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This new media thing certainly brings with it some oddities. Like working with Dan and Robert for the better part of 2011 having never actually met them face-to-face. Thanks to Nick’s trip down to Texas back in December, I’m at least not new at meeting my TTAG brothers in arms. So when I found myself in St. Louis to visit family, I took the opportunity to meet up with Dan for an early breakfast at Plush. I can confidently report that the shortrib hash with poached eggs over a popover is “slap yo momma” good. And because we’re not a food blog, I can also report that they are gun friendly. As well they should be, given the most recent crime statistics for the area. . .

My drive through districts five and six in my grandfather’s Cadillac was a sobering reminder that the police can’t always be there to protect you. For those who don’t want to click links, district six in STL had 1016 crimes against people and 2902 crimes against property in 2011.

However, the local 5-0 want the fine citizens there to know that, thanks to police mutt Nanuk, your resistance is futile. Maybe this is the kind of thing that works in St. Louis. Then again, maybe it doesn’t, judging from the numbers. Either way, I’m glad to see that the K-9 unit is making no effort to hide their machismo. And now I wonder how long it will be before some screeching politician tells me that only the police and military should have German Shepherds . . .

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      • It was hardly a criticism, no where near a flame. Sucks, I enjoy(ed) a lot of what’s posted here. Not worth it if some silly input is going to get censored. :/

  1. This indiscriminent Cop bashing needs to end, it is unproductive and just makes the authors and site as a whole look low class. Seen as I’m working in a profession that gets flamed on a daily basis (aka the media) by its consumers I have respect for anyone else in a similar situation. While you may not like the Political policies of a police department or the politicians that aprove the funding of said department the individual cops are not the agents of said policy, Just as a store Clerck can not say say calling a 20 ounce cup a venti is stupid a cop can not say or act against office decision that are legal but stupid.

    • You don’t think “Resistance is Futile” is a little confrontational? That maybe something like “To Protect and Serve” might be more appropriate?

      • its a equivelant of a moral patch. do we bitch and moan when one of our soldier slaps on a pork eating crusader patch on some random part of their gear or an infidel patch on when they go outside the wire, NO we understand its a moral thing not an intended insult at anyone.

    • Yeah, they’re just following orders. We should be mad at the policy makers, not the individuals who enforce those policies, without whom the policy makers would have no power. How silly of us to be mad at the individual person who actually carries out our oppression.

      • so you dont want the policys to ever change, I think I get it now you just want something to rage at with out any real change for the forceable future.

        If Change is what you want you dont achieve it by yelling at the cogs in the system, you change the way the system works. and that can only be achieved by dealing with politicians and geting those that pass your litmus test into power.

        • It IS possible to work for change while complaining about the current system and its enforcers, you know. We aren’t single-channel beings…

          • I would agree with you if the general tone that has been changing on TTAG hadn’t gone from criticism of bad police policy to criticism of police in general. once you go from pointing out a bad cop or a bad policy to portraying all police as part of the problem you stop being able to have a serious discussion on what should be done seen as you clearly have no intrest in seeing the other sides points or taking the other side seriously.

            secondly if you really believe the whole hold every cop accountable for agency policy then round up ever living german soldier from WWII and try them for war crimes seen as they helped prop up and were part of that system. Or should we have punished every US soldier that took part in the Spanish American war because a few bad soldiers tortured native filipinos during the occupation shortly after the war.

            • You’re trying to make the leap from police to soldiers; I’m afraid that isn’t going to fly due to differences in mission.

              • what difference in mission, both Police and Soldiers follow ROE, they have a Operational Code of Conduct they follow that outline how they are supposed to act when there is a Gap in the ROE. The only difference is the cops work in side their country of origin while Soldiers work outside their country of origin.

                you make a distinction in difference in mission because you assume a police officers are here to protect individuals rather than society.

              • Incorrect. Police are here to protect society as a whole. The military’s job is to kill people and break stuff. Saying it ain’t so don’t make it not so.

              • except when you look at operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, current military deployments to the Philippines, and Africa those deployments are about training other militaries or maintaing order for the regional gov to develop. it is not just break shit and shoot people. and just cause you say something doesn’t make it so is right but maybe you should do your research before you say shit.

        • “you dont achieve it by yelling at the cogs in the system, you change the way the system works.”

