Story

Once, while working a case in narcotics, something troubling popped up suggesting an officer could be dirty. I immediately showed the other officers in my squad and we agreed it needed to be looked into. We took it to our supervisor and called a meeting with the unit that investigated potentially criminal acts by police officers. They took it from there. Eventually, he was busted doing something criminal, but unrelated to my initial concern. He is no longer a police officer. Fine with me. No room for people like him.

The point is, my co-workers were as eager as I was, to refer this potentially dirty officer to the “powers that be.” The misconception that police officers want to protect dirty cops makes no sense. The general attitude I always see from officers regarding a dirty cop is, “Get rid of them!”

That being said, people also seem to forget that police officers still have rights. They surrender some of them as an employee, like an expectation of privacy in their work locker for example. But they do have a right to a lawyer, to remain silent if charged with a crime, or any other right that citizens are afforded in the criminal justice system.

Conclusion

In the end, the point remains, the thin blue line of silence is not real. No police officer or police department stands to benefit from lying to protect each other. Even if such things allegedly existed years or decades ago, I can assure you things have changed.

The sad irony in our society, is we are quick to be upset if anyone is judged as a whole for the actions of a few, yet that idea is completely acceptable for the public when it comes to police officers. Why?

We must punish those who deserve it, harshly and quickly, for betraying the public trust.

But we must not allow such incidents to tarnish the rest and impact the ability of the “good” to effectively and efficiently do their jobs.

If we allow this, we will all lose.

It’s happening more than you think. A recruiting crisis is brewing, if not already here.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

“No-Knock” Search Warrants Are Not the Enemy, Violent Criminals With Guns Are

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I won’t speculate on how the search warrant in Houston was carried out in regards to tactical specifics. Did they hit lights and sirens on a patrol car? Did they scream “Police!” as they were making entry? I don’t know. At this point, even that aspect of that tragedy is convoluted with no concrete answers on what transpired. Needless to say, there’s no point in speculating and making a bad situation worse. Immediately after the tragedy, comments were made about “stopping no-knock warrants” in Houston by Chief Acevedo. A typical response by a Chief scrambling to appease the masses. I could elaborate for pages abouit that topic, however, this article is simply aimed at explaining the two methods of search warrant executions, that’s all.

This topic is inherently controversial, even amongst police officers. It’s similar to a Chevy vs Ford debate in the sense that it comes down to personal preference and opinion, except it gets much more heated. Why? I think because some people are adamant that one method is more dangerous than the other. Other police officers make the argument you can get shot, or end up shooting someone, regardless of which method is used. Either way, I’ll do my best to explain every aspect of search warrants without writing a book and let the fiery debates and arguments begin!

SEARCH WARRANT BASICS

I have just over three years of personal experience writing and executing narcotics search warrants, so this article is written solely based on that experience and does not reflect current policies or procedures as they may have changed. It’s also important to understand that every agency has their own way of writing and executing search warrants. Depending on their training, department policies, the district attorney’s office, or simply preference in style, search warrants will generally vary to some degree from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Having said that, every search warrant is the same, in that it must have a few basic necessities in order to be signed by a judge. First and foremost, it must articulate probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed and the search warrant in which you are applying for, is seeking permission to go somewhere and search for evidence that relates to that specific crime.

So for the purposes of discussing narcotics search warrants, most evidentiary warrants I wrote, sought permission to enter a residence and search for narcotics. The warrant was based on the fact that either I or a confidential informant purchased narcotics from that residence. There are other methods but for the purposes of this article, that is all I’ll cover.

At this point, all search warrants are the same, in that they will simply describe in great detail the location they intend to search, the person(s) (if known) they believe are in care, custody, and control of the residence, and it will detail why you think there are drugs being sold from the residence.

“KNOCK AND ANNOUNCE” WARRANTS

The one way search warrants differ, is whether or not you as the lead detective would add a “no knock clause” in the search warrant. In simple terms, this clause, if GRANTED by the Judge, allows the entry team to go to the residence and immediately begin working on the making entry into the residence. On the contrary, a warrant without a “no knock clause” would have to be executed in a normal “knock and announce” fashion. This is the “default” way a warrant will be executed.

