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Detectives Dan and Dave look at effective reform in American policing.

With the backdrop of nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, Detectives Dan and Dave discuss calls for reform in America’s police departments, including the ‘defund the police’ movement.

Behind the Badge is an occasional series of conversations with Small Town Dicks co-hosts, Detective Dan and Detective Dave, about the state of American policing.

Read Transcript

Yeardley: [00:00:09] This episode is part of a series we began on Patreon a few weeks ago called Behind the Badge. In the series, we highlight some of the day-to-day, often unreported, but no less impactful interactions that detectives Dan and Dave have had on the job over the years, ways in which they interact with the citizens of their town where their intention is always to leave a situation in better shape than they found it. This episode marks Chapter 4 in the series, and has Dan and Dave sharing their thoughts on the national conversation to defund the police. Please enjoy Police Reform.


Yeardley: [00:00:54] Hey, Small Town Fam. How are you? Where in the world are you? We’d love to hear from you. So, feel free to hit us up on our social medias. I am very pleased that today, I have the usual suspects sitting across from me, otherwise known as the Dream Team. I have Detective Dan.

Dan: [00:01:14] Hello.

Yeardley: [00:01:15] And I have Detective Dave.

Dave: [00:01:16] Yeardley, Daniel, greetings.

Yeardley: [00:01:19] [giggling] Greetings. Detective Dave, which really is your stage name because you’ve been promoted to sergeant, but we have a lot of Daves and we already have a Sergeant Dave, so–

Dan: [00:01:29] He’s not my sergeant.

Yeardley: [00:01:31] [laughs] He’s not actually anymore. But you have a new position as sergeant. And I think it’s really interesting and little known to those of us who aren’t in law enforcement, what that position is. I wonder if you would talk about that.

Dave: [00:01:47] Typically, at least in our police department, when you’re promoted to sergeant, you’re going to roll out of whatever position you’re in at the time. So, for me, I was a detective, you roll back to patrol to basically cut your T’s and earn your stripes.

Yeardley: [00:02:04] And that means that you’re managing a patrol shift, patrol officers.

Dave: [00:02:08] Correct. At our department, they’re called watch commanders, they’re sergeants, patrol sergeants and you are in charge of a shift of people. We have 12-hour shifts that are departments. So, there’s either the day watch or the night watch. So, you’re going to be a surgeon for a team of patrol officers. Especially if you’re on graveyard, working overnight, you are the man in the department, and if you’re a female sergeant, then you are the woman, you’re in charge, because the chief’s at home in bed, and all lieutenants are at their houses. And it’s just you and the dispatchers and your team of patrol officers.

Yeardley: [00:02:45] A patrol officer would call their sergeant if they, say, roll up on a suspicious death or anything that they can’t handle just right there and then?

Dave: [00:02:55] Right. You’re supervising, you are giving approvals. We have certain policies that say, I’ve got a person in mental health crisis, and they have wandered 20 blocks from their house. To solve that problem, if they are refusing certain services, like going to the hospital just for a mental eval or meeting with– we have a team of mental health counselors and specialists that we have that address kind of the non-police-type calls, people in crisis, people with addiction. That way, we’re not sending police to certain calls that we have no business being at.

Yeardley: [00:03:35] Right, that aren’t your specialty.

Dave: [00:03:36] Right. We don’t need a hammer for this call, don’t send the police. It’s just not a police call. So, we have people who are really specialized, and they deal with that, and they are wonderful. And that is the way I believe policing is going in today’s climate. They’re immensely valuable to what we do out here in our community. If an officer wants to transport this person who’s in crisis back to their house or to a certain address, they have to ask for permission because we have a policy about putting people in the back of our car to transport them to their home. So, they would say, “Hey, are you okay with me taking this person home to resolve this?” “Absolutely.” I never say no.

Dan: [00:04:19] It’s just checking a box for the patrol officer too.

Dave: [00:04:21] Right. In other situations, I’m a mandatory reporter to command staff for certain incidents. Like, if we are in a crash and we injure a citizen, I’ve got to go up the chain to report that to my commanders and command staff. Basically, we’re there to be a part of the team, but also to make some policy.

Yeardley: [00:04:43] You’re the leader of the team.

