Let our police do their extremely difficult job

It is an incredibly difficult job to be a good police officer in America today. On the one hand, you are supposed to prevent crime and stop those who commit it. On the other hand, you’re supposed to film your every move so that a multitude of critics – lawyers, judges, DOJ watchdogs, the media, etc. in the most difficult circumstances. If you make a mistake, the consequences range from dismissal to prosecution… to a felony conviction and jail. On the other hand, crime is escalating and criminals are becoming more and more brazen and violent. Many offenders resist arrest, ranging from being vulgar and obnoxious to spit and scratch, to attacking police with the intent to kill. Imagine having to deal with people like this every day – for relatively low pay and benefits. What kind of a toll must this have on your sanity?

Now let’s add the sentiment of “funding the police” that echoed across the country after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last year. What impact on morale has this had on many police services nationwide? No wonder it is so difficult for cities to recruit new police officers and keep the ones they have. I tend to agree with those who think we need to support our police with better pay, better training and more well-defined (focused) areas of responsibility…. Police should not be called in to intervene in domestic disputes, for example – let unarmed people who are trained to defuse domestic issues deal with them. Ditto for appeals concerning the mentally ill and the homeless. Traffic officers should take care of traffic problems.

Armed police, specially trained and appointed to respond to crimes as violent as carjacking, kidnapping, rape, armed robbery and murder, etc. should not have to perform their duties under a microscope. A fraction of a second wasted trying to turn on or adjust a rear view camera could cost an officer their life – criminals… do not wear a rear view camera.

Finally, I wish we could remove all greedy law firms from the equation. They were chasing ambulances, but now they are chasing the police. While individual police officers generally have little to bicker over, their employers – municipal, state, and federal police departments – are taxpayer funded, and we are viewed as… endless, juicy sources of money. I suspect that much of the large increases in my property taxes in recent years have gone towards law enforcement settlements.

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