Thursday, May 5, 2011



In a nondescript building in the meat packing district of Lower Manhattan

an elite team functions as NYC’s own CIA

(Thursday, May 5, 2011. Westside, Lower Manhattan, NYC) Just a short walk from what has been referred to as “Ground Zero” after the al-Qeada attacks on America at the World Trade Center in September 2001, is another “Ground Zero” that is the polar opposite of the Site just a few blocks away.

In the most nondescript of buildings in a neighborhood of remarkably nondescript structures, an elite force of under 50 NYPD Officers work in a hi-tech, dimly lit space tracking via high tech wizardry and high level intellect, potential threats to this City. The NYPD Intelligence Unit is among the most closely guarded, uniquely tasked and analytically capable of any Intelligence Unit on the planet. The men and women who staff this ultra-secret Unit are not assigned here by accident. They have all been “hand-picked” by the Deputy Police Commissioner for Intelligence and Counter-terrorism, David Cohen. And make no mistake about it, Mr. Cohen knows, intimately, the machinations and labyrinthine underworld of terrorism and intelligence gathering, analyzing and dissemination.

David Cohen was a CIA Officer for over thirty years. His career spanned some of the most tumultuous times and global events of the latter decades of the last century. He was an analyst who always seemed to “fall upwards” in his career, rising to a top level position in the Directorate of Operations at a relatively young age.

After the abysmal failures of the entire federal and military intelligence apparatus that came to light in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Cohen came to New York City and offered his services. He would go on to create one of the mot sophisticated, effective, efficient and capable “intelligence units” in the world. No other City on the planet can boast of a comparable entity. Cohen realized all too well that New York City would remain the primary “target rich environment” that would attract terrorists of every stripe and inclination.

While this Unit has been functioning in its current iteration since 2003, the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of Navy SEAL Team Six in his heavily fortified private compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan last Sunday, has people asking if there is a greater threat to New York City as groups or individuals may seek “retaliatory strikes”. The simple answer, according to one Intel Unit Officer is “Yes. Obviously the threat has been constant since 9-11 but with Bin Laden's death, we have ramped up some of our activities here and obviously, out in the field”.

The business of intelligence is as much science as it is art. This is true of any endeavor that must account for the unaccountable, for an amount of variables and a level of complexity that eludes quantification. The men and women of the NYPD Intelligence Unit must try to extract from a veritable ocean of “raw data” those few drops that constitute real “actionable intelligence”. This is a daunting and often frustrating task. However, the payoffs, when they are correct, can yield enormously significant results. The killing of Osama Bin Laden is a case in point. Years of intelligence data was collected, sifted through, analyzed, interpreted, vetted and put under intense scrutiny while even more information was sought to corroborate what the raw intelligence was beginning to reveal to the CIA and Pentagon.

That very same process is employed here in the NYPD Intel Unit but on a much smaller scale. Certainly, this Unit does not operate in isolation from other intelligence agencies around the world but their primary focus is to identify that one in a million ‘imminent threat’ to the City and residents of New York. Everything from information available in the media and in the public domain, to a very select and fine balance of information sharing with very specific, trusted sources is studied, looking for what? For signs, either covert or intuited, either from within the Five Boroughs or, perhaps from Scotland Yard, Interpol or some other valued, proven to be reliable source, that stands up under the scrutiny it must to be deemed “actionable”.

“We read everything from the local papers, foreign papers and magazines to intelligence reports from our own people stationed overseas as well as those working the streets here in New York”, commented one Intel Unit member who, due to the nature of what he and his colleagues do, cannot be publicly identified. “Actually”, continued the same Officer, “my own wife does not fully know what I do. She is aware that I am involved in something ‘different’, something sorta ‘top secret’ but, that’s about it.”

