08/03/2011

Mike PetersonCop Comedy
with Mike Peterson

P1 Humor Corner: Police grants for celebrity busts

Typical police grants require mission statements, strategic plans, and project benefit analysis — not so with NCPGP

Coming into contact with a celebrity can mean extra funds for your police department. Recently, the Criminal Justice Advisory Board responsible for the National Celebrity Police Grant Program NCPGP announced more than $250 million dollars in grant money from an anonymous donor will be immediately available to all law enforcement agencies across the United States arresting one or more celebrities for a criminal offense. Typical police grants require mission statements, strategic plans, and project benefit analysis — not so with NCPGP. In fact, if an agency submits any of that budgetary vernacular, it will immediately be shredded, put in an envelope, and mailed back with a rejection letter.

Because celebrity status is subjective, the National Celebrity Police Grant Program and its advisory board have the final say in the amount of grant monies to be awarded to a law enforcement agency. The amount of grant money depends on the celebrity status of the person arrested and what offense was committed.

Who, Exactly, is a Celebrity?
The definitions of ‘celebrity’ used for the purposes of this organization are as follows: A widely-known person who is easily recognized in a society or culture; a famous person or the state of being well known, widely honored and acclaimed; and a person who has a high degree of recognition by the general population.

Examples of celebrities that would result in grant money if arrested by your law enforcement agency are movie stars, TV actors, successful professional athletes, television reporters, radio personalities, chart topping musicians, artists, authors, journalists, high ranking politicians i.e. mayors, city mangers, city council members, TV gospel evangelists, and local socialites, and all defense lawyers.

Alleged stars of “Reality TV” shows Survivor, Jersey Shore have become famous not for doing but for merely being. Their celebrity status will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All applications for grant money from arrests of reality show celebrities will be considered.

The amount of grant money is directly proportionate to who the celebrity is and what level of criminal offense was alleged to have been committed. Certain celebrity types are score much higher than others — and net more cash for the arresting agency — as do certain violations.

Example Celebrity

• NFL Quarterback = $20,000
• Actor, TV Sitcom = $35,000
• Drummer, Rock Band = $1,000
• Lead Singer, Rock Band = $10,000
• Movie Star / Leading Man = $50,000
• Small Town Mayor = $10,000
• TV Evangelist = $1,000
• Defense Attorney = $50
• MLB Relief Pitcher = $5,000
• Radio/TV Talk Show Host = $1,500

Criminal Charges

• Disturbing the Peace= $5,000
• Possession of cocaine = $10,000
• Petty Theft = $2,500
• Possession of Tar Heroin = $20,000
• Possession of Marijuana = $25,000
• Possession of Child Pornography = $30,000
• Prostitution = $25,000
• DUI/DWI/OUI = $15,000
• Forgery of a Prescription = $5,000
• Family Violence Assault = $4,500

So, by way of example, if an NFL Quarterback is arrested for prostitution, your agency could be awarded grant money up to $45,000. If an actor on a TV sitcom is arrested for child pornography your agency could be awarded up to $65,000. Just submit the required paperwork. Not a bad day’s work!

KISS Me, You Fool!
The National Celebrity Police Grant Program is synonymous with the KISS acronym; “keep it short and simple” also known as “keep it simple and straightforward” and my favorite, “keep it simple, stupid”! Simplicity is the NCPGP’s goal in design and therefore only has three simple requirements in order to receive grant money:

1.) First and foremost, your law enforcement agency has to arrest and file charges on a bona fide celebrity. There are different categories of celebrity which are explained below.
2.) The second requirement is submission of a copy of the offense report and arrest report along with a certified copy of the Complaint and Cause Number from the district attorney’s office. Traffic arrests are not subject to grant money.
3.) And lastly, a letter of request for the grant money is to be written by the on-duty patrol supervisor from the shift where the arrest originated within ten 10 calendar days of the arrest. The request letter is to be no longer than 500 words. Letters can be written by the chief of police but their letter is limited to 250 words or less, no exceptions.

