Laziness is Unbecoming
If I ever had any notion of possibly going back into law enforcement again, it was eliminated today. From the first day I pinned on the badge in 1996 to the day I unpinned it for good in December of 2018, I was a cop. I was a policeman. I was a law enforcement officer. I did my job, and I did it with all the passion and dedication that I had in me. It was easy because I cared.
I cared about the people I served, which made me want to do my job. I wanted to catch the bad guys in the act of "hitting their licks". I wanted to get bad guys hooked up and off the street. I wanted to know who the stranger in the neighborhood was that I didn't recognize. I wanted to keep every kids' bicycle from being stolen. I wanted to recover the stolen lawnmower of the old man on the corner.
Which is why it makes me absolutely sick when I encounter laziness wearing a badge.
Now, I understand protocol and procedure; hell, I wrote protocols and procedures. I know why they are put in place, and I know they serve a purpose. BUT... they shouldn't be a reason for not doing your job.
As I was working on the class from hell today at my desk, I watched as a young man wearing a backpack walked up my driveway to the front door. He saved himself from an ass-chewing by recognizing and obeying my "No Solicitors" sign, and he headed off down the sidewalk.
A short time later, I observed two more young men walking down the other side of the street. They all had the same backpack and wrinkled dress shirts. I knew exactly who they were, because I had dealt with groups like this a hundred times. They were what we use to call "Gypsy Solicitors".
These "companies" that work out of the back of trucks go out and find these troubled young men and recruit them. Guys that have criminal histories, drug problems, sticky fingers, etc, who cannot get real jobs. They hire these men and put them into teams, usually of about 10-12 men on each team. They load these teams in huge vans and send them out in different directions in metropolitan areas such as DFW.
They shack up in the local No-Tell Motels and then hit the neighborhoods each morning. The top dog in charge, usually the only one with a valid drivers license, takes them and drops the men off in different areas of town and doesn't come back until 8-10 hours later, when they meet up at a designated location. That's why they all have backpacks, because they have to carry their lunch, water and whatever else they will need for the whole day.
These guys are selling everything from magazine subscriptions to electricity services, from bibles to blow-up dolls, and everything in between.
They never have city permits because top dog doesn't want to pay for them. When they get inevitably get contacted by law enforcement, they will usually just head to their designated meeting spot and wait for top dog; whether it's 5 minutes or 6 hours. Most of the time they don't even have top dog's phone number.
I'll give you 3 guesses to why they don't have the boss' digits... Nah, you don't need all 3, I'll bet you got it the first time! When these guys get caught stealing something, or doing anything else that's illegal, they can't trace him back to the boss.
See there, this crime-fighting business isn't so hard.
So I sent a text to my little cousin-in-law and asked her to please send one of the deputies over to check these guys out and make sure they weren't up to no good (which they always are in one form or another). I didn't have the dispatch number and really didn't want to waste my time knowing what I know about Dallas County.
A minute or so later, she text back and told me that she asked one of them to help me out and he told her, and I quote, "tell him to call it in to dispatch".
TELL. HIM. TO. CALL. IT. IN. TO. DISPATCH. ??
Now keep in mind that this entire town is not 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, so it's not like he would have to drive 20 minutes to get here. Also keep in mind that there just isn't a lot of crime in this town. There was no gang riot in progress. There was no homicide being worked. There was no OJ Chase in progress. The President wasn't visiting on this day.
One of them could have simply driven over here and checked the guys out and been done in 15 minutes if none of them had felony warrants out for their arrest. And if they did, then that's a huge deal, getting a wanted felon off the streets.
But instead of just doing their job, they wanted me to be burdened and the task get pawned off on someone else. Do you know why they wanted me to call it in to dispatch? Because there is about a 90% chance that the call gets put on another officer, that's why.
This is a perfect example of why people have heartburn about law enforcement. They do their part. They see-something they say-something. They "report suspicious activity", They do the crime-watch thing.
But why? So they can be told to call someone else instead of simply driving over there and checking out the clip-on-tie-wearing, dirty dress shirt-sporting, Bula, The-Blow-Up-Doll-selling, gypsy hood-rats!
Look, I have met some of these deputies, and they have some good guys serving the town; but it only takes one to sour the whole batch.
To my neighbors in Stoney Creek, I'm sorry...................I tried.