“Ask the Chief” Forum

Comments on Current Events and Questions to the Foundation

Question:  “I just saw the story about another mass shooting in America.  This time in a city where you were once the chief, Hollywood, Florida.  What can we do about all the mass shootings in America?  The American public is overwhelmingly demanding action now but the politicians appear powerless to agree on a solution.  Statistically, not a day goes by that we do not have another mass shooting in America.  We are becoming numb to school shootings and senseless massacres.  Individuals on both sides of the gun control debate all agree that the systems, processes and laws we currently have to put the 2nd Amendment into practical application appear to be broken.  What needs to be done?

Answer by Chief Stone:  It seems to me that our political leaders are paralyzed into inaction on this complex issue by their own inability to listen to each other and even the American public.  They are stupidly searching for the ONE magic solution that will make everybody, including voters, lobbyists, and donors, happy.  Well guess what?  It doesn’t exist!

Below is an essay originally written in April 2021.  Like our political leaders, I have pondered and procrastinated on the publication of the essay in the hope that someone a lot smarter than me and with more influence would stumble onto the tenets as a way forward.  And, of course, I didn’t want to offend my friends who have strong feelings on both sides of the issue.

But, as the essay states…”enough is enough.”  We all need the courage to do something!

Revising the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934

  April 24, 2021

Constitution of the United States of America 1789 – Amendment II

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That’s it. The Founding Fathers gave us nothing further in the Constitution to help interpret what these 27 words mean.  Historians have postulated that James Madison was the author of this amendment and intended that citizens should be able to protect themselves against a future tyrannical government and any other threat to their wellbeing or personal freedom.  No one really knows for sure.  All we know is that the 2nd Amendment was ratified in 1791 and Americans have been arguing its intent ever since.

I am not a lawyer and have never played one on TV.  I have spent most of my life implementing the practical applications of our local, state, and federal statutes as a member of law enforcement agencies in three different states.  And, when I wasn’t doing that, I was a professional historian with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy.  Let me also just say that I have owned firearms all my adult life and have been a competitive and recreational shooter and firearms instructor.  So, I hope my credentials and my experiences may provide a unique perspective.

Most rational pro-gunners (PGs) want more freedom to acquire, carry and openly display weapons.  PGs often espouse what they call “Constitutional Carry”, believing the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that right.  PGs argue that we should enforce the laws we already have on the books without the necessity of more laws being passed

Most rational anti-gunners (AGs) want more restrictive laws and the enforcement capability to limit acquisition, carrying, and display of weapons.  AGs especially want to ban what they call “Assault Weapons”, believing there is no place in modern society for weapons designed for the military battlefield.

To my friends who are PGs I say you are right.

To my friends who are AGs I say you are right.

Every rational person can agree that whoever wrote the 2nd Amendment intended to give American citizens the right to own a firearm but did the Founding Fathers intend for citizens to also own weapons capable of inflicting mass casualties?  During the Revolutionary War, lighted fuse grenades tossed by “grenadiers” and cannons that fired a projectile weighing up to 18 pounds were in use.

Does that mean we should be able to go into as hardware store today and buy a modern howitzer?  Or can we just step up to the counter and purchase a case of fragmentation grenades like we do a case of bug spray?

To both my PG and AG friends, I say that you should ponder this statement:

“There’s a reason why you can’t go into a sporting goods store and buy a flamethrower.”

No matter what reason you chose in your own mind for this truism, every rational person can agree that even the 2nd Amendment must have limitations and our current laws already include such curbs.  Let’s see what history can tell us about our country’s efforts to set logical limits on firearms.  In effect, Americans have accepted infringements to the right to “keep and bear arms” since the ink was dry on the 2nd Amendment.

