Monday, April 20, 2009

So you think you're special

I cannot begin to tell you how many cars and very nice ones at that, that I've pulled over which have that convenient "11-99 Foundation" license plate frame.

They usually hand over their registration and insurance card in a little nifty 11-99 bi fold holder with a prominent gold badge on the front.

I've actually had several drivers open their wallets with a rectangular flat bronze 11-99 plaque which I've heard referred to as a "badge" conveniently located next to their driver license. On many occasions I've noticed a small CHP badge sticker on their driver license. I always ask "What's with the cute little kiddie badge sticker?"

I read on the Internet (not that everything on it is true) that an $1,800 donation gets you the license plate frame, registration holder and that nice bronze "badge".

The 11-99 Foundation is a great charitable organization which helps CHP families in their time of need. But don't think that the license plate frame, registration holder and bronze "badge" will get you out of a ticket for a violation you obviously committed by getting stopped by a cop.

Example: I'm sitting at one of my usual duck ponds and see this BMW racing westbound, passing traffic going the same direction. The posted speed limit is 40 mph. I get a speed reading of 63 mph. And wouldn't you know it, the driver is talking on their cell phone too. I get behind the BMW and I noticed the 11-99 Foundation license plate frame....

I stop the car and when I contact the driver, she's 17 years old and is a local. To make things short, of course she didn't know how fast she was going and she picked up her phone because it rang. She hands me this black vinyl registration and insurance bi fold case with a gold badge on it with you guessed it "11-99 Foundation".

I wonder how many times daddy was stopped and tried using the 11-99 Foundation juice card and was given a warning? Well daughter sure as hell thought that it was going to get her out of a ticket. NOT!

I ragged her for the speed and cell phone violations.

People, license plate frames, registration holders, badge stickers, bronze plaques representing badges will not get you out of a ticket with me. So it's no use flaunting it. You have a better chance of getting out of a ticket by being calm, mutually respectful and a good joke wouldn't hurt either.

To those people whom I've cited with their 11-99 memorabilia, most have been understanding and didn't cry one iota about getting a ticket. Then there are those who blame me for their bad driving habits and further state that they are not going to contribute anymore to the Foundation.

To you, I say "Fucking Whaa!" You give your fellow Foundation members a bad rap. What makes you better than anyone else driving on PUBLIC roads and exempt from the vehicle code laws and any enforcement action! NOTHING! That's what!

"Press hard, 3 copies Asshole!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Farmer's Tan

Today I had the opportunity to work 10 hours of overtime doing seatbelt enforcement thanks to a generous grant through the California Office of Traffic Safety. This is not the state wide "click it or ticket" campaign, but grant money for "spot checks".

The things that made working on a Sunday fun, besides the time and a half was the great weather (temp in the high 70's to low 80's) and of course all of the wonderful people I had the chance to "meet" today.

To see the surprise on their faces was priceless, with the added comment "I thought you guys didn't work weekends?" Of course the little voice in me wanted to say "We don't, your luck just sucks."

The only real downside (at least for me) is I tan pretty well even with that sunblock I apply to my arms, neck and face. Given that and we're not even into summer yet, I've got a killer farmer tan going on. Looks like a have a white t-shirt on when I have no shirt on.

I guess I shouldn't complain. Those Officers in patrol cars get that tan on the left arm and left side of their faces being the only area exposed to direct sunlight (If the window is down).

So to be able to spot a motor officer when he or she (yes girls do this too) is off duty is not very hard. You can tell them apart from everyone else by these subtle hints.

You'll more than likely see the pale skin around his or her eyes and temples from the sunglasses they wear (required safety equipment). If you look at their arms, you'll notice either a great tan or bad sunburn from the sleeve line to the wrists. The hands will usually be a little paler than the arms due to the gloves (once again required safety gear).

From the shirt collar up, yep either great tan or bad sunburn (I looked at myself in the mirror and realized where the term red neck came from).

