Recently, I received an promotional email from the Rosenberg, Texas Police Department.
The caption on the image of the young officer threw my brain into overdrive. The officer was asking parents to teach their children to trust the police, suggesting that parents should instruct children to run to police if they are fearful or feel threatened.


Well, fair enough… but Mr. policeman, would you help us a little by changing your appearance so you don’t look so scary? You can start by demilitarizing your uniform, your accessories and your conduct.
You can stop shaving your head to look like a member of an American white supremacist group.
YOU CAN STOP TAKING STEROIDS AND BUYING INTO THE STEREOTYPE THAT YOU NEED TO WIN A BODY BUILDING CONTEST TO BE A COP. Regardless of what you believe about the safety of these substances, they impair your judgement by making you too aggressive.
Next, get rid of your tattoos or at least cover them. If you choose to do neither, choose a different line of work.
Then, urge that all military surplus gear that was given to your city and county be destroyed and recycled and the revenue be given to a public charity in your community.
If the local government won’t do it, start a local campaign with fellow officers to beat these unnecessary swords into plowshares. You don’t need them to do your job and an increasing number of citizens feel threatened when you employ them. Get rid of them and reject them in the future. Your community will appreciate it.…/surplus-military-equipment-map.htm

Stop meeting arbitrary quotas. We know it happens so don’t pretend otherwise. Stop acting like tax collectors for your municipality. Refuse to be treated as tax collectors. If the culture of your city and police organization pressures you into quotas, be honorable and expose it. The word “police” should be a noun as often as possible and only as a verb when absolutely necessary. This article is instructive.…/…/nypd-quotas_n_5916596.html

Live in the community that hires you and send your children to public school in your community. If you live and spend your money in a “safer” or “better” city and pay for a private school, it’s clear that you have a prejudice against the community you are hired to protect and serve. This separation will alienate you from the community you patrol and you will not be respected as a person who wants to improve the community for the right reasons.

Stop targeting minorities. Targeting creates resentment and anger in whole communities. In a recent Reuters poll, Only 30 percent of African-Americans and 43 percent of adults under the age of 30 of all races say they “trust the police to be fair and just”. Obviously, due to profiling and targeting, young minorities are more likely to have negative interactions with the police. Your system needs reform. More aggressive tactics will only make it worse at a time when a majority of Americans in those two demographics believe that police behavior is already unfair and unjust.
These problems won’t resolve themselves and they will not be changed by PR campaigns. A PSA asking parents to teach children to trust the police does nothing to change the culture of a policing system that has become militaristic.

Something is terribly wrong in America when a growing number of minorities fear the police more than criminals in their communities.

The militarization of police started in the 1960s with the “SWAT” teams, the “Special Weapons and Tactics” Teams and escalated with the so called war against drugs.
A long list of public policy changes followed like the 1981 passage of The Military Cooperation with Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies Act that allows the military to cooperate with civilian law enforcement. See……/Military_Cooperation_with_Civilia…

Then came the abuse of asset forfeiture laws when police became beneficiaries of confiscations.
Then, Homeland Security came along to allow all types of authority figures to impede our freedom in the name of security.
Then a wrong headed war ended that released hundreds of thousands of young war torn veterans into the pool of potential police recruits.
In my opinion, no one who has been through the hell of military combat in a foreign land should be eligible for a job in domestic law enforcement until they have been away from combat and out of the military for five years.
If nothing changes with Homeland Security and the resulting militarization of police, I fear that America will slip even further down the slope toward an Orwellian fascist nightmare that will implode upon itself.
News Flash…
In January of 2015, shortly before leaving office, then Attorney General Eric Holder halted the Justice Department’s “Equitable Sharing Program” that allowed local police to keep up to 80% of property seized under federal laws.
This reform was just the tip of the iceberg. A perfect storm has been created by decades of laws that have put unwarranted militaristic power in the hands of local police. Abuse of authority and over reaction by police will only get worse unless wide spread reforms become a national priority.

The most important first step should be the requirement of live HD cameras with clear audio on the police. A camera and microphone are excellent story tellers. They will do more to foster reform than any other single measure. I would be more than happy to pay my share of the tax bill.
Finally, back to the uncharacteristically pleasant looking young policeman in the picture who wants our children and grandchildren to run toward him if they are scared; I’m sorry, but generally speaking, I don’t trust police training enough these days to make that suggestion to a child. What if police mistakenly view a child’s approach as a threat? What if the child has a toy gun? What if several children run toward the officer at one time?

From my perspective, the PSA is asking us to put our children at risk.

It’s extremely unsettling for a law abiding citizen like me to suggest that due to current police training and culture, it’s not safe to ask children to run toward police.  Sadly, the outcome would be too uncertain. It would depend on the reaction of the individual officer and I dare say the ethnicity of the children.
I pray for the day when I can again feel comforted, rather than threatened by the presence of police, but due to current police culture and training, I think that day is far away.
Here is one final thought. The first step toward changing the culture of policing should be for police to self identify as peace officers instead of law enforcement officers.

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HIGH SCHOOL — 1957 vs. 2014

by Fred Lundgren January 2, 2015

HIGH SCHOOL — 1957 vs. 2014 Scenario 1: Jack goes duck hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun on his seat. The Principal sees him put the gun in his truck’s gun rack. 1957 – The Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and […]

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You Can’t Give A Girl Too Many Flowers

by Fred Lundgren October 11, 2014

The great naturalist Luthur Burbanks said, “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are…  Sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”   Flowers also make the wife happy and a happy wife equals a happy life.   Linda and I celebrated our 18th anniversary recently… (you may applaud). We had trouble deciding if […]

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My plan to get America back on track

by TPO October 3, 2014

This document was posted on its own website; (since taken down) in Feb ’09, right after Obama was sworn in. Since that time, we have seen many of the items here adopted by the Tea Party groups. We have also elected numerous Tea Party representatives which initially gave many of us hope. However, just […]

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Don’t Let Nature Take Its Course

by Fred Lundgren September 21, 2014

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt This picture of Folsom Lake Northeast of Sacramento California is representative of the worsening drought in California. It looks appalling but these dams and lakes are […]

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They are Now Our Children

by Fred Lundgren July 10, 2014

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus wrote these powerful words in 1883 in support of indigent Russian Jewish refugees who came to America to […]

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Conservatives Blame The Wrong People For America’s Economic Problems

by Fred Lundgren June 29, 2014

Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism famously wrote, “The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.” Smith was pointing out the […]

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Are Some People Too Dumb To Run For Congress?

by Fred Lundgren June 3, 2014

Mark Twain said, “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a Member of Congress; but I repeat myself”. Twain’s ridicule of Congress is timeless and priceless, but it understates the mind-boggling ineptitute described in the following story. KCAA Radio offered 79 California political candidates $1.00 radio ads to see if any of them […]

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Get Ready For GMO Potatoes

by Fred Lundgren May 2, 2014

Twelve years ago, Monsanto lost its battle to market a genetically modified potato containing a synthetic bacteria that killed insects. Consumer groups branded the potato as “Franken Food”, and said NO THANK YOU in a loud and clear voice. McDonald’s and other giant fast food chains cancelled orders and by 2002, the so-called “Franken Fries” […]

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Some Philosophical and Religious Questions Defy Answers

by Fred Lundgren April 24, 2014

Recently, I was pulled into a LinkedIn discussion about religion, God, heaven, hell, the concept of time and the existence of the afterlife which prompted me to offer some opinions here. The scribes attending the aforementioned “Oh My God” discussion were divided into four groups: Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists. My views on religion fits […]

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