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Tag: The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

Mass Shootings Aftermath – We Should All Be Ashamed

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At a time where our country should be united, we are divided.

Instead of uniting as Americans against clear and obvious enemies like, hate and evil, we have allowed our country to become divided by political party lines and ideologies. This has done nothing but prevent any semblance of progress. Sadly, the longer we choose to make each other the enemy, the longer we allow hate and evil to win.

We should all be ashamed.

Any form white supremacy is disgusting and intolerable. This isn’t up for debate, nor should it be a dividing point in our society. As a country, we should stand arm in arm as Americans, to fight such disgusting and destructive ways of thinking. This should happen immediately without finger pointing, or blame, without second thought.

It hasn’t, and we should all be ashamed.

This same approach should be applied toward ANY and ALL forms of extreme or radical ideologies that only prove to be harmful to our country. It does not matter where these ideologies originate, which political party their “actors” associate with, or which religion they may practice, they ALL must be stopped and fought against. Once again, this should not be a debate, or a point of division in this country.

In the days following the tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, California, it is abundantly clear we have failed at coming together. We have failed at uniting as the great country we are to fight the enemy. Instead, we fight each other about who to blame, foolishly looking backward, not forward. Inexplicably, we seem eager and determined to cast blame everywhere but on the shoulders of the cowards themselves who pulled the trigger during these horrific tragedies.

We should all be ashamed.

In the days following these tragic events, our refusal to band together has made us weaker. We have taken sides, engaged in frivolous social media arguments, and allowed the mainstream media to divide us once again to their benefit and profit. What has such infighting solved? What have we accomplished by arguing over who is to blame? When will we stop the blame game and start moving forward with solutions?

Instead of closing ranks and fighting the common problems and symptoms of the recent tragedies, we have chosen to make each other the enemy. We have chosen to turn on each other and point fingers, pick sides, and dare I say, hate, each other for varying opinions, beliefs, or ideas, on how to best move forward.

We should all be ashamed.

I believe it’s futile to complain about a problem without offering a solution. While I don’t claim to be an expert on public policy, law making, or ways to implement solutions to end violence in our country, I think we can all agree, our current path is not the answer. My suggestion in a nutshell is simple, we need to fight the real enemy, not each other. Until we do that, we will go nowhere.

The longer we make each other the enemy, the longer hate and evil win. I can’t think of a more simple way to put it. The longer we stand in the proverbial schoolyard screaming at each other, the more time evil and hate has to fester, likely leading to yet another tragedy, that could very well have been prevented.

We should all be ashamed.

Evil, hate, bigotry, racism, mass shootings, rising murder rates in our big cities, the list of enemies and problems facing our country unfortunately is quite long. Yet, despite this long list, you’ll notice “people with different political affiliations and belief systems” or “people with different solutions for a problem” are NOT on that list.

On September 12th, 2001, we didn’t fight among ourselves, point fingers of blame across political party lines, or use tragedy to further our political agendas. We didn’t allow the mainstream media to divide us along political party lines, determine the narrative, or pit us against each other.

We looked forward, not backward, as a nation.  Through tears, pain, and anger, we came together as Americans, to fight together, not each other.

We stood strong, we came together, we were united, and we won.

What we are doing now, looks nothing like September 12th, 2001 and that alone is a tragedy.

We are better than this.

We are the greatest country in the world and it’s time we acted like it.

Unfortunately, today, we should all be ashamed.

The Officer Next Door

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Law Enforcement 1

Comic Relief: How To Avoid Becoming Anti-Police

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Some may wonder how someone becomes one of those anti-police haters we see on social media. So I felt compelled to create a guide on avoiding such a fate.

This is meant to be read with a hint of sarcasm and humor. So those of you who take life too seriously, I suggest you stop reading and go back to your den of anger.

A step by step guide on how to avoid hating the police:

  1. Don’t shoot people. If you’re out there rolling around town and feel like “busting some caps,” you’re likely already a police hater or a felon, so we will just move right along.
  1. Don’t smoke crack, it’s whack. Self-explanatory.
  1. Don’t sell drugs. Get a real job.
  1. Follow traffic laws! No one likes getting traffic tickets, but they’re completely avoidable should you just follow the laws.
  1. Don’t hit people. Your girlfriend, your boyfriend. It really doesn’t matter who they are, let’s just keep our hands to ourselves kids.
  1. Remember, Hugs Not Drugs. Words to live by.
  1. Don’t steal stuff. If you don’t steal things from people or businesses, the odds of you getting in trouble with the police are slim. Baffling, I know.
  1. Don’t do meth. I needn’t elaborate.
  1. Don’t join a gang. Don’t be a fool, stay in school.
  1. Don’t fight or run from an officer. You’ll just go to jail tired.