Look for that ring of pale skin where the watch usually is too.

So remember this summer when you're driving around minding your own business, beware of the preying motor officer. During the summer be very wary when approaching areas of shade, like beneath trees, the shadows of walls or buildings, because that's where I'll be parked, waiting to meet you.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guilty! Guilty!

Once again I was faced with a child care dilemma and a traffic court appearance. My 7 year old can become quite impatient when doing something as boring as sitting in a courtroom.

So I came up with a plan to bring one of his favorite candy treats and give it to him only after court and only if he behaved.... Sounds like a good and simple plan.....

We arrived at the court house and surprisingly find a non reserved parking spot. Parking has always been a bitch there. So in we walk through the security screening area. It's a short jaunt from there to the department where traffic cases are heard. As we neared the hallway where the courtroom is located, all I can see is a sea of people (uniformed and not) standing in this tiny lobby area.

NOT A GOOD SIGN. I manage to squeeze down the hall and peer into the courtroom and see a temporary "sit in" Judge presiding. He's still on the 1:30 pm arraignment calendar. The 2:00 pm court trials didn't begin until 2:45 pm. The Judge who usually presides will many times have us out of his court room by 2:45. It always seems when the regular Judge takes a day off he always stacks up the traffic cases.

Here me and my 7 year old sit and he's becoming restless doing things like swinging his feet and kicking the seat back of the seat in front of him.

I look over and here I see him look back at me and roll his eyes! I wonder where he learned that from?... So around 3:30 I hear "Officer Two Wheel" I'm thinking, "Finally!" I stand up from my seat only to be told by the temp Judge that my traffic case has been moved upstairs in front of a criminal court Judge.

So my 7 year old is asking all the way up the stairwell "How come", "How much longer", "I'm tired", etc, etc. So before we walk in to the courtroom I tell junior I'll let him hold on to his candy treat, but not to eat it until we are out of the court house. In retrospect, what the hell was I thinking!! Giving a 7 year old his favorite treat and telling him not to open it!!!!!!

We take a seat in the courtroom and my traffic case is called shortly afterward. Myself and the defendant approach the bench and stand in front of the tables reserved for the prosecutor and defense. Now courtrooms are pretty quiet to begin with even when someone is speaking.

I'm giving my testimony as to the events which resulted in the ticket issued to the defendant when I can hear behind me, "Humph!" My first instinct was to turn around and give him the "eye" but I thought the Judge might take offense to me turning around while testifying.

So I continue giving my testimony and I hear a second and even louder "HUMPH!" I had just finished my testimony and turned around to look at my son, only to see his arms crossed on the seat back in front of him and he was giving me the "eye"!

I wink at him to try and bring his frustration level down and he replied with another "Humph!" I direct my attention to my front and continue to listen to the defendant when I hear the sound of candy wrapper being manipulated by his small devilish hands.

If I can hear that crinkling candy wrapper sound, I know the Judge can hear it too. I even saw the court reporter look toward my son as he was prematurely unwrapping that candy treat.

The Judge had some clarifying questions for me and after all was said and done, he found the driver guilty. The next unfamiliar part of having a traffic case heard in a criminal court is they didn't know how much the fine was supposed to be and had to call down to the traffic court to find out.

The defendant left the courtroom ahead of me. I turned around thanking God that I didn't receive a stern admonishment from the Judge for my son's behavior. Let me tell you, Judges have a way of talking to you to make you feel like a little kid again getting your ass chewed by your dad.

My son and I are walking down the aisle between the chairs when I heard the Judge say "Officer, can you hold up a minute?" Like I'm going to tell this guy who wields some tremendous authority and power second only to the person who rules behind St. Peter's pearly gates and say the word "No".

