From a "concerned citizen" in our comments section (no word on if this citizen is the police or civilian). As usual, we'll respond piecemeal:
- A few questions from a concerned citizen to the Real Police who have obviously given a lot of thought to these issues-
Thanks for your time and effort
- -Does Chicago utilize the CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Team)concept? There is federal grant money available for this. Interested community members get trained in first aid, SAR, disaster response, etc. I don't think anything would preclude sworn officers and their families from taking this training, even if it was offered only by suburban or outlying first responder agencies/fire departments, etc.
We don't know if Chicago actually utilizes the CERT concept. Federal money means Federal oversight and with 3 or 4 separate task forces solely dedicated to Chicago political corruption, we doubt that the Administration wants any more "oversight." And of course, nothing at all would preclude officers from seeking training on their own... except life obligations, money, family, court, second job, school, etc.
- - For major emergency use only, could an interested officer purchase and keep in their car trunk their own protective mask and related MOPP gear, and related articles that they know work properly and know how to use?
Again, nothing at all prevents us from doing this. Unfortunately, most of this MOPP gear has expiration dates unless stored in temperature controlled environments. Some involves quite a bit of training. Much of it is prohibitively expensive to outfit a single person and if you've read the board lately, cops can barely afford the housing prices in the City and usually have to get second or third jobs to send their kids somewhere where they might actually get an education.
- - Rechargable batteries for portable, two way radios are not overly expensive. Could one not keep a couple of new "reserve" batteries in one's bag, charged and ready to use?
We barely have enough batteries to outfit the next watch coming on duty. The batteries we have don't hold a charge for more than 6 hours. Batteries are expensive, so the City, in it's ultimate penny pinching wisdom barely keeps enough on hand. We have cars with over 120,000 miles being used on a day to day basis, many without any sort of battery adapters or cigarette lighters because they're either broken or destroyed by the computer mounts and over use. And again, asking coppers to outfit themselves is not really going to fly.
- - Could relevant training be taken on one's personal/vacation time? I knew an officer who did this, and went to an excellent WMD response course sponsored by the USG.
OK, we're pretty sure that this writer is a civilian at this point. Why is it all of the sudden the officer's responsibility to get all this training on his or her time? On his or her vacation? On his or her dime? Have we missed something here? Most of us AREN'T the police 24/7. We don't exist to solve every problem that comes up in the world. This is a job and like most people with jobs, we like time off, time away from the BS, time to relax. We aren't automatons that are living, breathing and sleeping how we can suddenly leap into action to protect the civilian population from threats or incidents.
- You shouldn't have to use your own time and money to address these issues, but it's better than the alternative of hope for the best.
But that's exactly what you've proposed in just about every single one of your points above. None of them make sense standing alone and taken together, perpetuates some sort of Utopian ideal that will never be reached and if it could be reached, would end up looking like something out of Stalin's Soviet Union.
We've known officers who have taken additional course because they wanted to. They've spent their own money. They've sacrificed time with family, time for vacation, time for life to this end. And in 99 cases out of 100, do you know what the City has done for them? Zero. Zip. Nada. They're pushing beat cars or driving desks, meaning the knowledge they acquired and could use to make everyone a bit safer is completely wasted. So they're out money, time and are unappreciated.
What's not to love?