Wednesday, December 12, 2012

There's A New Sheriff in Town - Heads Are Roll'n

December 12, 2012
GALVESTON, Texas - In the recent general election the race for county sheriff pitted two deputies against each other, both high ranking veteran deputies.
   One was a major who was born a Democrat then reborn a Republican.  The other, a captain, was born a democrat and remained true to his birthright.  2012 was the second time the Republicans swept the elections over what for over 100 years had been a democratically controlled county. 
   The born again major won, even though the incumbent Sheriff, a popular, lifelong lawman in the county, endorsed the true, blue democratic captain.
   As sure as the sky is blue, as soon as the votes were counted, those on the loosing side (the captain and those who openly supported him) started looking for other jobs, some probably before the votes were counted.  And as sure as the sky is blue, the new high-sheriff let it be known who among the ranks would remain among the ranks and who would be dumped back to the bottom of the pile.
   It is no secret in the department that the devoted democratic challenger and his followers will not be welcome among the disciples of the born-again Republican and his band of deputies.  The un-elected captain's best buddy, another captain, will wake up a patrol deputy one morning after the swearing-in ceremony.
   A lieutenant, chummy with the newly ordained, will replaced the defrocked captain.  Others will jump ship in search of paychecks in other, not so political, cop shops, if there are those.  A lady member of the command staff is said to be taking over a retiring major's job in the crossbar hotel.
   And, as happens when two old warhorses do battle with each other, the loser will gallop off to a far and distant land where he may still pack his pistol and wear the badge, maybe even patrolling the hallways of a high school somewhere.
   This sort of thing is not unique to Galveston County, although Galveston County does have it's own brand of politics, and it's merciless. 
   It makes the case for civil service for law enforcement officers whether municipal or county.  Sheriff's deputies, because they work for a politician, are seldom afforded the job protection of civil service.  Politicians enjoy the 'strong arm' method of ruling, rather than leading and inspiring.
   I have always believed Sheriffs, Constables and judges should be elected on a non-partisan basis.  No Democrats or Republicans or green or tea, just good people who can prove to voters they know what the hell they're doing and can get the job done.
   That's the way I see it.  How about you?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

When Did We Become Police 'Subjects'?

When did people become 'subjects' anyway?
There was a time in history, when masters owned slaves, or when kings and queens ruled the land, that people were referred to as their subjects. But today!
Why do police describe us as their subjects? Do they have such limited knowledge of the language they don't know the difference between a man and a woman, or a boy and a girl, that they must use a generic term for us all?
Below is a press release from the Beaumont, Texas Police Department. In it, the man is their 'subject'. He was no longer a man once he got on their radar.
It's not just the Beaumont Police Department, it is, with rare exception, the same will all law enforcement agencies.
Note also, they spell 'officer' with a capital O. Since when? So, the officers, spell their position with a capital O, and the people they are sworn to serve are 'subjects.'
I should feel insulted, but I'm not, because this is a hand-me-down indescrestion that no one in a leadership position has even noticed, much less made an effort to improve.

Posted :03-31-2012 at 09:45 PM Subject:Beaumont Police Attempt To Talk Out A Barricaded Subject.

On 3/31/2012 at 7:45 PM Beaumont Police Officers were dispatched to the 2200 block of Briar Cliff in reference to an intoxicated subject that had barricaded himself in his house. Beaumont Police Officers negotiated with the subject for approximately 2 hours before they were able to convince him to come out and allow Officers to check his well being and seek medical treatment. All ended well.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some People Are Just Rotten

March 22, 2012 - Galveston, Texas

Yesterday I reported in The Police News Online the burglary of a couple's home in Galveston during which $3500 was stolen. The couple just happened to both be Sheriff's deputies and the $3500 was money they raised for the wife's sister, a cancer victim.
The story didn't say why the couple had the money in their home, but it didn't seem important. The focus of the story was that the money was for the suffering sister. But guess what many readers focused on.
Online comments, both on The Police News and in the forum of Galveston's local newspaper, were critical of the couple for having the money in their home, for not putting it in the bank, and for not hiding it in a secret place in their home? "Stupid cops," exclaimed one writer, "of all people, they should know better."
This went on and on. The local newspaper elected to publish them. The Police News didn't. We considered it just one more opportunity for people to 'pile on' some cops when they see an opportunity.
Some of the decent comments asked how they could help the sister, where they could send a contribution to help replace the stolen money.
Just to explain why the money was in the couple's home, here it is. The benefit at which the money was raised was on a weekend and banks were closed. So the money was taken home to wait until Monday to deposit it. So there! You jerks! Should they have buried it in the backyard, or what?
Some people are no damned good.
Read the original story:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Listen for 'hedge words' in media reporting

March 21, 2012

Read this headline and see if you get it the same way I do.

"Thieves allegedly steal cancer patient's money from Galveston deputies"

That comes from one of the 3 major TV stations in Houston reporting on the home of a Galveston couple, both deputy sheriff's, which was burglarized. Inside the home was $3500 which they had raised in a benefit for the woman's sister, a cancer victim.
Now, this TV station says the 'Thieves allegedly steal" the money. To me, it means that TV station has doubts about the money being stolen. Or, they don't believe their source of the story, which was the daily newspaper in Galveston.
I am amazed everyday at the writings of some of these so-called 'news professionals' who throw in an 'allegedly' every other line and refer to everyone, regardless of circumstances, as a suspect.
If a robber is shot and killed by police running out of a convenience store with a bag of money in one had and a blazing gun in the other, wearing a mask, and the store clerk chasing him, the so-called 'major media' will call that dead gunman a 'suspect', rather than a 'dead gunman' or 'robber'.
What is it with these media types? Are they so paranoid? They profess to be all this and all that, yet they hedge in their reporting.
They like to claim, "Only this channel or that channel" has the story. Then they dice it with 'allegedly' and 'suspect' and other hedge words.
Listen closely. See how many times you can count the 'allegedly's' and 'suspects' in one story when it is clearly a hedge word.
Breck Porter

