Category Archives: officer

What can we do to ease the tension? My take on DDN’s article.

Tension between police and ____________. Fill in the blank. You can fill it in with a race. You can fill it in with a government. You can even fill it in with words like emotions, or mental/emotional wellness. Are the recent events in Dayton anything new? Not even close. Are they expected. Usually. Is it easy to take? Nope.

I noticed in the DDN article it interviewed the FOP president. And that’s likely since he’s familiar with speaking from the police perspective. So I want to put in my two cents. Not that you asked for it, but I give free of charge. So for clarity’s sake, I don’t know (or have ever met) Chief Biehl. So these are my thoughts and not the DPD or any police agency.

First I want to address some points that were brought up. Then add a few of my own. Then give YOU some things that you can do (in or out of Dayton).

1. “Hire more black officers”. The city TRIED to do just that. They lower the passing qualification scores. Then they changed it to be more interview based. You can only hire from a pool of people WANTING to be hired. Since the community has a problem trusting the police, who wants to be the police. If you want more Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, or Eskimos, then more qualified people from those groups need to step up and be available for open positions.
2. “Bring back community policing”. I don’t know Chief Biehl, and so I can’t say this for certainty. But knowing police the way I do, I’d guess he’d LOVE to do that. Have the same guys on the same beat. Have smaller areas for each officer to cover. Have the ability to send those same cops to neighborhood parties, meetings, etc. But they do what they can with what they have. Alot of departments are discouraging overtime, and comp time is not easy to schedule. So to get closer and do more with the community, you have to have more officers on the street. Then there are costs. Not just extra costs for officer salary, but things like training, more vehicles (and more maintenance on an aging fleet of vehicles), higher health care costs for the department, etc. So when the city is saying “cut…cut…cut” and the people asre saying “more…more…more” something has to give.
3. “Seek input on long standing issues” . Ok, it’s one thing to ask people what they feel. “I feel the police are mean…uncaring…corrupt…” But ask them why. “My friend said…” “I saw a video…” “My friend knows someone who…”. In court we call this HEARSAY. Now if you tell me specifics that you were pulled over in_____ and Officer _____ seemed rude to you that’s an issue we can address. But you have to be ready to hear an answer that might also point to you. Or open to the fact that he just had to tell grieving parents that they could not save the toddler at the bottom of the pool.So you can say that his bad day does not have to be directed to you but (1) You committed an infraction that drew his attention and (2) maybe you should check to see if your bad days affect anyone else.
4.” Convene a review panel” – May sound good on the outside, but realistically, you have to have people on the panel who understand policing. You have to have someone who understands why you keep shooting until the threat is no longer there.You have to have people that understand what goes on in their head and what training tells them to do to STAY ALIVE. A community activist will not likely have any understanding of that. So your “unbiased” panel can not be ignorant.

Now here are some more “food for thought”.
1. We must hold our media responsible. Nothing gets attention like a bad cop story. Let’s face it, it get’s attention. Should we hold them to a higher standard? I don’t think any officer has a problem with a higher standard. But when the DDN, WHIO, or WDTN can tout as facts the opinion of a family member or friends who have little knowledge of the situation, then that’s just poor reporting. And I as an intelligent consumer demand more.

2. Sure , we can attempt to educate children that police are a force of good. But what they are taught at home outweighs what they hear at school. So maybe follow what your parents taught (or should have taught) “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” And that includes telling your kids in the store “If you don’t behave I’ll call the police and they’ll take you to jail (heard it more than once).

So there are my thoughts. Like them or not. If you have some better ideas or concerns, let me know. Or better yet, contact your police department (During business hours on the NON-EMERGENCY line). Understanding starts with parties understanding each other (and that may require understanding from you).

Distribution: Please distribute to all law enforcement personnel – Police Week 2011

As always, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I cannot express my gratitude enough for your assistance. I also want to thank you, the reader. I cannot personally give you a pat on the back or buy you lunch. However, I can let you know that people DO care.

May 15-21 this year is Police Week. It was designated by President Kennedy in “recognition of the service given by the men and women who, night and day, stand guard in our midst to protect us through enforcement of our laws”.

During this note, I would like to talk a bit about significance. Significance can be a very broad term, and like beauty, it can be in “the eye of the beholder”. Actions that I take may or may not be viewed as significant to employers, friends, or family; even though I think they are significant. The adverse is also true. Something that I think is insignificant may be very significant to someone else.

