A Discussion of Criminal Justice Issues and Other Things

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Reagan Says...

Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.


--Ronald Reagan

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lemonade is still 5 Cents

Growing up in the 60's, Lemonade and Kool-aid stands were the main staple of income for most of us kids and certainly an oasis of relief on hot summer days for the maintenance workers and postal carriers in our neighborhood.

Of course a litigious society and fear of less-than-nice folks have changed that iconic symbol of our neighborhoods.

National Night Out is the first Tuesday in August. I would encourage you to reserve your spot with your local police department. Have a block party and socialize with your neighbors. Introduce your kids to the concept of a lemonade stand or Kool-aid stand during that event.

Encourage your neighbors to get together and stand firm to improve our neighborhoods and communities.

In Emporia, you may call Brendy Allison, 620.343.4211 at the Emporia Police Department.

Help give crime a going away party and have some lemonade at the same time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frustrations of a Police Chief

Probably one of the most frustrating experiences any police chief has is the need to deal with second party vendors. In the past 30 days, I've had to threaten litigation against 3 vendors, just to get them to return calls and finish work.

I take my responsibility as a steward of taxpayer money very seriously and I can't think of any lower life form than a company who tries to screw public funds in a public safety venue that puts the lives of men and women at risk.

Over the years I've fought over shoddy light bars, bad ballistic vests, lousy radio systems, "vapor ware" and the list just goes on and on.

Next month, I'll be attending another International Chiefs of Police session. I plan on introducing a suggestion that the department of justice establish best practice standards for those wishing to do business with public safety entities and suggest that the DOJ tie in a provision of criminal prosecution for any company who receives dollars from recent grants or stimulus monies that will hold the officers and agents of those companies criminally liable for misrepresentation of products or performance.

Since my most recent assignment, I've been battling with a records management vendor that has over 1/2 million dollars tied up in software with the department. They charge us to go to their users conferences (hefty prices too) just to be indoctrinated into their products. I dealt with this product about 20 years ago and it wasn't good then and the service was even worse. In 20 years, they have only proven that worse can really get worse.

They seem to believe there are deep pockets in small local governments. In their arrogance their management team and apparently their sales staff believes all police chiefs are ignorant about information technology issues. As someone who used to develop records management systems, I can certainly tell them that the "emporor has no clothes" and their sweetheart deal is over.

The annual maintenance fees, nearing $100k are a joke since we receive virtually nothing in return. I could go out and buy another entire RMS for that amount alone and am close to doing so.

If they truly feel that being "locked" into one system deters leaving, I've got a surprise for them. Working with a dysfunctional system that isn't in sync with the state mandates of our location puts them in an instant disadvantage. I'm also thinking that I'd be happy to consult with them on the development of customer services skills for their sales staff and account reps.

At this point, I won't name the western US law enforcement software company. The irony is that most agency heads who have the experience with them will know. Once my national survey is complete with the satisfaction of this company and others, I'll post the information here.

It will take some time and quite frankly, I'm hoping that by the time I'm ready to release the information, I'll have a new vendor.

See You Later Down the Road, just don't spill the soda while you drive man.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Plea for Help From Iran

Here is a link to a Youtube posting from a woman saying she is in Iran. Please notice she wants to know where the rest of the world is, why they aren't helping them?

I wonder the same thing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iranian Update

Twitter updates are indicating that a burning fluid, perhaps acid is being dropped on protesters in Iran from government helicopters. Again, the reports are unconfirmed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Iranian people!

Iranian Update

A friend of mine connected to Iran sent the following message they received from Twitter. Please be clear, I cannot vouch for the accuracy for the information but it does give one pause.

CyrusDaGr8

  1. The explosion in the khomaini's mosque was by gov't. they took bodies of protesters there to blame it on them. #iranelection #gr88 #tehran

Turmoil in Iran

Several friends of mine recently immigrated from Iran who subsequently surrendered their citizenship to become U.S. Citizens. For a number of years now they shared with me how things have been simmering in Iran. contrary to news reports you may be listening to right now, I've been told that although a lot of the population is young and was born after the Shaw of Iran was exiled, parents, grandparents and family members have told their youngsters about how freedoms of a secular society provided a modern more Western-style of living. Specifically, how the civilian police were courteous and respectful and were not religious zealots.

Based on what they have been told by family members, the mass outpouring of citizens of Iran are responding not just to the recent election but 30 years of persecution and repression.

Based on my friends impressions and those of their family members still in Iran, if this situation does not topple the Islamic regime from Iran, it certainly will be the precursor to a march toward secular government and more open, free society.

