By Eric Aguiar LLB
Why addressing the issues doesn’t solve the problem
As an attorney and a peace officer (both in the classroom and out in the field) one of the undeniable truths that I have noticed is that problems are only resolved when the root is addressed. Solving the issues never resolves the problem.
In fact this logic is not only confined to the social sciences, it also permeates into the empirical realm such as in architecture. How so?
Let’s look at this example which will hopefully help us begin to visualize the difference between issues and problems.
What are the issues present when a house has electrical problems?
Sometimes lightbulbs don’t work, sometimes the smell of burnt electrical wire exists and sometimes electrical sockets spark or don’t work. In this example we can change the sockets and light bulbs infinitely and the problem will still exist.
We can even paint the house, change the appliances and roof and the sockets and light bulbs still won’t work because we haven’t addressed the problem. What we see not working is normally the result of something bigger that is wrong.
In other words and as we all know when you only focus on symptoms and on the surrounding issues, the core problem will never go away.
We have all heard this several times and can’t help but agree with it, because it is an undeniable truth; but when it comes time to how we deal with attempting to solve problems, it’s like we throw it all out of the window.
Before we take a deeper look into some specific issues in the law enforcement field to better illustrate this point in a way that is more relevant to us we must first establish a common understanding of these two words: Problem and Issue
For our purposes here we will refer to the following inferred definitions of each.
- Problem The root obstacle that impedes reality from being in its ideal state
- Issue Those undesirable circumstances that exist as a result of an underlying problem
It is important to understand this difference because as we look at each component of the mission that is failing, it will help us decide where to invest our limited resources.
As a rule of thumb there are two things to consider when seeking clarity on whether you are facing an issue or a problem.
Two prong issue or problem identifier:
- Problems can exist without issues but issues can’t exist without a problem.
- if after resolving a road block, the obstacle still exists the problem still exists.
Using this two prong approach we will look at the following quagmires plaguing the profession.
It is commonly thought of as a major problem. So much so, that agencies around the country spin their wheels in this matter by launching futile work climate surveys and empty employee recognition programs. This is not a knock on any one agency but instead hopes to shed light on practices that are simply not rendering the desired effect.
We propose that these efforts aren’t producing meaningful results because the scope of these efforts only addresses the issues and not the problem.
Is low morale wreaking havoc on the effectiveness of the mission? Undoubtedly. Is low morale a stand alone item or is it as a result of other larger components such as poor work culture, lack of growth opportunities and quality of leadership? The answer to those questions will help you decide if low morale is the problem or an issue.
When the level of training and equipment issued to the frontline (officer) are inferior to what the department and public expects of them, should this be treated as an issue or a problem?
It is commonly thought of as one of the biggest problems that the frontline is faced with.
The police are given basic equipment (often times deficient) and very basic training (often times deficient) to face active threats and emergencies requiring specialized training, maneuvers and equipment to resolve safely and efficiently, and then are chastised for failing.
In the aftermath rather than addressing the leadership-tactical- equipment-strategic deficiencies that led to the demise of the mission, departments led by the public proceed to enlist the frontline officers in public relations and community policing training modules.
Here we hopefully see that the failed mission is not the problem that needs to be addressed but instead a spotlight on an unresolved problem that still remains unresolved.
Low retention rates?
They are considered one of the biggest concerns that plague the profession.
So much so that command staff outsource to private companies (that make millions of dollars) selling their latest and greatest advice supposedly custom designed to resolve the problem that is costing agencies a fortune.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent by several agencies that can afford it, trying to fix this problem and 100s and thousands are still leaving agencies around the country. This is likely an indicator that the problem that these experts think they are resolving isn’t even being addressed.
As stated in the Two prong issue or problem identifier, when roadblocks are dealt with and obstacles still exist, that is a sign that the problem remains unresolved.
So what is the problem?
We just covered the three hottest topics in law enforcement today (Low morale, Low retention rates and lack of training/equipment).