To enter the loft-like work space of this secretive Unit one is struck by the number of members who just “don’t look like cops”. One senior NYPD Officer who has been assigned to the Intel Unit for the last 6 years continues that, “some of these people were recruited right out of college and I mean the best colleges. They are classic computer nerds. They may have gone to Columbia, MIT, or some Ivy League university and majored in computer science or information technology or some related field. They went to the Police Academy so they could officially become active members of the NYPD but, they have spent their entire careers till now hacking, I mean the ‘good kind’, the ‘white hats’ type hacking and are truly talented and particularly well suited for what we do”.

Other members have long tenure in the NYPD; some started their careers in a radio cars in the Boroughs, on the streets and worked their ways up to higher rank, some had made Detective in their former Commands. It can be an odd mix but, given the mission they have been tasked with, they appear to work cohesively. The sense of “mission” is palpable among them. “I know what I am doing may help save lives of New Yorkers, maybe members of my own family or friends. I was on duty on 9-11-01 and responded. Since then I have been, in a way, obsessed. I have felt it necessary to try to understand our adversaries, the ‘nature of the threats’”, commented one female analyst who began her NYPD career in a rough Precinct sector in the Brooklyn South Patrol Command. She added with a wry smile, “everyday I walk in here I know I’m not in Brooklyn anymore”. Besides her experience on the dark and dirty streets of Brooklyn South, her degree from a prestigious university, her mutli-lingualness and her passion for “The Job”, attracted the attention of David Cohen. With little fanfare or paperwork she was suddenly reassigned. “One day I’m working cases in Brooklyn, two days later I’m here and beginning my ‘immersion training’. It was like, ‘Whoa. I knew we (NYPD) were on top of things but I never realized to what extent our Intel and Counter-terrorism Units functioned”.

Although this tightly knit Unit may have been the “brainchild” of David Cohen, it was NYPD Commissioner, Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg who recognized the value of creating such a Unit and saw that the “return on the investment” would, potentially, be enormous. As Commissioner Kelly himself commented in an interview not that long ago, “We are doing all these things because New York is still the No. 1 target. We have been targeted four times, twice successfully, and the city remains the most symbolic, substantive target for the terrorists. These are cunning, patient, deliberate people who want to kill us and kill us in big numbers."

Lydia Khalil, former counter terrorism analyst with the NYPD Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Units, knows all too well how "cunning, patient and deliberate" the people are who truly seek to do us harm. Currently a Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, Khalil has spoken publicly regarding the Intel Unit’s efficacy since she resigned from her position with NYPD to pursue other opportunities. She is an internationally recognized expert on the Middle East and, in particular, on the conditions in Middle Eastern countries that foment hatred of the West among the largely disenfranchised youths. While with The NYPD Ms. Khalil focused on international terrorism trends and terrorism cases in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

According to Khalil, we , as a Nation and as a City, must strive to understand the true nature of our enemies. Khalil has also been an outspoken proponent for the American Muslim / Islamic communities. She has written that some of the most “valuable, actionable intelligence” NYPD has obtained over the last 9 plus years has come from within the New York City Metropolitan Area Muslim community.

“This is an important thing to remember. The Muslims that live among us here in New York City, who pray at Mosques in all five Boroughs, have a vested interest in providing us with information. Some good, kind hearted Imam out in Queens sees a few members who show up regularly for prayer suddenly become hostile and isolated. He senses something not right. He calls us. The people of New York City are among the most understanding and accepting of each other because we really don’t have a choice. But, the Muslim community has felt a particular brand of hostility, even hatred, since September 11, 2001 and they want to help us more than anyone. After all, it is their very religion, their faith, that is called to question, that has raised suspicions. I give them all the credit in the world for stepping up as they have”, explained an Intel Unit Officer who identified himself as Jack.

If an average New Yorker could walk in off the street and spend some time in this place, they would, no doubt , leave here feeling that much better about their City, that much better about their NYPD and about their security.

The Feds created the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of fear and embarrassment. It has been a colossal failure, at least as seen by NYPD. Our entire federal intelligence apparatus was a colossal failure and dropped the ball regarding September 11, 2001. That is precisely why NYPD is doing what they are. " We won’t be fooled again".

