Monday, February 9, 2015

Biting my lip

The recent string of armed robberies at retail businesses in Lincoln has been a gold mine for the Monday morning quarterbacks. I've been biting my lip for a week or so, as the social media pundits  have piled on a bit. All the while, I knew that a rather massive stakeout detail involving over two dozen officers from four different city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies was underway. I was rather confident that the suspect would be identified and apprehended in fairly short order.

I also knew later in the week that he investigation had focused in on a particularly good suspect, and that an extensive surveillance project was underway to locate his whereabouts. Again, only a matter of time would be involved.  Here's a news flash: the general public virtually never knows what is really going on behind the scenes, and the police are not going to tell the press about their undercover operations, surveillance projects, and stakeout details.

What's the purpose of pulling stakeouts and surveillance, if you're going to tell the bad guys where you're at, who you're looking for, and what you're doing? More than a few of the snarky comments during the week caused me to bristle a bit, but I had to keep it to myself. Basically, you can assume in almost any criminal investigation that you only know a fraction of the facts.

Nice work by all involved. While our armed robbery rate for 2015 has taken an early hit, the clearance rate for robberies will be off to a fine start as well.


Steve said...

You apparently edited your earlier version. I saw nothing wrong with it, but I would point out that I think a great many of those criticizing police are those who have had personal experiences where they have done wrong, gotten caught, and want to somehow shift the blame to the police. I can't tell you how many times I haver heard something like, "I don't know why they pulled me over for speeding. Everyone else was going even faster than I was," as if it was the cop's fault they were speeding.

Tom Casady said...


Yes, I edited my post, after reflecting upon the fact that my response to the snarky email I received last week was every bit as snarky!

Anonymous said...

I'm especially grateful for the fact that none of these robberies occurred in the presence of a CCW permit holder. I can only imagine how poorly that would have escalated.

Similarly, with the last robbery, where he maced the employees - clearly, he was escalating his activities - which would not have ended well were he still at large.

Nyfty said...

Tom, thanks for sharing an after action explanation.

Regarding the comment about running into a CCW permit holder. First a permit does not give the holder Police powers. Usual training dictates escape, evade, and be a good witness. Lethal force could only be justified if there was a direct threat of great bodily injury or death to the permit holder. Pepper spray is a less then lethal level of force, so the use of lethal force wouldn't warranted.

Steve said...

I don't claim to be an expert in the law, but it seems to me that there are some people out there spouting off about concealed carry who maybe don't have any more expertise than I do. First of all, I'm happy LPD appears to have caught the culprit without anyone being injured. On, the other hand, I would have no regrets if someone carrying concealed had interrupted one of these armed robberies and put and end to them with a well-placed bullet. As I understand it, at least some of these robberies involved the robber carrying a gun. If he was brandishing it in a threatening manner or making verbal threats, I believe that is sufficient justification for the use of deadly force in self-defense. Who knows how long it might have been before he decided to use it? Would it have been better if a clerk or customer had been killed by the robber, or the robber killed by someone carrying concealed? Sure, there could have been a bad result had someone tried to stop the robber, but what's the alternative? Let them continue their spree until some innocent person is killed? Even police can unintentionally harm innocent people in a tense situation. Maybe we should just make armed robbery legal, because something bad might happen if we try to stop them?

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that the vast majority of businesses prohibit, as a matter of policy, any employee being armed while on the job, partly to avoid being culpable in our litigious society. Pizza drivers, convenience store clerks, etc, right there in written employee policy, no weapons. Robbers know this all too well, and generally avoid "mom & pop" owner operated businesses where the clerk/owner could be armed, and go for the corporate targets. Remember, robbers don't want a gunfight, they want easy pickings.

In any case, if the business wants an armed security guard, they'll have to pay far more than minimum wage for that. Further, most minimum-wage workers also wouldn't have the finances to cover the ~$150-200 cost of mandated training, $100 for the CHP (it's not called a "CCW" in this state, it's a "Concealed Handgun Permit", right there at the top of my card), and the even larger cost of the firearm anyway.