It’s just that simple.

Thank an officer today!

The Officer Next Door

 

 

Law Enforcement 4

Fourteen Year Old Gunned Down in Dallas – Lack of Outrage Puzzling

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A fourteen-year-old was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas last night.

The fourth murder in as many days in Dallas.

According to initial reports and video surveillance, the victim wasn’t doing anything illegal. He wasn’t selling drugs or engaging in criminal behavior. He was simply standing in a gas station parking lot.

Unfortunately, for the fourteen-year-old, that parking lot is known for such activity. When shots rang out between two vehicles, one driving by and one in the parking lot of the gas station, the innocent victim was caught in the middle and tragically killed.

There’s no other way to put it, a young teenager killed in crossfire is simply tragic. Equally as tragic, is the fact that it occurred at a place known for drug sales, gang activity, and violent crime. It’s tragic because it’s becoming increasingly clear that the criminal element in Dallas and other big cities across the country, feel as if they can operate with impunity.

Protests and marches certainly have their place. However, despite what anti-police critics echo in their news conferences and statements to the media; police officers across this country never want to shoot or hurt anyone. Protests when someone is clearly and unjustly killed by the police make sense. People look to police for protection and when an officer kills someone unjustifiably, it creates anger and distrust.

Understandably so. Wrong is wrong. Justice should be applied equally and equitably across the board. A higher standard should always exist regarding the actions of police officers.

Not long ago, an officer in a city that borders Dallas, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for an unjustified shooting that took the life of 15-year-old teenager, Jordan Edwards. Tragically, Edwards like the latest victim in Dallas, was not doing anything wrong or criminal when he was killed.

The aftermath of the shooting by former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver, spurred immediate outrage and calls for justice by members of the community and the District Attorney’s office. Again, understandably so.

Sadly, in the aftermath of the recent and senseless murder of a 14-year-old Dallas resident, I can’t help but notice the lack of community outrage. I watched a live feed of the Police Chief addressing the media mere hours after the senseless murder. No mention of crowd control. I had no trouble hearing the Chief speak to the media over the non-existent shouts from non-existent community members demanding justice and accountability.

Nothing.

Cars passed by the crime scene as if nothing happened. A congregation of police cars, crime scene tape, and news media trucks, just another Tuesday night in Dallas.

No outrage.

No protests.

I’ll ask the obvious questions.

Why is this crime acceptable? Where is the outrage about the fact in the month of May alone, Dallas logged more than one murder per day? Forty-one murders to be exact. The majority of which were in communities with a high population of minorities.

That’s a lot of tragedy in one month considering Dallas has typically averaged between 130-170 murders per year since 2015. You would think if anyone would be upset about an alarming number of murders in a neighborhood, it would be those who live in it.

Race, ethnicity, or any other identifier aside, if there was an alarming number of murders in my neighborhood, I’d be upset. Pissed off maybe. Wouldn’t you?

Apparently, if murder or violence in your neighborhood is the norm, the only time you get upset about tragic and senseless killings, is when a police officer is to blame.

A real shame to be honest. I don’t care where the crime spike occurs, one life lost is too many. Especially a senseless murder like the one of that took place last night in Dallas, Texas.

No fourteen-year-old deserves that fate. I don’t care what neighborhood or city you’re in.

Either way, it’s becoming abundantly clear, “activists” like Lee Merritt and Dominque Alexander – who have been actively involved in protesting and advocating for “justice” in Dallas – pick and choose which victims they care about. Lee Merritt had no issue rushing to make a statement and call for press conferences when a woman falsely claimed a DPS Texas Trooper raped her during a DWI arrest last year.

However, the innocent 14-year-old senselessly gunned down last night, apparently doesn’t meet their criteria for outrage. I didn’t see either of them rushing to Adam’s Food Mart to assemble and make a statement to the news media. Nor did I see emphatic calls for justice or plans for a protest or march announced on social media.

Nope.

Nothing.

Apparently, it’s “business as usual” in Dallas, Texas tomorrow. Just another young kid murdered for no reason other than the criminal element has been allowed to run wild in Dallas. A nationwide trend as police become increasingly reactive in nature.

