Challenges and Changes in Police Work

A police car in Washington, D.C.
A police car in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Challenges and Changes in Police Work

 

I recommend reading the whole article. This police officer has gone through the last twenty years, some of the most turbulent years in the history of policing. His observations are enlightening and intelligent.

 

James Pilant

 

A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes

 

Entering my third decade in policing, I had an epiphany about how much my profession has changed since I learned to write reports on manual typewriters in my 1989 recruit class. Like every other industry, policing has seen such dramatic changes that what we imagine for the next 20 years is as surreal as the idea of people travelling to space on paid space shuttles was two decades ago. Two decades ago society would not have tolerated the idea of conducting business from home and having meetings as avatars in virtual environments, yet many businesses now operate this way.

 

Law enforcement has evolved from paper reports and filing cabinets, to body worn cameras and global positioning in a digitally connected universe. Most North Americans use smart phones that connect them immediately with information that we could not have imagined in previous decades. Police officers now must assume that an action they take in the street may be replaying in the media before they get back to the office to write a report about it.

 

In the 24 years of my own policing career, I’ve had a front-row seat to the changes that have occurred and have witnessed how these changes present challenges that cross every industry and  confront administrators in both the public and private sectors. Two decades ago administrators made decisions about what information to release, whereas now they must manage information that is already out there.

 

– See more at: http://www.mqup.ca/blog/frontline-officer-challenges/#!

 

From around the web.

 

From the web site, The Thin Blue Line.

 

http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-are-5-biggest-challenges-facing.html

 

WHAT ARE THE 5 BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING POLICE FORCES TODAY?

 

 

 

On a police networking site recently, the above question sparked a mass

of interesting responses from all ranks and many from outside parties.

Here at http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/

we are asking the same questions. We would be particularly keen to hear

from front line officers from all forces with their informed views.

Imagine you had the opportunity to have your views heard, without

recrimination, by Theresa May and Nick Herbert. We will collate the

responses and forward them to Theresa and Nick and let you know the

outcome. We will also be asking these questions on other forums such as Police Oracle and would be keen to elicit the support of police blog sites.

 

 

Average Cops Only?

English: Sherlock Holmes (r) and Dr. John B. W...
English: Sherlock Holmes (r) and Dr. John B. Watson. Illustration by Sidney Paget from the Sherlock Holmes story The Greek Interpreter. Français : Sherlock Holmes (à droite) et le Docteur Watson (à gauche), illustration de Sidney Paget pour la nouvelle intitulée L’interprète grec. Русский: Шерлок Холмс (справа) и доктор Ватсон. Иллюстрация Сидни Паджет к рассказу “Случай с переводчиком”. עברית: שרלוק הולמס וד”ר ווטסון כפי שצוירו על ידי סידני פאגט (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the web site, Fractured Paradigm.

http://fracturedparadigm.com/2013/05/01/court-oks-barring-high-iqs-for-cops/#axzz2ZpMN3iNJ

A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high  on an intelligence test has lost an  appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New  York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate  against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who  took the test.

“This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against  people of a certain class,” Jordan said today from his Waterford home. “I  maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye  color or your gender or anything else.”

(Jordan scored over 125 on the IQ portion of the test disqualifying him from being a police officer under that department’s rules. jp)

Below are my comments:

When I was fourteen, I read the complete Sherlock Holmes, all of the stories and all of the novels in four days. I have been reading about crimes and about solving crimes ever since. Here we are presented with a conundrum not about a crime but about police practice.It seems that every fictional sleuth from Sam Spade to Phillip Marlowe to Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot are unable to join a police department at any point during their lives because they are too smart. Apparently, every single policeman, detective etc. can never rise above Lestrade of Sherlock Holmes fame, a purely average member of law enforcement continually baffled by Holmes’ methods. 

I disagree with the court. The law simply doesn’t make any sense. Where is the evidence that high IQ people find police work boring and unrewarding? I think the law fails the “rational basis” test and should be declared unconstitutional.