Dave: [00:04:45] Yeah, you’re making decisions when to call the detectives in. Those types of things.

Dan: [00:04:49] You kind of have a higher 50,000-foot view of what’s going on and you have to keep the big picture in mind type thing.

Dave: [00:04:57] So, you’re in charge of these people, you’re in charge of discipline. Somebody violates a policy or does something that exposes us to liability, I can give him a counseling session, I can give him oral reprimand, a written reprimand, we can recommend suspension, that type of thing. So, progressive discipline that begins with the sergeant. When George got promoted to lieutenant, it opened a spot for me, which is professional standards, in which that office is in charge of hiring, recruiting new police candidates, background investigations, internal investigations for police officer and/or staff misconduct. I pick out the trainings that we provide our officers and staff.

Yeardley: [00:05:41] And what are those?

Dave: [00:05:44] Each year, you have certain maintenance trainings, like first aid CPR. You have other requirements through our Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, that they require X amount of hours every three years that you have in this category of police work. So, use of force, mental health, case law updates, there’s all kinds of things that you have to check boxes and earn continuing education credit. It’s ongoing throughout your career. If you let these things lapse, then you lose your certification. So, it’s incredibly important to stay on top of these things. We’ve already provided these trainings, for de-escalation, but we really need to hammer that home. It’s really important right now that everyone is on the same page, police work wise, that de-escalation, minimizing use of force, use the minimum amount of force required to overcome suspect resistance in a lawful manner, providing suspects in medical distress with medical care as soon as possible. They’re in custody, they have a medical event. It’s not my job to do the medical evaluation. It’s my job to make sure that you’re in a position that you’re cared for, and that we summon medics in a timely fashion and get them to you or you to them, depending on the location.

[00:07:08] So, lots of responsibility that we have. Among that is this push, it’s not just recent, it’s a decade or two old that there’s been this push towards community-oriented policing. I first learned about community-oriented policing when I was in college in the early 90s. When you’re in these police theory classes, you learn about kind of the grandfathers of police work. One of them is Robert Peel, who’s English and dates back to the 1820s. And he is the person who established the Metropolitan PD in London. The bobbies, Robert Peel, Bobby.

Yeardley: [00:07:50] Oh, I see. [chuckles]

Dave: [00:07:52] They’re also called peelers.

Yeardley: [00:07:53] Really?

Dave: [00:07:54] Yeah. So, he established these principles of policing, and he has nine of them. I remember his basic philosophy from those college classes, it had a lot of traction with me. I was like, “That makes sense.”

Yeardley: [00:08:07] And why were you taking a police theory course in college?

Dave: [00:08:10] I was a criminal justice major initially. Based on the schools that I transferred to if they didn’t have a true criminal justice major, you had to change it to either behavior science, or criminology or something like that, but really its criminal justice degree program. So, I remember studying Robert Peel in college and Jeremy Bentham, he was the father of what’s called the hedonistic calculus. The hedonistic calculus is basically people who crave pleasure will do things that allow them to experience pleasure. People who don’t crave pleasure or crave pleasure but don’t care about the consequences, will tend to commit crimes. So, if you really want your life to be squared away, and okay, and you’re not always worried and stressed that you’re going to get in trouble, that you’re going to do things that tend to create those types of opportunities for you.

Yeardley: [00:09:05] Okay, let me just make sure I understand the principle. Let’s say, I see a bracelet I like in a store. I check to see that I have enough money to buy it, and I do and I go in and get it. But the hedonistic calculus suggests that there are other people out there who see the same bracelet and decide it will be theirs, whether they have the money to buy it or not, because the risk of getting caught is a minor factor in their decision-making process. Is that sort of the general principle?

Dave: [00:09:37] Yes. If you’re more of an immediate gratification type person that you don’t think about long term consequences, that you don’t think, “If I do this, and they catch me in an hour, what does that equal on the back end as far as a sentence?” Those people tend to commit crimes, to not thinking down the road long term, “How does this benefit my life?” So, you either choose one or the other, you are the master of your own will and you have a choice in each situation. Now, certainly with mental health issues, the argument can be made that those people aren’t criminally liable for the decisions they make.

