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Are Criminals More Violent?

February 16th, 2010

c5f9cd4966dc3c96Juvenile Detention Officer Leonard Wall succumbed to injuries sustained when he was severely beaten by three juvenile inmates at the Jack Jones Juvenile Justice Center.  Officer Wall was conducting bed checks when the three inmates attacked him and took his keys. When another officer came to check on Officer Wall, the inmates attacked him too, inflicting non-life threatening injuries.

January 30th, 2010

 

1074c8ce591db2c8It would be difficult to imagine a subject today that occupies the minds of Americans more than the subject of crime does!  A recent national crime clock tells us we have…A violent crime every 22 seconds…A property crime every 3 seconds…A rape every 5 seconds…An automobile stolen every 19 seconds and…A child abuse case reported every 10 seconds. The threat of Crime hovers over every community in our nation like an ominous dark cloud. Rapists, murderers, drug dealers, sex predators and violent perverts are turned out on the street by a judicial system that is supposed to be the watchdog of our freedoms. America now leads the world in the number of incarcerated-with Russia coming in second.

 

“What started out as a traffic stop by two Oakland Police motorcycle officers Saturday afternoon turned into a bloody massacre that would leave four officers and the suspect dead in a shocking incident that has shaken the Bay Area.”

 

The purpose of this article is to bring about more awareness about the increasing number of law enforcement and correctional officers killed in the7a0f0d84adc231b4 line of duty.  I get almost daily E-Mail notifications about law enforcement officers killed while on duty.  This does not include the number of correctional officers killed, as that stastic is not well maintained or compiled.  Now include the increasing number of officers assaulted or disabled and it makes me wonder, “Are criminals more violent and aggressive?”  I think you have to answer that question with a one-word answer, “YES!”

 

“Francis was shot and killed in the line of duty on July 2, 2008, in a struggle with a woman who grabbed his gun and shot him in the head.  A 27-year veteran Chicago Police officer was shot and killed early Wednesday morning after a woman grabbed away his service gun in a struggle near the Belmont Area Police Headquarters.”

 

As of the time and date of this article being published there have been 29 18130624cd372280police officers killed in the line of duty as of January 1st, 2010.  29 officers killed and it has not been a full two months yet.  Now how many officers do you think have been assaulted in that same period?  That number is probably astronomical.  Criminal just no longer have the natural respect and fear of authority that law enforcement and correctional officers once possessed in the past.  I wonder when in our initial academy training on aspects of force when we will eliminate officer presence as a level in the force continuum.  When evil individuals do not see you as an authority figure and have the balls to walk up to a table full of police officers in a coffee house and open fire killing just for the reality of killing is terrible. 

 

The four officers were killed at about 8:15 a.m. by a scruffy-looking man who walked into a coffee shop and opened fire. The officers — three men and one woman — were found dead by deputies who arrived at Forza Coffee at 11401 Steele St.

 

We have to consider the mere fact that we are present at a situation does not mean that we any longer bring a natural reluctance or deterrent to violenced75c858c68de8a0c or will offer any sort of respect or compliance on the part of society.   You are a trophy to be worn as a badge of honor upon defeat and criminals will accept your challenge almost without hesitation.  No more is the stigma of having a son or relative in prison looked upon as bad.  Some families have all the males in their bloodline incarcerated inside an institution.  Prison time is seen by some genera’s as the military was looked at 40 years ago.  It is something you have to do to be respected and admired.  Crazy as it sounds, the longer you are incarcerated the more street credibility and respect you will generate. 

 

February 16, 2010

“Police from multiple jurisdictions are hunting for whoever shot and killed a Chattahoochee Hills policeman. Lieutenant Mike Vogt was pronounced dead after a helicopter rushed him to a hospital.  Vogt was driving down a dirt road when someone fired a “high-powered weapon” at him.”

 

This society today led by the nose-by the mainstream media avoids the word evil like the plague. Evil will always be with us as a criminal reality. Evil has a history going back thousands of years, in biblical times it began with Cain when he killed his brother Abel in cold blood. Criminals have been with us since the beginning of civilization. Call it evil, call it genetic, call it mean, call it behavioral or call it a dozen other names but evil is the actual name. Lawyers redefine evil acts as a sick act by a sick person, generally because of childhood abuse or some other deficiency. Regardless of the art of deception, it is still evil. Let us face it!  There is an evil group in society and the group will enlarge with society, they will always be with us and we will always have the need for a prison system to house evil people.  We need to include evil in our vocabulary, our anticipation and our planning in society!

