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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

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25 Comments »

  1. Another excellent article, once again proving the saying “Ordinary people doing an extraordinary job” the Thank you

  2. I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to go into law enforcement today. Why take the risk? Beyond the obvious on the job hazards, why take the risk of being prosecuted or at the very least, demonized, for doing the job? And if you’re white, then why take a job where if you have a violent encounter with any non-white, then you will be assumed to be a racist first and foremost, regardless of facts. Society has made police to be the “bad guys” and citizens their victims. Until that narrative changes, I think you’ll see fewer and fewer qualified people choose to enter law enforcement.

  3. RIght on target, sadly. I’ve been a all-out, go-getter for 3 decades, but now find myself holding back. Sad times we live in, and also why I minister to my own.

  4. Once again, you hit the nail on the head. Imagine an officer who is half way through their 25 year career. They have built seniority, have saved days-off in the bank and a nice nest-egg in their pension. They see all of the BS spewed by the politically correct crowd who love to take aim at us cops. Would any rational person put all of their career and what they’ve built in order to take down some criminal ESPECIALLY if the cop is white and the bad guy is black. Just look at what is today’s news. Those guys in the last half of their career aren’t going out of their way to catch some a**hole when his effort could result in him losing everything. It’s just the sensible thing to do in today’s world.,

  5. FOH with this B.S!!! Please show me all these cops that are being punished….

    Go ahead I’ll wait

    Cops have less accountability than a 4 year caught with his hand in a damn cookie jar!!!

    Cops are rarely if ever punished and it’s even more rare that they are punished when they are white males and even rarer if they do something to a person that’s POC and more rare than that if they’re black and a male !!!

    This article couldn’t be farther from the damn truth !!!

    Disgusting !!!

    Boot lickers of America site

    • Former police officer Roy Oliver was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Aug. 29 for the 2017 fatal shooting of Jordan Edwards in Dallas.

      Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison on Friday for the 2017 shooting death of Justine Damond.

      A former police officer in Florida was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for fatally shooting a black man who had been awaiting help on a highway more than three years ago.

      On Thursday, Michael Slager, who was fired as a North Charleston patrolman days after the shooting, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars after pleading guilty in Scott’s death.

      A judge sentenced Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer convicted of second-degree murder for killing Laquan McDonald, to more than six years behind bars on Friday.

      A former Glendale police officer was sentenced today to 21 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to a series of charges and admitted that he provided information to the Mexican Mafia that allowed an associate of the prison gang to escape justice for a time and that he also repeatedly mislead investigators who were probing his connections to the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime.

      Calling the disgraced former officer a “street hustler,” U.S. District Judge William Walls sentenced McAusland to 66 months — more than five years — in prison for dealing drugs and assaulting the hospital patient.

      A former Dedham police officer was sentenced Thursday for his part in the kidnapping and killing of an Avon man. Schoener was sentenced to six to nine years in state prison as an accessory before the kidnapping.

      But today, a federal judge threw the book at Schonton Harris, sentencing the former Miami Police officer to more than 15 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to cocaine-trafficking charges this past January.

      A former Donna school district police officer who confessed to working with drug traffickers will spend nearly 11 years in federal prison.

      Should I keep going?

      I shouldn’t even respond to someone like you because you clearly only see the truth you want to see. Just because people aren’t out there protesting and throwing a tantrum, doesn’t mean officers aren’t being held accountable.

      Clearly, you only see the headlines you want to see. Living in Sacramento I’m sure you’re still upset about Stephon Clark. I get it. Be angry. Little do you know, I’ve written articles calling out bad police as well. But you don’t care about that. You don’t seek truth or facts. Just mad. Mad at the world.

      Bootlicker huh. Digging deep.

      Don’t like facts? Move along.

  6. Were most or all of these cases police shooting unarmed people? No doubt police have to use force to protect themselves and innocent citizens but too often force is first option. I know in the heat of the moment, you react fast or die but training has to prevent this epidemic of shooting the unarmed. Reward the officer that defuses a situation or brings in a dangerous person without anyone getting hurt. Idealistic maybe but the alternative is what we have, communities and departments in a constant state of distrust. Drug war de-escalating has already had an impact, with cops having more time to get after violent offenders, especially in poor neighborhoods. Better pay and benefits are also helping attract more qualified candidates less likely to be lazy or brutal.

