Tag Archives: Public servants

Are we going back to the bad old days of gang warfare and that’s ok for some people?

There was a top 40 song from my bubble-gum music days, 1974, that even at the time I thought was kind of hokey, kind of fanciful. The name of the groups was “Paper Lace” which sort of made it’s seriousness even more marginal. It started, “My daddy was a cop, on the east side of Chicago, back in the U.S.A. back in the bad old days” Interestingly the song was about Chicago where 104 people were shot over the past 4th of July week 2018, not 1925!!??

So ya, I knew who Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, all those people were, but they had been 40 years earlier, way outside of my experience in Boston, where ya, there was gang warfare, but no where near the scale of Chicago, and people who weren’t involved didn’t get hurt.

Law Enforcement

These are the lyrics:  This is the UTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-L0NpaErkk

Lyrics
My daddy was a cop on the east side of Chicago
Back in the U.S.A. back in the bad old days
In the heat of a summer night
In the land of the dollar bill
When the town of Chicago died
And they talk about it still
When a man named Al Capone
Tried to make that town his own
And he called his gang to war
With the forces of the law
I heard my mama cry
I heard her pray the night Chicago died
Brother what a night it really was
Brother what a fight it really was
Glory be!
I heard my mama cry
I heard her pray the night Chicago died
Brother what a night the people saw
Brother what a fight the people saw
Yes indeed!
And the sound of the battle rang
Through the streets of the old east side
‘Til the last of the hoodlum gang
Had surrendered up or died
There was shouting in the street
And the sound of running feet
And I asked someone who said
“‘Bout a hundred cops are dead!”
I heard my mama cry
I heard her pray the night Chicago died
Brother what a night it really was
Brother what a fight it really was
Glory be!
I heard my mama cry
I heard her pray the night Chicago died
Brother what a night the people saw
Brother what a fight the people saw
Yes indeed!
And ther was no sound at all
But the clock upon the wall
Then the door burst open wide
And my daddy stepped inside
And he kissed my mama’s face
And he brushed her tears away
The night Chicago died
Na-na na, na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na
The night Chicago died
Brother what a night the people saw
Brother what a fight the people saw
Yes indeed!
The night Chicago died
Na-na na, na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na
The night Chicago died
Brother what a night it really was
Brother what a fight it really was
Glory be!
The night Chicago died
Na-na na, na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na
The night Chicago died
Brother what a night the people saw
Brother what a fight the people saw
Yes indeed!
Songwriters: Mitch Murray / Peter Callander
The Night Chicago Died lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
I don’t know, did Al Capone really think he could take over Chicago? I’m not even sure I know what the allusion means in the song. But doesn’t that seem to be the case today?
On the other hand the violence of these few people led to the completely unwarranted death of, if you believe the song, “…’bout a hundred cops are dead…” Certainly over the course of the 1920s and 30s hundreds of law enforcement, Chicago city cops, FBI, remember this is where Elliot Ness became famous he was an ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) agent. Many law enforcement were killed by the evil of those who were completely motivated by greed and power. Did law enforcement have issues today and then? Yup they do. Does that justify conducting war against law enforcement in this day and age? No, absolutely not, deal with the issues as they arise, work hard to weed out the people who shouldn’t be carrying a badge and gun. I was a Coast Guard Law enforcement officer. My brother is a State Police officer, because of my service I came to know many civilian local police and federal law enforcement. In my interactions I saw all of these people as very honest, high integrity, wanting to do a dangerous job to serve the people of this country. The vast majority of people of people in law enforcement are genuinely doing their best to serve and protect.

 

If someone wants to slap me down about copyright, I will take it down, I’m not trying to steal, I’m trying to create some genuine empathy and awareness that something is going on today that sure isn’t unprecedented maybe. When I first saw this post, ahhh I thought, maybe even a little creepy, but the more I thought about it and this song came to mind, why does the loved one of anyone who puts on a badge have to worry, have to cry, have to miss their wedding day because someone else just decides to take their pique out on someone else? The post I’m referring to follows:

Murdered Officer’s Fiance Takes Solo Wedding Photos

Police Officers bide

byHollyMatkin

Nov 24, 2017-edited

Nikki Salgot’s photos honor the memory of her fiance, Sgt. Collin Rose, who was murdered a year before their wedding.

In the fall of 2016, Nikki Salgot was an excited bride-to-be. She and her fiancé, Wayne State University Police Sergeant Collin Rose, had just less than one year to go before their Oct. 14, 2017 wedding date.

She never expected she would be alone in her wedding photos.

While on patrol on the night of Nov. 22, 2016, Sgt. Rose, 29, checked out with a suspicious man in an area where numerous thefts from vehicles had recently taken place. When he attempted to detain the suspect, the man shot Sgt. Rose in the head, killing him.