          Influencing the cogs is changing “the way the system works.” Without them, the gears don’t turn.

          • in my experience when that cog starts to get out of shape it just gets replaced, this is part of why yelling at police officers and raging at individuals seldom changes institutional behavior, it is not hard to find someone who can fill the spot once some one becomes disillusioned or a subpar employee. you only waist energy converting cogs when you can better spend your time changing operators of the system.

            • Thank you for validating my righteous indignation toward police. As you said, once patriotic and prinicipled officers become disillusioned with the system, they are easily replaced by loyalist thugs who are more than willing to enforce tyrannical edicts upon the subjugated.

              This replacement of “good” peace officers is very nearly complete.

              • and did I ever say THE Police were blameless… NOPE I said it is more efficent and effective to get involved in you local and national politics to change who is in power, and that yelling at the individual officers does not change anything.

              • No, you said “cop bashing needs to end”… because “individual cops are not the agents of said policy.” I’m arguing that enforcers of policy ARE agents of policy. That’s not to say that we don’t also fight the policy itself. If you’re just debating which is more effective or efficient, then fine. You fight your battles and I’ll fight mine.

              • I dont entirely disagree with you on the role of police as agents of Policy. but you dont yell at Google spiders for crawling through your website just because you disapprove of google’s privacy policy. the same is true for the police officer. you dont expect a employee of an antigun restaurant to quit their job just because the restaurant is antigun, the same is true for police officers. the world is not black and white and pretending that just because you are employed by some one who enforces policy you dont fully agree with does not make the employee a willing accomplice.

        • “If Change is what you want you dont achieve it by yelling at the cogs in the system, you change the way the system works.”

          Or you smash the whole thing into a million pieces and start over from scratch.

          You honestly think that people who decide to make their life’s work riding around in a car and ruining peoples days/lives have no idea that they are the muscle of the largest mafia syndicate in history?

  2. Damn, reading the menu is such a tease. We need a place like that in Portland. Macho Militarization is the word-phrase that comes to mind reading the civilian police logo. Whatever happened to ‘Protect and Serve’ on police cars? Ah well, my poli-sci university prof asked way back, even then; “protect and serve whom?”

    • Hard to believe you don’t have something like that in Portland. I was there last spring and everything I ate or drank was delicious.

  3. There is a VAST difference between what is appropriate for a soldier, and a domestic LEO. Despite appearances. This is just the sort of thing that some of us fear might indicate a closing of that gap in certain minds…….

  4. @dan:

    So, it is your contention that teaching other people to break shit and kill people is the same as protecting our society? And exactly what research would you like me to do before I “say shit”? You seem to be getting agitated; take a deep breath. I’m enjoying this little debate!

    • Yeah im getting a little worked up but its because of silly things like the comment “Saying it ain’t so don’t make it not so.” not the actual debate.

      and no the US Army and Marines are not just training people how to break shit and kill things, the US Army is helping to train police in Afghanistan and set up regional Governments, they did the same thing in Iraq, It was part of the Surge Strategy, flood the problem area with troops and help build up local gov and support. the reality is that by 2008 in Iraq and 2003 in Afghanistan we were not acting as a true invading/Occupying army but instead as Nation Builders, in Africa and the Philippines we are training police and the local armies in strategies we have learned on how to deal with terrorists not just with hard power but also with soft power. but still the police are not that different when you get past the hardware, their job is partol an area and look for any situations that their ROE’s tell them is good to engage and get involved in. this is the same situation for any soldier. yes the ROE are different but they both operate the same way, follow the ROE’s or get punished.

      • Talking to soldiers who served in the sand box, I would say most are well intentioned but the problem is that neither Iraq or Afghanistan are really nations.

  5. I don’t know…I’m honestly not that put off by it. It’s obviously directed at criminals, not everyone, though there are certainly police who believe they’re gods amongst men.

  6. I have a problem with this sort of machismo with Law Enforcement Officers. I am and will continue to be uneasy with the militarization of the police. It is a trend that I think leads to no good.

  7. I don’t have a single problem with cops being “macho.” It may be necessary in their line of work. What does bother me is when LEOs forget that being macho includes being polite, kind and decent to their fellow man, and not shooting their dogs.