In Dallas, a police force dwindled by a mass exodus of officers and a District Attorney and Police Chief, that favor making excuses for criminals, over holding them accountable. A true recipe for disaster.

As of writing this, I don’t know the race or identity of the 14-year-old victim, as the details haven’t been released. Quite frankly it doesn’t matter.

The fact remains, the silence is deafening and sad.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 2

Stop Doing This When You See A Police Officer

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I think most police officers agree there a few things that get old quickly as a police officer.

No, I’m not talking about the unpredictability of your work schedule, the dangers of the job, the fact you have to work weekends, holidays, and if you’re unlucky, mandatory overtime due to manpower shortages. No, I’m not talking about those things. Because like “they” say, “That’s what they signed up for!” (Another annoying saying)

I’m talking about the moronic thing parents say to their kids when they encounter police officers in public.

“You see that police officer over there? If you aren’t good, they will take you to jail!”

This is about as funny as our other favorite, “I didn’t do it officer!” (Insert hysterical laughing here)

Whew. Man. Good stuff. Really good stuff. Honestly, tears, tears are rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard. “I didn’t do it!” (Shaking my head in sheer amazement someone could be so funny……..not really).

Alright, back to being The Serious Officer Next Door.

Honestly, police officers have enough to deal with when it comes to public scrutiny and negativity. There’s plenty of anti-police groups, extreme “libertarians” that hate the government and police, not to mention the criminal element police officers confront daily. The last thing a parent should want is a child that fears the police. “Stranger danger” doesn’t apply here, yet that’s basically what you’re telling them.

Young kids, of all people, need to KNOW they can run toward a police officer in the event of an emergency. Why create a fear of the police at such a young age? It doesn’t matter if you’re joking.

I don’t care what the media or the anti-police crowd tells you, a police officer’s best days are the ones they get to truly help someone, save a life, or do something positive. Yes, they’re a consequence, which naturally hinders their popularity, especially among those who live a life of criminality.

Sure, sometimes police do stupid things and end up on the news. But these are children we are talking about. They are impressionable and need to be taught that a police officer will help them no matter what it is they need.

I remember growing up, we didn’t need our parents telling us the police would arrest us and take us to jail if we misbehaved. Instead, we had a show called, “Rescue 911” and the intro to that show was creepy as heck. It honestly scared the crap out of me, yet, I loved watching that show. I’d go to bed terrified our house would go up in flames and I’d have to crawl through flames and smoke toward a firefighter with a mask breathing like a scary Darth Vader.

Yeah, I just made firefighters scary. Take that hose draggers!

I grew up more afraid of that scenario than anything else.

I guess I was lucky. I had parents that I respected and feared in a healthy way. I was raised, “guilty until proven innocent,” by the very people who brought me into this world. The way it should be. As such, they didn’t need to tell me the police would come take me away for misbehaving. My parents were enough of a consequence, they didn’t need police officers to help raise or discipline their children.

I’m not telling anyone how to parent. I’m not “parent shaming” or any other ridiculous term someone may want to throw out there. I’m simply saying people need to think about the messages they send to children when it involves the police. They’re an ally, not the enemy. Teach your kids that and maybe our society will be better off going forward. Be the change you want to see. Respect for authority doesn’t have to be a thing of the past.

Thank a police officer today.

Even better, encourage a positive interaction between a police officer and a child if you’re able.

It’s not just the children who will benefit.

We all will.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 8

All I Ever Wanted To Do Was Become A Police Officer

All I ever wanted to do was become a police officer.
Ever since I was a kid, I felt like it was a calling.
I’ve seen the news, read the headlines, and watched police funeral processions.
I knew it was dangerous, but that wasn’t going to stop me.

All I ever wanted to do was make my community safer.
I didn’t set out every day to write tickets or make arrests for minor crimes. Instead, I hoped to find someone that deserved to be in jail and put them there. Gang members, violent felons, or drug dealers, any would do. Someone has to hunt for those people, to be honest, that’s the only kind of police work I wanted to do.

All I ever wanted to do was truly help someone.
It didn’t matter how it happened. Whether it was making an arrest, helping someone when their car broke down, finding a missing family member, or recovering stolen property.  Or maybe just being there to listen when someone was at rock bottom. When you break it down, that’s really what the job is all about. There’s no better feeling than knowing you truly helped someone.