Steve said...


If I were a pizza delivery driver and my employer said I couldn't carry, even though I had a permit, I'd tell them to find another driver. It's almost like what the director said about notifying the media. If the bad guys know which people are defenseless, it makes it much easier for them. I understand the employer's point of view, and the insurance company's, but all we're really doing by making self-defense an act subject to law suits, is creating an environment favorable to criminals. Yes, you're right. In Nebraska, it's a CHP. I should know, I got the first one issued.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - as the original poster regarding CCW, I did not mean to spark a pro/con debate on the issue. I'm no pantywaste - but a strong advocate of these personal rights. I was merely commenting that they avoided what likely was an inevitable confrontation - as our "alleged" robber was clearly escalating his aggressiveness.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand how the City had to spend all of that overtime and manpower to catch a simple serial armed robber when on TV they do it in an hour (with 20 minutes of commercials). *sarcasm alert

Anonymous said...

Someone who cares should see how many of the robbery locations have signs out front banning the carrying of concealed weapons.

The reason I don't care is because I carry concealed and if I see such a sign on a business, I take my business elsewhere. Then I either e-mail or call and let the owner know I don't do business with them because of their policy.

Jeanette said...

I would like to say that I think the LPD did a great job and usually do a great job. It would be hard to stake out a place because the majority of robberies that we hear about are convenience stores. Who would have thought a donut store would ever be robbed like that. The public should NOT know about the behind the scenes things that go on.

But I would like to add as I have always been a supporter of the LPD, it would be nice to see some officers be nice and a whole lot less arrogant around the public. It just seems to me that the officers automatically think EVERYONE has an agenda or is a criminal or liar; when the majority of the public are good people.

I feel the "older" officers became police officers for the right reasons and the "younger" or "newer" officers are in it for the badge, the gun, the control, the power, the arrogance they can get away with.

When I was raising my daughter, I taught her that when she is in trouble, to seek out a police officer. Now she is 21 and we all tend to shy away from the LPD because they act like we are wasting their time or annoying them or whatever. This is the experience that I have had anyway.

I don't have a solution, but something I wanted to share with you Mr. Cassidy. I have always admired and respected you and your position and sometimes have wished I could have a sit down conversation with you. :)

Take care.

Anonymous said...

"...I carry concealed and if I see such a sign on a business, I take my business elsewhere. Then I either e-mail or call and let the owner know I don't do business with them because of their policy."

I do likewise. Someone else is more than willing to take my money, be it for a tank of gas, a $2,300 guitar, or a brand new car.

"Who would have thought a donut store would ever be robbed like that."

Anyone who realizes that a donut store is just as soft a target as a convenience store, because it's primarily a cash business, just as lightly-staffed, and likely has the same employee policies about fully complying with robbers.

"The public should NOT know about the behind the scenes things that go on."

Not while it's ongoing. perhaps, but the wiser ones will have a pretty good idea how it's done anyway. Not from inane crime drama TV, but from PoP guides and similar pubs.

Anonymous said...


I wish you could sit down with an actual Officer who was willing to tell you how it really is. He or she probably wouldn't be able to tell you how it actually is though for fear of reprisal, but truth be told, most of the young Officers are so busy they don't feel there is time to sit and chat with the public. There are many reasons for this. LPD is so short staffed and each Officer is expected to do the follow-up most departments assign to Investigators. Besides getting yelled at for not having your follow-up done, the Officer is also expected to write a certain amount of traffic and misdemeanor tickets or there is more yelling. The amount of paper work and computer entry demands is ridiculous. Some misdemeanor paperwork can take more than an hour to complete because it is on the Officer to enter the information that used to be done by someone in Records. Due to budget cuts though, there are not as many people in Records so the Officer has to do it. Plus, the City and County attorneys want the Officer's affidavit all nice and neat so, you guessed it, the Officer has to type up the affidavit. All of this used to be written on the back of the ticket but now the Officer has to find an open, working computer to use. If the Officer spends too much time at the computer typing, the supervisor yells about not spending enough time on the street. It's not like the old days when all the Officer had to do was scratch out a ticket or report and move on to the next one. Some of the older Officers do tend to be more friendly because odds are they are on 'follow-up' while the younger more un-friendly Officers are taking calls. So please don't take it personally if an Officer you are probably trying to stop and be friendly to seems to be a little arrogant. He or she probably has a large amount of paperwork that needs to be done before quitting time. If it's not done on time, then there will be some more yelling at the Officer because now they must be paid overtime. If the paperwork can wait, the Officer is instructed to take care of it the next day during regular work hours so he or she comes in to work already behind. I doubt none of this would be explained to you by the director.