Monday, April 11, 2011

The great "Seawall Enhancement"hoax

April 11, 2011
GALVESTON, TX - Next month voters in Galveston will go to the polls for the third time to vote on whether or not they want people to pay to park on their seawall.
Money starved politicians, desperate to shore up a sinking (or sunk) city economy, are taking one more stab at trying to convince Galveston residents they and everyone who visits the island should feed the meter to park on the beachfront. In two previous elections on the very same issue, voters said NO, loud and clear. But politicians being what they are, either can't hear or won't take NO for an answer, so they're back with another election.
They're approach this time is much different than before. Signs all over the city read "Vote FOR Seawall Enhancements." Not a word about parking meters, or paying to park on the seawall, or the rash of problems paid parking will cause businesses on the seawall who will have a constant battle keeping beach goers from parking in their parking lots to avoid paying the 8 bucks.
This time the politicians are trying to sell voters fancy new bathrooms and palm trees, and bath houses, and playgrounds, that the money from paying parkers will supposedly produce.
The politicians have even enlisted the police department to proclaim paid parking will require no police manpower. Parking violations will be policed by private metermaids leaving police free to fight crime. Supposedly! A police official was recently on a Houston TV station promoting the metermaids.
Question. Who is Kroger's going to call when their parking lot fills up with beach goer cars? Who is Academy Sports & Outdoor going to call? Who are the hotels and restaurants going to call when they find all those cars in their parking lots that don't belong to their customers? NOT THE METERMAIDS. They'll be calling the police. You can bet on it. And cars will be towed. Towing companies should be the biggest supporters of 'Seawall Enhancements' for they will be the profiters of it, not the citizens of Galveston and certainly NOT the businesses on the seawall.
Deception is the game of fools, crooks and politicians and it's in full swing in Galveston. Anyone who can't see through this obvious sinister ploy to mislead voters, should get a walking cane with red and white stripes.
That's the way I see it.
Breck Porter

Sunday, January 9, 2011

'Alleged' reporters are 'Suspect' to me

January 9, 2011
I have written about this before but I'll do it again.
This came up in a conversation with friends in a Galveston coffee shop Sunday morning.
The discussion was about the shooting in Tuscon, Arizona in which the Congresswoman was shot, a child and Federal Judge killed, and 5 others wounded by a psycho who cut loose on them with a semi-automatic Glock pistol loaded with a 30 round clip.
I won't rehash the story because TV is doing a good job of hasing and rehashing and getting every ounce of drama they can squeeze from it.
What came up in the conversation in the coffee shop was not so much the details of the shooting itself but they way the so-called reporters told the story.
As usual, the reporters were using very liberal doses of 'alleged' and 'suspect' when referring to the creep who unloaded on the crowd of people at the Safeway Store.
Now, here's the thing none of us at the coffee shop table understood and never will. Why do the reporters call this shooter a 'suspect' when he was seen by more than one other person doing the shooting? The police don't 'suspect' him. They know it's him. They arrested him. He's in jail.
Why do they say he 'allegedly' shot those people? More than one other person saw him shoot them. One person who saw him shooting, actually tackled him and took the gun away from him. So why say he 'allegedly' shot them? He did it. He 'actually' shot them. There is no 'allegedly' to it, and he's not now, nor has he ever been, a 'suspect'.
He is the 'actual' shooter and he will not 'allegedly' go on trial for the shootings, and it will not be a 'suspected' jury that sends him up the creek for the rest of his 'alleged' life. That is, if they don't send him to a 'suspected' nut house instead.
That's the way I see it. And so do most people I know. And dont' give me that lame excuse that he hasn't been convicted yet. BS.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Media. What can one believe about their stories?

December 19, 2009

Each morning, hours before dawn, I am on the internet scanning news stories from dozens of media sources, looking for stories to post on The Police News. As I do, I often read several accounts of the same incident in different newspapers and on different TV stations.
I am always amazed at how different the same story appears in the various media sources.
This morning I read a report in a daily newspaper about a robbery suspect that was chased by police, abandoned his vehicle and ran into a wooded area where he was finally flushed out by police dogs. The newspaper headlined it's story, "Suspect hides in mud to try to elude police." Didn't happen. He covered himself with some leaves.
The newspaper story went on to say, "search dogs found him covered with mud." It's true he was dirty, but he was not covered with mud. We have pictures of the arrest. There was no mud.
Of course the story clarifies that at the end of the sentence by tagging it with, "authorities said." Oh really! What authorities? Must have been an authority that wasn't there as our photographer was.
The story is perpetuated when a TV station picks up the story from the newspaper and repeats it word for word. Spreading the news is the name of the game, but shouldn't they spread it right?
Now, whether or not this crook had mud all over him or not is no big deal. Who really cares? My point is this. What else do they report wrong? What else do they exaggerate? It was actually a good story without the mud.
Can we really trust the mainstream media to report only the facts to us nowadays, without all the color and hoopla? Probably not. Today's news reporting is all about drama and hype in a competive business where they all compete for the same advertising dollar and reporters are competing for jobs.
Could this be part of the reason we are seeing large, old line, print newspapers dwindling and fading away in preference to online news?
My grandfather always said he took things with "a grain of salt." He beleived only a morsel of what he read and heard.
My grandfather was a smart man.