Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: Feb. 2013


The only consistent factor in gun debate is inconsistency

For those interested in deciphering the myriad federal, state and local laws governing firearms, let me first offer this tip. Don’t go looking for a super secret decoder ring to find your way through the various statutes’ dizzying levels.Instead, find a coin. Then flip it.

Our nation’s troubled relationship with firearms has created a paradoxical reality where protections are offerred in unlikely situations and controls restrict basic rights. A recent federal appeals court ruling, summarized in a Denver Post article, highlights the discrepancy.

The Denver court’s decision was based on a suit brought by a Washington State

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A look at Tacoma from a traveler’s lens

I noticed a small sidebar in the paper the other day entitled, “Let us hear from you.” One of my favorite former columnists, C.R. Roberts, was looking for some ideas to improve Tacoma, such as better streets, more yogurt shops (?) or even, gasp, a single multiplex movie theater.

Interesting topic, I thought. A couple of hours later I was on a plane headed out of town. Tacoma – outta sight, outta mind. More on that interesting topic in a moment.

Though I have spent some time in the Deep South before, this was my first visit to its crown

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Rogue cop should be a term reserved for movies

On the rare occasion when it becomes difficult to defend the actions of one’s peers, what do does one do? The answer is simple.

Acknowledge the obvious.

In the case of former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner, whose alleged murder spree includes three victims and has an entire region on pins and needles, admitting the obvious is like swallowing a bitter pill.

The former cop is a criminal. Worse, he has foresworn his oath to serve with his fellow officers and since declared open war on them. On us.

To be honest, it is still hard to believe. Last week Dorner,

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Once upon a time in a parking lot…

My kids like to think my police career began in a year that ended with the initials, B.C. Actually, it was 1988, an era of heavy metal and parachute pants, when coffee was still Folgers and the B.C. stood for Before Children.

Much has changed in my profession since then: Lawsuits and liability issues, court rulings and legal precedents, gang violence and synthetic drugs. Nothing, however, has altered the landscape more than the ready availability of massive firepower.

I was barely 23, wet behind the ears and all nervous energy when a grouchy old sergeant marched me into the armory

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