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Questions of Relevance and Relevant Questions Over Shooting at Sheriff’s Capt.’s House

| July 24, 2010

mark carman shooting palm coast

Luckily, they didn't add to the nation's grimmest statistics.

“Without fear or favor” could use a refresher in Palm Coast.

Following the publication earlier this week of the story about the March 27 shooting at Sheriff’s Capt. Mark Carman’s house on Wellesley Lane, a few people commenting on the story raised issues with its motive and provenance. Some of the issues: “In light of the officer’s honorable service to this community, he does not deserve to have this issue brought up in the public spotlight.” “It sure sounds like someone leaked this story out for a reason.” “I’m hearing that the leak is from a former Flagler County Sheriff.” “I’m not sure what the value of printing this story is.”

Let me clarify a few things and explain why the story was published, even though it needs no more explanation than any old police story, and would have needed even less explanation had the sheriff’s office done its job originally and treated it like any other police story, without the sort of sneaky favoritism it lent it and what may well have been an attempt, at least initially, at covering it up: as the story mentioned, the only document filed on the matter at the courthouse was not dated by the deputy who filed it.

Let me also note that I’ve known Mark for several years, have interviewed him frequently, have sat next to him at interminable city meetings, and have always found him to be honest, honorable, and—a rarity among higher-ranked officers—unpretentious and unimpressed by his own rank. His lack of ego and his humility are among his many strengths. It’s a matter of time, I hope, before he is elected sheriff in this county.

That said, it wouldn’t matter if Mark was somehow canonized by Benedict XVI (god forbid: canonization by Benedict isn’t exactly a cachet these days): personal virtue doesn’t have anything to do with what makes a story publicly relevant. A person’s standing in a community does. So does the nature of the event in question.

The Live Column

First, when a gun goes off on the property of the chief cop in the city, it’s a news story no matter which way one looks at it. Some 100,000 people are shot annually in this peace-loving country of ours, 30,000 are killed, most of them not murdered or shot intentionally. Jane Carman could have added to that tally that night. This is serious business involving life and death, not a debate over privacy. Weapons, all weapons, are supposed to be kept securely by civilians, even more so by cops, who, for good reason, usually face severe internal penalties when their weapons are lost, misused or poorly maintained. Carman faced no such reprimands, and there’s still no clarity over how and why the .38 caliber gun in Carman’s house could be used by someone who was under the influence of alcohol and possibly prescription drugs. It’s also no small matter that as part of her settlement with the State Attorney’s office, dubious though it is, Jane Carman was required to attend gun-safety classes. Ironic, considering her marital partner.

Second, had Jane Carman been the wife of a nobody, the story may have been somewhat less relevant—and I have no doubt the sheriff’s office would have included a brief report of the shooting in its daily reports, which would then have been included in those weekly blotter round-ups the reading public sadly devours more avidly than most other (and usually more important) stories. And in fact Jane Carman’s privacy is more relevant than Mark’s. She has more claim to privacy than he does. There were details surrounding the story that were not included, that related to Jane, and that needed not be included anyway. They wouldn’t have added to the public’s understanding or right to know what happened, but they would have infringed on Jane’s privacy even though her actions had lowered that threshold considerably. Again, what made the story especially relevant was Carman himself.

Carman deserves no more, and actually much less, “protection” or privacy than private individuals, because Carman is not a private citizen. He’s the top cop in Palm Coast and the third or fourth-ranked cop in the sheriff’s office. He represents the sheriff at city government meetings and speaks on his behalf. He’s run for sheriff before. He will likely run for sheriff again. He’s not a publicity hog by any means. But he’s a public figure. He knows this. If he doesn’t, or if he claims that the event was either not relevant or worthy of public notice, his credibility would be shot, because he’d be saying that personal standing rather than law enforcement and safety decide what the public will know.

As to the circumstances: Whether the gun was being fired accidentally, intentionally or stupidly is irrelevant. The fact that it was fired on Carman’s property, by Carman’s spouse, is not irrelevant. It’s seriously relevant given the proximity of neighbors, the proximity of public streets, where any passing vehicle could have been in danger, and the proximity of Mark Carman himself, who was there that night. It was, after all, Carman himself who called in the emergency at the Emergency Operations Center, though he apparently did so on a secure, police-only channel. The story was made even more relevant by the sheriff’s office’s hope, vindicated for three months anyway, that it would not be a story. What that tells me is that, this particular unraveling aside, there are probably a mess of stories out there that we will never know because a law enforcement agency that plays fast and loose with information decides what to release and what to keep as far below the radar as possible.