Those are considered to be the three biggest problems that the profession is facing. However, if what we now know so far about issues and problems is true then we must realize that those three obstacles, while big, are not the problem that needs repair.
So again we ask ourselves, what is the problem that still remains unresolved and that is potentially causing the most damage to all aspects of the mission in the field? There is only one component of the mission that could have that big of an effect. That component is Leadership.
What does Leadership have to do with the obstacles mentioned?
We have hopefully made a compelling case for how important the role of Leadership is in all aspects of the mission from what is failing to what is succeeding.
People won’t stay in a field where Leadership doesn’t invest in them personally.
Work climates won’t be scrutinized for improvement and lack of training/equipment and low morale which lead to low retention rates will never be seriously looked into unless Leadership decides that the organization will proactively address them.
So if aspects of Leadership are causing a problem, what is keeping us from revamping them?
One of the problems that is impeding the profession from ensuring that quality leaders make it to the top is how top Leadership is selected.
How we select our top leaders
Good leaders are needed at the top, because only they will CARE enough to really attempt to fix the problems plaguing the field as well as the professionals in it.
The sad reality is that these good top leadership candidates will seldom make the cut if we continue to rely on the profession’s current top leadership selection model.
As top leadership selection boards that are hand picked filter through the candidates and make their pick, here is a question that I hope they ask themselves in time.
So you selected your top leader. did you bother to ascertain if they CARE about making life easier for those they will be leading?
The show MacGyver comes to mind as a good illustration of what it is like to be on the frontline as an officer. For those that haven’t seen the show MacGyver, it portrayed a man that was sent on complex missions (conversely as officers are), where he would ideally have needed superior weaponry, modes of transportation and logistical support and only had a rubber band, a toothpick and a ball of yarn at his disposal.
This is the reality that law enforcement officers are faced with every day.
The retention of quality employees and mission success (which go hand in hand) are important aspects that the top Leadership candidate selected needs to display awareness of along with good moral character and a CARING personality.
That model is further described in a future article titled: The Exodus Leadership Selection Model.
In this article (which hopefully inspires much needed conversations that aren’t being had and much needed questions that aren’t being asked) we will take a deeper look into how the absence of CARING top Leadership can cause destruction at all levels of the mission.
There is great pressure and expectation placed on the frontline officer. A lot is on the line and most times only a few seconds are granted to get it right and many times training, equipment and logistics that are needed aren’t given to those of whom a lot is expected. Only a leader that CARES will seek to mediate that.
In law enforcement, Equipment, Training and Logistical support from all levels of command and the public are a must. CARING Leadership must be installed to lead the mission and CARING people must be hired to execute it. If only one of those exists, it will be very difficult to keep the quality people on board necessary to carry out the mission successfully.
Why it is important that top leadership CARE about those they lead and serve is because the buck stops or moves forward with them. Said in a different way.
The only way that the frontline gets the Equipment, Training and Logistical support that they need to get the job done and not be subjected to unnecessary and avoidable risks is if top leadership CARES enough about the people carrying out the officer’s mission to make sure that it is given to them.
To further illustrate the point of how critical CARING top Leadership is to mission success, let’s look at what reality looks like for the frontline when the top leaders don’t CARE about those they lead.
- They won’t CARE enough about officer safety to push for the proper ballistic vests, shields etc. that their frontline officers need so they won’t be shot, wounded or killed upon entry.
- They won’t CARE enough about the frontline to speak up for them when they are chastised for doing their job
- They won’t CARE enough about the rank and file to do everything in their power to make sure that they feel valued and supported
- They won’t CARE enough to help the people that they lead find the personal and professional growth that they seek
- They won’t CARE about morale
- They won’t CARE enough about the frontline to try to make the working conditions as safe and efficient as possible
- They won’t CARE enough to make sure that subordinate leadership treats their direct reports with respect and decency
- They won’t CARE if the frontline is outgunned by the segment of the population that resorts to committing violent crimes. Even those violent crimes committed against the frontline
- They won’t CARE enough about the well-being of the frontline to make sure that neither subordinate staff or the public place unreasonable expectations on them
- They won’t CARE enough about officer safety to make sure that the training that they are allowed to take isn’t inferior to the expectations placed on them by the mission and the public
- They won’t CARE how hostile the work environment is for the frontline both internally and externally and among many other things
- They won’t CARE if the frontline is finding fulfillment in their career
CARING Leadership is about the priority given to making life easier for your subordinates. As the top leader your stance on things will set the tone for the day for your frontline.