“It’s been almost a year, and it still feels like yesterday he walked out the door for work, and never came home,” Salgot, 29, posted on her Facebook page on Oct. 14 – the day that would have been her wedding day. “I loved a hero and paid the price. Given the chance, knowing the outcome, I’d do it all over again.

 

Despite her grief, Salgot looked for a way to honor her fiance and their pending nuptials. “I needed that day to not be ignored and forgotten,” she told Women’s Health.

She decided to ask her former classmate, wedding photographer Rachel Smaller, if she would photograph Salgot in her wedding dress, as a memorial shoot.

 

“I remember being in tears on the way there, thinking, ‘How am I going to do this? How am I going to find a way to take photos that will do this justice, not just for her but for him?'” Smaller, 28, told Today.

According to Women’s Health, Salgot bought a wedding dress while Sgt. Rose was still alive, but admitted to him that it wasn’t her first choice. She said the dress she truly loved was unlike anything anyone would expect her to wear, and that it was too expensive.

“He told me, ‘If it’s what you want and what will make you happy, go get it. We’ll figure it out,’’ Salgot recounted to Women’s Health. “So, I went back and I bought the dress after Collin died.”

Salgot wore that dress to Sgt. Rose’s memorial shoot.

 

“She was the picture of grief and resilience and strength and vulnerability and authenticity, all at once,” Smaller told Today. “She had an ease about her….She was very empowered.”

Despite their solemn purpose, the women also found themselves enjoying the day.

“There were moments when Nikki would shift her dress around, or step on it and start laughing. I wanted to capture those moments, too, to show that she can still laugh,” Smaller explained. “I needed to tell the story of this woman who’s lost the love of her life, but is still going to have closure, and still going to be his wife one way or another.”

 

Inside, however, the year’s struggles still weighed heavily for Salgot throughout the shoot. “I was angry that I was standing alone in a wedding dress and utterly lost in life,” she told Women’s Health. “I had lost my rock, my other half.”

When Smaller gave her the photos from the session, however, Salgot was faced with a new realization.

“She captured images that still vividly show the pain left behind; images that show I am still able to laugh, smile and be me; images that show this loss has not and will not destroy me; and my favorite, images that show I am still just as fierce as ever and refuse to let this define me,” she said in an Oct. 16 Facebookpost.

 

“She managed to capture more than I could have ever hoped for; things I wasn’t entirely sure existed within me anymore,” Salgot wrote.

Salgot said Sgt. Rose continues to inspire her, and that she is still working on the education he encouraged her to obtain.

“I am learning to accept my new normal and everything that it brings to me, good and bad,” Salgot told Women’s Health.

 

Smaller has nothing but confidence in Salgot’s ability to persevere.

“This is a woman who is not broken. This did not break her,” Smaller told Today. “To me, she is an inspiration.”

Sgt. Rose was a five-and-one-half year veteran of the Wayne State University Police Department. He was also a K9 officer, and had previously served with the Richland Police Department. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant after his death.

He was just one credit shy of a Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution when he was killed, WZZM reported. In December, 2016, Wayne State University conferred Sgt. Rose’s degree posthumously, and Salgot accepted the diploma on his behalf.

Raymond Durham, 61, has been charged with first-degree murder, murder of a peace officer, possession of a firearm by a felon, and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in relationship to Sgt. Rose’s murder.

After Officer Rose’s murder, two Detroit officers were shot by Durham before he was apprehended.”

Yea, initially I thought a little creepy, but then I felt the poignancy. Carrying the flag that was presented at his funeral, his hat. A 29 year old police officer, finishing his masters degree, getting married, every indication of someone who would be a fine police officer and man, his life ahead of him. Then shot by a  61 year old, over stealing from cars. We seem to have so much compassion for the people who commit the crimes, who have no compunction about physically harming or taking something important to another, there are people out there who would question why the police were bothering him “he’s just stealing from cars” they would say. You doubt that? I’ve heard those people say things like that. The vast majority of people today, living in a big city or anywhere, are tired of the crime, the threats to their safety and poverty. Yet we have a few people who want to make it about how someone is some how driven to crime, that we should simply forgive and move on. We’ve seen these times before, in the wild west days, in the gang days, to some extent in the 1960s. There has been a return to sanity and a marginalizing of those who would either commit the actual crimes, or those who would make excuses for those people and ignore the needs for safety and protection of the vast majority of those who want to live in peace, secure in their homes and their possessions. We will have a return to that sanity when people have heard enough excuses and refuse to accept the nonsense and platitudes of those trying to justify the violence.