It wasn’t a “leak” that tipped me off. There is no such thing as a leak when it involves information that is, or ought to be, a public record. There are only attempts to keep it from being disseminated, not even so much by malice as by omission, even out of good intentions for Mark’s sake. That doesn’t justify the double-standard, because it undermines the credibility of the whole operation. Anyone who considers this a “leak” may want to check his or her Nixon complex. And anyone who thinks former Sheriff Jim Manfre was the “leaker” gives Manfre too much credit. I can only wish he was that good a source. But thanks for the tip: I’ll work on it.

At any rate: I heard about the shooting. The first thing I did was ask the sheriff about it. He was upfront, though two things he said didn’t match up with the one document so far available: he said that he immediately turned over the case to the State Attorney’s office, whereas a sheriff’s deputy had, in fact, filed a complaint affidavit on the case. And he spoke of just one shot fired, inside the house (which may well be the case: he went as far as to say that it did damage to the floor, which was repaired), whereas the report mentioned two shots outside, and what I’d initially heard involved every bullet in the revolver. Those discrepancies have not been explained. The second thing I did was check the court records. There it was: the affidavit, by itself. The one without a date. A check with the State Attorney’s office confirmed that the case was moved to a Volusia judge’s docket, and that it was still pending.

Yes, there’s a public document about it, undated, though it’s the sort of incident report the sheriff’s office routinely releases in its blotter batches. In this case, it was not. Obviously, the sheriff’s office will disseminate some incident reports more than others. That’s disturbing, and should worry anyone who thinks the most important and powerful law enforcement agency in the county treats all cases equally, fairly and transparently. Then again, let’s not be delusional. If anyone knows of a law enforcement agency this side of Gary Cooper that treats all cases equally, fairly and transparently, Ripley’s Believe It or Not may be interested.

What I find remarkable in the comments noted above is the sort reflexive wagon-circling around men in uniform, as if the very people entrusted to enforce the law are somehow above it when they’re involved. That’s not only ridiculous on its face. It’s dangerous. It reeks of a patronizing attitude that presumes more deference for people in power than for others, when it should always—always—be the other way around, and always will be as far as how this site reports the news.

And to the person (transparently anonymous considering the green creases in the language) who left this comment: “If someone were breaking in to the author’s home he’d be on the phone asking for help, then probably criticize the police for handling the intruder too roughly,” would we even be having this discussion if your spouse or mine, or your child or mine, or anybody’s child, mother, father or brother for that matter, had been driving by the Carman home on Wellesley that night and been shot through the head? Answer yes, and perhaps you should rethink that shield of yours: its allegiance is misplaced.

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30 Responses for “Questions of Relevance and Relevant Questions Over Shooting at Sheriff’s Capt.’s House”

  1. A parent says:

    I fully and wholeheartedly agree with *everything* in this article, Mr. Tristam. Keep up the great work!

  2. Justice for All says:

    Keep up the good work. Seems the public forgot who assisted Councilwoman DiStefano after she plowed into a parked car and never reported the incident. Security camera caught her inspect the damage and then relocate to another spot.

  3. elaygee says:

    Well said! They always try to hide their crimes as if they were incapable of commiting them as oppossed to routinely commiting them.

  4. Peter Peligian says:

    Commendable reporting.

  5. itsMe says:

    Is the writer that insecure? Did the writer have do do another story on the same incident because some of the comments did not agree with his view in the first?

    And perhaps if comments on this article are not to the writers liking, he will just create another until they are.

    Of course that’s speculation on my part for sure but if the writer can do it then so can anyone else i suppose.

  6. Palm Coaster says:

    Very predictable itsMe, theres one in every crowd.

  7. knowitall says:

    Do you know for a fact that the gun that was fired belonged to Capt Carman? Might it of belonged to his wife?

    Do you know for a fact that Carman even knew the gun existed in his home?