James Pilant

From around the web.

From the web site, 21st Century Theater

http://21stcenturytheater.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/us-oks-bar-on-high-iq-cops/

There
have always been rumors about police departments not hiring people who
were too smart.  Not only does this story confirm the rumor, it shows
how low they set the bar – and how our courts uphold low standards in
sick system. The lame excuse the cops offer is that people who are too
intelligent would get bored and quit. This is obviously bullshit. They
want people they can easily indoctrinate and control who don’t ask
questions.

From the web site, Perez Hilton.

http://perezhilton.com/2012-01-02-man-rejected-from-police-academy-for-being-too-smart#.Ue3ll20SSHM

So get this!

A man in Connecticut had a simple dream — to become a cop. But unfortunately for him, he’s too smart! Sorry buddy, you’re just too—wait, what!?! Seriously?? Really??

According to Robert Jordan, he was rejected from the badge because he tested too high on his intelligence test. …huh?

He sued for discrimination, but he lost after the court ruled “the same standards were applied to him as everyone else.”

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Police Work is not a Business

husbandmPolice Work is not a Business

Officers Say NYPD Sets Quotas For Stop-And-Frisks And Arrests | ThinkProgress

New York police officers testified this week that their office set quotas for both the number of police stops and arrests. Officers Adhyl Polanco and Pedro Serrano are two of the more than 100 witnesses to testify during a trial in a class action challenge to the New York Police Department’s rampant use of “stop and frisks,” a practice with constitutional implications in which an officer stops someone suspected of a crime, and may subsequently frisk that individual if they have justification for doing so.

The Department has conducted more than 5 million stops since Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002, more than 85 percent of which targeted blacks or Latinos and only 12 percent of which resulted in criminal charges. Both Serrano and Polanco testified that supervisors required at least 20 summonses and one arrest each month, and that they were pressured to stop individuals — regardless of the grounds for doing so —  under threat of punishment. Polanco also said police later added a stop-and-frisk quota of five per month. During the trial, Polanco played an exchange he recorded in 2009. The New York Daily News reports:

In the tapes, one of Polanco’s supervisors is heard demanding that cops make their “20 and 1” quota and lambasting those who came up short.

“If you want to be a zero, I’ll treat you like a zero,” patrol Sgt. Marvin Bennett fumed on tape.

Polanco also recorded his patrol commander, Lt. Andrew Valenzano, telling officers to meet their quotas by ticketing bicyclists.

“If you see people over there on bikes, carrying the bags, you know, good stops,” Valenzano says on tape. “That’s what we need.”

Officer Angel Herran, a union delegate, was taped telling officers the quota was agreed to “in this last contract.”

“They’re telling you to ‘go make money,’ ” Herran is heard saying.

Officers Say NYPD Sets Quotas For Stop-And-Frisks And Arrests | ThinkProgress

 

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The Observations of Manoje Nath

Friends ,Foes and Faceless Jokers

Manoje Nath

(These notes were randomly jotted between November 1987 and May 1988, when one of my periodic crises had rendered me practically destitute, without office, without work, without the perks that go with the office. The point to appreciate is that I had lots of leisure. In those pre word processor days, writing was a heroic task and needed great determination and lots of leisure. But I could proceed no further than forty or forty five handwritten foolscap pages, because in June 1988, I was posted to the CID and assigned the investigation of cases registered against the members of so called “Cooperative Mafia”. The many cases that we launched against influential political figures as well as high profile IAS officers left me no time for anything else for quite some time. It put an end to this project.

I must put in the all important caveat. I deliberately approached the subject in an elliptical, non linear fashion for fear of exposing the identity of the persons concerned. Adequate precaution was also necessary because identification of the characters due to some coincidence or chance resemblance could seriously expose me to the danger of personal harm; if not actually murder, the loss of a few limbs was a distinct possibility. I’ll tell you why; one of my closest friends threatened to shoot me should I dare to immortalize him or his father in law- a senior police officer himself- in my ephemeral memoir which was certainly not going to see the light of the day.

