L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 921, May 7, 2017
Law Enforcement Arrogance in Detroit
by Frank Ney
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Detroit Police Chief James Craig has an attitude problem endemic in law enforcement generally: one of entitlement.
Last Sunday, one of his officers was shot in the head. You expect such things in Detroit. The officer was treated by EMS and taken to one of the city’s trauma centers. At last report the officer is still critical.
On Tuesday, Craig gets in the news by complaining that his officer should have gone to the nearest trauma center, instead of the one that was ultimately used. [LINK TO STORY] He claims he’s not willing to point a finger, but it is clear to me he’s laying the ground-work to hang the ambulance crew for making a decision he doesn’t agree with. If this officer dies, he may just have the juice to do it to send a message to all city EMS workers and trauma teams.
The message is this: I don’t care about your procedures. I don’t care if the nearest hospital is over capacity. My officers are better than anyone in the city, and they will be treated ahead of everyone else. If that means another patient is dragged into the corridor to die so that my officer lives, that’s what happens. Anything else will be viewed as the wrongful death of a police officer and I will act accordingly.
That’s not how this works, Craig. That’s not how any of this works. And if you actually had any form of EMS certification (you don’t) you would know this.
There are a lot of factors that go into a transport determination and I’m not going to get into a lecture on them. Any idiot can Google “Golden Hour” and “Platinum 10 minutes”. Suffice it to say there are general criteria that all EMS learns in training and then learns the specific protocols for the area they serve. These decisions aren’t made in a vacuum. An experienced committee from all levels and services has spent years ironing out the protocols for the city of Detroit. Plus, ambulances have radios, they can talk to medical control at a trauma center and they can learn about conditions at that trauma center and probably all the others as well.
I don’t have full information on the actual situation that existed in Detroit that Sunday, however I can make a few educated guesses. I suspect that of the three trauma centers named in the news report, the one that was ultimately used was the one that had a neurosurgical team that wasn’t already committed and had a trauma bed/team available. This makes a difference. An extra ten minutes driving to a facility that can treat your patient on arrival is a lot better than waiting 30 minutes for a team to free up, or get told that they can’t be treated and you have to go to that other hospital anyway. From the standpoint of patient care, there is no difference between a Level 1 and a Level 2 trauma center: the staff and equipment are equivalent.
But none of this matters to Chief Craig. All he sees is that one of his officers was not given the deference and priority he believes they deserve by virtue of the badge and uniform. Someone Will Pay For This Lese-Majesty. Someone Will Pay More For This Regicide.
Arrogance and Entitlement. Someone had it long before Black Lives Matter.
If Chief Craig really believes his officers are entitled to better trauma care than the scum of Detroit, how about he spends some of that budget to create his own personal trauma center exclusively for his officers? I'll bet that would go over really well with the taxpayers. I'd just LOVE to see the Certificate of Need.
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