Monday, January 29, 2018

Interview: Ron DeLord on the Ferguson Effect, police pensions, and why he considers Saul Alinsky a major influence

Recently, Grits interviewed Ron DeLord, the founder of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas and a lion of the Texas police union movement. An excerpt from our conversation (about pensions) was included in the latest Reasonably Suspicious podcast, but I wanted to post the full interview here.

We discussed whether the "Ferguson Effect" really exists, the ongoing fiscal crisis surrounding police pensions, and DeLord's lifelong promotion of the teachings of Saul Alinsky, whose philosophies and tactics have overtly animated his writing and political strategies for decades. Give it a listen:

Find a transcript of our conversation below the jump.

Transcript: Interview with Ron DeLord by Scott Henson, conducted January 10, 2018.

Scott Henson: All right, I'm here today with Ron DeLord who has a long and storied history with the Texas Police Union movement. Ron I'm really happy you came to talk with me today, thank you for joining us.

Ron DeLord: Well I'm glad to be here. I apologize for my voice, it's allergy season in Austin.

Scott Henson: Not at all, you're doing well. All right, I was really happy to get to talk to you because I'm a big fan of your books. I know that's funny to say because your books are so specialized and you've written these books that are essentially how-to books for police union leadership and management. But, just to start off with your one on police confrontation, let's see the title of it was-

Ron DeLord: "Police, Power, Politics and Confrontation."

Scott Henson: That's it, "Power, Politics and Confrontation."

Ron DeLord: Sure.

Scott Henson: And the fascinating thing about that that I think might be unexpected to a lot of listeners is that you really drew, and still do in your most recent one, a lot of inspiration from Saul Alinsky ...

Ron DeLord: That's correct.

Scott Henson: Who most people think of as a radical left-wing organizer on behalf of the very poor. You know sort of what Franz Fanon talked about as "The Wretched of The Earth," right?

Ron DeLord: Sure.

Scott Henson: And I thought from the first time I read that in the late 90s that it was really brilliant because from my perspective, I've always seen most people who try and implement Saul Alinsky in the real world run up against a lot of barriers because some of their poor constituencies may not have really the level of power that you have to be able to wield to make those strategies work. But applying the strategies to the police union movement, where you come with this institutional gravitas and sort of deeply embedded community weight in the political arena, wow, it really changes that whole dynamic and I've marveled at how effective those tactics have been. So tell me, where did you run across Saul Alinsky and how did an ex-cop come to find so much inspiration in this left-wing Chicago organizer that everyone blames Obama for liking?

Ron DeLord: Well I grew up in Beaumont-Port Arthur, I was born in Port Arthur, Texas. And at the time, a little bit today, it was heavily unionized because the oil and chemical refineries, construction. And my father and his father were union bricklayers and all of his brothers were union bricklayers and most of my cousins went into the construction trade were union. At one time my sister was in the OCAW and on strike and my brother was an engineer, was a strike breaker on the other side.

Scott Henson: Yikes, all right.

Ron DeLord: Yeah, so I grew up in a place where my dad, his brothers at all various times were Presidents of the union and so I grew up where having a union was expected and what you have to do to maintain a union. But I didn't understand as a teenager and then I got on the Beaumont Police Department while I was in college. I had intended to go to law school and then when I left Beaumont I decided I wanted to get a PhD in Criminal Justice. So, I moved to Mesquite, Texas when I graduated from college because Sam Houston taught classes there and I would work. And so in that process I became active in the local union in Beaumont. When I got to Mesquite at the time a pretty blue-collar town, I became active there and was involved in a lot of political activity. And in that process we started forming CLEAT and-

Scott Henson: That's the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas for listeners who don't know.

Ron DeLord: Sure and at the time the Texas Municipal Police Association, TMPA, which is still around today, was the old fraternal group. So I started looking and thinking this isn't right, we don't have bargaining, we have a lot of Chiefs who just hire and fire at will and I didn't like it and I wasn't smart enough to know I was going against a massive establishment. So I was in my 20s-

Scott Henson: This would have been, when was this?

Ron DeLord: 1975, 1976.

