Preventable MS-13 Murder Happens In NYC Subway

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Image source: Facebook

On February 3rd, 2019, a preventable and brutal murder took place on a New York City subway platform involving rival gang members. The suspect who is now in custody, Ramiro Gutierrez, is a suspected MS-13 gang member. The victim is an alleged member of a local “18th Street” gang.

As you will hear in the video, the suspect shoots the victim six times in the face, after a physical altercation on the subway platform. You can see video of the fight and subsequent shooting here *graphic warning*:

As disturbing as this video is, one thing that immediately caught my attention, were reports stating the suspect was out on $2,500 bond when this shooting took place.

$2,500 bond despite being an identified MS-13 gang member!? We give MS-13 gang members $2,500 bond? Wow. Good to know.

But wait, there’s more. Not only is Gutierrez a member of a violent gang, he’s also undocumented and here illegally.

Oh I know. I’m wading into controversial territory here. Dare I mention ICE? You know, the federal agency that some politicians want abolished. As always, I’ll try to stick to the facts, instead of political fodder.

So the question remains, why wasn’t a “detainer” placed on Gutierrez after his arrest in December 2018? That is the standard procedure for someone charged with a felony, with a questionable immigration status. Let alone someone who is a member of an extremely violent gang. It only makes sense. Doesn’t it?

Go figure, that is exactly what happened. But not until he shot someone in the face six times on a crowded New York City subway platform.

According to an article published by ABC7NY, “ICE was one of the law enforcement agencies involved in 26-year-old Ramiro Gutierrez’s burglary arrest in December but then did not confirm that he was undocumented so he was freed on bail.”

Of course, the article goes on to say, “Only after his arrest earlier this week for the fatal shooting did ICE determine “he entered without inspection” at an unknown prior date. ICE has now placed a detainer on Gutierrez for possible deportation.”

So there’s the proof that this is what normally happens. It begs the question, why didn’t it happen in December 2018?

Political interference? Political pressure on ICE? ICE dropped the ball? I’m not above saying law enforcement could have made a mistake. Considering ICE was involved with the arrest in December 2018, the reason for not issuing a detainer at that time has to be an interesting one to say the least. There has to be an explanation or reason. Maybe we will get one, maybe not? We can speculate until the cows come home.

I don’t expect the judicial system to be perfect. I certainly realize people arrested for crimes have a right to be freed on bond before trial. I also recognize someone arrested for minor or non-violent crimes could be freed on bond and proceed to go on a murderous crime spree. We aren’t fortune tellers. If we were, we could prevent all crime.

I guess the question becomes, when do we take the criminal element seriously and put our safety above political cries to be lenient? I said my goal wasn’t to be political, doesn’t mean it’s entirely avoidable. I can’t help but wonder if political pressure played a role in the release of Gutierrez in December 2018.

Let me put it simply. If someone is arrested for a felony, AND they are identified as an active criminal street gang member, AND they aren’t here legally, that is PRECISELY when ICE should be involved and allowed to do their job. If their immigration status is cleared up, then and only then, should bond or bail even be entertained.

I believe this murder could have been prevented. The problem with certain political policies, especially those of lenience, is they have to be applied uniformly. Being concerned about bail being too expensive and disproportionately affecting the poor or minorities, makes sense, I get it. It’s certainly an issue worthy of discussion and future corrective action.

However, given the mitigating circumstances involving Mr. Gutierrez, certain procedures should have been followed preventing his release. This particular case isn’t about race, ethnicity, or financial status, it’s about criminality. When you are a member of a criminal street gang, you deserve to be treated like one.

Allowing MS-13 gang members who aren’t even here legally, back into society on a $2,500 bond is insane. It isn’t racist to keep MS-13 gang members locked up, it’s smart. Especially for felony charges. We aren’t talking about jaywalking or littering.

Violent people shouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to continue their violence in our society. Period.

Luckily, the only person killed in this horrific incident was another alleged gang member and not an innocent person in the NYC subway system. Despite that, I can’t help but feel bad they had to witness such a heinous act. Especially considering it could and should have been prevented.