[00:10:16] I remember Robert Peel’s principles, I was like, “This makes a lot of sense to me.” And the basic gist of Robert Peel’s principles is, “The police are the public and the public are the police. The police are made up of citizens. And those are citizens with police powers, who are also taken care of normal citizens. There’s no difference, except that you are granted all these powers.” The biggest of these nine principles to me is number two. “To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions, and behavior and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect, that we are involved in a social contract.” You the citizen, Yeardley, me, the police, that I exist with your consent.

Yeardley: [00:11:11] Sort of at my pleasure.

Dave: [00:11:13] At your pleasure. You as a citizen can say, “You abused my trust, you broke the bond. And now, I no longer consent to that type of responsibility that I’ve given you. You don’t get it anymore.”

Yeardley: [00:11:24] It’s an agreement.

Dave: [00:11:25] It is. And I guess my frustration with this is I don’t understand how police officers don’t see it my way. [laughs]

Yeardley: [00:11:34] It seems fairly obvious, right?

Dave: [00:11:36] It seems obvious to me that we should be doing what’s for the greater good. I can’t simplify it more than that.

Yeardley: [00:11:43] Sure.

Dave: [00:11:44] Here’s another one. “To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public cooperation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order. And to use only the minimum degree of physical force, which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.”

Yeardley: [00:12:05] And that was from Peel in 1820s.

Dan: [00:12:07] That’s still the standard.

Yeardley: [00:12:09] Yes. Both of you have always said, and all the detectives have always said, “It’s a sales job, first.”

Dan: [00:12:15] It is.

Dave: [00:12:16] “To prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.”

Yeardley: [00:12:24] What does that mean?

Dave: [00:12:25] To me, that means let’s be the least invasive we can.

Yeardley: [00:12:29] For the greatest effect.

Dan: [00:12:31] Right. We don’t want the police to be a military force. We’re enforcement but let’s make sure that what we’re enforcing is, the juice is worth the squeeze.

Dave: [00:12:41] Right. I mean we have some laws right now that I’m just like, “Why is that a law? Why are we enforcing that?” It’s kind of how we used to feel about marijuana laws around here. And I see videos in other parts of the country where like you’ve got marijuana and I’m looking at it and it’s just like a little nugget, a little bud. I’m like, “That’s a felony in that state?” Holy shit. Like, you can have an ounce of it out here, and it’s nothing. So, why are we enforcing that?

Yeardley: [00:13:12] Don’t we have bigger fish to fry?

Dave: [00:13:13] Right. We’ve got enough stuff on our plate. Some people from those areas are going to listen to me be like, “That hippie cop, Detective Dave.”

Yeardley: [00:13:21] [chuckles] If they only knew you. [laughs]

Dave: [00:13:25] “Marijuana is a scheduled drug. That’s a felony.” To me, it’s alcohol. You’ve got four sips of beer in that can of Budweiser, that’s a felony. That’s what it means to me when somebody has got like a little bag of weed. I’m just like, “Really? Why don’t you just pour it out?”

Dan: [00:13:41] It’s the devil’s lettuce.

Yeardley: [00:13:43] The devil’s lettuce.

Dave: [00:13:44] And it goes into this kind of push nowadays called “procedural justice.”

Yeardley: [00:13:49] Is this another one of Robert Peel’s nine principles?

Dave: [00:13:53] Yeah. That what the police are doing is legitimate, that I’m providing you with a legitimate service, that the actions and decisions that I make as a police officer are legitimate in the eyes of the public. The minute the public goes, “That’s bullshit. Why is he doing that? That’s not for the greater good. That doesn’t make society better.” The minute we do that, now we get this corrosion of trust. You think about what’s going on right now?

Yeardley: [00:14:21] Pretty corrosive.

Dave: [00:14:22] Yeah. We’ve got some issues. That’s my view on police work right now, is we are bound to see changes in how police departments are chartered in their communities. What they can do and what they can’t do, what the public expects of us, and what they want to give to other agencies. Right now, the police wear a lot of hats. When I say that we’re not the right tool for every job, we truly are not the right tool for every job, but we get called for it. When we talk about the power went out and they call the police, that’s just a microcosm of the types of things that the public says, “Well, the police need to fix this.” I’m not the power company. We’ve been called for a fire. I’m like, “Well, there is a fire department. Why’d you call the police?” “Well, it’s the first thing I thought of.” We get that a lot. We get that in parenting situations, and I’m not kidding, “My five-year-old is out of control,” and they call the police.