  8. @ dan

    I disagree. “Just following orders” is not an excuse. A person of principle would most definitely quit their job if their employer’s policies required them to violate their principles. The fact that so few cops or soldiers or federal agents (or whoever) do not quit simply shows that their “principles” are not the same as mine or of those enumerated in the Constitution.

    • except we have sociology studies that show when put in social organizations and groups you will do things you are squeamish about doing regardless of your moral compas, the Huage did not punish every guard at every concentration camp even though they knew what was going. If you ignore the consequences of faling to do your job as a cop there are plenty of incentives both social and legal to just go along to get along. the reality is our brains and societies are set up in a way that rocking the boat in a meaningful way is not just discouraged its punished. lets be honest here the free market system works on the idea that principles are nice and all but they don’t put food on the table now go along and do your job.

      we have created a culture and society that puts the emphasis working together to make money, working together to get shit done, working together to make the community better rather than working on making ourselves better. when Individualism is not the focus but community is the focus you end up being forced to sacrifice some personal principles to work in society.

      • “Society made me do it” is also not an excuse. I’m sorry that sticking by your principles is hard, but that’s what having moral courage is all about.

        You’re right from a pragmatic standpoint. Most people are willing to compromise in order to go with the flow. But that doesn’t make it right. The police/soldiers/feds/etc who are willing to abandon the values and principles of freedom and liberty are just as much to blame as those higher ups who set the policy. Without the enforcers, tyranny could not survive.

        • so your saying all german soldiers from WWII should be rounded up and tried for war Crimes? cause that is what you are implying the level of culpability is, the soldiers and police were the enforcers for Hitlers Regime.

          the second question is what you may see as illegal acts by police such as no knock warrants, or no warent searches when it is presumed some one is destroying evidence. were items decided by the Supreme court not local municipalities in other words it was deemed legal until congress addresses the issue. there are legitimate issues of Police Professionalism and militarization of the police, but if you are told this is how you are to do your job by the people that rule on the constitution you generally feel you are doing it right.

          • God will ultimately judge those men and their culpability. To me, the German soldiers who deserted or defected or refused to carry out immoral orders are heroes and their courage regarding their priciples should be emulated.

            Everyone knows in their heart that it is wrong to threaten, beat, abuse, and terrorize others. When your job calls upon you to do those things to people whose only “crime” is to have unfortunately offended some arbitrary, administrative rule (as opposed to something actually evil like murder, rape, theft, etc), then you should refuse to do it or find a different job. Legal does not equal moral.

  9. What an astounding set of comments. I would highlight one in particular:

    Dan’s: “what difference in mission, both Police and Soldiers follow ROE, they have a Operational Code of Conduct they follow that outline how they are supposed to act when there is a Gap in the ROE. The only difference is the cops work in side their country of origin while Soldiers work outside their country of origin. you make a distinction in difference in mission because you assume a police officers are here to protect individuals rather than society.”

    Neither police nor soldiers are “here to protect….society.” What on earth is ‘society’? Police are employed by local and state authorities elected by citizen voters. (Federal ‘police’ are a relatively recent innovation.) A policeman’s (both genders) duty is to uphold the law as an agent of law-makers, jurisdiction executive-branch officials, and the judicial system. Encouraging conformity to law by their presence, their principal duty is to disrupt ongoing violations where possible, and more often to investigate alleged wrong-doing and, upon probable cause, to take temporary custody of persons and evidence in accord with the substantive and procedural safeguards embodied in Federal and State constitutions, legislation, and ruling judicial holdings, so that prosecutors and defense counsel can resolve the case charged before a judge, jury, or through negotiation. A policeman is never surrounded in the military sense, but rather always surrounds any offender. A policeman is not subject to courts martial, nor is he subject to any greater punishment than firing if he flees his assigned duty to provide protection of the peace (as we saw in the Katrina-related NOPD behavior), whereas soldiers are subject to penalty up to and including death for deserting their post in wartime. A policeman confronts violence as an emergency responder but is not required to intentionally risk his life to stop that violence. He is free to await backup, as we saw in Columbine. A policeman is required to enforce laws impartially, and is indeed liable for the excessive use of force against an alleged or perceived offender. Where civil disorder appears, rebellion, the state national guard and militia are expected to quell that rebellion, not the police. In other words, within US national boundaries war-like actions are to be met by domestic forces trained to behave as soldiers, not as police. Though police personnel claim (according to Dan) a soldier-like duty, nonetheless slowdowns and sick-outs during union negotiations give the lie to the supposed similarities. For such actions a soldier will be court marshaled. Being a policeman involves danger, true, because violent criminals are often…violent. Being a policeman is not so dangerous as being a Roofer or a Fisherman.

