Archives For Criminal

Safer Police Chases

May 13, 2014 — 6 Comments

crashLaw Enforcement often gets a bum rap. I assume I’m overly sensitive to this because I’m a volunteer chaplain with our county Sheriff’s Office.

But my feeling is not new, so I don’t think it’s the result of my current chaplaincy duties. I’ve always felt that the media, corrupt lawyers, and certain politicians have sided with criminals at the expense of society.

An example of this is just how quick many are to condemn police whenever there is a high speed chase. While nearly all law enforcement agencies strive to keep these to a minimum, occasionally one of these pursuits will end tragically.

Whenever that occurs, it seems that the police are blamed. And the question that is too seldom asked, remains: Whose fault is it that such massive pieces of metal (i.e. the cars) were impelled down our streets at such dangerous speeds?

It is the fault of the criminals, of course.

Allow me to repeat that. It is the fault of the criminals . . . not the police officers.

The role of law enforcement professionals is to protect the public. All of the individuals in those ranks with whom I have worked (both military and civilian) have believed that. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote:

The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden—that is what the State is there for.

And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.

Overreaction to the potential dangers of police chases has led some jurisdictions to offer criminals get out of jail free cards. These are issued whenever a person desires to escape justice by committing an additional crime—fleeing the police.

As one writer says, “A ‘no pursuit’ policy practically guarantees the suspect gets away.”

But it no longer has to be that way. I recently read about a new invention that allows cops to fire a laser-guided, sticky GPS tag that will allow them to drop their speed and still be able to track the progression of the fleeing criminals.

It’s pretty amazing. You can see a video of how it works here. Although the cost is reasonable, I imagine the expense will still prevent most departments from being able to leverage this new technology.

The StarChase company says their products are available around the globe, so this isn’t simply for Americans. No matter where you live, you may want to contact your local law enforcement agencies to inquire into whether they have considered this invention.

After all, law abiding citizens want criminals captured—especially those who brazenly threaten everyone’s welfare with their highway racing—but we want them arrested safely.

Discipline or Abuse?

August 13, 2013 — 31 Comments

beltDiscipline is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a necessary thing, if you understand it in terms of correction or protection (its true purposes).

Sadly, the very word has been contaminated by its association with something diametrically opposed to discipline—abuse. It is extremely common for abusers to try to hide their crimes under the once untainted label of discipline.

Here is biblical wisdom: “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11-12).

And, a testimony from the Psalmist that discipline’s role is to protect. “Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked” (Psalm 94:12-13).

C.S. Lewis elaborates on this truth in “A Preface to ‘Paradise Lost.’”

Discipline, while the world is yet unfallen, exists for the sake of what seems its very opposite—for freedom, almost for extravagance. The pattern deep hidden in the dance, hidden so deep that shallow spectators cannot see it, alone gives beauty to the wild, free gestures that fill it, just as the decasyllabic norm gives beauty to all the licences and variations of the poet’s verse. The happy soul is, like a planet, a wandering star; yet in that very wandering (as astronomy teaches) invariable; she is eccentric beyond all predicting, yet equable in her eccentricity.

It is precisely because of this, the genuinely noble and affectionate character of genuine discipline that I was so deeply repulsed (and moved) by the following story. It comes from the fine journal, First Things.

A friend who corresponds with prisoners on death row sends one prisoner’s poem describing the horrific abuse he endured as a child. He tells her that most of the men on death row with him suffered that kind of abuse. The poem, titled “Spare the Rod” and addressed to his father, begins with the story of his sister’s beatings, and continues:

Then came a son to intercede,

a five-year-old you caused to bleed;

he would not flee your spit and roar,

you smashed his face into the floor.

And those were just the better years.

It ends:

What shall you find at heaven’s gate?

What shall be a father’s fate

who reveled in his children’s screams

who haunts them still in all their dreams?

You took your children meek and mild,

and beat them feral, stomped them wild.

You’ve now moved on to spar with God,

Who spares the child and breaks the rod.