Cause and Effect California Law Enforcement Edition

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Cause and Effect California Law Enforcement Edition

Mal­one: You just ful­filled the first rule of law enforce­ment: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.

The Untouch­ables 1987

Leonard: …Shel­don, you can’t train my girl­friend like a lab rat.
Shel­don: Actu­ally, it turns out I can.
Leonard: Well, you shouldn’t.
Shel­don: There’s just no pleas­ing you, is there, Leonard? You weren’t happy with my pre­vi­ous approach to deal­ing with her, so I decided to employ oper­ant con­di­tion­ing tech­niques, build­ing on the work of Thorndike and B.F. Skin­ner. By this time next week, I believe I can have her jump­ing out of a pool, bal­anc­ing a beach ball on her nose.

The Big Bang The­ory, The Gothowitz Devi­a­tion 2009

Over at IMDB there is an inter­est­ing story con­cern­ing Johnny Weiss­muller the gold medal swim­mer con­cern­ing his early days as the sil­ver screen’s most famous Tarzan:

When Weiss­muller was intro­duced to the first Chee­tah in his Tarzan films in 1931 (he worked with 8 chim­panzees alto­gether), the chimp’s trainer told him to show no fear or the ani­mal would attack him. As Weiss­muller, dressed in his Tarzan loin­cloth and hunt­ing knife, walked up to the ani­mal, it bared its teeth, growled at him and lunged as if to attack him. Weiss­muller took the knife out of the sheath and held it in front of the chimp’s nose, to make sure he saw and smelled it. He then slammed the ani­mal on the side of the head with the knife han­dle. He put the knife back in its sheath and held out his hand to the chimp. It glared at him, bared his teeth again, then changed its mind, grinned at Weiss­muller and jumped up and hugged him. Weiss­muller never had any fur­ther prob­lems with the chimp – although other cast and crew mem­bers did – and it fol­lowed him around like a puppy dog dur­ing all the pic­tures they worked together.

This is a per­fect exam­ple of risk/​reward, note that the Chimp didn’t change his nature, he still gave prob­lems to the rest of the cast and crew, but when it came to Weiss­muller the risk of the whack in the head out­weighed the reward of giv­ing him grief.

This per­fectly illus­trates this story out of LA con­cern­ing the arrest rate:

an Assis­tant Chief with the LAPD tells the Times the num­ber of arrests has con­tin­ued to decline. Sim­i­lar declines were seen in other big cities includ­ing San Diego. The result is that the over­all num­ber of arrests in Cal­i­for­nia is at its low­est level in nearly 50 years.

Now given the increase in the crime rate the drop in the arrest rate would seem rather odd, but if you con­sider risk and reward, it’s not odd at all.

But oth­ers say it is inevitable that some offi­cers will pull back, tak­ing care of nec­es­sary work while not engag­ing in the “proac­tive polic­ing” that could lead to more arrests — and to more encoun­ters that turn violent.

“Not to make fun of it, but a lot of guys are like, ‘Look, I’m just going to act like a fire­man.’ I’m going to han­dle my calls for ser­vice and the things that I have to do,” said George Hof­stet­ter, a motor­cy­cle deputy in Pico Rivera and for­mer pres­i­dent of the union rep­re­sent­ing L.A. County sheriff’s deputies. “But going out there and mak­ing traf­fic stops and con­tact­ing per­sons who may be up to some­thing nefar­i­ous? ‘I’m not going to do that anymore.’”

A police job car­ries a good pay, good ben­e­fits and a fine retire­ment pack­age (at least until the unfunded pen­sion issue bub­ble bursts) that is to com­pen­sate for the risk to life and limb, but it’s not just a phys­i­cal risk any­more, it’s a social and rep­u­ta­tion risk that enters into it

LAPD offi­cers are trou­bled by con­tentious demon­stra­tions at Police Com­mis­sion meet­ings and by pub­lic crit­i­cism of their col­leagues for using deadly force, said Robert Har­ris, a police offi­cer on the LAPD union’s board of directors.