There will be a $1 million dollar cap for each police department ending December 31st, 2012. Smaller police agencies — 25 employees or less in towns of 20,000 people or less— may include as celebrities teachers, coaches, deacons, high school and college athletes, cheerleaders, local Kiwanis President, local golf pro, anybody who has their face on a billboard, dancers at the local strip club, owners of car dealerships and the local Dairy Queen as part of the celebrities that live in their jurisdiction.

Wish Lists
Grant money obtained from the National Celebrity Police Grant Program must be used for law enforcement purposes only. A wish list of equipment, training needs and miscellaneous items for your police agency must be derived from all police personnel. All purchases of items bought with grant money are decided by first responders and their immediate supervisors. No one with the rank higher than a patrol sergeant may vote on items to be purchased. Items such as an Espresso Machine for the squad room, free pizza Fridays, a weight room, and sauna, hot tub and tanning beds are acceptable expenditures as long as they are for all employees.

Other acceptable uses for NCPGP monies are an annual police picnic, a catered awards banquet, reserve police officers (and their training program), police explorer program, training camp and competitions for police explorers programs, patrol officers’ week-long in-service training school of their choice anywhere in the United States, and entrance fees to police softball tournaments and associated hotel fees.

“We don’t want to know what you are going to spend the money on,” said one document released by NCPGP’s PIO. “We just want to give you the money.”

No Due Diligence Required
As part of the simplicity of the grant money being awarded to law enforcement agencies across America, there is no due diligence required to document your expenditures other than storing original receipts of purchase and any warranty paperwork for the purchases you acquired. The National Celebrity Police Grant Program hopes your police agency will participate in this unique program utilizing the over $250 million dollars on hand by arresting celebrities when the opportunity presents itself.

Everyday the media informs us about a different celebrity in the news involved in some sort of tantrum, assault, or possession of an illegal substance. They inconvenience the public with their entourages and rude body guards, with egos the size of Dallas, and claim their fame is equal to royalty. Yes, celebrities retain the best attorneys, get preferential treatment from the restaurant maitre d' and more times than not, they beat the rap. Good news is, they don’t beat the ride. Who cares, right? It’s all about the grant money.

You did your job, now grant money will allow your agency to put a big screen TV in your squad room! Your agency could now purchase that new air conditioned indoor pistol range or a license plate recognition camera system. Maybe you’re police department needs a satellite-based surveillance tracking system or new digital fingerprinting equipment or the new Pasquini Expresso Machine!

Celebrity arrests and the National Celebrity Police Grant Program will make sure your police agency has all the funding you need.

About the author

Mike Peterson is a retired 23-year veteran of law enforcement. He served three years in the United States Military Police and then 20 years with the City of West University Place Police Department in Houston, Texas. Mike held a Master Peace Officer certification and was a Certified Instructor, Advanced Field Training Officer, Crime Prevention Inspector, and background investigator. He was certified in bicycle patrol, officer survival tactics, first line supervision, and City Manager Leadership Training. Mike is a graduate of Leadership Houston, Class XIV, Texas Law Enforcement Torch Run Top Fundraiser and Inductee into the Texas Special Olympics Hall of Fame (1996), three time Texas Torch Run representative for International Special Olympics torch run ‘Final Legs’ in Minnesota (1991), Austria (1993) and Connecticut (1995). Mike has received numerous Senate and House of Representative Resolutions and Proclamations for his fundraising with the Law Enforcement Torch Run as Texas’ Top Fundraiser.

Mike has appeared on ABC-TV’s ‘The View’, was a past finalist on Ed McMahon’s ‘Next Big Star’ contest and was a finalist in Houston Funniest Comedian contest. Mike has opened for such luminaries as Jay Leno, Robert Schimmel, Dave Attell, Richard Lewis, Kathleen Madigan, Jeff Dunham, Frank Caliendo, Michael Winslow, Anjelah Johnson, Ralphy May, and Alonzo Bodden to name a few. Mike has appeared numerous times on Houston’s local CBS ‘Great Day Houston’ and opened for four-Time Grammy Award Winner Glen Campbell as well as performing at police luncheons and banquets. Mike has also had the honor of performing for our Troops over in Iraq. You can see more of Mike on www.myspace.com/comedycop or www.rooftopcomedy.com.

Contact Mike Peterson.
 

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