Posts tagged “Ed Flynn

Right to Work and Law Enforcement

Within the span of the next month, Gov. Scott Walker will likely sign a right to work bill. This legislation does not prohibit unions; however, it gives those employed in a union shop the ability to opt-out of paying union dues. Proponents of right to work say that compelling an employee to pay for a service they do not necessarily agree with is discriminatory. Opponents of the legislation argue that workers exempt from paying dues will reap union benefits absent any financial contributions.

Yesterday, I was asked how this legislation might affect law enforcement, particularly the Milwaukee Police Association — the union that represents the Milwaukee Police Department’s rank-and-file. Since the devil is in the details, and a work-up of the right to work bill has not been made public, it is difficult to say.

Nevertheless, police unions — the MPA being the most influential — provide a valuable service to law enforcement officers in Wisconsin. Just think of the ways a petty and vindictive police chief could harass and cajole officers who have fallen out of favor. Absent seniority, a veteran copper with twenty-four years on the job could suddenly — and without cause — be transferred from working days to the graveyard shift.

Absent union representation, officers involved in shootings or other uses of force would need to pony-up fifteen to twenty thousand dollars for an attorney to simply guide them through the rigors of an Internal Affairs investigation. Absent a contract with the rank-and-file, a chief-of-police could unilaterally determine an officer’s vacation picks. If a particular person — say, for example, the officer who had leaked information to the media regarding Chief Flynn’s suppression of a voting irregularities report — was in the chief’s dog house, he or she could be regulated to February and November vacations.

So, my advice to ALL officers is this: pay your union dues. Being a police officer is much different than working for the Clerk of Courts or laboring at a brewery. Sitting at a desk or attaching parts on an assembly line is a world away from performing shift work in areas that resemble war torn countries.

Vis-à-vis Act 10 and the cuts to the university system, Gov. Walker is attempting to de-fund the left. Public employee unions, particularly those representing public school teachers, are a huge source of Democratic Party capital. Likewise, ninety percent of the UW System’s professors lean far to the left and, by developing thinly veiled political ‘narratives,’ are happy to reeducate the young minds sent their way. After all, it is taxpayer dollars — the block grants to Saul Alinsky-like community organizations, the dues collected from the public education apparatus, and the grievance agenda of academia — that, to a large extent, fuel the secular progressive left.

Political agendas aside, rank-and-file coppers all over the country are under attack. Clearly, Scott Walker did not lead the protests in New York City that ended with shouts of, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” That crowd was affiliated with Al Sharpton, a man who has visited the White House on numerous occasions to consult with President Obama. Still, the governor’s signature on a right to work bill could negatively impact every law enforcement officer’s quality of life.

Thus, it is important to remember that the only thing separating rank-and-file coppers from a Christopher Manney-style railroading or from the secular progressive cop-haters is the MPA. As Benjamin Franklin said during the signing of the Declaration of Independence, those who find themselves in difficult circumstances need to “hang together” or they will “hang separately.”
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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015


Milwaukee’s Current Crime Fighting Strategy is a Part of the Problem

Over the course of the past month, I have had an opportunity to review retired Milwaukee Police Department’s Captain Glenn Frankovis’ work-in-progress manuscript regarding his vision of a successful urban crime fighting strategy.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Glenn, he is a pull no punches, no non-sense, when it comes to crime, type of guy.  His work ethic is very representative of Milwaukee, where hardworking people get up each day, roll-up their sleeves, and are willing to get their hands dirty.

When Frankovis was a street sergeant at District Two, he lobbied for a team of six officers to get a grip on an out-of-control gang of thugs that held a neighborhood hostage near S. 15th and W. Orchard Ave.  Ninety-days later, violent crime dropped over 60 percent.

As the commander of Districts Five and Three, he employed area saturation patrols to disrupt criminal activity in high-crime neighborhoods, such as Metcalfe Park. Under his leadership at District Five, overall major crimes decreased by 8.1% in 2002 and another 6.5% in 2003.  In 2002, District Five shootings declined by 42.8% and homicides by 48.6%.  In 2003, while in command of District Three, Frankovis oversaw a 15.5% reduction in violent crime, including a 21.7% reduction in robberies.

In early 2004, after gang members had threatened an officer under his command, Frankovis issued a memo to officers at District Three labeling these gangbangers “thugs.”  Calling a thug a thug was apparently too politically incorrect for the MPD’s police chief, Nan Hegerty, who buried the hard-charging captain in a job akin to counting paper clips.

“This is nothing I haven’t said before,” Frankovis told the Marquette Tribune, explaining that the memo was meant “…to send a clear and convincing signal to the thugs that the only thing they accomplished was to give (officers in District 3) cause to make their lives even more miserable than before.”

http://marquettetribune.org/2004/03/04/news/mpd-captain-files-claim/

After being forced, in a de facto sense, into retirement, Frankovis later applied to become Milwaukee’s Chief-of-Police, but, in my opinion, was dismissed from contention because of his matter-of-fact willingness to call things the way he sees them.  In other words, he was too politically incorrect to surgically remove the cancer still eating away at Milwaukee—criminal gangs and organized crime related drug activity.

