Images: Veracity in Public Service
Illegal Immigration: Only Part of the Problem
Earlier this week, the President of the United States announced that he was going to deploy National Guard troops along the southern border of the United States to assist the U.S. Border Patrol to reduce the number of illegal immigrants crossing over from Mexico. To use my favorite line from the very first episode of The West Wing, "This is bad on so many levels."
The first problem that I see is that the National Guard has got to be pretty weary of the President finding new and exciting things for them to do. If these guys (and gals) wanted to be in the regular Army or Air Force, they would have joined the regular Army or Air Force. I have yet to hear a National Guard soldier or airman complain about performing a mission for their country, but consider the load that has been put on these folks during the past few years: Iraq, Afghanistan, Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina, the various other disasters that their governors send them to handle, and now the Mexican border. Also consider that law enforcement may be the industry most heavily represented among National Guard troops. Every time their commanders tell them to pack up their troubles in the old kit bag and smile, smile, smile, a police department, sheriff's office, highway patrol or state prison gets its staff reduced.
When you hear that, say the California Highway Patrol, an agency has 5,100 uniformed personnel on the force, you think: "There should beadequate numbers out on the street at any time". WRONG!
Very few officers like to stay at the "street cop" or Road Warrior" level. The ones that do are not politicians. They do not seek resolution by compromise or negotiation. They universally are motivated by the desire to help people and "make things right".
So, where do the others go?
Some want to be investigators only, such as detecives. Some want to go to specialized details, such as SWAT, Fraud, Juvenile. (Subtract about 15% of your force)
These Special Duty people often "need help". So, they will pull people off the Street to assist them. (Subtract another 5%)The Department will " Show" them assigned to Street or Road duty, when in fact, they are working in an office.
Others want to be promoted, and they do. A lot of the people I knew that wanted promotions were Politicians. They are into plots, guile, and "Pragmatic loyalties"
(Kiss the butts of those who can promote you -the Public and Minorities are here--and crap on those who can not help you-The Road Warrior. These people will sell their soul for that next promotion.)
Add in those who have been promoted, usually with six ranks before you get to the Chief, Commissioner, or Director. (This is another
Subtract another 30% for these people)
We now are at 50%.
Officers are on vacation, injured, or snapped up be their Guard or Reserve Units. that will account for 20% of your force.
You now are down to 30%. BUT, these are usually spead over a large geographic area.
To show you the priorities, when I went to a station in 1996, that station was listed as having 85 people. In truth, it had 65. Then, sdince the Republican Convention was coming, several officers were off "Training" for the comong convention. For 1500 square miles and 100 miles of freeway, forget the County Roads, we had FOUR officers. Yet, in the office, there were EIGHT Special Assignment Officers.