As Jack told us, as he concluded our conversation, “Our Town, Our People, Our Business. We’ll take care of our own. I promise you that”.

Tags: NYPD Intelligence Unit, NYPD Counter terrorism Unit, Deputy Commissioner Cohen, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Lydia Khalil, Securing NYC, Target Rich Environment, Homeland Security.


Copyright TBC 2011 © All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 3, 2011



Cynyc would like to express here our tremendous sense of gratitude to the members (active and retired) of the FDNY, NYPD and PAPD who responded to the World Trade Center Site on September 11, 2001 and have been gracious enough to share their thoughts with us.

We are equally respectful and appreciative to those who lost husbands, wives, fathers, sons and daughters, their friends and relatives at the WTC and those whom have generously and candidly agreed to share their thoughts, open their hearts and answer our questions to make the following Post possible.
All of these people who have shared with us did so with the understanding, by their own requests, that their identities would remain private for their own personal reasons. We have promised each of them that they would remain anonymous.
At the end of this post the reader will find a partial list of links to some of the FDNY , NYPD and PAPD Memorial Pages for some of those who spoke to us for this post as well as some of the last duty assignments for those they spoke of and for.

(Tuesday, May 3, 2011. New York City) There was not much cheering or celebrating, no buoyant chanting of “USA,USA, USA”, in the Firehouses and Police Precinct Station Houses as word spread that Osama Bin Laden was dead. Most of the cheering, oddly ebullient crowds were out on the streets in places like Times Square, Battery Park and up and down the corridors of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx. Most of the celebrants hooting and hollering, wildly waving American flags probably had few real memories of that day in September 2001 when our City, our Country and our World changed.

As the local TV news began to confirm the initial reports, before President Obama addressed the Nation from the East Room of The White House, a certain, distinct silence ensued in apartments and houses across the Tri-State Area, in the residences that had been homes to so many of the thousands who perished on that bright September morning almost ten years ago, victims of that man, so recently killed by United States Navy SEALs half a world away.

The world’s most wanted man did not die the noble death of the warrior he claimed to be. he did not go out in a blaze of glory. Rather, when the SEALs entered the room in which he hide, he grabbed one of his wives and a firearm. Using this particular wife as a human shield he chose not to obey the orders shouted at him to surrender. His death was a cowardly act, perhaps a true reflection of the devious mind and darkened soul who ordered and financed the attacks on America in 2001.

His death came by way of two bullets, as has been reported by the Pentagon. Likely the first shot, the one that pierced one of his eyes before exploding his cranium and brain into a cloud of bloody mist and fragments, killed him instantly. Perhaps, if he had a nanosecond to have a thought, it might have been that the Americans have found me. He chose not to surrender and was summarily killed quickly, cleanly, efficiently in a manner far more merciful than those who perished on 4 hijacked airplanes, at The Pentagon, in an unremarkable field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania and in our Twin Towers.

Maybe he was welcomed to Paradise by 72 virgins. Maybe he was well received in Hell. Who knows. One beefy FDNY veteran from Ladder 24 commented,”It don’t really matter does it? I mean, okay, the scumbag is gone but, we got a wall full of pictures of guys we lost that day. Engine 1 lost that day. Am I glad he’s dead? Sure. But what does it mean?” As humans we are wired to search for “meaning” in events large and small particularly when they have forever altered our internal conscious landscape.

“I went down there with my guys to do whatever we could. I remembered the bombing in 1993, I was on the job then, in Patrol in the 13th Precinct. September 11 will always be something I can’t get outta my head. No, it doesn’t get in the way or, at least not very often. So, this piece of shit is dead? Good. I believe in hell because I grew up believing in it and I saw it on that day. I hope Bin Laden is there”, said a 28 year veteran of NYPD who assisted in the evacuation of the South Tower.

