From my earliest memories, I have always been trying to see the forest, and not just the trees. Something about the gestalt, the holistic view always appealed to me. I wanted to know where current events came from, and how we got into this mess. It has always been easier to decide how to act if you understand why following your internal inclinations causes pain and conflict with your circumstances.
So, as a Military Policeman in the late 1980s, when given access to high level training guidance and national professional standards for policemen, I began trying to understand the pattern. Our Provost Marshal was big on such things, and I kept overhearing talk of evolving standards and greater federal influence in local police training. I picked his brain often. At the time, I was foolish enough to be on board with this stuff.
By the time I began having serious knee trouble, I also began having doubts about what I was learning. A career in Law Enforcement was less and less appealing. I wanted out. So when my term expired, I didn’t take the offered promotion to reenlist, offered despite my permanent knee problems. I came home. A short time later I watched on TV news the unfolding drama in Waco. A few years later, I was the object of federal harassment myself (see Part 2). All of which merely confirmed my growing apprehension while still in uniform.
Thus, I can confirm from inside the system itself that during the late 1980s, things changed for policemen everywhere in the US. Those US Marshals had easy access to my military records, and could have known I was ostensibly on their side. But the days of doing the work, of thinking before jumping in and “making a collar” (an arrest) were long gone. When the federal government interferes directly in the politics of a tiny rural Baptist church, it doesn’t matter whether it was intentional. They never so much as twitched a finger to help me clean up the mess they made of my life.
And they call it “professional standards.” It was all part of the long term plans to make life a living hell for folks here in the US, and I’m sure they have been the same for all the world.