If you watched the local news last night, especially Channel 4 (KOBTV), you would see that the Schultz/Brandenburg media manipulation is at it again. It was reported that approximately 1/3 of the DWI cases brought to Metropolitan Court are dismissed because the "prosecution was unable to proceed". If you have had any experience with Metropolitan Court, you would know this more than likely means the officers were not able to attend court. Kari Brandenburg stated she did not want to point the finger at just one person, but the lack of support for APD officers speaks differently.
For the most part, DWI cases being dismissed is NOT the police officer's fault. For those who are unaware, here is a quick breakdown of the logistics with officers and court cases. At the most, officers are given seven days notice of court hearings. There are actually times when officers get only one day notice to appear in court. In essence, this means that although officers have days off, they really do not have any days off. This can make it very difficult for officers to plan for doctor's appointments, daycare, personal time, etc.
Instead of being sympathetic to the needs of the police officers, Chief Schultz has (as so typical of the Chief), made it into a blame game with the officers on the receiving end. Memos threatening officers with absolute discipline have been circulating and the discipline seems to be escalating. For example, if an officer calls in sick, some employees are being forced to provide doctor's notes, proof of the sickness, and proof of calling in to the APD Court Liaison Office. How many people go to the doctor every single time they (or their child) is sick? In fact, if an officer is going to miss court, that officer must provide a thirty day notice to APD Court Liaison advising their absence. Again, an officer's scheduled day off is not really a day off, they are at the mercy of the department and the District Attorney.
Day shift Officers are faced to log out at court and are not available to take calls for service. On those instances where the officers are stuck on a call, they must call into court and then later prove they were in fact on a call. Swing shift and graveyard officers usually are at court when their shift is just beginning or just ending. Not only is personal time comprised, so is their sleep time. For example, you can have an officer work from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., proceed to court at 8:30 a.m., then they may have court in the morning, afternoon, etc. So the officer may leave court at 3:00 p.m., or even later in the instance of a trial. The officer gets home at 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m., only to go to work a few hours later. For typical case of "when I say jump, you better jump".
Let us not forget the aspect that defense attorneys know the loopholes and many attorneys continue their criminal cases over and over knowing that the one time the officer does not appear, they will more than likely receive a dismissal. As stated in the kobtv.com story, Retired Sergeant Paul Heh, had once attended court 23 separate times for one single DWI case. According to Paul Heh, he has no idea what the outcome of the case was because he never received notice for his 24th appearance.
It would seem like Kari Brandenburg and Chief Schultz are so conceited, they can not admit that the system is severely broken and the fault does not lie within the officers, but lies with the Chief of Police as well as the District Attorney's office. It would have been so nice if either one of them took the responsibility or admitted that the Officers are the ones placed with the burden and are not to blame. , but then again we dont live on Fantasy Island do we?
For the KOB story, click here.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes