It’s Hard to Keep Caring

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By Lt Daniel Furseth

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 they 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 stay unseen, but close by if needed, but 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, yet hated even more because we didn’t catch the drunk before he killed someone they may know.

Nevertheless, we are just another tool used by 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 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, “Its just part of the job.” I stopped caring today because Conservatives hate us as 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 as no one wants us around, but instantly demands 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 and everyone with a Facebook account can post wonderful comments of how “they” would solve the case and how “we” are not nearly as clever.

I stopped caring today because a video of a cop six states away, from a department that you never heard of, screws up and forgets his oath of honor, thus firing up an internet lynch-mob of cop haters even though 99% of us work twice as hard not to end up in the news and 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 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 only there to take and never give back. To never accept responsibility for ones actions, but to blame everyone else instead of themselves. To ask “what is in it for me?” versus “what can I do for you?”

To idolize gangsters, thugs, sexually promiscuous behavior, and criminals over hard work, dedication, and achievement. To argue that getting stoned should be a right, yet getting a job or an education is a hassle. To steal verus earn. To hate versus help. Yes, I stopped caring today. But tomorrow, I will put my uniform back on and I will care again.

Daniel Furseth is a lieutenant with the DeForest, Wisconsin Police Department.


420 comments

It’s not hard to feel frustrated in our business and easy to feel like a man without a country. And traditionally, the police officer has chosen to spend his/her off time with fellow officers because of that common “understanding.”

MorrisB,
Don’t do it! Skip the cop bars. Go home to your family. Separate yourself from the job on your days off. You cannot remain sane if you live your job 24/7.

One of the things you will avoid is the us-against-them mentality that tends to isolate cops from the community they work in.
I would say this to teachers, nurses & docs…..any professional group…….you need to step back and observe without being involved all the time.

Joe

Absolutely right Joe! Developing relationships outside your career field helps create a well rounded person. My father retired from a 30 years in law enforcement and the best advice he gave me (careerwise) was to not make my social circle only the people I work with. Throughout his career he maintained a compassion for his fellow man and still saw the good that is in this world even though as a criminal investigator he saw the worst of cases. I believe this was because off duty he maintained a strong faith life and surrounded himself with faithfilled, good hearted friends that reinforced that what he saw at work was not the sum total of humanity. I treasure that he came through invesigating severe child abuse, murders of families and all that is wrong with this world still a strong, kind, giving, compassionate man. Law enforcement is a difficult career especially today but officers owe it them selves and their families to keep from becoming the hardness they see every day. Don’t let the evil and unappreciative determine your value. Prayers go out to all our law enforcement officers and may they know the the mouthy are not the majority.

You ever stop and wonder why the old school cops never had the problems the cops today have? Instead of blaming the parents, do you think todays police attitudes could play a part in the way police are perceived today? Todays police are more likely to be what we once called “badge heavy”, or all about power and not about courtesy, service, and protection. The system that has taken over law enforcement has become all about money and nothing about fairness and justice. In the old days, police exercised sound judgement and descretion when enforcing laws. The biggest difference of then and now, we knew how to “communicate”; and we not only practiced a friends type attitude, our dress code was one of authority, yet friendly…….we never considered presenting a swat/military image on a daily basis as these robo type cops of today do. Police are suppose to be there to protect us form the criminal element, and not for us to fear as part of there own agenda of oppression. Fair, firm, and consistent enforcement of laws was a daily routine. We never practiced selective enforcement of any laws against any certain group of people. Cases were filed as a means to allow the courts to punish those individuals who had violated the laws of our society. We were not, and did not, assume the role as the punisher! We did not file cases in mass to generate income to pay our salaries or to be able to buy new equipment. We realized that every case we filed would affect and change the lives of the people involved….we didn’t file cases to punish or just to file on a person to teach them a lesson….too many officers go by the theory,”they may beat this case, but they won’t beat the ride”…..officers who entertain this thought process are themselves criminals. It only takes one bad cop to make all cops look bad…in the old days, we policed ourselves! Somewhere between my generation and todays new breed of cop, we took a wrong turn. A combination of things caused todays problems, and I admitt some are beyond our control when it comes to lessons taught or not taught by parents today. The social influence of the liberal media and liberal politicians compound the problems we face in regaining our respect; but make no mistake, the buck stops here and change starts here! Todays police officers need to remember why they are needed; and practice: courtesy, service,and protection on a daily basis……cops are not here to punish and harrass the people they are suppose to protect! If things don’t change soon, as far as police attitude towards this police state attitude they are developing, I see a day when old school will be forced to take up arms against the oppression and possible violations of our constitutional rights by this new developing police state…..May God help us through these days and GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Did you really write that? The problems officers have today are because of old school officer bending rules and doing what they saw fit instead of doing their jobs as prescribed. All the bad case laws that hamper us. The attitude of the public is the same attitude it been for twenty years and this comes from the work of “old school” cops. Old school cops just don’t cut it in this day and age. You also didn’t have any of today’s problems like today. Mass school shootings, automatic weapons on the streets. You wanna walk a beat in your shiny dress blues with no vest. Let’s see how long you make it. If you truly believe that then you have never met a “today’s” cop. We are still here to protect and serve and follow our oaths and you should hang your head low for saying what you have. You are on here pushing and saying people’s view of police are correct and perpetuating the cycle. I in fact find it quite hard to believe you were ever an officer.

