Friday, July 21, 2006

One for all my cop friends

I didnt write this.....but i wish I had.

Recently, a California website ran an e-mail forum (a question and answer exchange) where the topic was "Policing the Community." One of the civilian email participants posed the following question: "I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?" ------------------------------------------------------

From the "other side" (the law enforcement side) a cool cop with a sense of humor replied with this email: It's not easy! In California we average one cop for every 2,000 people. About 60% of those cops are on patrol, where we do most of the harassing. One-fifth of that 60% are on duty at any given moment and are available for harassing people. So, one cop is responsible for harassing about 10,000 residents. When you toss in the commercial, business and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 20,000 or more people each day. A ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. Most cops are not up to it, day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we harass. They are as follows:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase we use. Then we come out and give special harassment. Another popular one on a weeknight is, "The kids next door are having a loud party."

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars blasting music, cars with expired registration stickers and the like. It is lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, are driving drunk, or they have an outstanding warrant.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

CODES: When you can think of nothing else to do, there are books that give ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Codes" Penal, Vehicle, Health and Safety, Business and Professional Codes, to name a few. They spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the code, you can just drive around for a while until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy smash a car window. Well, the code says that is not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy.

It is a pretty cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well. We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because the good citizens who pay the tab actually like the fact that we keep the streets safe for them. Next time you are in my town, give me a single finger wave. That will be a signal that you wish for me to take a little closer look at you, and then maybe I'll find a reason to harass YOU. Looking forward to meeting you...........

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Proper perspective

Whoever it was that said, "Time heals all things," was a liar. Time doesn’t heal, time simply allows perspective. Time only allows things to fester and hurt worse. Time never healed cancer. Time never pieced a broken heart back together. Time only allowed wisdom to bring perspective that put the pain in its place. In high school I finally got out the nerve to ask a girl out. I didn’t date much, or actually at all. I had, and still have, a hard time relating to females. When the time came for Christmas banquet – we didn’t have a prom – I managed to muster up the courage to ask Holly Grubbs if she would go with me. She said yes. The day before the banquet she called me and told me that she was going with someone else. I was stacking firewood out in the snow when she called. I am surprised that my parents had anything bigger than a toothpick left to burn. Then someone, I don’t recall who, told me that timeless lie – time heals all things. It didn’t. Still today when I think about that there is a twinge of hurt. But perspective has allowed me to realize that anyone who would do what she did wasn’t really deserving of all that much affection from me.
On November 17, 1996 I got married. In October of 2000 separated. After a few years of trying to make things work (at least I did any way) she told me on December 23, 2004 she was having an affair, our divorce was final on April 26, 2005. Time won’t heal that pain either. Perspective, however, allowed me to see what life was like trapped in a loveless marriage with an unfaithful spouse. It has allowed me to finally see myself for who I really am. It has allowed me to start living again. Whenever I come across a piece of our marriage it still hurts just as much as it did the night she told me about the affair. It may be a picture, a note, or just a stray memory, but it hurts. It isn’t healed and quite possible never will be, but I can see why I am much better off now.
I have lost several fronds to death. Car wrecks, natural causes, murder, disease, and even suicide have added to the toll of accumulated loss. Time hasn’t healed the wounds that thier passing left. Time hasn’t brought piece or even acceptance. Perspective has allowed me to see that I hold the precious memories of their lives in my heart. Perspective allows me to love them still. It gives comfort through their memories. But not time. Time just marks the length of their absence, but perspective marks the love that was shared through our friendship.
In every tragedy or unfortunate circumstance we face our greatest ally isn’t time. It is being able to see the good that has come from each and every moment of our lives. Each situation is a portal to the future. Without pain there is no growth. The pain of birth brings life, the pain of life brings experience, and the pain of experience brings perspective. Only with the proper perspective can we go forward. Only perspective can allow us to accept the fate that has befallen us and lead richer, more fulfilling lives.
May you never know hardship, may you never suffer pain. But if you do eventually perspective will allow you to see the good that came from it. Proper perspective heals all things.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Back in the saddle again

Well after a lot of long hot hours of cooking in the July heat, numerous abrasions and cuts, 3 lost tools, and several sets of very sweaty and greasy clothes I finally did it. I resurrected the WarWagon. I am back to working out in the hot sun all day for the time being. Hopefully my back will hold out long enough for me to make a little cash so I can fix it more. Poor thing has been abused since she rolled off the assembly line, but then again it is a GMC she can handle it.
I also have the phone back on. Yippee. I almost feel liker a functioning member of society. Well it is time to go soak my sore tired body in hot water and see if it melts. Hopefully soon I will write something worth reading on here and things will be back to normal.