I turn around and replied "Absolutely your Honor." I'm expecting to get the ass chewing of my life for my son's antics in his courtroom. And now follows the short dialog between Your Honor and me;

Judge; "Is that your son?"
2WT; "Yes he is."
Judge addressing my son; "What's your name son?"
My son; "2WT Jr."
Judge; "How old are you?"
My son; "Seven"
Judge; "Come on over here." as the Judge motioned my son to come behind the bench next to him.

I watch my son walk around the bench and stand next to the Judge. The Judge got up out of his chair and directed my son to have a seat. Of course my son jumps on this opportunity and climbs up into the Judges chair. The Judge handed him his gavel and asked him, "Do you have anything to say to your Dad?"

I watched my son look at me as the Judge told him where to swing that gavel. My son stared straight in my eyes and said loudly "GUILTY! GUILTY" and pounded that gavel. Myself, the Judge, court reporter and bailiff all had a good laugh about that.

Needless to say I was very relieved that it wasn't the impending ass chewing I thought.

Before my son jumped out of the Judges chair, I watched the Judge reach for something behind his bench and handed a piece of candy to him.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Paybacks a Bitch

Yesterday I walked into the court room where all of the traffic cases are heard. My partner Juan Jalisco had arrived just minutes earlier. The Judge who presides over traffic matters is a great guy. Most of us Traffic Gurus (Traffic Nerds to others) have known him for years. Also present in this court room was none other than Motor Cop.

I'd say we all have a good rapport with him. He was asking Juan Jalisco about these whistle lanyards we wear. He had never seen them before and inquired of Juan what it was and why. So Juan explained how the whistle lanyard makes it easier to retrieve you whistle from your shirt pocket and when your momentarily done with it you can let it hang from you shirt epaulet.

Try directing traffic at a major intersection without one and you'll have a greater appreciation for that small piece of metal after you lose your voice yelling at motorists.

Well I open the closet door where all of the local agencies keep their traffic and engineering surveys in. These are also referred to as speed surveys or traffic surveys. So while I'm standing in this closet removing the survey I need for the roadway I used my LIDAR on, I overheard the Judge ask Juan Jalisco, "Does he have one of those lanyards too?" knowing well he was referring to me.

The next words I heard spoken from the Judge was "Excuse me Officer, I don't mean to call you out of the closet." Needless to say all had a good chuckle over that. He does have a good sense of humor. I guess it was payback for an incident which happened many, many years ago when I was a patrol officer in his town working the midnight shift.

It came out as a suspicious circumstance with an unattended vehicle left parked in the middle of a roadway, engine running and no occupants. This was a two lane roadway at the outskirts of town with a large field and fenced off cattle.

I roll up to the scene and have dispatch run the license plate out as I exited my patrol car and walked toward the van. I noticed the interior dome light was on, with the driver door open and engine running.

The dispatcher told me that the registered owner information was sent to the computer in the patrol car. As I looked around I heard a voice yell out from a field near the roadway, "Officer, that's my car." I then see this solitary person standing beneath this wooden pole with a light attached to it.

As this person walked toward me I noticed he had an object in his right hand and could see that part of that object protruded from his hand in the shape of a barrel. Not really knowing what the object was, but I was thinking GUN, I nonchalantly placed my gun side leg back and gently placed my hand on the grip of my duty weapon and unsnapped the holster as a precaution.

This person saw me move my gun side leg back and place my right hand on my duty weapon as he threw the object from his hand and yelled "Don't shoot! Its me, Judge So and So. I then recognized his voice and walked toward him. What he had thrown down to the ground was a hammer.

The Judge was running for superior court and was placing election signs for his campaign in this field. Needless to say the next few court appearances when I stood at the podium to testify, he'd ask, "Shot anyone lately?" or "Pulled your gun on any Judges recently?"

He was a good sport about it.

Now its my turn to be a good sport also. I'll have to let him know that it sure was a heck of a long time for payback.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Salty what!?

Numerous years ago when I was assigned to the Field Operations Bureau (Patrol Division) in my last department, I chose to work the weekend graveyard shift.

