The War on Cops

“A society which chooses war against the police better learn to make peace with its criminals.” – Anonymous

Cops Are tired.  Who can blame them?

Over the past few years, they have been relentlessly attacked by those who would destroy not just them personally, but the institution as well.  Cries of “defund the police,” “all cops are bastards,” along with other less printable verbal attacks have become commonplace in some sectors of society. Much of this noise has come from the anti-cop, anti-law enforcement elements who have gained a foothold in the mainstream media narrative of today.

Cops have been vilified, marginalized, maligned, physically attacked, shot, stabbed, beaten, bitten, ambushed, all in record numbers across this country.  In my nearly 45 years of experience in the law enforcement community, I can honestly say that I have never seen such vitriol being directed towards the profession. The looming question for me is simply ‘why’?

To be sure, there have been some instances nationwide where the actions/inactions of an officer or officers have come into question, and rightfully so.  My mind goes directly to the school shooting that took place at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, where dozens of cops delayed any attempts to confront the shooter for over an hour, during which time the carnage continued unabated.

Law enforcement outside Uvalde’s Robb elementary school on the day of the shooting. Photograph: Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

The lack of response in this instance sickens me to my core. Having been trained in the realities of an “active shooter,” I was well prepared to do what had to be done.  Even if I was the first and only officer to respond to an incident like the one in Uvalde, I know precisely what I would have done; immediately go in search of the shooter(s) and neutralize the threat or risk my own death in the process.  To do anything less would cause me to be haunted for the rest of my days on this earth. Every single cop I know feels exactly the same way.

There have been a number of other publicized incidents over the past couple of years that have also shed a negative light on the law enforcement profession. Many of them have been used to paint all of law enforcement with an unfair broad-brush approach. Let’s face it, police training across this country is not consistent.  What works in a small town in the Midwest may not be of any practical value in Los Angeles County, and vice versa.  Any unilateral attempts to draw similarities are simply not reasonable.

With that being said, the harsh reality of today is that public perceptions tend to become reality if constantly repeated in the media, particularly if there is no credible counter narrative being offered from the other, pro law enforcement, side.  We can either choose to be mad and disgusted or choose to take positive steps to change the narrative.  I prefer to do the latter.

We start with the premise that law enforcement has been and continues to be an honorable profession.  People don’t get into the career to make a lot of money or live a cushy lifestyle. As for myself, I chose law enforcement as a way to help protect those who need protection; to pursue those who prey on others.  Things have noticeably changed in the years since I was first sworn in.

As an institution, law enforcement has historically been reactive and slow to keep up with societal changes. This primarily has to do with the fact that we enforce the laws that are on the books and don’t change course without changes in the laws. In the past, when the laws change, law enforcement follows.  That used to be the natural course of events.  But something has changed, and not for the better.

The main development I’ve seen over the past several years is the incorporation of weak leadership into the ranks.  This has never been more apparent than within the ranks of my beloved LASD.  As I’ve noted on a number of occasions, the current sheriff is not leading. He is managing, and managing poorly.  The advent of failed/failing leaders in law enforcement has caused many departments to fail right alongside them.  Poor decision making and/or failure to make decisions erodes the very foundation of the affected agencies.

The current “leadership” at the LASD is not inspiring. It is not encouraging. It has no plan for the future.  It is, frankly, failing to lead in any measurable manner.  After over a year in office, this sheriff has failed to produce any discernible positive results.  There have been suicides, suffocating overtime, critical staffing shortages, failing equipment, less training opportunities, all while the department continues to suffer outlandish and ridiculous criticism from the outside.  For the most part, this sheriff and a handful of his sycophant executives remain silent while the line personnel are pummeled by cop-haters who want nothing less than unfettered anarchy.

Sheriff Robert Luna, an example of failed leadership at LASD.

It is my contention that, absent the ability to remove these weak “leaders,” the ability of law enforcement to deal with their sworn duty to protect the public will continue to degrade and diminish to the point of being chronically unable to do the job.  It is also my firm hope that the people of LA County have simply had enough of the anti-cop rhetoric, rising crime rates, follow-home robberies, shootings, street takeovers, drug infested neighborhoods, business and residential burglaries, senseless violence, rapes, and murders, and will do the right thing during the next election for sheriff.

As I see it, change at the top of the department is the only way to give us all some peace.  I think we’ve earned it.

Michael Bornman, Captain (ret) LA County Sheriff’s Department, 36 years of service. Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, Bachelor’s Degree in English, Associate’s Degree in Police Science.









Mike Bornman

Michael Bornman, Captain (ret) LA County Sheriff’s Department, 36 years of service. Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, Bachelor’s Degree in English, Associate’s Degree in Police Science.

1 Comment

  1. Another excellent article by Captain Bornman. Citizens throughout the U.S. must begin to support strong, assertive, constitution-oriented policing, or anarchy will continue to reign in our unique Constitutional Republic. Why do stakeholders feebly watch the utter destruction of major law enforcement organizations at all levels in the U.S.? How does the public view federal agencies like the FBI, and local agencies in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago? The answer is obvious, and it’s also obvious that better leadership is desperately needed in U.S. law enforcement … NOW!

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