Archive for the ‘Chief Scott Silverii’ Category
Arriving into Greensboro, NC’s airport I had no idea or expectation for what awaited me at the 2013 WPA. Stepping off the plane I saw a lady holding a piece of paper with what looked like my name written on it. Since I sit in the last rows when traveling (cop thing) I figured it was for me. Who knew?
Meeting Lee Lofland, Rick McMahan (ATF Agent) and Mike Roche (Secret Service Agent) was like a family reunion for folks who’d never met. The cop fraternity bonds us regardless of being strangers (cop thing). These men were the kindest, most humble professionals I’ve ever met. Who knew?
Lee said the writers would be the most curious and information starved crew I’ll ever present to. Sometimes officers in training are bored and cynical (cop thing). I was inundated with questions. With smart, insightful, knowledgeable, hilarious and challenging questions. Who knew?
I was so nervous before my first presentation; Chiefs v. Sheriffs. Not knowing what to expect from the writers, I could just see my information as being boring or irrelevant to their needs or interests. Both sessions included laughs, great comments, cutting edge questions and inquisitive hands raised. Who knew?
Day 2’s presentations; SWAT – From Let’s Roll to Code 4 was even more nerve wracking. I’ve not seen main characters written as SWAT Operators. Most plots set the SWAT team in the hall ready to roll, as a detective whose short sleeve button down shirt stretches across his broad belly while he kicks in the door with a snub nose revolver in hand. The crime writers were totally energized, and promised to never write the sloppy detective kicking in the door scenario ever again. Who knew?
The “real” VIPS, as Lee let slip in front of Rick, Mike and me (kidding) were entertaining, educational and just amazing. Writing and presenting are two very different skill sets. Mastering both; Dr. Dan Krane, Kathy Reichs and Lisa Gardner were informal, approachable and inspiring. Who knew?
The banquet allowed me an opportunity to continue conversations about writing and ideas and penning passions to paper. It was such a great time and then CJ Lyons asked me to sign my book. Sign my book? I froze. It’s CJ Lyons. I have no pen. I have no idea what to write. She was kind enough to say, “You’ve got till desert time to come up with a pen and autograph line.” Who knew?
I took away an understanding of distinction. The speakers were fantastic, and they are talented celebrities. The writers; those who burn with a passion for understanding policing to memorialize them in story and script are the real VIPs. They were aggressive, inquisitive, razor-sharp on details and tenacious for taking away everything available. SWAT class included talk about a certain tattoo. In joking I responded that it was on my a**. In unison, both classes demanded to see it. Who knew!!!
Leaving on Sunday, I felt a tug at my heart as I said good-bye to Lee and Mike, and several writers I met during the weekend. I came there as a long-time SWAT and chief of police offering information and experiences. I left believing that I too, might just be a writer. Who knew?
I offered my e-mail (email@example.com) at WPA and have been joyously overwhelmed by the communications with so many of the VIPS. I’m enjoying and learning so much from everyone I’ve chatted with. A writer was so kind as to use me as her character base, and promised to make me taller, but she refused to negotiate on giving me less gray hair.
Whatever bit of light I may shine from my experiences, are yours for the asking. The PowerPoints are also still yours for the taking. I only ask for a connect on Twitter and a check out on my blog http://scottsilverii.com
A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant is still available on Amazon, but will (might) go deep undercover once the Taylor & Francis Group (CRC Press) releases Cop Culture: Why Good Cops Go Bad in January 2014.
Lee Lofland willing, I’ll see you at WPA 2014. I might even show ya’ll that tattoo.
I was recently asked to speak at a book reading for the local library to discuss my latest work on cop culture, “A Darker Shade of Blue; From Public Servant to Professional Deviant.”
Unsure of what was expected, I looked for key sections or excerpts that might appeal to the civilian public. One of the selections discussed why cops fail to fit-in with the general civilian population.
I described the enticement of a fringe lifestyle, and the intoxicating draw of society’s margins. Their blank stares quickened my heartbeat and signaled that this first attempt by our community library to feature local authors was going south quickly.
Retooling the chronology of the presentation, I did as any experienced public speaker and supervisor of public servants would do. I lifted the microphone just under my mouth, lowered my voice and howled, “I’m a Sheepdog!”
Since that too did not go well, I launched into an explanation of the significance for a common cop term, “Don’t be sheep.” I’d like to share the same with you, sans the howling.