I. Appreciate both the original comment and your response. It is only with proper dialog that anything meaningful can happen. And I do respect the original comment. If this officer is true to his words than he should be the the last one to stop caring.

the reason we have these problems is because not all cops are good and not all civilians are bad but we’re taught that these things are supposed to be black and white. Children are taught that a uniform (military, firefighter, police, etc.) automatically makes someone a good guy and the perception of what a good guy is has become skewed. So when cops do things that don’t fit with this ideal, people freak out. You see this reflected in popular television, in books, everywhere. People have taken a world that exists in shades of gray and turned it into a skewed definition of black and white. They apply labels of what is good and what is bad arbitrarily instead of evaluating necessity and value systems. And because the general populace is excited by dark things, by scandal and whatnot, when people break those arbitrary black and white molds, everyone wants to jump on the scandal bandwagon. Now some people are just bad people. Being a cop doesn’t automatically make you a good person. But it doesn’t automatically make you a bad one, either.

Johnny you are part of the problem with the attitude you have. If you have some good suggestions that will really work in a day and age when 12 year old gang memebers want to shoot you and criminals can go on line and chastise you, then come on back and join the conversation. In the meantime hang your head in shame.

There are places where absolutely police need to wear more protective clothing. But here is something to think about . We live in a small town We don’t have keys to the kitchen door. When the cops came to pick up my son, for weed instead of turning the handle .the busted down my door.They know me they know my son. They threaten to arrest my 68 yr old mentally challenged sister as we sat quietly at the table, while assault weapon, armed officers stood guard over us. For every action our officers who daily risk their life in high crime areas make, the local police are now hey we can be tough and do that. The power has definitly{sp} gone to their head.also what didn’t help was that no police officer ever got arrested or fined for anything, putting them above the law. This lead some to believe they were above the law and they acted like it When was the last time an officer got fined for dui, or even speeding NEVER..They have created a world were they have put themselves above other people. .

I don’t think cops stop to think about the ridiculousness of some of the laws that they are “enforcing” either. Laws are enforced through violence or the threat of violence. If a law is not worth a person dying over it, then police should not be enforcing it at all. For instance, Eric Garner died because of a cigarette tax, and many cops are killed during traffic stops.

As a society, we have to stop and acknowledge the fact that we are “over policed”. How many Meter Maids die each year at the hands of “criminals”? I would go so far as to say, NONE because they do not have direct contact with the people they are fining, and they are not armed.

We need to take a long, hard look at our legislative process. If a law isn’t worth someone dying over, should police really be enforcing it? The fewer laws that the police have to enforce, the fewer confrontations they face, and the lesser the danger for them and the citizens that they engage. Think about it — Eric Garner was hurting no one except the State of New York’s coffer. Maybe the tax division should have been handling his breaking of the law. I’m pretty sure a tax collector would not have placed him in a choke hold that day…

I can’t help but feel here in America, we point fingers in every direction except the one that counts.We simply have too many laws on the books, and most of them are in place to ensure money for the state… Police should not be involved in any enforcement that doesn’t justify violence they are not called a police “force” for no reason. It’s time that America take another look at things.

Kris (below), I detest what you wrote…………apparently you’ve never had a police officer down in your family, or don’t you have the slightest idea what the families of the two policemen killed in NYC yesterday are going through. I am really angry about your reply !

Thank you, Johnny. Why is it that the posts above me talk about how hard it is to lose loved ones who happen to be cops? Is it not hard for ANYONE to lose a loved one? What about all the innocent people who are killed at the hands of the very law enforcement officers sworn to protect and defend them? According to our own DOJ, crime is at all time lows, while officer safety is at record highs, and yet everyday there seems to be a news story of someone dying at the hands of the police. If you don’t like being a cop because it’s a dangerous profession, then find a new profession. Police officers are not drafted in this country, it is a chosen profession. If you are a cop, and you want to kill people with your “scary looking rifle” then go to Afghanistan, and do it under the guise of “protecting my freedoms”, not here on the peaceful streets of my country.

Daniel, instead of whining to me about how you’re no longer a hero in my eyes, why not cross that thin line (that is now more gray than blue) to speak out against the cops giving you a bad name? The problem is not the perception of the police, IT IS THE POLICE. Be more like Johnny and do something about the real problem, and hold your fellow cops accountable! Then and only then, may you get the respect you demand.

Well said Paula! I like the people I work with, but if I spent any more than a few hours with them outside of work on a yearly basis, my life and my family’s lives would suffer for it significantly. When people who work together get together in social settings, shop talk dominates, which leaves little room for anything else. It’s unhealthy for anyone to have their lives predominantly defined by what they do.

Joe, I found that after becoming a cop and when socializing with others who were not, there was an undercurrent of remarks, innuendo and distrust. Lots, if not all, wanted to tell me about their bad experience with the police. They couldn’t wait to talk about the latest unjustified (in their opinion) shooting. Many people that were friends before I became a cop were no longer available when I was. Part of it due to the odd hours I worked and part to differences of opinion on things. It just became easier to maintain relationships with other cops.