The support you give or don’t give to your frontline will help set the tone for how the public and subordinate command believes they can treat them.
A top leader that expects the frontline to CARE more about mission success than they CARE about those on the frontline will always have a disconnect.
If those seeking to be the top leader don’t have a track record of CARING, don’t be fooled into believing that they will all of a sudden CARE if given the position.
This article urges selection boards to not only measure the level of training and time on the job of a top leader candidate but to also make it a priority to ask some serious questions to ascertain if the top leader candidate CARES about those that they are applying to lead.
Careers, Safety and Lives are on the line. The top leader that doesn’t CARE about those they lead cannot expect those they lead to CARE about the mission.
If none of this thus far has moved you, try thinking about it from this perspective.
The public needs and wants a patrol officer that really CARES about their situation. However the reality, that I hope hits home today, is that we can never expect the Frontline officer to CARE about the public that they serve more than The top leader has shown that they care about them.
CARING can’t be mandated or forced as an ideology or practice, it can only be inspired.
Reyes: We’re facing the collapse of law enforcement in America. It will lead to the end of our country as we know it.
Editor’s note: In what has become something of an annual tradition (sadly), Law Enforcement Today writes about the challenges facing not only law enforcement, but our country in general.
These articles have proven to be among the most popular we post. When we started this series, we thought things were pretty bad. However, since January 20, 2021 – things have gotten much, much worse.
In 2020 during the run up to the November election, we tried to warn people what our country was up against, and what the Democrats had in mind. Sadly, but not surprisingly, we have found ourselves to be right.
Law Enforcement Today is written primarily for law enforcement officers and those who support law enforcement. However, our audience has expanded to include those who support our military, our Constitution and all the liberty and freedom it guarantees and are God-fearing patriotic Americans.
A lot of our readers ask how you can get involved. With that in mind, we invite you to prayerfully consider our membership program—LET Unity. The proceeds raised from that program are used to reinvest into capturing more stories about the heroes who protect us at home on our law enforcement agencies, and those who protect us abroad in the United States military.
The majority of our content producers for Law Enforcement Today are active, retired or wounded law enforcement officers. The revenue we make helps provide for their families and helps bring a TRUE voice about what’s happening in America.
For the rest of you… simply keep following, keep reading, and keep sharing. Especially sharing…the more people who read these stories, the better it is for our law enforcement and military brethren.
I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So, help me God.
On July 4, 1776, a group of patriots decided they had suffered enough at the hands of the British monarchy. On that date, at tremendous risk of their own personal safety and more so their very lives, they put quill to paper and signed the greatest document ever forged. A document that gave birth to the greatest country ever to grace the face of the earth—the United States of America.
Yet here we are, 245 years nearly to the day that document was signed, and we find our country at a crossroads. When you look at all the great dynasties in the history of the world, all of them eventually collapsed. The Roman Empire…the British Empire…they number many.
It’s something that you don’t really consider when you’re young. You can do anything. You’re invincible.
But as we grow older, we start considering that mortality.
With all of that in mind, it’s time we start considering the mortality of America.
I spend a substantial amount of time working in two different arenas – the world of law enforcement and the business world.
By day, I run a marketing agency. Among the areas we work in, we do extensive work in the firearms industry. My travels take me across the country – often to some of the most rural parts of America.
By night, I am the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today. I’m not a police officer. I was tapped because I can do one thing cops can’t do. I can give them a voice. I can run my mouth and no agency can fire me.
