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Brannon Howse: Well, joining me tonight is a first-time guest. I'm hoping that she'll be a guest that comes back again and again. She is with an organization and a website that I visit quite a bit. I linked to one of their articles, I think, at WorldViewreport.com today. It's called Law Enforcement Today. I've visited this website many times before they linked to us. Then all of a sudden, one day they were linking to us, and they linked the four Town Hall meetings we did with the four retired FBI agents. So apparently, they were aware of us. We were aware of them, but we didn't know they were aware of us, and then they started linking some of those videos, so we appreciate that.
I've got to find some gas to add to all the great guests we already have. I've got to add some new folks. We're going to expand our guest list. So, I thought, let's contact the guys at Law Enforcement Today and talk about what's happening with police officers because they had an article about the number of police officers that are quitting- The Collapse of Law and Order: 12,353 police officers, that's a hard picture to look at. (Photo of Police Officer with a big gash on his head.) Look at that gash in that poor guy's head. It's a police officer somewhere.
The Collapse of Law and Order: 12,353 police employees left law enforcement along with 1,361 state police. And I'll tell you something, you know, it's the good ones that are leaving. And that's what scares me. That's what concerns me, folks. I want to talk to our representative tonight with Lawenforcementtoday.com. Her name is Carla Miller. Carla, welcome to Lindell TV. Glad to have you here. Hope to have you back many times. Thanks for joining us.
Carla Miller: Thank you for having me.
Brannon Howse: So, you're a retired police officer yourself, right, Carla?
Carla Miller: I am. I recently retired on October 1st of last year after 22 years.
Brannon Howse: Wow. Congratulations on that retirement.
Carla Miller: Thank you.
Brannon Howse: Where were you a police officer and what rank?
Carla Miller: I was a sergeant in the city of Coral Springs, and I was there for just a little over 20 years. And I actually worked for the Florida Capitol Police before that.
Brannon Howse: And you were in Coral Springs?
Carla Miller: Yes.
Brannon Howse: So, you're in the great state of Florida, obviously.
Carla Miller: Yes, I am.
Brannon Howse: Okay. So, what do you do with Law Enforcement Today? What is your role there?
Carla Miller: After I retired, I had worked and done some interviews with them prior, but after I retired, I started becoming the national spokesperson for them to be able to do interviews like this based on a few things. But my experience, I was a training sergeant. I was one of the first responders at MSD, and I also am the daughter of an officer who was killed in the line of duty. So, I've had a lot of interaction with them.
Brannon Howse: Wow. Okay. I'm sorry to hear that. Tell me about your father.
Carla Miller: So, my father was shot and killed. He was a police officer in North Miami, Karl Mertes, and he was chasing an armed felon, and he was shot in the line of duty. We just actually had a memorial for him Tuesday.
Brannon Howse: How old was he?
Carla Miller: He was 41 years old.
Brannon Howse: Oh, wow. How old were you, Carla?
Carla Miller: I was a baby.
Brannon Howse: Okay. So, oh, wow. I'm so sorry. Well, let's talk about what's happening. I see this article again. I linked it over to our website today at WorldViewreport.com. Over 12,000 local police officers have left their jobs per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Per separate BLS charts, there was an additional loss of 1361 state police employees. The impact of fewer, less proactive police officers on violence and fear could be considerable. I want to talk to you about this. Why?
I mean, it's kind of almost a rhetorical question because I think any of us that are, you know, tuned in and conservatives, and are for law and order, we know why they're walking off. I mean, we watched as police were not backed up again and again. When they do defend themselves, they're questioned. When they do defend themselves, sometimes they're prosecuted stupidly. The criminals seem to get right out on bail, and sometimes they don't even get bail. They just get booked and let right out. We're seeing that in many cities, crime is spiking. They don't get backed up. What else can I say? Let's see, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, allowed to run the streets without any repercussions. Putting police officers' lives in jeopardy. I think we did lose some along the way, actually, in that.
