For example, I've seen the shotguns go from the front seat, to the trunk, to the sergeants' trunk, and finally back to the station. Tasers have been issued only to be taken away when a complaint is lodged, or the news picks up a loud-mouthed Tasered subject and runs with the sob story. The template is always the same - innocent honor student who's never been in trouble... blah, blah, blah. In some instances, Tasers are placed in sector cars. That makes quick deployment impossible. Other times the decision to use a Taser on one's duty belt becomes a group decision - the officer must clear it with a supervisor before deploying it. It all flies in the face of common sense and practical police procedure. Our goal as cops should be to streamline protocol, not add to it.
But this third use of force policy, this unwritten rule forged by bosses too scared to stand up to outside forces such as the media and/or city fathers, seems to be taking precedence over the other two. If you have to patrol and not only look out for what the bad guys might do to you, but also your own bosses, it becomes an exercise in futility. What's the sense of even trying?
Yet we know that many of us are warriors at heart. We only know one way to do our job and that's one hundred percent. We've adopted the ideology expressed in the famous quote from Admiral Farragut during the Civil War, Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead! We do the job in spite of the obstacles placed in our way. We are focused; we are dedicated. Our strength lies in the righteousness of our actions. With St. Michael leading us and God watching from above, we will be victorious.
Stay safe, brothers and sisters!