By Stephen Owsinski

Of the kaleidoscope of cops hired, trained, and geared for specialized functions, one among the array of safety and security assets relegated for enforcement of commerce and gobs and gobs of products destined for our markets/consumption are the men and women staffing port police departments.

These super-specialized law enforcement entities relegated to wharf and dock jurisdictions are now in spotlights like never before, with good reason (as always).

Beyond Mr. Biden’s gaffes are far more serious minefields which have been triggered by bad government. By virtue of bad government decisions/indecisions, we get bad actors scheming to move in and take for themselves.

Finance pages this morning revealed a not-so-mysterious factor having to do with the debacle of hundreds of gargantuan-size cargo ships anchored in broad-water bays, each loaded with a plethora of goods from countries listed in the A-Z of commerce rolodex, waiting for the green light to tug it to dockside and offload to awaiting dockworkers fashioned to facilitate products to truckers and railcars.

(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Port Police Department.)

Also waiting (lurking) dockside, but more-so in the general proximity, are gangs of thieves with sticky fingers, malevolent mindsets, and a criminal conglomerate of thugs armed with firepower aiming to seize long overdue shipments of merchandise for resale on market street (the illicit kind otherwise known as black-market).

Even though port police entities have been in existence for a long time, the current products backlog and labor shortages and reported infighting among dock workers and truckers lined up to hook a load of consumable goods emphasizes maritime law enforcement personnel assuming the additional burdens enabled by incompetent political figureheads.

While police defunders sought to cleave police budgets to the bone, port cops fervently try to ensure those same anti-cop barkers were able to obtain goods for sustenance and entertainment and optimal health and whatever else one’s heart desires in life.

I’ve never worked for a port police agency and the often sprawling and complex jurisdictions they cover, but I did log experiences working alongside their sworn staff after the 9/11 attacks.

Immediately, the White House administration at the time deployed first responder resources and unvaulted federal doles to compensate sworn law enforcement personnel staffing ports Everywhere, USA on a 24/7 basis “until further notice.” Two decades later, the Tampa Bay port is still bustling with cops at varying checkpoints in and around docks and wharfs teeming with commerce and industry flow.

The massive Port of Tampa is in my region. It is where I worked tons of shifts on my RDOs (regular days off from street duty). It is where I buddied with various surface and maritime cops from federal, state, county and city agencies partaking in buttoning up national security at considerably vulnerable target-rich tracts.

One smuggler method potentially employed by drug cartels is massive ships carrying contraband concealed in the propeller housing/machinations, requiring specially trained police divers to go under and scrutinize the bellies (hulls) of gigantic cargo haulers.

(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Port Police Department.)

I’ll leave the underwater sleuthing to certified police divers, preferring a landmass area to cover/secure.

My post-9/11-related responsibility when working wharfs was never for cargo inspections (Homeland Security officers had that task) but to preclude potential absconders from foreign nations getting off the ship and onto land. One pesky crew of merchant marines staffing a ship from Singapore tried to test the waters, waving me over, asking me if I’d say yes to their plea to go onshore and patronize nearby downtown district breweries. Roll call briefings always reiterated that many merchant marines may harbor glee from being oh-so-close to American terrain, in this case at the lip of a ship’s gangplank, so close they could touch soil (and perhaps illegally fade into American culture).

Bear that in mind while our southern border bleeds illegals in unprecedented numbers, especially coaxed by an ostensibly unconcerned White House administration. Whether border or water edges are the chosen barrier of non-citizens seeking illegal entry, the foolish demand for police depletion enables successful overrun of our sovereign territory…thanks to police defunders and abolitionists and politicos conspiratorially along for the hijack.

Back to the wharf scene…

9/11 or otherwise, policing waterfront properties and the employed personnel having purpose to be there is not exactly a commonly considered form of law enforcement. Inescapable among litany of news reports, California bay waters littered with lengthy hulks of steel packed to and above the brim with useable manifestations from abroad gives rise to the unique arm of policing ports and the criminal elements floating around maritime labyrinths laden with commodities.

The International Business Times recently published a report titled “Thieves Are Now Stealing From Backlogged Cargo Containers As Supply Chain Crisis Threatens Holidays,” in which the following passages underscore the unequivocal need for cops of any kind to be out there and on frontlines for everyone’s good and the goods they intend to consume:

“With a number of cargo containers backed up at the California ports, there is a new issue that the U.S. supply chain is having to contend with as it looks to offload goods in time for the holidays—theft.”

