Defending Cops Against The "University of Hindsight" Graduates. Those Cold and Timid Souls Always get it right. Tribune Editorial Section 23 December

Defending Cops Against The "University of Hindsight" Graduates. Those Cold and Timid Souls Always get it right. Tribune Editorial Section 23 December

I think decisions made by law enforcement officers are probably the most second-guessed profession in the United States these days. In the last week, I wrote two separate opinions in Chicagos papers trying to explain the reasons. It’s clear that the two main culprits are hindsight and ignorance of the facts. There are probably a lot more but for SPACE SAKE I will go with just the two. If this sounds like Howard Beale’s Shrill “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” it’s not, but damn close. The following is my original opinion to the Tribune posted today by me trying to help the people of Chicago make sense out of just what being a Cop is all about.

After being a Chicago cop for over 33 years, I most certainly was not immune from taking it on the chin from critics whenever one of my fellow officers made a mistake or disgraced their office one way or another. However, there are times when critics just get it wrong and focus on one incident.

Colleen K. Connell the Executive Director of the ACLU in a tribune Op-ed states that the Anjanette Young botched police raid was a direct result of “bad policing”. Ouch! If you are or were a cop it hurts. In my career executing a search warrant was one of the more difficult assignments to be a part of. What the ACLU Director fails to mention is that those warrants are signed off on and approved by a judge, signed by a state’s attorney and a police command person. It relies on informants and information that has to convince all who signed off that nobody’s rights are being violated. Hundreds of warrants are served by the CPD every year and granted some result in mistakes, but the overwhelming majority are successful and necessary in order to fight serious crimes in a city that is awash in it.

After that warrant was served it was easy to lash out and blame the cops for the horrible indignity Anjanette Young endured — 16 seconds of being naked and frightened while the officers secured the residents, but going through those doors the number one priority is always the safety of all involved. The warrant was for a male who was in possession of a weapon. If their first priority was to ensure that a naked person was clothed before a search of the premises, they would have endangered not only themselves but also any persons inside the building or apartment.

Yes, without a doubt it was a botched warrant but was it really because of bad policing? What profession is there in the world where honest mistakes for whatever reason happen? Every time a cop makes a crucial mistake. must there be this constant call for reform? Are cops not human and like all humans prone to mistakes and bad judgment? How do you reform human behavior to stave off outside accusations of bad policing?

Almost every year there are between sixteen and twenty thousand malpractice suits brought against medical professionals. Are we hearing any calls for reform on just how doctors and health professionals should be reformed after every suit is filed? Cops need to be the very best they can be and that part of the profession is being worked on constantly, but as long as our law enforcement officers come from the human race we will never eliminate human errors. My experience has drilled one thing into my head in all the years I served on the CPD. Nobody hates bad cops more than good cops. The bad represent less than 1% of all our nation’s cops. If we wrote about how many hundreds of thousands of times cops get it right it would soon bore the country reading about it. Better supervision, better training, better-qualified candidates, a better understanding of the neighborhoods that they are serving and protecting is a given, and all that is a function of command.

Leadership starts at the top. Do we have the best leadership available? It’s not always the rank and file that stands to take the slings and arrows. Maybe the entire process does need reform — from the way the top cop is selected to who has the say in his or her selection. Criticizing and second-guessing human frailties will not equal reform.

Chicago Suntimes-21Decenber Editorial Comment-Bob Angone

In a recent letter to the editor, Bob Ory wrote that Time Magazine didn’t ask him about his selection for “Person of the Year,” but if they did, his advice would have been Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who risked his life to save our democracy.

I’m wondering if Ory might have given a little thought to American law enforcement officers who did indeed give their lives for our democracy. More than 450 police officers have died in the line of duty so far in 2021 — 58 by gunfire, including Ella French here in Chicago.

How easy it is to overlook just what cops do every day and zero in on the few sensational stories about cop mistakes and those who shame a noble profession. It’s been a tough road for our law enforcement officers the last few years, but let us not forget just what they accomplish and the sacrifices they make to save our democracy on a daily basis.

Eugene Goodman was a hero, no doubt. But certainly, he is joined by thousands more noble men and women. If Time Magazine listed all those. noble men and women as their person of the year, it would resemble a phone book.

Happy Holidays

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