All I ever wanted to do was save a life.
It doesn’t happen every day or on every shift, but when it does, you’ll never forget it. You won’t hear us talk about it, because to us, it’s part of the job. No matter the circumstances, a bad car accident or medical emergency, saving just one life makes an entire career worthwhile. It reminds you why you answered the calling, despite all the challenges.

All I ever wanted to do was be there when someone needed me the most.
Whether it was to prevent something tragic from happening or responding quickly when it did, I wanted to be there. If I wasn’t, I took it personally. That’s why despite our own fears, we run, not walk, to wherever danger or evil lurks. We are truly the thin blue line that stands between society and evil.

All I ever wanted to do was make my family, friends, and coworkers proud.
With the badge and uniform comes great responsibility. It was up to me not disgrace the name on my name tag or the patches on my shoulders. While wearing them, I represented something bigger than myself. My family, my blue family, a brotherhood, a sisterhood, and the thin blue line that stretches across the world.

All I ever wanted to do was go home safe after my shift. It didn’t take long to realize this job would forever change me. The tragedy, violence, and evil, we saw on a daily basis was quick to take its toll. Putting on a bulletproof vest before every shift, was a stark reminder of the violence we may confront. I knew all this, but it wasn’t going to stop me.

All I ever wanted to do was become a police officer.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

Police Officer Found Guilty of Murder, Activists Cry Foul

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Activists: “Hold police accountable when they use unjustified force! Fire them! Throw them in prison! We demand accountability!”

A Minnesota jury finds former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor guilty of shooting an unarmed woman who hit the trunk of their police car, scaring the officer.

Activists: “The officer was only found guilty because he is black and the victim was white!”

Look, I don’t care what ethnicity or race the officer was, nor do I care what the race or ethnicity of the victim was, if the officer shot and killed someone unjustly, he deserves to be punished. Period.

In my opinion, if we must see color, then the officer is blue. He was wearing a uniform at the time of the alleged crime and was being judged as such. The question being debated and decided by the jury was, were his actions justified under the color of law, not the color of his skin.

To make the claims of the activists even more mind bending, the jury was ample in diversity.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Noor case was decided by a jury of 10 men and two women. There were six who appeared to be people of color on the panel, four of them immigrants. I’d also like to add, one of them was a firefighter. So much for that first responder “brotherhood protection” theory.

Do we really live in a world where there is no winning?

If you hold someone accountable for their poor decisions, apparently it’s not because of their poor decisions, its due implicit bias by the jury? Despite the fact that half of the jury members were described as, or appeared to be people of color. Yeah. You read that correctly.

Is this real?

So let me write this out so we can all read it and think it through like rational people.

If you convict a police officer for unjustly shooting someone, it’s a good thing. We could even consider it progress in terms of fair and equal accountability. But, if the officer happens to be a minority and the victim is white, throw all of that out the window.

On the contrary, if the jury lets an officer off, they will likely be accused of “feeding the system of protection for bad, evil, and racist police officers.” Or the jury is enabling the “thin blue line of silence and impunity” to continue to exist and flourish.

I’m truly baffled.

Why can’t we accept the verdict from the jury for what it is, a finding of guilt based on the actions of the accused?

At what point do we look at verdicts rendered by a jury of our peers for what it is, a verdict? They heard all the facts and came to their decision for a reason. Yet, media outlets and activists run to print stories that suggest 6 of the 12 jury members were somehow implicitly biased and racist, despite being minorities themselves!?

Shake me, because I must be dreaming. Order me another coffee, I’m clearly not comprehending this correctly. I must not be properly “woke”.

I don’t have an issue with the fact a police officer was found guilty of a crime. Why? Because that’s how the system works! He shot and killed someone and the jury made the determination that it was NOT justified. Now he will be sentenced and he will serve his punishment. Just like if the roles were reversed and the officer was shot and killed.

I didn’t have a problem when a Texas jury found Roy Oliver, a former Balch Springs police officer, guilty of murder. Roy Oliver was white, the victim was black. Roy Oliver was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Some say that was too light of a sentence, maybe so. But I wasn’t in the courtroom. I wasn’t in the jury room. Regardless, I accept their guilty verdict and I accept the subsequent punishment.

Again, I don’t care what Roy Oliver looked like, where he came from, what box he checked when filling out a form regarding race, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Was he guilty? According to the jury, the answer was yes. That’s how our criminal justice system is designed to work and I accept that.

When people speak about justice, they seem to all want the same thing, a system of justice that is fair and equal. Justice that looks at the actions, the mitigating factors, and what transpired during the alleged crime and reaches a conclusion (verdict) regarding whether or not the person is guilty. Or in the case of a police officer, they decide if their actions were justified. Pretty simple.