No child should have to sit at home all night hearing his mother crying, gun shots going off and wondering if his parent police officer is coming home. No woman should be deprived of her wedding day, because a man decides to kill over stealing from vehicles. We need to hold our law enforcement accountable and the vast majority of those in law enforcement expect and appreciate that. But we also have to support them, help them to know that the majority of us out here appreciate all they do and we are ready to be there for them. There has to be a return to sanity, hold those who would cause this harm accountable. Stop with the phoney excuses and lame compassion, because the vast majority of people out there don’t commit crimes and want it to stop so they can go on and live safe, productive lives. I don’t think that’s too much to ask and I cannot understand how someone else can justify otherwise.

Mutual submission like husband and wife applies to rulers and citizens

Continuing our study in God at Work by Dr Gene Veith. Dr Veith examines the different vocations, callings, of the average Christian and right now our group is talking about “Calling as a Citizen”. As Dr Veith points out we are called to be good citizens in Romans 13. Despite the contemporary nonsensical propaganda, Christians are higher in the demographics as “good citizens”. Quick reminder, there are those who consider themselves “Christian”, but when you see the “fruits of their works”, i.e. church attendance, service, Bible study, prayer, groups, a lot of people talk a good game, and they’re something, but not Christian. This is evidenced by a lot of current research and by the hard cold fact that we are called to spiritual disciplines in the Bible and way too many today just disregard it.

So let’s be serious here, quit quibbling, there are those who are faithfully trying to live the Christian life and as part of that they strive to be good citizens.

Now, having said, that, as I often say, there is nothing in the Bible that says either God is to be stupid or we are. Of course one of the first objections to this idea of submitting to rulers is “guys like Hitler and Stalin?” No! Certainly the early Christian church had crackpot rulers. Nero and Caligula jump immediately to mind. All Roman citizens, Christians included, were required to “burn incense as a way to acknowledge the divinity of the Emperor”. Dr Veith refers to those who continue to witness to Christ in countries that legally forbid Christian evangelizing. Certainly Moslem countries, but secular states like China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea also persecute Christians for worship, witnessing, public prayer.

Dr Veith writes: “It is clearly not the calling of a ruler to oppress his people. his purpose, again, is to love and serve his neighbors – that is, his subjects. A good ruler will thus be one who works for their good.” (Dr Gene Veith God at Work p 105). This can obviously be subjective, I don’t like the ruler of Moldovia, so as a citizen I can see how he’s not serving the way I think he should. Well no! You may not think he is serving the public good, because it’s not your good, but unless he is actively persecuting, or making demands that a Christian, in general, would have to conscientiously refuse, he is serving the public good. He may not be doing it well, but he still has to be obeyed. That goes for providing physical protection for our persons and our property.

Now if the ruler makes laws that single out and penalize groups, e.g. requiring people to honor this leader like a “god”, somewhat the situation Dietrich Bonhoeffer was with Hitler, or the Roman Emperor Decius, the one who required incense to be burned as a sacrifice to himself. Christians refused, First Commandment, there is no other “god”, then God the Father. Pope Fabias and Alexander of Jerusalem, among many other Christians refused and were put to death. So no, we can’t get all Moral Majority and decide what is or isn’t acceptable unless it truly conflicts with our biblical understanding. However, we are called to disobey when we are called to violate something that would articulably be proscribed in the Bible. Such as the Christian doctor who refuses to perform an abortion. Bear in mind, as was the case with those who refused to burn incense, there is often a penalty. That we are prosecuted or harassed,as the disciples were, they were joyful that they were honored to suffer for Christ. It’s not a dishonor to suffer for Christ, but it will still be suffering and probably hold you up to public abuse. Spouses are called to mutually submit and serve, I think you could certainly make the case the if rulers are not being submissive and serving for the general good, then they are “acting outside of their vocation”.

Let’s talk about it some more, Wednesday mornings 10:30am. The coffee shop at the corner of Beaver and W King Sts in York, Pa. Parking is right behind the church walk about 50 yards east to the coffee shop. If you come for the first time, I will even buy you coffee.

Blue Lives Matter Too II

I have really been mulling this for some time and I’m still not sure I’m where I’m supposed to be. I am sure, based on the appalling events in NYC that things to have to be said. When you have a huge mob parading on the streets of NYC chanting “kill the pigs ” that is unacceptable and should be condemned by any person!
As I’ve written before, yes I do have a biased perspective but so do those who ignore such absolutely gross demonstrations. My brother has served as a Law Enforcement Officer for about twenty years now, he currently serves as a Massachusetts State Police officer. As a Coast Guard Petty Officer I was a Law enforcement officer and in addition, as a reservist for 29 years, I served with many civilian police who were also Coast Guard reservists or other civilian police at all levels of law enforcement. And currently I serve, I hope well, as a police chaplain for the York, Pa. police department. I have way too many brothers and sisters who do a great job day in and day out, who put up with a lot of grief and conduct themselves professionally. I can honestly say that in almost four years of serving as a police chaplain I have been very impressed with the level of professionalism in the York PD. And the professionalism I’ve seen as a Law Enforcement officer and serving with so many others.