That travel that I referenced – both in the business world and supporting the LE world – has afforded me countless opportunities to work side by side with some of the greatest patriots in America.
My closest friends are either in law enforcement or either active or retired members of some of the most elite military forces in America. And from our greatest warriors to our everyday citizens… I can tell you the underlying fear that so many are thinking about – and that’s the seemingly inevitable collapse of society if we don’t make some monumental changes.
As a Christian, I believe we are in the middle of some serious spiritual warfare. But you don’t have to be a Christian to understand that the very soul of America is under attack right now. And the rapid erosion of the Thin Blue Line has us sitting on a powder keg.
Historically, if you look at the collapse of some of the greatest empires in the world, it happened from within. Simply put, it raises the distinct danger that America won’t be conquered by foreign enemies … but rather from domestic ones.
President Ronald Reagan probably put it best when he said, “ Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.” Prophetic words indeed.
When historians say that an empire fell, it means that the central state no longer exercised its broad power. That happens either because the state itself ceased to exist or because the state’s power was reduced as parts of the empire became independent of its control.
It typically doesn’t happen because of a single cause, but rather a long process. The main factors that historically lead to imperial collapse are:
- Economic issues
- Social and cultural issues
- Environmental issues
- Political issues
Now none of these factors are causes in and of themselves, but rather are ways to categorize causes.
What that means is you wouldn’t decide that Rome fell because of politics, but rather you’d explore political factors to understand the collapse. And in those issues are warning signs for us as Americans.
That brings me to the threat we face today.
Have you ever heard of something called the Cloward-Piven strategy? It’s not exactly something the mainstream media talks about… but it’s something you need to be aware of, because it’s what we’re facing in America today.
American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven created the political strategy in 1966. The idea behind it is to overload the U.S. public welfare system to create a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a socialist system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”.
If that doesn’t describe what we’re seeing from Democrats who are running Congress and the White House right now, I don’t know what does. But it’s a much bigger threat than you might realize. That’s because it’s so incredibly pervasive. It’s poisoning the very roots of America.
And it calls to mind the words of Jefferson:
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”
We are seeing groups here in America demanding open borders. Demanding the decriminalization of crossing into our country illegally. Since Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, we have seen our southern border over-run, not only from Mexican citizens but by people from all around the world, including some on terrorist watch lists.
Joe Biden assigned his vice president, Kamala Harris to oversee the border crisis, but in nearly three months since being given that assignment, Harris has not visited the border first-hand to see exactly what is going on—not once.
At the same time, across our great country, we are seeing the CRIMINALIZATION of law enforcement. All across the country, from Minneapolis to Portland, Los Angeles through Chicago to New York, there is a literal war on police. Major cities such as Seattle, Portland, Chicago and New York are seeing officers either retire early or outright leave. Morale in police departments across the country is in the toilet.
We’re seeing agencies desperate for officers, because as more and more retire (or count down the minutes to retirement), we see a deficit in the number of incoming recruits. After all, why would you want to live a life of service when you’re just going to be attacked for that service?
In the aftermath of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis a year ago, we have seen primarily Democrats across the country demanding defunding of police, taking away protections such as qualified immunity from officers, and emasculating police to the point where even when they are completely justified in using deadly physical force, neo-Marxist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa take to the streets to cause death and destruction.
One of the demands from activists was that police officers be required to be issued body cameras, which many jurisdictions have done. Yet, when police are put in the position of having to use deadly physical force, what is shown on the body cameras is not believed, called edited footage. It’s a classic heads I win, tails you lose for law enforcement officers.
We see political activists masquerading as police chiefs. We see them working hand in hand with liberal politicians to not only attack the rights of law-abiding citizens, but also to destroy the morale of their own departments. We watch as they flat out disrespect the oath of office they took and put officers in no-win situations. Last year in the wake of the George Floyd death, we saw police chiefs kneeling on the ground with the very people who want them dead.
If I were to design a road map for how to collapse America, starting with law enforcement, here’s what it would look like.
Step one: Divide the protectors.