There is a story for every person who was in those buildings, in The Pentagon and on those doomed jets. There are amazing stories of self sacrifice and heroism, some known, some known only to God. Each of those who was present that day and survived has spent at least a portion of the past 3521 days seeking answers, searching for meaning and, oddly perhaps, living with some sense of guilt, with some part of their innermost self wondering how and why they survived while so many didn’t.

***** ***** *****
Not every women is cut out to be the wife of an NYPD Officer or an FDNY Firefighter. The stress of “the job” takes tolls on relationships and marriages that is often too much for a spouse to bear. “I always knew when my husband walked out the door to go to work there was a risk...a chance, he would not come home. I came to dread the phone call in the middle of the night telling me which hospital he was in. It didn’t happen that way. I’ve raised our three daughters these last ten years. Our youngest was born on September 21, 2001. She never knew her Dad. That breaks my heart sometimes but, then I realize, my heart is already broken. It can’t get broke more than it is but sometimes it just does”. Those are the words of a beautiful, intelligent widow who has nothing left of her husband except memories and “three wonderful girls”, who was last heard from as he approached the 78th floor of the North Tower. “All they ever recovered to identify him was his service piece. His gun. I have it and keep it wrapped up and hidden. I never did like the fact that he had guns in the house. Bin Laden, I do believe with all my heart that I could have shot him had I had the chance. What he took from me is something I can’t fully explain”, she continued before her tears began to flow.

***** ***** *****

Most of the members of Service from the FDNY and NYPD who survived that event will say that “only in New York” could such an amazing amount of “citizens", civilians, calmly, orderly and with an absolute absence of fear or panic evacuate those Twin Towers as they did. “Sure, the training after the February 1993 bombing was crucial to the fact that so many of us survived”, said an accountant who made his way down from the 59th floor of the North Tower. “We had Fire Marshals. Each company on each floor had someone who was the designated Fire Marshall. Shit, we’d drill...kinda like in grade school..we actually had fucking fire drills. Those drills, my fiend, saved thousands of lives”.

One third generation NYPD Detective noted that, “As New Yorkers, we are used to things fucking up. The subway suddenly stops in a tunnel, no air conditioning, no lights. We give it a good 15, 20 minutes tops before we start to wonder. We’re used to things going wrong. After all, we live in a city of 10 million with God knows how many visitors and tourists in town a day. Had we known the North Tower was hit intentionally by a commercial jet and that the South Tower had already collapsed, I don’t know, honestly, if we would have made it out”. “Literally, after the dust and debris settled it dawned on me I was still alive. I was shocked. I could hardly breath and really couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. But, after awhile, I don’t know if it was 30 minutes or an hour, I heard sounds...I heard voices...I heard sirens. I crawled towards the sounds I heard. I found a guy under a car. I grabbed his hand, drug him out from under the car and told him, ‘Listen to me cuz, we’re okay. Now, let’s move our asses outta here’. We walked west. Suddenly after walking like what seemed a mile, we ran into some other guys from the job. After that, I think I passed out for a few minutes. Next thing I remember was waking up with (name with held) tossing bottled water in my face”, said a MOS of FDNY from a Ladder Company in Brooklyn that lost many members.

***** ***** *****

343 members of FDNY were killed on September 11, 2001. 23 MOS of NYPD lost their lives and 37 PAPD Officers also perished. Some Firehouses lost entire companies; others suffered losses in double digits. As Mayor Guiliani later answered a reporters question saying “ The loss of life will probably be more than we can bear, we can only imagine. It is beyond our grasp at this time”. The innocent civilians: the brokers and traders, the cooks, custodians and window washers; the secretaries, executive assistants, CEOs, VPs, CFOs who were killed were, in a way, sadder losses to the Tri-State Area than were the tragic deaths of the MOS.

Cops, Firemen and other First Responders are expected to run into environments from which everyone else is frantically running out of. They sign on to that the day they take the oath. Those people who showed up for work, on time, that gorgeous New York morning probably never gave a moments thought to their own mortality or the random nature of chaos and evil as they commuted by bus, subway, bike and walk to work on that morning. “I remember thinking to myself”, began a veteran Homicide Detective assigned to the recovery effort, “that the parts of these people we were finding, the ‘biologics’ as they were called, ever gave a moments thought that morning that that day could be their last. At least, as a cop, I was in touch with how quickly my life and the life of my family could change. I don’t know how to explain it to you, ya know what I mean”?