    Do you know for a fact that Carman watched his wife playing with a gun while she was intoxicated?

    For that matter, do you know for a fact that Carman was even aware that his wife was intoxicated?

    Do you know for a fact that the gun was fired into the air out doors?

    Tristam, if you consider yourself a journalist rather than just a blogger, you should learn the facts before you post speculation. Shame on you.

  8. Bob K says:

    My apologies for the anonymous post regarding how the author would react to a break-in; I truly thought I had signed in for that. Yes, someone could have been driving by and been hit by a bullet, but he/she was not. Over my lifetime and career I have made poor decisons and mistakes that could have been disastrous or fatal, but they were not. The point is, as humans, we WILL make mistakes. Do I expect a more safety conscious attitude regarding firearms in a law enforcement officer’s home? You bet. However, what this boils down to is a personal situation between a career law enforcement officer and his wife who may have some substance abuse issues getting out of hand. Remember the “possible” prescription drug issue you reported? Possible……hmmm, guess we’ll be reporting on “possible” alien abductions next week. The bottom line is noone was injured and the sheriff rightly decided there would be no point in airing the officer’s dirty laundry on a public forum. The legal side was handled properly as it was turned over to another jurisdiction. Do I believe that an honest police officer deserves some respect and privacy in a situation like this provided there was no harm done and no mal intent? Yes. Again, I ask, what positive results have come from printing this story?

  9. Pierre Tristam says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments Bob K. All valid points. Where we differ is in the purpose of a news story. I don’t aim for “positive” or “negative” results. That wouldn’t be reporting but a form of boosterism, which isn’t news reporting. One “positive” result of the story I can point to though: your perspective on it.

    And knowitall, you ask all the right questions–questions that still haven’t been entirely answered. What is known, some of it contradictory, is based on what’s in the police report and what the sheriff has said. No speculation there. Of course, the police report could have been falsified (it wouldn;t be the first time) and the sheriff could have been misinformed. But that’s up to the State Attorney’s office to decipher, given the limits at wagons at this end. As for the difference between a journalist and a blogger, I really couldn’t care less though I have detected a common thread among sneerers and snobs who love to foam at the semantics of the trade, as if those designations have any valid meaning at all anymore. They don’t. The differences anyway are becoming irrelevant by the day since most establishment journalists out there, like their dying mediums, are pretty crappy compared to a good many bloggers. I personally think the term “journalist” is a bit pretentious, like lawyers who put “Attorney at Law” on their business card instead of just plain lawyer. I’d stick with reporter. You can call me a hack or a typist if you like too, though I’m not that good a typist, being the two-fingered kind.

  10. itsMe says:

    Palm Coaster,

    In the instance of opinionated and speculative so called reporting I don’t mind being the ONE in every crowd. Seems though that really I am not.

  11. dlf says:

    Pierre : You make the comment about the police report being false,” it wouldn’t be the first time”
    Cover up, false report, why would you be surprised? It happens in the White House, tax cheaters who are now leaders, Rangel who has covered up his bad habits for years. Why would you be alarmed, it is a pattern that is used everyday by the people in power . But the all powerful news has decided to only report on the ones they feel the masses should be aware of, certainly not the ones on our elected or choosen leaders.
    Pierre: where did knowitall imply you were a hack? He was just asking questions which we are still allowed to do the USA, even to the powerful and the news people.

  12. NortonSmitty says:

    Knowitall, the one fact we do know is that if any of our wives would have done this we would be sending her commissary money and dragging the kids to the jail once a week to see Mommy. As well as explaining to family and friends that the police report and newspaper article wasn’t what really happened. None of this happened in this case not because her husband is by all accounts a good guy, but because he is in the Criminal Justice Industry Club. The fact that the police are held to a lesser standard instead of higher one is what makes this story newsworthy, .The fact you are upset is because you are used to getting your information from Fair And Balanced or the Local Limpdick. The fact the only place you were able to hear about it was here is what makes the man a Journalist.

    If this upsets you I hear they’re practically giving away subscriptions to the News/Journal theese days.