No matter who is at fault.

It’s a damn shame.

The Officer Next Door

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Police Playing Russian Roulette? Wait Before You Speculate.

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By now most people who follow the news have likely heard the tragic story out of St. Louis, where 24 year-old police officer, Katlyn Alix, was shot and killed by a colleague of hers, while allegedly playing a game of “Russian roulette.”

I have waited a few days to discuss this befuddling tragedy, like most, I was in disbelief  when this story broke.

I want to believe the officer who fired the fatal shot is telling the truth, but I’m not naïve and usually when something doesn’t sound right, it isn’t. Maybe it is the cold hard truth? Maybe not? There’s likely more to the story, but I won’t speculate, for good reason.

That being said, in all my time in law enforcement, I know one thing to be true, you’ve never, “seen it all.” I remember times while writing arrest reports exactly how the arrest happened thinking to myself, “There’s no way anyone will believe this report, this is insane.”  But it was the truth. Sometimes things happen that are nothing short of bonkers and hard to believe. Thank goodness for body cameras, at least now the craziness can be recorded.

Am I outwardly saying that Officer Hendren and his roommate, also a police officer, are lying? No. I’m simply saying we don’t have the entire story right now and this story seems hard to believe. Maybe because we don’t want to believe that officers could be this stupid. They of all people should know better, so that naturally creates disbelief.

Either way, we need to wait. Unfortunately, that’s how our system works. The trial will reveal the facts and I’m sure that between now and then, more information will be released when appropriate.

Let’s not forget that the two police officers who were on-duty when this happened, have been charged with serious crimes. Protecting the integrity of the case for prosecution is paramount in order to have a fair and effective trial.

This holds true whether police officers are charged with a crime, or a citizen. However, in today’s world, everyone demands ANSWERS NOW! This short-sighted behavior needs to stop. There’s a process in place for a reason and that reason is to seek justice no matter who is on trial, potentially dirty police, an alleged drug dealer or gang member, or a citizen. The process is the same every time, as it should be.

It doesn’t matter who is on trial. The process must be done the same way and with integrity to allow the system to work the best way it can. And no, the system isn’t perfect, but that’s an entirely different subject.

This case is similar to the highly publicized incident in Dallas, Texas involving former Dallas Officer Amber Guyger who came home from work and killed someone she thought was in her apartment. Come to find out, she was in the right apartment, but on the wrong floor. A tragic mistake to say the least.

All of the facts surrounding that case are yet to be made public, but rest assured, the rumors and nonsense have swirled. Why not just wait for the actual facts to come out? Why speculate or spread rumors that there were ulterior motives? Hidden relationships? Or other ridiculous allegations that are nothing but that, allegations. What does that do to help the situation? I’ll tell you, nothing.

I guess we are a society that demands and expects instant answers and gratification. Patience, a virtue according to the most, seems to be a thing of the past. Try sitting at a green light for more than 0.2 seconds after it changes. You’re sure to get honked at and told you are number one. Pretty shameful if you ask me. Relax. Life’s a game you’re bound to finish, so calm down. 

So what’s my point? There’s a few.

This story seems odd, maybe it really happened the way they say it did, maybe it didn’t. Time will tell. Thankfully, the officers involved who appear to be responsible for this tragedy, have been charged and the process of seeking truth and justice are in motion.

Let me say that again for the anti-police haters, the internet trolls, the people who think police support pages and police officers blindly support police officers no matter what, THANKFULLY THE OFFICERS INVOLVED WHO APPEAR TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS TRAGEDY, HAVE BEEN CHARGED AND THE PROCESS OF SEEKING TRUTH AND JUSTICE ARE IN MOTION. (I’ve had my share of trolls and haters on social media lately, but I doubt they’re listening, this doesn’t fit their narrative).

I recognize this may be hard to understand, but no police officer wants bad police officers to be employed and active. What good do bad police officers do for anyone? Nothing. It ruins police and community relations and makes the job of the good officers harder. It’s that simple folks.

Had this officer played “Russian roulette” and killed a civilian, my feelings would be the same. If the officer is wrong, fire him and lock him up. If a jury decides he isn’t culpable, then so be it.

