Some of you may remember Deputy Dawg, the lugubrious cartoon character, one of whose signature stunts was to put his revolver in the belly of a cartoon bad guy, announcing, “Ah seldom miss it this range.” And then firing thirty-seven-eleventy rounds. And when the smoke clears, his counterparty is standing unhurt, and Dawg announces: “Dang. Ah missed.”
Turns out there are some real Deputy Dawgs out there. And they’re all running departments.
ITEM: Jim “Missed It by That Much” Manfre
Lee Williams has the story of a gun-shy sheriff in Florida’s Flagler County, who not only can’t hit the broad side of the barn from inside the barn, but also is alleged to have sacked a firearms instructor for refusing to pencil-whip qualification records.
Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre has not qualified for his law enforcement firearms certification, even though he attended an in-service training class two weeks ago.
Manfre’s spokesman said this week the sheriff didn’t seek his certification during the weeklong training session, but one of his former lieutenants — a one-time firearms instructor the sheriff laid off in 2013 — said Manfre has a history of poor performance firing his agency-issued Glock model 17, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol.
Cmdr. Bob Weber said Manfre, who did qualify for certification at least twice during his first term as sheriff more than a decade ago, according to News-Journal archives, is permitted by law to bypass the state-imposed firearm certification for law enforcement officers because he is an elected civilian with legally granted “police powers.”
Shooting to cop qual levels is not hard. Except for some special snowflakes. Asked about it by the press, the Sheriff displayed remarkable courage:
Contacted by phone earlier this week, Manfre declined to answer questions about the issue because he was attending an event organized by the sheriffs association, which was Monday and Tuesday in Jacksonville. He referred all inquiries to [his flack].
OK, so maybe it wasn’t that remarkable, or terribly courageous. But he displayed something. But really, how bad is Manfre? This bad, says his former instructor:
When Manfre earned his firearm certification in 2001 and 2002, the range master was Gregory Weston. A former Marine and certified weapons instructor, Weston said he signed off on Manfre’s certification both times “under a level of duress.”
He said Manfre has “no business” carrying a gun and described him as uncoordinated and careless with the weapon.
“He’s running around with a gun he is not capable of using,” Weston claimed.
There’s a confidence builder for ya.
Turns out, he’s not the only one.
ITEM: “Pistol Pock Patrick” Berarducci
Consider Medina, OH’s police chief, Patrick Berarducci. In at least 2009 and 2011 the chief failed his sidearm qualification. But it’s not like he’s been a cop for a long time — he used to be an ATF executive. It gets better: he was an instructor in “criticial incident management,” and “media relations,” two areas in which ATF serves mostly as a bad example for public agencies. (In case you’re wondering what happened to Deputy Dawg, he’s probably undercover in the Hell’s Kennels with the ATF). But that 2012 story about Berarducci’s inability to hit anything isn’t the end of the story, because in April, 2013 he spectacularly demonstrated his ability to hit something.
Unfortunately, this is what he hit:
Chief Berarducci was holstering his Smith & Wesson .40 caliber Shield handgun when the trigger guard got caught and discharged a round into his upper thigh.
The bullet then exited his upper thigh, resulting in non-life threatening wounds.
Despite that, one of his media pals at the anti-gun Cleveland Plain Dealer describes Berarducci as, we are not making this up, “an expert in handling guns.” We don’t think the word means what the Plain Dealer knob-polisher thinks it means (isn’t he supposed to be an expert in handling words? No wonder he misunderstands “expert”).
Apart from marksmanship fit only for contact range (on his own thigh, no less) Berarducci has also had non-gun problems, like a 2012 suspension for a sexual come-on (what can you expect from a guy who came out of the “Good Ol’ Boys Roundup” era at ATF?).
You’d think the former ATF G-man (and G is not for Genius) would have decided it was time to hang it up, but a recovered Berarducci (who at least had a sense of humor about his predicament, something — besides targets — that the testy Manfre is “missing”) is still on the job in Medina. And is the city’s highest-paid public servant.
But he’s the end of it, right? Er, wrong.
ITEM: Heather “Doin’ it Wrong” Fong
Fong is the former police chief of San Francisco. We saw a story recently at Guns Save Lives about her having gone at least five years without qualification (that’s 10 quals she didn’t even attend) when blowing a few of the semiannual quals is enough to suspend the rank-and-file cops she lords it over. Fong secured a qualification, which may have been pencil-whipped, after the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate website broke the story, but she resigned shortly afterwards. These events happened in 2008 (her non-qual years were at least 2002-2008), and since her April, 2009 retirement she has drawn a roughly $300,000 a year pension. Fong was the first “out” lesbian Chief of the SFPD (NTTAWWT) and her main focus during her years as chief was “opportunity” for transgender cops. Because nothing says, “This person should be a police officer” like a major break with lucidity, sanity and reality.
Now us, we think more of us Napoleons should be cops. N’est-ce pas, Josephine? Same thing, innit?
But wait, that’s just the chiefs who can’t shoot…
And these are a separate problem from the cops who pop one off negligently, the ones who shoot themselves in a botched puppycide, the ones who lose their $#!+ in a road rage incident and pull out their hogleg, the other ones who lose their $#!+ in a road rage, etc., the ones who run over a cyclist in the bike lane while texting (and lie about it) and are “cleared” in a minutes-long “investigation,” the ones who lose their self-control and launch over 10 rounds each at a single suspect from Polish ambush position, a spasm of unthinking, unaimed, contagious fire that hit the suspect several times but sent 20-plus “to whom it may concern” unaimed shots flying in a crowded Wendy’s, also killing a “COPS” TV Show soundman that the trigger-happy cops considered a friend, right up to the moment when they gunned him down. (That’s OK though. Those responsible have been placed on extra vacation, and won’t have to make a statement until they and their lawyers can work up a good story together).
To the extent that they’re not a dead letter, “rights” are for the little people. What cops have are Patents of Nobility.
So what can a cop do to get in trouble? Try shooting a tame elk out of season.