Put yourself in the place of a cop who works in a medium-sized department in one of America’s cities. This cop is in his early thirties, married and has two daughters ages eleven and nine.
Both mom and cop work days. After school the girls are dropped off by their school bus at a local child-care center that has been tuned-up to handle children of this age. Dad is the one who regularly retrieves the girls because he gets off work before his wife.
The family has been working with this kind of arrangement for a couple of years and everyone seems to be adjusted to it. Dad has done the ‘cop’ thing, i.e. checked out the people who run the school and those who take care of his girls each afternoon.
Something strange: The older daughter begins showing unusual emotional reactions to otherwise calm situations. She wakes up with nightmares. Out of the blue, she seems to get mad over the least of things.
After exhausting all of the home remedy ideas they had, the couple decide to make an appointment for their oldest daughter with a child psychologist. After a couple of meetings between doctor and child, Mom and Dad are summoned for a meeting with the doctor.
On arrival, Dad could detect that the doctor was uneasy. They were invited into a closed room with the doctor. After a few moments of trying to soften the news, the doctor announces:
The daycare facility has been forcing your daughter to meet with men to engage in sex (yes, fucking) with a child.
Dad, the cop, almost loses it. He is hitting walls and talking of killing people. The psychologist is visibly shaken. But, after a few moments, Mom is able to calm Dad so they can make rational decisions about what to do next.
Because our readers (you) are a cop, I’ll let you play-out how this scenario would unfold if this happened to you. Someone you trusted screwed you in the worst possible manner.
In a way, this has happened to you. If not you, it happened to hundreds of thousands of your Brothers and Sisters.
Let me share the story …
About fifteen years ago, a couple of very bright computer guys came up with an idea. They created a computer program that looked just like the traffic crash report used by cops in their state.
The cops who first saw it were beyond excited. They could populate all kinds of fields on the form right from their computer run on the vehicle and its owner. No more typing/writing. They could draw diagrams change them over and over again – until the report was submitted. The computer even checked the report for errors and omissions before the report was submitted.
(Remember, this was 15 years ago.)
Most cops used to hate taking traffic crash reports. They’re long, they’re tedious and they take forever to finish. This computer program changed all of that for the better.
The two guys formed a business called iyeTek.
There’s more. Once the report was submitted, it was loaded into iyeTek’s computer servers where the citizens involved in the crash and their insurance companies could download the report. Clerks at the police department could do other things beside copying and mailing crash reports. Great!
iyeTek made an agreement with each city: iyeTek will sell the report for the same price that the city previously charged PLUS they will add a $5.00 convenience fee which covered iyeTek’s expenses and made them a small profit.
A rule of thumb for civilians: there are almost always more than one copy of a report. Even for a simple crash, there are likely four copies: one for each driver and one for each of their insurance companies.
Law enforcement agencies looked at this like a financial windfall. Now, they would be able to provide their cops the safety equipment they have long needed. They could get more training, which is always useful. Maybe they could even give their cops a raise.
ARRIVAL OF THE GREEDY
Somewhere along the line, the multi-national LexisNexis Corporation showed up. You probably know them: they probably provide search services in the detective bureau for your agency, e.g. Accurint.
Lexis waved a big pile of cash under the noses of the two guys who started the company and suddenly, Lexis was in charge.
Lexis stopped offering on-site training for police officers.
Lexis stopped tailoring the computer program to match each state’s paper form.
But then, according to Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, Lexis stopped paying for any of the report copies they sold after the first one.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The State of Florida trusted this private company to help Floridians access crash reports to assist them with insurance claims and other important matters that can arise following an automobile accident. But instead of passing the agency fee along to the FLHSMV, millions of dollars were pocketed as corporate profits. My office will continue to hold responsible companies that seek to abuse the public’s trust in order to bolster their profits.”
So, that small crash which required four copies of the crash report only netted ONE FEE for the agency from which it came. Florida’s Attorney General just secured millions of dollars for Florida stemming from whistleblower investigation that revealed that Lexis pocketed state fees to boost corporate profits.
As a result, Lexis has agreed to pay nearly $10 million bucks – JUST TO THE STATE OF FLORIDA. Don’t forget: Lexis handles crash reports for agencies and some of the big states like California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and others. Florida is by no means the largest.
A whole pile of cash which belonged to the cops has lined the pockets of Lexis. They did it in direct violation of the agreements they had with the agencies and states involved.
How many upgraded ballistic vests could that cash have purchased?
How many hours of training on civil unrest were denied because we didn’t have the funds to hold them?
Have you had an adequate raise in your salary recently? Maybe this is part of the reason why.
THE RULE OF ONE MORE
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, there’s more:
Lexis was peeling the personal information about individuals listed in those crash reports (maybe just a passenger) and SELLING it to the highest bidder.
Direct mail sellers of everything from soup to nuts can buy your kid’s name, DOB and address and use it any way they want – for the right price.
If you were in a crash in recent years and suddenly your kids started receiving junk mail – now you know why.
In this worlds of cops, we must put our trust in people who have earned it over time. Think of Point Blank, Danner, Blauer, MAGLite, Motorola and Ford just to name a few.
LexisNexis? Think again.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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To our BROTHERS and SISTERS in BLUE: We have now arrived at the time in the ELECTION SEASON when each of us MUST pay close attention to what candidates are saying. Every person we elect in November can affect our lives as cops. Will we THRIVE, just get by or will we DIE?
- Consider the disaster created in New York by Mayor Bill DiBlasio.
- Look at the number of cops who have been critically injured by the Portland District Attorney, Mike Schmidt.
- We cannot ignore how cops have been blamed for the problems in places like Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Baltimore and other cities where civilization has damned near crumbled.
- Don’t think that school boards are immune. Last Saturday, Steven Lysenko of Spencerport High School, went on a tirade against police officers for targeting protesters in Rochester by yelling, “Fuck the Police!”
- Last, but most important, is the top job: the Presidency. Electing Joe Biden would have a horribly deep, permanent and (in some cases) fatal effect on every cop in the nation.
EVERY ONE OF US MUST PAY ATTENTION AND GET INVOLVED.
OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT.
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