“Ask the Chief” Forum

Comments on Current Events and Questions to the Foundation

Question:  “What are you most proud of in your law enforcement career?”

Answer by Chief Stone:  The answer to this question has absolutely nothing to do with medals or awards or any of that other hero stuff.  In fact, I am most proud of something  for which I have no right to claim any  credit.  It’s simple:  no man or woman under my command ever lost his or her life in the line of duty.  Before I first became a supervisor  and later began rising thru the ranks, I did lose friends who were killed in the line of duty around me .  A lot.  Twenty-one in sixteen years.  The phrase “not on my watch” was a grim determination and focus of my police leadership philosophy.  Every minute, every hour, every day.

Here’s my honor roll of police officer friends loved as family and lost during my time in Dallas:

Badge #1181 Donald P. Tucker, Sr. Thursday, December 13, 1973 Age 40
2831 Leslie G. Lane. Jr. Saturday, March 2, 1974 25
3660 Duane Hallum Thursday, August 21, 1975 29
3532 Alvin E. Moore Saturday, November 13, 1976 26
3641 Robert E. Wood Sunday, November 28, 1976 27
4162 John T. McCarthy Wednesday, February 25, 1981 24
4210 Charles J. Maltese, Jr. Friday, July 31, 1981 23
4545 John R. Pasco Sunday, January 16, 1983 27
1773 Carl J. Norris Wednesday, March 2, 1983 43
4264 Ronald D. Baker Monday, May 2, 1983 24
1599 Robert L. Cormier Tuesday, July 24, 1984 46
R7868 James C. Taylor Tuesday, July 24, 1984 46
4641 Thomas L. Harris Saturday, July 20, 1985 37
4500 Gary R. Blair Thursday, March 20, 1986 30
4949 James A. Joe Thursday, January 14, 1988 34
5231 John G. Chase Saturday, January 23, 1988 25
5508 Gary D. McCarthy Friday, February 26, 1988 33
4994 Walter L. Williams Tuesday, August 2, 1988 47
3166 Lawrence R. Cadena, Sr. Tuesday, December 13, 1988 43
5580 Lisa L. Sandel Friday, January 13, 1989 26
5626 Mark L. Fleming Saturday, January 14, 1989 24

The heroes above were not under my command when they died but I was wearing the same uniform at the time.  In a few cases, I was at the scene and saw things that I would just as soon erase from my memory.

Everyone who has ever been a police officer has had “police dreams.”  I once saw my lost friends in my dreams regularly.  They were always frozen in time.  They never aged a day in my dreams.  Now decades have passed and police dreams don’t haunt me anymore.  I have stopped yelling in my dreams: “Don’t stand in front of the door, Don!” and “Watch his hands, Al!” and “Wear your vest, Robert!” and “Chip, listen to me for once; pay attention to the traffic!” and “Slow down, Tommy!”

So if I became your supervisor or commander or chief and I yelled the same kind of things while we were working together, you can blame me for raising my voice to you.  But you should credit the guys and gals above for being able to go home to your family at the end of each shift.

And, that is what I am most proud of in my police career.

 

Question:  “The Dallas Police Chief appears to be on her way out.  Are you interested in the job?”

Answer by Chief Stone:  I go through this flirtatious dance with the City of Dallas or the executive search firms they hire about every twenty-seven months, which is the average tenure of a major city police chief.  The current chief is not even gone yet and this question has come up again.  Really?  C’mon, let’s show some professional courtesy for someone who has one of the toughest jobs in America.  To answer your question, my leadership philosophy is well known.  I told the present City Manager in Dallas the last time this issue came up that there would be no improvements in the organizational effectiveness of the Dallas Police Department until both the City leadership and the Police command staff learned to “focus on their people.”  People do the job.  Not systems, not processes, not policies, and not more expensive studies by so-called experts who have no real idea how to implement the practical principles of supervision and command.  So, save the 300,000 taxpayer dollars  the current Dallas administration is considering spending for another study about how to fix things in the police department and listen up to the answer for free:  “Focus on your people, focus on your people!, focus on your people!!”  Say that 300,000 times and write it down 300,000 times and maybe this novel idea will finally sink in.  The bottom line is that no one in Dallas government wants to hear that from me or anyone else and until they do, you can count me out.