The refusal to allow rank and file patrol officers to cooperate with federal law enforcement to uphold the law. It’s a slap in the face to Americans and it’s a dereliction of duty. It’s also a clear and intentional move to create a divide between local, state and federal law enforcement. Divide the protectors… conquer a society.
Step two: Divide the supporters.
Force officers to choose between enforcing unconstitutional legislation like Red Flag laws, which deny citizens of their right to due process… and providing for their own family.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year, we’ve seen draconian emergency orders put in place by power-hungry governors, with police officers being put in the position of having to be COVID cops or face discipline. We’ve seen videos of police officers arresting people at high school football games for not wearing a mask, breaking up groups of Hasidic Jews at a funeral in New York City and shutting down a gym in New Jersey for breaking COVID rules.
Make cops the bad guys. Take the people who have historically supported law enforcement and convince them that cops are now the enemy. Divide the supporters… conquer a society.
Step three: Remove their protection
Make cops afraid to be cops. Encourage disrespect on them like water bucket attacks. Don’t go after the criminals who attack them. When officers arrest criminals, let them back out on the street within hours because a liberal judge determined that the violent suspect with a lengthy criminal history isn’t actually a threat.
In city after city across the country, we have seen George Soros-funded district attorneys such as George Gascon in Los Angeles, Kim Foxx in Chicago, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia and scores of others go light on criminals while going hard after police officers.
Then threaten law enforcement officers that if they do their job, they’ll be investigated. That if they have to fight for their lives, they’ll end up being charged. Remove both their desire and their ability to police.
Step four: Flood America
By some estimates, one million people will make illegal entry into America this year.
There are fewer than 850,000 law enforcement officers in America. Do the math.
Now let criminals create havoc in society but instead of deporting them or actually cracking down on crime, let Americans know that the real problem is guns owned by law abiding citizens and pass legislation to take away their rights.
Step five: Destroy our homes
Own the media. Own Hollywood. Force feed Anti-American, socialist and communist policies into our homes and our education system. Convince our children that right is wrong and wrong is right. Take God out of society, destroy the family structure and teach everyone that the solution to your problems is in the form of pills, porn and the government.
Step six: Destroy our schools
Keep children out of school for over a year for in-person learning. Feed kids anti-American propaganda such as the 1619 Project which teaches America was founded on racist principles by a bunch of white racist men. Erase history and replace it with critical race theory, which teaches white children to hate themselves and believe they have special privilege because of their race. Go completely against Dr. Martin Luther King’s edict that skin color is more important than the content of one’s character.
Step seven: Destroy our military and intelligence agencies
Turn our military and intelligence agencies into indoctrination mills where sexual preference or sexual identity is considered to be of primary importance while the more important mission of looking at what those who seek to destroy us are doing and making sure that the primary focus of the military is on killing people and breaking things, now the sexual identity of a soldier’s parents.
Step eight: Bypass Congress for gun control
Have “private businesses” like Dicks and Walmart determine what you can and can’t buy. Let the White House determine by executive order what is and what is not an “assault rifle.”
Step nine: Lose control of the truth to tech tyrants and mainstream media
Allow Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Snapchat determine what you can see and what you can say… because it’s not a violation of the Constitution if it’s done by private enterprise. Allow social media to have unfettered ability to censor content that they do not politically agree with or people who have an opinion that goes against the politically desirable narrative.
Step ten: Use “social justice” to vilify love of country
Take every patriotic American who wants to see a better country for their children and call them a racist, etc. if you don’t agree with them. Then mass report them on social media to make sure their accounts are cancelled, and their voices are shut down.
Then say you think they’re a threat and have a judge determine that combat veterans and our nation’s greatest warriors need to be disarmed because of post-traumatic stress. Then force officers to go to war with their own brothers and sisters.
Take people who had legitimate concerns about last November’s election and who raised serious questions about events which made no sense and put them in the category of conspiracy theorists or worse yet, insurrectionists hell-bent on the destruction of the American way of life, which is absurd.