Scott Henson: All right.

Ron DeLord: And so I decided that myself and a group of other, which would be classified as radicals in our world, decided that we're going to do something about it. If TMPA wouldn't do it, then we'd form a union and we'll start doing that. And in that process of reading and looking out there I came across Saul Alinsky. Just reading "Rules for Radicals," and just taking it and looking at what he said, how people without power gain power. And the haves, the have nots and all of that, if you just take away the socialist rhetoric, it is a bible. No one has written anything better than this when it comes to helping organization. And I started thinking, well at the time the police were poorly paid, poorly trained and faced a lot of what they would consider injustice by management. And I just went out and said I'm going to do that. If you go back, if it's still out there in the Google world, we were the first group of police officers to endorse candidates. Prior to that police associations didn't endorse candidates. And we got involved in cops against Clements.

Scott Henson: Is that in Texas or you mean nationwide?

Ron DeLord: In Texas.

Scott Henson: Okay.

Ron DeLord: Well nationwide they were probably ahead of us.

Scott Henson: Gotcha.

Ron DeLord: But the union movement as a whole, from the late 60s through the 70s, was becoming very militant. And part of from the watching the protestors in the Vietnam War and just those things so the police unions were starting to demand more and more. Getting more organized around politics and so we endorsed Bill, went against Bill Clements. Was such-

Scott Henson: Before Mark White I guess.

Ron DeLord: Before Mark White and I really loved him, I thought he was a great guy. The best ever was Ann Richards of course, but so we got involved and that had never happened. When we came out myself and a young police officer from Houston who is now a lawyer, Bob Thomas, was with the Patrolman's Union, which was a splinter group. We came out and did that release, had some bumper stickers produced, it was pretty amateur. The Police Chief's Association held a press conference in Austin and just said that was unprofessional, they were ashamed of us. The Texas Municipal Police Association came out, said they were just ashamed, how dare the police get involved in political movement. But I knew just from Alinsky's tactics that we could succeed.

Ron DeLord: And so I just started on that, it kind of was later became the first of my labor books and then the second and then the third, was basically the accumulation of power and how to use it. And so that's kind of where I came until I left the police force, went to work full-time for CLEAT even though it didn't hardly have any members or money. And I just, one of those things you would look back you'd think, well I wouldn't do that today, but at the time I thought I could do it and in essence we did.

Scott Henson: And you did.

Ron DeLord: And we did and we did build a big union, and TMPA and CLEAT are both out there today and TMPA has moved over and became more labor and CLEAT's became a little, maybe a little less militant. But anyway, that's how I got here.

Scott Henson: All right, well that is an interesting story I think most folks don't think of the labor union, the police union movement drawing that much inspiration from the oil workers at Beaumont but that makes a lot of sense. That's really I guess the sort of main place where we really have deep unionization and union families in Texas is around that oil industry.

Ron DeLord: Well I've written quite a bit, I've written a paper and it's called "Disorganized Labor," the police are nonunion union members. They want everything the union has, but they don't want to call themselves a union. But in essence-

Scott Henson: Right they're not AFL-CIO, they're not-

Ron DeLord: For the most part 80-90% of the police in the United States, and there's a long history of that, have stayed outside of the labor movement unlike the fire. But that goes back to the Boston Police strike and the failure of the AFL, at the time there was no CIO, in the 1919 at that pivotal moment had the AFL, which had chartered the Boston Police and other police, came and held a general strike in backing the police, we'd have a different police movement today. But they didn't do it and when they failed and the governor fired all the police and never got their jobs back, that changed and the police stayed outside for another 100 years until the late 50s, early 60s the police kind of started becoming more unionized.

Ron DeLord: But that moment the AFL couldn't step up, they couldn't step up for a very simple reason, they didn't like the police. They saw them as strike breakers, which they were, and they saw them as just pawns of corporate America. But had they come then when the police wanted, it would have been the same and I think the police today would be in organized labor same as the fire, but they didn't do that. It was the same in '69 the police, a lot of large police including New York City, went to the AFL-CIO and George Meany and asked for a charter. It was time, of course there was a lot of militancy going on. And George Meany wouldn't give it to them. They didn't get a charter for another 10 years and it never grew. So, those pivotal moments, and the moment of the PATCO strike with the airlines, those two failures to step up changed history.