Unfortunately, the wheels of justice are slow. Until they turn completely and all the details come to light, we can only wait. But we should wait in silence. Let the case play out, let the facts be sought, gathered, and shared when necessary. Spreading rumors and adding your own speculation across the internet does nothing positive or beneficial.

This was nothing short of a PREVENTABLE tragedy and for that, we should be upset.

May justice be served and Officer Alix never forgotten.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

It’s Been Over Two Years, What Has Kneeling Changed?

Kap Kneeling
Colin Kaepernick, right, and Eric Reid kneeling during the national anthem before an N.F.L. game last year. Credit Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem continues years later as we head toward Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019.

A petition calling for performers Maroon5, Big Boi, and Travis Scott on change.org to drop out of performing the Super Bowl halftime show, has now surpassed 100,000 signatures.

The petition which is titled, “Maroon5: Drop Out of the Super Bowl Halftime Show” has been gaining steam in the last few days, refueling the controversy around Kaepernick, the NFL, and the kneeling movement.

A possible secondary goal of simply kneeling during the performance, appeared in a petition update posted by organizer Vic Oyedeji today.

The update includes a link that if clicked, allows you to share a pre-written “tweet” that reads as follows, “@Maroon5, @trvisXX and @BigBoi: #TakeAKnee during your set. Show the hundreds of millions of people watching that you stand in solidarity with @Kaepernick7 and all players who protect police brutality.”

I can only speculate the petition organizer realizes it is unlikely at this point the performers will drop out, so a secondary goal of kneeling during the performance would suffice to spread their message.

So what do I think about it?

I support the ability of anyone to peacefully protest. With that, I have no issue. No one should. I am confused and have long been confused, as to how the act of kneeling will curb or prevent future acts of alleged, “police brutality.” It’s not lost on me that discussions about the topic may be one of his goals, clearly, that goal has been achieved.

I don’t condone police brutality.

Police officers don’t condone police brutality.

Anything involving police brutality or instances of obvious police misconduct, do nothing but make the job of hardworking, honest, police officers harder. With every instance of bad press and embarrassing mistakes, the divide between society and police officers becomes deeper.

This helps no one.

To suggest that police officers today actively support fellow officers with bad intentions is lunacy. The notion of a “thin blue line” covering up misconduct seems even more irrational now than ever, with the implementation of body worn cameras.

Speaking of body worn cameras, nearly every single police officer I know, who wears a body camera, loves them. Why? Because they can operate as they always have, without fear of being lied on. Think it doesn’t happen? Google, “False rape allegation DPS Trooper,” and read how devastating false allegations can be. Not to mention the damage it did to those who only read headlines and failed to see the follow up stories that it was in fact, a blatant lie. The damage is still done, sadly.

If Maroon5, drops out or decides to kneel during their halftime performance, so be it. It will appease some of their fans, maybe anger others who believe that police officers, by and large, do a great job.

No profession is absent of misconduct. It is standard logic that goes without saying. The difference is police officers bear a great responsibility of power and the ability to take a life. Therefore, we hear about their every misstep, on or off-duty. Rightfully so. The old, “held to a higher standard,” adage we hear surrounding police officers will ring true forever. As it should.

So the question is, “What can we do to have a police force worthy of praise in the eyes of Kaepernick and his supporters?”

Is there an attainable and tangible goal we could set and work toward?

Or are we failing to realize that as long as police officers are human beings, we will never have perfection.

Realizing an unattainable level of perfection and supporting a goal of striving for it, are two separate things.

I don’t have all the answers. I certainly would have told the world by now, if I did.

I know one side of the issue involves compliance on behalf of those interacting with police officers. However, it seems society these days is less interested in saying, “That guy could have simply put his hands behind his back, or not pointed that gun, or not swung at the officer, and he’d be alive today.” That too, is a tragedy in my opinion. If we are a society of fairness, we should consider all angles when assessing blame or causation.

I guess we will see what happens on February 3rd.

Ultimately, I hope people reading this realize one thing, police officers want to be perfect.