***** ***** *****

Life has gone on. Tens years is a long time especially in the life of a child. So many children across the Tri-State don’t have clear memories of their Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. Many of those children whose lives have been defined by the events of September 11, 2001 were those who took to the streets in NYC and DC while their surviving parent stayed home watching the news and, of course, searching for meaning. Each has their own private pain, each, their own private mechanism that has allowed them to cope and function from that day until today. Will the death of Osama Bin Laden somehow provide them “closure” or a sense of justice, retribution or solace? Only they can answer and their answers are probably as diverse as they are disparate.

***** ***** *****

Sadly, 9-11-01 is still killing. Hundreds of First Responders, the underpaid MOS from FDNY, NYPD and PAPD as well as the hundreds of steel workers, welders and construction workers who toiled at “The Pile” for months after 9-11-01, have died from exposure to the toxins in the air at the WTC Site. Odd malignancies and other respiratory and autoimmune diseases plague them and some are so sick that their deaths are immanent. Many have had to swallow enormous lumps of pride and accept disability retirement because they could no longer function in the manner their jobs, jobs they devoted their lives to, requires. Still others, haven’t the energy to swallow their pride. They live their lives in the shadow of sites, sounds, smells, sensations and memories. Several have found the intervening years too tough and have taken their own lives. In a sense, each one of us who has survived exists with the profound sense of being on “borrowed time”.

So be it. Some of us may, on occasion believe, at least on some spiritual or neural level that our survival was meant to be. Again, who knows. We talk and debate in hushed tones on the phone about the death of Osama Bin Laden. We disagree about aspects of it from its overall significance in America’s ongoing battle against terrorist elements seeking to inflict us harm. We wonder what his capture might have meant. we ask each other how we feel about his death and if it really makes any difference in what we lived through and live with. We are permitted our disagreements; we’ve earned them. We speak with the wives and children of the men we once called Brothers and do what we can for them.

We all realize that they have the strength and resolve to do fro themselves what non of us could ever do for them. We mourn our friends and strangers alike. We think about the people we carried on our backs from one floor to the next in the North and South Towers. Some of them, we know their status; others of them, we haven’t a clue. All we know is we got out while some of the best of the best, civilian and public servant did not.

The Obama Administration reports that Bin Laden’s corpse was given up to the sea. New York City is a port town, a coastal city. We understand the power and infinite depths of the waters that wash with amazing regularity on our shores.

Life has gone on and will continue to do so. The moon will wax and wane and induce our tides accordingly. Perhaps, someday, years from now, a young child will find a sun and salt bleached bone fragment out in Coney Island or Jones Beach. Who knows whose bone that may be?

If cosmic justice exists in some form or any fashion, the child who finds that bone fragment will toss it back into the surf.

The sea tells know tales.

To all of those who died on September 11, 2001, we wish you a peaceful rest Safely Home.
God Bless.


Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2011 @ 5:45PM EST
Copyright TBC 2011 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 2, 2011



(Monday, May 2, 2011. NY, NY) After being the most wanted fugitive in the world and the very face of radical extremist Islamic terrorism for nearly the past ten years, the man who masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and at The Pentagon, Osama Bin Laden, has been killed in a daring operation carried out by US Special Forces and CIA Operatives. The particulars of the raid that resulted in this much celebrated milestone in our on-going “War on Terror” are headlines around the world and dominating cable TV news coverage.

The news considered so important to our government and the American people that President Obama made a late night, unscheduled televised address to report the news from the East Room in the White House. The President's quote that “Justice has been Done” has appeared in bold headlines all over the world. As word spread last night that Bin Laden had been killed in a camp in Pakistan, crowds gathered at various sites in New York City and Washington,DC to mark the occasion. There was an odd “carnival like” atmosphere reported by some present in the cheering, chanting throngs outside the White House last night while at the site where the World Trade Centers stood, the mood was mixed.