Bob, when I became a mother socializing with my old friends changed. They weren’t up the same hours I was. I couldn’t stay awake long enough to hang out with them and they certainly weren’t up at the break of dawn because “the sun’s awake mommy”. I made new friends. And it was ok, my old friends and I may occasionally see each other, but they aren’t my go to circle anymore either. This happens. It’s a normal part of change. But I would encourage you to make NEW friends that aren’t police officers too. My sil seems to have such a hard view of the world until he comes over and watches all the kids play and I can see his face soften and his whole demeanor changes. I hope that things ease up. For everyone sake. It’s not like we can function without police officers. But people don’t want to feel like they can do nothing right either. Right, wrong or indifferent, sometimes that’s the perception. If you know that, then maybe you can help figure it out. Good clean fun is under-rated.

I agree, my spouse says the same thing. Always a joke, a remark or something. Even if it is not in a negative way, he can never just go to a party without at least one police joke, comment etc. It has to get tiring and he chooses to stay home and away from it. He doesn’t want to be singled out or talk about work when he’s not there.

This is exactly why I got involved in community theater and music groups…it got me involved with people other than teachers…I can call lawyers, doctors, retail, food servers, nurses, janitors…all friends because I stepped out of that small community of teachers…it has kept me sane for more than 30 years.

That’s nice. Being a teacher is NOT the same thing as being a cop. I’m pretty sure wherever you go family and “friends” don’t introduce you as “this is Bob, he’s a teacher”.

But isn’t this comment about teachers the very same type of remarks that the author of this article was talking about. You just said about teachers what they say to him. How is that any less degrading just because you said it about a teacher instead of a police officer? Do you see how many teachers are being killed in the line of their duty lately? I realize we don’t intentionally put our life in harms way every day in the same way a police officer does, but both are public servants and their service should not be downplayed. Too many people do not pay other the respect they deserve no matter what their role is this life. We all have a severe case of looking down our noses at others to make ourselves feel better. It needs to end and if we started lifting each other up instead putting each other down, there would be a lot less violence in this world.

Bob this is part of the problem with people now days. What was the need in being a jerk? I’m sure Jazz realizes the difference of being a police officer and a teacher. Jazz was making the statement about having friends outside your occupation. I’m sure it was because Joe Diamond suggested that not only police officers, but other occupations need to have friends outside of work. I’m not sure who you hang around that introduces their friends by name and then they’re a cop. Seems strange to mean. My brother lives in Houston and is a police officer. I’m very proud of all the accomplishments he’s made in his life. I’m proud of him for willingly putting on that uniform knowing that something could happen, but wants to protect others from the bad in this world. Ok with all that said I have never introduced my brother as this my brother Bob he’s a cop. My brother is a person not a profession. It’s his business if he wants to announce to the world he’s a cop.

Joe… Great observation. Being around cops a lot my earlier life, and almost joining the force, I’ve known a lot of those “everyday Heros” that clock in to be societies guardians.

However I also observed many well meaning young men become jaded, cynical, racist assholes over time. Main culprit… The “us against them” mentality and the tendency to see anyone that isn’t a cop as “them” combined with the isolation within the “locker room mentality” of the job.

YouTube has given the public many examples of bad, bully cops, while missing the ones changing tires and rescuing kittens.

There is an “attitude deficit” that needs to be corrected from both sides. But it’s going to take all cops standing up and demanding that their brothers and sisters adhere to a level of respect and professionalism toward the community they serve.

Going back to the old fashioned concept of “policing” where cops walk a beat, get to know the community, and where all cops wear body cams, where independent civilian review boards, unconnected to the depts, look at complaints and where recommendations are followed, and where all officers are regularly trained in psychology and conflict resolution, all of these will go a long way toward restoring faith in the community.

And we as a society need to give police the respect the uniform deserves.. And hopefully the respect the officer wearing it has EARNED..

The majority of cops are good people doing a difficult job. But there are bad cops and there are good cops who have a bad day.

The LT’s opinion piece ignores that. It also ignores that police departments do a terrible job weeding out those cops who demand a driver’s license from a pedestrian he’s stopped on threat of arrest for failure to ID even though there is no law anywhere in the country requiring citizens to carry identification documents.

He doesn’t mention the use of SWAT teams to conduct raids on questionable evidence with little to no investigation. Raids that result in dead dogs or even kids. He doesn’t mention that it’s extremely rare for those responsible for these raids to be held accountable when it turns out there was insufficient evidence to justify the paramilitary tactics or the use of force at the scene. Not long ago an infant was badly burned when a SWAT team tossed a flash bang grenade in his crib. No officers have been held accountable for this.

The LT doesn’t mention the officers who harass and even arrest people for engaging in constitutionally protected activity- namely videorecording in public.

He doesn’t mention the abuse of asset forfeiture, either.

Our law enforcement institutions are corrupt. It’s remarkable that so many cops are good people, because there is little to no institutional incentive for them to remain that way.

