Had an interesting conversation with the Powers That Be today regarding this little venue of mine. It was not negative in the least and I appreciated the perspective as PTB is in a position I am not. Specifically, Admin.
PTB’s concerns were, I think, valid. Let me be clear, here. PTB was not saying to no longer blog. PTB wanted to give me some food for thought. I appreciated the time and the effort. There is no case law on the books (as of yet and at least in CA) regarding information contained within blogs. However, there is a case out of NY in which an officer used Facebook. Apparently, one of his status updates said something about watching the movie “Training Day” and made commentary about that being the way it should be done. (Don’t quote me, I read about it a couple months ago). Suffice it to say, when the defense attorney got ahold of it after the officer was involved in allegedly brutal behavior, he used it to paint a pretty ugly picture of the officer.
Now, I know there are defense attorneys that read my blog. I also realize you have a job to do. Do I think taking a snippet of something I say here and using it out of context should, God forbid, I be involved in a case where someone got hurt and then blowing it up to paint a picture of me to a jury is fair/right/ethical/morally proper? No, I don’t. Unfortunately, it’s also your job.
The people that truly know me know exactly where I stand and understand the humor, sarcasm, and wit behind the things I write about here. As I’ve stated a number of times before, this forum began as a way to vent my frustrations about the folks I run into on a daily basis. I absolutely have certain opinions about them as people, but that does nothing to change the rights they have or the professional manner in which I conduct myself with respect to those rights. I took an Oath when I took this job and I believe in that Oath. I am also human and I have opinions. I have, what I believe to be, the ability to separate my personal feelings from my professional ones. I may very well find you morally reprehensible, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the same rights afforded by the Constitution as I do.
Although it did start as a forum for venting and to entertain out-of-state relatives and friends, it morphed into what I have been told is a public service of sorts. This is why I started the Saturday Question weekly post. You all have emailed me a number of questions and I try to answer them the best way I know how. Prior to starting the weekly post, I would answer as many questions within the commentary section after readers have commented on a post. I have received quite a bit of positive feedback from non-LEO readers that never gave a second thought to how to properly act during a traffic stop, why officers approach vehicles a certain way, why we ask certain questions, etc.
There also remains the possibility that the “wrong person” will be led to the blog and not particularly enjoy the comedy within. Therein lies the possibility of being removed from a “Specialty Assignment” (e.g. Motors) and moved back to a different unit. Per PTB, this can be construed as neither disciplinary nor punitive as there is no loss of employment or pay. Some of you may have a different opinion. Hell, I may have a different opinion, but with a decade or so left until retirement is that a fight I want to take on? Take a guess…
Here’s something else to consider. My family and I have talked on a number of occasions about how the blog has benefited me. I think my attitude towards the public and work has vastly improved since I began blogging. It has afforded me a healthy outlet for what otherwise has the possibility of creating a very hard core jaded and cynical man. The blog has become a creative outlet for writing…something I’ve long enjoyed but never did enough of outside of college. The blog introduced me to two people and their families that I think will be life long friends (CCCPSC in tha house!). I never would have met them, otherwise.
So…to the dilemma. Do I worry about the what if’s and the maybe never’s? Do I sanitize what I have to say and how I say it? (Fuck that last one, that’ll never happen) Do I hope the spirit in which I say things shine through the profane way I say them? Do I straight nix the blog? Do I make it private? Do I buy a domain name and offer memberships after a vetting process to make sure the “wrong person” doesn’t misconstrue my meaning? These are the conundrums swirling about my dome today.
If it came down to it, I’m willing to no longer post. I would miss it terribly (never thought I’d say that, by the by), but my family comes first. If PTB’s PTB say, “The blog or the bike”, it’s bye bye blog.
The flip side to this is kind of ironic. For a guy that basically tells people what to do for a living, I really don’t like being told what to do. Weird, right? I find it particularly loathsome when I feel like I haven’t really done anything wrong and my First Amendment rights are called into question. Part of me wants to literarily thumb my nose at the Man (again, weird) and forge ahead with a “Damn the torpedoes” attitude. I don’t know that I have that luxury, though. If I was a few months from retirement, it’d most assuredly be different, but again, not the case.
I’ve made it more than obvious I am not a political animal. At this point, I’ve no desire to promote. I like what I’m doing far too much. I have posted repeatedly about “Selective Enforcement” and how I feel about it. I don’t do what I do to please PTB or PTB’s PTB (a mouthful, I apologize….cost of remaining anonymous). I think PTB knows that and, believe it or not, understands and respects it. However, PTB’s job description doesn’t really allow for personal feelings to enter into the equation. So, while PTB may very well appreciate my point of view, having it out in the public eye isn’t the easiest for PTB to deal with. I get that. The thing is, I don’t care about the political ramifications of it all outside of the obvious impact it could have on me directly with regard to my current assignment.
I installed statcounter back in February. To date, I’ve had 19,523 unique visitors to my blog in over 50 different countries. That freaks me right the fuck out. I’m not saying all of them like what they read, but enough of you have come back repeatedly to check out the latest shenanigans I’ve experienced (or created, as the case may be). I must admit to feeling no small responsibility in continuing what I’m doing here. I feel connected to you and I appreciate all the emails and comments. Believe it or not, even the negative ones. What is life without conflict? F’n boring, that’s what. Besides, out of conflict, understanding can grow. There is nothing wrong with seeing another side to the same blessed equation.
I don’t know that I have a final point that can properly put the bow on this convoluted package. I don’t know if I’m looking for your feedback or if I just needed to vent (how full circle is that?). I don’t know what the outcome will be. I’ve long felt that the blog was going to lead me to something bigger or something positive. Have I reached that point? Is making two new friends the pinnacle? Did I educate enough of you that I can call it good? Or is there more to come? Is there some other outlet for me to both shirk off my yoke at the end of the day and maybe relay a much needed chuckle to you after a rough day on your end?
I guess time will tell. I’ll sleep on it. Maybe for a few nights. I’ll pray about it. Maybe for a few nights. If you’re so inclined, feel free to do the same. If not, keep a happy thought for me. I’ll do the same for you.