May 09, 2010

Wrong place & wrong time

  Burke and Sammy are headed for the Lexington Market in Baltimore. They’re planning to rob some hapless citizen and pick up a couple of bucks -- maybe $100 or so.
  The twosome accost a man just outside the Lexington Market and demand his wallet. The man, startled and scared, screams, “Robbery, help, police!”
  Here’s what Burke and Sammy don’t know when they launch their mini crime wave. This is the day of the “Diamond Standard” training program for the Baltimore Police Academy.
  Some 40 cops are participating in this unique training program which is modeled after methods used by U. S. Special Forces in Baghdad during the early days of the Army and Marine occupation in Iraq. Mostly this technique requires involving local residents to be eyes and ears for the police. Many cities call this type of pro-active policing, “community policing.”
  Long story short, Burke and Sammy are busted by a cadre of rookie cops. One citizen complained, saying the cops didn’t have to use so much force. One of the robbers got knocked to the ground. Poor dear -- what a pity. Here are two guys threatening the life of a guy on the street for the sake of a few bucks.
  Maybe the observer thought the cops should have said, “Pardon me, sirs, but I am placing you under arrest for your act of criminal behavior.” Sorry, it doesn’t work quite that way in the trenches.
  One thing police trainers will tell you: “You can take a man’s freedom away by an arrest and he’ll accept that as part of the deal. But if you try to take away his pride, he’ll kill you to keep that.”

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