FIT@50 / week 69

Terror_Attack_In_Paris_France_jpg

FIT@50 / week 69

Price of Pizza:
This week while in Paris, Liliana Hart and I took off on the city in a series of pedicab driven adventures. To say the experience was anything less than epic would be an understatement.
 
But at what price?
 
I’m always talking with her and our kids about situational awareness. The boys think it’s funny, while the girls think I’m trying to make the junior high boys afraid of them (maybe both.)
 
After a lift to the Tour Eiffel, we looked down upon an enchanted city filled with lights and people and noise and life. Just below us was a watching station for fans of the Euro semifinals soccer match between Wales and Portugal. I’d never experienced crowd energy like that before. It was like 10 Mardi Gras combined.
 
As we headed back to the suite, we were instantly caught up in thousands of fanatic supporters of the soccer match. Unable to get back to the room, we ducked into a pizza joint for a late supper.
 
We were stopped at the door by a tough looking guy wearing a black jacket with an armband that read Security. Seriously, for pizza?
 
Facing the door as all good cops do, I watched the crowds inside and out. I suddenly felt less for wanting pizza and more for escaping the scene. November 13, 2015 was there. Always there in my mind as we carted around in a beautifully free-moving environment. The 130 victims of that night’s coordinated terror attacks weighed heavily upon my heart as I choked down the first but only slice of pizza.
 
I was fixated on the tough guy at the door, as well as the hundreds of riot squad special police lining the avenues with body armor and machine guns ready to respond.
 
It wasn’t nervousness that had stricken me. It was a wash of grief for those people sitting in a cafe just like us, and the revelers whose only care was for the score of a well-played game, and the many others who just wanted to “kick it” across Paris like we did.
 
Our waiter was an older man who watched the streets as much as he watched his customers. We didn’t mind the delays in service. I’m sure it was all he could do to focus on just doing his job.
 
But it’s just a pizza place.
 
I’m never at ease. I watch the lighthearted videos we do on facebook and I’m amazed that when we’re in a public place how my head is constantly scanning back and forth. I can’t help it or want to change it. It’s what I was trained to do–I watch and observe, so I can react and protect if needed.
 
I sat up straight as a crowd jammed into the door’s threshold. Angry shouts in languages I didn’t understand came clear into the small cafe. The tough looking guy pitted himself against the aggressive few.
 
I have to admit, my gut dropped. But immediately, I was coming out of my chair to help that tough guy, who suddenly, with fists slamming against his face, didn’t seem tough enough.
 
My thoughts weren’t about my safety, or even to stay there for Liliana. My heart leapt so hard from my chest that whether it was a repeat terror attack the day after July 4th or just hungry customers pissed about being denied access, I knew the line that tough guy had committed to standing.
 
Almost a year since retirement, but I know that having a heart for serving others is something that never retires. I also now know that the French Police are much faster than I ever could’ve been. Before my butt left the seat, or Liliana even realized I was leaving, officers snatched the attackers from the door and whisked them away.
 
I watched the tough guy rub the red whelps across his face. I knew the feelings of taking licks for something having nothing to do with you other than making a choice to stand for something or someone else. I wanted to tell him that although battered, he did a good job protecting the customers in the cafe.
 
When it was time to head back to the suite, I led us through a rowdy crowd of thousands who jumped and screamed and lit fires and raced cars along the avenue. The mood was degrading fast. I swung and swayed with Liliana in tow and tried my best to avoid contact with anyone, but inevitably times came to bulldoze the drunks and just plain stupid for the sake of getting us out of that situation.
 
Finally back in the room, I showered off the grime of getting us back. and it was then that I allowed myself to relax, and the emotions came crashing over me as I showered.
 
Those poor, innocent people along the magical streets of Paris who only wanted to enjoy the mystique of this city. What makes them different than us, if for only by the day on a calendar.
 
What is the price of pizza? It gets much more costly as fear, anxiety and violence are piled upon the pepperoni and cheese. Those feelings are foreign to me, but this week they became a very real reminder of the reality of our world.
 
Do we forgo the pizza for the sake of comfort? No. Not as long as there are good people willing to stand in the gap. Those good people are us. The cafe chef, the customers, and yes, even the tough guy in the door.
 
Do Good,
Scott
In case you missed last week’s FIT@50 & Please Join me on Facebook.
 

Recruiting Beta Reading Team – FAST: A Joe Boxer Thriller Series

FAST Beta Cover

Former United States Army Green Beret, Joe Boxer, is part of a little known specialized tactical unit in the DEA. This American hero not only lost his leg in Middle Eastern combat, but also his partner at the hands of a corrupt puppet regime placed in power by soiled American interests. Boxer is now forced to lead the fight against domestic terrorism in a war he never imagined he’d fight on US soil.