The police tradition is steeped in symbolism and imagery helping solidify officer ideology and public comprehension. Cops use the term “Sheepdog” to describe their position and role in society. It goes something like this;
The majority of our population is good, honest people who would never intentionally harm another without provocation. They usually flock together and travel in groups to create unique cliques, cultures and societies. Sheep are not genetically predisposed for violence, but inherently desire social clustering.
Sheep desire belonging that involves homogeneity, or a sense of similarity. People tend to draw to those they share things in common. Band members are a unique clique in high school, distance runners are a special culture of athletes, and the free society we enjoy in America allows us to participate in activities such as music and athletics.
Humanity has survived thanks to the innate desire of individuals for banding together. Clustering creates cultures contributing to the proliferation of our species. Though early humans divided as some preferred hunting, while others chose the path of gathering, it was the bond of similarity allowing both cliques to succeed.
People are good, and enjoy the pleasant company of respectfully interacting with others.
The wolves in our society represent the psychopathic victimizers, openly preying upon the peace-seeking sheep. They hunt, stalk and attack because it is their delight and pre-disposition to deliver chaos despite the effect on the larger community of sheep.
Operating in either small packs or as singularly motivated individuals, the wolf has no concern for the well-being or life’s enjoyment shared by others. They do not survive by co-existing within the flock, nor do they respect the social mores, traditions, or values of the flock.
They exist to unsettle, frighten, injure, and kill the sheep. The sheep is defenseless against the direct motivated attack of the wolf. Yet the sheep never lose their ability to combine a collective presence for the overarching benefit of the whole. Even in times of senseless violence.
The sheepdog is a social creature. They are also naturally inclined towards violent attack if provoked. The sheepdog loyally protects the herd, but does not live amongst them. There maintains a separation between the herd and the dog. Sheep are easily disconcerted by the sheepdog’s presence, yet they understand the dog’s presence will not cause harm.
Remaining in the fringe, the sheepdog is poised to respond to the threat or attack by the wolf. When the lone or pack wolves arrive, the sheep cling to each other with an assurance the sheepdog will arrive to save them.
Appearing from the gap, the sheepdog, a usually docile character, becomes aggressive and committed to the safety of the flock. The sheepdog will fight, injure, kill and even sacrifice its own life for the safety of the flock. Even to save just one sheep.
Thwarting the violent assault from a motivated offender, the sheepdog remains unwelcomed and removes itself from the society of the herd. Though selflessly interjected into the fray of violence, there is no expectation of reward, acceptance or inclusion.
Personal sacrifice, hunting the hunters, and maintaining social harmony are the sheepdog’s satisfiers. Exclusion, solitude and misunderstanding are the sheepdog’s sacrifices. The fringe is where the sheepdog remains without even a howl; for that is their duty.
If you hear, say or use the term, “Don’t be sheep,” then you know it does not refer to wearing a wool sweater. This means the warrior mindset requires an objective separation from the collective harmony of society to see the coming threats. This means you must always be prepared to fight the wolf no matter how, when or where it appears. This means even after you’ve laid the wolf or yourself down in the line of duty, the fringe is where you’ll return.
Had my presentation occurred prior to the Boston Marathon bombing, I believe the audience would have remained perplexed. That night, that event and that explanation prompted some to applaud, while the others; you guessed it. Howled!!
Chief of Police Scott Silverii, PhD is passionate about positive change. Over 22 years in policing gives Scott the experience and vision to believe there is always a better way of doing business.
His passion flourished while growing up with a close-knit community in south Louisiana’s heart of Cajun Country.
Scott’s life is seasoned by the Mardi Gras, hurricanes, oil spills, humidity, and crawfish boils. This gumbo of experience serves up a unique perspective in his writing.
But don’t let the smile fool you. Chief Silverii spent 16 years working in policing’s special operations groups (SOG) with years of undercover narcotics and SWAT missions. He has bought dope, banged down doors and busted bad guys. He combines his experiences with academic research designed to bring you the best and most compelling details of what life is like on the other side of the “thin blue line.”
Share Chief Scott Silverii’s vision at http://brightblueline.wordpress.com/
A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant; Policing’s Special Operations Culture sneaks you behind the badge, revealing the mystique of police culture’s “Thin Blue Line.”
Come on-duty, undercover and after hours as Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D. escorts you through a multi-year, cross-country examination into the fraternity of law enforcement.