So how does that affect you as a Police Officer? I have ridden with and heard from numerous officers who fight this battle. They feel unappreciated. They feel that the community is looking for reasons to harp on them. Bottom line – they do not feel significant.

We as humans don’t have the full picture. What you see as giving directions to a lost motorist, may have enabled them to see a loved one for the last time, or the birth of a new child. By giving that kid at McDonalds a sticker or a toy badge, may have given them their first view of a cop – and made a supporter for life. Checking in on the dog bite victim even after your part of the case is done, showed that little boy that cops need not be feared, but are there to help. The little things that we consider insignificant may not have changed the world, but it changed someone’s world. Whether you are in a small town, big city, or something in between, you have likely made impact on people you are not aware of, and possibly may never know. So I want to encourage you as you read this.

I could go on for pages about why your job is significant, and why YOU are significant. But you have things to do, so I tried to be brief (If you’d like me to expound further drop me a note). For all the officers out there reading this, Dr. Mike is praying for a peaceful week for you. Safe traffic stops. I hope people see you in restaurants and pay for your food. I pray for a time of healing for the departments reading this who have had a loss in the last year. I pray that those of you making the trip to Washington will have a safe trip. For those who are making the trip to the wall to honor a fallen brother, I pray for safety and healing. But most of all, I hope there is an outpouring of appreciation form the communities that you serve.

In closing, thank you for all you do. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Prayer Challange – Police Officers

On this, the 13th day of 2010, we have already had 9 Line of Duty deaths for officers, bringing the documented total up to 19,984 officers killed in the line of duty. Organizations are uncovering officers from the past everyday, so this month we may reach 20,000 officers in our history.

We have to stop this trend. I’m asking all my friends and family to pray for the next 18 days. Please pray for our police officers, sheriffs, deputies, and troopers. Please pray for their safety and well-being. Pray that the violence that is planned against them will cease (that “no weapon formed against them will prosper”). Pray for peace in our communities. Pray for safety on the highways. Pray that they can eat meals and attend services in peace. Pray that not one officer out there feels alone or forsaken.

And to all my officer friends out there, we’re going to pray. We’re going to see God turn the tide. And if you feel alone, call me.

FAQ – Who are you?

I’ve decided to update my blog with details and some of the questions I’ve been asked.

Q. Why are you contacting me?
A. I have found your email address on a police or city/county website, or it was given to my my another police or fire department.

Q. What is your goal?
A. It’s my personal goal that no law enforcement officer in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana or Hawaii will ever come to a holiday and not know that that are appreciated and honored by someone. I want them to know that someone cares that they are out there.

Additionally, I try to cover Fire departments in Ohio.

You can see what departments I currently have by clicking here.

Q. What are you doing?
A. I perform 3 functions:

1. Send holiday greetings to get forwarded or posted for the police officers to see. The regular emails are only sent for Police Week, July 4, September 11, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2. In the event of injury, I would know who to contact and either send my get well wishes, or make a hospital visit.
3. Should an officer give the supreme sacrifice, I would have a contact that I could inquire about visitation and give the family and the department my condolences when possible.

Q. What is your attachment to Ohio and Kentucky?
A. I currently live in Ohio. I was raised in Kentucky and most of my family still live there.

Q. Is this SPAM? What do you do with the email addresses? Is this coming from an automated system?

A. This is not SPAM. I keep the addresses on an Excel spreadsheet that is password protected. When I send out a message, I open up my Outlook, type the message, and get the email addresses from that sheet. Under no circumstance have I or will I give any information out to anyone that I receive.

Q. What do you need?
A. I need one Point of contact in each police department. I do not need individual email addresses. I want to respect each officers privacy as much as possible. You can see what departments I currently have by clicking here.

Q. A member of my department is in the hospital. Would you visit them?
A. I will try my best to visit any hospitalized hero I know about. All I need is a the hospital and room number. If you have talk to a family member to get permission, that would be good also. I don’t want to intrude if the family wants private time or does not want to receive visitors.

Q. A member of my department was killed in the Line of Duty. Would you go to the funeral or viewing?
A. It would be an honor to pay my respects to a hero killed in the Line of Duty. Sometimes due to work/family schedules it may not be possible. Contact me with the details and I’ll do my best to make it.