During most of the last decade, actually since October 16, 2001 when CIA Operatives and Special Forces were first covertly inserted into Afghanistan to capture or kill as many members of al Qaeda and their hosts, The Taliban, our intervention there has been full of irony. In a matter of weeks after our official military campaign began, in earnest, in Afghanistan, is has been widely acknowledged by military and government officials, that the titular head and spirit leader of al Qaeda – Bin Laden – was “trapped” in the rugged mountains of Tora Bora and was able to slip across the border into Pakistan. “We had him and we let him get away”, commented a top ranking CIA Operative who had been there. Then President George W. Bush refused the military's and CIA requests to insert a larger troop force to seal the Afghan – Pakistan border. Instead, Bush “outsourced” the Pakistani border mission to Pakistani forces many of whom had tribal and ideological sympathies with both Bin Laden and his “mujaheddin” forces and The Taliban.

Since that time Bin Laden's whereabouts had been a “huge mystery” and a “constant reminder of our lost opportunities” according to the same CIA Operative. In the intervening years our military efforts to secure Afghanistan and allow for some sort of homegrown government to “step up” and secure their own Country have been noteworthy only because of their many victories, though most were merely Pyrrhic at best, and constant set backs our military have experienced. It has become a high stakes game of cat-and-mouse as, over the years first The Taliban fell from power, al Qaeda was in disarray only to watch as both entities have seen resurgence in recent years and have proven to be more tenacious than initially expected.

The puppet regime of Afghan “President” Harmid Karzai, hand picked by the Cheney / Bush Administration to take over in the wake of the Taliban's retreat in late 2001 has been an abject failure in every measurable way. If anything Afghanistan today, despite the billions of US dollars we've poured in to that perpetually corrupt, lawless, failed Nation / State is not all that much different that it was prior to September 11, 2001. This fact is not a reflection on our dedicated and brave troops but rather on the Cheney / Bush Administration and civilian Pentagon and State Department leadership from 2001 through the inauguration of President Obama in January 2009.

But now, 3519 days since the 9-11-01 attacks, Osama Bin Laden is dead; killed, according to military after action reports, by a bullet to the head. His body was recovered and was allegedly positively identified using comparative DNA analysis. Since the elite United State Navy SEALs, arguably the most capable of all our Special Forces Troops, conducted the raid and scored “the hit”, Bin Laden was “buried at sea” and done so within 24 hours of his death in deference to Muslim tradition. It is also important to note that only three other people are reported to have been killed during the raid on his 8 acre compound just outside the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. “This was a precision strike, a surgical operation with a singular focus and mission objective”, commented a senior Pentagon official speaking anonymously due to the sensitive nature of the raid into Pakistan.


Posted Monday, May 2, 2011 @ 9:11AM EST

Copyright TBC 2011 © All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 1, 2011


“Mayday - an internationally recognized distress signal”
 (From the Oxford English Dictionary)


(May 1, 2011. NY, NY) Their names and locales are as diverse as is our Country and the jurisdictions they serve. Men and women from the largest, sprawling urban megalopolises to the smallest rural counties and towns are part of a tragic litany. That they are being killed, murdered actually, at an alarming rate seems to not have the newsworthiness the media animal requires to be fed. While each of these heartbreaking fatalities individually have been headline news in their respective localities, collectively they have yet to resonate nationally.

No sector of the Law Enforcement Community (LEC) seems to have been spared. Agencies and Departments at the federal, state, county and municipal levels have suffered in the "Line of Duty” (LOD) deaths; so far, this year, alone, 65 Members of Service (MOS) have died “On The Job”; (OTJ) 32 of these fatalities were from gunshots. No, this is not going to be a rant about “gun control” or access to firearms. Neither will this be a sweeping indictment of the failures, in many cases, in mental health availability and affordability. Those are valid topics for another time, another discussion but not at all relevant to this particular discussion of facts.