I am really trying to impress upon the reader that I would say the vast majority of law enforcement that I’ve worked with are dedicated professionals who serve and protect to the utmost degree and most of what they do goes unnoticed and unrecognized. It really does stink when a Law Enforcement officer does a great job and does it without any recognition, but one misstep is immediately pounced upon and mercilessly prosecuted.

So now that I’ve bent over backwards, I do need to say this. I have also had interactions with civilian police that was just not acceptable. My training always emphasized that my main job was to defuse and contain difficult situations. Bear in mind that when a Law enforcement officer arrives on scene they do not really know what is going on. They have received a general description, that is by now third hand, and they really don’t know what they are confronting. The smart LE officer is going to approach any situation cautiously and trying to attempt to assess what is going on. Sure, if a life is in jeopardy you move to save and protect, otherwise you just don’t rush in. If you’re doing your job correctly your presence should start to defuse a situation, professional demeanor and actions should make anyone involved realize that they need to just stop. Too often incompetent or inexperienced LE rush in without knowing what’s going on and cause more problems then they resolve. People end up getting hurt that shouldn’t have otherwise been hurt.

I have had some personal (non-duty) negative experiences with civilian local LE officers in a number of situations and I have to confess that they have almost all been with older officers, who have been a patrolman for years. I would submit that an officer who hasn’t advanced in years, may already be an obvious subject as to why he hasn’t advanced. I have no doubt that most are hard working, serving men and women who do a great job, but I have run into some who demonstrate straight out an unprofessional attitude. Why does that happen? Too often it has been a situation where it has been too difficult to discharge a police officer, even one who has been a consistent under performer and even has a string of complaints and serious issues. Why? Too often it has been blind Public Service regulations and union action. This whole system has come down to a system that has become adversarial instead of serving the public good. Too often it’s to serve the interests of those who are entrenched in the public service system instead of the public good. That just must come to an end.

As part of the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into the Ferguson, Mo incident, one officer has been discharged and two others have been told that they probably will be. I would concede that they may well be victims, no I don’t have inside information, that they may be the scapegoats. But I honestly suspect that these are officers who have had repeated incidents, have not acted professionally, have abused their authority and probably should have been discharged long ago and probably would have been if there had been an objective system to conduct personnel management. I can say as a Coast Guard Petty Officer I was not covered under any Civil Service protection. It is, comparatively speaking, rather easy to discharge and to discipline anyone in the military and that would be especially in a service like the Coast Guard that has so much direct interaction with U.S. civilians. In addition there is an “up or out” system in the military, if you do not advance in a set number of years, you are discharged. I know that this kind of system can work. I don’t have an in-depth experience in the York, PD but I can say they work in a difficult environment and from any other objective source that I know of, do it in an excellent fashion. I would also note that this is a fairly young department and subject to newer rules than many who’ve been serving for many years.

I would be willing to bet that many in the command structure of Ferguson, Mo, wish now that they had made the extra effort to discharge police officers who were too much about them and their ego. Who were too much about rushing in and making rash judgments, having a big mouth instead of making judicious use of methods to defuse difficult situations. Police Dept commands, Civil Service and Police Unions, need to start to think in terms of public service and doing what needs to be done to defuse and control instead of having ego problems and exacerbating situations.

I have had the privilege of working with the “Community Services” department of the York PD and they make excellent efforts to reach out to the community to build positive relationships. It can be done, but as they say in the Coast Guard one “ah poop, can wipe out a couple of dozen of attaboys”. (OK, it’s phrased a little more colorfully), but the point is, you can have the vast majority of a Law Enforcement agency doing a great job, and just one person who has previously demonstrated who does not have the proper temperament to pull a lot of great work down in a heartbeat. Yes Civil Service and Unions have their proper place, but the focus must now be on making sure the public good is being served. If it was a couple of bad apples in Ferguson whose actions culminated in the latest problem, those officers should have been indentified (and they were probably well known) and discharged.

We simply cannot afford any more Fergusons or any other police department that is tolerating incompetence or even outright offensiveness. I am thankful to God that I live in a city where unrest could have easily resulted, but because the local police department has done such a great job on a consistent and long-term basis that trust has been built between the police department and the community. I have no doubt that a lot of destruction and injury was avoided because of the commendable job that has been done. Other communities have to be as pro-active. Get over the excuses and the lack of resolve, it needs to happen, there is way too much at stake to tolerate people who are simply not suitable, do not have the proper temperament and are a crisis just waiting to happen. I’m not saying it’s an easy job, it’s not. But having served in an agency that does do an outstanding job in many missions (the United States Coast Guard), and with a police department that has done and is doing a great job, I know it can be done and it just has to be. Put the egos and the bluster and the nonsense aside and defuse the problem and remember the common good. A lot of different sectors need to heed this.