Saturday, November 30, 2013

Range Training at Night

When shooting on the range in the dark, there are several techniques you should try and see how they fit into your tactical tool box.  Use the flashlight sparingly.  If you don't need it, turn it off.  It is a beacon showing the suspect exactly where you are standing.

If you shoot from behind a wall or barrier, direct your flashlight in such a way that the beam is not hitting your wall, it will only illuminate you to the suspect.  When ducking behind cover to move or re-load, turn off your light.  You should be able to re-load without watching what you do.

You should be able to use your flashlight to see the suspect, but you don't necessarily need to use the light to shoot.  Once you determine the target, your light can be turned off so you can shoot with your night sights.  Use your sights whenever you can for more accurate shooting; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Disaster

 
60. Emergency responders (public safety and medical alike) will not be adequately trained to respond efficiently.
 
61. There will be initial chaos; supplies, materials and equipment needed will not be readily available.
 
62. There will be a general lack of necessary information; coordinators will want to wait for damage/casualty assessment information to establish priorities.
 
Disasters happen infrequently and there are many different kinds.  A mass shooting takes a different kind of response from a chemical spill.  Officers seldom train for more than a few types of disaster and may not have the right equipment for some types of disaster.
 
Gas masks always seem in short supply and the filters don't last long.  In a regional disaster, it may take days for more help to arrive.  After a large storm or earthquake railroads and highway bridges may collapse and delay help.  You will have to improvise and prioritize your response.
 
Planning is important but planning is no substitute for action.  Have the first responders provide information to the command center to get an overview of the situation.  Cable news can provide regional information.  Don't spend all your time on planning and fail to act.  At least begin gathering wounded and clearing roads, those are always important jobs, along with security for critical infrastructure that's still working; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wear Your Vest

http://www.oregonlive.com/paths-to-a-deadly-encounter/

The news media did a great job in investigating this officer involved shooting.  Too bad the media does not do this more often.  The media investigated the background of the shooter and of the officer.  As is nearly always the case, the officer comes out looking fine and the shooter comes back as a crazy, drug user.

The shooter was shown to have been lying about his income, his military history and status and was using "medical marijuana."  The shooter was driving over 70 miles per hour on the freeway when he was stopped by the police.  The officer started to call off the stop but the shooter exited his vehicle right away.

The officer exited his vehicle right away and ordered the suspect back into his car, several times.  The suspect then started shooting at the officer for no obvious reason.  The officer returned fire.  The suspect received a fatal wound but was able to return to his vehicle, drive miles down the road before he died.  The officer was hit in the vest and got a minor wound in his side.  Wear your vest; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Domestic Disputes

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-south-gate-police-shooting-20131124,0,1038332.story#axzz2ljeLYzeK

Police responded to a domestic dispute and they had to shoot the man they encountered.  The man ran away and while he was running he kept reaching for his waistband.  The man had an unknown weapon that was recovered at the scene.

Domestic disputes are very dangerous because the people involved are often very emotional.  They are often angry, and frustrated.  When third parties show up, they are often seen as intruders on their private business.  Those involved in the dispute might both turn on responding officers.  The woman who sees her man being arrested might turn on the officers, because her real loyalties are with her man.

When in foot pursuit, always watch the hands of the suspect.  Always call off the pursuit to your dispatch.  If you lose sight of the suspect, stop running, track him, don't chase him.  Suspects can run around a corner and lay in ambush.  It's best to set up a perimeter and search, rather than chase whenever possible.  In a domestic dispute, we almost always know the identity of the suspect so it's easier for detectives to capture him later; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Disaster

 
57. There are no critically injured in a disaster; only those who are dead or alive.
 
58. Handicapped and disabled persons will probably die unless personal family and friends can care for them and maintain their life-support systems.
 
59. Management will not be familiar with field response procedures, and may attempt to change standard operating procedures.
 
There is little time to spend on those who need a lot of patient care.  Someone who needs ten doctors and fifteen nurses will have to be left to die.  Those ten doctors can treat ten people.  It is the cruel math of the emergency.
 
People who depend on machines for life, or wheelchairs and other aids will need friends and family to take care of them.  There just won't be enough professionals around to save them and help them with normal life functions in a disaster.  It's the cruel math of the emergency, doctors have to see as many patients as they can in the shortest period of time to preserve life.
 