I've watched and played videos on this show of some pretty big strapping fellas sitting in their squad cars filming and putting it on YouTube and other places that they're quitting. I remember one guy, a big strapping guy, talking about how he's done. He's done, and he said, “You guys, you leftist, you folks have won. I'm done. I'm checking out my wife and kids they don't want me doing this anymore. I'm not getting backed up. It's getting dangerous because of the lack of backup from the people that hire us, and we're done.” I mean, what else can we add to it? I'm sure pay, right? They're not being paid. Well, I mean, not you. I texted you today and said, “You know, one of the things I want to talk about is how we spend an awful lot of money on parks.” We spend an awful lot of money on green spaces and parks. And those are right and good at the right time and the right place and the right budget. But, you know, the purpose of government isn't beautiful parks. The purpose of government is security and protection.
And I'm very concerned, Carla, with the loss of the good folks and then the lowering of the standards to fill the job slots. And I've been warning on my radio show and TV shows for years, when you lower the standards to fill the slots, then you have to ask yourself, why are you having to lower the standard? And it always comes down to Economics 101 for me. Why are we not paying them twice as much? And let's get the good candidates coming out of the military, retired military, others that maybe want to go into the profession, pay them, and you'll have the best of the best.
Not candidates, so substandard, which I believe Carla, the Marxists on the city councils, the Marxists on the county councils many of these Marxists love to lower the standard, get people that should never be on the department, never be on the force, and then watch them do the dumb things they do on their body cameras. Because then they can say, you see, the cops are bad people. Wait a minute. You created the crisis by hiring substandard police because you did that on purpose. That was your goal. So, they would do dumb things. So, you could use it to further tear down the police instead of saying, "Hey, let's double their salary, let's triple their salary, and we'll have more top-notch candidates, more than you can shake a stick at.” Am I right or wrong?
Carla Miller: And I could talk about this all day being I'm one of those people. I was part of that statistic because I could have continued on though I’d reached my age. I could retire based on my years of service. I chose to leave because it was one of those situations where, you know, was it worth it? Was I going to be a political pawn for the next incident that is unavoidable? That was done maybe 100% correct, but it doesn't look good or look pretty, but it's within the law. It's within policy. And, you know, I made a decision that for my best interest, my family's best interest, it was time to move on and pursue other things, still in support of law enforcement. As a retired training sergeant, I was a training sergeant for over seven years. I could not speak to that topic more.
They want to scream about how police are poorly trained but then they pull the funding. That's the first thing to go the funding for the training. They don't want to pay for the hours. They don't want to pay to send people to train. They don't want to pay for the equipment. But you want these officers that are a jack of all trades that can deal with all of the things that we're facing. Every day it's something else that there's another law, there's another policy, there's another thing that we have to learn to adapt to in the field. And then they don't want to pay for it. So, it's, you get what you get, right? If you're going to pay for it, you're going to get a quality officer. You're going to get a well-trained officer. You're going to get somebody, you know, the people that come in they want to do the job. But at some point, you have to say, “Is it worth it for me? Is it worth it for my family? I'm not getting the support internally or externally. I'm not getting the training that I need in order to do my job.”
Brannon Howse: What is the average salary today for a police officer, do you know?
Carla Miller: You know, I don't know because it varies around the state. I know in South Florida we have decent salaries. But ultimately, with the way the economy is, it's not anything that, you know, officers are working side jobs. They work off-duty details. They always are picking up overtime. Some have secondary jobs. I had a secondary job the entire time. So, it's not something that necessarily puts them at the peak for putting their life on the line and entering the deadly situations we do and entering legal issues that we have where we're constantly in court, and we're having to defend ourselves and our actions and our lives and our families. You know, after everything that happened in 2020, my daughter didn't even want me bringing my patrol car home because she was afraid that somebody was going to do something to the house or do something to us when we were leaving after they saw the patrol car.
