The year 2016 will undoubtedly be a new beginning. For starters, we will have a new U.S. President, for better, or for worse. Either way, new challenges will emerge. We will have new congressional challenges. Same goes for judicial races and locally; we will either keep the same anti-law enforcement, anti-public safety, county administration, or go in a new direction. Municipal elected seats are bound to change as well.
The importance of it all - you must take the time to vote. Be prepared to make the time to have your voice heard. As an example, in August, voter turnout is bound to be low. In the case of the county, if every employee, their family and friends voted against the very demon that has attacked their livelihood, Gimenez would be ousted from office. The key is getting everyone to participate. The PBA will be forwarding the selections that will be best for your future. So be on the lookout.
Think twice; think thrice Everyone should be keenly aware of what’s going on these days regarding our profession. For starters, always-always-always act as if there are several cameras on you at all times. Time and again, we have seen justified police action caught on video, regardless of the source, only to wind up in the hands of the media. Media personnel, completely ignorant of how things are done in real life, then go to the respective department demanding to know what the department is going to do to the officer. They never even remotely care to know what the bad guy did to prompt the reaction, nor do they question the bad guys’ intentions for such act. Criminals’ actions are never the topic of conversation. Some departments cave in to the pressures and offer you up as the sacrificial lamb.
Then, the defense attorneys take the video (remember I’m talking about justified police actions) to the State Attorney’s Office, who may salivate at any notion to dismiss cases (less work for them) and may even make you the subject. Especially now that election season is upon us, we’ll see an increase of public servant arrests, even if it’s a minor mistake, or infraction, simply to give off the impression that the office is anti-corruption; nothing more.
As I’ve written before, under the current climate law enforcement functions under these days, I cannot blame any officer who does just what he/she is assigned. Not only is there no incentive to perform discretionary enforcement, it’s actually harmful to your career, and possibly freedom. And, for what?! For whom? People don’t stand up for the righteous, the good guys, anymore. It is extremely rare to find administrators that will openly support their subordinates. It’s become every man/woman for themself.
So think twice, thrice, even four times before you decide to do non-assigned, proactive enforcement- that’s just my humble opinion!
No coincidences in politics
Back in 1993, when I started as PBA President, I met a southern gentleman by the name of Marvin
Clayton, who has since passed. He took a liking to me and was one of the first people to teach me the trade of lobbying at the Capitol. Early on in his teachings he told me to live by this axiom: “in politics there is no such thing as coincidence,” he said. He also said to never let my mind, or heart, deviate from that mentality. That advice has served me so well.
Now, to that end, I ask you: Was it just a coincidence that the property which soccer icon Beckham,
purchased is owned by Carlos Gimenez’ fundraising director? I always go back to what I learned back in 1993. There is no coincidence that Gimenez went from depleting the police department to now trying to take credit for the largest hiring efforts in recent time. There is no coincidence that certain procurement contracts happen to be awarded to companies owned and/or represented by the Gimenz’ lobbyists family, or friends.
So, regardless of whether you’re thinking, dealing or talking about politics, regardless of what city, county, state, or federal, always work on the premise that there are no coincidences in politics. It’ll serve you equally as well.
Passing of another friend
Pat Shugrue, retired MDPD, passed away on Dec. 22. The name may not mean much to the younger generation, but old timers like me remember Pat and his unending smile well. He was always a gentleman, willing to lend a hand. He served our nation, in the Air Force, prior to serving this community as a sworn law enforcement officer, first in corrections, then in MDPD. His willingness to serve did not end there; Pat also volunteered with the Knights of Columbus and the Moose Lodge. To Pat: rest in peace my friend. Rest in peace.
Remember life is precious, so make the best of it.