  13. NortonSmitty says:

    Knowitall, the one fact we do know is that if any of our wives would have done this we would be sending her commissary money and dragging the kids to the jail once a week to see Mommy. As well as explaining to family and friends that the police report and newspaper article wasn’t what really happened. None of this happened in this case not because her husband is by all accounts a good guy, but because he is in the Criminal Justice Industry Club. The fact that the police are held to a lesser standard instead of higher one is what makes this story newsworthy.

    The fact you are upset is because you are used to getting your information from Fair And Balanced or the Local Limpdick.

    The fact the only place you were able to hear about it was here is what makes the man a Journalist.

    If this upsets you I hear they’re practically giving away subscriptions to the News/Journal these days.

  14. dlf says:

    NortonSmitty: Knowitall was asking a question which we are allowed to do, for now. He is not taking the news at face value, which ig good. Because he has a different feeling then you and Pierre does not make him wrong. I guess when we do not agree with the news we are somehow out of the main stream and must read from the “Local Limpdick (your words) in place of the obama controled news. Must be a reject from the News Journal? Facts with a source is was makes a journalist, not what ifs, maybe’s or my view of the topic.

  15. Anonymous says:


    Seems the Bunnell officers, the Flagler beach officer, or the latest Jail deputy did not belong to that (imaginary) club.

    I would imagine in all types of workplaces one would not want to see anything non deserving befall a fellow employee. But because it is law enforcement being discussed here there must be some type of conspiracy occurring within the Blue Wall or in this case the Green Wall.

    Referring someone to another outlet because you don’t like what they have to say is pretty ignorant but then again I expect the type of reporting I see on this site to attract some ignorance.

  16. Ken Dodge says:

    A .38 cal bullet is fired from a revolver, not from a clip-fed firearm.

  17. Haw Creek Girl says:

    I like Mark Carmen, always have…for about 20-25 years now. Never understood why he married Janie but hey, it’s his choice. Knowing the line of work he’s in, Mark should know he has to keep his own back porch swept. That is one of the things that always perplexed me about why he married Janie. She’s definately not the subdued, genteel politician/LEO type wife… Does the Sheriff’s Office cover for their own? Well, that’s a big super DUH question?! Of course they do! Do you cover for your co-workers or have you in the past? Well, the rank and file of the SO are no different……They just have more power to do so than you and I….and a little more scrutiny after the fact.

  18. NortonSmitty says:

    dlf, If you read knowitalls letter, he’s pretty plain about what he means. He frames his questions in a way that leaves no doubt as to what his opinion and purpose is, which is to cast doubt on the articles credibility and insinuating that Pierre wrote the piece with an agenda in mind. I interpreted as he was accusing the author of merely trying to push his perceived agenda by denigrating our Police, even after going out of his way to confirm what a fine man the unfortunate officer is

    . I don’t see it that way, and was expressing that opinion, which you are still allowed to do until Rupert buys the internet.

    As long as we’re on opinions, here’s mine. It;s not surprising that yours and many of the other letters are so supportive of our Police . Every day we are bombarded by Entertainment shows, documentaries, news and stories about the Thin Blue Line keeping us safe. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be appreciative, but it goes beyond that to hero worship so extreme that goes further that anything seen in one of Mussolini’s wet dreams. It’s reached the level that it can only be called propaganda, which means it has an agenda.

    We have more people incarcerated per capita than any society in the history of the world. More than Stalin’s Russia. More than South Africa under apartheid. More than China under Mao or today. Crime? the crime rate today is about half of what it was int the fifties of Ozzie and Harriet, even with new felonies like driving on two beers and yelling at your spouse. Statistically, police work is one of the safest jobs in the country today, right up there with office work and way below postal workers or garbagemen by a large multiple. But you will never hear that in this country. Why?

    I grew up with friends that became cops. Thirty years ago I sat in Lodge with many of them. I was Best man for one. I partied with them. I can tell you they are absolutely normal. No strike that, that’s bullshit. Most were on the upper end of normal, more towards the crazy end. You would have to be to take the job. But most were men who would know right from wrong and do the right thing if they could

    In the last thirty years, they instituted new rules so the officers had almost no discretion as to what they could do on their job. The also started giving them psycological tests in recruiting and training that insured that they would follow orders and procedures and do what they were told, regardless of what the thought was right or wrong. The ones that coudn’t adapt were weeded out through discipline or burnout, the newer ones had nobody to tell them things could be different. Procedure was all.