Management will want to change things on the fly.  Unless an SOP is really messing things up, the middle of the disaster is not the time to change things.  You can shorten requirements and cut red tape, but don't change up things too much.  It only creates more confusion; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Van Shooting

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/video-chaos-and-gunfire-new-me

A woman was pulled over for going 71 in a 55 mph zone.  She has her five children in the car.  She refuses to sign the ticket and drove away.  She stops again and gets out of her van to confront an officer and so does her 14 year old son, who is nearly as tall as the officer.  They get back into the van and drive away again as another officer fires at the van.

The officer who fired said he was trying to shoot out the tires of the van.  Shooting out the tires of a van with a handgun is a poor tactic at best.  Radial tires are often made with steel belts or Kevlar.  Kevlar is the stuff they make body armor out of, so it makes them pretty bullet resistant. 

A shotgun to the sidewall might work, but there is danger in a ricochet coming back and hitting you.  In any case, firing a gun at a van full of people is not really a good idea unless they are very dangerous felons.  As if often the case in incidents like this, I am not sure the officer did any thing criminal, but his tactics were very poor; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shooting

When training on the range, don't look at your holster.  Don't look at it before you draw, while you draw or after you are done shooting and try to re-holster your handgun.  You should be watching the suspect or looking for more suspects.

You should be able to manipulate your duty handgun and your holster without looking at what you are doing.  You need to be able to reload and come back up on target without watching what you are doing.  Nearly all your firearms manipulations should be done without watching your own activities.

Before you re-holster your duty handgun, scan the area for other threats and information you need.  Most of the times when an officer is killed in a gunfight there are multiple suspects.  If you knock one down, look for the others.  Then check to see the one you took down is still  no longer a threat before you re-holster.  Also look for other victims and check on the location of your partners; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Drug Testing

On a Yahoo Group a young man recently said he failed a pre-employment drug test because he had some protein in his system.  He wrote that they gave him a week to retest for drugs.  He wanted to know what he could do to pass the test.

Others gave him advice about drinking more water to dilute the protein.  Some said he could cut his protein intake for the next week.  Others said he should consult with his doctor.  No one said he should stop using drugs and stop being around other people who use drugs.

I don't know why his drug screen test came back as a failure, or what the specific protein might mean.  I do know that too many agencies will look the other way with minor drug use and years ago, they did not.  Police agencies need to be a drug free workplace.  Driving cars, carrying guns, arresting people all require a steady hand, a sharp eye, and a clear head; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Baton

 
 
The officer is alone, the suspect failed to obey his commands. The suspect did not respond to the mace. The officer hit the suspect once with the baton and only then did the suspect go to the ground, but face up. The suspect was hit a second time and then rolled over and put his hands behind his back. The officer appeared at one point to be warning someone over by the escalator, he points his baton in that direction.
 
The officer and the suspect are about the same size, sex and age, but the officer does seem to have a slight advantage. The news footage does not show the beginning of the incident, nor does it show the end, the handcuffing, searching or turning him over to the on duty cops. The audio is very poor and the news does not enhance it or show subtitles. The news footage is edited into pieces and who knows what it looks like when it's shown all together.
 
My initial impression is the officer did not do anything wrong, but maybe could have done things better.  Use of force never looks good, because we are not used to seeing officers hit people.  Sometimes it's the only reasonable way to gain compliance; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Police Corruption

http://www.wmctv.com/story/23717521/officer-indicted-after-two-men-wrongly-arrested

Memphis, Tennessee Police have indicted an officer who was said to have arrested people for no reason, fabricating evidence.  This is some of the worst kind of mis-conduct on the part of an officer.  The officer gains nothing by doing these crimes.  The officer further and further compounds his crime every time he moves along the criminal justice system he commits another set of crimes and does not gain anything for himself.

When an officer knowingly makes a false arrest he is committing a crime.  When he writes a false police report, he is at least violating department policy if not actually committing another crime.  Then when he testifies, under oath, about the "crime" he is committing another crime.  All along the path the officer is simply compounding is crimes.

