Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Village Buzz - August 19th...

Fire Department, Germantown, Police, Quality of Life, Village Board, Village Buzz

Fire Department Gear...

The subject of replacement firefighter equipment that was approved and forwarded to the Board for consideration was on the agenda for last night.  The equipment request was nearly scuttled when the Fire Chief, asked if this could be postponed until next year, said yes.  As was indicated in the Village Buzz on August 7th, this equipment was agreed to in return for an ambulance that was able to be postponed.  The department determined that the need for the equipment was more important than the need for another new ambulance at this time.

Trustee Langer, as a former firefighter, initiated a discussion that probably turned the tide and the result was a unanimous vote of approval by the Board.

I am not a firefighter...but it is difficult for me to understand why the chief wasn't more adamant about protecting the safety of the men and women who fight the fires.  To simply roll over in the face of a question seems inappropriate to me.  I would, if I were a firefighter, be very concerned about the leadership displayed.  I am, as a citizen, happy that the people who may someday need to save me will be properly equipped.


Citizen Observer Program: Yet More Thoughts...

I had indicated that I wouldn't identify the officer with whom I rode but he has indicated that he doesn't mind if I do so.  My assigned 'keeper' was Corporal Dan Delmore, a twelve year veteran of the Germantown Police Department.  He graduated with an Associate degree, found a part-time job as an officer for two different small communities in NE Wisconsin while he tried to find his break.  That came in the form of the Germantown department.

Since then, Cpl. Delmore has completed his Bachelor's degree and has just been awarded his Master's degree in Police Science.  This is an example of the professionalism in our department as well as amongst our police officers.  I confess that I grew up in a world where the local policeman might well have had to take the job because it was all he could find.  His training, if any, was rudimentary.  It is not that way at all anymore...(If it ever was; maybe my recollections have become blurred over the years)....and that is great for you and me.

We were engaged in supporting another officer in a Disorderly Conduct incident during my ride along.  This resulted in me being able to see the process of booking up close.  The person involved was not disruptive and had been through the process before.  I was the only 'newbie' in the booking room.  The photos were taken, the prints were taken (electronically now...not using ink), and the complaint was completed (also electronic).  The accused was permitted to make calls to try to arrange for bail money.  That looked promising early on but it fell apart after the booking was completed.  We learned that after returning to the squad and resuming patrol when a message was received from the arresting officer that he was en route to the Washington County jail.

As I reflect on these experiences, I am amazed that our officers don't become jaded by everything to which they're exposed.  It must be very difficult to avoid seeing the entire community through the prism of illegal conduct.  I was surprised that the officers who were on the scene in this incident were able to defuse a tense situation without any significant force being used.  The tempers were calmed.  The players seemed to have accepted their individual roles in the situation and were resigned to the situation that resulted.  The presence of authority, the knowledge that force was a possibility and the professionalism of the police officers made this something survivable for all the participants. 

I asked Cpl. Delmore about the thought of not surviving another day.  He told me that he is aware of that every time he leaves the Police station.  I guess you need to understand your vulnerabilities so that you're able to guard against complacency.  This is, after all, a matter of life and death.

It is not just a 'ride along' as it was for me.

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