Honor is the only thing that you can take with you when you die. Honor is your word, the content of your character, the basis of any and all relationships, including your Oath.
It has always amazed me how easily some substandard coworkers in the Law Enforcement service can violate their Oath and destroy their Honor and integrity in the blink of an eye when compelled to do so by an unscrupulous superior officer and not show any ill effects afterwards.
In contrast, they readily and literally place their lives in harm’s way time and time again, and then suffer the negative physical and mental effects associated with that activity.
The effort it takes to become a law enforcement officer is immense and very trying. The testing for qualified candidates is very extensive, and most important is the examination of the quality and content of the candidate’s character, intellectually and morally; and of course, physical ability standards are examined and are important as well.
Any deviation from these established standards and qualifications is a black eye on the entire law enforcement system and infrastructure. Not only does this deviation undermine the entire law enforcement institution and culture, but it undermines the public’s trust and faith in the Law Enforcement service.
“Only the ‘Finest’” used to be the motto description of a law enforcement officer. That term is no longer valid when affirmative action, quotas, diversity allotments, and ethnic percentages were forced or incorporated into the formula for hiring potential law enforcement officers and keeping them employed.
Incentive credit points for being a minority, or maybe even a military veteran, were automatically added to a potential law enforcement candidate, over everyone else.
The lowering of basic entry standards, incentive credit points, and political appointments and “anointings,” has given rise to more and more distrust by the general population, and the creation of what appears to be a militarization of our civilian police forces, all across our country.
Police work is a messy and dirty business. If anything can possibly go wrong in police work, it will go wrong, and that is a guarantee you can take to the bank. The problem is that we now live in a society that demands perfection and looks to blame someone when that perfection is not met. Racism is an easy reason to attach to an imperfect police situation, as there is just no valid argument that exists these days to combat the played race card once it is applied.
It is very sad that even today, leaders that are anointed only because of their skin pigmentation, are still screaming racism at every turn, whenever things don’t go as planned. I guess that means being politically correct, which coincidentally is not working very well.
Society now appears to be continuing doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, what with lowering standards, lowering qualifications, giving preference points for skin pigmentation, and trying to convince everyone that this is the path for the betterment of our country and the Law Enforcement Service.
As a 39-plus years law enforcement veteran, I have personally seen the degradation of the law enforcement service, as evidenced by law enforcement officers that can barely complete a sentence, either verbally or in writing, that do not possess the intellect for any level of strategic thought, have no clue on decision-making or use of discretion, or even on the use of common sense. We always had a very small percentage of that type of individual, but we had a system to not only protect those people from themselves, but also to protect the public from them. We would encourage those individuals to promote up the ranks and thus minimize their involvement in actual police work.
Unfortunately, the percentage of these substandard individuals has lately increased to a point where there is nowhere else to place these individuals except back to where the real police officers work, in Patrol and Detectives. The actual number of incompetent and substandard officers is staggering. It is widely known throughout police work that patrol officers are expendable, and are usually easily sacrificed and abandoned by the Department when a police situation gets out of hand and draws undue attention by the public and press.
A perfect example is the Ferguson, Mo., situation where a police officer shoots an unarmed teenager. There is no doubt in my mind that when all the information and evidence is brought out, that the officer will be legally vindicated. Unfortunately, the officer’s career will be finished, regardless. The public’s trust in the police force is zero going in, and will only get worse as time goes on.
The entire American police culture has no choice now but to try and regain its Honor, Integrity and Trust by and from the public, by again equally evoking the high candidate entry standards it once had, and earning, through example, the right to be again called the “Finest.”
In God We Trust.
Gordon Martines is a former LVMPD detective who has served in many capacities over his 39-year career in law enforcement. He has been a candidate for sheriff in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, with the intention of bringing integrity and accountability back to the department, and filed a federal lawsuit against LVMPD in 2011. Martines nowcontributes his opinions and ideas to the Las Vegas Tribune to keep the public informed and help improve policing in Las Vegas. He has also appeared on the Face the Tribune radio program several times to share his plan for a better LVMPD.