Friday, April 19, 2013

For those who like to criticize our law enforcement officers ... put yourself in their shoes

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

I never cease to be amazed by the, I will just come right out and say it, stupidity, of some people.

An incident occurred in Piqua this week that had police and deputies from the sheriff's office, searching for a man who as reported to be armed.

The man was located and stopped between Piqua and Troy. We was armed — legally. He was arrested on a charge relating to what allegedly occurred and taken to the county jail, without incident.

I was on the scene during the arrest and photographed the gentleman as he was being handcuffed.

As a result of one of these photos, our Facebook page "lit up" with people criticizing the police for the way the arrest was handled. Their judgement was made on the basis of — one photograph.

In the image, one of the police officers can be seen with a carbine, that could be termed an "assault rifle" to you anti-American gun haters. Two officers were patting down and holding on to the suspect while two officers stood by.

I would first like to look at the situation. First, to those who were criticizing the fact that one of the officers was armed with a rifle, please let me point out that in a situation where deadly force might be necessary, there is no such thing as excessive deadly force. Whatever it takes to make sure an officer comes home alive from his, or her, shift, is considered "necessary."

If I am in a situation where I am sent to face a suspect armed with a handgun, and I am given a choice of a handgun, (to make it "even" maybe?), or an M1 tank, I choose the tank.

Many years ago, as a young law enforcement officer, I read a book that was recommended to me by a fellow officer. It was written by a legendary United States Border Patrol officer, a former United States Marine. His name was Bill Jordan. The title of his book was, "No Second Place Winner."

Think about that title for a minute. We live in an age where no one wants there to be a loser in sports or activities. Life — reality — is far less forgiving. For our law enforcement officers, and their families, a gun battle is, literally,  a matter of life and death. There truly is ... no second place winner.

For those of you who choose to complain about "overkill," what weapon would you choose for your loved one if he, or she, was entering a potential deadly force situation? I think that you, too, would choose the tank.

I would also like to point out some things to those who took issue with the officers holding on to the suspect and inferred that he was being "given the treatment."

In the photo, the gentleman is being searched. This is standard procedure. It keeps officers alive.

Also important for everyone to know is that once someone is detained or arrested, those officers are responsible for a suspect's physical well-being. In the photo, his hands are cuffed behind his back, not the  most comfortable or stable way to attempt to stand. The officers were helping him stay balanced, making sure that he did not fall down or sustain injury.

In this particular instance, everything worked exactly as it should. Officers found the man quickly and effected an arrest. They were prepared for any eventuality, but no force was necessary. This looks to be a case of a good man who has some things going on in his life that caused an error in judgement. He will pay the price and life will go on.

When law enforcement officers respond to a call, they have no idea what they will face. Not all things end peacefully. They cannot afford to be unprepared, mentally or with inadequate tools to handle a situation, immediately.

I consider myself lucky to be in a position where I observe our local law enforcement officers in action daily. I am proud to be around these men and women who stand between us and the "bad guys" on a daily basis, keeping us safe from harm.

Our law enforcement officers face these situations daily. They do it with grace and professionalism, and even with a sense of humor.

I thank God that we have them. I would also hope that when incidents like this occur, rather than trying to find an excuse to act like a big shot and point out "issues," you would instead give these men and women a much-deserved, "Well done!"

Friday, April 5, 2013

Reel Stuff set to be a Real Treat for aviation lovers

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

As President Barack Obama and congress continue to make life more difficult for all of us, this summer promises to be dismal for aviation enthusiasts.

Obama's sequestration of government-funded projects and events has meant that many air shows have been forced to cancel, including the annual Tattoo event at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, representing the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, do more for morale and recruiting than dollars can measure. Sadly, they will be sitting on the sidelines this summer.

In spite of all of the bad news for our country and aviation fans, there is good news.

The Dayton Air Show is still scheduled to go on, in spite of the loss of the Thunderbirds.

A new event in the area is set to kick-off next weekend at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation will be the inaugural event for the newly-renovated state-of-the-art digital theatre.

The weekend will provide a much-needed aviation fix to those who love airplanes, aviators and films.
I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend that to take in a couple of aviation films and tour the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Founder and director of Reel Stuff, Ron Kaplan, past director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, has put together a great series of aviation films, including a pair of screenings of the recently-released Top Gun 3-D.

Among the presenters for the legendary film ,is actor Anthony Edwards, who portrayed Lt. "Goose" Bradshaw. (Edwards is also known for playing Dr. Greene on the hit television series ER.

As a side note, Kaplan played an integral part in some of the early research for the soon-to-be-released Disney film, Planes, assisting the director in his visit to the air force museum in 2009.

Dayton has a long and rich history of being on the cutting edge of aviation. In this summer of sequestration, we are fortunate to not have to look far to find a way to beat the frustration.

The Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation promises to be another aviation "home run" for those of us who enjoy anything and everything about flying.

The original Reel Stuff Film Festival, sponsored by the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and held at several venues around Dayton proved to be quite a success. Legendary actor Cliff Robertson was one of the early supporters of the festival. I am extremely happy that the festival has been reincarnated and found a home at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

I am very much looking forward to next weekend.

The festival will take place April 11-14. For more information on the event, visit or call (937) 253-4629.

I hope to see a number of my fellow aviation and film friends at the event.