Q. A member of my department passed away from non-duty injuries. Would you go to the funeral or viewing?
A. It would be an honor to pay my final respects to any hero. Sometimes due to work/family schedules it may not be possible. Contact me with the details and I’ll do my best to make it.

Q. What started this?
A. This began while I was thinking on the events of 9/11 in 2008. One of the last “moment of silence” was for the fire fighter that was the last survivor removed. I realized that we should be extremely grateful for our law enforcement and fire crews. When I called my local department (Huber Heights, OH) on 9/11 and asked if they could let the officers know my appreciation for them and I was informed that they had not had that request in over 14 years. So that’s where it started.

Q. How long have you been doing this?
A. I have been doing this in Southwestern Ohio since Thanksgiving 2008.

Q. How can my department get added?
A. If you received an email from me, just reply to confirm what email address you want me to use. If you have not, email me: doctormikecrain(replace this with the “at sign”)gmail.com.

Q. I’m part of a fire department that is outside your radius. Could you still add us?
A. Absolutely. Fire Departments are larger in quantity and a little harder to reach, that is why I set the limit. It is a time restraint for me to do large quantities of research. Just contact me (see above).

Q. I’m from a fire/police department in another state. Could you still add us?
A. Absolutely. Due to time constraints and information availability I can’t try to contact each PD/FD in the US. Just email me at doctormikecrain(replace this with the “at sign”)gmail.com and I’ll add you.

Q. Can any one reply to the holiday emails?
A. Yes. Any one can reply. Any reply to me is strictly confidential. I gladly read and respond to each email I get from officers and fire fighters.

Q. I received an email from you about a Line of Duty death. Where do you get your information?
A. I received a notification from the Officer Down page. I looked up your department’s web page and sent an email to the listed contact.

Q. Are you/have you been a police officer or fire fighter?
A. No.

Q. Do you have officers/fire fighters in your family?
A. My cousin is a volunteer firefighter in Menifee County, KY, and a third cousin works for the Sheriff’s department.

Q. I’m in Indiana (or another state). Why was I contacted?
A. I covered a small area of Eastern Indiana that was within the 75 mile radius of my house. Also I have accidentally contacted departments in other states when I was looking for smaller towns (I contacted Centerville , UT instead of Centerville, IN). I visited Hawaii in 2002 on my honeymoon, so I have contacted those departments.

Q. Who are you?
A. My name is Dr. Michael A. Crain. I was awarded my Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in 2008. I was born and raised in Mariba (Menifee County) Kentucky. After graduating High School in 1994, I joined the United States Air Force. I served four years and got out in 1999. I’ve been a resident of Ohio ever since. I’ve lived in Moraine, Dayton, and now Huber Heights. I am married with four children. I work at PNC Mortgage in Miamisburg, OH.

Q. Are you on a social networking site?
A. Yes. I’m on Facebook, PoliceLink, FireLink and LinkedIn.

Q. Are you available for ride alongs or meetings?
A. As time and distance permits I will do either. I have 40 ride-alongs under my belt. and have had great experiences on ride alongs with various departments in my area.

Q. How can I help?
A. Spread the word to other police and fire departments that I do not have contacts for. You can see what departments I currently have by clicking here.

Q. Why do you care about us?
A. This is a tough question to answer with a short answer. I think that everyone should. I think you should never have to pay for a meal in uniform. I think that complaints should be far out-numbered by the praise you receive. So 9/11/2008 I just wanted to say thanks. After I contacted my local police department to express appreciation, I found that appreciation for first responders isn’t shown very often. I’ve found that the more I give, the more I want to give. Local efforts became state-wide efforts, then included Kentucky and parts of Indiana. As I ride with officers, or read various articles, my desire to support you becomes greater. Then after Citizen’s Police Academy session at the Huber Heights Police Division where Law Enforcement suicide was mentioned, I wanted to do even more. When I hear about struggles that departments hare having with the community, I want to stand there beside you. I celebrate when you celebrate, hurt when you hurt, grieve when you grieve.

I care because a moment in time, God placed one thought inside my heart, and that has changed my life completely. The conversations I have, the people I meet, and the emails I’ve receive continue to inspire me far more than I ever imagined.

I care because you do.