If the officer does this more than once, his crime is more likely going to be discovered, if it was not discovered the first time.  Then every crime the officer worked on, every bit of evidence he collected is tainted and hundreds, maybe thousands of criminals could go free.  Police corruption is a terrible thing; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fire Response

http://www.lawofficer.com/article/news/missouri-police-stun-stepfather

Officers and firefighters arrived at the scene of a burning house.  A stepfather tried to return to the home and save a three year old child.  The police used a Taser on him to keep him from going back inside.  Police said they had to stop him from going back inside because he had no chance of saving the boy and would have been killed or injured himself.

The firefighters on the scene were prevented from entering the building because the heat was too intense.  What else could police do in this situation?  Allow him to enter and get himself killed?  This is not a movie where people run inside, despite warnings and come out okay.  I have been in house fires and they can kill, quickly.  Before the Taser the stepfather would likely have been knocked down and beaten to be kept away.

I have known many officers who have run inside burning buildings to try and save people.  I have run into burning buildings several times and it's very dangerous and scary. No officer wants a child to die in a fire.  The family is saying they might sue the police.  Instead they should be thanking the police that they were spared a second tragic death; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Red Light Camera Scam

http://benswann.com/exclusive-public-officials-admit-they-have-been-scamming-citizens-at-red-light-cameras-video/

In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, there are people campaigning against red light cameras.  I have always said they are a terrible idea.  While they are always sold as being for public safety, they are in reality a scam to make money for the companies that run the systems and for the city that installs them.

Some cities print tickets that have false or misleading information on them.  In California, they were printing a requirement for the registered owner to either pay the ticket or identify the person driving the car, if it was not them, under penalty of perjury.  Apparently, that is not a legal requirement.

In Tennessee they were claiming a license can be taken away or credit history negatively impacted, which is also untrue.  Police and police unions need to fight red light cameras.  They have only a limited impact on public safety, but more important they create disrespect for the law.  Traffic violations should be enforced by real people who can go to court and testify about the incident, or who can show discretion and waive the need to write a ticket in the first place; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Goodbye Carbon Motors

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/11/14/carbon-motors-cop-car-auction/3540387/

Carbon Motors was going to make Cop Cars from the ground up.  It was a great idea, but they only made one car and now it's up for auction.  My agency uses Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler model vehicles and I am not happy with any of them.

At six-two and well over 250 pounds a little police car just does not fit me will.  It's hard just getting in and out and once inside with rifle rack, computers, and all the other junk it's a tight squeeze.  Sometimes I can barely get the seatbelt on.

A purpose made police car is just the thing law enforcement needs.  Large enough inside to take care of all the gear and small enough outside to get through traffic.  It needs to have a heavy electrical system, powerful breaks, and at least the front end should be bulletproof.  I suppose we won't get one in my lifetime, but I can still dream; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jurisdictional Disputes

http://www.wmctv.com/story/23984277/turf-war-between-law-enforcement-agencies-unfolds

Two agencies respond to a call.  The responding officers get involved in a shouting match and it ends up with one officer being arrested by another officer.  The sheriff responded to a call in the town when people called in to say the town police were taking too long to respond.  They both arrived at about the same time.

The SGT's theory of police work is never force your help on anyone.  Larger agency should let the locals hand the call if it is in their jurisdiction.  If it's in the city, let the city cops handle the call.  If it's in the county, let the sheriff handle the call.  If it's on the highway, let the highway patrol handle the call.  Arguing over who will investigate the crime just makes everyone look stupid and unprofessional.

There is enough crime for everyone.  There is no reason for an incident to escalate into a shouting match, let alone an arrest.  If the officers are having trouble, just back off and let the management determine who will handle the incident.  There will be plenty of other crimes; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Suicide

http://www.fireengineering.com/topics/device/mobile/t/47713074/new-free-training-program-about-chemical-suicides-a-new-threat-to-first-responders.htm?m_n=true

There is a new trend for people who are trying to commit suicide.  They take a collection of household chemicals and they mix them together.  The chemical release toxic gases and kill anyone in an enclosed space like a motor vehicle, or a bathroom.

Often people who are doing this type of suicide will post a warning label on the window of the apartment, home, or automobile that they are releasing toxic gases.  Take these warnings seriously.  The gases are so toxic even a small exposure can lead to injury or death.