Perhaps the best example of how Congress has attempted to set limitations on firearm ownership is the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.  The law has been amended and added to many times over the years.  The NFA was passed during the Great Depression in response to gangster violence of the Al Capone era using easily available military weapons from World War One, such as the Thompson sub-machine gun and Browning Automatic rifle (BAR).  Did you know that prior to the NFA of 1934 machine guns were sold at hardware stores and even your local corner drug store?  Did you also know that the original draft of the NFA included the regulation of handguns?

To both my PG and AG friends, I say that you should ask yourself this question:

“Should anyone be able to buy a machine gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition without any oversight?”

Whether you think automatic weapons should be available or not, every rational person can agree that there should be some curbs on who can obtain such weapons.

The NFA and its later amendments actually accomplished a lot of things to the satisfaction of most everyone’s perspective.  The NFA defined and classified firearms and destructive devices such as bombs, mines, and grenades.  The NFA required licensing of gun manufacturers, importers, and dealers.  The NFA defined who could not purchase weapons such as felons and the mentally ill.  And, ultimately the NFA required background checks of some firearm purchase transactions.  All of that sounds like a lot of accepted “infringement” on the right to keep and bear arms.

And here’s something often overlooked, the NFA does not prohibit a normal American citizen from acquiring and owning a “regulated weapon” such as a machine gun.  A person simply has to obtain a permit from the ATF and pay a tax of $200 (which, by the way, has not increased since 1934 and is the equivalent of about $4,500 in today’s money).

History also notes that every Supreme Court has agreed that requiring a fee for this permit is constitutional under the federal government’s constitutional taxing authority.

Notice that I keep using the terms “rational” and “normal.”  Charles Manson was not rational. Serial killers are not normal.  Neither are the tens of thousands of felons in America who have been convicted of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and other major criminal offenses.  Most PGs and AGs can also agree that terrorists are not normal American citizens.

Those who want to compare gun control in America to gun control efforts in Australia or other countries are probably not thinking rationally either.  For the United States Government to confiscate or even buy the 440 million individual firearms in private hands in America today (more than one firearm for every man, woman, and child in America) and stop manufacturers from making more is simply not going to happen overnight.  But at some point, don’t we have to try and stem the proliferation of the types of weapons that are killing us every day?  While at the same time, still allowing Americans to own a firearm that is not designed for mass killings?

To my AG and PG friends, I also want you to also ponder the question of “home rule” in America. When you cross an imaginary geographic line into another city, county, or state all the firearms regulations may be different?  How is any normal law-abiding gun owner supposed to know what the firearms law is in Cleveland as compared to back home in Montana?

We must all keep in mind that the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  Shouldn’t protections and restrictions apply equally from Hawaii to Maine and not subject to modification by the City Council in Des Moines or the state legislature in Rhode Island or even by executive orders of the President?

My PG friends remind us that firearms usage and availability in the unpopulated areas of Idaho is far different than the concrete canyons of New York City.

My AG friends agree that no one is hunting elk in Central Park but you still don’t need a bazooka to blast a moose in downtown Pocatello.

Surely, both the PGs and the AGs are again correct and can see the necessity of a broad national framework that can cover common issues in the entire country regardless of location.

And what about the issue of mental health as it applies to firearms ownership? Have you ever wondered why in almost every case of mass shootings in America, someone (family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, the postman, etc.) of the shooter states something similar afterwards that “Yeah, I always knew he was nuts.”   The NFA is silent on this issue but everyone seems to agree that the mental health component factors into just about every mass shooting.

During my tenure as a Police Chief, we required all the individuals we hired to pass a simple psychological examination administered and analyzed by a licensed psychologist.  This policy applied to everyone from police officers, civilian administrative staff, laboratory technicians, and even the Chief.  Shouldn’t the person who purchases a regulated weapon and thousands of rounds of ammunition, be required to pass the same test to determine a person’s psychological state as the unarmed parking meter checker or the clerk who files reports?

My PG friends would say that we all have our demons and idiosyncrasies which do not make us “nuts.”  The fact that a person may suffer from periodic depression over the stresses of life and seek professional help should not disqualify a person from gun ownership for their lifetime.