Any officer who blatantly breaks the law or abuses their power deserves to be fired, and if warranted, sent to prison. It’s that simple. I’ll say it again, police officers want to be perfect. It would make life so much better for everyone.

Damn the humanity.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

It’s Been Over Two Years, What Has Kneeling Changed?

Kap Kneeling
Colin Kaepernick, right, and Eric Reid kneeling during the national anthem before an N.F.L. game last year. Credit Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem continues years later as we head toward Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019.

A petition calling for performers Maroon5, Big Boi, and Travis Scott on change.org to drop out of performing the Super Bowl halftime show, has now surpassed 100,000 signatures.

The petition which is titled, “Maroon5: Drop Out of the Super Bowl Halftime Show” has been gaining steam in the last few days, refueling the controversy around Kaepernick, the NFL, and the kneeling movement.

A possible secondary goal of simply kneeling during the performance, appeared in a petition update posted by organizer Vic Oyedeji today.

The update includes a link that if clicked, allows you to share a pre-written “tweet” that reads as follows, “@Maroon5, @trvisXX and @BigBoi: #TakeAKnee during your set. Show the hundreds of millions of people watching that you stand in solidarity with @Kaepernick7 and all players who protect police brutality.”

I can only speculate the petition organizer realizes it is unlikely at this point the performers will drop out, so a secondary goal of kneeling during the performance would suffice to spread their message.

So what do I think about it?

I support the ability of anyone to peacefully protest. With that, I have no issue. No one should. I am confused and have long been confused, as to how the act of kneeling will curb or prevent future acts of alleged, “police brutality.” It’s not lost on me that discussions about the topic may be one of his goals, clearly, that goal has been achieved.

I don’t condone police brutality.

Police officers don’t condone police brutality.

Anything involving police brutality or instances of obvious police misconduct, do nothing but make the job of hardworking, honest, police officers harder. With every instance of bad press and embarrassing mistakes, the divide between society and police officers becomes deeper.

This helps no one.

To suggest that police officers today actively support fellow officers with bad intentions is lunacy. The notion of a “thin blue line” covering up misconduct seems even more irrational now than ever, with the implementation of body worn cameras.

Speaking of body worn cameras, nearly every single police officer I know, who wears a body camera, loves them. Why? Because they can operate as they always have, without fear of being lied on. Think it doesn’t happen? Google, “False rape allegation DPS Trooper,” and read how devastating false allegations can be. Not to mention the damage it did to those who only read headlines and failed to see the follow up stories that it was in fact, a blatant lie. The damage is still done, sadly.

If Maroon5, drops out or decides to kneel during their halftime performance, so be it. It will appease some of their fans, maybe anger others who believe that police officers, by and large, do a great job.

No profession is absent of misconduct. It is standard logic that goes without saying. The difference is police officers bear a great responsibility of power and the ability to take a life. Therefore, we hear about their every misstep, on or off-duty. Rightfully so. The old, “held to a higher standard,” adage we hear surrounding police officers will ring true forever. As it should.

So the question is, “What can we do to have a police force worthy of praise in the eyes of Kaepernick and his supporters?”

Is there an attainable and tangible goal we could set and work toward?

Or are we failing to realize that as long as police officers are human beings, we will never have perfection.

Realizing an unattainable level of perfection and supporting a goal of striving for it, are two separate things.

I don’t have all the answers. I certainly would have told the world by now, if I did.

I know one side of the issue involves compliance on behalf of those interacting with police officers. However, it seems society these days is less interested in saying, “That guy could have simply put his hands behind his back, or not pointed that gun, or not swung at the officer, and he’d be alive today.” That too, is a tragedy in my opinion. If we are a society of fairness, we should consider all angles when assessing blame or causation.

I guess we will see what happens on February 3rd.

Ultimately, I hope people reading this realize one thing, police officers want to be perfect.

Any officer who blatantly breaks the law or abuses their power deserves to be fired, and if warranted, sent to prison. It’s that simple. I’ll say it again, police officers want to be perfect. It would make life so much better for everyone.

