“The only reason, and I mean the only reason, I chose to use the term
“Killer Cops” is very simple:
caught your attention, didn’t it?
There’s an old saying in advertising:
“You sell the sizzle, not the steak.”
You’re reading this, aren’t you?
Guess it worked.
I spent a decent number of years as a Child Support Officer, tracking down Non-Custodial parents who were not paying the Court-ordered amount of Child Support they were supposed to.
Tracking the parent down when need be, locating any assets or income they have hidden away from plain view, possibly finding employers they chose not to report to us or to the Court or to the Custodial Parent.
This was not for one of those rip-off internet companies that force the Custodial Parent to have any payments received to be made payable to the company itself, after which the company takes their customary thirty per cent out of the check and send the balance to the Custodial Parent.
If it’s not the full Court-ordered amount, so be it.
I worked for both the Family Support Division of the local District Attorney’s office and for the state Department of Child Support Services, which took over the establishment, monitoring and enforcement duties from the county offices, and we did it for free.
No charge, no commission, no cut of the action.
I can’t speak for all of the Support Officers or their offices nationwide any more than some beat cop, detective or Chief in a modest metropolitan area somewhere between South Carolina and California can speak for every single peace officer out there to serve and protect.
I can’t pretend that I do, but I’m willing to put myself on the line for one simple contention. A theory, if you will.
A theory. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.
But it is a theory based on personal experience and observation inside “the system”. It comes from all of those years in the trenches working with as many as almost two-hundred other dedicated desk-jockeys, some of whom had twice the time I had eventually put into the communal effort.
Years of working with these people professionally, in our offices and cubicles, our conference rooms and the Superior Court as well as sitting around the trenches, the break rooms and The Smoking Section shootin’ the shit and trading tales from those trenches.
There are a whole bunch of the Non-custodial Parents out there who will tell you with all the bluster and self-proclaimed authority they can manage that the System has it in for the Non-Custodial Parent. That the System is skewed and the Enforcement Officers biased against them.
The farther in arrears they are, the more they never paid, the more they owe …
… the more insistent they get. Insistent and loud, because as we all know, that is what makes them unquestionably valid and accurate, what makes their delusional diatribes undeniably true.
And more often than not – unfortunately – it is the father of whom I am speaking seeing as how the Courts do have the historical, documented and routine practice of awarding custody to childrens’ mothers rather than the fathers unless and until it is proven to whatever human Judge or mediator hearing the matter that the father would be more suitable as the childrens’ daily provider and caretaker.
It can honestly go either way if one chooses to be realistic, reasonable and rational and leave whatever misconceptions time has nurtured within them at home with their dirty laundry.
“The knuckle-and-knee busters of the Child Support Enforcement system are all out to get the guy. The man.”
I don’t think so. I honestly never worked with anyone who approached it purely on that level.
I will again emphasize that I have no substantial means of assuring this is the case with everybody who’s ever filled in the blanks of a Judicial Council Form or actually drafted Court pleadings any more so than someone could proclaim with any amount of credibility that we all did.
In my experience, it’s just a bunch of deflective bullshit but even guys who don’t owe support will tell you that’s the case.
I can not deny for a moment that I never came across a co-worker who was like that.
There was one time the entire first floor of our office came to a dead standstill when one of our Support Officers (who had two children with two men who abandoned them) started screaming over the phone at an absentee father, asking him “what kind of a man” he thought he was, “what kind of a father” he claimed to be and “how ashamed” he should be at “how worthless” he was.
She was certainly the most vocal I had ever come across, but I’m not that naïve nor dense nor deceptive to insist that she was the only one. Just the most bitter and unprofessional and personally ill-equipped. And disturbed.
Our office up to and including the attorneys did NOT represent either the mother or the father. We were not the Custodial Party’s attorney no matter how persistently they acted like we were.
We didn’t even represent the children, either technically or legally.
We were an administrative body of the Family Courts and that was it.
We had neither a horse nor a horse’s ass in the race.
We were there to keep things fair, to make sure both parties adhered to the terms of the Court order.
If more parents were being responsible to each other, responsible to and for the children, playing by the rules …
… we would have been out of a job.
Plain and simple fact of the matter: not every, not even a suffocating majority of the Non-Custodial Parents OR fathers were low-life, snail-slime deadbeats.
Not by a longshot.
… not so much if at all in the written, black-and-white, Statutory law then certainly in the enforcement of those laws I came to the often validated conclusion that the System (the people keeping it running smoothly) all too often came nowhere close to holding the Custodial Parent as accountable as they held the Non-Custodial Parent responsible.
(Case in point: I handled a case for a number of years in which the Custodial mother insisted we put the Non-Custodial father in jail for not paying all his support, for not providing for his children. That had become a very imposing possibility we had to consider.
(This mother once called me to report that her sixteen-year-old son had to quit going to High School so he could work full-time to help her pay her bills. The only source of income she herself had was a paper route. She was not a manager or a supervisor. She delivered the local paper throughout her immediate neighborhood five days a week. The job her son should have had while completing High School.
(I read to her, word for word, the section of the California Penal Code defining Child Neglect and Abandonment:
(Section 270:. If a parent of a minor child willfully omits, without lawful excuse, to furnish necessary clothing, food, shelter or medical attendance, or other remedial care for his or her child, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(And I asked her to remind me how much she made throwing newspapers in customers’ bushes, because that Section of the law we were supposed to use against him could just as easily have applied to her because it’s all about the ability to earn, not just the amount of the paycheck. You don’t believe me? Ask Regis Philbin. Yeah… Reege.
(As badly as I wanted to pursue Contempt charges against this Custodial mother, I was told by my superiors it would realistically never happen.
(Not to even think about it much less waste my time trying to do anything about it.)
Now, about the “sizzle”.
Let’s start with something any of us with a realistic bone in our heads can probably come to a modicum of agreement upon:
in the fifteen seconds or so it took for a uniformed police officer to allegedly yet apparently fire more than a sufficient amount of rounds into the back of an unarmed civilian in South Carolina, the law of averages leads me to believe there were likely tens of thousands of officers who:
a) rescued a kitty from a tree;
b) helped an octogenarian with a walker cross the street at a busy intersection;
c) stopped a motorist who was unaware their brake lights didn’t work;
d) cited an air-head, gum-clicking High School junior texting while driving;
e) performed CPR on a citizen who had suffered a heart attack, saving their life;
f) arrested a drunk driver, potentially saving a number of lives;
g) busted and shut down a meth lab, likely saving a larger number of lives in more than one sense.
Get where I’m going with this?
(continued on Page 2, press page number on bottom of post)