My AG friends say that our efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of the suicidal and/or mentally ill are clearly not working.  Simply signing a form certifying that you have not been involuntarily hospitalized by court order before you buy a semi-automatic weapon is obviously not a deterrent.  And, ANYONE can have tens of thousands of rounds of high velocity ammunition shipped right to their door by using the computer and simply clicking on the tab asserting they are 18 years of age or older.

To my PG and AG friends, I say again you are both right about the mental health component.

And, the NFA is also silent on the whole competency testing issue.  Everyone in America is required to pass a written examination and practical demonstration to get a license to drive a Chevy or a Tesla.  And automobile liability insurance is required in every state.  Is there a reason why firearms owners should not be familiar with the simple safety rules for deadly weapons and maintain a low-cost firearms liability insurance policy as a part of being a responsible gun owner just like the responsibilities we teach our kids when they learn to drive an automobile?

My PG friends say that we already have many different firearms safety courses and firearms liability insurance policies readily available.

My AG friends acknowledge the availability of many highly acclaimed firearms safety courses, (including one sponsored by the National Rifle Association) and firearms liability insurance policies, but counter that such courses are not a requirement to obtaining a deadly weapon.

Once again, the PGs and AGs are both correct on the same issue.

Here’s the bottom line:  We can entrench ourselves in our PG and AG arguments, decry the daily violence on our television screens, lower the flag to half-staff, hold candle light vigils, and send our “thoughts and prayers” while we wait for the next massacre…OR…we can use our existing national framework of the NFA to DO SOMETHING!

So, if most of the PGs and AGs can agree on so many things about firearms why can’t they join together to come up with a framework for a definitive legislative solution?  The answer is right in front of our face:  The National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.  But it needs a little work.

The main problem with the NFA is that it has been amended and changed and added to so many times since 1934 that it is hardly recognizable.  My AG and PG friends agree that to get the ball rolling for federal legislators to do the work the American public is demanding, someone needs to guide them with some specific “rational” suggestions to discuss for inclusion in crafting a “New NFA.”

We need to get a small group of bi-partisan federal legislators together, with a professional arbitrator to guide them, and start at the beginning of the NFA and work their way down the document and its amendments, line by line, condensing, revising, and compromising on issues that are important to both PGs and AGs.

The caveat of simplicity should be a paramount theme in revising the NFA.  The original NFA did not prevent gun violence overnight.  And a New NFA will not prevent gun violence overnight either.  Whatever the final product the New NFA but it needs to be so simple that everyone in America knows the rules all over the land.

Here are some suggestions for the New NFA that both PGs and AGs should work on:

1) Creation of a Federal Firearms Permit (FFP) to acquire and possess a “regulated weapon.”  Acquisition of a FFP could automatically provide enrollment in the Civilian Marksmanship Program, which is a U.S. government program founded in 1903 intended to promote firearm safety training and firearms practice for all citizens.

Make simple requirements to obtain a FFP to include an agreed upon minimum age, absence of felony convictions or suspected terrorist connections to include being on a national “no fly list”, documentation of citizenship, documentation of completion of a standard NRA-style firearms safety course, documentation of a firearms liability insurance policy, a nationally defined waiting period for permit applicants to allow for adequate vetting and a “cooling off” period, and certification of mental health by a psychologist who has administered and analyzed a standard test such as the MMPI-2 or another testing instrument specifically designed by the National Institute of Heath.  The New NFA should also give psychologists’ qualified immunity from civil litigation and a set a standard fee for the service.

2)  Add “semi-automatic weapons”, “bump stocks”, and “ghost guns” into the “regulated weapon” category. Create a simple definition defining a semi-automatic weapon as “any centerfire firearm which is capable of discharging a round by the activation of the trigger only.”  This definition eliminates the fundamental flaw in the previous “Assault Weapons Ban” which attempted to list, by manufacturer name and/or model, of every firearm defined as an “assault weapon” when the law was enacted.  Before long, the listed names of weapons like the MAC-10 and other firearms were changed by manufacturers making enforcement almost impossible. And now, PGs and AGs simply can’t agree on what the term “Assault Weapon” means.

