Blue Byline

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

Tag: Term limits


Norm Dicks, me and the big blue sky

I stood by the open cockpit door of the little four-passenger Piper and imagined myself the very image of a nonchalant charter pilot. Then my passenger, Congressman Norm Dicks, stormed up and my cool demeanor evaporated like water on the hot tarmac. When he realized I was his ride to Hoquiam I swear I saw smoke coming out of his ears.

That was back in 2000. I had just left Tacoma P.D. to pursue an ill-fated dream of being an airline pilot (a year later I would lose my job at Horizon Air when the Twin Towers came crashing down).

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The federal deficit: the ultimate platinum credit card

The federal government is truly not what it used to be. Where once farmers, soldiers, businessmen and normal people (defined as “those who work for a living”) considered it an honor to spend a few years making the trek to the swamp in D.C., there are now career politicians entrenched in the magical and profitable world that is the Beltway.

Obviously, that was not a shocking revelation. Still, one can argue that if the members of the Constitutional Convention could get a look at what now passes for government in D.C., they might have decided to write a few extra chapters onto our country’s original parchment.

State’s rights would have been a great place to start. Here in our Washington, state and local governments must balance their budgets or cut whatever looks least necessary. Here we pay the vast majority of government workers a middle class wage along with respectable benefits. If the economy tanks then everything, salaries, benefits and retirement, is susceptible to some painful tweaking.

For example, when I was hired in 1988 I worked with quite a few cops who were still part of the old retirement system (LEOFF 1) which was generous to a fault. That seismic fault appeared in 1978 in the form of spiraling inflation. Along came LEOFF 2 with no medical, later retirement age and less money.  Back in the present, our current recession has caused the first round of layoffs and pay cuts that I have ever experienced in law enforcement. Everyone, from public to private business in our state, has shared this recession. Read more »