It’s happening right in front of our eyes. And it’s starting with a full onslaught against our law enforcement officers in every way, shape and form.
Want to save America? We need to start by understanding the enemy. And sometimes the biggest threat that an empire faces is the enemy within.
We hope you’ll consider getting in the fight with us. Here’s what Law Enforcement Today – the largest police-owned media outlet in America – is doing.
We at Law Enforcement Today want to make our stance very clear.
We strongly and firmly stand behind the Second Amendment, companies that keep civilians and law enforcement officers safe through products and innovation, and the men and women who serve and protect our communities and our country.
We are launching a new series of options to help our partners and other patriotic businesses to be able to connect with consumers. While we can’t replace Google, Bing or Facebook – we sure can provide options to ensure that these companies and our brothers and sisters have a voice.
We welcome with open arms companies that openly support law enforcement, and we are proud to offer them options to get their products to market.
We started noticing the problems a couple of years ago. Social media was scaling back the reach of content that it didn’t believe people should see. Those problems continue today, with both myself as well as the founder of Law Enforcement Today, Robert Greenberg being kicked off of LinkedIn.
Not that there was anything offensive about it. We’re talking about pro-police videos, stories about patriotic Americans and more.
And from our perspective, that created a huge problem. We have some of the greatest warriors in the world. Yet their voices and their stories were being buried.
The mainstream media, on the rare occasion that it would tell some of these stories, would give you only a piece of them. They’d cram as much as they could into a 90 second segment, slap their bias on it and that was it.
We needed to fix it. And so we are.
Law Enforcement Today (LET) is proud to announce the launch of LET Unity – a new home focused on bridging the gap between civilians and civil servants. We’ve merged with The Whiskey Patriots to massively expand content, rolling out hundreds of videos to members.
Many of those in our focus groups dubbed it the “Netflix of the law enforcement community”. But the truth is, it’s so much more.
The first officer in the door at the Pulse nightclub shooting.
Emergency responders from the Parkland shooting.
The bomb squad that responded to the Aurora movie theater massacre.
Survivors of the Dallas five killings.
The first Marine Guard hostage in the Iran crisis.
The CIA agent who started a counter human trafficking company.
World War II veterans.
And so, so much more.
The membership is less than the cost of two coffees a month, and those who sign up for an annual membership will get some surprise bonuses in the mail. We decided to charge a nominal fee so we could take all of the proceeds and reinvest them into capturing more of these stories. The majority of our content producers for Law Enforcement Today are active, retired or wounded law enforcement officers. The revenue we make helps provide for their families and helps bring a TRUE voice about what’s happening in America.
On top of that, we’re opening up the platform to some well-known podcasters who are going to be joining the team with some incredible content soon.
We have a problem in society. Censorship has created an existential threat to democracy. But even worse is the risk we run that some of these incredible stories of patriotism, hope, faith and our Sheepdogs would be lost.
We’ve launched a series of content with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) to share the stories of survivors. We will also be dropping a weekly law enforcement focused newscast that addresses some of the most important topics in the country… and helps bridge the gap between those who serve and those whom they serve.
On top of that, we’ll soon be rolling out a series of private discounts and special promotions to members only as a “thank you” for being a part of the family.
You can also download the app to watch the content right from your iPhone.
We hope you’ll join us in this journey, knowing that your membership is going to give a voice to those who have been silenced for so long.
Our country is currently at a crossroads, and with that, so are our brothers and sisters in law enforcement. Today more than ever, that thin blue line that protects the sheep from the wolves is more tenuous that at almost any time in our country’s history. We need to protect and endorse the sheepdogs—our police—who hold the wolves at bay. There has never been a more important time in our nation’s still young history when we need patriots to stand up and support our men and women on the front lines of this fight.
If you are one of the many companies out there that’s being censored – or you’re worried about what’s to come – don’t hesitate to reach out today. We are all in this fight together. I can be reached at [email protected]
We will not be silenced. You shouldn’t be either.
God bless you all, and God Bless America.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.