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Author Archive

Hello Iowa!

May 25th, 2010

I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Iowa Corrections Association Convention in Storm lake Iowa earlier this month.  The people in Iowa were great, and the conference was an overwhelming success due to the hard work of everyone there.  Iowa is a unique state as they spend a lot of time on Re-entry, and seem to have this down pat.  I want to thank every-one that came to see my workshops, and encourage all Iowa members to attend the next spring conference!


Prepared for Disaster?

January 11th, 2010

So we all practice major disturbance drills, personal defense skills on a regular basis.  In the academy we learn the skills we need to handle even the most challenging conflicts with the tools provided to us by the department.  The problem is that few departments actually prepare for large scale natural disasters.  Earthquakes, Tsunami’s, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, the list goes on and on.  Most of these incidents  would come with little or no warning.  Even predictable events are often miscalculated as to their severity.   I want you to think about what you would do should something catastrophic take place in your area.  My first thoughts would be with my family.  Are they okay?  Do they need help?  Are they injured?  These questions would haunt me as I went about my tasks at work to keep the community safe.  Last weekend we had a strong Earthquake in our region.  Although tremors are nothing new, this one was notable.  Our first concern in the area where I live is Tsunami’s.  Earthquakes are sometimes just the beginning.  As we were preparing for the worst at work, my thoughts went to my family.  Luckily there was no Tsunami, and I knew my family knew what to do in this type of situation, as we had discussed it many times, and have supplies ready should we need them.  Other officers were not so sure, they had to take the time out of their duties to explain to their families where emergency supplies were located (the power was out in some areas) and explain the dangers of a tsunami. 

Preparing the institution is relatively easy.  Through experienced managers, and effective plan can be put in place.  Just do not forget about those at home.  Make sure you have a REAL plan ready should the worst happen.  You will most likely not be able to come home to help when disaster strikes.  Be safe out there.


4 Police Officers shot dead-Man should still be in prison

November 30th, 2009

Maurice Clemmons allegedly walked up to four officers and executed them while they finished their reports from the day prior at a Washington Coffee shop.  Tragic and senseless killings that could have been avoided.  19 years ago Clemmons’ sentence was reduced from 60 years down to time served.  The Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, felt that Clemmons’ sentence was too heavy for someone who was 18 years old, even though the judge in the case had stated in his sentencing report that Clemmons was a habitual criminal, and was a menace to society.  Clemmons has an extensive criminal record that included sex offenses, burglaries, possession of firearms, and assault on a Peace Officer; yet on this fateful day, he was a free man.  We failed those four officers and their families as a system, and now nationwide, we stand to do it again.

Read more…


Now that you have read Scars and Bars…

November 25th, 2009

Alright…This is the time for you to voice your opinion.  Scars and Bars immediately has started to sell copies, and I know many of you must have something to say about the book.  It can be good, bad or ugly.  I am not one who is worried about my ego, something unusual for authors.  If you would like to leave some comments, do so below.  As long as they are not threats, they will be posted.  I have already recieved several E-mails thanking me for the easy to read, to the point information; and thank you to those of you that have already read and purchased the book.  If you haven’t read it yet, go to the link below and buy your copy for only $9.99 and let me know what you think!

Let me know, and who knows, your ideas may be in my next book.

Be safe out there!


The book is available!

November 24th, 2009

Great news!  I have partnered up with Corrections Connection, bringing you the E-book version of Scars and Bars!  The book is available right now.  Order your copy right now for all the new officers in your life!

No waiting, no suspense, no nonsense…just the facts and the advice you need to be an effective officer the minute you step onto the yard the first time.  Be safe all!  To clarify: You DO NOT need a special reader to read the book.  It will come as  PDF format which is compatible with almost all computers and mobile devices!


A Thank You…

November 11th, 2009

I wanted to take the time today, on our nations day Veteran Recognition, to thank all of our brave men and woman who risked their lives for our freedom.  Many of our partners have served in the military, and for that we owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.  Thank you Veterans!


Time to renew yourself!

October 12th, 2009

Alright, so our profession seems to be in a proverbial lull.  Budget cuts and program changes have taken their toll on many of us.  As you read this, officers are going to work, seemingly on cruise control.  This is the time to renew yourself.  Think about why you joined the department.  Was it for the pay, the benefits or for other reasons?

Read more…


The flu is coming…

September 27th, 2009

In an environment like the one we work in, disease is nothing new.  Terrible illnesses such as Hep C are rampant throughout our institutions.  This year we have the added threat of a flu that is not well understood yet.  The H1N1 Flu tends to hit people who are younger.  This is juxtapose to the common flu which tends to strike the very young or the very old.  This flu is targeting people between the ages of 5 and 38.  Unfortunately, the average inmate population is 37 years old.  This gives me pause. Read more…


Craziest budget cuts ever!

September 21st, 2009

As most of you know, California has implimented millions of dollars of budgets cuts on the backs of the Department.  Cuts are going to include the release of inmates, and the layoff’s of officers.  That aside, there are the small budget cuts that seem to have been implimented without thinking them through.  I know California can’t be the only place where this is happening.  Share some examples with me of the craziest budget cut items you have seen.  Humerous or serious, either way, they will be interesting to hear.


A new kind of blog

September 10th, 2009

Welcome, and thanks for stopping by the blog everyone.  Please take the time to check it out a little.  On the top of the page you will find two tabs: Scars and Bars.  In those two tabs are areas for you to share your stories with everyone.  There is nothing like a good war story.  I have always relied on both my own and others’ war stories when I teach.  I think war stories are the best way for us to teach each other what can happen when things go horribly, or humorously, wrong.  Don’t be shy, tell us something you think we can learn from.  Feel free to post after any one of my posts also.  Tell me you agree, or disagree with what I am teaching.  Other than blatant threats,  I will publish your comment, even if it critical of me or my ideas.  We cannot progress as a profession if I try to sterilise the posts and create a blog of praise for myself; that is not the idea.   This is not a game to me, this is the strategy room in a war that has raged on as long as humanity has existed.  Since the first modern style prisons were built in Roman times, there has been a battle raging to keep evil at bay; we are here to fight that evil, now more than ever, we need eachother.  If you have ideas for the blog, post them under this post, and I will listen.  Be safe, vest up, and for God’s sake, watch your six!