Brannon Howse: Wow. Well, okay, I'm looking up here. This one website says the average police officer salary is higher than you might expect. The median annual salary of a police officer is $65,400. That's the median. But that means there are a lot of folks making way below that.
Carla Miller: Way below that.
Brannon Howse: And in some of these cities, $65,000 doesn't go very far when a house is, what, a half a million dollars, $800,000?
Carla Miller: That's about the average where I am. About a half-million dollars.
Brannon Howse: And so, a $65,000 salary before taxes doesn't go very far to live in those communities. So that's what's really concerning to me is that we have these really nice upscale communities, and then we don't pay the officers enough to live in those communities. Now, I don't know about you, but I personally think that if I were running a city. If I were running a town. I would like to have my officers living in my town. Now I know some, maybe, officers don't want to live in the town where they are employed. They want to be to go out, do their thing, and go to dinner where not everybody knows who they are. Okay, fine.
I get it. But if I were the mayor of a town, I would love to know that the bulk of my law enforcement lives in that very town because they're big-time invested not only as employees but as taxpayers, as citizens, as ball coaches, and members of the churches in town. I mean, I don't know something about not paying officers enough to live in the town they're protecting just doesn't sit right with me. Now, if the issue were, oh, we're a poor country, we're a third world country, but we're not. And many of these communities, they spend a fortune on parks, as I said, and bike paths and green trails and their football stadiums, and there are high schools like where I live.
We’ve got a massive, massive public school they just built a few years ago. I'm talking they’ve got an auto shop in there with car lifts and things you wouldn't believe. It's a $140-$150 million complex. And I bet you the police officers in my town, some of them I know pretty well. I think they top out at about $60,000 where they top out. In a town with a public-school building of $150 Million. Now, am I crazy that that doesn't sit well with me when I'm paying taxes for, first and foremost, security and protection?
Carla Miller: And ironically, in the city that I work for, we had a lot of public support or community support for the most part. But when we put up a bond, we had gone to vote for a few things. One was our parks and facilities, and the other one was for a public safety training facility, and they voted no on it. And it was going to raise the tax like $2. And they voted no, but they voted for the parks. And then it was during the time when it was post MSD, which was one of the worst school shootings in this country's history. And they were very supportive of us in a sense. But it was like, you want us to be better trained, you want us to be able to respond to these incidents, but then you don't want to approve the things that we need in order to train these officers. They need the hours. They need the time. They need the equipment to get trained. It's not this is an easy online class. They have to go in hands-on. They have to do multiple disciplines in order to effectively do their job.
Brannon Howse: Speak to the young person watching tonight that says, "You know, I'd like to be a police officer." What would you say to that young person?
Carla Miller: You know that was me. It was something that at the age of 16. I did a ride-along, and I knew it was meant for me, and I knew I wanted to be a police officer, but I would encourage them to definitely do some ride-alongs and talk to officers and make sure. It is a different time for police right now. It is a really great job. It is an honorable job. The people that I worked with were really great officers that would sacrifice their lives for people they did not know. However, you have to think about the total aspect and how it's going to affect you, your life, and your family, and you really have to have the heart to be in this profession in today's day and age.
Because, as you said before, we're fighting city council members, and we're fighting state attorneys and district attorneys who aren't prosecuting the cases when you're making the arrests. And in fact, they're actually going after officers who are doing their jobs. They're doing it legally within policy, and then they're still tied up in some investigation for sometimes years. And that's very stressful on top of going out and wondering if, you know, the next car you stop, somebody is going to turn around and try and shoot and kill you.
Brannon Howse: Talk to me about doing something that's in policy, within policy, but doesn't look right to the average person or looks controversial to the average person. But it's within policy. Speak to that issue.