Why? Because it's a lot of fun and usually at the expense of the local citizenry who just can't seem to manage their lives without us, the police becoming involved.

I worked with a great group of people and our Sergeant would let us do our jobs and not micro manage us.

Typically after we had broken up some bar fights and arrested a few drunk drivers, it would usually become slow and manageable. Due to the early hour of the morning, there were few places open. Thank God for 24 hour gas stations with those food marts. You could always count on a hot cup of coffee, 24 -7.

This particular food mart had these magnetic signs letting customers know what items were sold in that isle. I noticed these were simple magnetic signs. As I took a drink from my coffee cup I saw that one of the signs read "salt / meat snacks".

Leave it to cops to always find humor in things, such as funny magnetic signs. I removed the sign, walked out to my patrol car and opened the trunk. I removed some black electrical tape from some of the car's wiring and changed the sign to read "salty meat snacks".

I stuck the magnetic sign on my beat partner's patrol car trunk so you could read it if you were stopped behind him. I let him drive around the rest of the shift like that. Of course I told him about it at our last "coffee break" of the shift.

My beat partner had a great sense of humor. I sure hated to see him leave for another department. Fresno PD sure got a great guy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What the F...!?

I was in the parking lot in front of a building which comprises several buildings in a business park doing my usual thing, writing a ticket to someone. There was nothing that made this traffic stop any different from the many others that I do throughout the day with drivers who own up to their bad driving habits.

So off goes that driver, not so happily. I'm standing at the rear of my motor writing my notes on the back of my copy of the citation. I had just finished my notes, closed up my citation book and placed it into the saddle bag.

I get on the motor and fire it up. I cleared the traffic stop via radio. I all of a sudden see about 35 to 40 people wearing white lab coats come running out of the building, yelling and screaming into the parking lot.

Due to the recent shootings of civilians, our struggling economy, people losing their jobs and becoming disgruntled, my first thought was "Oh shit, I've got an active shooter situation!" For those not familiar with the term "active shooter" think Columbine High School. That was an active shooter situation.

I keep a small satchel in my saddle bag which has a shoulder strap. This satchel is referred to as a "go bag". I keep six full extra 15 round 40 caliber magazines in there, along with a bottle of water and some energy bars for that "Oh shit" situation. This is in addition to the one ammo magazine in my duty weapon, and the two on my duty belt.

My motor partners refer to it as my "murse" or "man purse"

I quickly rode over to a person closest to where I was parked and asked them what was going on after I requested an additional unit to start my way (just in case).

This person was kind enough to tell me it was an Easter egg hunt put on by their employer. I then noticed all of these people checking through the bushes and holding up plastic Easter eggs. So I cancelled the additional patrol unit which had started my way.

He rolled up shortly afterwards as I explained the situation to him. We both had a good laugh about it, but it easily could have been that "Oh shit" situation.

I'm thankful it wasn't.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The fight is on!

A while back when I worked in the Town where Motor Cop uses my old call sign, we used to meet up for coffee with the motors from South City.

I was working my usual duck pond, picking off unsuspecting motorists and gladly issuing them an invitation to the local traffic court, especially since this roadway had an elementary school, fire station, preschool and two elderly assisted living facilities. It seemed that drivers had a very difficult time matching the numbers on their speedometers to the black and white regulatory speed limit signs along the side of the road.

So my motor partner rolls up and tells me the fellas from South City were going to meet at a local coffee shop for "training". My motor partner scoots off in a hurry when he catches a speeder headed westbound. While I sat there minding my own "bidness", I see this white compact car go zooming eastbound way over the posted speed limit of 35.

While I placed the LIDAR (laser radar) in my saddle bag, I noticed speedy make a lane change without using his blinker and caused the vehicle he moved in front of to use their brakes.

Bam, I fire up the Harley and I'm off like a prom dress! Man those screaming eagle pipes were loud. So I caught up to the violator and turn on the flashing lights and hit my siren several times to get his attention.