    I am in favor of a well-educated well-trained police force. I utterly despise the wannabee identification by police with the military. It is a false association. The duties and obligations of a soldier during hostilities are utterly unlike those of an LEO, but for the fact that each often is equipped with a gun. A soldier is not subject to the standard civilian laws during hostilities. An LEO is a civilian and subject to the same laws as his neighbors, plus those pertaining to his regulated work, as is a trucker, lawyer, or nurse.

    • “An LEO is… subject to the same laws as his neighbors”

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That is a good one, right there!

    • I have to agree with Henry that the last statement is hillarious.

      police protect societal stability, the national guard are not the people that show up to make sure a G8, World Bank meeting, or IMF protest is contained and doesn’t turn into city wide destruction. along with this Police are tasked with upholding things like noise ordinances, and public nuisance ordinances these laws although seemingly trivial allow for people to congregate and communicate aka exercise their first amendment rights with out hindering others ability to do the same. If the roads are to full of drunk drivers it becomes unsafe to go places hindering commerce and again ones ability to freely travel or congregate which hinders society. although it may not seem like it but police do the job of making sure that society can function.

      to the question of what is society, society is in laymans term your face to face and comunal interactions with other people, and the social norms that are created to facilitate said interaction.

      on the topic of fine difference between cops and soldiers the only valid criticism is punishment for failure to do your job and that isn’t as cut and dry as you would like. when a riot happens police are still the first to respond not the national Guard. when a hurricane hits miami its not a point that the national guard get mobilized its the police out and about making sure every one is safe and making sure the intersections with out power are manned as best as possible. there are more than just firing if you as a cop let someone die in your custody just ask the Jacksonville FL corrections department about that. that being said yes the military punishment for failure to do ones duty is higher but it is not substantially higher the military is know as having lower standards of proof and as such lower punishments for similar crimes in civilian courts.

      along with this you seem caught up in the fine details rather than operational procedures and practices. different agencies are trained different ways just as different units are trained different ways, the 10th mountain division does not operate the same was as the 101’st Airborne, and vice versa. police can not just flee the scene of a crime are they expected to go in and try to arrest everyone even if it means they will be killed, no they aren’t they are expected to wait for backup and keep bystandards as safe as they can manage. if a cop goes AWOL there are punitive punishments and if it caused someones death you can bet that they will face a day in court.

      as my previous posts state I do not think modern Police practices are good or ideal but criticism of all police as a whole and SOP for any publication is foolhardy and unproductive seen as the individual cops are not the effective targes for changing the system.

  10. I suppose I’m the nut in the crowd who saw the photo, and the name Nanuk at the bottom, and immediately thought of dog-doo snow cones. aka: Mr. Frank Zappa

  11. your resistance is futile. Maybe this is the kind of thing that works in St. Louis. Then again, maybe it doesn’t, judging from the numbers. Either way, I’m glad to see that the K-9 unit is making no effort to hide their machismo.

    This is not a good way to build trust, rapport, and communication with the community of which you are trying to perform police services. Sometimes diplomacy goes further than brute force and machismo.
    I have known macho cops who were ineffective due to the surrounding community refusing to work with and give them information. The better cops try to get society to work with them.

  12. It is interesting that Dan goes on about the military working with people in the Phillipines as this is what my Dad did in 1945-1946. Dad had to be very diplomatic with the mountain tribesmen and pretend he was Catholic and spoke Spanish to them. He was also in charge of showering them with Army surplus gifts and trying to get the Phillipino people onto the American side and away from the Japanese and the Communists. In this role, you really were walking on eggs and you had to prove that you were their friend and Americans were great. No room for stupid macho shennanigans here.
    The real truth about why there is much discontent in foreign countries is that the rich have everything and if one of the peons have anything, those rich rulers will try to take it away from them. The rich are very autocratic in many foreign nations.

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