On this note I know a female that shared her own experience with me as I mentioned a comment on face book of Timothy Bond pertaining to police brutality deaths being accidental parts of the job! Her story is that at the age of 15 she had A DRUG PROBLEM and after having and seeing enough of his daughter being in the state of self destruction and the ONE young man at the age of twenty something that continued to disrespect him an/d his house by bringing those drugs to her while the father wasnt home had finally been face to face on his property and in his house mind you it was a fenced property with signs of NO TRESSpaSSES and VIOLATORS will be shot posted alomg the fence line,the young man attempted to intimidate the father of the girl and one thing lead to another and the man was shot in his leg…. At the hospital the man told the cops a blatant lie accusing the father of catching him in bed with the 15 yr old and that was his only reason for the shooting.
Police showed up the man was pissed from the entire outcome and approached his property line with his legal fire arm in hand and when refused to drop it on his own property they killed the father in front of his 15 year old daughter ,Shes now Id say bout late thirties……alot of wrongful acts in this story by both parties thoughthe main violation was of the constitution and expectations by each of them…..So lack of communication is the bottom line…no point i guess but what a tragedy! to imagnine

Well said Mr. Joe! My late husband was in law enforcement in a time and place that allowed him to take personal time for everyone. A time when the “cop” was respected and admired by those who knew him. A time when everyone knew he was in law enforcement and still respected him and the badge he wore. He chose to not be part of the thought that said “it’s us against them”. He dealt (as law enforcement does) with the worst of the worst and clung to the idea that this was not all that there was in life. His faith in God, strength, compassion, and respect for life made him a man that many wanted to be next to, rub elbows with and talk to. He exuded a quiet strength, (as I was once told by many in the public) that made everyone who knew him feel safe. He was blessed indeed. Today our officers face a much harsher and more critical environment that puts them on the defensive. They must balance the bad that comes with the job with the good that comes from the loving support of family and friends outside of “on duty” time. A day does not pass without my lifting up our law enforcement officers to God for their protection both physically, spiritually and mentally.
.

Morris,
As a Firefighter/paramedic I know and work with the police nurses and doctors and my wife is a teacher. Those of us in those professions the job is a part of us, that is why we do it. You just dont step back, the job is always with you. And no matter what we do if we are mentioned by the media our profession is noted right by our name. Even with this we do what we do because the passion within us drives our love for the job and is something outsiders will never understand

though in some professions the empowerment over others easily goes to a persons head and from that point its easier to hide certain intentions or characteristics among your own…..by the way a fire man is of NO COMPARISON TO ANY OTHER ! Paramount over their peers, I commend you all!!!!

Tony,
I don’t walk in your shoes. However, as a clinical social worker, my job is to listen and try to understand what you experience, with no judgement of you as a person. I also hear and see some of the worst of people and situations.

I served in the military until I was medically discharged due to a brain injury. I understand doing a job many people just don’t “get” until they’ve been there. However, isolating ourselves from “outsiders” (family/ friends/ etc) only results in further isolation. We dive deeper into those worlds and lose connection to what is normal,and good. Sometimes, we need a “reality check”. The world isn’t all candy and rainbows. But, there is also a lot of good. Many caring people…

Did you see the Wendy Williams show the other day Joe? WE don’t perpetuate the “us against them” mentality, the public does!!

Thanks Lt. for expressing how many of us feel!

Sorry Lisa,
That big We suggests there might be days when you pin on a badge, strap up and become officer Lisa. And Lt. has a first name….he is Dan, a cop commander from suburbia. Regrets, I don’t know who Wendy Williams is. Aside from her (TV?) show is there a book I could look, at or some quote?

Look, there is supposed to be a separation between the public and sworn officers. The whole uniform thing is to let the public know police have special authority to take actions the general public is not expected to do. The issue here is that; 1. Trust has been eroded on both sides. 2. Because it is difficult to identify exactly who are the bad cops and dangerous citizens each group needs to work at avoid generalizations based on only a few experiences.

What did Wendy say?

Joe

Joe,
For me, calling him “Lt.” Is acknowledging the work he did to make that rank. It’s probably my military service.

I hated seeing the media fan the flames anytime there’s an officer involved shooting. We don’t get unbiased information. Media twists it to what sells. I have no idea what really happened in the Michael Brown shooting. Neither does anyone else.

I agree with your comments.

The public is who you work for. We’re a Republic. Republic literally means “rule of the people.” If there’s a problem between the police and the public (not individuals in the public: the public as a whole), then the police need to change.

If you don’t understand or like that, you’re in the wrong line of work. It’s no different for soldiers, either.

No, it’s not a club. It’s where you don’t have to explain because everyone there already knows. It’s somewhere to go between job and home that can help to blur the lines of the cold surreality of the job and the warm normality of home life. Remember, police officers typically interact with people on the worst day/s of their lives.

It’s also a place to go where it’s guaranteed you’ll never be asked, “Have you ever shot someone?” or, be a sounding board for someone who “got a ticket I didn’t deserve”.

Sometimes, one gets tired of speaking with civilians who always then say, “but you have to admit that Officer X in situation X did the wrong thing, right?” or even “I understand that you need to stop (insert minority for your region) to see what they’re up to.” Civilians are ignorant of the facts and fill in their own TV versions of everything which are almost never right, so you get tired of talking to them about politics, government, and the law…not to mention that get offended when your answers aren’t what they wanted to hear.

Steve,
What you mentioned can be fixed. Hang your gear in your locker. People won’t know who you are or what you do unless you tell them. Likewise if you are in uniform you are perceived to speak for cops everywhere.
Doctors, teachers and clergy get the same business when they show up in public near where they work. Just cut yourself a break….skip the cop bar……go incognito to a golf course.

