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, 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: The best we can do to answer your question without interjecting personal opinions is to explain what the Foundation is told by MIA families about one of their biggest complaints.
DPAA refuses to release any specific information about a MIA’s recovery at the time of their first public announcement of the 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:
- 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.
- In March 2019, DPAA quietly posted on their web site that Captain Edward Walker had been identified as an “Unknown” who was 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 “Unknown” was identified as Captain Walker almost a year ago? We don’t know. What we do know is that a total of 1,090 families of American servicemen are awaiting these answers.
- In December 2019, 2nd Lieutenant George Johnson was announced by DPAA as “accounted for.” No details were released about his recovery and all requests for information to DPAA have been refused. The problem is that Lieutenant Johnson was widely thought to have been lost in an aircraft crash at sea and other members of his crew remain missing. We think he was mis-identified and buried as another casualty but we don’t know for sure. What we do know is almost 400 other families of MIA’s who were lost in the same general area are anxious to know how Lieutenant Johnson’s recovery affects their own cases.
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.
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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