3)  The FFP should require renewal on a periodic basis like a driver’s license such as every 3 years or 5 years or 7 years.  Provision should be made for an appeal and when an applicant can reapply after an initial denial to prevent “doc shopping” and also allow a person whose personal circumstances have changed to obtain and possess a firearm if they qualify under the New NFA later in life.

4)  Include a national “Red Flag Law” in the New NFA.

5)  Make all regulated weapons and ammunition transactions subject to possession of a valid FFP by both the seller and buyer.

6)  Place a large manufacturing (tax) on domestic manufacturers of regulated weapons and regulated weapons parts (and an equally large tariff on imported regulated weapons and regulated weapons parts).

7)  Guarantee of “Constitutional Carry” for all FFP holders subject to the approval of individual property owners whose premises are used by the public.

8)  Clearly define what are “non-regulated weapons” :  rimfire firearms of .22 caliber or less, single- or double-barrel handguns and rifles, revolvers, pump action, lever action and bolt action rifles and shotguns, muzzle or breech loading firearms, and shotguns with a capacity of five rounds or less.

9)  Establish a National Buy Back Program to allow voluntary turn in (with no questions asked) to the government for purchase at established fair market value rates, of any regulated weapons by anyone who does not wish to comply or cannot comply with the provisions of the New NFA. All regulated weapons that are turned in must be destroyed unless a documented historical provenance is established.

10) Prescribe standard criminal penalties for violations of the New NFA on a graduated scale which would also include suspension/revocation of the FFP for established periods.  All taxes associated with obtaining the FFP and fines paid due to enforcement of the the New NFA should be relegated to the National Buy Back Program.

And finally, set a future date, such a January 1 of the next year, for implementation of the New NFA to allow time for public education on the law and time for all firearms owners and firearm manufacturers to become compliant.

But…enough is enough.  We all need the courage to do something!

And make no mistake, it is not a question of whether or not the steps listed in the essay will eventually be taken…it is simply a question of WHEN.

Now?  Or years from now after hundreds more mass shootings finally force action.


Question:  “I came across a quote in a Sherlock Holmes book recently that I think you will appreciate because it speaks to his independence in the way he thinks, acts and investigates that is polar opposite of the many “officials” he worked with and around.

          “I am no martinet, I am not bound by legal duty, by political machination, or by petty                        jurisdiction.”

When I think about the foolish people you have encountered in government jobs, I am sure they wince at the thought of you because you are bound by the duty to do what is right and reasonable, which is not the government way.”

Answer by Chief Stone:  I am at a loss on how to respond to this very nice note from a professional colleague…and humbled…so just let me say, “Thank you.”


Question:  “Chief — A grave site marked “Unknown” in Hawaii holds the remains of 85 sailors from the USS Arizona killed in the Pearl Harbor attacks. Now survivors and descendants of those killed in Pearl Harbor need help urging the U.S. government to use DNA technology to finally identify these sailors. I welcome your thoughts on this.”