The car pulls into the parking lot of the elementary school and comes to a stop. I called out the traffic stop in via radio as I followed the car into this parking lot. I notified my dispatcher with the routine information of the vehicle's license plate and location of the traffic stop.

I contacted the driver who was 22 years old, got his information, told him why I had stopped him and asked the usual questions, "Do you how fast you were driving?", "Do you know the posted speed limit on the roadway?", "Did you realize you didn't use your turn signal when you changed lanes in front of that car?"

I'm pretty straight forward on my traffic stops, before I walk away from the driver door I tell them that I will be issuing a citation for the violation(s).

Now anytime a police car or police motorcycle makes a traffic stop, you always get the attention of passersby. Well in this case I had an audience of parents waiting to pick their children up from school.

As I stepped back from the door way, turned around and began walking toward my Harley, I heard the driver open his door as he said "Oh no you're not!"

I immediately spun around as the driver stood in front of me. I asked the driver to get back into his car. He of course refused as he told me he was not speeding. I now told the driver to get back into his car. Back in my police academy days we were taught, ASK - TELL - TAKE.

Well I already "asked", I just "told" and the driver still refused. So as we stood there, he was half my age, slightly taller, and had the stupidity to get out of his car, and fail to obey a lawful order.

I'm old school, I wasn't going to be mister polite police officer. The Town's inhabitants for the most part are pretty decent people, but unfortunately too many of them have a sense of entitlement. It's okay to take enforcement action so long as it isn't against them.

So back to the "old school" comment. They give us wonderful tools to use, baton, pepper spray (this incident happened before I carried my TASER). But the old school part of me from working many years of the graveyard shift, breaking up bar fights thought, "This Fucker wants to dance." With that thought in mind I for sure was going to lead.

So as our audience became very interested in our dialog, I noticed his body tense up, hands balled into fists as he took a bladed fighting stance. Things we are trained to detect and knowing that a fight is about to happen. The large group of parents who were watching weren't trained to look for these subtle body language changes.

I took the initiative as the driver began to move in towards me with a closed fist punch to his face. Down to the ground he went, but not before grabbing my uniform shirt and taking me with him.

So on the ground we were, me trying to keep his hands in sight and away from my gun. He punched several times hitting my helmet. I punched back numerous times as he cried out "That's my blood! I began to hear the parents talking police brutality, unprovoked attack, excessive force, etc.

I'm not one to really give a shit to what Joe Citizen is saying about me and the driver fighting on the ground. I tell ya, but you punch some mother fucker to overcome his resistance and these entitled fucking know-it-alls begin talking police brutality! I learned one good thing this day, after pinning his hands down, the helmet is an excellent tool for head butting.

This driver was equally as strong as I couldn't get his hand behind his back to handcuff it. The entire time we were on the ground, I kept ordering him to stop resisting. He got to the point where he was no longer actively resisting against me, but the two of us were pretty winded as this wrestling match went on for about three to four all-out physical minutes.

In that time, my dispatcher was trying to reach me via radio asking my status. The dispatcher was on top of her game as I didn't respond, she immediately requested a unit to check on me at the location I had broadcasted earlier. During our struggle I was able to get the driver onto his stomach and kept him on the ground pinned by holding both of his arms.

When Idiot driver was foolish enough to try and head butt my helmet, I used my forearm to smash his face into the parking lot asphalt. Flesh does not hold up well to asphalt.

Due to the radio set up we had, all I had to do was push the mic button on my duty belt and speak into the boom mic on my helmet. I requested Code 3 cover as I momentarily took my hand from the driver to depress the mic button. Thankfully he was more tired than I was.

All I could do was to continue to keep the driver pinned as I heard the sweetest sound I've ever heard.... the sound of respond officers motorcycle and car sirens. The best vision I've had doing this job was when I saw one of the South City motors roll up, dismount and run towards me and take the driver into custody.

