11 October 2010

What it takes to be the boss....

From the Cop side: Some of the reasons I’ll never be the Police Chief ....is because I tell it how it is….or at least how it is in real life. Sometimes people don’t want to really know how it really is. They want to know how it could be in a fairy tale world.

When society watches hours and hours of cop shows on TV, they think that everything is solved in an hour. (For those in the US, count how many TV shows have something to do with law enforcement—including the lawyer shows)  I am still amazed when I have a citizen ask: "Isn't CSI coming out to get DNA samples?" 
(this could be off a cell phone stolen from an unlocked car)

One example of Chiefs being kind of slow:  When I started as a cop in 1979, a few of us who actually knew something about guns tried to get our chiefs to let us carry semi automatic handguns on duty. Oh my God. You think we had been talking about pissing on the pope or something. We were treated like madmen and told things like: “I’ve used the revolver for years. It’s a good weapon. You don’ need more than 6 bullets for anything. Them autos just jam." 

Of course, none of these pinheads had ever been in a gun fight or anything like that. They were so against it for years. Then, cops were getting killed fighting bad guys who had better weapons- with more than 6 bullets. So, starting in the 1990’s, many departments started to switch to semi auto handguns. It took a lot of media hype and “consultants” getting paid a lot of money for the chiefs to understand what some of us range master types had been trying to say for years. Now it’s odd to see a revolver in any police holsters in the US.  (but more are showing up again for off duty- please these little .38s are cute, but don't bet your life on one)

Another example: Over the 30 plus years I’ve been a cop, I’ve gone to a lot of schools to improve my skills. The department paid for the training, so when I came back, I’d always go to my boss and tell them what the school taught me that we had to change.

Never going to happen. If an officer or even a sergeant tries to tell the chief “hey, boss, we need to have a policy on bla, bla, bla.” The boss aint’ goin’ do nothing until they hear it from somebody who makes a lot more money than we do.

Many years ago I went to a police driving instructor course. Most of the cops there had been sent because they were shitty drivers and had crashed too many times. I was the only cop there who had NEVER crashed a police car. Wow, that was kind of weird.

So, I came back from the class and wrote the chief a memo explaining some of the things we needed to have in our policy. He said: “well, I don’t think we need to do that.”

I just let it go. Then a year later, that same chief had gone to some “Chief’s convention” where they had some highly paid expert come in and tell the chiefs the same thing I had told ours a year before. Our chief came back from that convention and said: “We need a policy on bla, bla, bla.”

I just looked at him and thought: “NO SHIT.”

The really small county I work in has so many small police departments that sometimes I have to stop and think about how many we have. It would be smart and save lots of money if they reorganized them into a few larger departments. However, the little city councils and the chiefs don’t want to loose the power they have.

So years ago, the Sheriff of the county came up with an idea on how many stars they all should were. He felt only two stars on the collar was enough for each chief to wear, and of course the Sheriff would wear four stars.

Well, this lasted about a week. Then some of the chiefs from little towns like Mayberry, decided that they were just as important as the Sheriff, so they started to were four stars.

Who really cares?

What I figured out is what it takes to be a chief; you have to have a major part of your brain removed. The part that works with common sense.


powdergirl said...

Oh. Great. next you'll tell us you've never heard uttered the words: Book em' Danno.

Another illusion shattered : )

CI-Roller Dude said...

Actually I've been told "book em' danno."

Thank God Hawaii Five Oh is back on the air. The kids these days had no idea why they were calling us "FIVE OH".

Coffeypot said...

I have had some really stupid dickheads as bosses in my life. Not many, but enough. But the underlying reason they were bosses was the paid the political game to the hilt. Licked enough ass or married into the family. What is even more infuriating is that the bad boss’s boss will not listen to the people who know. And I am sure you have hear Book’em Danno many times.

Hogday said...

The other real pisser is when your detailed report, recommending a useful and innovative scheme that would benefit your unit, gets verbally rejected - and then six months later re-appears with your head of units signature on the bottom of the report claiming it as his own. Didn't even try hard enough to re-word it sufficiently to disguise it! Its like these people never believe that they'll need anyone's help one day! What a prick.

Jay said...

Sounds like you're doing well not to be Chief. Keep up the good work.