    I know these are strong statements, but ask any older cop if the job has changed since they started, but be prepared to listen for a while. Think of the changes that have happened since you were a kid. I believe these facts can only confirm my belief that we are now or rapidly approaching the undeniable fact that America is a police state.

    The only reason is that our government is deathly afraid of its citizens. Lord knows they should be, but they don’t seem all that worried. The multinationals that run this country have the plan down and won’t ever have to fire a shot to stay in power

    dlf, You talk about Obamas media. and the mainstream? I hate to bust your rebel aspirations but you are following their script. To the letter. Bear with me.

    Think back to 2008. People who voted for the Bushies were actually starting to get angry. In spite of what the TV said, Every day gas went up ($4/gallon remember. Why/) Wages were stagnant, insurance, medical, utilities, everything was squeezing the last drop from the working class. People were talking to each other and coming toi the same conclusion:


    No way we could hope to pull this off for four more years. What can we do? Hey:

    What if we got a candidate out of nowhere, sorta’ like a Trojan Horse thing, buy him off up front and make him say the word change every two minutes Wait, we can run the lamest candidate we can find against him and give him the worst possible campaign, maybe give him a dim-witted nutcase for VP that’s such a joke nobody will take them serious. (Does Quayle have any kids?) Hey, what if he was Black? The country would go crazy for him. The Dem base will stampede, and after he’s elected and does what we say, It’ll take years for them to get the nerve to criticise anything he does!

    Barack. George Bush in blackface. Not one thing different from the last eight years. Same Goldman Sachs people in charge of the treasury, same people in charge of the Pentagon. Same war plan. Nobody prosecuted for corruption, torture, war crimes, incompetence, election fraud. Nothing. A fucked-up Healt Insurance policy that mandates giving money to the big insurance companies. WTF?

    I wondered how MSNBC and the rest of the media could be so in the tank for BHO. After all General Electric that owns it is the worlds largest defense contractor, the people who put Reagan in office, why are they letting Olberman rant and get so pasionate about a Democrat? This is different! Why are all the huge Drug, Insurance, Banking and Wall Street firms giving him so much money?. Maybe even they see it’s time for a Change!

    Right. And even though he is doing nothing different, the establishment media, especially Fox, is stirring uo the peasants at the sideshows. Republican against Democrat, Black against White, Poor against the less poor,(but leave the rich out of it, They create jobs!), Buisness against labor.

    And we fall for it as always like rubes at the carnival every time. Because if we ever realize we all have more in common with our garbagemen than we do with the people on Wall Street or Washington, we might make some real change. And then the might have to actually use that magnificent Public Safety establishment they have built over the years. On the public.

    Which brings me back to the Police Story at the beginning of this rant.

    The police already have impunity to do damn near anything they want in our name in the goal of keeping us safe. They have used this power we have given them in some very questionable ways. From tazing 72 year old grandmothers to handcuffing and booking six year olds I’m sure you have seen examples .Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely and completely. as we’ve been taught since grade school civics class (funny how that didn’t survive in the age of FCAT).

    So the only power we have is to pay attention when they don’t adhere to the same laws and the all important proceedure when it applies to there transgressions. Bring them to light be discussing them in a public forum and hopefully shame them into doing the right thing.

    I know it’s not as potent as a popcorn fart, but it’s all we got.

  19. dlf says:

    NortonSmitty: well written and I am with you 100%, we are a land of sheep being led by the select, powerful and crooks. Both parties are about the same thing, power and keeping their job. Lets hope that starts to change in Nov.

  20. ItsMe says:

    I’m only commenting on the “Police Story” part of your post because quite frankly, I agree with your take on the rest. I will start at the top. I don’t see where police are hailed as heroes unless they have done something truly heroic like having two buildings collapse on them while trying to save people. As heroic as that may have been, it is short lived in the eyes of the public. It is forgotten about. Cops do it all from saving lives to hauling mommy or daddy away. They will never be worshipped or hailed as heroes for very long. It goes with the territory and most go into the job knowing it is a thankless one but believe in the greater good of what they are doing.
    As far as television shows, if you believe any of them are a true model of police work it’s no wonder you’re upset. All crimes should be solved in a half hour to hours time.