Damn the humanity.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

Colorado Avalanche Not Afraid To Honor The 148 Fallen Police Officers of 2018

The Colorado Avalanche recently honored the 148 heroic police officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting and serving their communities in 2018.

During the pre-game activities, they displayed the thin blue line flag across the entire ice surface and honored those who gave their life protecting their communities with a moment of silence. See a video from The Brotherhood for the Fallen Aurora below.

 

Initially, I was thrilled to see this video. I think anyone who supports law enforcement would be. Then I remembered the new “movement” that suggests the thin blue line flag is controversial and racist. I worried that this show of support would be spun into something it wasn’t meant to be, racist.

Due to this, I searched the internet and social media for any signs of outrage or controversy, thankfully, to my knowledge, there isn’t any.

For those of you who follow me on social media, I recently addressed the controversy surrounding the “thin blue line” flag and other anti-police issues, on The Officer Next Door Facebook page. Needless to say, it attracted plenty of haters, but I feel the message was important.

Unfortunately, the thin blue line flag has been deemed by some, as a “symbol or racism” due to the fact, it was displayed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, back in 2017. Needless to say, the thin blue line flag being present at an ignorant event like that, repulses me. I’m sure I can speak for all of law enforcement when I say that.

However, I also hope our society wouldn’t allow the actions of a few misguided hillbillies, the ability to represent a profession that includes nearly 1 million people across the country. It seems a little short-sighted to me, but I digress.

People who don’t represent law enforcement, shouldn’t represent the beliefs of law enforcement. I can stand in a public place waving a flag that says, “Firefighters hate puppies.” It doesn’t mean it’s true, or represents the views of firefighters across America.

I also recognize the argument by some, that altering the flag in any way is “divisive” or “offensive”. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on that one. I know plenty of police officers that also served in our military.  They don’t seem to have an issue with the thin blue line flag.  I believe they see it for what it is, a flag that represents law enforcement being the “thin blue line” that stands between the evil in our country and the rest of America. That’s it. Nothing more.

Clearly, the Colorado Avalanche were not deterred by the possibility of angering the anti-police crowd who believe the flag is something it is not. Kudos to them for honoring the fallen. There’s no harm in that. For once, maybe people saw the gesture solely for what it was, a show of support for those who died protecting our country. Nothing more, nothing less.

The NHL has long been an example of class, when it comes to honoring law enforcement. Back in 2016, the Dallas Stars were allowed to wear decals on their helmets as show of support, following the tragic deaths of five police officers who were directing traffic at a protest march on July 7, 2016.

I chose the words, “allowed to wear” on purpose, due to the fact the NFL did not allow the Dallas Cowboys to do the same. Say what you want about sports leagues, they certainly have the right to support who they want, but it seems pretty evident the NHL gets it right. Every. Single. Time.

What a breath of fresh (cold) air.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

 

 

 

Seth Meyers’ Disgusting Tweet, Dismisses Victims Murdered By Illegal Immigrants

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I have gone to decent lengths to keep this website and my social media pages relatively free of politics. I say “decent lengths”, because inevitably, some topics related to policing are political. The recent suspension of the Broward County Sheriff, for example. It’s political, yet relevant to policing. So I shared the story with my own thoughts mixed in. That’s what I do.

I have avoided politics for a few reasons.

One, there’s enough negativity and squawking on social media and the mainstream media as it is, you don’t need more from me.

Second, it’s divisive. I didn’t create The Officer Next Door to be divisive, quite the opposite. So it stands to reason I avoid such topics like politics to maintain my goal of marching to a different beat.

But sometimes, you need to go against the grain, or even your own rules. So here it goes. Luckily for you, this is more about optics and respect, than it is “politics” so don’t get too upset with me.

As many of you know, the president addressed the nation last night to address the government shutdown and the issue surrounding the border wall funding.

Apparently while doing so, he mentioned the murder of Ronil Singh, a California police officer killed the night after Christmas by an illegal alien. Trump’s exact words were, “America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien, just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country. Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders.”