Scott Henson: All right, well that's history I certainly didn't know outside of having read your books. But, your latest book, "Law Enforcement, Police Unions, and the Future," if your earlier books were about accumulating power for police unions, I think a theme in this book is maybe about the limits of accumulating power and what to do when you reach some of those limits. You start out, I thought this was great, with a quote from Robert, I guess a bastardization of a quote from Robert Earl Keen, what was it-

Ron DeLord: "The road goes on forever and the party never ends?"

Scott Henson: That's right, but what you announced was the road doesn't go on forever, here it is, "The road does not go on forever and the party eventually ends."

Ron DeLord: That's correct.

Scott Henson: So, I assume you're a Robert Earl Keen fan.

Ron DeLord: I am.

Scott Henson: All right. Best three Robert Earl Keen songs?

Ron DeLord: Oh Lord, don't ask me that.

Scott Henson: Not going to do it?

Ron DeLord: No, no, no, I'd mess them all up.

Scott Henson: You'd mess them all up?

Ron DeLord: But I do like it and I love that song.

Scott Henson: All right, well I gave you your chance.

Ron DeLord: You'd a got me.

Scott Henson: But the theme really is, or one of the themes in the book, is that the police union movement has been so successful at accumulating power and that boosting wages and getting very generous pension benefits that you're at a moment in history where you expect a backlash. In fact, I've said a couple of times in earlier podcast segments that some of your comments were really very prescient and almost like you were looking into a crystal ball on some of the pension fights at the legislature, the Austin Police contract and some of this. Let's start with pensions. The legislature this session came and did this big corrective, I know the Dallas pension had gotten to the point where they were fearing it would literally bankrupt the city if nothing had happened. And the Houston pension was perhaps a few years behind that in terms of getting to a crisis.

Scott Henson: But, talk to us a little about whether or not, have the unions overreached because none of the cities really have fully funded the pensions out, they're not contributing enough to cover them. Eventually those bills are going to come due and we've had this can't tax them, the legislature is going to limit their ability to generate more revenue. Are we reaching a crisis point here or has the Dallas and Houston fix done it?

Ron DeLord: No. I preach a lot about just the paradigms that change and the change agents that drive a paradigm shift. And we're in a paradigm shift. I said this back in '07 and no police union leader believed me. '08 we had the recession, it just hid some of the problems for a while and those problems have come back. I believe that, and when I tell police this it's not that I don't believe in a defined benefit plan, in fact I think every American ought to have one. That the employer ought to be required to put money in a fund and you as a worker ought to be required to put it in there and you shouldn't be able to take it out and spend it. And we should have, and I know it's big brother making you do something, but the problem is the bulk of Americans have no pension now and there's going to be serious, serious troubles, well they already are coming.

Ron DeLord: So, we're moving out of defined benefit plans as a nation and that's sad in many ways. And the big change agents were the failure of the AFL-CIO to its decline, it's not that I don't like them, but you go from 30-40% of the work, private sector workforce, to 6 you're almost reaching a point of being irrelevant.

Scott Henson: That's right.

Ron DeLord: And so, because people have abandoned the unions and because those unions who had the same benefits are out, the private sector now is only down to a very small percentage. In fact virtually no major company has a defined benefit plan. And once they leave and leave just the public sector, what's happened is kind of a strange deal. A friend of mine Tyler Eisen, who was President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, he's retired, made a very astute observation. He said when we made little money and we got 50% and could retire at 20 years nobody really cared. And we could go and just like the military we'd do 20 and we'd go work somewhere else and that'd just be a little piece of our life. But over time we built in higher and higher wages, we moved that 50% to 75% to 80% to 90%, but we kept raising the wages also. And there is a lot of risk in it because the money is not just what you put in, it has to make money in the market and when the markets are volatile, which they have been in these recessions, you get in a hole. And then employers don't want to catch up. Most of the troubles in the pension systems have been pension holidays, the employee have contributed their amount every paycheck. No matter where you're at.

