Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Other Items

It seems nobody wants to be a police officer anymore, officials say. As a result, departments are taking a page from recruiters in sports and the corporate world. Here in King County, the most populous in the Pacific Northwest, the Sheriff's Office is trying a kind of bounty hunting: any deputy who can bring in someone who eventually becomes an officer will get a bonus of 40 hours of extra vacation time, worth up to $1,300.
"This job used to be more enticing, and we didn't have to do a lot of marketing," said Sheriff's Deputy Jessica Cline, the chief recruiter for the King County force. "Over time, it's become less attractive. We needed to do something."
But it is a competitive world out there among police recruiters. San Diego County, for instance, has already gone King County one better. "Put a star in your future - now offering a signing bonus of up to $5,000," goes the Web advertisement for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
In a generation's time, the job of an American police officer, previously among the most sought-after by people with little college background, has become one that in many communities now goes begging. Experts find that the life has little appeal among young people, and those who might be attracted to it are frequently lured instead by aggressive counteroffers from the military. The problem is compounded by better pay at entry-level jobs in the private sector, where employment opportunities have recently brightened.

The above is from Timothy Egan's "Police Forces, Their Ranks Thin, Offer Bonuses, Bounties and More" in this morning's New York Times and was highlighted by Billie who has a brother who is a police officer. "Little college background" in the past stood out to Billie and she read the article waiting for Egan to make the point that this past attitude has changed. Egan never made that point.

Billie is correct that, as the profession has become more professionalized, criminal justice courses and other classes are often requirements as, in some cases, are an associates degree. Maybe a point can be made that possibly the journalism "profession" has gotten to "professional" (or at least too "elite") if that current reality goes unremarked upon?

In light of the government's attack on law schools who have attempted to bar military recruiters (due to the discriminatory nature of military recruitment re: gays and lesibans), I found this sentence in Egan's article very interesting:

At some military bases, commanders will not even allow police recruiters on the grounds, for fear that they will steal troops who might otherwise re-enlist, said Lt. Mike Barletta of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Also in the Times, in their business coverage, is Kurt Eichenwald's "Plea Deal Is Seen for Enron Figure:"

In a reversal that transforms the criminal case against Enron's former top officers, the company's former chief accounting officer has reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to violating federal law during his employment there, people briefed on the decision said yesterday.
The former accounting officer, Richard A. Causey, had been viewed by lawyers in the case as likely to strike a plea deal with prosecutors and possibly serve as a witness for the government in the coming trial of two former chief executives of Enron, Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling.

Lastly, Bonnie e-mails to ask that we note "Support GI Resister Katherine Jashinski Now!" (DC Indymedia):

"My name is Katherine Jashinski. I am a SPC in the Texas Army National Guard. I was born in Milwaukee, WI and I am 22 years old... I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason."
On the morning of November 17, 2005, Katherine Jashinsky became the first woman from within the military to make public her resistance to the Iraq war. Katherine is a National Guard Specialist on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year, and was seeking Conscientious Objector (CO) status from the military. At the gates of Fort Benning Georgia, surrounded by supporters, Katherine held a press conference announcing her planned refusal to be deployed to the Middle East. Her announcement at Fort Benning coincided with the annually-held protest gathering demanding the closure of the notorious School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC).
Please read Katherine's Personal Statement made at the gates of Fort Benning on November 17, 2005.
Katherine is currently stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and could, at any time,be charged with refusing a direct order!
Read Katherine's Letter from Ft. Benning
We urge you to support Katherine's couregeous stand NOW!:
1) GET THE WORD OUT NOW!: Alert your organization and community about Katherines courageous stand-- send out her statement to your friends and e-mail lists, post it to your groups website, send it to your local media,etc.
2) DECIDE NOW, AS A GROUP, TO SUPPORT KATHERINE: Katherine has a right to conscientious objection and to resist illegal and immoral war and occupation-- it is not a crime!
Talk to your group now and decide to support Katherine as part of a sustained campaign to support GI Resistance. Will you hold a public vigil/demonstraion ? Organize a fundraiser to support Katherines case? Consider now what you and your group can do to support Katherine.
3) JOIN THE NATIONAL GI RESISTANCE ALERT NETWORK: We urge you to join us in a National GI Resistance Alert Network! It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of the thousands of courageous men and women who have in many different ways followed their conscience to uphold international law and to take a principled stand against the unjust, illegal war and occupation of Iraq. Courage to Resist will send out alerts about GI resisters in need of support. We are asking concerned organizations, communities, and individuals to join us and commit to a sustained campaign of support for GI resistance and conscientious objection.

Bonnie wonders if there's any way that we could "work this story at other community sites?"
I know Elaine will be interested in it and Mike as well, so I'll pass it on to them. Gina and Krista did their roundtable last night (a number of us participated) so it's probably too late for that feature in the round-robin but I'll pass it on to them and also suggest it as a topic for The Third Estate Sunday Review. And Betty's latest is up, "The Prig of Paxil."

Remember that the topic for today's Democracy Now! is:

One year later: A look at the recovery efforts after the devastating tsunami.

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