Carla Miller: Any kind of use of force, honestly, use of force. You are trying to overcome the resistance of a subject. We're not going in and just, you know, taking someone and trying to hurt them or harm them. We are overcoming resistance to get them into custody and it's never pretty. It's not. It's an evolving situation. There's no specific thing that if you do this, it's going to end up like this. We learn tactics, and we often don't get enough time to train them to be experts at them, but we get just enough. And then you have to try and effectively take somebody into custody who could be bigger than you. They could be under the influence of something. And your moves aren't effective.
Your strength isn't effective. We don't know. And it never looks good. Nothing. It could be 1,000% legal within policy, but it just has an appearance of, oh, they're hurting that person or even the person's verbal cues. They're screaming, you know, you're hurting me. Or, you know, we know the other one. I can't breathe, but they can. Or they're getting hurt because they're putting up resistance while you're trying to put their arm behind their back. And it appears as though you're doing something painful to them, but they're creating resistance instead of compliance and just putting their hands behind their back and getting into custody.
Brannon Howse: The number of police officers this year, 2022, it's up substantially, right, the murder of police officers?
Carla Miller: It is up. The officer shot, I believe it's up 43% already this year from 2021. This is significant because, in 2021, we already saw an increase in officers being shot in the line of duty, and ambushes were up over 126% last year. And that's something you train for. But it's sometimes inevitable like you only can do so much. And that's really tragic. And obviously hits home to me, as you know, having my father killed in the line of duty and as a training sergeant, you know, you're trying to teach them to do things safely and approach the scene a certain way. And, you know, we are dealing with mental illness now at a significant rate. And there are a lot of laws that come into play as to what we can and can't do. And then you're trying to also cover policy as far as what you can do and not end up in a criminal investigation yourself, even though you're just doing your job. It's a tricky time.
Brannon Howse: How do you feel about the body cameras?
Carla Miller: So, I'm actually a proponent of them because though I was, I guess, in a way lucky not to police with them because there is a stress that you feel when you're constantly being recorded and talking. I found that they vindicated our officers more than anything. I don't think they've really implicated them. We put them in place a few years before I retired, and in the cases where we'd have people come in and make accusations, we were able to pull bodycam footage, and it completely vindicated our officers and showed that they were acting appropriately. That they didn't do what was said.
That if somebody sent in a snippet of a video, which we've had happen like from a balcony, we were able to pull the actual body cam to show the totality. And because nowadays people aren't listening, you know, to the officer's word. They just don't believe them because of how we've been portrayed so they go off of a snippet somebody sends into the news. Well, we then have a body cam that gives you a little bit better of an image of what the officers saw and faced. It's still not the total thing of all the factors, but it does get a little bit better officer's perspective.
Brannon Howse: So, in our closing minutes here, of course, the website is Lawenforcementtoday.com. What would you like to say to the audience? I mean, I can sit here and shoot questions at you, but what would you like to convey to the audience tonight about not only law enforcement, Law Enforcement Today, the name of your website, but the actual issue of being in law enforcement today with all that's happening in our country? I mean, I saw a video a few weeks ago where an officer opened the trunk of a car and fell over from what was it, fentanyl in the trunk.? If his partner hadn't been there and administered that shot, he would have been dead just from opening a trunk.
What would you like to say to the people watching today about what's happening in our country and what's happening to law enforcement? I don't know if you can speak to the issue of the Marxism that's taking over our country and the goal of the Marxist to destroy our police. I mean, we go back in history what I do, and I study, you know, like the founder of the Black Panthers talking about destroying the police. I read the Marxist ideology from the fifties and sixties talking about destroying police. What would you like to say to the American people about what you've seen firsthand and what I'm saying about my research?
Carla Miller: I think it's important, and obviously, I'm sure your base is probably primarily supportive of the police but continue to be supportive of them and understand what's happening when these elections take place. They're putting people into city council positions and into state attorney's offices that are going to greatly affect your community’s safety. It's not just the laws put into place. It's the people that are enforcing them. Because we have these laws, we need the support. When police and police departments go for funding, they need it in order to be properly trained to protect your community.