Yeardley: [00:15:21] Wow.

Dave: [00:15:22] And we are called in to handle that situation. I remember one call, specifically, it was to an apartment complex that we had lots of problems at, I’d never been to this particular apartment or dealt with this particular family. But it was an eight-year-old that was out of control, and mom was begging for the police to come and handle it. And I got there, and the whole family, multiple kids, aunts and uncles, they’re outside. It was a Sunday. They had some sort of family function. And the whole family was outside, and I was like, “Where’s kiddo?” And they’re like, “He ran us all out of the house. He’s in the apartment.”

Yeardley: [00:15:54] Oh.

Dave: [00:15:55] I was like, “He’s by himself? “Yeah.” “Does he have a weapon?” “No, he’s just out of control.” “Okay.” So, I opened the door, it’s where you’re like, “Where’s the rabid dog? Is he hiding? Where’s he coming from?”

Dan: [00:16:10] I’m thinking of Monty Python. It’s like, “You mean that? It’s just an itty-bitty bunny.” “I know but he’s got fangs.”


Dave: [00:16:20] I remember going and I sheepishly open this apartment door, and they’re like, “Be careful.” I felt like I was getting punked. “What am I walking into?” I walk in, and of course, he’s in the last room in the whole apartment that I check, and he’s standing on his bed, which is positioned in the corner. And he’s facing me, he’s got his hands out, kind of like in a low wrestler stance. And he goes, “Argh,” and sprints right at me. And he’s flailing his arms, and he just runs right at me like he’s going to tackle me. I just scooped him up, like picking up a kiddo that you’re tossing in the air, like, “Hey, little guy. Come here, little fella.” I just threw him back on the bed. And he got up again and did the same thing. I threw him on the bed, and then I just put my hand on his chest and held him down. I remember his mom and his aunt had walked in behind me, and they saw the second where I put him down, and they’re like, “You can’t do that.”

Yeardley: [00:17:19] [gasps]

Dave: [00:17:19] I said, “Well, he can punch on you guys, but I’m not going to let some little kid punch on me. He’s right at the height where my toolbelt connects. I’m not taking punches there.” I just couldn’t believe, I’m like, “Why do you even call me? I didn’t abuse this kid. But I’m also not going to let him just throw punches and hit me. So, I’m just holding him down. What does it take to calm him down?” I just told the guy, I’m like, “Just breathe, man. Just breathe.” He’s like, [panting], he’s out of control, and these people were upset that I put my hands on their kid. I don’t know what you expected from me. Why are you sending the police to calls like that? I’ve always remembered that, and I was like, “I was stupid. I shouldn’t ever even gone in there.” I’d been like, he’s eight, he didn’t assault anybody with a knife, put the knives away, put any weapons away. Make him sit in his room until it cools off. Why are we going to calls like that?” My point is, we’re putting the police in a lot of situations that we are ill equipped or shouldn’t even be involved with.

[00:18:19] And with that comes a lot of liability. With that comes a lot of scrutiny when we screw it up or we handle it in a way that the public is like, “I didn’t approve of that.” You’re asking the police to go to calls that we have no business handling. We’re supposed to be investigating crime, and protecting and serving. To maintain legitimacy and the trust of the public we serve, we have to do it the right way, for the right reasons, with the right people, with the right outcome. That’s how we should be judged.

Dave: [00:19:03] Peel talks about, you can’t judge police by the amount of arrests they make. That’s the wrong metric, that we shouldn’t be judging by the police arrested this many people. The measure of quality society is a lack of crime, and to what degree you’re there. That if you live in a relatively free of crime area, that there seems to be some cooperation between the public and the police, that a lot of situations can police themselves. In situations where you do have public trust, the public has come out and been like, “I know that officer, and he’s a good man,” and they protect the police officer, because they recognize that it’s the citizen who is in the wrong. That’s the relationship we want, that we have evenly, objectively, and impartially applied the law and used our discretion on when to take enforcement action, so much so that the public says, “Those cops are doing it right. And we consent to them having their power. If they’re in this fight right now, it must be that citizen’s problem, not the police officers, they have our trust.” That’s what we need.