If you encounter such a suicide attempt, don't break the window glass, rather evacuate the area, officers included and call for a hazmat team to respond.  If the person is still alive in a car, try to convince them to come to you, rather than go to them.  Your riot gas mask is unlikely to provide any protection.  This is a dangerous situation and the best you can hope for is the keep others from getting hurt; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ammo Supply

An officer was unloading his pistol and the bullet in the chamber separated.  He unloaded the magazine and another bullet separated in his hands.  He unloaded the rest of the rounds out of the magazine and it was obvious which bullets were at the bottom of the magazine as the bullets were not as tarnished. 

The officer was given two new boxes of ammunition.  The cause may have been from loading and unloading of the same ammunition over and over again.  The officer said that he unloads his pistol each night and then loads it again when he comes to work.  Apparently, he uses the same two or three bullets.

Bullet primers can malfunction, bullets can be set back creating additional pressure in the barrel, and bullets can come off the brass.  At the end of the shift, if you must unload your weapon, unload the whole magazine.  Then over time, cycle all your ammo and all your magazines through the day to day use so that no one round is worn too much.  You also should change out your duty ammo annually if possible, and certainly no more that every two years; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cops vs MMA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HncwGDTNsxo&feature=youtu.be

A mixed martial arts fighter takes on two police officers in the training facility.  It takes both officers to subdue him and get him handcuffed.  The officers work well together and are both young, in good shape and are reasonably skilled.  I have had to fight a suspect like this recently and I am old, and out of condition but I am reasonably skilled.

At least one of the officers in the video had a Taser.  It is an excellent tool and one that officers don't employ often enough.  This guy would have been a perfect Taser subject.  "Turn around and put your hands behind your back."  "No."  Zap.

Fights over before it starts.  There were also several times when the officers could have broken away and used the Taser or even used a contact Tase to subdue the suspect.  Once officers go hands on, they often forget their other tools.  In my recent event, I was the guy on the legs and one thing I did that this officer did not, is punch the suspect in the legs, with my fists, as hard as I could.  The most important thing is to communicate with the suspect, the other officers and keep your head; that's what the SGT Says.
.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Single Officer Response

In the event of an active shooter incident the suspect will frequently kill himself when confronted by police.  This is even true when the suspect is confronted by an armed citizen.  The new tactic is for officers to respond to the scene as quickly as possible.

Don't wait for additional officers to arrive.  Don't form a team of four in a diamond formation.  Simple run to the sound of the gunfire.  At the Virginia Tech shooting the suspect was killing people at a rate of one person every 30 seconds.  If you have to wait three minutes to get a four man team together, eight people could be shot.

The first three or four officers should park as close to the entrances as possible and enter the location looking for the suspect.  Take the patrol rifle or shotgun with them so they have sufficient firepower.  Subsequent officers can set up a perimeter, form four officer teams, perform searches and evacuate victims.  The first few officers should seek the suspect immediately so they will be triggered to kill themselves or engage them as necessary; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Immediate Entry

Acting under the assumption that active shooters were like robbers, police initially responded to them as they had always done.  They surrounded the building, contained the location, called for SWAT and only when SWAT was ready was an entry made.  By that time, most of the damage was done and the suspects were usually dead.

Responding to that new reality, officers changed tactics.  They formed ad hoc units of four man teams and made entry as soon as the fourth man arrived on site.  They took their patrol rifles and shotguns, or handguns, and went straight for the shooter.  When confronted with an active police response, the shooters often took their own lives.

We in law enforcement were often training for the wrong threat.  We trained for robberies gone bad, we trained for Islamic active shooter terrorists who never really have been active in large numbers here in the USA.  The active shooter we typically face has been one or two disturbed young men who are looking for a high body count before they kill themselves.  We can now employ a new tactic to defeat this threat.  The single officer immediate entry; that's that the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Active Shooter Response Teams

After the Columbine shooting, police departments revised their tactics.  They devised a plan to confront active shooters.  The first four officers to arrive on scene don't set up a perimeter.  The active shooter is not interested in getting away, so there is no need to contain the location to prevent his escape.  He is interested in a high body count as quickly as possible.

The officers then form a team with patrol rifles, shotguns or handguns, depending on their weapons availability, and they make an entry into the location.  They disregard the wounded, and those sheltering inside the location.  Instead, they head directly towards the sound of gunfire or if there is no gunfire, towards the most likely location for the shooter.