By the time I stood up, I saw county patrol units, Town units, CHP unit, and South City units present. To this day, I'm thankful for the response of the Officers and Deputies.

I later spoke to the Detective for this case. The perception of the public was sickening. Just about all saw the driver exit his car and thought I was not justified by punching him before going to the ground and thought it excessive with the continued punches as we were on the ground.

This ADULT, who freely exited his car and refused to obey the lawful orders given to him to get back into his car cried to mommy and daddy. Of course the Town being full of affluent people including his parents who believed that their son was single handedly pick upon by the police, hired a prominent defense attorney who had a local office.

Mommy and Daddy were quick to retain this prominent defense attorney, and voice complaints to the Town PD Chief of Police, the County Sheriff and to anyone else who would probably have listened.

When the Chief of Police first heard about this incident, he immediately thought the driver's parents had a valid bitch. The detective investigating this incident had the balls to tell the Chief that he'd better listen to the digital audio recording.

Yep, digital audio recording. I record all of my traffic stops, and this one really paid off! The parents were told to go pound sand, the attorney heard the recording and dropped his client and me, I continued to work in the Town for a while longer. The Chief's attitude about believing that one of his officer's, me had crossed the line before listening to any evidence first was an insult.

It was soon after this incident that I left the Town PD and began another chapter in my career with the South City Police Department.

I never did get to have that cup of coffee.

Thank You

As of lately complete strangers have approached myself and my motor partners just to say "Thanks" and to shake hands. It's really very kind of them to take the time to say such a simple and kind word.

Although we do this job and expect nothing in return other than we will finish our shift safely and return home to our family's, we really do appreciate your kind words and condolences.

Let me tell you of a couple of examples of the kindness we have received in our community. Most cops like coffee, be it Starbucks or Peete's (myself, I'm just as happy with Chevron coffee - it's an old graveyard shift habit). We usually grab our morning cup of coffee at one of our Starbucks locations and then sit out of public view (unfortunately because of some "anonymous" citizen had made a complaint).

After our coffee we walked back to our motors only to find a Starbucks gift card on each of them.

Another example was the day of the Oakland Officers Services. One of the local businesses where we are located knew that we were involved with the Oakland Police Department on conducting traffic control (blocking intersections) as the Oakland PD police detachment escorted the body of one of the slain officer's from the mortuary to the highway and the subsequent attendance for the services of all four officers.

Later in the day we returned to our office only to find two coolers filled with ice cold drinks for us. The person who did this, Chris, is a businessman and a resident of Oakland.

I spoke with him later and he had mentioned how he was outraged at the events, and about how the City of Oakland has been stereotypically labelled a city of criminals. I understand how he feels. Chris is an example of the many good people who chose Oakland as their home, just as each of us has chosen our own communities.

So for all the recent acts and words of kindness, I want to say "Thank You" to all of you.

Chris, "Thanks"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What's Happening to Our Society and World?

I write this post after reading the Sunday paper. I think I'll just keep to reading the travel section, funnies and my library of classic literature. Why, you might ask? Good news doesn't sell papers or boost television news station ratings is a pretty good reason.

I guess the general public wouldn't want to watch or read breaking headlines such as, "Bessie, yellow Labrador gives birth to litter of eight!", or "Intersection at Main St and 1st St upgraded with traffic light: The only stop sign in Town replaced.", or how about "Suzy sells record number of Girl Scout cookies."

So what is wrong with our society? It's as if nobody stops to help when they see a car stranded on a roadside, heaven forbid if they witness a traffic collision and think about stopping to see if anyone was injured or stay as a witness to the events or when they're witness to a felony crime and think that it isn't their civic duty to come forward.

Last month the Law Enforcement profession lost four brave Oakland Police Officers. Since that tragedy, some pissed off loser, Jiverly Wong in Binghamton, New York walked into a classroom at the American Civic Association, which teaches English to immigrants, and helps them prepare for their U.S. citizenship test and murdered 13 innocent people.

