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01-22-12, 12:39 AM #1
Law Enforcement's Present and Future...
Its growing tired, all these discussions of "Old School" law enforcement vs. whatever it is we have now. Recently during one such thought-provoking exchange, I actually began to think a bit about where we've come from over the course of my limited experience, where we are, and where I think we are headed as a profession. Rather than getting into a deep lament over the things that were, (and I believe, will never be again), I'm concerned more about where we are, and where we just might be going.
Political correctness has never been one of my stronger traits, but respect for the individual is, and the conflict that inherently occurs when the two collide often creates quandry. I'm an advocate of the rights of the individual; so much so that I must say that I've devoted about 18 years of my life now to the front lines of protecting them. Basically, I believe that the State has no business in what the individual does, so long as the exersize of those liberties cause no injury to another individual or to society as a whole. Yet where the line is drawn between an individual right and where material harm exists, (whether palpable or potential), is often only discernable through deep cause and effect consideration. Suffice it for me to say that there is indeed harm, and not all of it is obvious. There is impact, and not all of it is immediate. To call a criminal act "victimless" is to say that no one suffers for it, and in truth, we suffer from much of what has never before even been classified as criminal everyday. Is prostitution victimless? Ask the children of the prostitute. Is drug abuse victimless? Ask the medical professional, the insurance carrier, or the individual who has become possessed by a chemical demon dragging him (and his family) into a hopelessly abyssmal despair.
A danger of our progression as a society is that we are creatures of an ever increasingly lustful eye. We crave sensory input and the more we experience, the less impressed we are by it. What was shocking to our parents is dull by our standards, and what they became dulled to was once shocking to the generation preceeding them. Reality however, always defies simulation, and often it is difficult for us to explain especially to younger, hungrier minds is that what takes place on a screen can never rival what we have ourselves starkly witnessed. Young people who romanticize death have rarely seen it as we have. Death is an ugly, final, and often tragic thing. It is never beautiful, nor even attractive in the least. Even when it can be percieved as a relief from misery, it is never comely. The danger of this type of progression to our profession is quite simply that our enemy will continue to grow bolder, and our friends will unfortunately grow more careless... all in the span of time.
As first-person witnesses, we are more often than not the only real voice of the victim. As those most directly in contact with the perpetrators, we are more often than not the authority on the criminal act, intent, and impact. Perhaps unlike never before, though, we are the least trusted source of information in our legal system. We are slandered as biased, maligned as overzealous exaggerators of facts and circumstances, and dismissed as superfluous. Often, the judicial system treats us much as our own young adults do, with a sophomoric and callous attitude, not granting us credit for being the authority we truly often inherently are through our experiences and first-hand accounts.
The vicious cycle continues, from reactionism to regression, but the trend defies any destination other than downward. Revival is possible as major events sculpt the consciousness of the masses, however over the long-term, it is the desensitization of America which will ultimately prevail, and that which I believe we must regard as the decline of our collective civil and moral consciences.
Where does this leave the career law enforcement officer, present and future? Our voices are growing more and more silent; we, who truly speak for the victim. Many years ago, to find a lifetime recidivist on the street with multiple violent criminal convictions was fairly uncommon. It is no longer so. To find law enforcement officers who were themselves the intended victims; for no other reason but their chosen career, was fairly uncommon in that time as well. It is no longer so. To hear of officers terminated at the political whim of a powerful beaurocrat was seemingly never as common as it is now, either; at least not without such a resounding public outcry that it deafened the media, and the effects were felt at the polls. The polls are more becoming a place to further personal gain, thanks to the "Candidate A is going to buy my groceries" mentality. The net reduction in civic conscience, directly proportionate to the increasing degree of self-indulgence, yields an environment not at all condusive to our career interests. We simply are called upon to serve much, much more than to protect, and I dare say that will proportionately increase. I directly refer to the case of an entire township department terminated by its town council, without even explanation as to cause, and yet whilst the public shakes their heads, there is seemingly not the outcry by the citizens who now must trust their protection to veritable unknowns.
"Do the job in front of you," an old training officer of mine used to say. "Mind the obvious, always prepare for the potential. Pursue the truth, trust your instincts, and never let worries about the outcome cause you to fail to act when dire circumstances require you to." That remains the best advice I believe I've ever heard, and it perhaps applies now more than ever. I believe it will grow more profound in the future of this career as well.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
01-22-12, 03:35 AM #2We are slandered as biased, maligned as overzealous exaggerators of facts and circumstances
To hear of officers terminated at the political whim of a powerful beaurocrat was seemingly never as common as it is now
I feel confident that upon my time to retire, should I survive that long, life wise or politically, I will see a substantial change in law enforcement, as I feel the ones who have gone before me have, and not for the good. I would not be surprised (I certainly pray to be proven wrong) to see the acceptable role of the protector of society to be, shall I say it? Pussyfied. The process to de ball law enforcement, will continue and will be slow, not obvious or horrific like a laceration to the jugular. The process will be slow like a cancer. It starts off hidden, not noticeable and will eventually strangle the effectiveness of us all. That is until politicians, local or national, seize the moments where law enforcement can be used as nothing more than a tool for their own gain. Either get on board or be kicked to the curb. Oh wait that's happening even now isn't it? Things like federal consent decree's and the like unless I am incorrect. (It wouldn't be the first time. I enjoy being proven wrong. It's just one way I learn) Go write tickets or make arrests in such and such neighborhood because it's election time. That enforcement is then "fixed" at the admin or prosecution level in exchange for votes.
The vast majority of us will continue, for as long as we can, in an attempt to influence the new recruits and rookie officers. We now tip toe around the people we think we can't trust, tell our opinions and give our influences to the ones we think we can. Eventually even that plan will fail. The rats, land mines and trip lines are every where and becoming more and more difficult to see.
Standing ones ground, acting accordingly to ones departmental policy, seeking justice for all and acting as agents of the law is what makes this job honorable. Regardless of the sign of the times I will forever view my service as a personal honor. I hope all that serve do. However, as time progresses, little by little, grains of salt will be added into the sugar bowl until there is nothing but salt in the bowl acceptable as sugar. I pray the good Lord sees fit for me not to be here if that happens. I also hope he has mercy on my children and their children to help see them through. Until I am no longer able or allowed to I will continue to do what I do and how I do it because that is what the general public expects of me and by God, that's how we roll. *exits stage left, que drama music*Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
01-22-12, 09:49 AM #3
Thank you for doing a hard job that's been made harder by the economic and political climate. As bad as it's gotten, it would be worse without sheepdogs like you pushing back against the chaos.
01-22-12, 10:08 AM #4
CB, Lew I only wish that I was as eloquent as you two.
Well said!!!Job security...
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
01-23-12, 05:30 AM #5http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon
Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.
01-23-12, 05:52 AM #6
A lot was said in the above five posts. Thank you all.Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous
Old People, like me, may not be around to witness the destruction of our Nation. The rest of you may not survive the collapse. We all have the sworn duty to prevent it.
The light of hope burns brighter than the fires of doom.
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