    “We have more people incarcerated per capita than any society in the history of the world”
    Could that possibly be due to stiffer penalties for crimes in other countries?
    Sure the person may not be incarcerated but he’s missing a hand or worse was put to death for a crime that in the United States does not warrant a death penalty.
    All these people incarcerated here and there is still crime. Go figure..
    Driving on two beers is hilarious. First one must exhibit behavior of intoxication and then there is the breathalyzer. As far as yelling at your spouse, it is known that everyone argues from time to time. To believe that someone goes to jail every time there is an argument is ridiculous.

    “police work is one of the safest jobs in the country today, right up there with office work and way below postal workers or garbagemen by a large multiple. But you will never hear that in this country. Why?”
    Maybe because it is not true? By a large multiple? Have 100 garbage men or postal workers died doing their job since January this year? It’s possible I guess but how many were murdered? How many of them put themselves in harms way to defend the public at large and paid the ultimate price for it? How many were killed in wrecks trying to get to the person who called for help?

    Because you grew up with some cops and was the best man at ones wedding does not make you an expert in the business. In the “last “thirty years” things have changed. That is because the criminal element has changed. I don’t know about the crime rate being half of what it was in the 50’s. Rather I find that hard to believe. But saying that is the case one thing is certain, the criminals dynamics have changed. If you can’t see that then you have your head in the sand. A lot of todays criminals are younger and they are armed and absolutely lack any respect for authoritive figures to include their own parents.

    Yes there are rules (policies) set in place. They are there to protect the citizen just as much as the officer. 30 years ago there were not so many rules and many more instances of brutality and false arrest. There was much less documentation of incidents/calls for service as well. These days investigative measures are far superior than that of 30 years ago.

    “Ask any older cop if the job has changed since they started”… I would hope so. Those retired guys you know probably could not do the job today. Many I have spoken to admit it.
    Training is far more frequent and superior than that of 30 years ago when a chief handing you a badge and wishing you luck was the only training you got aside from a short academy. The drivers side of the patrol car they knew back then looks more like a cockpit today. They would be lost.
    Let them have their memories they are well deserved. But they too will tell you that not only has the job changed but so has everything else. I could not imagine law enforcement fighting todays criminal element with 30 year old technology.

    In closing I would say things have come a long way. No entity is perfect and the media makes sure everyone knows it but in every instance the media picks up on that is negative there are hundreds of positives never told. Positive news does not sell.
    Infact it would be easy to blame the media for much of societies change over the last 30 years but we don’t really hear of that either. Sensationalizing and doing their best to sway thoughts on specific subjects as it has become more tabloid like with reporters offering opinion rather than actual news which used to allow the watcher to think for themselves about what they just heard. Inaccuracies because of the race to be first with the scoop that are rarely corrected and so on and so on.

  21. Dorothea says:

    Law enforcement had 21.8 deaths per 100,000. Garbage collectors had 22.8 deaths per 100,000. Roofers had 29.4 per 100,000. Power-lline workers had 29.1 per 100,000. Loggers and workers in the fishing industry had a whopping 86.4 and 111.8 deaths per 100,000. These are statistics for 2007.

    As for that cockpit in the patrol car, airline pilots and flight engineers had 70.7 deaths per 100,000. Get over it, cops don’t have the most dangerous job in the United States. But you missed the whole point of Norton’s comments by nitpicking apart the “police story” part of it. The media is an important part of our country’s system of government. They are not there just to tell us the good news. It is not sensationalism to let citizens know when the men and women whom we entrust with police powers have stepped over the line.

  22. An outsider looking in says:

    First of all, I support Mark and the Police in Flagler 100%! (Liked Bob K’s comments as well) No one here is trying to hide anything and they are handling the case as it is supposed to be. Seems like someone is trying to bash certain individuals as they may be disgruntled with their perceived view of events.

    I love the 1st Amendment.

    “The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion”, impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”

    This gives all of us the right to post an opinion here or question each other openly.

    I think everyone is entitled to privacy when it involves family, and if that family member is accused of a crime or charged with negligence due to the discharge of a firearm, and its reported to the authorities, then what would make a person think someone is hiding something? The facts are there and Mark knows he reported what he needed to as required. He is not above the law, but his also enforcing his own beliefs as an officer of the law. He did the right thing. IF you do not like the results, then you must be really a bored “REPORTER”.