Our policy makers would do well to listen to folks like my family and their friends and not sell the will of common folks to seek basic freedoms.

President Reagen once said, Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. " Based on what I've been told, many people in Iran have the will and moral courage of freedom. There isn't a gun big enough to snuff it out forever.
Thanks to technology, the Iranian government is not able to suffocate the message of what is going on. the visual images are often graphic and appear to be very real. What makes this event so different is that the information and the images is coming from the people from Iran, rather than news organizations or what the government will allow. Just like the Reagan quote above. Those voices will not be silenced.

Those who are saying that the Iranian government is showing restraint may be right, or they may be wrong. Quite simply, if the governing counsel truly feels at risk. They cannot afford to escalate the level of violence. From viewing the video feeds and posts by Iranian people would indicate that the protesters often armed only with rocks and their cell phones. Appear to be relentless to in their quest.
As President John Kennedy once said, We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle." I think that beacon of freedom is spreading in the Middle East and I believe that you have to give a great deal of credit for their courage. If in fact it is true that the Iranian government is finding it necessary to bring in other terrorists groups to maintain order due to the fact that the local police are refusing to force violence on their own people and the fact that some of the religious leaders are calling for respect for the right of people to protest. It would appear that there is a light in the darkness. The Iranian people are courageous and determined people. Do not underestimate their will to change their government and where their country is headed. Many Iranians do not like the idea of the development of nuclear weapons and the sponsoring of terrorism to other countries.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The More Things Change....

I spoke to an old friend from a place long since evacuated by me and mine. Through his angst and frustration, an excerpt from George Orwell's Animal Farm came to mind. It is as follows:

In a very little while the animals had destroyed everything that reminded them of Mr. Jones. Napoleon then led them back to the store-shed and served out a double ration of corn to everybody, with two biscuits for each dog. Then they sang Beasts of England from end to end several times running, and after that they settled down for the night and slept as they had never slept before.

But they woke at dawn as usual, and suddenly remembering the glorious things that had happened they all raced out into the pasture together. A little way down the pasture there was a knoll that commanded a view of most of the farm. The animals rushed to the top of it and gazed around them in the clear morning light.

Yes, it was theirs—everything that they could see was theirs!In the ecstasy of that thought they gamboled round and round, they hurled themselves into the air in great leaps of excitement. They rolled in the dew, they cropped mouthfuls of the sweet summer grass, they kicked up clods of the black earth and snuffed its rich scent.

Then they made a tour of inspection of the whole farm and surveyed with speechless admiration the ploughland, the hayfeld, the orchard, the pool, the spinney. It was as though they had never seen these things before, and now they could hardly believe that it was all their own.

Keep in mind old friend that although they tried to eradicate all memories of Farmer Jones, before too long the pigs were living in the house, making merry, associating with all of Farmer Jones' old friends and try as they might, they didn't successfully kill the memories before the old swine got their way.

Chin up!

Friday, June 05, 2009

When Things Look Darkest

A recent tragedy in our community has reminded me of the fragility of life and how quickly our joy can turn into despair. It is easy when something unexpected and terrible happens to question why bad things happen to good people. It is easy to get bitter and to give up hope.

Psalm 34:18 says "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

I've mentioned before that God will never burden you more than you can handle so long as you trust in Him and seek his guidance. You should always remember that the power that raised Christ from the dead dwells within you.

During dark times, it's good to remember that Proverbs quote: "It's always darkest before the Dawn."

You will find the light in Jesus Christ if you remain steadfast in your faith and trust that God will see you through. It won't be easy but God will not forsake you and he will help you through the hard times.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Torch Run Arrives in Emporia!



This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Torch Run participation by the Emporia Police Department. EPD has the distinction of being one of the longest, continuous supporters of the Kansas Torch Run to benefit the Special Olympics.



Law Enforcement officers from both the Lyon County Sheriff's Office as well as Emporia Police Department joined with officers from across the state to meet in Emporia on Wednesday Evening. The torch run then proceeded out of town on Thursday morning, heading south out of town on their way to Wichita.



The law enforcement officers who donate their time to ride across the state to raise money to be used to send our local Special Olympians to the Special Olympics is a truly heroic gesture and represents what is best about our local law enforcement officers.



I've posted pictures below of Wednesday's arrival. I also want to thank Pizza Ranch who donated the meals to the Torch Run participants who were very ready for a carb refill by the time they reached town. Thanks to Lt. Koelsch who has worked on this project for 25 years. Once I get all the names I'll put a postscript here.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Murder

They claim God ordered “Thou Shalt not Murder”, and what do they do? Murder in the name of God