This is more about society, our society, America's society as of late April 2011 - where we as a society have been, currently are and, perhaps, in certain respects, where we are going.

There is inherent in our society a contract, a compact or, perhaps a covenant that we collectively abide by. We are a nation of laws and, as such, most of the populace abides within the constraints of that concept. Most folks don’t steal, rob, assault, rape, murder or otherwise “break the law” not because they are disinclined. No. Most live their lives within the well defined boundaries of “The Law” for fear of getting caught. Some might argue that this sentiment is a poor reflection of our society. Those that would argue that most people are disinclined to break the law are so predisposed not for fear of discovery but rather because they are simply disinclined - they are “good, honest people”. It’s a tough task to argue to the contrary but, given the tone and tenor of today’s America, it has become more difficult to believe. Those in the LEC struggle mightily with this issue, daily, sometimes hourly.There exists among members of the LEC the notion that we constitute a “Thin Blue Line”. This notion or, actually, a belief, is that given the size of our population juxtaposed against the size of the LEC, the ratio is so disproportionate as to be as frightening as it is perilously inefficient. The concept of “The Thin Blue Line” is representative of the fact that the LEC constitutes the fabric of our society that connotes “The Law”. It is this knowledge of the existence of “The Law” as an intricate component of our society that maintains the level of order that permits us, collectively and individually, to live out our daily lives free of the burden of fear, of impending anarchy.The stark fact is that roughly 10% of our population is responsible for 100% of the crime that plagues us. Perhaps that fact makes the challenge to the LEC a fairer fight. Who knows. Crime is more familiar than it is random. The overwhelming majority of homicides, for example, are perpetrated by people known to each other. Stranger on stranger murder is far rarer than TV shows and popular novels lead us to believe. Yes, oh yes, there are predators, serial killers, sexual predators and every variety of emotionally deranged persons (EDP’s) who roam our streets in communities large and small. They will always be there, they always have.

America today is home to almost 310 million people. The LEC numbers approximately 600,000 members. If you add in all the non publicly oriented-Law Enforcement Agents employed by the federal government such as the Sate Department Security Unit, The Secret Service, and the like, the total number of sworn LEO’s approaches 800,000. Roughly calculated, for every 400 American residents there is a single LEO. Not a good ratio particularly in some of the more densely populated areas.

So the fabric of our Thin Blue Line is already stretched pretty thinly from coast to coast. Each death of a MOS of the LEC is one less fiber in an already threadbare fabric, the fabric that we all rely on, take for granted or merely presume to be “out there”. And, that we are. The Members of Service of every Law Enforcement Agency in the Nation are “out there” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It has been horrifying to read at least weekly so far this year, of the death of another MOS. The scenarios that have claimed their lives have run the gamut from the “routine” traffic stop that goes bad quickly, to shoot-outs, standoffs between lone gunmen and Deputies, Border Patrol Agents working one of the most treacherous beats on our southern border and other incidents with unique details but all with a similar outcome. One less fiber of our fraying Thin Blue Line fabric is “out there” doing what they have each sworn to do.

A Part of America Died
Somebody killed a policeman today, and a part of America died. A piece of our country he swore to protect, will be buried with him at his side. The suspect who shot him will stand up in court, with counsel demanding his rights, While a young widowed mother must work for her kids, and spend alone many long nights. The beat that he walked was a battlefield too, just as if he’d gone off to war. Though the flag of our nation won’t fly at half mast, to his name they will add a gold star. Yes, somebody killed a policeman today, It Happened in your town or mine. While we slept in comfort behind our locked doors, a cop put his life on the line. Now his ghost walks a beat on a dark city street, and he stands at each new rookie’s side. He answered the call, and gave us his all, and a part of America died.

- Deputy Sheriff Harry Koch, Maricopa AZ County Sheriff, Retired

Copyright TBC 2011 © All Rights Reserved