Scott Henson: Define pension holidays for our listeners.

Ron DeLord: Well what happens is like Fort Worth, the trouble there in. Back in the 90s the markets had the pension fund at more than 100% funded, they were running 100, 125% funded because the employer contribution, the wages weren't that high and people weren't living as long. Got to remember there's actuarial numbers, as we live longer it puts more strain on the pension. So, the city of Fort Worth and the unions were complicit in this, said well, you don't need to put as much in the fund anymore, how about some raises or spend it elsewhere. And so they started doing that, but when it came back around, now the city is 500 million or a billion or some numbers that are obscene and says well we can't do that anymore. And so then the city of Fort Worth went to a second tier and I think they're getting ready to go to a third tier. And tiers are basically you get x, I hired after you I get y, guy hired after me gets z.

Ron DeLord: So, we're going to a system comparable to Australia. If you look at Australia and I spent a lot of time there, they started phasing out defined benefit plans 20 some odd, 25, 30 years ago. So you have all these layers where you might have a pension, but the next person would go to what they call superannuation, which is like a 401(k). But our problem, and this has nothing probably to do with what you want to talk about, but, the mistakes that we're making isn't that we can go to a 401(k) system, is that we don't have a 401(k) system that will sustain you as a pension. So as long as, in Australia where every worker is guaranteed that.

Scott Henson: Right, not just the police.

Ron DeLord: Not everybody gets the same thing. And so what you contribute, your employer, each state is different in Australia, and that you not be able to take that money out. We could have a 401(k) system, but you can't put a cap on it such that you, if you don't have a defined benefit, where you could put extra money aside or at least catch up when you're older and making more money. We cap that, I don't know, $18,000 or something. Well you can't put $18,000 aside and live on that in retirement. And we let you take the money out and we let you go from job to job, which Americans do, but you don't keep it.

Ron DeLord: So if we fixed that and that transition is we go, and we will transition out of defined benefit. It may be 20, 25 years, but, and I tell the police this. I like it, I think it's designed for the military, it's designed for places where we want your service for 30 years or so, but the truth is we've got to make it such that it'll change. And what it will do, what it did to Australia when they went over, is you will not have police stay for long periods of time. You will have police react just like the private sector. In Australia the average male officer works 14 years, the average female 7. That 7 is probably about the first time they have a child. And then they go on because it doesn't really matter because when an officer gets there about 14 years as a male, they've done and seen it, they go on.

Ron DeLord: So they constantly hire and the police forces are very, very young. And that has become acceptable to them that they're always training and they basically recruit you like the military. Come on over and do public service, work in the police service and when you get tired, go on, there's not a fixed day for you to leave. That's where we're going and there's a lot of pluses and minuses in that and I try to get when I speak to police groups, for them to understand, we're going to a new world in many ways. Now, it isn't bad per se, but it is going to be different.

Scott Henson: Right, well I thought that was a very astute observation in your new book because in my own family my wife had a defined benefit plan and then they phased them out into a 401(k) and said okay, here's the stop date, from now on your contributing to your own. And I think that there's a lot of Americans who've had exactly that experience and sometimes some of the rhetoric you hear around benefits can seem tone deaf. Where some of the police unions will, we put our lives on the line every day and so we have to have so much better benefits than everyone else. People agree with that to an extent but then they also start to think, huh, well I don't get a guaranteed pension for life and nobody else I know gets it. And when you did have 30 or 40% of the country in a union and a much greater expectation of those defined benefit plans, I think the public expectation was just a lot different.

Scott Henson: And I'm not sure I've seen anyone else recognize that and sort of say okay, we're going to want to adjust. Let's just transition here on that because that I guess brings me to the Austin Police contract, which you negotiated on behalf of the Austin Police Association. And I think this was sort of a moment where the police union and maybe even city management was a little bit surprised that kind of exactly that happened. That the public said hey wait a minute, we don't want to just keep spending incessantly on this. There was a column this morning by Lauren Ross in the Austin Statesman ...

