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Category Archives: Good Cops

Meet Officer Dominick Izzo- A Officer Making A Difference.

Cops Caught On Video is NOT just about exposing bad officers, we also post stories about police officers who are everyday heroes. We truly understand that being a law enforcement officer in today’s world is no small task, inner city officers in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, New Orleans etc face the worst of the worst on a daily basis and only a properly trained officer with the right mindset can withstand the daily pressures of being a Law Enforcement Officer.

Often grossly underpaid (Detroit Police Officers pay can be as low as $15.50 a hour) police officers often face critical split second decisions that can be the difference between life and death. Cops Caught ON video has been preaching for years that officers need better training, higher pay but the trade off must be true accountability and transparency.  We would much rather post good stories then some of the horrible stories we feel we need to expose.

We did a story last year about Officer Nick Novello who serves in the Dallas Police Department, and has for 34 years, Officer Novello accuses that the Dallas P.D. wrongly arrest blacks to fill quotas and warns the national guard may be used in the future.  We applauded Officer Novello for the courage to stand up and try to stop this alleged practice.

Now Officer Dominick Izzo is another respected officer who is able to see things from a civilians point of view.  As we know many of the laws today’s officers are expected to enforce are draconian and no longer serves a purpose other then to tie up courts, make criminals or jail people for small amounts of Marijuana which turns a otherwise law abiding citizen into a criminal with a record that directly affects their ability to get gainful employment to support their families.  The new gallup pole shows Americans support for total legalization for Marijuana is now 61%,  27 states is now medically legal yet despite the will of Americans to end this failed Marijuana policy the war continues.

Officer Izzo has spoken out against this policy stating it serves no purpose and has caught a lot of criticism for speaking out against the issues facing Law Enforcement Officers today.  He is speaking out about  issues that officers face when having to decide to try to right a wrong, Officers Izzo admits that officers are afraid to speak out due to the retaliation that awaits those that dare buck the thin blue line.  These are just a few things Officer Izzo addresses and we could not be happier that Officer Izzo is making a difference for both the citizens of this great country and his fellow officers which is obvious he cares enough about them to help them even if Officer Izzo is no longer a law enforcement officer.

Officer Izzo is offering candid advice for both the citizens of this country and police brass to bridge some of the issues we face in regards to community outreach.  We have reached out to Officer Izzo and he welcomes us to help him to make a difference.  We would like to thank Officer Izzo for his continued commitment in helping his fellow officers and try to mend fences with common sense approach to being a officer in 2017.  We have posted a few videos of Officer Izzo so you can understand what this officer is all about. We hope to work with Officer Izzo in the future and bring you stories of the progress we hope to see with some of the issues we often refer to in our post.

 

Farmington Hills police replace bike stolen from 13-year-old

Good police work took on an extra special meaning Friday for a Farmington Hills boy, whose bicycle was recently stolen.

Erik Saperstein, 13, thought he was going to answer more questions about the theft of his mountain bike – which he had paid for himself with money earned from umpiring baseball games – when Detective Dave Newcomb called him down to the police station.

Instead, he was surprised with a brand new Trek bike to replace the one stolen, courtesy of the Farmington Hills Police Department.

“I like it,” grinned Erik, moments after being presented the bike — purchased with money donated by Farmington Hills police officers and their unions. “Thank you so much.”

Newcomb’s heartstrings were tugged when Erik’s case landed on his desk about a month ago. The boy was doing yard work with his grandpa in his backyard when a thief snatched his bike from the garage, at around 8 p.m. on June 15.

“Somebody just came by and stole it,” Newcomb said. “It wasn’t like he was being irresponsible. Someone just walked by and took it.”

It was a pretty nice bike too — retailing for about $360, which required quite a bit of saving up for, especially for a 13-year-old. So Newcomb got the ball rolling to get donations from the police department to buy Erik another, and then called the American Cycle and Fitness store in Walled Lake where the first bike had been purchased. Owners Ken Stonehouse and Michael Reuter fixed them right up, selling it for cost and even throwing in a kickstand, helmet and lock.

“It just made sense to help,” Stonehouse said.

Officer Brian Harbaugh said getting Erik new wheels was a nice way to demonstrate that “police are part of the community, just like he is. We’re all looking out for each other, helping each other out.”

It was also an opportunity to recognize Erik’s efforts to earn enough money for the bike in the first place, he added.

“Here you have a kid who saves up to buy the bike and some jerk steals it from him…we appreciate him working hard and saving for it – like we used to do,” Harbaugh said. “And it makes you feel good (to replace the bike), like you are really giving back to the community.”

Erik said he was “really surprised” to have his bicycle stolen. “I never thought it would happen to me. I guess you never know,” he said.

His mom, Monica Cardenas, had the same reaction. “I was in disbelief. He was doing family chores, being responsible. I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Cardenas said Newcomb told her last week about the new bike, which brought her to tears. “And it really helps Erik understand that while there are bad people in the world, there is so much good in this community that he can overcome it.”

Erik said he’s learned a bit more from the experience, too. “Never put a bike in a place where someone can take it,” he said, “and always keep it secure.”

