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  • Badge Mourning Bands

    Reading about this officer's death caused me to wonder whether any of us wear black mourning bands on our badges - even for, say, 72 hours after such an occurrence. It has been commented on elsewhere that these bands reinforce a sense of brotherhood, and also serve as a subtle reminder to the public of the risks that officers take on their behalf. It might seem cold or crass to think about this "PR benefit" to wearing the bands, but it is the reality. The mourning band does communicate a message - an important message, really - and that certainly has not been lost on the police service at all.

    I can also see value in wearing the bands when a police officer is killed, especially one from our own region. Think about the "brotherhood" aspect I mentioned above. The respect this shows, and the declaration of a sense of fraternity with our brothers on the other side of the line, cannot help but drive another stake of connectedness and cooperation between the services.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-26-2006, 01:43 PM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    I have on several occassions worn a mourning band on my badge out of respect for a fallen LEO in our area. It has yet to happen in my time, but I would wear one for a fallen security officer as well, regardless of whether or not they work for a competitor. What it comes down to is respect, plain and simple. Some LEOs may look down on any security officer who wears a mourning band for a fallen LEO, but hopefully they understand the message.
    "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill." Sun-Tzu

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    • #3
      I'd be afraid of re-enforcing the Want-to-be image in the eyes of a lot of police.

      One of my Officers wore one when our long time Director died. I didn't because he had spent the last few months of his life trying to make me quit because he couldn't fire me.
      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have on more than one occasion and also on 9/11.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HotelSecurity
          I'd be afraid of re-enforcing the Want-to-be image in the eyes of a lot of police.
          Even the fire and EMT services wear these bands. It's nothing other than a sign of respect to the deceased, their family, and colleagues. I frankly don't see any way this reinforces a "wannabe" (wannabe what - fireman?) image - and certainly no more than the badge itself might do! If I'd seen it when I was a cop, it would have never occurred to me that it was about "wannabe-ism".

          Sometimes I'm not sure which one is the bigger boogeyman - a real opinion held by (some) LEOs or the public that we're "just wannabe's", or the constant fear in our own minds that everything we do, wear, use or say "might be seen that way".

          You know, we can't control what someone else thinks - especially ignorant ideas that some people have - and it's a fool's errand to try to do so. Just as an example, in my area there are at least 30 different color schemes for cop cars and cop uniforms, so if I worry myself to death over whether someone thinks that MY cars, or MY uniforms "make me look like a cop-wannabe", I'm gonna wind up driving around in a day-glo orange Pinto, wearing purple pyjamas, ice skates and a football helmet, with a geranium for a "badge" and an all-day lollipop stuck in my belt (no holster - heavens, no!)...because I must, must, MUST make sure that no one can POSSIBLY call me a "wannabe". Maybe I'll dress up like a priest, or a gondolier and drive a riding lawn mower (nothing too powerful, of course).

          Wait a minute here...I'm thinking. We ride double, so we could get one of them horse costumes they use on the stage. (We'd flip before the shift to see who has to be the hind end). By George, I think I've got it! Stick with me like a dog to a fry cook here, and you'll get my drift:

          Just imagine that you're a burglar, about to crawl through a window when out of the gloomy shadows comes this gigantic horse (chartreuse with blue stripes, I think), blowing a New Year's horn for a whistle and hollering "Freeze, you slimebucket!". The horse calls for backup...and now you're trying to convince yourself that you must be imagining that a yellow hippopotamus with purple polka-dots has joined the horse and is now ordering you to "Assume the position!". The colors alone would have a sort of visual Taser/strobe effect. Well, you'd naturally figure the strain of burglaring all these years had finally snapped your twig, wouldn't you? You'd surrender without a fuss and beg to be taken to the nearest looney bin, and the faster the better! Why, it's simply BRILLIANT!...and the best part of all is that the costumes (nudge nudge - drum roll please....) completely avoid the bane of our existence - the evil, dreaded "Wannabe Problem", praise be to our Father in Heaven, P.T. Barnum!! (And - fair warning - I'd better not see any of you bozo city cops imitating my uniforms and running around as camels, ostriches or water buffalo, either, or I'll file a complaint with the city. I swear I will, and I really mean it. I'll take it to the Supreme Court. It was my idea first!)

          I wonder - who really has the biggest fixation about this whole "wannabe" thing...them or us? Maybe we just have to let ignorant people be ignorant, and focus instead on being who we are...and on being the best at what we do, incidentally.