  23. NortonSmitty says:

    Dorthea, thanks for saving me for looking up the stats. I may have been ahead of myself on the precise numbers but the premise was correct.

    itsme, I do agree that the level of training has greatly increased. It’ being sold as professionalism, but it’s actually the militarization of the police to by-pass that pesky Posse Comititas rule that bans the Feds from using the military on it’s own citizens. If we cant use the Military, militarize the police. You don’t think there’s an M-16 in every car and a APC in every podunk PD in America for the crackheads and Methlabs do you? All paid for by Federal grants.

    I agree with a lot of your letter. There are a lot more gang-bangers and kids who have no fear or respect than there used to be, but it'[s impossible to quantify that with stats so it’s just our opinion. And I know it’s a lot harder to do the job as it’s required today. I couldn’t do it. Few right-thinking people could.. Thats why they do so much psychological screening, to weed out the ones who won’t follow orders, no matter what.

    The locals get bonus money from Washington for being certified to Federal standards. Read them if you can find them. The sites that published them are all shut down now. Here is the CALEA website that you can’t access unless your a LEO:
    . .

    It’s Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. As citizens, why shouldn’t we have acess to this info?

    It all proves that the local Law, whether they know it or not, have been prepared to go to war on the American public if the ever get up the nuts to rise up against their federal government. Because they’re afraid of their citizens. And you’d have to be pretty dense not to see this.

  24. ItsMe says:

    Dorothea, I am not saying that no other job is dangerous and evidently you missed my point about the cockpit too.
    There are lots of dangerous jobs. What I am saying is those jobs do not require it’s employees to face danger on a daily basis on behalf of the citizens they serve. It’s a big difference.
    Those people who lose their lives while working are usually due to some freak accident or in some cases a disgruntled ex employee goes and shoots people in his former work place but remember who has to go and get THAT person. It sure isn’t the garbage man or power line worker.

    NortonSmitty, the requirement of the psych screening is to get an idea that the person will be able to handle the stresses associated with the job and not whether they can follow orders. Realize that an officer many times deals with people at their worst. An officer can go from a complaint of a noisy neighbor to an accident scene involving death, There are many horrific visions burned into an officers memory throughout their career. That also goes for those in any emergency service job. The psych screening weeds out those who may not be balanced enough to handle it. When on scene the officer needs to be the rock when everything else seems to be crumbling. He can not also crumble.

    So you say the training is for militarization purposes so the Govt. can use the police against the people. Perhaps you missed what I said in my previous post about law enforcement trying tokeep up with the criminal element. Example: I suppose training for active shooters in schools is just another tool to use against the citizens?
    Perhaps the police have been hypnotized and when the Gov’t is ready they will say a secret word that will set all police into action against the people. Sorry Pier…umm NortonSmitty but I believe we should be a little more appreciative of those who would place themselves in harms way for people they do not know.

    And those m-16’s? well i’d hate to see an officer come up on a scene and be out gunned. Remember the bank robbery in L.A.? The police take incidents such as that one and learn from it. These are human beings with real beating hearts who have families of their own yet they are out protecting everyones family.
    Final thought….When an incident occurrs such as a hurricane or other disaster most families are preparing for where they will go if need be. The officer and most other emergency service workers stay behind in an attempt to protect what is yours and send their families off without them.

  25. NortonSmitty says:

    Itsme, Stats are Stats and Dead is Dead, and never the twain shall meet. Dead is dead. The point we were making is the Conventional Wisdom we all hate is that many more Cops are dying for us than is actually the truth. Those are the stats, not what most think and that’s my point. If you take out the freak accidents and auto wrecks, the actuarial tables are even worse for proving your point about the inherent dangers of the job.

    Another observation: if I was ever in a dangerous hostage type situation or however my life depended on it, I would rather have a grizzled, miserable abusive bastard cop from my youth than a college degree’d certified cop of today behind the muzzle. Same as I’d rather have a WWII B-17 pilot behind the yoke when three engines went out on the 747 instead of a pimply-faced 20 yr. old Embry-Riddle graduate.