Ron DeLord: I read it.

Scott Henson: That I saw, where she's saying hey, this means that we now have money to spend on other things for the first time and we love police, but we need to make the budget work. Even as I read it I was thinking about what you were writing about okay, the public's at this inflection point. So, that must have been a surprise for you all, you all spent months negotiating the contract. Talk to us about, in the context of our discussion, what that meant to you all.

Ron DeLord: Well it looks simple, but as you know it's very, very complicated, but I'm not sure totally what we've done shows the public is willing to spend money on police in Austin. And the public is not uncomfortable being the highest paid police. There's always a debate of how much, that's the bargaining process. But the failure here was a failure of the manager and City Council to inject into the process at a time and point of where we were discussing that. They were briefed at every stage of this, the manager doesn't show up with a magic number, somebody has to say this is how much money we want to spend. I mean, she works for the Council and in the executive session they were briefed. To wait until everything is done and to show up then at Council and act like you're surprised by what it costs, that was wrong. And the only surprise I had was how weak they were, not in voting for or against the contract, that's democracy it ends up with them, they're the final decider. But was that they waited till a night, and I will say this, the people speaking in the room are not the majority of the voice of Austin. It is a vocal voice and an active voice and they did a good job of messaging and causing it to be blocked, but that's not the total voice of the city.

Ron DeLord: Now, if we need to have a debate on how much is too much, we sat at the table for eight months with the City Manager's team and who went back constantly and said to the Council this is what the union wants to do. And so, if there's any failure in the process it's a failure of the Council and the Mayor to exercise their decision making at a point of where their representative is bargaining. Because if they'd have said that in June or July we would have then had to figure out how to get that and that's the failure.

Scott Henson: I think that's a fair criticism, I think the only counter to that is that until this go around, this process has always been much more insular. Going back to the Kirk Watson days, they didn't used to let anyone else in the room when you're negotiating these things.

Ron DeLord: That's right.

Scott Henson: And this time they did and I think that the Council over the years has just let the City Manager sort of run that show and there hasn't really been the sort of public engagement. And I think that's sort of the difference that in June, the public didn't really understand what the whole framework was because they're just seeing little piecemeal myopic bits. And so by the time the public really sort of, or at least a section of it if you want to say that, were engaging in the debate it was well after you all had negotiated that piece. And the public sort of used their point of access, as not the negotiation process, but that City Council vote right?

Ron DeLord: Yeah.

Scott Henson: So that's I think what that was about, but I agree with the criticism or at least that it would be frustrating. I certainly understand.

Ron DeLord: But lets, you know the elephant in the room is that, and I'll just use the word community activists because there's multiple, multiple groups from the fringe to moderates to all in this collective group of activists that they have organized this coalition of people. But, they were opposed to the contract from the first day, it didn't matter what the money was. There was an organized campaign to keep the police from renewing that contract, I believe so, and it was common from the very beginning. And they wanted a transparency process, it was not in the contract. That's kind of what [crosstalk 00:26:13] so it wouldn't have mattered what happened. I thought they did a very good job of muddling it up and making statements that were totally not true. We weren't there, now I never argue with someone about their opinion because that's their opinion. Now a lot of facts were thrown out just weren't true.

Ron DeLord: The truth is they came with an agenda, it's the same agenda in multiple states. They're already in the paper in Houston now getting ready to get involved in their process. And they have decided that if they cannot get whatever their vision of the police in the political process they can get it by going to the unions and trying to separate them from the employer and that's exactly what they did. There's nothing evil about that-

Scott Henson: Just a tactic.

Ron DeLord: It's just a tactic. They believe honestly that they can take some of these resources and through the use of social programs for a better word, they could do more than just adding police. There's nothing wrong, that's a legitimate debate about how many police we need, but I would say this, the City of Austin has had millions and millions and millions of dollars they could have diverted into homeless problems and mental illness and hiring more social workers. There are cities that hire people with a Masters of Social Work to go out with the police, to make the calls with the police. Fred Fletcher used to be Chief, I mean Assistant Chief in Austin when [inaudible 00:27:58] had the program there. The city chose not to do that. I mean they can spend $600,000 on a guitar shaped bus stop at the airport and millions on odds and ends. But if the city had the will to do those things, nobody has stopped them. Even the total cost of the police contract for what we bargained over, is only about 20, 25%, maybe less than 30% of the total amount of money. So, they've made lots of bad choices. Now I agree with a lot of them, I think they've done things that add to the quality of life in the city, I'm not for it being nothing but austere. But-

Scott Henson: Almost all they do is manage growth is the truth.

