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deuces-wildPolicing has changed.

Police officers were once expected to be firm but fair, and decisive in action.  This was taught in police academy and reinforced in policy and roll calls put on by thick-necked sergeants.  Policing was a calling.  We had a mission and believed in it.

Discourtesy wasn’t condoned, but there were limits to being nice. When I show up at your door, you are having a bad day.  You are not happy to see me.  Whether you love or hate cops, something bad has happened and I have to do my job—which may not be what you want.

If I was a business no one in their right mind would want what I sell. The customer is not always right—in fact, they are usually wrong.  We allowed for people not always being at their best, but business was business.

“Reasonable and Courteous” didn’t come at the expense of the mission; when the cop said, “Stop, or else,” the fun ended.  Many crooks declined to fight the police knowing this.

A police officer that didn’t know when force needed to be used didn’t last long on the street —particularly if they compromised the safety of other officers.

The old system was not perfect, but no human system is.  A few bad apples damaged the profession—either by brutality, or other unethical behavior—but they were few and were usually dealt with by watchful sergeants and co-workers who had to clean up their botched calls and suffer their bad habits.


Fast forward to today.  A lot has changed.  We watch the news.  How did we get here?

Fewer people trust the government to do the right thing, and like it or not, police are part of the government.  With the social environment created after years of bad liberal publicity, and events like Rodney King, Ferguson, Boston, BLM and Antifa, George Floyd, something gave.

A multitude of liberal police administrators (the default type), Washington swamp creatures, and activists who had patiently infiltrated policy circles for years pushed a new concept—de-escalation.

This basically means you avoid using force against a subject until you have exhausted all other options, and especially when it could be the next TV story.  The onus is on the officer to decide where the line is, and you’d best get it right or be disowned

Your fellow officers are also made to “help” you de-escalate if they subjectively think you are getting a bit too aggressive on a call; again, don’t be the one that didn’t get it right in retrospect.  This results in a warm feeling heading into a dangerous call with your ill-trained GenZ backups.


Now, in policy and practice, taking police action is often a slower process that is fraught with peril.  Police leaders are more worried about complaints and lawsuits than arresting criminals or protecting their officers.

I have seen police administrators try to discipline officers for cussing at someone fighting them or running from them.  Uses of force result in the public release of body camera footage in the name of transparency, potentially prejudicing tens of thousands of jury candidates, and enabling frame by frame nitpicking from hostile viewers on the nightly news and social media.

The issues are tried in a virtual French Revolution Committee of Public Safety peanut gallery.  Civil service protections in the larger agencies still provide a barrier against some of the more arbitrary political and administrative abuses—but then again, everyone saw George Floyd and the similar incidents.

No one wants to be the next officer on the news or trending on Instagram or YouTube.


Imagine how it goes when you have to corral the mutt, get him or her cuffed and searched, and taken to the patrol car and secured for a trip to jail—and then get them in and booked safely when they are uncooperative.

There are people who are a danger to themselves or others and require special handling if you want to avoid hurting them or you, and this has long been known by veteran cops.

But the de-escalation crowd jumped the fences quickly and ruled all offenders to be assumed basket cases incapable of understanding their own actions.  A threat to society transformed on contact into a fragile glass vessel… filled with vinegar and some other stuff.

This has resulted in many cops not handling dangerous people and scenes as they need to.  Take it easy and go slow define the new way.  Cops are not shooting or not using force when they should, to their detriment and that of others.


We veterans cringe as newer officers ignore danger signs with suspects and show weakness to crooks who are intelligent and capable predators.

We are lucky we don’t have more cops killed and injured than we do.  Most police departments and academies have video “horror reels” of these events that happen but rarely get publicized.

You can wind up in a federal lawsuit whether you were right or wrong, with activist organizations and lawyers like Ben Crump jumping in for what they calculate is a payday.  The process will be the punishment for you and your agency.


Also, one of the modern street cop’s worst enemies—the U.S. Department of Justice—stands by to criminally pounce on any cop and their department drawing the Left’s ire, especially with an attorney general that is a treasonous activist.

You would hope that in this environment only the most dedicated and prepared recruits would be graduating from the police academies, and be paid well.  Not so.  Police departments recruit who they can as many qualified people who watch the news take a pass on it.

Old cops seeing the writing on the wall are retiring fast.  Academies rarely have anyone fail out as the staff bends over backwards to graduate people.  Police benefits and salaries often don’t beat the private sector.


This has consequences.  I routinely see lazy officers with bad attitudes who make it through the academy.  Investigations are done half-heartedly, crooks don’t get chased, and laws and policies don’t get followed.