Joe

You are needed and I for one have the utmost respect for your uniform and you. I take every opportunity I can to talk about the good job you all do.I just Pray you all stay the kind and caring people you were when you entered to serve and Protect.God Bless You All

Thank you Sharon,
I for one had always been a cop who truly cared about the public, and I am the kind of human being that would always give of anything I have freely to assist my fellow man. We are not always wanted or needed by or so they say, but we always seem to “Show Up” mysteriously, when trouble arises. I know I have done a great job, because my children would watch t.v. shows and say,” my dad does that.”
I just lost my oldest son to a car accident on Oct. 11th. of this year and I am having a very hard time and probably always will, but I will say that the citizens in the community where I serve (at least the ones I know) have been supportive of my situation.
You see when I started “police work” (a long time passed) I thought I could change the world, and then when I lost my son I thought,” I can save the world but can’t save my own son” I still feel like he was standing on the road, waiting for me to come pick him up.” But I can’t find him.
I still believe I can help 1 person at a time, but I ask please have patience with us Cops, we are just humans too. May God Bless All (ESPECIALLY,MY CHILD, Gone Far too Soon…..)

I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be going through what you are going through. Nonetheless, I am praying for you to have peace. I am praying for you to let go of any guilt you feel. I am praying that somehow, your son’s spirit surrounds you, that he visits you in dreams and that you get the reassurance that you will see him again. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Greg, I am sorry for your loss. A friend of mine lost his wife and son to a drunk driver, and his brothers and sisters in blue saved his life and sanity. I will forever be grateful to them for that, and to all low enforcement for the sacrifices they make to keep us safe from our own folly.

Greg,
I personally want to say that I’m sorry for your loss. I have a lot of friends that are in law enforcement and some I would be proud to call family. I have the upmost respect for all of you. I couldn’t imagine having a job where I didn’t know if I was going to come home to my family at the end of the day. You sir, are a hero in my eyes and that is the way that I have raised my children to think. Thank you for your service. May God bless you and your family.

Sir,
I lost my son in a car accident while en route from his college to his Army. Reserve unit. My heart goes out to you. It has been since 1988 and life is just getting to be ok again. Thanks for doing your job. Many of us appreciate you folks. I hope that you haven’t had performance issues as a result of your loss but don’t be surprised if you do. Keep on keeping on and life may eventually improve. That said, there will always be a hole in your life as long as you live , buT good friends will help fill some of it.

my hat is off to you officer! you seem to be of the type that are genuinely good people ,so i Pray that your influence is recognized and that you ALWAYS remain the same .you are the type of officer that everyone respects cause you’re a cop and also a person of our equal,whats not to respect ,God Bless you and may your paths be of righteousness

As a former, once well respected but now disgraced Canadian Police Officer, I can relate to every point raised by Daniel.
Journalists often target the very occasional misconduct by police officers reporting on it as a widespread problem. We all have to remember that in the absence of information a person can and will adopt erroneous information as fact. This is especially true if the source of that misinformation is media (who tell us that they provide the “whole story” and “unbiased facts”) or police officers who conduct “investigations” without knowing all of the facts and thus mislead potential witnesses or “suspects”. We are all susceptible to this misinformation and truly do not know how gullible and ignorant we all are (believe it or not, police are often more susceptible than most). In my case a whole phenomenon of police abuse that amounted to murder was perpetuated by a single act of misconduct by two police officers. The assumptions, chance similarities, and rumors of similar misconduct widely reported by media and special interest groups created a culture of suspicion which over time became a culture of fear, anger, hatred, blame and revenge against Canadian police officers and in particular, members of my department. My reputation, honor, vocation, even my FAITH in justice and GOD were destroyed as a result. All to satisfy the misguided few who hate police. 10 years later I am STILL fighting to reveal the truth of these matters and so that our police officers can/will be treated fairly under the law.

Blessings to you. I know it’s not easy. I was married to a police officer who is now decrease. Just keep your head up, look for the good as well and know that you will succeed and right will be mighty. Don’t let anything destroy your attitude and your good feelings. You deserve the best!!

yea it is moms fault..and everyone else but the cops..the cops that abuse their authority, bully, break the law and even murder at epidemic pace. This has been going on for some time and now technology has caught up with it. Its on film and they still want to deny it. The worst part is it is like a club (KofC, Elks..ect) and the good cops protect the bad cops, hence making them bad cops. This guy needs to take a hard look in the mirror and ask himself..”Was I part of the problem”?

And no need to look in the mirror because I can tell you that you ARE part of the problem. Its called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY- get some!!

Funny, that’s also what she’s suggesting, taking personal responsibility. I think its a good idea both cops and non-cops take some personal responsibility for the deterioration of the relationship between them.

Actually it’s not just issues with juveniles. There are issues with bad cops just as there are with bad men/women in general. The problem is we can no longer look the other way and pretend it’s not happening. As a wife whose husband worked for the police department in a small town I have seen and heard many things. My son was continually pulled over by 1 officer even though he was obeying the laws. We took it to the sheriff with video and eye witnesses to the issue. It all stemmed because of the officers son didn’t like the fact of my son’s Native American background. It finally stopped when I spoke with a friend on the highway patrol and he witnessed it happen. It does happen but it doesn’t mean all law enforcement officers are bad. But it’s no different than targeting someone based on color, religion, income area, or gender or what they drive. There needs to be a coming together to get things to change.

If a burglar ever breaks into your home, if you are ever assaulted, if your car is ever stolen, if your identity is stolen, don’t bother calling the cops that you obviously revile. Call someone else that cares.