“Sud­denly, you feel like you can’t do any police work, because every oppor­tu­nity that you have might turn into the next big media case,” Har­ris said. “Of course, you’re going to take stock a lit­tle bit more, I think, before you put your­self out there like that.”

Why on earth are you going to risk your finan­cial secu­rity pro­tect­ing peo­ple who are going to demand your head if you put your­self out there to pro­tect them? Par­tic­u­larly in a city and/​or state gov­erned by a party actively antag­o­nis­tic to police offi­cers and silent when they are tar­geted as illus­trated in the last pres­i­den­tial cam­paign:

while Pres­i­dent Obama and the Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­dates vying to suc­ceed him are putting America’s police depart­ments on trial in the court of pub­lic opin­ion in response to a rash of deadly police shoot­ings, the mur­der of police offi­cers on America’s streets is being met with a “deaf­en­ing silence.”

“I can­not recall any time in recent years when six law enforce­ment pro­fes­sion­als have been mur­dered by gun­fire in mul­ti­ple inci­dents in a sin­gle week,” National Law Enforce­ment Offi­cers Memo­r­ial Fund CEO Craig W. Floyd said in a state­ment Fri­day. “Already this year there have been eight offi­cers shot and killed, com­pared to just one dur­ing the same period last year and rep­re­sents a very trou­bling trend.”

The rel­a­tive silence on offi­cer deaths con­trasts with the Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­dates’ often fiery lan­guage on police bru­tal­ity against African Amer­i­cans. When it came to the issue of law enforce­ment at Thurs­day night’s Demo­c­ra­tic debate, the can­di­dates focused almost exclu­sively on “police reform.” Ver­mont Sen. Sanders said he’s “sick and tired” of see­ing unarmed black peo­ple shot by police, liken­ing heav­ily equipped depart­ments to “occu­py­ing armies” – a ref­er­ence to Fer­gu­son, Mo. and else­where. Hillary Clin­ton hit sim­i­lar points.

And why would they act oth­er­wise? Given the super­ma­jor­ity of Democ­rats in the state, an elec­torate will­ing to reward them for attack­ing police and their lack of per­sonal prox­im­ity to the areas of increased risk there is absolutely no incen­tive for elected Democ­rats to act oth­er­wise, nor for pro­fes­sional lib­er­als in academia:

If offi­cers think twice about approach­ing peo­ple, some sit­u­a­tions where police use force might be avoided, said Melina Abdul­lah, a leader of the local Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment and chair of the Pan-​African stud­ies depart­ment at Cal State L.A.

“If police are more cau­tious about mak­ing arrests that might be con­tro­ver­sial, mak­ing arrests that might elicit protests, then that is a vic­tory,” Abdul­lah said. “We want them to begin to check themselves.”

who I sus­pect, out­side of an orga­nized march wouldn’t be caught dead in the areas where crime is increas­ing as the police back off. Vic­tor Davis Han­son has these folks nailed:

The Amer­i­can pro­gres­sive elite relies on its influ­ence, edu­ca­tion, money, and cul­tural priv­i­lege to exempt itself from the bad schools, unas­sim­i­lated immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties, dan­ger­ous neigh­bor­hoods, crime waves, and gen­eral impov­er­ish­ment that are so often the log­i­cal con­se­quences of its own poli­cies — con­se­quences for oth­ers, that is.

And of course while the neg­a­tive rein­force­ment is being deliv­ered to police the oppo­site mes­sage is being deliv­ered to crim­i­nals, as the risk of arrest and pun­ish­ment decreases, the incen­tive to engage in crim­i­nal beha­vor increases. thus the rewards for every­thing from petty theft to intim­i­da­tion and threats of vio­lence increases for the crim­i­nal class while at the same time the incen­tive for a poten­tial vic­tim to call the police decreases. Why bother call­ing the cops if they aren’t going to fol­low through? Much bet­ter to keep your mouth shut and hope the gangs, the drug­gies and the thugs just leave you alone.