This blue-collar American veteran wants vindication for his friend’s murder. Joe Boxer struggles with an amputee’s challenge, but doesn’t succumb to it as he battles his way onto DEA’s elite FAST Team 5 in hopes of returning to the Middle East for exacting revenge. Boxer is challenged to overcome PTSD’s horror of combat, the addiction of pain management medications post-op, and learning that he’s still very much the man he was prior to the roadside bomb that claimed his leg.

Recruiting Beta Reading Team – FAST: A Joe Boxer Thriller Series

I’ve completed the first in what is at the least a three book thriller series. This is straight up adrenaline-fueled counter narco-terrorism enforcement at it’s best.
JOIN – https://forms.aweber.com/form/33/1255161933.htm

Looking for an honest, no-holds barred team of avid thriller genre readers to give this beta version a scrub. Many of you have volunteered on other projects, and are welcome to join this one as well.

Pay stinks, hours are long and the conditions are grueling, but isn’t that what our hero endures to keep America safe!!
JOIN – https://forms.aweber.com/form/33/1255161933.htm

Serious readers only – This isn’t a book giveaway gimmick – I’m going to pester you until I get results. But painlessly of course. Click the link to join and you’ll get get an email giving access to your thriller adventure.
JOIN – https://forms.aweber.com/form/33/1255161933.htm

Game Changers

ready

Game Changers:

What happened on April 20, 1999? Law enforcement may not recall the date, but we know the outcome. It’s when our patient world of Contain, Control & De-escalate shifted to a pursuing response of Active Shooters. Overnight, SWAT took a back seat to the Patrol Officer, as rapid response required immediate deployment to neutralize the threat.

The nation was so shocked following the Columbine High School massacre that no one seemed to mind the tactical and equipment shift to better arm first responding beat cops for confronting weapon wielding madmen.

What a difference the world of policing has experienced from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook.

Not only has the political climate tugged the rug from under our collective battered police boots, but the cultural tenor begs we lay down our arms. Or at least keep them holstered until a video review can be debated over social media.

Global terror has landed square in the lap of the good old red, white and blue. Our fighting military forces, God bless them are the best on this planet, but this is not their battle.

Had every Navy SEAL been stationed just 110 miles south at Coronado, there’s still no way they could’ve activated to respond to the Inland Regional Center. The United States military’s function is not to provide domestic, civil law enforcement services.

Local Cops

It’s the beat officer writing the citation a few blocks away and the motor cop working the car crash at the intersection that will drop everything to respond.

In San Bernardino, as in Columbine, local law enforcement were the first responders during the period of crisis. Even our brothers and sisters in the federal alphabet soup of law enforcement are post-incident response at best.

A 2013 FBI report stated there was 1 active shooter incident every 3 weeks. Who responded? The same local cops still taking criticisms from video voyeurs running in the opposite direct of the danger.

Big Blue, you’ve got a choice to make. On top of everything else heaped on your backs, have you got the legs to carry the hometown battles to terrorists?

We’ll be asked in a few months what happened on December 02, 2015. Most will scratch their heads. But we’ll know. It’s the day the game changed.

Join me at Chief Scott Silverii, PhD

The Donut and San Bernardino

The Donut and San Bernardino

NOTE: I originally wrote this for my Facebook page, which has since gone viral across the web. I wanted to share it with you – it’s been copy pasted in the original content from my page at Chief Scott Silverii, PhD.

As a non-fan of professional baseball I always thought how ridiculous it was when players stepped on deck and began swinging their bat with the weighted ring (donut) on it.

Good thing I’m not the commissioner of baseball.

It’s the same thing with the “militarization” of American police.

The danger of allowing observers and non-fans of law enforcement to dictate practice and procedure is that when cops are dispatched on deck to face a pitcher throwing 500 mph fastballs instead of the 92mph pitches they’re equipped for; they lose.

This isn’t the MLB. When cops lose, so does society. We don’t keep score in earned runs but in lives lost.

Watching coverage of the San Bernardino terror incident, I noticed no one; not the media, witnesses, victims or the talking heads who spew hatred for sponsored endorsements had a thing to say about the bullet proof vests, ballistic helmets, rifles or the armored vehicles used to efficiently terminate the killers.

Local cops.

The same ones who change your flat tire, arrest your abusive spouse and swallow the resentment you show for the oath they swore, are who stopped the massacre of innocent people.

Does it make sense for a home run hitter to take the plate with a weighted donut wrapped around his wooden bat? No, not at all.

Just like it’s not good practice for cops to go battle gear forward for daily duty. But equipment is designed for a reason. Be it the donut or the APC, it’s there for a purpose.

Thankfully it was available in San Bernardino. Hopefully it’ll be available for the next massacre coming to a soft target near you.