If you are trying to get rid of a low performer, the onetime-good civil service system now helps keep them entrenched like an Alabama tick.

As the good recruits learn all of the ways they can get in trouble doing their jobs, they are concluding that if they are going to be a cop, they need to “pace themselves” at work. This means a daily balancing act between trying to do a good job while still being around tomorrow.

When you have invested years into your pension and need a future income, this takes on more urgency.  You aren’t getting younger and you may have a family to feed.  Idealism leaves quickly.


With all of this in mind, let’s go to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022.  I will summarize the event briefly.  There are two reports on this of interest, one from the Texas House and one from the DOJ.

A lone violent and mentally disturbed gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who talked about being a school shooter, got an AR-15 and went into this school and began shooting students and teachers.  Nineteen kids and two teachers were killed and eighteen wounded.

Three hundred and seventy-six police personnel responded to and stacked up on the location, from at least five Federal, state, and local agencies.


On arrival, there were many mixed signals from leaders regarding who was in charge and whether to breach the classroom or not, despite longstanding nationwide active shooter protocols saying “stop the killing” and despite evidence that the murders were still in progress (gunshots).

A paralysis settled in, while frustrated parents tried to pass the police line and save their kids.  Over an hour elapsed before a US Border Patrol tactical team breached the classroom and took Ramos down.

Meanwhile, shot children and teachers bled out and/or were methodically killed, with the gunman controlling the tempo of the whole event.


In the aftermath, the citizens of Uvalde have been adamantly questioning the quality of the police response.  A grand jury has been convened to interrogate officers that responded and there is speculation that they may seek charges against the officers for failing to act sooner.

It seems after working so hard to keep the cops from acting too quickly, we are legally running aground trying to make the cops act faster.

They are apt to be disappointed.  A similar situation just played out in Florida with a deputy that didn’t confront a shooter at Parkland High School.

The Supreme Court has already said that police do not have a duty to protect specific individuals despite their powers.

It changes if the police do something to somehow create that duty, but that is exceptional.

Note that no one in the national press, or in the Texas legislature, or in the Federal government is covering this story significantly.  Compare this to the January 6th protests that occupied the Federal government’s full attention, and still do.


Imagine if a white man in a MAGA hat had run through Robb Elementary doing magazine dumps in the classrooms, chanting, “White Supremacy!  Make America Great Again!”  The King of Southern Canada would have provoked the next civil war already.

But that didn’t happen.  Outside of local interest, Uvalde is out of the news and no one wants to talk about it.

As of this date I have not heard one person directly address the obvious question — “To what extent did police policies and practices on de-escalation with a suspect, or on use of force, impact their decision on breaching the classroom in Uvalde and stopping the active shooter?”

Are the reasons for the Robb Elementary incident’s handling found in the many policing changes that have been imposed?  Some might say there’s a fine line between understanding cause and effect and defending the indefensible.  But Heraclitus would have understood the dynamics here.

For the record, I wasn’t there.  I just think we need to be asking the questions.


After furiously crafting liberal police departments — shorn of testosterone and pervasive toxic masculinity — has it backfired on the liberals in a very public way?  The national narrative has subtly shifted.

I haven’t heard anyone claiming the cops will protect you from a bad guy, so there’s no need to own your own Sturmgewehr. That might be a bit too much even for the distracted American liberal.

The events certainly flew in the face of the mantra “Only police need assault rifles,” or that disarmed schools with no cops or armed teachers are safe schools.

With seventy-seven minutes between Ramos going into the school and the time BORTAC took him out, Ramos didn’t need a thirty round magazine to kill helpless children and teachers.

Nonetheless, Uvalde was still politicized in the predictable fashion by the Usual Suspects, including His Royal Senescence and Beto.  If the old narratives don’t exactly work, new ones will be created.


The Texas legislature has mandated sixteen additional hours per training cycle for police on active shooters, but no one is asking why they didn’t follow the existing active shooter doctrine that has been around since the Columbine massacre.

Nor is it clear how much training a cop supposedly needs to understand that when a gunman is in a classroom, shooting the place to pieces, that you need to stop him without delay.

We aren’t holding our breath waiting for answers.

Perhaps the silence comes from the Deep State and its propagandists thinking about the implications of what went on in Uvalde to their agenda, and are worried about how long the elephant in the Uvalde classroom will stand and fix all of us with a terrible glare.


Mark Deuce has had a life-long career in community law enforcement. He is the author of Deuces Wild for TTP.