Monday, July 31, 2017


The older I get the more I long for a return to the good old days of kicking ass and taking names

When I was a criminal justice professor I was dedicated to teaching my students the modern ways of restrictive policing. However after retiring, and the older I get, the more I long for the good old days of policing where we kicked ass and took names.

Back when I was a cop law abiding citizens respected the police and criminals both respected and feered us cops. Today hardly anyone respects the police anymore. Of course, the proliferation of cellphone videos and the media frenzy they cause play a large part in creating disrespect for the police.

Up into the mid-sixties the police had a free hand in how they dealt with criminals. Yes, we did kick a lot of ass and took names, but it was rarely ever with a law abiding citizen. In those days most suspects did not resist arrest. They did not give us a lot of shit. If they did, it was because they were either drunk or high on drugs.

We also conducted searches of cars and dwellings without a search warrant and when we did so, it rarely involved a law abiding citizen.

If someone killed a cop back then, he was dead meat. When we caught up with him he was Swiss-cheesed. No negotiating for his surrender. And unless a criminal was a nutjob, he knew better than to take an officer’s life.

We had the electric chair and those condemned to death did not linger on death row any longer than it took for one or two appeals to run their course. And ‘Old Sparky’ was so frightening that it also acted as a deterrent to murder..

Back then we had shotguns instead of military assault rifles. We were not equipped with uniforms that made us look like Robocop.

In those days we had a pretty good handle on crime. While one crime is one too many, the crime rate was fairly low.

All that began to disappear with the Miranda decision. In 1966 the Supreme Court handed down a decision which required the police to warn everyone taken into custody that they had a right to remain silent, that they had a right to an attorney and that anything they said could be used against them in court. The case involved a Mexican rapist whose conviction was overturned because the cops failed to warn him before he confessed to the crime.

The Miranda decision itself was really not the big deal cops and their supporters made out of it. The FBI had been using similar warnings for years. But it was followed by a stream of restrictive decisions handed down by a liberal Supreme Court. The police complained they were being handcuffed, but that was a ridiculous complaint. The police were not handcuffed. It just made their job harder and a criminal’s life easier. Convictions were reversed because someone forgot to cross a T or dot an I And the crime rate began to rise in the wake of each restrictive ruling by the courts.

The courts also ordered police agencies to become more diverse. Racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the police force is desirable. But mixing diversity with affirmative action was nearly disastrous. In order to meet court ordered goals police agencies had to lower their literacy standards in the case of minority hiring and their physical standards for women recruits. Minorities, in a number of cases, were promoted over more deserving white officers. Police morale was at an all-time low and racially biased resentment manifested itself in many law enforcement agencies.

So where are we today? Criminals no longer fear the police. Resisting arrest seems to be the order of the day. The crime rate is much higher than back in my time. Prisons which had become overcrowded are being downsized by early releases to meet court ordered standards. Crimes which were at one time classified as felonies were reclassified as misdemeanors to keep criminals from being sent to prisons.

Today every arrest seems to be videoed by cell phones. Every questionable or wrongful police action shows up on the internet and fuels a media frenzy. Almost every police shooting of a black man leads to anti-police demonstrations and in some cases rioting, looting and burning. That has led to a rush in indicting cops for murder even when ths shooting was justified.

In 2014, two NYPD cops were ambushed and assassinated in Brooklyn by a black man in revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of the police. In 2016, five Dallas police officers were assassinated and nine were wounded in an ambush by a black Afghan War veteran who was inspired by the rabble rousing of Black Lives Matter. Just this month a female NYPD cop was ambushed and assassinated in the Bronx by a black parolee.

With the rush to prosecute cops who shoot some on, the police are facing a terrible predicament. Police officers can choose to save their jobs or to save their lives, but they can’t do both.

Today, when the police find a cop killer, instead of shooting him down, they call a SWAT team and have a 3-hour or a 6-hour or a 24-hour stand off during which a police negotiator tries to sweet-talk the scumbag into giving himself up.

The death penalty has become a farce. We have 2,900 cold blooded murderers lingering on death rows for 10, 20 and even more than30 years – 749 in California alone - while their lawyers file endless appeals. There’s a good chance many of them will die of natural causes. And when we finally do execute these murderers, we put them to sleep like a beloved pet dog.

Today with cops subjected to so much hatred and fearful of doing their jobs, police agencies are losing officers through early retirement and are having a hard time recruiting new cops. I worry about my cop granddaughter having to shoot some piece of shit and then facing prosecution for trying to keep herself from being killed or seriously injured.

Of course we will always have some bad cops doing some terrible things, but they are very few in numbers. It was the same in my day. But in my day cops were respected. Nowadays they are not. In my day there were no targeted assassinations of police officers. Then the crime rate was relatively low. Today the crime rate is high.

For the politically correct crowd a little head thumping is just too brutal to contemplate, but it sure works well with the criminal element.

When I retired in 1993, I never imagined that I would ever call for a return to the good old days of kicking ass and taking names. Bad cops aside, in those days the police got the job done and were respected for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We used to take a young thief to the military recruiter in an effort to change the criminal path they were on. Not today. We coddle them and they eventually wind up in prison even if it is for a short stay. Respect for the police is long gone. I suspect you are right. It began with Miranda and eliminating spanking in schools.