This is the opening two paragraphs of Manoje Nath’s Blog for February 24, 2011. It is delightful reading. It’s rare to encounter a figure who is also a good writer. I have read a number of his posts and burst out laughing at his observations.
I want you to read this and enjoy it (as I did).
There is a lot in here and being an American, I don’t understand everything going on. I am expert on American Criminal Justice which is a heavily decentralized organization (14,000 separate law enforcement agencies). My impression is that India has a highly centralized bureaucratic organization for policing. As a fan of more centralization in my country, you at times have me worried that it might not be such a good idea, but as I have said being an American, I don’t always understand how things work on the Indian Subcontinent.
What I do understand is that Manoje Nath is a fine writer and I admire his work.
I think you will too, so please follow the link and read his story.
James Alan Pilant
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Typical academic consideration of police lying (via Allcoppedout’s Blog)

Here we discuss police lying and the legal fictions that figure so much in the language and practice of criminal justice. I like this paragraph –

My own belief is we are scared of transparency, partly because all our cupboards hide skeletons. When the ‘red witch’ placed at the heart of the hacking scandal admitted she knew her organization had paid police officers, this was seen as a blunder and admission of ‘criminality’. This is not the right approach and seems to be putting people we want to tell the truth in the same position as the police officer having to ‘game’ in the legal system.

I agree we do not value the truth so much as we value playing some strange kind of game designed to elude responsibility and honor.

James Pilant

Police lying is not best described as a “dirty little secret.”‘ For instance, police lying is no “dirtier” than the prosecutor’s encouragement or conscious use of tailored testimony2 or knowing suppression of Brady material;3 it is no more hypocritical than the wink and nod of judges who regularly pass on incredible police testimony4 and no more insincere than the demagogic politicians who decry criminality in our communities, but will not legisl … Read More

via Allcoppedout’s Blog

The Thin Blue Line – A Bunch of Freeloaders?

I teach people who want to be in law enforcement.

From The Fire PIO

According to some of what I have read in the past few days, police officers are all greedy freeloaders, whose call to duty is a fraud while they exercise their narcissistic self interest.

You can look here, here and here.

Now, you might object that the writers and speakers here did not directly attack police but attacked public employee unions.

Seventy-three percent of all sworn police officers are in unions.

No, they are not going to say police or the word, fireman. But that’s what they mean.

These attacks on unions and collective bargaining hit the police just as hard as any other public union.

I’m not going to get into, whether or not unions are good ideas for police. I am more interested in another issue.

Police work is motivated in many cases by the idealism of the young and the status of the job in the eyes of the public. How are we supposed to recruit good people to be police officers with this kind of talk going on? And what if it continues? Month after month, year after year, the words, “Greedy public employees are destroying the nation!” How do you deal with that? What kind of police are we going to get?

Does this hammer idealism until only those who become policemen gravitated to it as kind of a last chance employment?

What in the hell have we become here?

If most Americans don’t have good pensions or good medical benefits, the police shouldn’t have them either?

At two o’clock in the morning, when somebody is trying to jimmy your window, do you want a highly motivated police officer whose idealism and commitment to duty made him want to be a police officer? Or would you rather have someone who couldn’t do anything else?

I wouldn’t worry about it. You see, it takes motivation and guts to confront a robber outside a house, so the unmotivated uncaring policeman will just ignore the call.

Probably a lot of you don’t care one way or the other. Or you won’t until your law enforcement agencies have started taking damage.

I’m not waiting for that to happen.

Law enforcement is not a lucrative job. It’s not always a pleasant or easy job. But my heart is with those people, who do a job that must be done and deserve better than insults.