Dallas Cop Breaks Rank, Says Blacks Wrongly Arrested to Fill Quotas, Warns National Guard May Be Next

Following the murders of five officers in Dallas, the media and public alike lamented that the attack had ironically been perpetrated against ‘one of the most progressive police departments in the nation,’ thanks to Chief David Brown at the helm — but a current Dallas officer has now come forward with allegations much to the contrary.

Officer Nick Novello serves in the Dallas Police Department, and has for 34 years, but the leadership of Chief Brown, the officer says, has been anything but the rosy portrait of unity he paints in public.

In fact, even before the fatal shootings earlier this month, bitterness and animosity over Brown’s leadership decisions have marred morale in the department. Novello accuses Brown of making sweeping choices concerning schedules and more without consulting anyone — and, as a consequence, officers are overworked and underpaid.

But a rather striking accusation tears apart Brown’s supposed outreach to the black community: Novello says distrust of the department by African-Americans has been fueled by a number of wrongful arrests to fill drug and public intoxication quotas.

Brown extended an invitation to black protesters angered over police shootings, saying, “We’re hiring. We’ll give you an application. We’ll help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.

“And we’ll put you in your neighborhood …”

But, as Novello noted in an interview with the Daily Mail, “If he wants them to sign up, he had better stop criminalizing them for things like having small amounts of marijuana.

“Some officers fit people up by arresting them for being intoxicated when they refuse to show their IDs and that leads to a criminal record and difficulties finding a job

“Officers are under pressure to reach targets. There has to be an end to the arrest and ticket quota that exists within the Dallas Police Department.”

He added sharply, “I am sick and tired of the public face of togetherness the chief puts on when he knows there’s a lot of bad feeling behind the scenes.”

Policing for revenue, Novello explained, has rendered the department ineffectual in dealing with issues of greater importance — worse, he feels filling quotas contributes to predatory policing by emboldening officers with power over the people they should be protecting.

“There is a lot of anger out there that we have an inability to police ourselves and we will protect a rogue cop as a police department,” Novello said.

“A lot of the black community are supportive of the police, and that is wonderful, but a large number say police can’t police themselves,” Novello continued. “Not only can’t we police ourselves, we go out of our way to protect the predator cop.

“In my estimation, the quota system is corrupt. You are telling the officer who has a great deal of power that he is required to exercise that and generate funds for the city. Arrests generate money.

“As a beat cop, I see the computer, I see the calls holding, I see the inability to dispatch and deal with real-time needs.”

Beyond ticket and arrest quotas, officers already furious over long hours, low pay, and understaffing became enraged and protested when Brown made sweeping shift changes. Those changes to hundreds of officers’ shifts prompted four police associations — the Black Police Association of Dallas, the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization’s Dallas chapter, and the Dallas Police Association — to call for Brown’s resignation.

But the chief’s refusal to give up his job only caused resentment among the force to fester.

“We are vastly understaffed,” Novello said. “Last month we lost 48-50 officers, which is unheard of. One officer left to go drive a Coca-Cola truck. Another who was 43 years old retired after 14 years saying, ‘I’m out, I’m out.’ Morale is very low.”

Officers left in droves, in part, due to trauma over the slaughter of five of Novello’s colleagues. Keeping the DPD sufficiently staffed, Novello warned, has become a matter of grave importance — without enough cops in the department, “the only viable solution would be that we embrace the assistance of the National Guard or some federal agency to help police the streets of Dallas,” though, obviously, that “would be very unpalatable because it would mean the loss of state, city sovereignty.

“As a police officer, I can look you in the eye and say, ‘We have got your back, we are out there patrolling’ … but no, we are not. I can recall a number of days when I went to detail in the morning and there might have been seven of us there and after they put officers on special assignment, there was one or two police officers for the whole district.”

Despite the veteran cop’s criticisms of his chief, he emphasized he doesn’t want to “besmirch the man and I have nothing personal against him. I harbor no anger at him […] But I have no confidence in the man at all. He is very dictatorial. He is not open to questions. It is his show.”

Brown, as the Daily Mail noted, has boasted about lowered rates of homicide and violent crime in Dallas in recent years — in fact, 2015 marked the 12th consecutive reduction in crime and a low homicide rate not seen since 1930. But Novello said Brown was just “grandstanding. He knows it is all about public perception.”

Rank-and-file officers, Novello explained, do a fantastic job and aren’t part of his critique of the department, but as for the problems directly affecting the force,

“I believe the public has a right to know. A real right to know and not just receive managed information.”

As for whether he had concerns about whistleblowing, Novello said being honest about what’s actually going on behind the scenes has greater importance than even his keeping the job. Were he to be terminated for speaking out, Novello said,

“I believe it would give me a platform to speak. Anything I speak about … I can prove everything I say.”

Quotas of varying types — whether by race, as what another whistleblower cop from the NYPD alleged and caught on tape, or by type of offense, as described by Novello — undoubtedly drive the issues of police violence and systemic racism through profiling. As The Free Thought Project reported previously, Philando Castile — the black man shot by an officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota — had been pulled over a whopping 52 times by officers prior to his killing. As the Washington Post noted, these stops — all non-violent, non-criminal ‘offenses’ — had generated $6,588 in fines and fees for the city from one man.

Policing in the U.S. now revolves around revenue-generation, and until that changes — and these official and unofficial quota systems with it — the cycle of violence and resentment will inevitably continue.