Seattle Police Chief Begs Officers to Enforce the Law

“SEATTLE— Kathleen O’Toole, this city’s new police chief, recently visited some of her department’s stations to deliver an unusual message: It’s OK to arrest people who violently break the law.”

So begins a Wall Street Journal (Dec. 30, 2014) article regarding how low policing in Seattle has fallen in what was, before the liberals and the DOJ severely damaged it, one of the most respected and emulated police departments in America. This subject deserves more than this casual response. However, being New Years Eve, and my day being consumed with other obligations, casual will have to do, but I felt compelled to make a brief comment.

“‘If you get agitators who threaten the police or the public, you have to arrest them,’ she [O’Toole] said.”

So, this is what the liberal anti-police onslaught has come to: a major American city police chief must beg her cops to enforce the law. Pathetic. But, this is what the community is allowing to happen. This is what they get. What I wonder is, what did the community and its leaders expect? I retired from the SPD earlier this year, and ten years earlier than I had intended, because cops are not allowed to do police work in Seattle. And, I’m not the only one to leave the department with  a similar sentiment.

The chief can request, beseech, plead and implore her cops to do police work all she wants, but she is missing an important ingredient: Seattle’s cops simply do not trust their leaders. Why should they? Over the past several years, perhaps back to WTO and even earlier, the city and police leaders have given their police officers ample reasons to distrust them.

What happens if, after an officer decides to comply with the chief’s instructions to “arrest them,” that officer has to use force to complete the arrest? Will the chief back the officer when the media comes calling, or are we more likely to hear: Well, I didn’t mean that kind of force? Then, as happens too often, the officer gets fed to the liberal media meat grinder.

Happy New Year!

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