February 2012 letters to the editor E-mail

Need your help
For years the Law Enforcement Equipment Program has helped American police departments send used equipment to our military oversees to assist in the training and equipping of local law enforcement.  We were of the opinion that the faster we equipped the locals the faster our men and women could come home.
However, as the wars wind down and the need for help for American police departments and individual officers and deputies have increased due to the economic situation, we have expanded our mission.

U.S. law enforcement personnel are invited to go to our site and state what surplus equipment they have to donate or what equipment they are in need of.

Go to: http://www.lawenforcementequipmentprogram.org/

We don't stock pile much equipment we just simply act as a place to exchange information.

There really isn't any sense in keeping all that old equipment in a closet when a young officer is struggling to come up with leather gear or if a small department is just trying to get by.

Let's step up and give a hand to a brother or sister officer in need.

The Law Enforcement Equipment Program is an award winning program and a nonprofit organization. However it is not a 501(c3).

— Chief Steven J. Newton (Ret). Founder Silver Star Families of America. www.silverstarfamilies.org. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Fighting back
I wanted our fellow officers around the country to know that the Detective Investigator's Association (DIA) has filed an improper practice petition with the New York City's Office Of Collective Bargaining against five District Attorneys' and the Narcotics Prosecutor for their failure to meet with union officials in a labor management setting to address their concerns over the growing number of detectives who have become ill from 9/11 related illnesses.

This organization represents over 300 detectives working for the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island District Attorneys as well as the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. The DIA called for a labor management meeting for June 17th. After postponing it until June 23, two days before the 23rd all the chiefs who were to attend said they would not be attending.
We estimate that at least 15 percent of our members have been affected by the toxic air they came in contact with after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. One detective died and two other are critically ill.

When the chiefs announced they would not attend the meeting and it was  cancelled, we were shocked. Our officers are dying and this is not a matter where you can take a “wait and see” approach.

Under state law District Attorney Investigators have complete "line of duty" protection, but it can only start when an initial determination is made by the employer. In this case I have members who are exhausting their sick and annual leave because we have no process to deal with this problem and get them help.

 After months of trying to get the DA's to participate, we felt we had no other choice but to bring it to the Office of Collective Bargaining to get an independent third party to decide if dying police officers were worth the time and effort that such a plan would need. A process to deal with this would bring great piece of mind and comfort to these heroes. It's the least the DA's can do.

— John Fleming, President
Detective Investigator's Association City of New York

Not a damn thing!
A cop-friend sent me this email and I wanted to share it with folks around the country. Allegedly it’s a story told by a Kansas State Highway Patrol officer. — John Ewing
Recently I made a traffic stop on an elderly lady the other day for speeding
on U.S. 166 Eastbound at Mile Marker 73  just East of Sedan, Kansas. I asked for her driver's license, registration, and  proof of insurance.

The  lady took out the required information and handed it to me. In with the cards I was somewhat surprised due to her advanced age to see she had a conceal carry permit. I looked at her and asked if  she had a weapon in her possession at this time. She responded that she indeed had a .45  automatic in her glove  box.

Something — body  language, or the way she said it —made me want to ask if she had any other firearms. She did admit to also having a  9mm Glock in her center console. Now I had to ask one more time if that was all. She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38 special in her purse.

I then asked her what was she so afraid of.

She looked me right in the eye and said, "Not a f *&^% ing thing!"

— Sent in by Sgt. Steve Gibson (Ret.), Vancouver, BC Police Dept.

The last word
    This was also sent in by Steve Gibson, retired sergeant, Vancouver P.D.
Below are some fascinating inscriptions on old tombstones:

* Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York: Born 1903--Died 1942: “Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was.”

* From a Thurmont, Maryland cemetery: “Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.”

* On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia: “Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102. Only the good die young.

* In a London , England cemetery:  “Here lies Ann Mann, who lived an old maid but died an old Mann. Dec. 8, 1767.”

* In a Ribbesford, England , cemetery:  “Anna Wallace: The children of Israel wanted bread, and the Lord sent them manna. Clark Wallace wanted a wife, And the Devil sent him Anna.”

* In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery: “Here lies Johnny Yeast. Pardon him for not rising.”

* In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery: “Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake. Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.”

* In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery: “Here lays The Kid, We planted him raw. He was quick on the trigger, But slow on the draw.”

* A lawyer's epitaph in England: Sir John Strange.  “Here lies an honest lawyer, and that is Strange”

* On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts: “Under the sod and under the trees, Lies the body of Jonathan Pease. He is not here, there's only the pod, Pease shelled out and went to God”

* In a cemetery in England: “Remember man, as you walk by, As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so shall you be, Remember this and follow me.”
    To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone: “To follow you I'll not consent, Until I know which way you went.”

Free eye exam for K-9’s
There’s a great event coming up — the 5th Annual ACVO/Memorial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event —in May, 2012.
Thousands of law enforcement service dogs and their handlers from across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico will receive free eye examinations. With the help of volunteer board certified veterinary ophthalmologists, life-saving eye exams will be performed so that these animals can continue to do their important jobs helping people with disabilities, returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and more. Online registration begins on April 1, 2012.

- Sharyn Frankel
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Selling out the kids for money
It's Monday morning and before you head out to work you walk your daughter to the school bus stop. You say goodbye and as you are walking back toward the house something catches your eye on the side of the bus. You turn to get a better look and there it is on the side of the bus — an advertisement for Viagra.

Then you see the other ads — one for cigarettes and one advocating for legalizing marijuana. Obviously I am making a joke here, but considering the trend, there could come a day when just such ads are adorning the school buses that take our children to school.
From the West Coast to the East Coast and everywhere in between, our public schools are strapped for funds.  Every year their funding seems to dwindle and school boards are hard at work trying to come up new revenue streams so they do not have to lay off teachers and they can maintain the current curriculum standards.

But just how far can a school board go when looking for outside money? Shouldn't they draw the line and avoid ideas that are unethical and may hurt our children? Do we really want to boost school budgets by exposing our kids to ads on school buses which could be detrimental to their mental and physical health?

Do we really want our children exploited in this way? Many states already permit schools to sell advertisements on their public school buses. Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Texas to name a few are already taking money from companies in exchange for putting logos and messages on their public school buses. Some have even gone so far as to sell ad space on the inside of their school buses similar to what you see on city buses and subways.

It's important to keep in mind that these are "public" school buses that are paid for by your tax dollars. In Colorado, advertisements are not only displayed on school buses but also appear in school gyms, on school web pages and in athletic stadiums. Other states have taken a different approach.

The Indiana Department of Education (DOE) opposed a House bill that would make it legal to run ads on the outside of school buses. That bill was introduced without even so much as a hearing. In a formal statement, the Indiana Dept of Education stated: "There are fundamental safety reasons for forbidding unauthorized exterior decals or material.  

The school bus is standardized so that it is easily recognized as a school bus, placing all drivers on caution.  Individual school corporations could end up with 300 differing standards, thus increasing the danger to students. The State School Bus Committee serves a valuable function in this regard and in training." Beside the danger of a driver being distracted by seeing an ad on the side of a school bus which could result in an accident or the injury or death of a child, school boards could be sued and found guilty of violating the First Amendment by creating a limited public forum in allowing one type of advertisement on the bus and refusing another. The function of a school bus is to safely transport children to school, not sell and hype products of companies that pay for the ads and it's time more states followed the lead of Indiana.

— Lt. Lance M. Burris
Retired Chief of Detectives
Master Instructor, Indiana Law Enforcement Academy

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