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Bloviating Zeppelin: You Get What You Hire

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

You Get What You Hire

It saddens me to write this but a deputy from my department, 43-year-old Chu Vue, was arrested recently and is implicated in the murder of a State of California Corrections officer. The situation appears to involve a "love triangle" if you will, as well as gangs, weapons, money, brothers. The common link is that the players are all Vietnamese. The overarching problem is with my department; I'll get to that in a moment.

The facts are these: CDC Officer Steve Lo, 39, was shot and killed in the garage of his home in south Sacramento in the early morning hours of October 15th. He was dressed in full CDC uniform and wearing a vest, preparing to go to work at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, some 40 miles distant.

His wife, Chia, works at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, the same place Lo worked before he was killed, state records show. She filed for divorce Sept. 12, according to court records, citing irreconcilable differences after nearly 16 years of marriage.

A law enforcement source told The Bee on Friday that Sacramento police have spoken with the FBI and authorities in Minnesota about finding Gary and Chong Vue, the younger brothers of Deputy Chu Vue.

Deputy Vue, a 13-year veteran of my agency, worked in the corrections arm of the department, at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center. Following a search warrant for the Vue home, police seized five rifles, three shotguns and other items. They also took three handguns from Vue's locker at RCCC. On October 17th, Deputy Chu Vue was placed on admin leave. He was arrested on October 23rd for allegedly possessing an illegal assault rifle, stemming from the home search. His bail was set at $500,000, all the warrants were judicially sealed, and he was taken to the jail of an adjacent county to minimize conflict.

Here is what I believe (and, as I publish this post in public, I must write that this is theoretical conjecture on my part, Chu Vue is presumed innocent and has not even appeared extensively in a court of law - but I ask that you do what I call the Logical Extension): Chu Vue may not have pulled the trigger, but I believe he orchestrated the situation and, it would appear, may have appealed to his fugitive brothers for assistance. Either his brothers were directly involved or they assisted with gang contacts and other Vietnamese gang members made the hit.

Here is where my department comes in: screening. Or the lack of it.

There are generally four overarching venues for suit exposure involving a law enforcement agency:

  • Negligence in hiring;
  • Negligence in training;
  • Negligence in retention;
  • Negligence in policy.

The Chu Vue case will come to expose the first three, I believe. Here is where I get into very hot water and must clearly state: the following reflects my opinion and is not yet backed with public fact.

In the academy, Chu Vue had some major difficulties, not the least of which was the English language. Very special effort was made on his behalf to ameliorate that and other issues so as to more accurately reflect, in the department, the surrounding community. There was talk of cheating on Vue's part; he managed, however, to pass the academy.

You recall I indicated that, at age 43, a 13-year veteran of the department, he was still in Corrections. That bespeaks volumes. And that is this: he wasn't cut out for Patrol. All deputies must at least encounter some portion of Patrol training. Those who can't cut it in Patrol do, however, have a fallback position: corrections.

And here is where I step up to my soapbox and make my editorial:

I want you, the reading American public, to know one very important thing about law enforcement:

Not just my agency, but agencies nationwide are having an extremely difficult time in locating qualified academy recruits for law enforcement. The push to acquire recruits is heavy; fewer and fewer people want to make the sacrifices necessary to be a law enforcement officer.

One shining beam in the process, however, involves people leaving the military (having been assigned to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) and looking for jobs. We find that ex-military personnel already have, to a degree, the requisite mindset for discipline, sacrifice and service. But their numbers are not such that we can so easily replace those officers who are retiring.

Further, the current generations leapfrog about various departments. If you don't drive the right car, allow beards, allow their favorite handgun to be carried, they don't like the color of your uniform, people will leave at the drop of a hat. Because more and more they have what I call a "fallback position" and that is this: mommy and daddy. They can always go back home. And be readily accepted.

Except for returning soldiers, academy recruits have little if any cognizant grasp of the real world. Most have never been struck in anger. Most have never been challenged physically. Most are out of shape. The push is on, of course, for non-whites: females, Mexicans, blacks, Vietnamese, Hmong. My department even striates whites: Russians or Chechens are better than home-growns.

Hiring standards go up in times of plenty; they go down in times of drought. Chu Vue was hired, imagine that, during a time of drought. Sometimes it's not "have you ever done drugs?" Sometimes it's "have you done drugs during the last month?" People with gang affiliations are making it into the US military. Therefore they are making it into law enforcement. Witness the LAPD Rampart scandal a few years back.

But my department is no better or worse than many other departments encountering the same situation: where will we find our next generation of responsible law enforcement officers?

I know this: you are no better, generally, than your surrounding gene pool. If you dip into that pool and decide, for whatever exigent circumstances, that Persons A, B or C are acceptable because they allow a certain "goal" (not quota) to be reached, well, you reap what you sow.

I once applied, a few years back, for the position of department background investigator. I made ONE mistake during my oral interview. I said the Q word. There is no Q word. There are only GOALS. Imagine, if you will, what they might be.

In the meantime, it sickens me to think that a man wearing my uniform is potentially responsible for the murder of another officer.



Blogger Average American said...

That has to suck BZ. Bad enough to lose a co-worker, but to think it was another co-worker that did it compounds the loss.

Sun Oct 26, 07:18:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you weren't choosen for the job by your superior is because they see that you have alot of bitterness and prejudice. You as an officer of the law have just insulted many minorities serving the law. Cheating and not speaking english, you're a joke!

Sun Oct 26, 07:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

My heart goes out to you and your coworkers. It's hard to move past something like this.

Anonymous, you're an idiot.

Mon Oct 27, 03:51:00 AM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

That is why 'standards' are important.

Do you want sub-standard electrical work done in you home?

How about sub-standard work on gas piping in your home?

Sub-standard work on that brake job for your car?