Yeardley: [00:20:14] Yeah. I know one of the things that we’ve talked about recently, in which I didn’t know was, all police officers agree to uphold the Constitution when you take your oath. But there is, I think I remember hearing there were 4000 different agencies in the country.

Dave: [00:20:32] There’s at least that I’m guessing.

Dan: [00:20:34] I don’t know how many exactly, there are thousands.

Yeardley: [00:20:36] Yeah.

Dave: [00:20:37] We’ve got almost a million police officers.

Yeardley: [00:20:39] Of the many thousands of police agencies there are, they sort of operate as separate pods. You operate at the instruction and at the behest of your specific command staff. From one town to the next, there might be a different sort of ethos, even though the one commonality is defend the constitution. And beyond that, there’s quite a bit of diversity in the way things work, which is unlike the military. The military is sort of, “This is how we do it–“

Dave: [00:21:10] Uniform protocols and procedures.

Yeardley: [00:21:12] Exactly. So, you guys have similar titles, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Captain.

Dan: [00:21:19] Our structure is military.

Yeardley: [00:21:21] Yes, but your instruction is not that uniform.

Dave: [00:21:27] Well, there are certain areas where we’re on the same sheet of music as every other agency within our state, because we’re bound to public safety standards agency that monitors all of our certifications. So, we have to be on the same sheet of music to a degree, but there’s layers to that. I’ve been to your house in Los Angeles, Yeardley. And I’ve been to some of the nastiest houses in my community. When I go in and do a welfare check on a family or kids based on a living situation, what might be below community standards in your area are going to be different than the community standards in my community. With that, also is community standards of what the public, what our voters expect of us. In my city, we have a jail that handles misdemeanor offenders. Across the river, in our sister city, they don’t have a municipal jail. They rent beds from us, and they tend to send us their biggest frequent fliers that are causing the most havoc in their community, but they come over to our jail. So, we handle them as part of a contracted set number of beds that our sister city has bought from us.

[00:22:46] But the standards of conduct and the political climate on the other side of the river is different than our town and it’s undeniable. The police on that side of the river, they’re in a very difficult spot, and I recognize that. They just have a different community, and they’re under enormous amount of scrutiny. Recently, they had graffiti all over their building. It does not look like what you would expect to see a police station to look like. But it had to be done so to prevent that police station from having all of its windows broken out.

Yeardley: [00:23:21] Right. I drove by it. And for our listeners, the police department put plywood over all the windows to keep them from getting broken during the recent protests. It doesn’t look like a police station. It literally looks like an abandoned warehouse.

Dave: [00:23:37] Yeah. In our city, the expectation is that that’s not going to happen.

Yeardley: [00:23:43] I think it’s just a really good and interesting point that even right across the river, they have a different way of policing because of what the community wants and demands. Back to your original point about Peel, and how the police are part of the community and the community are part of the police, is that there has to be that mutual trust and respect in order for that relationship to function well.

Dave: [00:24:09] Right. That’s why I say it’s a social contract, that is constantly evolving.

Yeardley: [00:24:15] Right. And you think about cities in the middle of the country are different from cities on the East Coast, the West Coast, the North, the South, that really is quite individual.

Dan: [00:24:25] Here’s just a small example of what’s different between where Dave and I work, our region of the country and one of our guests yesterday. We were talking about the drug culture where he works versus where we are. He said, “Well, we don’t see a lot of money around meth. We do see meth, but it’s shaker bottle meth,” and it’s a term that is used. They basically cook meth.

Dave: [00:24:50] Home cooks.

Dan: [00:24:50] Home meth cooks cook meth in a two-liter Coke bottle and they shake it up and it eventually, the chemicals turn into meth. Where Dave and I are, all the meth is cartel meth. It all comes from Mexico. Every now and then you might see a little shaker, but wherever there’s meth, the cartel meth, there’s money, and a lot of it, and we’ve encountered a lot of it here. That’s the difference.

