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Leadership and Rotten Apples

July 28, 2016 1 Comment

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The theories used to administer law enforcement agencies have changed with the times.  The current political climate demands a thorough examination of the criminal justice system from top to bottom.  The DOJ’s 21st Century Guidelines are a step in the right idealistic direction.  Much thought has been put into the basic “pillars” of law enforcement best practices.  The country seems to be more divided each day on the subject of police relationships with the public.  Some paint the entire force as rotten based on the criminal behavior now available for broadcast to the world.  Others advocate for support for the cops no matter what they are doing. The second group always refers to a few rotten apples, but they never mention the rest of the proverb…a few rotten apples spoil the whole barrel.  Staying with the fruit analogy, I think it is the responsibility of the administrators of cities to responsibly go through the barrels on a regular basis to assure that the law enforcement culture is not rotten.

The war on drugs has not only given us an opiate addicted society, but also great opportunity for the most common kinds of corruption to flourish.  Arizona is a wild west state famous for “conservative” law enforcement, al estilo de Joe Arpaio.  Indeed, Arizona has had some famous historical stand offs around law and order. The Gunfight at the OK Corral was exactly that. Doc and Wyatt are symbols of everything we love about Tombstone and the legends too tough to die.  After the Earps and Doc shot the Clantons they high tailed it to Tucson, and the rest is history.  The Arizona Rangers were founded in Tombstone during the Territory days, and still have a proud tradition, although today they are a volunteer organization. It is a serious challenge to maintain the proud traditions and, at the same time, be vigilant of corruption.  It is not a black and white question.

How do you feel, gentle reader?  Do you think there is a problem with individual cops, or with the leadership?  Or do you feel everything is going well with the criminal justice system right now?

Ranger history

Ranger history

Doc and Wyatt

Doc and Wyatt

Wild West Hospitality in Arizona

February 5, 2016 3 Comments

I am lucky to have visitors from Switzerland who are interested in Arizona culture and art. I am also interested, but not inclined to get out on the road on my own to seek more than I have right at home.   In order to show my friends part of our state and share a couple of days sight seeing with them I booked an air bnb accommodation for us in Sonoita, AZ.  It was a perfect central location to explore Santa Cruz and Cochise County.  These sky islands are unique habitats that are completely different from Europe.  The vast expansive views and the snow on the mountains (it was snowing in Sonoita and Patagonia when we arrived)  made this area very attractive for movie makers involved with cowboy flicks.  The movie Oklahoma was shot down there in the picturesque grasslands south of Tucson.  The Swiss ladies loved the landscape, the little towns and the people.  To complete the western experience we drove to Tombstone to see the courthouse museum, the restored part of town, and the specialty shopping only the town too tough to die has to offer.

My friend invited me to go to the comedy gun fight show, something I am sure I would not do on my own.  It turned out to be very entertaining and well produced.  I enjoyed it and give props to the actors that play the gun slinging characters.  They do an excellent job of making it look spontaneous while keeping it safe for everyone.  One of the actors is a real Arizona Ranger, which I think is very cool.  All of them need a good sense of humor as well as much skill with firearms to do this show.  The audience easily gets involved with the action which is slapstick.  If you are visiting Tombstone this show will add to your enjoyment of the town.  If you still want more gun fights they also do the gunfight at the OK Corral reenactment several times daily.  Both are done well, but we already know how the OK Corral ends.  The actors walk around town to promote the shows, so if you skip the performances you still get a glimpse of the fine costuming.  Everyone is extra friendly because tourism is the only reason Tombstone is so tough.  People from all over the world have a good time hanging out there.  For an authentic welcome and some very hospitable local color, check out the town too tough to die.

gun fight

gun fight

gun fight

gun fight

gallows

gallows

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