Forty cops are in a classroom, watching recent footage of protesters in San Francisco denouncing the police. “Your children are ashamed of you,” a black woman in the video tells a black officer, who looks away. “Coward!” others shout. A young demonstrator walks up to a cop and sticks out his middle finger. A female officer trips, and the demonstrators laugh.
The volume is way up, and the cops in the room are leaning back in their chairs, crossing their arms, getting tense. Jim Glennon steps to the front of the room and stops the video. Glennon, 59, spent 29 years as an officer in Lombard, a suburb of Chicago, at one point running county homicide investigations. He’s 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, and has the gravelly voice and bearing of the desk sergeant on the 1980s TV show Hill Street Blues who told cops to “be careful out there” before the squad cars rolled. “Welcome to our world,” Glennon says. “It’s as bad as it’s been since the ’60s and ’70s.”
I spent a few days on Whidbey Island this week, visiting my son and his family.
Said son (aka "The Squid Kid") is a Master at Arms in the U.S. Navy. He was recently promoted to E6 (Petty Officer Something ... I never was any good at Navy Ratings, but that's the equivalent of Staff Sgt. in the army) and in part my visit was an opportunity to again tell him how proud I am of his hard-earned promotion.
We had a chance on the last day of my visit to chat in private, without his wife and children listening to our conversation. It was a bit of a letting-down of the hair; shared war stories, and he described many of the training operations he was becoming responsible.