I know a cop. He works extremely hard at a thankless job that it has become popular nowadays to sneer at.
He does it well anyway. It’s part of who he is; and I’d bet that (in spite of many years of experiences that have shown him the worst of what we humans can do to each other), if you scratched the surface, you would find the same simple motivation he started out with: to protect the good guys.
Today in my travels across the Internet, I came across an open letter written by Lt. Daniel Furseth of the DeForest, Wisconsin Police Department, that touched on some of the many things that make a cop’s job even more difficult than it already is. It made me stop and think, and it gave me a glimpse at how difficult it must be to do your job against so many odds and so much anti-police fervor.
Here is Lt. Furseth’s piece. Read it and put yourself in his shoes:
Today, I stopped caring about my fellow man. I stopped caring about my community, my neighbors, and those I serve.
I stopped caring today because a once-noble profession has become despised, hated, distrusted, and mostly unwanted.
I stopped caring today because parents refuse to teach their kids right from wrong and blame us when those kids are caught breaking the law.
I stopped caring today because parents tell their little kids to be good or “the police will take you away,” embedding a fear from year-one.
Moms hate us in their schools because we frighten them and remind them of the evil that lurks in the world. They would rather we stayed unseen, but close by if needed, readily available to “fix their kid.”
I stopped caring today because we work to keep our streets safe from mayhem in the form of reckless, drunk, high, or speeding drivers, only to be hated for it – and hated even more because we didn’t catch the drunk before he killed someone they may know.
We are apparently just another tool used by the government to generate “revenue.”
I stopped caring today because liberals hate the police as we carry guns, scare kids, and take away their drugs.
We apparently always kill innocent people with unjust violence. We are called bullies for using a taser during a fight, but are condemned further for not first tasing the guy who pulls a gun on us.
And if we do have to shoot, we are asked, “Why didn’t you just shoot the gun out of their hand?” And when one of us is killed by the countless attacks that do happen (but are rarely reported in the mainstream media) the haters say, “It’s just part of the job.”
I stopped caring today because Conservatives hate us; we are “the Government.” We try to take away their guns, freedoms, and liberty at every turn. We represent a “Police State” where “jackbooted, badge-wearing thugs” randomly attack innocent people without cause or concern for constitutional rights.
We are Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Rodney King all rolled into one lone police officer stopping to help change an old lady’s tire.
I stopped caring today because no one wants us around, although they instantly demand answers, results, arrests, when a crime takes place.
If a crime isn’t solved within the allocated 60 minutes it takes CSI on television, we are inept, incompetent, or covering something up.
If we do get “lucky,” it was just that: luck, and everyone with a Facebook account can post wonderful comments about how “they” would solve the case and how “we” are not nearly as clever.
I stopped caring today because of a video of a cop six states away, from a department that you never heard of, who screws up and forgets his oath of honor, thus firing up an internet lynch-mob of cop-haters because “we all do the same things” – even though 99% of us work twice as hard not to end up in the news, to still be “the good guys.”
We are “militarized” because we wear body armor and kevlar helmets when shots are fired or rocks thrown at us, and we carry scary-looking rifles, even though everyone knows that they are easier to shoot and are more accurate than a handgun or a shotgun.
I stopped caring today because the culture of today’s instantly-connected youth is about:
- Being there to take and never give back;
- Not accepting responsibility for their actions, blaming everyone else instead of themselves;
- Asking “What’s in it for me?” as opposed to “What can I do for you?”;
- Idolizing gangsters, thugs, sexually-promiscuous behavior and criminals over hard work, dedication, and achievement;
- Arguing that getting stoned should be a right, yet getting a job or an education is a hassle;
- Stealing rather than earning;
- Hating rather than helping.
Yes, I stopped caring today. But tomorrow, I will put my uniform back on.
And I will care again.
Most of us would argue vehemently for the cause of peace. However, living with our heads firmly entrenched in the sand so we won’t see the dark side of society is no answer.
The “bad guys” are still there – the drug dealers, the porn ring leaders, the serial killers and all the rest of it – whether or not we choose to acknowledge that fact as our media blithely continue to subtly criticize the police services in our city.
So here’s what I’m wondering: At what cost do we continue to constantly denigrate our police forces?
Have those of us who find it easy to criticize without investigating both sides of the picture ever considered what it would be like to live in any city in our society for even one day without that thin blue buffer between us and the “bad guys”?
I, for one (peacenik that I am), am grateful that “my cop” will don his uniform, put his head down and go back out into the streets tomorrow. Because he cares.
[With thanks to Lt Daniel Furseth
DeForest, Wisconsin Police Department.]