The author underscores a valid point, and I’ll respectfully bolster its integrity: Theft is not a “new issue” at ports; it is only exacerbated and catching broader attention due to current state of affairs stemming from federal fiasco after federal fiasco. And to think that police defunders are also negatively impacted by this conundrum increasing crime and a potential loss to themselves and their loved ones…tsk tsk tsk.

The Business Insider declared “Thieves are targeting containers holding electronics and household goods as ports in the US struggle to clear backlogs of cargo, leading to delays in the supply chain.”

Industry-specific watchdog organization CargoNet chimed in with the statistical skinny: “Cargo thieves continued to show a strong preference for computer electronics shipments and nearly 70 percent of these thefts in the third quarter of 2021 occurred in California. In contrast, household products thefts dropped 63 percent largely because CargoNet recorded fewer pilferages of these products.”

That’s bad news, topped with more bad news…followed by good news involving law enforcement (read on)…

“Entering into the final quarter of 2021, CargoNet expects that theft activity will remain elevated.” Shameful and odd that among the multi-trillion-dollar flow of merchandise at the Los Angeles Port, no one could find the can opener for the Cali bottleneck.

CargoNet continued its report, saying, “We are concerned about targeting of computer electronics shipments shipping from California, as well as a breakout of full truckload cargo thefts spreading across the eastern half of the United States. CargoNet continues to track these events and work with law enforcement agencies across the country to share information and recover stolen vehicles and goods.”

Always something about the words law enforcement that is reassuring, despite the despicable contrarians painting police as problematic. Incidentally, the “stolen vehicles” they are referring to are largely trailers carrying containers packed with merchandise, thugs impostering truckers at the transition point on the docks or outright commandeering loads to usually abandoned warehouses squatted by criminal enterprises.

Given the outlandish anti-cop sentiments in Cali and seeming free reign of politically caressed criminals left to their devices, one may suspect some of those “stolen vehicles” are literally brand-new automobiles shipped from foreign nations for American consumerism. Car parts and subsequent sales is a staple among auto thieves operating chop shops.

And the beat goes on, rain or shine, on soil or waterborne…with police officials navigating nefariousness in a climate of ill-placed hate exuded by misguided minds.

Hindsight is 20/20. Yet the clearest common logic foreshadows implementing absolutely stupid ideations (“defund the police” and “abolish the police”) under the banners of social justice and reform and whatever other self-puffed catchphrase grooves with reckless abandon, to the absolute non-delight and utter dismay of the nation’s law-respecting majority.

We listened to this detritus…and watched in abject horror when jeers of police segued to making demands of political figures, some of whom embraced the bizarre mantle. Look at NYC’s mayor-elect Eric Adams who, recently, was boisterously accosted by a gaggle of goons declaring the doom and gloom promised by BLM drum-bangers…should he not do what they say. What the…?

The National Police Association and its cadre of contributors have been (and will continue) surfacing and reporting on all matters of anti-police balderdash and how such now-rooted travesties deserve snipping wherever possible and whenever they rear…just like weeds. Failing to do so will only amount to catastrophes which could otherwise be avoided by activating cops of every level, in all enforcement capacities, properly equipped to succeed the country’s national security measures and ensure American interests are achieved, not hijacked while the “Bring Back Better” slogan is subsumed by sticky-fingered criminal enterprises indoctrinated to believe cops are not coming to sleuth them out.

Of particular import lately, the Los Angeles Port Police is “the core of port security” and touts a “specialized law enforcement agency that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the Port from threats whether by land, sea, air or cyberspace. Comprised of more than 300 sworn officers and civilian personnel, the force’s jurisdiction spans 7,500 acres along 43 miles of waterfront.”

Maritime and port law enforcement arms continue to combat woes on and near the waterways with already-thinned-out resources—more power to them!

Often scaled back in the number of cops to fight crime, and overwhelmed by the burgeon of an increasingly perilous society, thievery in the magnitude of cargo containers always translates to higher prices at the registers to mitigate losses sustained by manufacturers and distributors. One can only imagine the exorbitancy of maritime insurance policies sustaining port authorities and shipping losses.

To the police defunders and police abolitionists who may have a decent holiday season with wish lists materially fulfilled, feel free to thank a port police officer.