James Pilant

 

The Observations of Manoje Nath

 

Friends ,Foes and Faceless Jokers

 

Manoje Nath

(These notes were randomly jotted between November 1987 and May 1988, when one of my periodic crises had rendered me practically destitute, without office, without work, without the perks that go with the office. The point to appreciate is that I had lots of leisure. In those pre word processor days, writing was a heroic task and needed great determination and lots of leisure. But I could proceed no further than forty or forty five handwritten foolscap pages, because in June 1988, I was posted to the CID and assigned the investigation of cases registered against the members of so called “Cooperative Mafia”. The many cases that we launched against influential political figures as well as high profile IAS officers left me no time for anything else for quite some time. It put an end to this project.

I must put in the all important caveat. I deliberately approached the subject in an elliptical, non linear fashion for fear of exposing the identity of the persons concerned. Adequate precaution was also necessary because identification of the characters due to some coincidence or chance resemblance could seriously expose me to the danger of personal harm; if not actually murder, the loss of a few limbs was a distinct possibility. I’ll tell you why; one of my closest friends threatened to shoot me should I dare to immortalize him or his father in law- a senior police officer himself- in my ephemeral memoir which was certainly not going to see the light of the day.

This is the opening two paragraphs of Manoje Nath’s Blog for February 24, 2011. It is delightful reading. It’s rare to encounter a figure who is also a good writer. I have read a number of his posts and burst out laughing at his observations.
I want you to read this and enjoy it (as I did).
There is a lot in here and being an American, I don’t understand everything going on. I am expert on American Criminal Justice which is a heavily decentralized organization (14,000 separate law enforcement agencies). My impression is that India has a highly centralized bureaucratic organization for policing. As a fan of more centralization in my country, you at times have me worried that it might not be such a good idea, but as I have said being an American, I don’t always understand how things work on the Indian Subcontinent.
What I do understand is that Manoje Nath is a fine writer and I admire his work.
I think you will too, so please follow the link and read his story.
James Alan Pilant

Public Employee Hero (Number 10) Carthage officer nominated as ‘America’s Most Wanted’ All-Star (via WRLA.com)

From WRLA.com

A Carthage police officer has been nominated as an “America’s Most Wanted” All Star for shooting a suspect and ending a shooting rampage in a nursing home last March.

Justin Garner, then a 25-year-old corporal, was the only officer on duty on a Sunday morning when calls came in, saying that a gunman was rampaging through the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center. Ten people had been shot, including eight who died.

Garner said that he initially called for backup, but after seeing vehicle windows shot out in the parking lot, realized that he needed to go in quickly – even if he was alone.

Inside the nursing home, Garner confronted Robert Kenneth Stewart, who was carrying a shotgun. Garner said he ordered Stewart to drop his gun, but he didn’t, and the two exchanged fire. Garner’s bullet hit Stewart in the chest, while three pellets struck Garner’s left leg.

Garner underwent surgery and returned to work in May 2009. Stewart is in prison awaiting trial on eight charges of first-degree murder.

(Below is identical from the first in the series of “Public Employee Hero” posts.)

One of the things that makes this nation function are those whose goal in life is not just about the money. They are school teachers, policemen, firemen, social workers, forest rangers, prison guards, etc. Their willingness to work in jobs that many would find less than economically rewarding (school teaching) or often depressing (social workers and policemen) or  dangerous (firemen and policemen), make this society function. There appears to be considerable sentiment running around the Internet and around the various state capitals that these people aren’t worth a damn.

For instance –

From the Rush Limbaugh Show

TEACHER:  I think we’ve lost the sense of democracy.  I feel like what people in Egypt are fighting for right now, that’s exactly what I feel like I’m fighting for right now.

RUSH:  What an absolute idiot.  It’s a crying shame that this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance is teaching students. Comparing this to Egypt?  “I feel like that’s exactly what I’m fighting right now.”  What was Egypt even about?  Do you even know, ma’am?  Bottom line, it’s not about what they want.  We all “want” things.  Very few of us run around demanding that somebody give us everything we want! Most of us have more class, most of us have more understanding, most of us are more mature than to run around whining (sobbing), “This is what we want! (sobbing) I want my dignity! I want my respect, and I want my benefits (sniffle), I want my health care!” Well, go earn it! It’s not about what you want.  In your case, it’s about what can be afforded.  They’re trying to make themselves out to be oppressed. You’re not in Egypt. You’re a bunch of people who feel entitled to be freeloaders.