Yeardley: [00:25:18] You mean, as an example of the difference between departments, locations, what they deal with, what you all deal with?

Dan: [00:25:25] Yes. Every law enforcement agency is going to have their own issues that they’re dealing with. Some of them are internal, and some of them are problems that they’ve got out in their neighborhoods in their cities that are the majority of the crime that they’re dealing with. Every place is different. What I’m actually excited about with having my brother being in the professional standards assignment that he’s got, is he really has an opportunity to shape for the next 5, 10, 15 years, what this department can look like, with the way you guys hire people, their training, the type of officers that are being recruited. And let’s be honest, nobody wants to be a cop right now. Cops are leaving police work in huge numbers right now. It’s been difficult over the last decade or so to get qualified candidates to be police officers. We don’t want the wrong people. We don’t want people who have this huge chip on their shoulder becoming police officers, because I think we recognize what they do when they’re out there and they’re put in stressful situations, and they make bad decisions.

[00:26:39] So, we need good candidates and people who want to help and be part of a change. Dave says, “Change is inevitable.” I recognize that. I think all police officers should recognize that. And if you’re holding on to this old notion of what police work looks like, you’re missing the boat. You better get on the train.

Dave: [00:26:58] If you don’t recognize the change is coming, you are in denial, or, I think it’s an intelligence issue also. You need to recognize the winds of change are blowing and it’s coming, and you’re either going to be ready for it and willing to accept that life is changing for law enforcement. Or maybe it’s just time to find a new job.

Dan: [00:27:21] You’ve got to evolve.

Yeardley: [00:27:22] Right. And why not assume that the change will be for the better? Why does change necessarily have a negative connotation?

Dave: [00:27:28] Right. When you hear this defund police, I’ve heard from some people were like, “Dismantle the police.” I think that’s untenable, [chuckles] that’s unrealistic.

Yeardley: [00:27:39] Again, what happens if somebody in your family’s injured, shot and who are you going to call?

Dave: [00:27:44] Well, the joke now is, where are the uniformed counselors? [chuckles] The truth is, they would never go to that situation in the first place, because they are not equipped, where firefighters and cops are the types who run towards danger. I can’t imagine that there’s this other cadre of citizens out there who are uniformed counselors like, “I also run to the danger.” I’m sure they’re out there. But there’s not this huge group of people that are saying, “Hey, I’ll run to the gunfire. Give me my counselor keycard, and my verbal Judo skills.” To get rid of the police is completely unrealistic.

[00:28:28] To hand off some of the responsibilities that we are requiring the fire department, specifically paramedics, and police officers to respond to. I’m all for it. If you’re going to take some money away from us and give it to another agency so they can handle all those responsibilities that have just by default been dropped in first responders’ laps, go ahead, take it. Currently, we have police and fire resources responding to calls that, honestly, we don’t really have any business responding to. Certainly, these people need help, and they need assistance and they need to get to a medical facility. But we’re taking ambulances and medics off the streets to handle something that could have been accomplished with a taxi ride.

Dan: [00:29:15] Especially under COVID too, now you’ve got to disinfect the whole thing. I mean that ambulance is not available for over an hour, and it could have been used for another emergency. Especially, Dave and I both saw this, when opiates crept back into the cities, heroin was still used years ago, but it didn’t flood cities like it has in the last 10-15 years where people start on opiate pills, hydrocodone, oxy.

Yeardley: [00:29:43] Like prescription pills.

Dan: [00:29:45] Prescription, yeah. The course of this addiction and how it takes over your life, it happens very quickly, and it’s terrible. These people become addicts because they were taking prescription medications for legitimate reasons. They became addicted. At some point, the doctor cuts them off for their pain medications, and the withdrawals from these drugs are terrible. These poor people now have to find other ways to get their pills. A lot of times, that’s going to the street. Well, the problem with the street pills is they’re extremely expensive, and people quickly run out of money. So, the only way to avoid these withdrawals is to now switch to heroin. Heroin is easy to come by. It’s everywhere. It’s cheaper, and it’s an opiate. A lot of times, they’re just taking the drug to avoid withdrawals, because these withdrawals are so terrible, people feel like they’re dying.