 

I actually had a reader comment on my articles advising me not to call them inmates but instead offenders.  It seems that the labeling of being called inmates is far too derogatory and it stereotypes them as evil or bad.  Well the truth is they are evil and their actions are outside the societal norms placing them into a category that represents evil inside our prisons.  I am not a politically correct writer and I call it as I see it.  We need to place the status back into our prisons.  It should not be a status that is acceptable for people to go to jail.  Prison should not be nice and once you get out, it is a place you never want to return.  I think we as a society have made prison acceptable and flashy seeming not such a bad place to go. 

 

There are many reasons why people become criminals, and psychopathic personality disorder is just one of them. Many non-psychopaths turn to crime because:

 

·         They have been raised in social environments where crime is the way in which most people make their living.

·         They were severely abused or deprived in childhood.

·         They have drug habits that make them desperate.

·         They have responded rashly to traumatic events.

·         They live in extreme poverty and have no skills with which to obtain gainful employment.


Scientists have recently found a strong correlation between brain development and the nature of violent offenders. Many of the offenders had previously suffered strong blows to the head, which may have damaged the brain in such a way that certain sensory organs and emotion control organs have been altered. As a result, certain people will not feel remorse, cannot control their aggression and so on. In addition, after many years of emotional abuse, the brain becomes used to it and creates a defense mechanism for it. People who have suffered from this kind of abuse usually shut off from other people becoming antisocial, and when dealing with people may become very hostile or disenchanted. This is the only way of coping with everyday life and the turmoil they feel from it.  However, you have those individuals who choose to be criminals and choose to be evil, without any fear of consequences for their criminal actions.

 

Our correctional system reproduces all of the ingredients known to promote violence isolation, discomfort, pain, exposure to other violent individuals and general insecurity. In our prisons we have created, a laboratory that predictable reproduces and reinforces aggression. Perhaps with a hit of ingenuity we could do the opposite.  So in essence, our prisons are a sort of higher learning educational institutions that do nothing to reform individuals but instead make criminals better educated and better understanding of the loopholes in our legal system. 

 

All too often, the subject of criminal and dangerous behavior, especially the aftermath, is muddled up with ideology, rhetoric and even politics. Often the actions of the criminal and violent person are explained away because of injustice, oppression or societal failure. However, by looking at crime and violence from the perspective of extreme selfishness and lack of concern for others, you begin to see more of the ‘charging lion’ nature of the subject.  In addition, make no mistake, that criminal coming at you is like a charging lion … intent on eating you alive.

 

1. Remember that individuals can be extremely unpredictable. A seemingly calm encounter can suddenly explode into a violent, potentially lethal fight for your life in the blink of an eye. Always remain acutely aware of the individual’s demeanor and body language and stay alert for verbal cues that might tip you off to building anxiety and a diminishing level of cooperation.  When considering your force options remember that in some instances individuals under duress and chemically induced euphoria can demonstrate extraordinary strength and immunity to pain.

 

2. Don’t use past encounters with individuals as the sole basis for determining your level of tactical awareness during a current encounter.  People change. Mental illnesses and their levels of severity and treatment change. Foundational officer survival principles do not ever change.

 

3. Stay educated on the signs and symptoms of aggression. Are you able to quickly notice the fact that someone is paranoid, disturbed or agitated?  Are you prepared to deal with them appropriately while avoiding approaches that are the triggers for an outburst? Can you spot red flag behavior that can tip you off to the fact that a person is hallucinating or in the midst of a psychotic episode? Do you know what to do in that situation…and more importantly, what not to do? Your ability to read people and determine when the situation will go bad could save your life and the lives of others around you.

 

4. Get as much background information as you can from every available source; family, physician, a friend trying to help, other law enforcement personnel who may have had encounters with this person. Time might be tight, but do not miss an opportunity to tap into an information source if you have the chance. What is that person suffering from? What medications are they on? Have they mixed alcohol with prescription drugs? Have they made threatening statements? Do they have access to weapons? Have they been violent in the past?

 

5. Be careful not to fall into the trap of trying to be kind and compassionate at the expense of being tactically wise. The parents are helpless and horrified. The subject is distraught, in emotional anguish and feeling as if he is at the end of his rope. You are sitting there thinking that a few kind words and a gesture of kindness might help bring him to help. You decide to step out from behind cover and move closer or give up your safe distance. Maybe you can relax him and get him to hand over the gun or submit.  Sometimes individuals will not surrender or submit to voluntary compliance at any time.  You must know when it is time to act and force compliance to prevent tragedy. 

 

You must realize that you have a proverbial target painted on your back and you must keep a proper level of awareness at all times.  The tragedy you prevent may be your own.

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Tracy Barnhart Hot Tips, Mental Preperation

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