“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”


"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Deterrence?

So earlier this year I encountered a "client" at work, who I had to arrest for a DUI (second in less than a year), as well as some felony charges and other bits and pieces - all well-deserved, and very open and shut. To the point of the defense attorney completely waived my appearance and plead out the case out as opposed to fighting things. This is on top of a history of several other events and convictions, including suspended time and probation currently active.

And it gets to sentencing - where she gets a grand total of four months to serve.

Now, I'm not saying that this was the crime of the century, and I'm the first to agree that our prisons have a lot of folks in them who probably shouldn't be.

But every one of these offenses was a blatant "I don't care about the law" - not a mere technicality, not a regulatory infraction, but conscious decisions to act recklessly, ignore court orders and defraud others. For this she gets basically a slap on the wrist, an inconvenience for a few months, and back out to do as she will again.

The whole point of jail time is deterrence - it's a "time out" or "grounding" for grown ups, a consequence for choosing to act against society's chosen dictates and a display for the individual as well as society as a whole that there is a price to pay for acting in such manner. Should we remove such consequences, then what is the point of attempting to enforce such laws? If we've decided that the punishments established by the legislature and public are excessive, and that our judicial system needs to minimize things "for the good of society" then we've weakened one of the pillars of our political system. If we've eliminated the deterrence of punishments then we have also removed the incentive to obey the laws of society.

I think events like this are part of why so many have lost faith in the system.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gaming the system

This is just an initial rant, not sure if I'll keep it up or not, but felt like writing.

So today we had one of our senior officers retire due to "PTSD." And I use the parenthesis for a reason, as I'll discuss. A relatively senior guy, has worked the road his whole career, and has a reputation (which I can personally vouch for) for laziness and attempts to work the system to his benefit whenever possible.

The claimed issue stems from a suicide a year ago where this officer was on the periphery - no direct interaction or witnessing of events, and only minor involvement in the aftermath. But according to him it's enough he needs to leave the job. Oh, and despite the fact I know of uglier calls he's been on over the years.

Now - before anyone lectures - I of all people know that PTS affects different people in different ways, and what is one person's trigger may mean nothing to another.

And, maybe I'm a bit cynical because of my own experiences.

But this one just stinks to me, based on knowing him and everything else going on. And it pisses me off.

I'm all for people who are bothered by events getting the help, assistance and everything else they need. And, I certainly don't want someone who can't cope anymore working a dangerous job with themselves and others at risk.

This screams of "faker" though, and I trust my gut on it - of using the system to get a medical retirement on something they can't prove "doesn't" exist, so the agency takes the easy way out in liability and time. And, every single person knows that "So-and-so retired from PTSD from this call." and rolls their eyes.

It bugs me because this is just as bad as the label for PTSD sufferers as "just waiting to snap," so everyone is scared to hire or be around them for this supposed violence waiting to happen. Instead this is the old "malingerer who is using a psych excuse to get out of doing stuff or to get a pension." Which in some ways makes things even worse - because, as an invisible illness PTSD like so many other similar ailments, already faces an uphill battle for acceptance and recognition. And events like this make it even harder for those needing treatment and help to make that choice, because they don't want to be labeled as "that guy" - for a type A personality, being called a slacker is far more degrading than being labeled as violent or dangerous any day of the week.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this was the event that made him have some issues and not feel safe or comfortable anymore, and I'm wrong to judge. But unfortunately I'm afraid I'm not, and this will serve as another example of those things which make it hard for those people who really are suffering to get the recognition and aid they need.




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

For any vets out there having a tough time right now.

I know that the situation in Iraq is getting in my head, and that I can't be the only one.

And that we're all frustrated, and second guessing things in not only our lives but the world as a whole.

I'm not saying I agree with every word she says in this article, but it's something very important for us all to think about. Take a second and read it, please.

Stop Letting ISIS Control You

And, I will please ask my readers to share this link around - I feel it's something we need to share as a community.