Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Election Reflection

Having cast and mailed in my voter ballot I've taken the opportunity to sit back and just reflect over this very unprecedented campaign.

My thoughts on the subject is that if any American, right from the start runs a presidential campaign whose initial platform is one of hate, does not want to win.

When he calls a group of people criminals and rapists, and then over a year continually bombards us with it, only brings to life the covert racists lying in the underbelly of America.

It doesn't take a whole lot of research to find that people of ALL nationalities commit crimes. One would think that putting all of America's crimes on one race of people is about as racists as one can get.

But not Donald Trump. He took it to a new low by openly espousing that a prominent judge can't be fair because of his Hispanic heritage. What did Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan call it? "The textbook definition of a racist". But Ryan still supported Trump.

Not stopping there, Trump actually accused just about every race of people on the planet, other than his own of human short comings, a quality most thought only the now extinct German Nazi Party possessed.

We learned way back that most Americans have a keen sense of equality. In '64, when blacks were just coming out of the Jim Crow era and making an attempt to assimilate into the American culture many racist whites felt that although public assistance helped poor whites, helping blacks was too much of a hand out.

Programs like Affirmative Action were vehemently fought against by then presidential candidate Barry Goldwater who in his nomination speech said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

Reagan's "A Time of Choosing" speech meant to propel Barry Goldwater into the White House became a presidential landslide for LBJ.

(can you say backfire?)

Apparently Trump learned nothing from politics of the 60's. With her faults, Hillary is the experienced nominee while most of what Trump says are some of the dumbest and divisive things an American nominee can say.

In essence one candidate is presidential, the other is Donald Trump.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Trainwreck Trump

The Trump Trainwreck Trump says they're liars. There was no inappropriate touching. Only circumstantial to virtually no physical evidence. So why step forward after 30 years claiming, "I was a victim of Donald Trump's groping?" After all, it's he said/she said in both Bill Cosby's case and Donald Trump's case.

But there are 2 courts. One is the court of law. If they're gonna investigate, investigations 101 teaches us to interview everyone involved except the subject of the investigation. Then investigate the who, what, when, where and then how and why. Armed with that, call the subject of the investigation in as more women come forward.

Then we'll see how they fair in the other court, the court of public opinion.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Fighting street gang violence involves problem solving. As in any battle, it is crucial that we muster the human resolve to succeed. In law enforcement many departments use a 4 phase process called the S.A.R.A. model.

The word SARA is an acronym for (Scan, Analyze, Respond, and Assess) and has been used in fighting crime with great success and tenacity by police departments nationwide. The following is an example of how this works beginning with Phase One.


Let’s say that there are reports of criminal activity occurring daily at a nearby park. During Phase One, the scanning phase of S.A.R.A we make a crime analysis check which reveals that area gangs are conducting criminal activities there.

The crime checks include reports to police, assaults and gang-related activities. A bad place for park goers, but a haven for gangs.

With the scanning phase complete, the next challenge is for officers to gain a better prospective on exactly what is occurring at the park. This brings us to Phase Two.


From setting up surveillance to looking at crime reports, there are several ways to analyze. For this particular scenario it’s best we use house-to-house survey campaigns.

By talking to the grassroots citizens who use the park and the residents living around it, many facts about the park can be revealed. Surveys are the only way to find those people who were inconvenienced and many more who were unreported crime victims.

Sample questions specifically might be:

Do you visit the park?

When using the park, do you feel safe?

Do you think problems exist in the park?

What are the major problems in the park?

Have you or anyone you know been a victim in the park? And the most important.

How can the park be improved?

Now with a sufficient number of people surveyed and the answers analyzed we can now provide for S.A.R.A.’s Phase Three.


Having scanned and analyzed the problems we can now make our recommendations. Here’s a sample of some that are typical:

Paint over all graffiti

Install more lighting

Post signs prohibiting criminal acts. And most important.

Increase in police presence with a positive interaction with the citizens. High police visibility being the design.

The plan is set to make the park a positive, safe place again and making way for the opportunity to move on to the final Phase Four.


With the implementation of these combined recommendations we can evaluate and hopefully discover an anti-gang atmosphere emerging. If not, the plan may require some additional tweaking like ramping up enforcement and visibility.

In just a few short months if area residents begin coming back and using the park again then we’ve arrived successfully.

Youth gangs not only significantly affects their future but can cause community decay. It would be preferable to prevent this. By responding with environmental management using the S.A.R.A. model, a better life can be attained for a community; a testament to how fighting street gang violence involves problem solving.

Is the struggle to keep the park safe over? Not by a long shot; as long as there are gangs it will remain an ongoing battle. But it’s the good fight.

Johnny Russell, SDPD retired

Johnny Russell has had a 30 year career in law enforcement and is author of the gang/cops novel, First Blood, available at all online bookstores.