Question: “I have managed with your help in tracking down where my uncle’s remains might have been buried as an “Unknown” at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.  The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has his dental, they have my DNA, they have an X-Ray and circumstantial evidence. Now how long will I wait for him to be identified?”

Answer by Foundation:  Eleven years from receipt of remains in the DPAA Laboratory to identification is the AVERAGE time, according to their own internal study.

Question:  “What is the worst policy at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) that hurts MIA families?” 

Answer by Foundation:   MIA families tell us that their biggest complaint about DPAA is that the agency refuses to release any specific information about a MIA’s recovery at the time of the agency’s first public announcement of an official identification.   While one family is correctly thrilled to first learn their family member has been identified, the family is not initially told any specific details about the recovery.  DPAA’s policy is to await the conclusion of a meeting with the identified MIA’s family before they provide ANY details of the recovery to anyone.  This policy looks good on paper but the meeting may be months, years, or even NEVER before it occurs.  At the same time, hundreds of other family members whose MIA may have been a candidate for the same set of remains that were identified are left to agonize completely in the dark by DPAA.

Here’s some examples on how the current DPAA policy works in real life:

  1.  In March 2017, DPAA announced that PFC Jack Fox had been accounted for as an “Unknown.”  To this day, DPAA refuses to release exactly which “Unknown” was identified as PFC Fox!  Did all the members of PFC Fox’s family die before a meeting could be scheduled?  We don’t know.  What we do know is that there are currently 394 other MIA families whose own MIA’s are candidates to be the “Unknown” identified as PFC Fox, whichever one he was.  The families tell us they want to know if their own missing hero can be eliminated from the list of possible matches.
  2.   In March 2019, DPAA quietly posted on their web site that Captain Edward Walker  had been identified as  “Unknowns” who were recovered from an American military cemetery in 2017.  The problem is that Captain Walker’s remains had been misidentified in 1946 and these remains were buried in his family plot.  Whose remains were buried as Captain Walker in 1946?  And what “Unknowns” were identified as Captain Walker over a year ago?  We don’t know.  In response to a Foundation request under the Freedom of Information Act,  DPAA illegally refused to release any information about Captain Walker’s case.  What we do know is that a total of 1,090 families of American servicemen are awaiting these answers.

Question:  “What happened to the guy who claimed he was affiliated with one of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s (DPAA) paid contractors who was charged with theft of government materials from the National Archives?”

Answer by Foundation:  He plead guilty in Federal Court and was convicted of misdemeanor theft.  He was sentenced to 18 months supervised probation for the theft conviction and fined $5,000.  According to media reports, the convicted thief and his wife have been banned from the National Archives.  A “non-profit” corporate contractor with whom he claimed affiliation has now been paid over $12 million dollars by DPAA.

HISTORIAN, RESEARCH, & ANALYST AT HISTORY FLIGHT, Inc. – By Linkedin 

VIRGINIA MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING WWII DOG TAGS FROM NATIONAL ARCHIVES – Claims to be historian for DPAA Contractor History Flight, Inc. – By David Aaro, Fox News, January 23, 2020

Question:  “Where does the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation get its research materials?”

Answer by Foundation:  Our Foundation’s research is based on unclassified documents we have lawfully obtained through hundreds of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to various government agencies, two successful Federal civil lawsuits to obtain public records, information provided to us by family members and other researchers, and online research of public records.  Our Foundation’s investigators also do on site research at the National Archives and the National Personnel Records Center where we must pay the Federal government from our limited funds for copies of the materials.

 

As always, thank you for your support!  Don’t hesitate to contact us by using the form below if you have any questions that the Foundation can  answer for you.”

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