I have had the pleasure of dealing with policemen, firemen, teachers, probation officers and quite a few other public employees. I like them. I feel they do essential work.

I also am an attorney. I believe that when you sign up for a difficult job and one of your reasons is that there will be a good pension or good medical benefits, that’s your decision. It was also a decision by the State or local government that attracting people to do these difficult jobs was hard and required incentives. It’s a contract.

We are supposed to believe those.

When these people doing difficult work for many years are demonized as freeloaders – How about another comment from Rush Limbaugh about teachers –

RUSH:  Let’s put one thing to rest right now, and that is: The last people they care about are the children.  The last people they care about are the kids.  The last thing they teach about is education.  This is not about students.  This is not about education.  This is not about teaching.  This is not about learning.  This is about themselves.

CALLER:  It’s narcissistic.

RUSH:  It is narcissistic.  It’s also hypocritical.  These people have been getting by for years on the notion that they are devoted, that they are sacrificing, that they are subordinating themselves to the lofty ideals of the children and their education and so forth — and it isn’t about that at all.  It is about them.  The children are just pawns. They’re just pawns, as so many of the so-called “little guys” the Democrats are trying to help, they’re just pawns in the game of how these people take care of themselves.

… it makes me unhappy.

One of my teachers was Mr. Thompson. He taught me American Government and Social Studies. He went to college on the G.I. Bill. He was a quartermaster in an artillery unit, 155mm howitzers. He landed in Sicily and served through the Italian Campaign. He saw Mussolini’s body. He admitted it was quick, he was a passenger in a jeep down the street, but he did see him.

He only talked about combat once. His unit was attacked by Italian infantry. Thompson’s artillery unit lowered the muzzles of their field pieces and fired point blank into the attackers. He paused, “Those Italians, …” Then he just shook his head and changed the subject.

After I left school and went to college, he retired. I lost touch with him after that. If he is alive today, he would be well over 110 years old. That would have been a long time collecting his retirement from the State of Oklahoma.

I don’t begrudge him it.

James Pilant

Public Employee Hero (Number 9) Medal of Valor Awards announced; two officers from Roanoke honored (via Rate My Cop)

From a press release from Rate My Cop

Officer Dwight W. Ayers

The night of January 9, 2007, Officer Dwight W. Ayers arrested an individual on an outstanding Emergency Custody Order and took him to the Carillion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. After several hours the individual was turned over to the hospital security personnel to await evaluation. As he was preparing to depart the hospital, Officer Ayers observed the individual escape custody and run past him. Officer Ayers chased the individual through the hospital and outside on hospital grounds.

The individual jumped into the Roanoke River and swam approximately 5-6 feet toward the center of the river where he held on to a downed tree. Officer Ayers stayed on the bank and gave numerous commands for the individual to return to the ban, all of which were ignored. Officer Ayers then entered the river. The current was swift due to recent heavy rains, the air temperature was in the mid-30s with wind gusts of up to 25 mph, and the water was lethally cold. Officer Ayers waded and swam to the individual and grabbed him around the upper torso. The two began to struggle, ending up in the center of the river were the water was approximately 8 feet deep. The swift current forced both men under the surface. Although Officer Ayers initially had a secure hold on the individual, the current made it impossible for Officer Ayers to maintain his grip on the individual.

Officer Ayers was able to make his way back to the surface and fought the swift current to stay afloat. He continued to sink under water for an undetermined amount of time as he floated uncontrollably down the river. When he surfaced, he grabbed a fallen tree branch to prevent his drowning. At roughly the same time, the individual’s body snagged onto an unknown object, was pulled back under water, and then drifted away.

Before grabbing the tree branch, Officer Ayers had traveled approximately 175 yards from where he entered the river. He was helped from the water and immediately taken to the emergency room and treated for hypothermia. The doctor who attended to Officer Ayers indicated that his core body temperature had dropped to 89 degrees and he said that if he had remained in the water any longer he would have succumbed to hypothermia. Officer Ayers was in the water for approximately fifteen minutes.