[00:30:40] Sometimes that’s calling an ambulance and having an ambulance come pick them up at their house to take them to the emergency room so they can get medications to avoid these withdrawals. At times, it overwhelms the system. There have been times where we have run out of ambulances.

Yeardley: [00:30:58] Really?

Dan: [00:30:59] Yes, to take people to the emergency room because of these other factors. I think a lot of people aren’t aware of that, that this is a reality. If we can find some other services that people who are battling these strong addictions that just grab ahold of you and start ringing the life out of you, if we have services that we can put money into–

Yeardley: [00:31:23] Who are way better equipped to serve that need.

Dan: [00:31:26] Yes, that are specialized in dealing with addiction and rehabilitation. That’s the ultimate goal, is the rehabilitation, that these folks are able to find some help, that something clicks in them, and they’re ready to heal, and they’re ready to get better. That’s what we want. Police are completely fine with you defunding us and taking that money and putting it in more suitable places, because we’re not the right tool for the job. We recognize that.

Dave: [00:31:55] Take that money and put it in services that can address addiction, can address problems with the homeless. People sleeping out on the street when it’s 30 degrees outside, it’s terrible that in our country that that happens. But a lot of it has to do with mental illness, a lot of it has to do with addiction. So, if we can redirect services to those people, I think it’s great for the whole community, not only the police department, but the people who are directly affected by it.

Dave: [00:32:25] Yeah, you’re not going to get a ton of argument from police saying, “Oh, you guys want to take that away from us? We’re on board.” We’re just not the right tool for all this stuff that we’re getting assigned to us.

Yeardley: [00:32:37] Your passion and your thoughtful responses about wanting positive change in policing really, really shines through. I think it’s very meaningful, especially in these troubled times. So, thank you. I feel your hearts are in the right place, and that really comes through.

Dave: [00:32:59] Thank you.

Dan: [00:33:00] Thank you. I would love for people to understand that all cops are human beings, and we’re all different. I know it’s easy right now to paint all the police with the same broad brush. It’s hard to know what’s in my heart. This platform allows me to communicate some of that, and I know what’s in Dave’s heart.

Dave: [00:33:21] All of our guests.

Dan: [00:33:20] All of our guests. That’s why we pick the guests that we pick because it’s important to Dave and I that police officers care because that’s our experience.

Yeardley: [00:33:30] Right. You guys vet all of the guests and you vet the cases. Though this podcast was not created to shine a light on really excellent police work, it has been a place where you can hear about great police work where men and women are doing it the right way.

Dan: [00:33:45] I think some of the best compliments that I’ve seen are when people have reached out to Dave and I, that work in law enforcement, and have told us that things that we’ve said on the podcast have affected their careers and made them aware of some things that maybe they weren’t great at, or reinforced some things that they were doing. I’m not perfect, I’ve said it a million times. I know Dave’s not perfect. We genuinely do try to do the best job that we can and help people, and that’s just matter of fact. It’s true.

Yeardley: [00:34:19] Right. Well, there you have it, Small Town Fam. A rare, super deep dive behind-the-scenes look at what two of our favorite detectives think and feel about how to improve policing in their community. And the conversation continues with our next Behind the Badge episode called Training Days. It’s available right now on the main Small Town Dicks feed wherever you like to listen. We’ll see you there.

Dave: [00:34:47] Ciao, baby.

[Small Town Dicks theme]

Yeardley: [00:34:51] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Gary Scott and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor and the Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. And our books are cooked and catch wrangled by Ben Cornwell.

Dan: [00:35:19] If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show, visit us on our website at, and join the Small Town Fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @smalltowndicks. We love hearing from you.

Dave: [00:35:35] And if you support us on Patreon, your subscription will give you access to exclusive content and merchandise that isn’t available anywhere else. Go to

Yeardley: [00:35:46] That’s right. Your subscription also makes it possible for us to keep going to small towns across the country.

Dan: [00:35:53] In search of the finest-

Dave: [00:35:54] -rare-

Dan: [00:35:55] -true crime cases told as always by the detectives who investigated them.

Dave: [00:35:59] So, thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.

Yeardley: [00:36:02] Nobody’s better than you.