And they need to continue to support, speak up and make sure that they get the right people in all those positions to continue to uphold our laws, uphold the law enforcement community, and the training that we need. That would be my biggest message. We need the support. We're dealing with so many issues across the board now like you said, where it's created this little bit of lawlessness. We have mental health crises not just within our community but even with our first responders because of the stressors they're dealing with. And so right now, more than anything, we just need the communities to support and to get involved and speak up and make sure they get the people in place.
Brannon Howse: And community support doesn't mean community policing per se. I hear that term, and everyone thinks, oh, community policing, that's great. That's Barney Fife and Andy Griffith and Mayberry and knowing your police officer and they're working the same beat and getting to know the kids and shooting some hoops with them as they go by and spending some time with them. I'm all for that getting to know the community and maybe having the same ward or whatever. And everybody kind of knows who the officer is, and he knows who to trust. And I'm all for that. But the term community policing means different things to different people.
And I want to make it very clear, when the progressives talk about community policing a lot of the time, what they mean is putting together a community board of Antifa, Black Lives Matter types, Islamic Brotherhood types, you know, mostly police haters putting together a bunch of anarchist types, Marxist types, as I said, on a committee, and then letting them set policy that is community policing by the progressives. We as conservatives need to understand what these words mean, true or false?
Carla Miller: Correct? Community policing has been around for a long time, and it absolutely serves a very good purpose. Those programs do kind of bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement. They let them see what we do. But there is a difference in that sense. Community oversight boards, they have no understanding of our policy of use of force or response to resistance. They don't understand why we do what we do. Many of these people they also are usually in an anti-law enforcement stance, which is why they end up on them. And then they start reviewing cases over officers, like you said, deciding policy, which completely contradicts how we need to do our job effectively.
Brannon Howse: To do your job and to stay alive. And then you wonder why they walk off the job.
Carla Miller: Correct? Yep.
Brannon Howse: Lawenforcementtoday.com. We hope to have you back, Carla. I appreciate all you're doing. And thank you for your service and your service to the law enforcement community. You know, I'm sure you're like me. You look at some of this stuff that breaks in the news, and you see some of it, and you can say that it should have never happened. And that probably is because that guy should have never been a police officer. So, we're not biased in that whatever police officers do, we agree on 100%. No, that's not what I meant. I do notice that some officers do dumb things and act stupidly. And I often think that person should have never been a police officer. Why are they? Because they needed to fill the slot. They were willing to take the job. If you offer them more money, you'll get better candidates. And those kinds of candidates won't ever be on the force. And that's, I guess, my biggest message. Would you agree with that?
Carla Miller: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think it's not just that, but you start lowering standards, and you see such a decrease. I think that I read the statistic, it was like a 63% decrease in law enforcement applications, which we saw ourselves at my police department, and it became harder to get the quality candidates that we held as a standard for our agency. We wanted to have the best of the best, and we found it harder and harder to find people meeting that criterion.
That wanted to do that job because many of them were saying, "Maybe I don't want to do this." And it's unfortunate because then what they thought was a problem with the police is really going to be much greater than it's been. You know, when you have people that don't really care for the job, that maybe don't have the background they should and the training that they should.
Brannon Howse: And the temperament? Because some people just don't have the temperament to be a police officer.
Carla Miller: That's correct.
Brannon Howse: It takes a very special temperament, and someone who is pretty cool-headed and can take insults and not get emotionally involved, right?
Carla Miller: That is correct. You have to separate yourself, especially nowadays.
Brannon Howse: Absolutely. It's a tough job. Lawenforcementtoday.com, look forward to having you back on, Carla.
Carla Miller: Thank you so much.
Brannon Howse: Thank you for joining us. Check out their website. It's a great website, folks. Lawenforcementtoday.com, I checked it out today, which has led to this interview because I saw this article, and I wanted to talk about these issues.