    • More time to go after violent offenders in poor neighborhoods ———> higher likelihood of violence confrontations / shootings.

      Armed. Unarmed. Doesn’t matter anymore these days.

      Check the news in Fort Worth, Texas. Protests planned over a wanted felon with a gun, parents are blaming the police.

      People who have never been police are certainly welcome to have opinions and input.

      The problem is they think these terms like “de-escalation” and other catch phrases are a catch all way to achieve “change”.

      The problem is, even when the police are right – like in the above mentioned situation- they’re wrong.

      We have created a lawless society that refused to hold people accountable and rejects the idea of law and order.

      Participation trophies and the idea that my perfect angel felon son can do no wrong, has been a major driving force to the current societal environment we have and it’s not a good one.

      • “We have created a lawless society that refused to hold people accountable and rejects the idea of law and order.” – I think that perfectly captures the problem.

        I’ve never worked in law-enforcement. In fact, I’ve been involved in a lawsuit against a police department for their brutality and violation of civil rights. (I was illegally arrested and a family member roughed up and arrested. The police were in the wrong, but it took them losing the litigation to change the department.)

        And yet, here I am, a vocal defender of police because I believe in law and order, and I believe that the overwhelmingly majority of police are good people who are trying to do a nearly impossible job. I won’t let my own personal interactions with a small town department that hired a few bad apples distort reality and I always encourage people to get past their own biases and see the bigger picture.

        Sadly, like you said, a core problem is that people don’t want to be held accountable. They view themselves as the victim simply because someone does hold them accountable. That leads to chaos and anarchy, which is what we’re seeing more and more of as police are put into positions where trying to enforce the law is the riskiest thing an officer can do.

      • same story in Memphis Tn. this week with the U.S.Marshals service, serving a felony warrant on a know gangster disciple when he attempted to run into their vehicles and attempted to run over an officer. when confronted he got out of the cat with a weapon and began firing at the officers. they shot and killed him and now the Dad is calling for Cop killings and the murder of a Marshal in repayment. also 26 Memphis officers have been injured when a riot about this incident turned very violent.

  7. Robert F. Kennedy nailed it over 50 years ago,

    “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves.

    What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”

  8. I just retired after 31 years as a police officer, several times we had rocks and bottles thrown at us for making a drug arrest In a minority neighborhood, just doing what the law abiding citizens asked for. It’s only getting worse. I feel for the younger guys that are being targeted by wearing a badge! It’s a thankless job! You can do a million good things, but I screwup and you’ll be crucified .Memphis has way too many gangsters for that kind of reaction! They need to go in and clean out the thugs!

  9. “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.”

    Sadly, I have to admit that this is the person I am now. I have been on my department for 30 years, and still I push a patrol car, I’ve never been in trouble and here I watch/watched as other golden children have been promoted or been given the “good jobs.” Any more, I just don’t care. I have one year to go. I would never recommend this job to any one.

    BTW, very good article.

