On Sept 19, 2014, Law Enforcement officials from around the Valley and the State gathered in Tempe to attend a law enforcement seminar hosted by the Maricopa County Attorneys Office titled Understanding the Threat to America (AZPOST approved). The seminar covered the important and pressing topic of how radical Islam is infiltrating America and the burgeoning threat of Sharia Law and how it currently is and will continue to impact America. Not unexpectedly, when it became known that this training was to take place, the usual suspects surfaced and began exerting pressure to shut the training down.
Unlike the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, sadly the management of the Phoenix Police Department caved to pressure exerted by groups such as the ACLU and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Chief Garcia put the word out internally that Phoenix Officers were not to attend on duty or in uniform. How do we know this? Members of PLEA who were invited to the seminar were met by PSB personnel at the door who informed us that Phoenix Police personnel were not allowed to be on duty, in uniform or have any PD identification displayed. One PLEA member who was in plainclothes and wearing his sidearm, magazine and cuff case was told he had to remove his badge from his belt and to take off his official Phoenix PD ID card to eliminate any links to the Phoenix PD. This despite the fact that there were several police and military personnel from other agencies in attendance that were in uniform as well as many others who were in civilian attire wearing agency ID cards and badges. Why would a police officer attending law enforcement training, wearing a firearm and other police equipment be told the cannot wear their badge and ID?
In addition, PLEA was told that a member of upper level PD management had called the County Attorney’s office prior to the training and asked for a list of all the seminar attendees. The request was denied.
Perhaps the bigger questions are these:
When so many in law enforcement and the military understand the very real threat facing our country and cities and want increased education on the topic, why is it that the Chief of the sixth largest city in America places greater value on political correctness than allowing officers to attend carefully vetted training that educates them on legitimate threats facing them?
More importantly, why does the Chief seemed to be more concerned with catering to groups like CAIR and the ACLU than looking out for potential threats facing Phoenix?
Why are we wasting taxpayer money having two Sergeants and a Lieutenant from PSB at the seminar to play the role of hall monitor?
Why is the Chief focusing his efforts on obtaining attendance rosters and censoring information flow by trying to prevent personnel from attending AZPOST approved training?
Hundreds of law enforcement officials attended the seminar in an effort to become better educated on understanding the threat posed to America and its cities by radical Islam. It would appear that Chief Garcia is not interested in understanding the threat. More concerning are the efforts to deter officers from attending.
Ironically the Chief fell prey to one of the key elements in the play book of the radical Islamists; that of forcing organizations to capitulate to political pressure. Score: Phoenix PD 0, Radical Islamists 1. Nice job Chief!
CLICK HERE to read the response from the Maricopa County Attorneys Office re: the complaint from the ACLU.