Unfortunately, the individual who Officer Ayers attempted to save drowned. His body was located several days after the rescue attempt. However, without disregard for his safety and well being, and in an effort to preserve the life of another, Officer Ayers clearly distinguished himself from his peers in taking these heroic actions.

(Below is identical from the first in the series of “Public Employee Hero” posts.)

One of the things that makes this nation function are those whose goal in life is not just about the money. They are school teachers, policemen, firemen, social workers, forest rangers, prison guards, etc. Their willingness to work in jobs that many would find less than economically rewarding (school teaching) or often depressing (social workers and policemen) or  dangerous (firemen and policemen), make this society function. There appears to be considerable sentiment running around the Internet and around the various state capitals that these people aren’t worth a damn.

For instance –

From the Rush Limbaugh Show

TEACHER:  I think we’ve lost the sense of democracy.  I feel like what people in Egypt are fighting for right now, that’s exactly what I feel like I’m fighting for right now.

RUSH:  What an absolute idiot.  It’s a crying shame that this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance is teaching students. Comparing this to Egypt?  “I feel like that’s exactly what I’m fighting right now.”  What was Egypt even about?  Do you even know, ma’am?  Bottom line, it’s not about what they want.  We all “want” things.  Very few of us run around demanding that somebody give us everything we want! Most of us have more class, most of us have more understanding, most of us are more mature than to run around whining (sobbing), “This is what we want! (sobbing) I want my dignity! I want my respect, and I want my benefits (sniffle), I want my health care!” Well, go earn it! It’s not about what you want.  In your case, it’s about what can be afforded.  They’re trying to make themselves out to be oppressed. You’re not in Egypt. You’re a bunch of people who feel entitled to be freeloaders.

I have had the pleasure of dealing with policemen, firemen, teachers, probation officers and quite a few other public employees. I like them. I feel they do essential work.

I also am an attorney. I believe that when you sign up for a difficult job and one of your reasons is that there will be a good pension or good medical benefits, that’s your decision. It was also a decision by the State or local government that attracting people to do these difficult jobs was hard and required incentives. It’s a contract.

We are supposed to believe those.

When these people doing difficult work for many years are demonized as freeloaders – How about another comment from Rush Limbaugh about teachers –

RUSH:  Let’s put one thing to rest right now, and that is: The last people they care about are the children.  The last people they care about are the kids.  The last thing they teach about is education.  This is not about students.  This is not about education.  This is not about teaching.  This is not about learning.  This is about themselves.

CALLER:  It’s narcissistic.

RUSH:  It is narcissistic.  It’s also hypocritical.  These people have been getting by for years on the notion that they are devoted, that they are sacrificing, that they are subordinating themselves to the lofty ideals of the children and their education and so forth — and it isn’t about that at all.  It is about them.  The children are just pawns. They’re just pawns, as so many of the so-called “little guys” the Democrats are trying to help, they’re just pawns in the game of how these people take care of themselves.

… it makes me unhappy.

One of my teachers was Mr. Thompson. He taught me American Government and Social Studies. He went to college on the G.I. Bill. He was a quartermaster in an artillery unit, 155mm howitzers. He landed in Sicily and served through the Italian Campaign. He saw Mussolini’s body. He admitted it was quick, he was a passenger in a jeep down the street, but he did see him.

He only talked about combat once. His unit was attacked by Italian infantry. Thompson’s artillery unit lowered the muzzles of their field pieces and fired point blank into the attackers. He paused, “Those Italians, …” Then he just shook his head and changed the subject.

After I left school and went to college, he retired. I lost touch with him after that. If he is alive today, he would be well over 110 years old. That would have been a long time collecting his retirement from the State of Oklahoma.

I don’t begrudge him it.