A “knock and announce” search warrant, means that the officers executing the search warrant do not believe there is any exigency in entering the residence quickly. For example, if they are searching for a murder suspect, or evidence that cannot be destroyed, there is no exigency for an entry team to quickly get inside. Additionally, if it is the belief that knocking and announcing their presence would NOT endanger the police officers in any way, then they would not include a “no knock” clause in their warrant.

This warrant would be executed by showing up, surrounding the residence, and announcing their presence with directions for anyone inside to exit the residence. The warrant team would take up positions of cover and wait a “reasonable” amount of time for anyone to exit the residence. Eventually, if there is no answer, they will go ahead and make entry into the residence. A slow and methodical search for the person or evidence they are seeking will be conducted, with or without the consent of anyone inside.

THE “NO-KNOCK” WARRANT EXPLAINED

A “no knock” clause would be added and applied for, if any of the previously mentioned details were different. If the lead detective felt knocking and announcing their presence, waiting an undetermined “reasonable amount of time” to allow people to exit the residence, would hinder their investigation or create a more dangerous situation for the officers, a no-knock clause would be included in the search warrant. This clause is subject to approval by the reviewing judge or magistrate and could be denied.

Examples of why a “no knock” clause would be applied for include but are not limited to: The drugs being sold inside the residence could be easily and readily destroyed. Drug dealers utilize multiple methods to destroy their drugs quickly in the event the police show up. This would have to be articulated in detail for example they have a constant open flame, a hot plate with oil, or they sell out of the bathroom next to a toilet. Other factors include the residence being heavily barricaded with cages, which means it will take a significant amount of time to gain entry (element of surprise is gone). There are cameras that will likely tip off the drug dealers that the entry team is there (element of surprise is gone). Guns and other weapons have been observed inside the drug house, or any other articulable facts that a reasonable person would believe that standing outside the residence, announcing their presence and waiting for the occupants to surrender, would either allow for the destruction of evidence or potentially pose a greater threat to the officers as they wait to be allowed inside.

It’s important to note that even in a “no-knock” warrant situation, the likelihood that suspected drug dealers do not see the police coming or are not somehow alerted, is slim to none in most instances. Drug dealers go to great lengths to give themselves the best chance to destroy evidence, or flee the residence in hopes of not being arrested. This is their job. They plan for the possibility of getting caught and do everything in their power to avoid it.

THE DEBATE

This is where the debate among police officers and citizens alike gets hairy. Some police officers feel that no amount of drugs are “worth their life” and therefore, any method other than a “no knock” warrant should be employed in order to catch the violent drug dealers that plague our streets with drugs and related violence. Others, feel it is a worthy cause and that warrants no matter how they are executed, carry risk.

I think when it comes to the public and maybe some police officers who haven’t executed these kinds of warrants themselves, the common misconception is that a “no knock” warrant means nothing is being said, no warning or announcement is given while entry is being made. This couldn’t be FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

During a “no-knock” search warrant execution, upon reaching the doorway or caged door of the drug house in question, the second they begin working on breaking open the door or removing caged barricades, the entire entry team begins announcing their presence by yelling “Police!” At this point, the secret is out, they are there and they are coming in.

The main difference in “no-knock” versus “knock and announce” is the officers are authorized to immediately work on making entry (break down or open caged doors or barricades) once they arrive and immediately enter without waiting for people to surrender on their own.

Most of these houses are not “houses” as you think of them. Many of them are “trap houses” that may be rented by someone and outfitted to solely sell narcotics from them. They don’t have furniture, beds, dishes, etc. They have heavily barricaded doors and windows, hidden compartments, and maybe an air mattress or a couch where the drug dealers hang out and play video games while they wait for their next customer. It’s a business folks, they protect it by any means necessary.

I hope this explains “knock and announce” vs “no-knock” and dispels some rumors or myths about how they are obtained and more importantly explains how they are executed.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

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