The team relies on follow up teams to care for the wounded and direct the other hostages out of the building.  The do little if any searching behind them, follow up teams have to do that also.  The officers go straight to the shooter, and engage him, usually they have to shoot him to get the shooter to stop.  At least, that is what we believed but there is a new dynamic at work now we did not anticipate, the shooters, kill themselves; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Active Shooter Response

At the Columbine shooting the suspects were engaged outdoors within five minutes of the initial shots being fired.  By that time they had already killed two people and wounded ten others.  The officer waited outside for backup.  Within a couple minutes two more officers responded and they too engaged the shooters from outdoors.  Neither the shooters or officers were hit.

The officers contained the scene when the suspects returned to the inside of the buildings.  The officers waited for more backup and for SWAT, just as they had been trained to do in this type of situation.  The shooters returned inside the school and killed 11 more people and wounded another 11 people.

A couple hours later the two shooters killed themselves just about the time the SWAT teams made entry.  The shooters had been wandering the buildings and killed and threatening people all that time.  This crime was the catalyst for officers to develop the new tactic to enter as soon as possible when there is an active shooter and to move towards the shooters; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bank Robbery Gone Bad

In the old days, when there was an active shooter, we handled it like we did a bank robbery that went bad.  If the bank teller hit the alarm button while the robber was inside the bank, and a police car happened to be down the block, sometimes the robber would be stuck inside the bank.  The cops would set up a perimeter, and try and negotiate with the robber to release the hostages.

The robber would always ask for a car or a helicopter and a couple million dollars in cash.  The SWAT team would assemble and look at blueprints of the building.  They would practice a dynamic entry of the location while the negotiators would try and talk the robbers out.  They would sent out a couple pregnant women, children and old people in exchange for some pizza. 

In a few hours the suspect would get tired or bored or scared and would give up and walk outside with his hands up and no one would have been hurt.  Or he would get angry and shoot someone and the SWAT team would make a dynamic entry and kill him.  This general scheme worked because the robbers motives were to get away, with money.  They were not to achieve a high body count.  Our tactics have had to change in response to the new reality of active shooters; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Save Your Magazines

Tactics during an active shooter situation may be different than when shooting during a traffic stop or facing some other individual threat.  When shooting the handgun and you need to reload, try and keep the empty magazine.  Drop the magazine into a pocket rather than drop it on the ground or back into the magazine pouch.

Putting them into the magazine pouch might cause you to draw them out again by mistake.  If you retain your empty magazines, then you can reload them later.  Consider that if you carry three magazines with 15 rounds each you can fire all of those rounds in less than a minute.  How long can you hold out with a barricaded suspect with no ammo?

If more ammo is brought up, it will likely be in boxes, not magazines, you will need to refill your own magazines.  It's a good idea to top off with a new magazine after a few shots if there is a lull in the action.  You don't want to toss off the partial magazine either.  Save your magazines, that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shotgun, Patrol Rifle

Penetrate the cranium, break the spinal cord, break the femur.  Those are the ways to stop some one immediately.  You can't stand up with a broken spinal cord or femur.  Not just nibbled at, but severed.  It's difficult to do that kind of damage to a human body.

Break through the skull and scramble the brain and the suspect will usually die immediately.  Often it will take multiple shots to accomplish those goals.  Sometimes you can inflict fatal damage to a suspect, and they can still continue to fight and kill people.  It can take a long time to bleed out of a damaged heart.

It is difficult to achieve those kinds of hits in combat or police work.  Some criminals, or soldiers, get shot four or five times or more and keep coming.  I remember reading about a suspect who was shot 20 times before he fell over.  Drugs, adrenaline and determination are very powerful forces.  The shotgun, and the patrol rifle are excellent tools and you should employ them if you anticipate a shootout, that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Burglars

http://www.airef.org/research/BurglarSurveyStudyFinalReport.pdf

This is a recent study about burglars.  It tells us much about them that we have long believed is generally true.  Burglars often commit many crimes besides burglary.  They are typically drug users who are looking for a quick score.  They are deterred by the presence of witnesses and by alarms and cameras.

When we respond to take a burglary report, take a few minutes afterwards and do a walk around of the property with the owner.  Explain to them the value of cutting back bushes, installing lights, alarms and cameras.  Electronic security protection is very inexpensive and reliable these days.