Luther: I retired in 2000 after working in emergency services communications (dispatch) and local police agency records for 30 years. Yes, cops come in all descriptions, good, bad, and in between. But, reading your post, I was reminded of a piece of advice written by someone to a local paper. (This was in the late 60’s-early 70’s, at the height of the anti-war, civil rights, anti-authoritarian, (i.e., anti-government, anti-police, pro-drug, “Woodstock”, free-speech, so-called “demonstrations”) era, which seems to flourish even today. The advice?: If and when you ever find yourself in serious trouble, threatened, assaulted and/or victimized, don’t bother calling a cop; call a “hippie” (insert social activist, community organizer, social worker, as the case may be…your choice”). Sad, but in many cases these days, that advice still seems to hold true for too many people who live in a self-imposed, egocentric fantasy world. 8 /

Wow. That type of attitude is exactly what continues to deepen the wedge between communities and the cops who serve them. If you’re a cop, you’re making your own job more difficult by harboring such sentiments. In the real world, there always is a nuanced approach that allows criticism of cops without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

So if you don’t want police to do what they’re not supposed to do, you can’t ask them to do what they are supposed to do? If you criticize police for doing wrong, you can’t ask them to do right?

Actually, it is extremely likely that forms of social deviance can/will be traced back to the source, which is the family environment. Most adolescents these days live with their family for over 18 years of their lives, which is the largest chunk of “learning time”, by the way. The author makes a valid point when he wrote about how mom’s use the police as a scare tactic to try to make their children behave. “Behave or the police will take you away” is not a very rational good behavior motivator, but if a mother tells her 5 year old this, he or she will probably take the statement very seriously (the average 5 year old cannot tell that the same amount of liquid will be present after he or she transfers all of it to a different size and shape container).

“Epidemic pace”.
How is it that the number of police involved fatal shootings has remained fairly constant at about 400 per year? That’s in a country with 900,000 police officers. I’d hardly call that an “epidemic”. And I keep hearing about these abuses of power and violations of rights, but every time I try to find an example of it I am left wondering where it’s happening, because I’m never given any specifics or proof. And in nearly every video I’ve ever seen of these supposed violations, the police have conducted themselves well within the law.
No, Mr Mizer, I don’t think you believe there are any good cops out there. I doubt you think there are any good people out there. And don’t go thinking I’m a cop. I’m not. I’m one of those good people you don’t believe in.

How ironic that Hete used the word “epidemic.” Little does he know that while the number of people killed by police officers remains, as Mark L noted, fairly consistent at about 400 per year (and the vast majority of people killed are violent perps, of course), the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that medical malpractice and medical negligence kills over 200,000 Americans per year! The general public is woefully ignorant about law enforcement and has no interest in learning. Their loss. They are also woefully ignorant about a lot of things, but what else is new?

That “400 per year” is justified homicides, not total killings by police, let alone shootings.

No one knows how many people police kill every year. No one knows how often they fire their weapons. It’s not being tracked by anyone.

Karma is a bitch. God forbid you find yourself needing one of these men or women of honor who put their life on the line daily to protect idiots like yourself. God forbid som thug decides to take your family hostage and your calls go unheeded because of your disdain and ignorance. Move to Mexico and come back in a year or two, that is if you make it back. Then give us an educated opinion on corruption. I have many friends in law enforcement and not one stands under the cloud you just placed them all under. If you have demons, for God’s sake get some help. If you have a criminal past (which wouldn’t surprise me a bit given your comments) then it’s your fault. They make mistakes, they are human. The are not a band of Nazis as you like to portray them. 99% are protecting and serving, even your ignorance. You could find an idiot in any profession, like your job for example, if you have one. Please educate yourself

For some one who started his response with talk of karma, you speak with utter recklessness, which is a mark of the lazy and thoughtless.

That’s for sure people will call the police when they ready too. Why do people focus so much on the police and not on the criminals . I should have the right to walk down the treet without being a victim of a crime . Yeah let’s blame the police for all the criminal behavior and by the way how disgusting the star bucks employee would not even let the pice officer use the bathroom. I would be appealed if my young daughter behaved like that !

Hete Mizer: Yes, sometimes it is mom’s fault – she tends to over look that their kids are doing wrongful things. They will bury their heads in denial that their kids are anything but Angels. Lets blame dad’s too. They often skip out on their kids, hence their responsibilities. Lets blame both parents for abandoning their kids, by fighting in front of them, physical fights that cause medical harm to one another, or keep kids from being able to see a parents, because of the hate between the parents, not the kids between the parents. Time for Mom’s and dad’s to realize that their kids are not the Angels we see them as, but little miniature “me” who act like “us” and mimic how we act and treat others. Yes their are bad cops, but lets thank the good ones too. The ones out there every day trying to make a difference. Trying to help keep out kids the Angels we all want our “darlings” to be. Stop giving our kids every thing they want and give them what they need and teach them if they want more, to earn it, it’s not for the taking.

If you don’t like law enforcement you must be part of the lawless society….you lack respect for those that protect you…..you have been duped by the media……learn to think

You are exactly the not taking personal responsibility idiot he is talking about! And drop the “murder at an epic pace” crap. Every time an officer shoots someone people like you claim it is murder. There is such a minute percentage of unjustified shootings especially compared to the ratio of unjustified shootings by citizens. Just obey the laws of this country and there would be no problem.

