I hope this article finds you well and for those that celebrate them, I hope you had a wonderful Easter and Passover. Spring has arrived (I think) and none too soon. It was a bitter cold winter here in the mid-Atlantic and I’m ready for warmth.
· Memberships: The BRPBA membership needs your help. In 2020, the Board passed a finder fee for each new member you sign up. The finder fee is $50.00 each, and this will remain in effect until we let you know otherwise, which will not be anytime soon. We need new members. Please help.
If you are not with the FOP3, think about joining. Together we are working to protect and save our pension and healthcare. As law enforcement officers, retired and active, we must stand together as a unified front so that the city cannot divide and conquer us.
· For those of you not on our email system or on Facebook, you may not know the story we posted about Cody Ruhling. Cody Ruhling, a Marine and Maryland National Guard Soldier, was training to become an officer with the Baltimore Police Department. During training, he suffered a severe traumatic brain injury which resulted in extensive brain surgery including removal of part of his skull and opening his dura to access his brain and spinal cord followed by revision and partial removal of his cervical spine.
As Cody was the sole provider for two very young children and a wife, this has seriously financially impacted them. The BRPBA Board met in early March and decided to send a donation to the Ruhling family. In addition, our member, Mary Eilerman, brought get well cards to our March 16, 2021 General Meeting to be signed and taken to Cody. Mary also passed around a hat and we successfully collected over $1,100.00. Even the bartender that evening donated all of his tips to help this young family. On March 18, 2021, my wife and I went to Cody’s home in Anne Arundel County to give them the money donated and cards signed by a great bunch of caring members. I have heard that many of you sent monetary gifts and cards of encouragement to them as well. There is no way I can fully express my pride in the members of our organization. Thank you to all.
· PLEASE NOTE: Starting September 2021, our General Membership meetings will be moved back to the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Same time, same place.
· I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about my life as a police officer. The job we did has changed, and not for the better. Some want to blame it on the pandemic, but that is just not so. It is the progressive ideology that is sweeping this country that is to blame. Our City’s States Attorney is a progressive prosecutor who has decided on her own that Baltimore will no longer prosecute low-level offenses, such as prostitution and drug offenses. But the age-old laws have not changed and clearly she is writing her own new set of laws. If history has taught us anything, it is that turning a blind eye to any type of law-breaking results in the downfall of a civilization. We will only see an increase of drugs being sold on street corners, stoned users sleeping on sidewalks and an increased dependency on the Government. One thing is certain, I am sure the drug users and hookers are very happy right now.
· Another issue in the news lately regarding Baltimore City is their education system. People are questioning where the funds dedicated to the Public School system for 2020 have gone. No one can seem to answer that question. Over $400,000 for inside security? There were no children to protect in 2020 in the schools. Where did it all go?
In my opinion, the City schools are in shambles. There is no quality in the teachings anymore. The schools are graduating children who cannot read, write, or do mathematics. What’s interesting is… everyone wants to point a finger at someone else when it comes to youth and crime in Baltimore City. But think about it; if you graduate a child who is functionally illiterate, what kind of life are you setting up for them? What kind of future can they possibly have? Who is answering for these failures of the schools? Why aren’t parents protesting?
If you combine the last two points, you can clearly see the reason there is more crime in the city. Pass kids with no education, reduce or eliminate sentencing for offenses, and what you end up with is a city that is losing tourists, businesses are closing, and once the pandemic is over with, you can bet there will be a decrease in attendance at our three major sports arenas in the City.
What is the answer? Who is going to stand up and fix this? It can’t be the police. They have had all power stripped from them. In the meantime, a once beautiful, thriving, and diverse city is suffering.
· The Police Reform Bills SB71 and SB178 are a knee jerk reaction to a problem that should have been fixed a long time ago in house, which was caused by the outlaw Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force. The higher supervisors saw large arrests and gun arrests and that’s all they saw (the numbers). You do not punish the whole team because of the pitcher. The end result of these bills will be the inability to hire people to become career professional police officers. What they will get is people only looking for a paycheck with no dedication to the brotherhood of officers. We are already seeing crime increase, and it will just continue to increase.
One Annapolis career politician stated, “… scores of people killed by law enforcement in Maryland over the past two decades.” When do we blame the person committing the crime and resisting the subsequent arrest? Where did respect for police go? Isn’t it a two-way street? And for that matter, what right do politicians in Annapolis have to point a finger at the way someone else does their job when several of them are guilty of crimes themselves. Let them clean their own house first.
Criminals have more rights than police officers. This was done to take away LEOBR in effect since 1974, which has worked in the past, but now making officers liable if the public thinks they are wrong by court of public opinion.