James Pilant

Public Employee Hero (Number 8) Cop who saved shoppers from shooter: I am not a hero (via CNN.com)

From CNN.com

A police officer (Ogden City Police Officer Hammond) hailed for helping stop a rampaging shooter who killed five people in a Salt Lake City mall said he simply did what his fellow officers would have done.

“I felt that, whether I’m in my own city or not, if I have the ability to protect more people or prevent loss of lives, I have an obligation,” Officer Ken Hammond told reporters.

“I was in a situation that I was carrying my gun, and I felt that I had to do something. I couldn’t let any more take place.”

(Below is identical from the first in the series of “Public Employee Hero” posts.)

One of the things that makes this nation function are those whose goal in life is not just about the money. They are school teachers, policemen, firemen, social workers, forest rangers, prison guards, etc. Their willingness to work in jobs that many would find less than economically rewarding (school teaching) or often depressing (social workers and policemen) or  dangerous (firemen and policemen), make this society function. There appears to be considerable sentiment running around the Internet and around the various state capitals that these people aren’t worth a damn.

For instance –

From the Rush Limbaugh Show

TEACHER:  I think we’ve lost the sense of democracy.  I feel like what people in Egypt are fighting for right now, that’s exactly what I feel like I’m fighting for right now.

RUSH:  What an absolute idiot.  It’s a crying shame that this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance is teaching students. Comparing this to Egypt?  “I feel like that’s exactly what I’m fighting right now.”  What was Egypt even about?  Do you even know, ma’am?  Bottom line, it’s not about what they want.  We all “want” things.  Very few of us run around demanding that somebody give us everything we want! Most of us have more class, most of us have more understanding, most of us are more mature than to run around whining (sobbing), “This is what we want! (sobbing) I want my dignity! I want my respect, and I want my benefits (sniffle), I want my health care!” Well, go earn it! It’s not about what you want.  In your case, it’s about what can be afforded.  They’re trying to make themselves out to be oppressed. You’re not in Egypt. You’re a bunch of people who feel entitled to be freeloaders.

I have had the pleasure of dealing with policemen, firemen, teachers, probation officers and quite a few other public employees. I like them. I feel they do essential work.

I also am an attorney. I believe that when you sign up for a difficult job and one of your reasons is that there will be a good pension or good medical benefits, that’s your decision. It was also a decision by the State or local government that attracting people to do these difficult jobs was hard and required incentives. It’s a contract.

We are supposed to believe those.

When these people doing difficult work for many years are demonized as freeloaders – How about another comment from Rush Limbaugh about teachers –

RUSH:  Let’s put one thing to rest right now, and that is: The last people they care about are the children.  The last people they care about are the kids.  The last thing they teach about is education.  This is not about students.  This is not about education.  This is not about teaching.  This is not about learning.  This is about themselves.

CALLER:  It’s narcissistic.

RUSH:  It is narcissistic.  It’s also hypocritical.  These people have been getting by for years on the notion that they are devoted, that they are sacrificing, that they are subordinating themselves to the lofty ideals of the children and their education and so forth — and it isn’t about that at all.  It is about them.  The children are just pawns. They’re just pawns, as so many of the so-called “little guys” the Democrats are trying to help, they’re just pawns in the game of how these people take care of themselves.

… it makes me unhappy.

One of my teachers was Mr. Thompson. He taught me American Government and Social Studies. He went to college on the G.I. Bill. He was a quartermaster in an artillery unit, 155mm howitzers. He landed in Sicily and served through the Italian Campaign. He saw Mussolini’s body. He admitted it was quick, he was a passenger in a jeep down the street, but he did see him.

He only talked about combat once. His unit was attacked by Italian infantry. Thompson’s artillery unit lowered the muzzles of their field pieces and fired point blank into the attackers. He paused, “Those Italians, …” Then he just shook his head and changed the subject.

After I left school and went to college, he retired. I lost touch with him after that. If he is alive today, he would be well over 110 years old. That would have been a long time collecting his retirement from the State of Oklahoma.

I don’t begrudge him it.

James Pilant