Most burglars enter by an open or unlocked door or window.  Most of the rest of them force their way in by a door or window. All exterior doors should have a dead bolt lock on them.  Burglary prevention is part of our job, that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Traffic Stop Shooting

http://www.today.com/news/shot-face-cop-chases-suspect-giving-not-option-8C11504098

A female officer in Texas approached a vehicle with three males inside and as she neared the car, she got a feeling there was something wrong.  As she got to the drivers side window, the passenger reached over and shot her twice, once in the vest and once in the face.  She called off the shooting and as the suspect vehicle drove off she went in pursuit.  She captured the suspect after a 20 mile vehicle pursuit.

The article in the link mentions the traffic stop was "routine."  A traffic stop can only be said to be routine after the stop is concluded and there was no unusual occurrence.  It is a mistake to consider any traffic stop as routine until you are done.  It may have started as a routine stop, but it ended as a shooting and a pursuit, hardly routine.

Complacency is one of the most frequent cop killers.  This officer felt there was something wrong about the stop but did not mention changing her tactics as a result.  If you think something is wrong, or strange, then change up your plan.  Have the suspects wait in the car until you can get back up.  Take your patrol rifle or shotgun with you.  Upgrade to a high risk stop, or have your duty gun in your hand.  Approach from the passenger side, or have the driver get out and walk back to you rather than approach the car.  Listen to the little voice in your head that whispers danger; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Honor for Criminals

http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2013/10/sexual-predator-honored-with-u-s-postage-stamp/

Harvey Milk was the first openly homosexual elected to public office in the United States.  He was also a sexual predator.  He would lure young, drug addicted, runaway boys to his home and then have sex with them.  Not just one time, but he did this many times to many boys.  Harvey Milk was eventually murdered by another Democrat politician over an unrelated matter.

Now the US Post Office is issuing a stamp with his picture on it to honor him.  As police officers we should be opposed to this glorification of a criminal.  I don't care what other things people have done in their lives, if they are known felons, and especially sex offenders, they don't deserve to be celebrated or have their picture on a stamp.

Over 100 officers are murdered or killed in the line of duty every year.  Scores of officers risk their lives to save others in fires, gunfights, and assaults.  How many of them have had their pictures on a US Postage Stamp?  Another injustice police should oppose; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Red Light Camera Fraud

http://www.wmctv.com/story/23836124/a-look-ahead-are-yellow-lights-in-memphis-getting-shorter

The City of Memphis, TN has red light camera enforcement.  The national standard for yellow lights is one second for every 10 miles per hour.  On roads in Memphis, with 50 miles per hour speed limits they use three to four second timing lengths.  Having short times on the yellow lights means more people run the red lights and that generates more money for the city.

The city claims that the cameras have reduced traffic collisions, yet they provide no actual evidence of that.  This is one of the many reasons that I don't think that red light cameras should be legal.  The cities claim they are increasing safety, but they are really increasing their bottom line.  How many of these red light cameras would be out there if they cost more than they collect?

Police and civil rights activists should be on the same side on this issue.  Only those who have properly registered their vehicles are caught.  The people driving someone else's car, or who don't have their vehicle registered don't have to pay.  What percentage of the tickets are actually paid compared to how many get sent out?  How many are found "not guilty" compared to people who get a ticket from an officer?  I suspect less than half pay the tickets and I suspect almost no one is ever found not guilty; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Retired Employee Benefits

 
 
I wonder about this actual story.  A firefighter has been medically retired due to a major work related injury. They say he is having his health insurance cut and will be given $200 a month to help pay for health insurance.  Then they talk a lot about his injury in the video and how he is retired on disability.
 
I suspect that all retired employees of the fire department are getting the $200 a month to pay for health insurance, including the disabled ones, HOWEVER, at least in California, (granted this event is not California) his work related injuries are covered by Workers Compensation which will continue for as long as he is disabled from his work related injury.  So his 9 hours of physical therapy will still be paid for by Workers Compensation.  The $200 per month would be to defray the cost of his health insurance for other new physical problems.
 
The city is bankrupt.  They have to get the money from someplace.  Public employee unions have gotten very high wages, benefits and pensions that far exceed private sector employees for decades.  Now the chickens have come home to roost and many people will suffer; that's what the SGT Says.