No doubt, Frankovis’ strategy is much different than Chicago’s current police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, whose response to Chicago’s out-of-control gang problem is more gun control.  Recently, the Chicago PD, at the behest of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, held a listening session about that city’s escalating violence; whereby, a number of representatives of street gangs were invited to contribute to the dialog.

Make no mistake about it; Glenn Frankovis would never, ever invite the “thugs” to the table.  To do so would be an insult to the law abiding and others who struggle, each day, to do the right thing while battling poverty and ignorance.

And though the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission dismissed Frankovis from becoming police chief in short order, their selection, Ed Flynn, has used a “data driven” policing strategy with mixed results.  While overall crime has declined, as it has nationally since Flynn’s tenure, violence in Milwaukee is once again on the rise.  Witness the rash of shootings in the last month. Moreover, the problem with “data driven” policing is once the data is collected the victims are already shot and/or lying on a slab in the morgue. Too often, this type of strategy is a day late and a dollar short, especially if one is a victim.

Over the course of the past few years, Glenn and I have kicked around our ideas on how to improve crime fighting efforts in Milwaukee.  We both agree that, like Chief Flynn, besides the homicide and sensitive crime units, the detective bureau should be decentralized. Unlike Chief Flynn, however, Glenn and I would not treat the detective bureau like the MPD’s bastard child.  Detectives play a vital role in solving serious crimes, which means, when they’re successful, heinous offenders typically wind-up in prison for long periods of time and, therefore, are unable to prey on society. Why Chief Flynn continues to display a level of contempt for the MPD’s detective bureau remains a mystery.  Not long before Flynn arrived, investigators from around the nation, as well as other countries, visited to Milwaukee to learn from its police department’s detectives.

While the mainstream media in Milwaukee has taken the bait and focused primarily on decreases in crime, the press has reported little—hint, hint—about the clearance rates of burglaries, robberies, shootings, and homicides. A hunch says that a handful of prosecutors in the Milwaukee County DA’s office believe that cases are going unprosecuted due to a lack of investigative follow-up and/or adequate investigation.

In the interim, put me down as a person anxiously awaiting Frankovis’ new crime fighting manual.  I’ll make sure to send a copy to Rahm Emanuel et al in Chicago.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Michael Bloomberg’s Very Revealing Constitutional Faux Pas

Less than two months after a populist U.S. Senate filibuster forced the executive branch of the federal government to concede that using drones to kill American citizens on U.S. soil is bad policy, New York City Mayor Michael “Big Brother” Bloomberg’s relentless assault on freedom and liberty continues unabated.

“We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff,” said Bloomberg during an April 22 news conference. “That’s good in some senses, but it’s different than what we are used to. And the people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry, but we live in a complex world where you’re going to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution I think have to change.”

Make no mistake about, when elitists propose a reinterpretation of the Constitution their intent is to place this sacred document through the shredder of statist legalese.  If Bloomberg et al were honest in their intentions, a process already exists to change or amend the United States Constitution.  However, since the implementation of a Chinese-style police state is about as popular as AIDS, the Machiavellian-types—constantly on the lookout for new ways to get their hands in our wallets and their boots on our necks—emphasize the Constitution as a living document.

The living document mantra stems, primarily, from the incorporation of technological advances into the legal body fabric.

For example, one question I sometimes pose to students is, “What does the Constitution say about motor vehicle searches?” The answer is rather easy. The Constitution says absolutely nothing about motor vehicles since none existed in 1788, the year the document was ratified.  Ninety-one years later, Karl Benz received the first patent for a reliable two-stroke combustion engine. As a result, laws and legal concepts pertaining to motor vehicles on public roadways required interpretation from the judicial branch to clarify issues like the reasonable search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment.

Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it state that a rich, eccentric politician can stand in front of the media and myopically deem our Constitutional protections from overzealous governmental reach a product of “the olden days,” as if our freedoms and liberties went the way of the electric typewriter.

And what bold idea is New York City’s nanny-state mayor now advocating?  An expansion of government surveillance, even though the $500 billion our nation has already spent in this area has failed miserably in several instances, including the attacks on Boston. As I mentioned in a prior post, surveillance cameras will not prevent terrorist attacks. Individuals intent on dying are undeterred by technology that captures and stores their images.

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2013/04/20/a-few-thoughts-about-boston/

No doubt, political correctness is the reason politicians continue to travel down the same road of wide-spread Orwellian surveillance, even though a prudent course of action—one that would prevent actual terror attacks while preserving our freedoms—is tracking, monitoring and investigating, those with an actual motive.

Had Milwaukee’s police chief, Ed Flynn, advocated suppressing the criminal activities of the Latin Kings by placing surveillance cameras on traffic control signals in a predominately African-American neighborhood on the city’s north side, many would say that the police chief is either very uninformed or his department has an ulterior agenda. Why, then, do so many Americans, as well as a majority of the mainstream media, fail to challenge the surveillance initiatives advocated by Bloomberg and the federal government that target millions of Americans while ignoring the obvious?

After all, it is not rocket science to connect the dots. What do the shoe bomber, the Time Square bomber, the Ft. Hood shooter, and the Boston bombers, all have in common?  President Obama, I know it’s difficult to say it—Islamic Jihad.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013