Answer by Chief Stone:  Of course these “Unknowns” should be exhumed and identified using modern DNA technology.  Unfortunately, the controlling government agency for action on these cases is the infamous Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), a clone of the scandal ridden and now defunct Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC).  In my opinion, neither the JPAC or DPAA Laboratory could identify a ham sandwich in less than a decade and they must rely on the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) to resolve almost all of the cases referred to them.  In 2011 and 2012, while a member of the Department of Defense (DoD), I did not make many friends at the JPAC Laboratory by suggesting that we should implement an “operational pause” in our largely fruitless field search missions and unproductive forensic examinations and concentrate on obtaining DNA samples from the families of missing American servicemen and servicewomen from World War II before the family linage became extinct due to the natural aging process.  The JPAC Laboratory referred to DNA as “voodoo science” and the window of opportunity to solve thousands of cases probably closed forever.  Now, the question is whether or not the Department of Defense can find enough families of the USS Arizona kids to identify them through DNA comparison.  If DoD depends on DPAA to now locate and obtain the DNA samples of family members of the USS Arizona missing, after they ignored my suggestions ten years ago, then the answer is “not a snowball’s chance in Texas in July.”  After all, the family of USS Arizona crewman, Seaman 1st Class Earl Leroy Morrison, is still waiting on action based on an investigation I completed at DoD on 25 April 2012 which identified his exact burial location as “Unknown X-51” in the Punchbowl Cemetery.  For more information click on this link to listen to NO HOME FOR HEROES podcast Episode 7:  Shaking the Tree Searching for Seaman Elm)  He was buried there on 14 June 1949 and there S1C Morrison still lays as an “Unknown” in Section Q, Grave Number 1147 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl):


Question:  “Where did we go wrong in policing America?”

Answer by Chief Stone:  Many Police Chiefs who read this analysis will cringe.  But most street Police Officers will affirm its validity.   While the concept has many merits, I believe that “Community Policing” has led to the lost of respect for our profession in the eyes of many citizens we serve.

And here’s a shocker.  As a Police Chief, I accept leadership accountability for what we tried to accomplish and my share of the responsibility for what went wrong all across America.

Dallas once practiced a style of policing known as “Beat Responsibility.”  Officers were charged with taking care of and protecting citizens within a specific geographic area assigned to each officer.  An officer’s performance was evaluated based on reported crimes on his or her “beat.” Our fundamental duty was to enforce the law and keep the peace.  To do that, society granted us powers that were extraordinary: the power to arrest and the power to require a person’s compliance with our orders.  But it was the respect by the community for our powers that was the key.

We carefully exercised our powers with judgment and restraint.  Above all, we did the right thing.  Citizens surveyed during that era perennially voted the Dallas Police Department as the single most highly respected agency in city government.  We were held up as superheroes imbued by law with special powers to guard the thin blue line between good and evil.

Then things began to change.  “Beat Responsibility” morphed into something called “Community Policing.”  Our initial steps into “Community Policing” in Dallas were educational.  We added news reporters to our recruit classes as full time students and we created the Citizens Police Academy to show others how we really did our jobs.  The Police Channel debuted on local cable TV and dozens of other really creative educational ideas were implemented.

As a Police Chief, I adopted the “Community Policing” concept in other cities across America and we implemented the philosophy with all our energies.  Our business cards included the definition of “Community Policing” on the back: “Treating everyone with dignity, courtesy, and respect while utilizing all available resources to solve problems.”  No one in their right mind argues that police should not treat everyone with dignity, courtesy, and respect.  Unfortunately, we took this noble concept too far in adding the belief that our special powers could somehow solve societal problems.

And therein lies where we first began to go wrong in American policing.  The police stopped being strictly law enforcement officers and peace keepers and became something totally different.  We played hoops at the neighborhood park, passed out ice cream at birthday parties, and embarrassed ourselves break dancing with gang members.  Our dignity was sacrificed on the altar of “Community Policing” and we lost the basis of the special powers granted us: the respect of the citizenry we were charged with protecting.

We weren’t seen as super heroes anymore.  We weren’t Superman.  We were Clark Kent.

Community Policing became our Kryptonite. 

Police Chiefs stopped focusing on their officers and began focusing on writing ever more complicated policies or seeking technology to address every problem.  Ever so slowly, we stopped being respected “Police Officers” and became “Cops.” We weren’t special anymore.  We were just like the mailman, the used car salesman, or the neighborhood grocer.  And, even worse, inside policing, we began see ourselves in the same light.