Hete Mizer you are probably one of the people who hates cops because you have done something wrong, I know lots of cops and they do have it hard. I was in the military and in the war, did you know Obama said if they shoot at you , you can not shoot back…. so how are you suppose to win wars that way? just like cops you dont think they get crap from people like you they can never make you happy. I honestly am ashamed I fought for what this nation has turned into. People all over the world laughs at us and mocks us. and yes partially to blame the parents and even government because government says we cant punish our kids, but there is still ways to punish your kids
I have 3 kids and they are law abiding kids, they dont demand stuff all the time or even blame others when they do wrong. So yes there are that 1% that is bad cops that is all you see, you dont see the good the cops do because media doesnt want you to see that. so do research before you stick your foot in your mouth.

ever had to pick pieces of a person/child out of a vehicle? ever have to respond to a child that has been beat to death, shot in the head, ran over,drowned, overdosed? responded to a 911 call to find the whole family dead. Find dead bodies rotted from the heat. How often do you have to respond to domestic violence with belligerent spouses sharing their thoughts turning their aggression towards you. Have you ever tried to put a drunk or extremely high individual in cuffs. are you aware of how many people cause problems with the law just because they are criminals and it is in their nature. When you have an occupation that is unpredictable, it often has times that need a split second decision. After being called to violent situations day after day, never knowing if today might be the day, you do not make it home, can take a toll on a person. Maybe if people would quit thinking me, me, me what is in it for me? Just maybe, if they would quit acting like juveniles, they may find cops to not be so nasty. You get, what you give. Rotten people come from all walks of life.

Michael,
You have done well to identify and isolate a problem many professions face. What you said is that police (and the rest of us) are influenced by past experiences. That is how civilization advances….learning from the past! What is hardest to do is what you almost said.

Police and others do have to learn from past experiences…but be able to begin each new encounter as if it is not the worst negative encounter known. As police don’t just shoot people who might have committed a crime you also must smile and greet other persons you meet as though they are a good person who needs help but is deserving of respect even though you know nothing about them.

Because you encounter dangerous, unpleasant and often unexplained events explains nothing to the next person you meet. They have a right to expect a professional who can suck it is and move on. That is why cops can retire after 20. The job takes a toll.

Joe

Unfortunately, the younger generation has not been taught to respect people with authority. I am currently in a College Algebra class. It is a night class with mostly nursing students. They show no respect to the instructor or fellow students. It is frustrating when I am trying to pay attention and students in the back of the class are talking, not whispering, talking out loud. I’ll be glad to get out of there and go back to online courses.

As far as police officers, kids are being taught that they are the bad guy. They will kill you if they get a chance. They are no longer to person you look for when you need help. Those of us that do still respect police officers rarely interact with them because the disrespectful criminals take up so much of their time.

In some parts of the country it’s the police teaching the kids not to trust them. When a cop detains a kid walking down the sidewalk and gives “because you’re a f#cking mutt” as the reason he’s stopped him, that’s teaching that kid and the others in his neighborhood not to respect or trust the police.

If the good cops did more to get rid of the bad ones, and demanded high standards and discipline, it would go a long way towards restoring that “once honoured profession” to being honourable.

YES IT IS, BUT YOU HAVE TO TRY OTHERWISE THE BAD AND UNJUST WILL PREVAIL AND ALL IS LOST. I HAVE BEEN IN POLICE WORK FOR OVER 46 YEARS AND STILL ACTIVE AS A RESERVE OFFICER WITH THE PLANTATION POLICE DEPTARMENT. I LOVE THE JOB, THE MEN AND WOMEN AND SOMETIMES HELPING OTHERS.

this is what happen to us vets. coming back from overseas when our tour of duty was complete in the 60s. we wore a uniform and was hated for it. we felt like our country had let us down and hated us . but we forgave the ignorance of the masses and remembered the ones who was helped because we were there. the people in our country now honor our soldiers, but we did just like you. you are in a war against evil , and we who have served both in the military and law enforcement pray for all who serve with honor and pride for their community. they take on the hated and distrust, to take of the ones who are acting like this. God bless you all. retired and still willing to serve.

I just want to thank you for everything you do. When I am in a bad area, I feel so much better when I see a police officer. My neighbors husband passed away and the police officer sat with her for hours to make sure she was ok..I live on a street where 2 police officers live, and I feel safe at home. Please know that so many people, respect you and thank you for all you do.

I STRONGLY AGREE WITH YOU—THANK YOU AND ALL OTHER ( ELDERS ) WHO RESPECT YOUR POSSISSION–KEEP YOUR OWN PIORITES ( LAW AND ORDER ) FIRST—————-THANKS AGAIN
,LIEUTENANT DANIEL FURSETH

Gee boys a real tough subject to answer in a nut shell. All too many people do not realize the position of an enforcement officer
at any level. Many think there are too many police? When in fact there aren’t enough. Too many thugs an the streets of America of all types. Police frankly, haven’t the time to “Profile” as so many believe. More often the criminals are easily noticed and identified. These people force Police to profile them and why? They way they dress, long hair, UN-shaven, tattoos, skin piercing, hooded clothing, pants down to their knees. These thugs make themselves targets and for the most part it seems to be deliberate. “Police Profiling” heck no the punks do it for them. The public at large should drive with a Sheriff or any law enforcement unit to see first hands how scary and difficult their jobs really are. With so much crime on the streets coming from un-socialized youths with parents I guarantee you don’t care is the crux of the matter. Why is it some many kids are respectful and polite wearing normal clothes with a clean appearance……….these types don’t draw the attention of Police and in most cases a full lifetime never having been arrested or harassed. Gosh, so many live by the rules and never
have to place themselves in harms way. It seems all too many people just don’t know right from wrong and thus invite law enforcement to their own door. The one’s causing all the trouble repeatedly simply keep stumbling over themselves and find all too easy to blame the Police? Too many excuses from this element of scanty knowledge pointing the finger in the wrong direction. At some point if you people that actually think you are privileged characters and above the law for very immature
and ill guided with no hope and this is why we need Police to contain people that cannot judge right from wrong! Pathetic!

