As much as I think Officer Jeff McEntee ought to be raked over the coals for whatever the events of Black Friday morning turn out to be, another issue has my attention. According to Bob Lonsberry, the official response to one missing kid was 75 officers and a police helicopter. He doesn’t go on to say, but we may presume there were at least several black-and-whites, one or two special vehicles and maybe police dogs?
All this for a kid they found less than two hours later in bed.
Jeff McEntee will have to answer for his actions, soon enough. But can we talk about how completely unnecessary the police response was? I don’t pretend to know police procedure. Could it be that finding a kid in his own home only takes, say, 20 officers? Less?
I’m not seeing a lot of conversation to that effect in the local media. In fact, the D&C quotes the Greece Police Chief, saying that the incident “required a huge amount of manpower.” I call bullshit on the word required.
Back to Lons and his rambling, defensive blog post. He doesn’t question the response for a second. He praises it. And writing about the leaks he received from officers who were at the scene, he offers this self-conflicting claim:
That is a refutation of the belief that cops cover for each other. It is a demonstration of just the opposite, in fact. Each of these officers was willing to risk trouble from bosses in order to make sure the right thing got done.
I think the Rochester Police Department, whose officers thought to search the father’s home, was standup throughout this matter. RPD officers came in force and quickly when summoned. They worked hard and smart and they got the job done. The RPD has nothing to be ashamed of in this matter.
(emphasis mine) Again, I call bullshit. I’ll happily amend my statement if anyone can show me where a missing person call escalated to 75 cops and a helicopter in less than two hours – and critically, before anyone checked the missing person’s bed.
In fact, the whole affair smacks precisely of “cops covering for each other”. Officer Jeff McEntee kid is in trouble, no less than 75 officers from two precincts swarm to over-respond, McEntee turns out to be a drunk-ass dick, his kid is fine, and everybody goes home with no charges. Even with my limited white person interactions with law enforcement, I’m pretty sure I’d end up in the back of a wagon, bound for the Monroe County Bed and Breakfast were it I who misplaced my progeny.
How much did the people of Rochester and Greece pay for this fiasco? And just what is a normal response to a missing person? How does a person lose track of their kid whilst drinking and end up sleeping in his own bed the same night? And for fuck’s sake, why wouldn’t you check the kid’s bed first?