Away went the respected uniform symbols of authority, including our polished badges, to be replaced with embroidered golf shirts, shorts, and baseball caps worn backwards.  Away went the requirement for a college education to be replaced with a GED.  Away went patrol units deployed geographically based on  a scientific analysis of crime locations and call load activity to be replaced with bicycles.  Away went the emphasis on rapid response to citizen needs for law enforcement and peacekeeping duties to be replaced with large “Community Policing Units”, who were not responsible for answering any 911 calls for service.

And away went the unquestioned power of the police to say “Stop” or “Show me your hands” or “You’re under arrest.”  Disrespect to officers and non-compliance with police authority has now become the norm in America.  What is the one common theme you watch unfold on our body cameras every day?  A lack of compliance for commands given by officers.  When someone absolutely refuses to comply with an officer’s lawful authority we now have two basic choices:  Use force or just walk away and say “I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.  Of course you don’t want to be arrested.  Never mind.”

Why?  Because who follows orders of a mailman or a salesman or a grocer?  These occupations have no special powers to control the actions of others.   Respect for the police who DO have these powers has eroded beyond all recognition.

We thought we could improve our effectiveness by allowing everyone to become familiar with us.  We were wrong.  An ancient Aesop proverb dictates that familiarity breeds contempt.  Over time, the respect we had earned was replaced with what you see today: contempt for the police as individuals, contempt for our profession, and contempt for the powers granted us under the law.

To repeat: We aren’t seen as superheroes anymore.  We changed from being Superman to just being a mild mannered reporter of crimes like Clark Kent.

Community Policing became our Kryptonite. 

Sadly, we were led astray by Police Chiefs like me who thought “Community Policing” would result in something different than what it ultimately became.  That is where we went wrong.

So how do we right the wrongs that were done by adopting an impossible policing philosophy and our complicity in accepting responsibility for resolving  complex major societal maladies that had nothing to do with our original duties of law enforcement and peacekeeping?   Perhaps it is as simple as getting back to the basics.  Perhaps.


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 previous chief is now gone and the City has chosen another out of town chief to lead the DPD.  To answer your question, my leadership philosophy is well known.  I have repeatedly maintained 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 learn 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 the one million taxpayer dollars to develop a computerized flagging system to identify “problem officers.”  Listen up to the answer for free:  “Focus on your people, focus on your people!, focus on your people!!”  Say that 1.3 million times and communicate this strategy to the 1.3 million citizens who live and work in Dallas and maybe this novel idea will finally sink in.  The bottom line is that no Dallas Police Chief in the past thirty years has been able to apply that simple leadership truth.  Until Dallas seeks to appoint a Chief who really understands what it  takes to lead, inspire, motivate, inform and train the men and women of the Dallas Police Department and has this kind of experience specific to the organization; the City of Dallas can  count me out.


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:  “Chief, I found an old newspaper clipping about a baseball game played at Arlington Stadium in 1986.  Are you the same Rick Stone mentioned in the article?”

Answer by Chief Stone:  Actually, two baseball games were played at Arlington Stadium on July 30, 1986, then the major league home to the Texas Rangers.  Official attendance for the games was 15,632 who braved 109 degree heat to watch the games.

Baltimore Orioles future “Hall of Famer” Cal Ripken, Jr. hit a homerun in Game 2.  Rangers’ catcher, Don Slaught, hit a home run of his own in the 11th inning of Game 2 to provide Texas with a 5 to 3 win.  Rangers’ shortstop, Scott Fletcher, and Rangers’ center fielder, Reuben Sierra, each stole a base in Game 2.  A pinch runner in the 7th inning of Game 1 also stole a base becoming one of only three players that day to successfully swipe second base in the sweltering 109 degree heat.

It would be the pinch runner’s only professional career appearance in a major league stadium.

I think you have correctly identified the player.


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 371 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 in Tennessee.  Whose remains were buried as Captain Walker in 1946?  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 pled 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.


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 MIA 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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