Much to my dismay, but out of necessity, I covered Singh’s murder extensively as the magnitude of the incident was enormous. For a while, we weren’t sure if the suspect had successfully eluded law enforcement, having little to go on, the sharing of the information we did know seemed vital.

Back to the Meyers debacle. Presumably while the speech was being given and after the murder of Officer Singh and others were mentioned in the president’s speech, Seth Meyers felt the need to tweet the following: “Is this Oval Office: SVU?”

seth meyers

Wow. I get he’s a comedian, I understand he, like many others in Hollywood hate the president, that’s fine. I really don’t care one way or another about your political views. But this sank to a new level of low. Arguably worse than holding a bloody head portrayed to be the president, or destroying a star on the walk of fame in a fit of unabated rage. “Hollywood” has had egg on their face multiple times in the last few years, no doubt.

However, this is different because it involves people that didn’t ask to be victims. It involves people who have suffered great loss and heartache, they aren’t public figures and therefore, don’t deserve to be comedic punching bags.

I can’t imagine the families of the murder victims the president mentioned were laughing. I can’t imagine any police officer across America found his quip funny in any way possible. I can’t fathom why he would find it appropriate to stoop to that level of disgusting.

My point?

This is the sort of rhetoric that does nothing but create division. It isn’t lost on me that ignoring this tweet may have been a good way to deal with it, but I started this website to stand up for law enforcement, not watch as they are marginalized and kicked around like lowly public servants.

What Seth Meyers tweeted was disgusting. There is no other way to put it. Downplaying the fact that a wife lost her husband and a young baby will never know his father, isn’t funny, it’s disgusting.

The fact that Meyers feels so strongly about a political issue or dislikes the president is completely his prerogative. His job as a comedian and public figure, is to make people laugh and be a role model, I think it is fair to say, this tweet fell well short of that goal.

Some things just aren’t funny. Ever. So this isn’t me being “triggered” or being a “snowflake” as some may feel inclined to say.

This is me standing up for the 800,000+ police officers in our country that risk being the next officer killed while simply doing their job. Every. Single. Day.

People being murdered isn’t funny, under any circumstance. It leaves a permanent void in the lives affected by such crimes. Police officers dying in the line of duty is no laughing matter and I can bet the 148 families that lost their loved one in 2018 would agree.

I won’t call for a boycott. I won’t tell you what television shows to watch and who to support politically, but I will tell you when someone has crossed the line.

One can only hope Mr. Meyers apologizes. He owes it to himself and any fans he may have. Maybe by doing so, he can salvage some semblance of dignity after stooping to a new all-time low for Hollywood. An impressive feat at the very least.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

The Coward In Broward Out, Sources Say

coward broward

Florida – Multiple reports from various news outlets are reporting that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has been suspended by the newly sworn-in Governor Ron DeSantis.

How the Sheriff has lasted this long is beyond me. The way Broward County Deputies handled the Parkland school shooting is one of the most embarrassing and tragic stories surrounding law enforcement in recent history.

Back in November 4, 2013, Sheriff Israel reportedly changed the active shooter policy for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office from “will respond” to “may respond”. This alone should be cause for the removal of Sheriff Israel, as it is clear his policy change cost lives on February 14, 2018.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Jeff Bell, President of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, citing Sheriff Israel’s poor leadership stated, “Broward County Deputies are limited to only four hours of firearms training each year.”

Bell went on to say that due Sheriff Israel’s training policies, “they spend more time in classrooms learning about politeness while policing” than engaging in other training that could better prepares them to do their job.

It is clear, Sheriff Israel has implemented multiple changes to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office that ultimately led to an atrocious and negligent response by his agency on that horrific and tragic day. For these reasons alone, he should have been fired long ago.

After multiple calls to oust Sheriff Israel, even a union “vote of no confidence” where 85% of members voted to get rid of Sheriff Israel, it seems the deputies in Broward County will finally get their wish.

Good riddance Sheriff Israel, though calling you a Sheriff may be giving you too much credit.

We can only hope the new leader takes the department in better and more efficient direction.

The members of the nation’s largest fully accredited Sheriff’s Office in the country deserve it, as do their citizens.

The Officer Next Door