Setting artificial 'standards' to be 'nice' and 'relfect the community' often disregards that professionalism is done without regards to being 'nice' or 'reflecting the community' but because a good, professional job is worth the hassle. Anyone pushing to lower 'standards' to get things that are 'nicer' are signing a long-term suicide pact, if not for themselves then for their larger society.

Standards and professionalism, plus ethhics to back those are vital to law enforcement and to the armed forces. Wanting an 'ethnic reflection' on a 1:1 basis as a *goal* in a multi-ethnic society while ignoring standards, professionalism and ethics is corrosive to society, the law and particularly the armed forces. KSA has a great reflection of their citizenry in its armed forces - they all suck. Iran makes religion its touchstone, and thus gets corruption and death squads as that is the standard. Iraq is building its army on professionalism and standards and marveling at the US *logistics system* and wanting to change their culture in the armed forces to *get that*... that will spill over to society because it works a lot better than corruption, this having standards and keeping them deal. It is the hardest thing to place down in society and when it goes, you have a nearly impossible time getting it back.

And for those gang members that *do* survive the armed forces, if they take that back with them and revert to their gang ways, then those gangs will become harsher, fiercer and operate better because of that experience. Most, thankfully, do not... and if you want the future that *is* like that, check out the Red Mafia and what it became with just a light touch of that from the USSR's old days.

Standards, professionalism and ethics: when you lose those, you are lost.

Mon Oct 27, 04:42:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

That is sad. It is also sad that there are those out there who call people 'racist' who think that quotas or 'goals' are wrong. I have a friend who tried to get on the police force but wasn't hired because of 'quotas'. Because he was white. Talk about a guy with discipline and integrity. I am not saying the ones they considered who were not white didn't have integrity, it is just sad that he got passed up because of a quota. In essence it was reverse racism. He got turned down 'because' he was white.

Mon Oct 27, 04:55:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father worked at Mare Island Shipyard and saw first hand the effects of government quotas.
He worked on Nuclear Submarines. He took issue with heavy recruitment of Asian engineers since we were, at the time, in a cold war with Communist China.
They called him racist too. Not surprised.
Perhaps he was. Maybe it was the shrapnel in his leg from a Korean roadside bomb that killed everyone but him in a jeep.
I understand the need for Affirmative Action, since there will always be those who deny basic rights to people based on skin color or eye shape, but quotas, in my opinion, encourage mediocrity rather than competition.

Mon Oct 27, 05:24:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

One of the worst people I ever had working for me was hired because of a government quota. I was working for Civil Service at the time. It was a horrendous situation but not as bad as having someone from my department possibly murder someone!

By the way, your anonymous commenter here is a joke.

Mon Oct 27, 05:31:00 AM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

While very few "affirmative action" employees will result in such a fiasco, it reveals the very real problems created by quotas in hiring and promoting. This is why we need a color blind society.

When I was first promoted to store management, the first employee I ever fired was a hired for a quota who was hired before I was promoted and they never checked her background. She stole from the till and other employees. I never had a problem with other minority workers (which I hired myself), just her.

Yes minorities can and should serve in any position as long as they are individually qualified and trustworthy, the same standard that whites should be held to. Quotas mean that certain people may not be fully investigated.

Mon Oct 27, 07:37:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cheating and not speaking english"

Since when are cheating and not speaking english (especially in high stress situations) good traits in a cop?
You must have your priorities screwed up probably along with what there is of your "brain"

Mon Oct 27, 10:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Anonymous: thanks for your strong support. But apparently you're not seeing how the world really works. My apologies for your weakness. And no I didn't insult minorities. I addressed this specific case. This isn't the only case. And this "minority" isn't the only issue involved. We've also had people chosen for the department just so they could assist with the Pig Bowl, our football game. But that's just one other example. So apparently, also, you have Historical Alzheimers. There are and always should be standards. When you relax standards in this kind of job, you HURT the community - yourself included, depending upon where you live. This is but ONE example pointing to relaxed standards. And everyone suffers.


Mon Oct 27, 11:20:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with them saying that if a minority is QUALIFIED he gets the job over a non-minority with THE SAME QUALIFICATIONS. I realize it is difficult to get minorities to become cops. It is a advantge to speak 2 languages but the primary language should be english since most speak to some extent english. If the guy speaks primarily Vietnamese it isnt going to do much good in a spanish language neighborhood. If he speaks english at least he can get something across to the spanish speaker who more than likely speaks at least some english but probably NO VIETNAMESE. The last thing anyone wants is a cop who cant understand what you are saying.

Mon Oct 27, 12:03:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad to see that you don't even know your co worker. He is Hmong as well all parties involved...they are not Vietnamese. Lets get the story straight.

Mon Oct 27, 09:42:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is awful BZ. When the public places such trust in our law enforcement and they fall short it causes distrust. But I think what is needed here is a reminder that that just because one is in law enforcement it does not exempt them from the same temptations and pitfalls and even crimes as the general populous.

How horrid for you and your department. I pray this is resolved soon that you all can get back to the business of protecting our citizenry.

Wed Oct 29, 06:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Anonymous: if that's your greatest complaint about what I wrote, then your point is point-LESS. I have a difficult time telling amongst our other newest pale deputies if they're Chechen or Russian or Serb. So I suppose I AM in fact lacking in that department.


Fri Oct 31, 02:38:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such a racist. I am so glad you did not get the position. I can't believe you worked with him for 13 years and you think that he's Vietnamese. They are NOT Vietnamese. You should open your heart and mind and be educated about other cultures. When white people fail at tests or shoot each other, no one says anything or questions them or says "they had a common link, they're all white." Your remarks are truly ignorant.

Mon Mar 30, 02:59:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tue Nov 30, 12:01:00 AM PST  

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