Ron DeLord: Well that's true, that's true. But I think what I feel bothers me the most is that lately these groups and this article in the paper is, if you don't pay them now we will have money to do what we want to do. You've always had money to do what you want to do from the private sector and from the public sector. You just haven't had the ability politically to get it from the Council.

Scott Henson: That's right. Well, that's fair enough and of course this whole process is them trying to get it.

Ron DeLord: That's correct and-

Scott Henson: And you're just the one whose ox is being gored in this circumstance, but somebody's always gets gored right? I mean when it went the other way, if you all got all the money then it's their ox so somebody's going to-

Ron DeLord: But it, yeah, and like I said, I'm not upset with anyone, I'm a big believer in democracy and I'm a big believer that you've got to make some noise if you want to be heard. I think it's arguing that it's an either or. That's what bothers me. I know and the police know that if we had the political will in this country to deal with homelessness and mental illness and things that other countries do, it would make the burden so much easier on the police. In the long term it would require us to have less police, less violent confrontations, less of a drug problem. But we don't have that political will and not even in Austin with as liberal a council, they really don't have the political will. They've not set down and directed resources into there to say yeah but, now we've got some money because I'm going to take away your night shift differential. Let's talk about what the police should really be making and what's fair and let's talk about what social programs it will aid in the crime problem. And aid in making the city safer. Those are legitimate debates, so I think what we have is a group that said if I can get your money, I'll spend it. Why don't you just go get the money you need and then let's have a debate about what the police should or should not be paid.

Scott Henson: All right, fair enough. Let me ask you real quick, we'll wrap up here in a moment, do you believe in the Ferguson effect? There's been this argument out here that police officers are so unhappy at being criticized in the public that they simply stopped doing their jobs and allow crime to occur intentionally as sort of payback. This has been touted a lot and I've seen some union folks quoted in Texas saying similar things. This has always seemed a very strange argument to me because it seems like you're saying our workers are not acting in good faith and I don't understand necessarily, the interest being promoted by sort of putting [inaudible 00:31:39]. Do you believe that that's true, is that happening in the world, that officers are just not doing their job because someone said something mean in the newspaper?

Ron DeLord: I don't believe it, I see it maybe Chicago or a few places where they might have it, there have been some recordings of the police not making the arrests that they need to make. What I do believe the police are frustrated with is, we are also in a paradigm change in policing. And this is not necessarily bad. Now if you were to ask any older officer they would tell I never want to start over again because of the scrutiny. Well I worked in 1969 in the police and there was literally no scrutiny okay.

Ron DeLord: So, I believe we're going through this transformation and what the police I think get upset about is that, well this is my basic premise, here is the problem, there is a disconnect between how the public wants their police to act and how the police are trained to act. That disconnect is what's causing the problem. You watch it on TV and you take your layperson's opinion, over here the police are saying but we're trained to do this, we followed the rules. And when their not disciplined because they followed the rules, then the other people outside screaming well they need to be fired for that.

Ron DeLord: Well there are cases, we have I would say today there's a lot more scrutiny both by DA's, by prosecutors, by departments. And so we're in this paradigm shift and so the stress on the police is I realize that I'm going to be tried on a standard that is not what I'm trained to do. Now, when the police do not follow those standards of course they can be fired, civilly sued or criminally prosecuted. So that's the stress inside the police world right now as we transition over.