    This probably means I’ve officially reached Grizzled Old Fart status, but I’d like to think it was proving my preference for competence over credentials. As quaint as it seems today.

    As far as your second point about the screening, I must say that I disagree. I believe that the reason for the screening is to insure that the officer has the profile to follow orders at the expense of his right-or- wrong instincts. The rest is just smoke. I don’t ask you to agree, but think about it. It’s what I believe and a few of my old cop friends agree, though not all. Just think about it before your knee jerks.

    Good Night.

  26. ItsMe says:

    Stats are stats and dead is dead. Does it not matter how a person died? Does it not matter if one sacrificed his or her life for another? Wait I should know better as our own media has forgotten about our men and women in the service who are making that ultimate sacrifice. It’s more important to report on the Status of Lindsay Lohan going to jail and whatever other nonsense the famous are up to.

    I don’t know your age but though I am not old I am not young either. I will tell you a little secret. Cops are still the same. There are many different personalities among them but It takes a certain mentality to do the job and it’s all the same. The only difference as I said earlier is these days there is better training and better technology. And of course more guidelines to follow.

    I am inclined to agree with your airplane scenario but the difference is once in the air that pilot anc co-pilot only have eachother and a radio whereas if a 20 year old cop needs it he has all the back up he needs and more and can always consult with more experienced officers.

    I think this has played it’s course. I know i’m not going to change your mind nor will you change mine.
    But believe one thing… we have good men and women in uniform out here doing the right thing. I have much confidence in them.

    Thank you for sharing your view. Whether we agree or disagree It was interesting dialogue.

  27. Dorothea says:

    There were 98 deaths of law enforcment officers killed in the line of duty this year and the majority were from accidents and heart attacks, not assaults. In a ten year period, 91% of the officers killed by assailants were shot to death. The statistics do not mention, however, how many were shot to death by spouses or other family members. Which brings me back to the original point, the relevancy of reporting this one incident, which went undisclosed for almost four months. Not only was the incident covered up, but the gun used was never found and Chief Carman did not know that it was in his home, Anyone who keeps firearms in their home, including and especially law enforcent officers, should know where and how many there are and have them safely secured. The article was not an indictment of or even critical of all law enforcement, just the coverup of one incident.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Dorothea you sure do alot of speculating and I think you skim read at best. I could see this type of reaction if it were a kid who had the gun but this is an adult.
    I don’t mean to be a stickler here but your claim is that the majority were due to accidents and heart attacks and not assaults (you left out gunfire).
    And as far as accidents how many were possibly responding to a call? How many heart attacks were suffered while dealing with suspects? How many were struck by drunk drivers?
    If you for some reason get the urge to dig further than the surface go to the officer down memorial page at you can find more info about how the officers died (this year and years past)

    Total Line of Duty Deaths: 98
    Gunfire: 34
    Assault: 2
    Vehicular assault: 8
    Vehicle pursuit: 3
    Struck by vehicle: 5
    Heart attack: 8
    Accidental: 1
    Aircraft accident: 1
    Automobile accident: 27
    Boating accident: 1
    Drowned: 1
    Fall: 2
    Gunfire (Accidental): 1
    Motorcycle accident: 3
    Struck by train: 1

    And lastly, as far as a cover up…enough already. If it were covered up it would not have been documented and charges would never have been filed. There would be no trace that it ever occurred.

  29. ItsMe says:

    Somehow my above post went anonymous. The numbers I posted are since January this year.
    I surely can respect anothers point of view and even a good argument Dorothea but when you post stats and do not care to be accurate and/or dismiss the deaths of these men and women because some did not go down in some spetacular way then your post is nothing but wasted space as it becomes more evident to the reader of your post that you have no idea what you are talking about. Have a good day.

  30. Kimberly Christian says:

    I have known Janie for over 40 years I grew up around her and her father she is one of the most responsible people I know.she has worked for so many years to advance her husbands carreer and for some people that talk about things they know nothing about is wrong…if you did not grow up around the Law enforcement crowd you have no idea what goes on in that world. when things go down who looks out for the injured party. I do not know if anyone there knows but Janie’s father was in Law Inforcement until he retired..that was a big influence on Mark becoming a police officer

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