I can’t recall all the times I was told by someone I was arresting they would “have my badge!” They assured me they knew “someone important” and I would soon feel their wrath and be fired. This usually sent a sarcastic shiver down my spine. I’d heard it so many times, it honestly became funny after a while. Especially when the person was guilty as sin, or being arrested for something like an outstanding warrant. Something I had zero part in causing. I was simply doing my job bringing them to the house of accountability (jail).
Sorry, not sorry.
These days, it seems people are all about one thing, emotions. No one cares about common sense or accountability anymore. Everything is about ensuring everyone is treated with “kid gloves” even when it comes to law enforcement. The police officer is the one in the wrong these days, not the criminal. I’m sorry, “alleged” criminal. That is really where we are in society. When you go sit in a courtroom, the police officer is actually the one on trial, not the accused. Even with the implementation of body cameras, I can assure you the officer is still mostly the one on trial. Now it isn’t good enough if everything is captured on video, it’s about whether or not the officer was perfect. Did they do everything perfectly? If not, let the criminal walk.
Fine, just don’t throw tantrums when crime skyrockets. I’m telling you now, it’s going to happen. Then and only then, will the pendulum swing back to supporting police. The citizens will beg us to rid the streets of those who cause the rest of us harm. The kicker is many fail to realize the police are simply one “cog” in the wheel of justice. The latest trend across the country of District Attorneys moving the goal posts regarding what crimes will be prosecuted is more concerning than the current lack of respect our society has for law and order. At least that can be remedied come election time. Interesting times to say the least. But, just like the economy, the housing market, and fashion trends, it’s all cyclical.
(Insert obligatory “not defending bad policing” paragraph here)
While pointing out the truth about how things are these days, I’m obliged to say I am not advocating for lackluster policing. Sloppy police work should never be the bar in which we set our standards. Short cuts and corruption have always been condemned since I started this website almost one year ago. So save yourself the time of rattling off in the comments or sending me an angry email, suggesting I advocate for lazy, corrupt, or shortcut taking in police work, because I don’t.
What I am wondering, is when will we go back to the “good old days” where we respect police officers? When will we put the blame back where it belongs, on the ones committing the crimes or the ones FIGHTING the police? It isn’t the officer’s fault when the bad guy runs, fights, and gets hurt then cries foul alleging police brutality in the end. I have yet to see a video where the officer yells, “Run bad guy! Run! We want to chase you and fight to get you in handcuffs! I enjoy being scraped up, spit on, and hurt myself! So run you S.O.B!” Then suddenly the bad guy takes off running and they end up rolling around in clouds of smoke like a scene from a cartoon.
Sorry, it just doesn’t happen that way.
Even better is the new trend when an officer is fighting with a suspect, people stand there recording the incident like a bunch of moronic robots trying to get the latest TMZ video. Why is this a new trend? I’ll tell you why. We have allowed the pendulum of morality to swing so far out of whack, instead of putting the phone down and helping the police officer, we film them while saying ignorant things like, “That’s excessive force!” With help, the fight could be over quickly and no one gets hurt, but nah, stand back and criticize while recording. Good stuff.
Skinny jeans. I blame skinny jeans. I think they restrict blood flow to the brain. (Shrug) It’s not scientific. I’m just in a sarcastic mood today.
A work environment like this that has a lot of officers simply choosing to find other professions. There’s a saying, “Welcome to law enforcement, where you are equally hated for both doing and not doing your job.” It’s true. And I don’t care what anyone says, it would take a toll you too. I don’t think anyone would enjoy going to work on a daily basis constantly feeling as if they’re under attack or heavy scrutiny. I’m not saying under attack like actually being shot or hurt every day. Though, assaults on officers are statistically on the rise, likely due to that whole lack of respect for authority thing we have going on.
I’m also not saying police officers shouldn’t be scrutinized, held to a higher standard, or held accountable when they are clearly in the wrong. I’m simply saying the constant scrutiny in the media and from within the department, takes a heavy toll on officers. It’s just a simple fact. That’s the message I’m trying to convey to those who’ve never worn the badge and gun or been a police officer. It’s a heavy burden and it is that burden that is creating the nationwide shortage of police officers. Fewer people are applying and people are leaving the profession at record rates, creating a shortage. Would you sign up today? Many people I talk to say, “Not a chance.”
After a few years, I think some officers just say “screw it.” They eventually get to the point where they feel it’s not worth the backlash and potential life altering repercussions of a “bad day” at work. Fired, stabbed, shot, killed, on the news, or in prison. A heavy price to pay for making a mistake or simply showing up to a car accident scene.
So some quit. Some tough it out and are miserable, likely on a path of self-destruction. Others love it and rise to the occasion every single day. Thank goodness for them. We need them more than ever.
However, I feel that many officers these days eventually feel the same way…
You want my badge? You can have it.
There’s plenty of ways to make $40,000-$80,000 a year.
Thank an officer today.