At least he had the balls to kill himself.

While I continued to peruse the Sunday paper the headline, "Gunman kills three officers in Pennsylvania" hit me like a brick since the Oakland Police Department tragedy.

In this case, a loser by the name of Richard Poplawski was laying in wait for officers after his mother dialed 911 about a domestic dispute at their home. Shit bag Poplawski was wearing a ballistic vest and had an assault rifle.

The first Police Officers on scene were Paul Sciullo III and Stephen Mayhle. As they arrived at the home, they were met by the doorway by Shit bag Poplawski who immediately shot Officer Sciullo in the head, killing him. Officer Mayhle was standing behind Officer Sciullo and was also murdered by a shot to the head.

Officer Eric Kelly who had just completed his night shift and soon to be on his way home, heard the call of Officers down and immediately responded to the scene, only to be gunned down by Poplawski.

Those who don't work in Law Enforcement, public safety, or the military probably wouldn't understand the selflessness of our actions to come to the aid of a fellow law enforcement officer even if it meant putting our own lives in harms way.

Shit bag Poplawski held at bay the responding officers of the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Police Department for a period of four hours as Officers Sciullo, Mayhle and Kelly lay bleeding on the ground.

A fourth Officer, Timothy McManaway was shot and wounded in his hand.

Officers at the scene eventually came up with a plan of rescue. These Officers put their lives on the line to rescue Officers Kelly and McManaway. Shit bag Poplawski could have opened fire on these rescuing Officers causing more injury or death. These Officers felt it more important that they go after their brothers than their own personal safety.

Shit bag Poplawski's survival was due to him wearing a ballistic vest. That city / county will now be faced with spending tax payer money on his incarceration, trial and defense, lengthy prison term if found guilty. Pennsylvania has the death penalty and hopefully after his trial he will receive the just punishment he deserves.

The term "criminal justice", think about it... it's absolutely true. The only justice it seems that is given is to the criminals. There is very little justice for victims and their family's. I can only hope that this penalty is imposed upon Poplawski quickly, very quickly.

The restraint these Officers demonstrated when Poplawski was captured after murdering three of their own and wounding a fourth is a testament to their honesty and integrity. I'm sure there were many thoughts going through the officers minds of pumping a few slugs into Poplawski's head and saying he committed suicide or death by lead poisoning.

I'm an avid supporter of Article II (commonly referred to as the 2nd Amendment) of our Constitution which states that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

I own guns of which some are in my home. This being said, I question the need of everyday citizens to own assault rifles. Assault rifles are not hunting rifles, they are designed for one purpose, killing soldiers, not our citizens and Police Officers of our great country.

So for those of you who read this post and if the kind headlines which I mentioned above are common place in your local newspaper, I envy you. And if such a place does indeed exist, please be kind enough to leave a comment for me. I'm looking for a new place to call home in five years when I retire. I would truly enjoy living in a community where the smaller, usually unnoticed things in life are significant. I would like to spend the remainder of my days in a place where people do not maliciously do harm to their neighbors.

I offer my sincere appreciation for Officers Paul Sciulla III, Stephen Mayhle, and Eric Kelly, that they chose a profession where they unselfishly protected the citizens of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. God Bless You and may you all rest in peace.

My heartfelt condolences to the families of the fallen officers and to the Pittsburgh, PA Police Department for their tremendous loss.

And for Officer Timothy McManaway, may you have a speedy and complete recovery of your wounds.

In our profession, losing one is too many. We've been hit hard as of lately. We won't quit doing the good we do on a daily basis. Cowards such as Jiverly Wong, Richard Poplawski, and yes Lovelle Mixon will not deter us from protecting the public we all have freely sworn to protect.

We will continue to patrol the streets of our Cities, Towns, Counties and Parishes and seek out those who are a menace to all law abiding people. We will do so with even more conviction of heart and yes, more cautiously.