It’s important for all of us to know the world we currently work in. I’m not talking politically, in the media, or in society. The world I’m speaking of is this new landscape we call the State Patrol. I feel that every one of us should be cognizant of the fact that this agency has seen many changes in the past decade, and even more in the past handful of years. It’s sad to say a majority of these changes do not appear to be for the better. While many of us strive to make this a better environment, to leave this agency better then we found it, it sometimes seems to be a losing battle.
You might be asking yourself what brought this on, why write this down when it can so easily be used against us? The answer is simple; to remain silent when you see a wrong does everyone an injustice, yourself included.
I had the most unfortunate honor recently. One where I got to listen to a new trooper, who is still on probation, do everything right but still be treated like he did everything wrong. I was treated to radio traffic, where a high risk stop is called out with other units on scene, and neither dispatch or duty chimed in. I heard a request to PIT when the vehicle began to flee at the “extremely” high speeds of 30-35 MPH. I heard this request be denied because the supervisor hadn’t known there was a high risk stop going on, let alone why the vehicle was being chased. Despite all of that information being provided by the trooper earlier. This same grotesque radio traffic continued to assault the inside of my cruiser, as the cool, calm, and collected trooper provided all the pertinent information to the parties that should have been listening from the start.
A trooper that continued to provide the same calm cool information as it continued, be ordered to terminate the pursuit that could have ended before it started...with a PIT. Leaving the county and local PDs to continue without the State Patrol. I was forced to listen, knowing that this would end in a crash that easily could have been prevented.
This is the new world we live in. One where one or two dispatchers are expected to cover 2-3 regions worth of troopers and inspectors. One where if you don’t ask for "10-33 traffic" yourself, you’re not likely to get it. One where your call for a high risk stop has that note put into the CFS, but nothing else.
I encourage you all to be vigilant. Do not rely solely on those that are supposed to hear you in your time of need, or to expect direction from those that are bound and unable to give it. I ask that you all make strong bonds with your local agencies, your local troopers and inspectors. When your trials and tribulations come, they will be the only ones that will reliably have your back.
Daniel E. Restrepo
WLEA Chapter Director
North Central Region