Ron DeLord: But I'm not seeing police officers tell me, oh I'm not going to do my job. They are going to do it and there's going to be sacrificial lambs, there are going to be officers who will be fired or prosecuted for things the police feel they are just made the sacrificial lamb to make the politicians happy. Not every police shooting is justified and not everybody who gets shot shouldn't have been shot. Okay, we are in the business of making people do something they don't want to do. That is, you're under arrest and setting aside people who are mentally ill or out of their mind, most people make a series of choices and those choices escalate in that we have human beings on both sides of this process. So I think the police are still going to do their job. We're still getting young people coming in and I'm very optimistic about that. The young people coming in are far more educated, far more liberal, far more diverse in their opinions and thought. And that's going to take a transition and we're in that transition.

Scott Henson: All right, well I think that about does it for me. Anything else while I have you that you were hoping to communicate I didn't get too?

Ron DeLord: No, no and I appreciate the opportunity. We all want to have the best of the professional police. We all want to be treated with respect when we're stopped. I think that there was a black minister out of Houston that's actively involved in the police and the Minister's Alliance in Houston, Bishop Corey Wilson. And he made some of the more astute statements and just that every person wants to be treated with respect. And when the officer fails to show that respect, it causes hard feelings. And when the citizen doesn't show the police respect and follows the instructions they're given, it then causes another problem in society. So, we want respect. The officers want to be respected for the risk and sacrifices they make and the public wants the police to show respect to them. And we're working toward that as human beings and I've been in this business almost 50 years and I think it's so much better today. People can scream all they want, but I think the quality of policing today is the best it's ever been in 50 years.

Scott Henson: All right, thank you so much Ron for joining me.

Ron DeLord: Thank you.

Transcript by


Anonymous said...

Saul Alinsky dedicated his book to satan. Added to this is the fact that Mr Alinsky openly admitted he was a communist. He even stated that he wanted to instill the communist manifesto main points into the USA. Now I better understand one reason why the police departments are the way they are.

In my opinion there should not be any unions involved with public governmental affairs. Governmental service was not supposed to be a life-long career.

BarkGrowlBite said...

In the film HELLS ANGELS FOREVER, one of the Angels referring to problems in dealing with the police, said "Treat me with respect and I'll treat you with respect. Treat me like an asshole and I'll treat you like an asshole."

Anonymous said...

I’ve never read Saul Alinsky, and never had any particular inclination in that direction. But I have to say that hearing unthoughtful, uninsightful regurgitation of party-line tropes about him makes me think that I should reconsider my position.

Anonymous said...

Fun Fact: The Robert Earl Keen song he quoted, "the Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends," is about a cop killer who gets away with it.

john said...

Yes, Salinsky was major SHIT. Protecting & Serving is not improved by Communism, nor even Communitarians. How Hussein got in office is crazy and impressive, yet vile. We've had at least 28 years of garbage gov.

But who invented the old concept of the throw-down gun, and the modern concept of a virtual "throw-down," such as, "he reached for his waistband," and "I feared for my life"???
SEE the documentary, "13th." The Cops' War on America continues. You might insist it's just a few bad apples, but that means all the rest are the silent majority. They do not self-regulate, and cops are nearly always "found innocent." And they are too-heavily armed, and they go on paid administrative leave--while the courts & unions cover it up. We The Poor People fear for our lives. We are NOT protected or served. THEY PROTECT THEIR CAREERS—-might as well be a Representative In Name Only (RINO), like the rest.

Anonymous said...

Hey John,

From what I can see, Alinsky didn't belong to any political party, and particularly wasn't a Communist. All he seems to have done was get people in down-and-out areas to get politically active. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Saul Alinsky dedicated his book to Satan. I went to library, looked at his book and there it was.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:00 PM-

You need to learn the difference between an epigraph and a dedication.

Anonymous said...

8:00 AM -

Alinsky was Jewish. Judaism and Christianity have different views of Satan. In mainstream Judaism, Satan is seen as an agent of God’s will, as in the Book of Job. That said, Alinsky was a provocateur, with a great talent for tongue-in-cheek statements intended to annoy the complacent and put a burr under the saddle of the powerful.

Anonymous said...

8:00 Here's what Saul Alinsky wrote in his book:

"Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins - or which is which), the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer."

What kingdom did Lucifer win--Hollywood?