What Do You Want from Cops?

Via Secondcitycop.

It’s time for the American public to decide what we want from law enforcement. Warriors? Counselors? Guardians? Priests? Social workers? Magicians? Do we want the cheapest cops possible? Or, do we want well-trained and well-screened cops who are equipped with every tool needed for every possible eventuality? As long as cops get recruited from the human race, they’re going to be exactly human, with everything that means. Or do we want the beat cop from grandaddy’s hometown, with nothing but a smile, a wheelgun and one set of cuffs?

Really, we want it all. Admit it, we do – and we want it all without paying for any of it.

Every officer needs to be an empathetic, well-spoken, SEAL-trained ninja, with double majors in psychology and social work, who considers the job a calling, and has no bills to pay, no nerves to fray, and enforces the law completely objectively while also using discretion at all times, unless it’s going to result in arresting – or not arresting – the wrong person at the wrong time, for the wrong thing, in the opinion of every member of the public.

If that person existed, he wouldn’t work for you. So we’ve got to deal with what exists, and what exists are humans.

Go read it all A letter to the American public: Why you must decide what you want from cops.

This is so very true, I’m enough of a leader that I can, to an extent, put myself in another’s boots. But I cannot know everything that goes through a cop’s (or a soldier’s) mind. I understand enough to understand that I don’t understand, and this is the real-world basis of Matthew 7, 1 and 2:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

I can judge electricians and linemen, I know their jobs well enough and have years of experience, but cops, especially street cops in big cities, I can empathize (and I do) but I don’t know what they go through.

The linked article is pretty good, I think, but it is not 5 years in the environment. And this is the problem we see so often where we see someone who had a half-second to decide, judged over hours and days my (mostly) lawyers and managers who at best haven’t done the job in years, sitting in airconditioned offices. They will never know, they simply can’t. Probably not as much as I can.

That doesn’t mean that cops never screw up, they do. You get exactly a human being. Like me, they make mistakes every day, and the higher the stress, the more they make. And if you’re shorthanded and work them until they’re stupid, it’ll get still worse.

Answers are few and far between, the main one being that we the public must decide what we want from cops, just as the article says.

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