Society wants police officers to be “knights in shining armor” that show up immediately when needed, but without speeding, or running red lights. Society wants police officers to arrest every […]
Society wants police officers to be “knights in shining armor” that show up immediately when needed, but without speeding, or running red lights.
Society wants police officers to arrest every “bad guy” in the city, but do so without using force, regardless of the force used upon them.
Society wants the criminal element held accountable, but without dangerous car chases or putting society in any sort of danger.
There’s been much debate about the “Ferguson Effect” in policing since 2014. Basically in short, the idea of the Ferguson Effect is police officers are becoming more reactive in nature. Out of fear of punishment or prison, should things take a turn for the worse. As a result, police officers are choosing to take a more, “hands off” approach.
What many citizens may not realize about police officers, is there are MANY different kinds of police officers within every department. Some enjoy working car accidents, some enjoy working narcotics cases, and others simply prefer answering calls and the wide variance of situations that arise from answering 911 calls. Every police officer has their “preference” or “niche” in what they enjoy doing.
In policing, however, there is a stark difference between a “reactive” and “proactive” officer. Some officers just aren’t proactive. They don’t enjoy seeking out the criminal element or going to jail. Some would even go so far as to call these officers lazy. Truthfully, like any profession, some officers are lazy. They take the path of least resistance and do the bare minimum. This could be for any number of reasons. Maybe they were hard workers in the past, but have been punished and lost out on pay raises and promotions enough times, they finally gave up. Maybe they decided they’ll simply do as little as possible, in hopes they don’t get in trouble?
Others are probably just lazy by nature and would be lazy no matter what profession they were in, basically a fireman with a badge. Citizens call, dispatch tells them where to go, they show up, do what they have to do according to what transpired, and then move on to the next call. Pretty simple. This kind of police officer is great at, “customer service” because citizens expect officers to show up when called. But don’t expect to see this officer chasing thugs on foot, or knocking on doors looking for someone with a felony warrant. That’s for those “go-getters” they’ll say. That kind of stuff is for the “crime fighters.”
Then there’s the other side of the coin. Some officers, dare I say, most officers, go above and beyond every day and not only answer calls, they do much more. They actively seek the gang member with a felony warrant. They pay attention to which cars were taken at gunpoint the day before and watch for them during their shift. Basically, some police officers work extremely hard and are diligent in their efforts to make a difference by holding the criminal element accountable.
However, the harsh reality is being this kind of police officer almost always comes at a cost to the officer. Whether the general public wants to believe it or not, internal and external punishment is a constant with police departments. Complaints from citizens have a major impact on a police officer’s career, daily mental health, and stress. Even if the complaint is found to be a lie, or the officer is later exonerated, the pending investigation could have a lasting negative impact on that officer’s career.
Especially because investigations often take a considerable amount of time, which could cause an officer to miss out on a promotion, a transfer to a different assignment, a pay raise, or other career enhancing benefits.
The negative Nancy types reading this may say, “Tough! Don’t be a jerk of an officer and you won’t get complained on!” Well negative Nancy, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes you get complained on for just being at a call. Sometimes, you can do nothing wrong at all, the body camera may prove it, but that doesn’t mean the complaint won’t be taken and a thorough investigation won’t take place.
“Well if you did nothing wrong! It shouldn’t matter!” Ah yes negative Nancy, in a perfect world, you’d be right, but the truth is in some departments there is backlog of complaints and investigators get overwhelmed and can’t take short cuts. Due to this, though the officer may be cleared in the end, but they could still be inadvertently punished due to the pending investigation.
Add to this the growing trend of officers being sent to prison, or maliciously prosecuted for political gain, yeah I’m talking to you Baltimore, and you can’t help but ask yourself, why stick your neck out as an officer?
No, I’m not saying officers shouldn’t be held to a higher standard. No, I’m not saying officers shouldn’t be complained on if they do something wrong. If you’ve read other articles I’ve written, you’d know I’ve staunchly called out “dirty” or “bad” police officers and will continue to do so.
The point of this entire is article is simple. The harder a police officer works at defending you from evil, the more likely they are to end up in a shooting, a fight, or something negative that the social justice warriors will deem “wrong” in their YouTube videos. For their efforts and bravery, there will be consequences, usually negative ones, even when everything they did was “by the book.”
One heck of a deal if you ask me.
The question is, which officer do you want patrolling your neighborhood?
The fireman with the badge who does the bare minimum and simply shows up when called?
Or, the one who goes the extra mile to seek out the true criminal element in our society and put them in jail where they belong?
If you were an officer, which one would you be?
The fact is, you want us to protect you, but when we do, inevitably, it comes at a cost.
Across the country, there seems to be two trends taking place. Police departments are having trouble recruiting new officers and crime is on the rise.
I could be wrong, but the very cause of these trends are in the title of this article.
The best police officers live to hunt the evil you pretend doesn’t exist. And they pay a heavy price for doing so. I wish people understood.
The Officer Next Door