Greetings Steve,

It might surprise you to learn that while I'm a lefty who's sympathetic to BLM & the need for widespread LE reform, I'm not entirely disagreeing with your concerns here.

I think if you're going to write an essay like Cab's it's important to say why you're no longer employed, especially when say you had less than twenty years in. People are going to wonder, why leave before being fully vested in your pension?

Of course even if he was fired or compelled to resign, it doesn't follow he's wrong. Matter of fact, another area I think you'd agree with, is Cab's reference to cops playing so-so social workers. Remember Waumbaugh's allusion to twenty-something cops playing marriage counselors to unhappily-married middled-aged couples?

Even more than arguing about "bad apples" & how to identify them, I think countless damage has been done to law enforcement agencies & the public that relies on them by shrinking state & local budgets that reduce the flexibility of first responders, leaving more & more to law enforcement. Since we're speaking of Southern California, recall the PET system from the mid-80s? Psychiatric Emergency Teams, utilizing unarmed responders trained to deal with psychiatric problems?

(While I've never been a cop, I have worked in psych facilities, & know it takes a specific skill set to deal with psych emergencies).

It's a fair point to say that asking police to deal with psychiatric emergencies is like asking them to put out six-alarm fires.

One other point, I'm from LA, born there & lived there till '94. Cab's reference to recycling actually rang true, because when LA embraced recycling the homeless population, mostly downtown & in Hollywood, scrounged for recyclables in both urban & residential settings. The city responded with fliers asking the public not to allow the homeless easy access to recyclables because, they said, payment for the bottles & cans was intended to support the recycling program itself. So I can see LA cops intervening with homeless people recycling. Recall, too when LAPD took heat for digging out stashes of clothing, etc., that belonged to the homeless & throwing them into the trash?

Finally, one reason I'm glad I was never a cop myself is not that I'm a coward. As a free-lance journalist later in life I've covered enough riots & violent events to know that. But I also know that I couldn't stand against the worst elements, especially when not when I was younger & had less of a sense of who I am. It's easy to demand people change the system from within, but actually doing so is nearly impossible. Especially if, as I believe, Cab was part of a larger department than you give him credit for. Sometimes you do have to step away from a culture to view it clearly. Recall Smedley Butler's accounts of US Marines in 1920s Central America?

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics

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