  10. Good Morning,
    I read the article and the responses that followed. I have a few comments to say and hope that all will take them to heart. I am an officer that has worked in all aspects of law enforcement, I have seen the best and the worst working in this field. What needs to be said is that we have people that will do right and people that will do wrong in every aspect and profession in life. The main thing is that we should not group or categorize all police officers as bad when a few choose to go off the grid and become the element that that swore to protect their area from. I challenge everyone reading and commenting to step back as realize that we are Americans. The terrorist organizations encourage this type of behavior and they do not have to drop any bombs or strike at any U.S. soil targets because we are destroying ourselves from within. The fact of the matter, and I usually do not write any comments, is that law enforcement is trying its best to respond to situations and perform at a higher standard. I am sadden that people choose to protest law enforcement but choose to ignore that real problems. When was the last time we saw protestors marching on a drug infested neighborhood? When was the last time we saw protestors marching against crime against each other? So they get mad that a black officer shoos a white person or a white officer shoots a black person, but the reality is that their own race is killing each other at a alarming rate and I don’t see any one throwing rocks, stones , bottles or anything else at those violent people. So we now have selective protesting? I feel the neighborhood could assist with some of the issues in their neighborhood as they know who lives there, who is committing the crimes but they choose to accept it as “the norm”. I responded to a loud music call from a low income area that was known to have burglaries, robberies, and high drug activity. The residents of this area was complaining that the church across the street was too loud when they held their services outside. But I was just in that areas and saw known gang members, drug dealers and users, riding and posted in that area in their expensive cars with extremely loud music coming from their sound systems and NO ONE CALLED THE POLICE. So In response to those who feel that all the police are rotten to the core, I challenge you to look at yourself in the mirror. I watched little old ladies throw food at people at a popular fast food restaurant. I watched the foreign born convenience store owners treat and pull guns on kids and adults they don’t want in their store. have see all kinds of professions treat people like they were the worst of the worst and no one seems to mind or care. I guess if you spend your money at these places the product must be more important that how you are treated when you receive it. It is time for Americans to wake up, trust God and stop assuming the worst in people. Many of those who use Facebook as a outlet and spend more time tweeting, posting, insta graming etc.. than trying to get a quality education or clean up your crime riddle neighborhoods. Stop letting X-Box and PlayStation raise you and your kids. Stop pretending to be a soldier and go into the service and be a real one. Instead of allowing the media to hype you up, articles to solicit responses, be the change and stop living on change (monetarily). I went back to school in my 40’s and I am working on a doctorate in my 50’s. I am a former resident of south Philadelphia and grew up running from both races. I lived in a bad neighborhood but there is no “Hood” in me. I choose to be a cop because I knew the difference I could make. even when I received complaints and was found innocent, I did not let a few people deter me from doing what was right and will continue my 30+ year career. I do not condone any form of criminal activity and that goes for police as well as anyone else. Look at the stats and you would be surprised on how may other professions are liars and cheaters. Stop spreading hatred and spread unity among the American people. We will not survive as a country if we continue to let the self inflicted time bomb that is ticking within ourselves to exploded. The world needs more God in it and less BET, MTV, CNN or any other television initial. Be positive and work on teaching kids as well as adults that we are not to judge police based on the actions of a few. Just look at our political elements. Fat cats in DC just watching us destroy ourselves and constantly raining their pay and benefits and guess who is paying for that? Don’t let the welfare, food stamps, WIC, Section 8, tax refund or any other temporary benefit that limits you as a person hold you back but reach for the limitless income potential that America has to offer. I bet when you watch those stars in Hollywood or television and support those professional teams or wear the expensive clothing and don’t have enough gas to drive, food to eat , they don’t send you a dime. I am pro-police and also pro-life. I believe in the American people but we have to believe in ourselves and not argue and post negative or even positive comments. Instead, be the change that you wish to see. No matter how big the challenge appears, don’t be afraid to take it on. Never let a piece of paper define who you are. Lastly on a humorous note but a good point, I watched Godzilla, King of the Monsters. I am a big fan of Godzilla and have been for years. One lesson we can learn form this fictional charter is that he faces off against other monsters that are larger, stronger and more powerful than him but what makes him the eventual winner is his determination to stop and overcome whatever the challenge or challenger is. We need to have a Godzilla spirit of fight and fight back against crime, poverty, bad credit, social injustice and strive to be the King of the Monsters (which if life because life can be a monster).

    • If you choose to see it that way. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      Point is police could solely become responders. Meaning, only come when called. Nothing more. That does nothing for crime.

      But firefighters are kind of lazy. (Ongoing feud will never die so why not?)

  11. I was onboard until the fireman with badges comment about lazy police officers. Was that really needed? No other profession supports LEO like the fire service and you make a stab like that.

    • The simple analogy is meant to say that police COULD and maybe SHOULD just sit and wait until they’re called. Basically a fireman model of policing.

      You can be upset if you want. One thing I’ve learned about writing is everyone is a critic. Everyone has their two cents on what I should have said or how.

      Police and firemen are different. Firemen don’t go patrol actively looking for medical calls and fires. They come when called. If you do that as a police officer, you’re basically a fireman.

      Police and fire joke all the time. Don’t take life too seriously. 😎

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