          You gotta just laugh at these people because, like I say, they're butt-ignorant. Nothing you can do - or avoid doing, nothing you can wear - or avoid wearing, nothing you can carry - or avoid carrying, and nothing you can say - or avoid saying, will ever penetrate the lump of fat that they use for brains, so don't even try...and don't spend one minute of your time worrying about whether someone just MIGHT call you a "wannabe". That's THEIR PROBLEM, NOT YOURS.
          Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-27-2006, 07:57 PM.
          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GCMC Security
            I have on more than one occasion and also on 9/11.
            There's a good man...BRAVO!
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

            Comment


            • #7
              I did for a fallen Seattle officer and got into a little tiff with some of our Federal cops (GSA contract)...They saw it as "a very gullible person may think you're impersonating a LEO". I didn't remove it until the funeral (standard time length when I was a cop). A few weeks later, when a King County (Seattle area) deputy who was also a personal friend was killed on duty, no one said anything to me. One of the Fed cops whom I consider a good guy told me that DC had ordered that all FPOs and contract guards not wear bands, with the exception of the day of the funeral. I asked him if was going to ask me to remove it, and he replied he would not do that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wilrobnson
                I did for a fallen Seattle officer and got into a little tiff with some of our Federal cops (GSA contract)...They saw it as "a very gullible person may think you're impersonating a LEO".
                So, you ran into one of the fat-for-brains, butt-ignorant people I was talking about. Your answer to him is simple: "Gee, you know, you could be right! There's all kinds of really stupid people out there...and if they see YOUR black band they might mistake you for security! Let's both take them off, because for sure I don't want anybody to think that you're one of us!"

                Wutta bozo! Individual cops, Federal or otherwise, cannot impose their opinions as "law" unless we let the bullies get away with it. Tell him to take a hike unless he can show you some authority that says you have to remove the band. Otherwise, his opinion plus $2.25 will buy him a 12-oz mocha from just about any espresso stand.
                Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-28-2006, 09:42 AM.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wore my band on a couple of occassions, one of our lieutenants was battling diabetes and lost his battle to it. (That is what they told us, from the "inside" I heard some different stories about how he died.) I wore a band for about a week until they did the "signing off" service over our radio channel.

                  I also wore it again when a police officer was killed, I never really caught any flak from it fortunately. And if I would have, I would have more likely quit my job than be forced to take it off.

                  As an Explorer, I was the first one in our post to make wearing bands a routine thing for officer deaths. I remember when an officer was kiled, I cut up a piece of electrical tape and placed it over my badge patch with the edges tucked slightly under the sides of the badge so it looked like it was wrapped on. I caught some guff for it in the first place from some of the more senior explorers about how dumb it looked, but two days later they were doing it too.
                  "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                  "The Curve" 1998

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SecTrainer
                    Tell him to take a hike unless he can show you some authority that says you have to remove the band. Otherwise, his opinion plus $2.25 will buy him a 12-oz mocha from just about any espresso stand.
                    He did have the authority, it wasn't 'issued by the contracted company nor approved by the Federal Protective Service', and therefore in violation of the contract and the Contract Guard Information Manual issued by FPS..

                    $2.25? I wish! Of course, this is Seattle, capitol of coffee snobbery.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wilrobnson
                      He did have the authority, it wasn't 'issued by the contracted company nor approved by the Federal Protective Service', and therefore in violation of the contract and the Contract Guard Information Manual issued by FPS..

                      $2.25? I wish! Of course, this is Seattle, capitol of coffee snobbery.
                      Oh, I'm not saying he couldn't report it to his superior, who might report it to your superior...but that's what it would have taken for me to remove it. When I worked these contracts, I didn't take order one from those goobers.
                      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't know what GSA contracts you were on, but on ours, per the contract agreement, ANY officer can remove you for any valid reason, on the spot. We had a guard awhile back who wasn't properly filling in his log. One of the FPOs did a guard inspection on him, and asked about it. The guard smarted off, and next thing was handing off his duty belt and creds to the officer. This could've been handled differently, IMO, but he chose his path...And of course our great union rolled over and played dead.

                        Refusing an order will lead to an appointment at the Employment Security office.

                        It doesn't happen often, and 90% of the officers are cool, but there's always that chance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wilrobnson
                          I don't know what GSA contracts you were on, but on ours, per the contract agreement, ANY officer can remove you for any valid reason, on the spot.
                          A "valid reason" is the key here, and a mourning band would hardly be a reason for an officer to cause a security post to be vacated. Where I've been, it would be that officer who would find himself sitting in front of a supervisor, and could expect to hear himself described in terms beginning with "idiot" and going downhill from there. Just like the public police, I repeat, officers cannot simply do "anything" they decide to do - they themselves must answer to someone.
                          Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-29-2006, 07:09 AM.
                          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think failing to remove an unauthorized uniform device when instructed to do so by an appointed agent of the client could be determined to be a "valid reason" to remove someone from a post.
                            "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                            "The Curve" 1998

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BHR Lawson
                              I think failing to remove an unauthorized uniform device when instructed to do so by an appointed agent of the client could be determined to be a "valid reason" to remove someone from a post.
                              That would be insubordination, especially if the contract says that any FPS officer is able to exercise supervisory authority over the contract guards. Hell, depending on the GSA contract, you could throw every guard off the post.
                              Some Kind of Commando Leader

                              "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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