Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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I have watched with interest the specials PBS aired last week about police and gun violence in America. The problems are even worse for law enforcement professionals than I thought they were. The panel discussion of police chiefs and victims of SWAT team violence revealed a shocking systemic practice of lying to the public to protect officers who make deadly mistakes on duty. A lively discussion on-line took place at the hashtag #PBSPeaceOfficer.
Both sides are heavily polarized on the issue, as we might expect. The police chiefs stressed that the problem needs to be addressed to the mayors and councils to find solutions. The cops themselves are following orders and protocol and strategies set by those in command. Hiring, training, and supervision are needed by the agencies to correct the current problems. In most cases they lack the funding to buy enough essential training and adequate supervisory personnel to equip and supervise recruits. The officers lack the skills they need to both protect themselves and the public. This seems to be the case across the country. While the citizens arm up and carry guns everywhere the cities refuse to provide enough funding to operate functional law enforcement agencies. This is an obvious recipe for more violence.
When the government declared war on drugs and terror, they began to distribute military surplus to police departments to fight these “wars”. Included in this discussion is the tendency to use this military equipment to occupy neighborhoods rather than protect them. The police chiefs were quick to point out that much of the surplus they receive is office equipment and other non lethal much-needed supplies. The police professionals also agreed they needed the military weapons because their own communities failed to arm the force adequately. There is now a new policy against militarized police forces, but they already have plenty of gear to continue the heavily occupation of America. The NRA has a strong lobby in support of arming the entire population. This is escalating an already terrible problem. We need disarmament negotiations between the cops and the citizens, apparently.
I have seen the TPD employ the SWAT team in my neighborhood. They came in the middle of the night to bust some dope dealers who had been operating boldly in the open for years, right on the street. I could have busted them myself any day during the previous couple of years, either making drive by deliveries from the front yard, or by busting the group of youngsters on tiny bikes that fanned out to deliver drugs throughout the hood before dawn daily. Some of the bike delivery guys were able to stay in the apartment and have a yard sale after the SWAT bust which I found to be amazing. I know for sure that one of my neighbors reported this obvious ongoing dealing but was told by a group of cops who had answered a call at his house that they were not interested. About 6 months after Russ told them about the dealing they showed up with flash bombs. This was evidence to me that they enjoy this use of force too much to be safe with all that fire power.
More of a concern to me than the use of force is the use of mendacity. They use statistics to tell us about themselves, yet they compile these statistics. If they are willfully blind to their own errors the law enforcement agency becomes a dangerous street gang. If they are encouraged by municipal authorities to hide mistakes rather than learn from them they become the villain rather than the hero in our society. This trend is very dangerous to our public health.
Snarky Wordplay Warning: But look at the word: Mendacity. It means lies, but it spells out mend-a-city. Maybe they thought it could work.
Oh, I love this word play…good one!!!
It’s very confusing and more than a little irritating when people are very stuck on their end and unwilling to see what the other side is saying. Your point about officers lacking skills to protect themselves and the public is spot on
[…] we have had in our neighborhood. I do not fear police brutality, but am totally afraid of police mendacity, which I think takes place all the time at all levels of authority. I just don’t trust them […]