Blue Byline

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

Tag: police work


A college commencement speech you’ll never hear

If I were a snippy kind of guy, the fact that I didn’t receive a single invitation to deliver a college commencement address might irk me. But I’m not. Sniff.

Outside of a handful of web-surfing insomniacs I recognize that few people have heard of me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have something to contribute to the graduation zeitgist (whatever that is). This is the speech I might have given, if anyone had asked.


Hey kids. Thanks for inviting me to speak at the commencement of the class of 2014. You guys look great in those caps and

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Cops could use a little help with public relations

Police work can be an exciting and rewarding career field, but it definitely has its drawbacks. One of the most frustrating aspects is the negative response cops receive from simply doing their job.

I refer you to a recent incident that occurred at the transit center in downtown Tacoma on Monday involving an off-duty officer and a combative subject (TNT 1/8).

The details that led to the altercation are exceptional only in the fact that they are so mundane – the subject, a 34-year-old man, was detained on a misdemeanor charge of smoking a cigarette

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Revolving door of justice is both illusion and reality

Justice, as it is sometimes said, can be a revolving door.

This frustrating aspect of police work materialized for me many years ago when, as a young officer, I responded to a large fight inside a tavern. The brawl was in full tilt when we arrived. Fists, chairs and bottles were flying. Bloody people were limping out the door, but the battle inside raged on. We waded in and, over several difficult minutes, regained control.

The hardest to stop was, of course, the instigator. He was a mean drunk, and it took several of us to hold him down long

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30 years of cop stories

Unlike many of my colleagues, I didn’t always want to be a police officer. Despite being raised in an Irish family in San Francisco, a town where a large portion of police officers also sported an “O-apostrophe” in their surnames, I fought the stereotype.

Back in those days the City, as the natives refer to it, was filled with sensational crime. Patty Hearst robbed the bank down the street, some lunatic was beheading joggers in Golden Gate Park and the Black Panthers were having regular gun battles with the police.

These disturbing events were, however, outside the bubble of a

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