And this isn’t just con­fined to the cities, Han­son again:

Let me nar­rate a recent two-​week period in nav­i­gat­ing the out­lands of Fresno County. A few days ago my neigh­bor down the road asked whether I had put any out­go­ing mail in our town’s drive-​by blue fed­eral mail­box, adja­cent to the down­town Post Office. I had. And he had, too —to have it deliv­ered a few hours later to his home in scraps, with the checks miss­ing, by a good Samar­i­tan. She had col­lected the torn envelopes with his return address scat­tered along the street. I’m still wait­ing to see whether my own bills got col­lected before the thieves struck the box. Most of us in rural Cal­i­for­nia go into town to mail our let­ters, because our rural boxes have been van­dal­ized by gangs so fre­quently that it is sui­ci­dal to mail any­thing from home.

No won­der the rest of the coun­try doesn’t want to be ruled by California.


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[olimome­ter id=3]

If you are not in the posi­tion to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

Malone: You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.

The Untouchables 1987

Leonard: …Sheldon, you can’t train my girlfriend like a lab rat.
Sheldon: Actually, it turns out I can.
Leonard: Well, you shouldn’t.
Sheldon: There’s just no pleasing you, is there, Leonard? You weren’t happy with my previous approach to dealing with her, so I decided to employ operant conditioning techniques, building on the work of Thorndike and B.F. Skinner. By this time next week, I believe I can have her jumping out of a pool, balancing a beach ball on her nose.

The Big Bang Theory, The Gothowitz Deviation 2009

Over at IMDB there is an interesting story concerning Johnny Weissmuller the gold medal swimmer concerning his early days as the silver screen’s most famous Tarzan:

When Weissmuller was introduced to the first Cheetah in his Tarzan films in 1931 (he worked with 8 chimpanzees altogether), the chimp’s trainer told him to show no fear or the animal would attack him. As Weissmuller, dressed in his Tarzan loincloth and hunting knife, walked up to the animal, it bared its teeth, growled at him and lunged as if to attack him. Weissmuller took the knife out of the sheath and held it in front of the chimp’s nose, to make sure he saw and smelled it. He then slammed the animal on the side of the head with the knife handle. He put the knife back in its sheath and held out his hand to the chimp. It glared at him, bared his teeth again, then changed its mind, grinned at Weissmuller and jumped up and hugged him. Weissmuller never had any further problems with the chimp–although other cast and crew members did–and it followed him around like a puppy dog during all the pictures they worked together.

This is a perfect example of risk/reward, note that the Chimp didn’t change his nature, he still gave problems to the rest of the cast and crew, but when it came to Weissmuller the risk of the whack in the head outweighed the reward of giving him grief.

This perfectly illustrates this story out of LA concerning the arrest rate:

an Assistant Chief with the LAPD tells the Times the number of arrests has continued to decline. Similar declines were seen in other big cities including San Diego. The result is that the overall number of arrests in California is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years.

Now given the increase in the crime rate the drop in the arrest rate would seem rather odd, but if you consider risk and reward, it’s not odd at all.

But others say it is inevitable that some officers will pull back, taking care of necessary work while not engaging in the “proactive policing” that could lead to more arrests — and to more encounters that turn violent.

“Not to make fun of it, but a lot of guys are like, ‘Look, I’m just going to act like a fireman.’ I’m going to handle my calls for service and the things that I have to do,” said George Hofstetter, a motorcycle deputy in Pico Rivera and former president of the union representing L.A. County sheriff’s deputies. “But going out there and making traffic stops and contacting persons who may be up to something nefarious? ‘I’m not going to do that anymore.’”