The sad irony is police officers are being held accountable for their missteps and poor decisions now, more than ever. Yet, instead of celebrating progress when it comes to equal accountability, we find fault in it with a new layer of criticism.

I don’t want to throw my hands up and admit defeat. I really want to hold on to the idea that we as a society are better than this.

I have to believe, we can come together and hold “wrong” accountable no matter what “wrong” looks like, or what job “wrong” was doing when they committed the “wrong.”

That’s the society I want to live in. I’m all for EVERYONE being held accountable for their actions equally.

Selective justice is not something we want as a society. In fact, I thought that was what every activist has ever fought against.

Though it seems we are moving in that direction, with certain District Attorney’s across the country picking and choosing which crimes they will prosecute and which ones they will not. A slippery slope if you ask me.

This police officer was found to be wrong. That’s the bottom line. The jury said he wasn’t justified in his actions and now he will pay for it. That’s how the system works and that’s how the system should continue to work.

Period.

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

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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

Mercer County Officer Takes Own Life While At Work

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Mercer County Sheriff’s Officer Pablo Santiago (via Facebook)

Trenton, New Jersey – A Mercer County Sherriff’s Officer Pablo Santiago took his own life while at work on Wednesday.

By looking at his photo taken just weeks ago, you would never guess this was coming. His coworkers, as expected, are all reported to be extremely surpised and upset by this news. It just goes to show that you never know what someone is going through, no matter how happy they appear.

Suicide. It seems to be a problem that has reached epidemic levels in law enforcement these days. All too often news of officers taking their own lives comes across your news feed. It is starting to garner more attention. A recent news article from Austin, Texas discussed how a Police Chief has seen so many avoidable firings and dicipline as a result of alocohol abuse and other stress related factors that come with being in law enforcement. They are taking steps to battle the issue before it becomes a problem. Kudos to Austin Police Department.

The statistics aren’t easy to come by, as there isn’t an “official” database that police related suicides must be reported to and tracked. As of December 19th, there were 14 police suicides confirmed, it is likely there have been more. At the very least this tragedy makes 15 and that’s 15 too many.

A GoFundMe account was started on Thursday morning to help Santiago’s family.

“Anyone who met Pablo knew him to always have a contagious smile, a beautiful spirit, and a kind (and many times silly) word,” the GoFundMe campaign page said. “Not only was he a respected pillar of the Mercer County community, and the President of PBA Local 187, but also a sheriff’s officer dedicated to his job beyond words, and above all else and most importantly, a devoted friend, husband and father.”

The GoFundMe campaign continued, “With his sudden passing, Pablo leaves behind a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.  Although nothing can replace his presence in this world, we are hoping to alleviate some of the financial burdens on his family following the tragedy.”

The fundraiser has reached $5,345 out of a goal of $20,000 in four hours at the time of this article.

The Officer Next Door extends its deepest condolences to the Santiago family and his brothers and sisters of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

 

Law Enforcement 0

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

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Source: Pioneer Press St. Paul MN

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the city
Burglars were out, stealing without pity
They stole away Christmas, from poor little boys
Eating the cookies and milk, and taking the toys!

There were robbers out too, some even with guns,
Robbing people of their money, every single last one,
The robbers were out late, in poorly lit streets
Preying on the festive, the drunk, the poor and the meek

Drunk drivers everywhere, from Christmas parties
Driving home intoxicated, on a white Christmas Eve
They crash and they hurt, and they kill people too
Making many families’, worst fears come true

Some people are sad, and they drink and they drink
And they have thoughts in their head, no one should think
They don’t realize they’re loved, and that people care
So they do some things, that no one should dare

But the boys in blue, they’re out fighting all of this
Every day, not only on Christmas
But this time of year is the worst, they see it all
Despite the odds against them, they answer the call

They talk people down, from ledges up high
And protect innocent families, as they say their goodbyes
Because people need to be safe, especially on this eve
It’s the most dangerous night of year, some of them believe

So please drive safe, and grab a cab if need be
Lock your doors up tight, Santa doesn’t need a key,
Know that people love you, despite what you think,
And please watch the excess, in which you may drink,

Because the boys in blue are out there, protecting your life
To make sure you get home, to your kids and your wife
They don’t like to see tragedy, no tears shed tonight
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a safe night!

Written By: Stephanie Waterhouse

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