While we solemnly pay tribute to those lost, may we also cherish the living. I wish to honor all marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and coast guardsmen, but especially those who join the civilian law enforcement community after completing their military tour of duty.
Regardless of what our tough exterior communicates, we are people who love humanity. The nature of our work is a testament to this love. We respond to aid those in need when others freeze. We run to trouble when most run from it. Yes, indeed, the law enforcement community in general exercises what is called the greatest gift; love. “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love,” wrote Paul the Apostle in a deeply moving letter to those he cherished in Corinth.
Most people remember where they were on September 11, 2001. I was a patrol lieutenant serving as watch commander on swing shift in Orange County, California. I worked September 10, 2001 and arrived home at 2:30 a.m. on September 11. I was jolted by the news that greeted me when I awoke later that morning. I remained glued to the television all day.
One year later the Fountain Valley High School planned an assembly to commemorate the first anniversary of 9/11. I was honored when our chief offered my services to speak when the school asked for a representative from the police department. Trying to introduce meaning into the event from my perspective, I wrote a poem to share. It expressed what I believed then, and still believe today.
Of 2977 people who lost their life that day, 23 were from the New York Police Department, 37 from the Port Authority Police Department, 343 from the New York Fire Department, and 125 from the Pentagon. Countless others received long term emotional and physical trauma resulting from the day that will be forever etched in our memory.
The poem that follows is a tribute to the police officers and firefighters who valiantly served the citizens of New York, in both life and death, on that tragic day. They are words of respect for heroes from United Airlines Flight 93 who forced the plane to the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, undoubtedly saving many other lives in the process. They are thoughts to pay homage to the brave servants at the Pentagon, to all others who perished on September 11, 2001, and to those fighting the war on terror since that time.
Freedom comes with a price tag! Throughout history it has been purchased with an irreplaceable commodity, the blood of those willing to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of others. We do it because it’s at the core of our being. What an incredible virtue!
Freedom wasn’t free
The price was sweat and blood
Freedom wasn’t free
Soldiers wounded in the mud
We shouted to the world
We sewed our stars and stripes
‘Old Glory’ was unfurled
Our nation has been growing
For a couple hundred years
We’ve had more highs than lows
More smiles than the tears
Then evil hit our shores
Twelve months ago today
We chose no other option
But to respond the American way
We responded with our courage
With allegiance and our might
We responded with our sympathy
With fury and our fight
On a single dollar bill
The bald eagle sits in place
With the olive branch of peace
And the arrows of war in case
9/11 shook our world
Even on the Far West Coast
Note to other evildoers
We’ll defend what we love most
What we love most in life
Includes family and our friends
Two things that they stole from us
But it’s not the bitter end
We have three more they cannot have
Faith, hope, and love within
And since they are secure in us
Liberty’s torch will never dim
- On September 11, 2014
Jim is the author of The Spirit behind Badge 145. He worked in military and civilian law enforcement for thirty-one years. While in the USAF he flew as a crewmember aboard the National Emergency Airborne Command Post—a presidential support detail. Following his military service, he served for twenty-seven years with the Fountain Valley Police Department in Orange County, California where he retired as a lieutenant. During his career in law enforcement, he worked with, supervised, or managed every element of the organization. He holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Southwest University and graduated from the prestigious Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute as well as the IACP course, Leadership in Police Organizations. Jim is married and has three adult children and three grandchildren. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or view his website www.jimmcneff.com which is geared toward helping officers.
Chicago is Adopting The “Broken Windows” Strategy
Editor’s NOTE: In a city with a high propensity for violent crime, do you think fixing windows and erasing graffiti is the solution? Is The broken windows theory a crime fighting strategy or a quality of life improvement plan? Either way, something’s got to give.
May 5, 2013 in Crime, Crime Prevention, Featured, Posts by Jean Reynolds
In January, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced that 200 police officers were going to be reassigned to patrol work. Two weeks later, McCarthy had more news for Chicago residents:
Focusing on the little things
He is proposing an ordinance to authorize arrests for unpaid tickets for public urination, public consumption of alcohol, and gambling—“the three top complaints,” he said, from Chicago residents.
“Fixing the little things prevents the bigger things,” said McCarthy, a longtime advocate of the “broken windows” approach to fighting crime. “Broken windows” is the brainchild of social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling.
The theory behind it
They claimed that unrepaired windows, litter, and other signs of neighborhood decay constitute an announcement that a neighborhood has stopped taking responsibility for the quality of life in its public spaces. The next step is for responsible citizens to start moving out—and for lawbreakers to move in.
To learn more about it
To Read More about Chicago’s paradigm policing shift; Chicago is Adopting The “Broken Windows” Strategy | Law Enforcement Today.
Wrapping up our week of honoring Dispatchers is this piece posted by one of my favorite sites, Law Enforcement Today
Dispatchers; we truly appreciate you.
Dispatchers: Unsung Heroes and Lifelines
by Niki Tallent
March 14, 2013
According to the LA Police Protective League in discussing the shoot out with disgraced former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, “The chilling audiotape makes one thing clear: the civilian dispatcher did an outstanding job.
She performed flawlessly during this critical tactical incident. Her calm and professionalism most certainly saved officer lives. Being a police dispatcher is harder than most people think. In this case, the dispatcher fulfilled her duties with unfailing focus, composure and expertise. The incident underscores the essential role played by the dedicated emergency services dispatchers nationwide.”
You can listen to this brave dispatcher’s amazing job performance here:
Hearing someone’s last thoughts, panic and fear pour through a headset as you are sitting in a room helpless and wanting to protect could be the worst moment of your life.
The worst possible call I could ever receive would be an “officer down” call. Just thinking about it makes my heart do a flip-flop. This is not just because I am married to a LEO, but because I am a lifeline.
A dispatcher is a…
About the Author:
Niki Tallent married to her LEO James Tallent reside in Arkansas with their 5 sons and one dog. Niki is a 911 operator/dispatcher and her husband James a Deputy at Pulaski County. Niki went to Lakeside High School and soon started working as a dispatcher after her first son was born. Niki became Director for Arkansas Wives Behind the Badge Auxiliary after wanting to support LE even more. She joined Wives Behind the Badge Arkansas Auxiliary in March of this year, trying to find my place to help impact Arkansas LEOWs. In September She took over as Director of Arkansas Wives Behind the Badge after talking it through with my husband, whom at first was skeptical of the workload involved. The support for me from other LEOWs was absolutely amazing.
- National Dispatchers Week 2012 (lapdblog.typepad.com)
- BIG Thank You to http://www.facebook.com/DiaryOfAMadDispatcher
- Honoring Police Radio Dispatchers Week; Thank You to Allie Hansell (scottsilverii.com)