A police job carries a good pay, good benefits and a fine retirement package (at least until the unfunded pension issue bubble bursts) that is to compensate for the risk to life and limb, but it’s not just a physical risk anymore, it’s a social and reputation risk that enters into it

LAPD officers are troubled by contentious demonstrations at Police Commission meetings and by public criticism of their colleagues for using deadly force, said Robert Harris, a police officer on the LAPD union’s board of directors.

“Suddenly, you feel like you can’t do any police work, because every opportunity that you have might turn into the next big media case,” Harris said. “Of course, you’re going to take stock a little bit more, I think, before you put yourself out there like that.”

Why on earth are you going to risk your financial security protecting people who are going to demand your head if you put yourself out there to protect them?  Particularly in a city and/or state governed by a party actively antagonistic to police officers and silent when they are targeted as illustrated in the last presidential campaign:

while President Obama and the Democratic candidates vying to succeed him are putting America’s police departments on trial in the court of public opinion in response to a rash of deadly police shootings, the murder of police officers on America’s streets is being met with a “deafening silence.”

“I cannot recall any time in recent years when six law enforcement professionals have been murdered by gunfire in multiple incidents in a single week,” National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Craig W. Floyd said in a statement Friday. “Already this year there have been eight officers shot and killed, compared to just one during the same period last year and represents a very troubling trend.”

The relative silence on officer deaths contrasts with the Democratic candidates’ often fiery language on police brutality against African Americans. When it came to the issue of law enforcement at Thursday night’s Democratic debate, the candidates focused almost exclusively on “police reform.” Vermont Sen. Sanders said he’s “sick and tired” of seeing unarmed black people shot by police, likening heavily equipped departments to “occupying armies” – a reference to Ferguson, Mo. and elsewhere. Hillary Clinton hit similar points.

And why would they act otherwise?  Given the supermajority of Democrats in the state, an electorate willing to reward them for attacking police and their lack of personal proximity to the areas of increased risk there is absolutely no incentive for elected Democrats to act otherwise, nor for professional liberals in academia:

If officers think twice about approaching people, some situations where police use force might be avoided, said Melina Abdullah, a leader of the local Black Lives Matter movement and chair of the Pan-African studies department at Cal State L.A.

“If police are more cautious about making arrests that might be controversial, making arrests that might elicit protests, then that is a victory,” Abdullah said. “We want them to begin to check themselves.”

who I suspect,  outside of an organized march wouldn’t be caught dead in the areas where crime is increasing as the police back off.  Victor Davis Hanson has these folks nailed:

The American progressive elite relies on its influence, education, money, and cultural privilege to exempt itself from the bad schools, unassimilated immigrant communities, dangerous neighborhoods, crime waves, and general impoverishment that are so often the logical consequences of its own policies — consequences for others, that is.

And of course while the negative reinforcement is being delivered to police the opposite message is being delivered to criminals, as the risk of arrest and punishment decreases, the incentive to engage in criminal behavor increases.  thus the rewards for everything from petty theft to intimidation and threats of violence increases for the criminal class while at the same time the incentive for a potential victim to call the police decreases.  Why bother calling the cops if they aren’t going to follow through?  Much better to keep your mouth shut and hope the gangs, the druggies and the thugs just leave you alone.

And this isn’t just confined to the cities, Hanson again:

Let me narrate a recent two-week period in navigating the outlands of Fresno County. A few days ago my neighbor down the road asked whether I had put any outgoing mail in our town’s drive-by blue federal mailbox, adjacent to the downtown Post Office. I had. And he had, too —to have it delivered a few hours later to his home in scraps, with the checks missing, by a good Samaritan. She had collected the torn envelopes with his return address scattered along the street. I’m still waiting to see whether my own bills got collected before the thieves struck the box. Most of us in rural California go into town to mail our letters, because our rural boxes have been vandalized by gangs so frequently that it is suicidal to mail anything from home.

No wonder the rest of the country doesn’t want to be ruled by California.


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And of course if you want to give a one shot hit (and help pay DaWife’s medical bills) you can hit DaTipJar




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If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.