Marketing language for police bubbles up as chief named

Mark Gibson, police chief

Mark Gibson, police chief

By David Tulis

A town near Chattanooga has named a police chief, and news coverage gives the impression that scandals are now behind the Cleveland, Tenn., department with the arrival of Mark Gibson.

Mr. Gibson had been the interim chief of the department, and today takes the helm.

City government received 36 applications, and chose Mr. Gibson from within the agency’s ranks.

As in other municipal governments, police departments are agents of the executive branch — that of the city manager. In Cleveland, that office is held by Janice Casteel, serving under Mayor Tom Rowland.

Police departments are organized along military lines and serve to enforce municipal ordinance and state law. They represent the interests of the state and are constant reminders to the citizenry of their continuing subjection to the state, their obligation to obey any and all parts of the Tennessee Code Annotated that apply to them — and even parts that don’t.

Cop departments stress a continual subservience the people as a primary duty.

Police departments have a secondary one, the one brought strongly into view in moments of ascendency such as Mr. Gibson’s to the seat of police chief.

And that is peacekeeping, maintaining public order, protecting property rights, securing the right to life and liberty. These duties are secondary, and in the experience of the thousands of people who deal with cops along the roads, forgotten.

Marketing of cop agencies

Mr. Gibson’s arrival is marked by the language of personal goodwill and the commonplaces of “protect and serve.”

“Chief Gibson has been described by the public,” Mrs. Casteel says, “as ‘a man of character, a positive person who loves his family, the Cleveland Police Department, his city, and his country.’”

“I personally know Mark to be a family man with strong moral ethics,” says another resident as quoted in a local news report. “I believe that his focus will be on serving the well-being of the citizens of Cleveland and upholding the responsibilities of the office of police chief.”

Mr. Gibson enjoys a statement of support from Bradley County’s sheriff, Eric Watson.

“Chief Gibson and I have met numerous times during his time as interim chief of the Cleveland Police Department, seeking ways to cooperate more fully in today’s often-dangerous climate.  From working to assimilate our SWAT team operations through sharing and becoming  more familiar with equipment [Bradley County Sheriff’s Office] and [Chattanooga Police Department] use, to simply making upgrades to our daily cooperation by backing each other up on calls in the city area. In short, Chief Mark Gibson and I are on the same page.”

Policing is enjoying an increasingly peaceful public safety climate, with deaths among police ranks at an all-time low. If danger is rising against the lives of cops, it’s in two areas: Massacres and attacks by faithful Muslims attacking non-Muslim infidels such as you, and mass-casualty assailants hopped up on the products of major media advertisers in the pharmaceutical industry.

But these outbreaks are sporadic, with high body counts and usually suicidal.

Law enforcement and peacekeeping are contradictory roles. Peacekeeping is what the people do among themselves, including those who carry personal weapons for defense of women and children. Peacekeeping at the time of the founding was the duty of every honorable man.

As long as Tennesseans view these roles as alike, they will continue to be subject actions in law enforcement via their military executive appendages. Such actions often violate constitutional rights and impose forms of harassment upon innocent people minding their private business and engaging in harmless and innocent private activities. With the growing use digital recording devices, evidence of violence and “law enforcement” is becoming increasingly clear; support for eventual demilitarization and abolition is continuing to build.

Sources: “Interim Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson Chosen New Police Chief,”  The, Sept. 19, 2015

“Cleveland names new police chief,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, Sept. 19, 2015

Radley Balko, “Once again: There is no ‘war on cops.’ And those who claim otherwise are playing a dangerous game,” Sept. 10, 2015, Washington Post,

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