Friday, November 6, 2015

Good cop/bad cop. How much does it really matter to know this for sure?

I’m not in the mood these days to demonize the reputation of Charles J. Gliniewicz – the late suburban Fox Lake police officer who it now seems died as part of an effort to cover up the fact that he was engaged in illegal financial activity.

GLINIEWICZ: Good, bad or in-between
Gliniewicz was the police officer whose death two months ago was the cause of a massive investigation. A police officer killed in the line of duty; probably by someone who had an irrational hatred of the police.

IT WAS SUPPOSED to find out that some sick, sadistic criminal-type was singling out police – the protectors of our society – for vicious abuse.

Instead, investigators said this week that their “homicide” investigation wound up producing a “suicide” ruling – as in Gliniewicz took actions to take his own life because he thought he was going to get caught for his activities that could have resulted in criminal charges.

What was that old “Baretta” theme song line – “Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.” It seems that the thought of having his reputation trashed from being a stellar cop to a crooked one was just too much for him to take.

The 52-year-old lieutenant who also had a record of military service decided that death was preferable to being the focus of an eventual criminal investigation.

NOW I’M NOT about to tag “crooked cop” all over Gliniewicz’s name. Personally, I think anybody who is obsessed with doing so is missing the point. They’re definitely wasting their time.

Although I do find some contempt for those people who got all bent out of shape by those who initially challenged the image of a “heroic cop” for Gliniewicz. Those were the people so eager to constantly deify police officers that they can’t accept the reality I came to a long time ago when it came to my dealings as a reporter-type person with law enforcement officials.

They’re human beings! Just like everybody else.

I’ll be the first to admit that police officers take on a more difficult job than many of us do – one in which if they screw up, somebody could be severely hurt – if not killed.

THE MASSES OF them do the best they can, and are worthy of the praise when they do right.

But some of those human beings are just as capable of making slip-ups as anybody else when put into certain circumstances.

That probably is the case with Gliniewicz – who included among his duties with the Fox Lake Police Department oversight of the Explorers program. It is one that works with young people and tries to teach them ways of being responsible adults – usually within the context of law enforcement itself.

Investigators who came up with the “suicide” ruling said that Gliniewicz appeared to have taken money meant for the program and used it for personal expenses. The Chicago Tribune reported the “theft” to be in the tens of thousands of dollars – which really is petty cash depending on how many years it is spread out over.

YET IT ALSO won’t surprise me to learn that many of the people in the Explorers program are going to grow up to be responsible adults – and at least a few of them will wind up praising Gliniewicz’ memory for making them what they ultimately become.

Does this mean they’re absolutely wrong? Or just totally delusional? Nonsense!

Everybody has the good and bad in them, and it really does depend on circumstance and environment what one is able to do with their own life.

So my own opinion of law enforcement isn’t really swayed by anything happening here. Meaning the real problem may be those individuals who are quick to make knee-jerk reactions about anyone – perhaps even those on the other side of such incidents.


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