Anonymous said...

Wow 10:33, Way to throw the veterans under the bus. Obviously it is you who don't have a clue. More paperwork??? Please! 15-20 years ago we had way more paperwork and it was handwritten, duplicates for everything. We didn't have this self populate, multi-citation blessings of today.
It sounds like your getting yelled at a lot. I would say that is probably a problem you have with procrastination. Very rarely to officers have to stay after their shift because they were pounded by dispatch. We have always had follow ups and nowadays you don't even have to work sex assaults.
As far as traffic numbers. You must be one of the ones that has zero for traffic. Usually if you go out and do your job and write a few tickets, which isn't hard, you wouldn't have to worry.
As far as all your CFS? Please come ride with me and my beat partners for a day on dayshift. We will compare stats any day on CFS, Traffic, and all this paperwork that you claim.
Yet we still have time to mingle with the public.
We really don't need your type on the department and maybe you should think about a new career. This job isn't about driving fast with lights and sirens and cleaing up a mess with no reports. It's a lot more and obviously you don't understand that.
Being new, maybe you should respect veteran officers a little and do what we did when we were new.....Shut up, do your work and be thankful you have a decent paying job with benefits.
And FYI... I am a veteran with 20+ years. I have never tried to be promoted and I am not a kiss A$$. I see things how they are and you my friend have different goggles on.

Anonymous said...

To 10:33. Please get another job. You're an embarrassment to the department.

Signed, All of LPD.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this was written by an actual Lincoln Police officer.

Jeanette said...

10:33 - You sound like a very angry person. I really hope you are NOT an officer, but if you are, you do need to re-think your career. I was NOT talking about stopping an officer and just visiting. I know they are too busy for that. I was referring to a few different incidences and one of those being reporting a larceny that took place at my place of employment. The officer came in and was rude and short with me. Eventually this officer relaxed and became easier to give the report to. I was NOT the thief; however, I felt like I was being treated as such and that I was wasting this officer's time. There were a couple more incidences that I am not going to share with you. My comment was directed to Mr. Casady, but I realize that some people just can't help themselves and have to post a rant and then call themselves "Anonymous".

I have complete respect for the LPD and the officers that do the job. I know it is a difficult job and it takes a certain person to do it and I do know there is a lot of paperwork involved, as well as some idiots in the public to deal with. I think most of the officers do a great job.

However, I was just asking for less arrogance and less ASSUMING that everyone is guilty and less ASSUMING that everyone has an agenda. I would never waste their time just with them.

I have always wanted to be in law enforcement but was smart enough to know it was not in my cards. I would be doing paperwork constantly because of pulling my gun, taser, etc. and using it on the idiots that lack their own self-control and go get high and rob innocent people that are making an honest living.

So my comment was NOT to cause you to get so angry with me, but to just remind Mr. Casady that not everyone is against the LPD and does respect their hard work but we, as the general public would like to be respected in return.

If I call in a report, it is MY first call in; however, it might be the officer's 5th call they are responding to. But I would like them to think of it that way and not have the attitude of "just another call taking up my time". It is not meant to be an insult to any LPD, just a friendly reminder that some of us do care and need help.