I totally feel this mans pain.. I felt the same way when I had my civil liberties violated by what are supposed to be officers of the LAW. You see I grew up around cops, they were my friends parents then when I grew friends. Ive never been arrested YET that didn’t stop 7 officers from violating my rights over the rantings of a crazy exroomate off her medication. To make it even more ridiculous I wasn’t even in the country when she alleged I threatened her or took her property. Yet even so they illegally entered my home and allowed her on her word to take property that didn’t belong to her. WOW then threatened ME with arrest when I asked for their badges .. Their screw up cost me over a thousand $$. Now here is the thing, I understand people make mistakes, it happens. BUT when it does you do what you can to make it right,what you don’t do is compound it by ignoring the abusive officers in your midst. The biggest threat to good cops are abusive cops because to be honest you all look the same to us..

It is a pretty big mess. And it is pretty thankless. Some of us “civillians” still want to give officers the “benefit of any doubt.” Some of us still watch the old Adam12 on Netflix to teach our kids that Police work is Noble, Police Officers should be considered your friend. Some of us still smile and say thank you when we get a ticket or warning we know we deserved. Some of us still take parenting seriously, and will back up any officer that has to “deal” with our children in a foolish moment. I am a Pastor. I know what it is like to stand between the sheep and the wolf. Sometimes the sheep understand the danger and am glad I am there. Sometimes I get hoof marks up my back because the sheep want to play with the cute puppy. Neither job is easy, neither is for the “faint of heart”. Both are more of a calling. Something higher than ourselves. Something that serves a much higher purpose. Law enforcement officers are appreciated. Romans 13 even calls you ministers of God. Thank you for caring, and thank you for wearing the Shield.

Thank you Patrick Heeney! thank you for saying all that and to maybe let a few of the officers know they are really appreciated.

Excellent essay Lt. Furseth. Thank you for keeping my community in De Forest safe! Law enforcement is often an under appreciated, thankless job. It’s people like you who, while at times feel discouraged, get up every day, put a uniform on and “care” all over again.

Daniel Furseth, I am in Baraboo WI. I want to say thank you for your honest words of our current culture. I will not lie, when I was a teenager, I felt the same way about cops, despising them. Now, 24 with a wife and two daughters, I thank God for the men and women like you who serve us, protect us, and keep me with a peace of mind of protection. I speak for my generation, but only a small percentile, as I say thank you for your sacrifice and your unhindered service for justice.

I understand, but also the role the media does play—- reporting news, usually bad. It seems like Albuquerque police are totally out of control! But only the bad things see the light of day.

Daniel,
I am moved by your words. The problems you cite are real and cannot continue. Something must be done to put things back in balance. I see two areas that could be addressed first that might help.
1. Identify the number of crimes…police interactions…..arrests….trials and convictions in each state and town each day. M ake the system transparent. This means cameras for the cops to record all interactions with the public. This would also include unsolved attacks on both police and the public. As it is now American sentiment is formed and directed by a media that is profit driven but terribly short on perspective or long term analysis. Self styled wise men can get their distorted views on the internet but other facts and issues are not presented. We have to assume people are good and seek justice in a safe place to live.
2. Second, I would purge a few systems. Examine the prison industry and release non violent offenders. We have to stop using arrest & jail as a cure for all social problems. This also means purging the ranks of cops. That one dangerous officer with a psychotic point of view must be found and removed. They cause more problems than they solve and are a danger to themselves, the public and other officers. We need to eliminate laws that only serve to generate revenue. Allowing the government to seize property without due process is just wrong…….and it pisses off people who would otherwise support police action against drug dealers. The pot laws need to be re examined. The cop job has been expanded in too many directions and it discourages serious men like yourself.

Joe

I can appreciate the sentiments in this. For all of the ‘good’ cops out there, I bet this sums things up pretty well.

As a member of the public who doesn’t break the law and who was raised to respect the police and believe they are the good guys, it has pained me as an adult to see repeated breaches of our trust by a multitude of police officers.

When several of them threw me on the ground, began kicking and hitting me, cursing me out and then made a number of false accusations against me after a traffic stop 20 years ago (when I was 19), it scared me to death and shook my view of the ‘noble profession’. When it became clear that their false accusations were undermined by a carload of 5 Christian missionaries who had witnessed it all from a block away, and they couldn’t continue in their arrest, the cops threatened to kill me if they ever caught me again in their city (Fort Worth, TX) and let me go without even a ticket. I still to this day have severe anxiety when I see police, because I don’t know if they are the disgusting barbarous thug types I encountered, or the ‘good guys’.

My point is that, while the author bemoans the ungrateful public for besmirching the good profession, it may be that there are good and valid reasons for this. The blame can’t all be placed on the thug-life celebrating public, because we aren’t all that way. And the abusive cops who have raped, beaten, falsely accused, and even murdered innocent members of the public, are just as much to blame.

Often, where there is smoke there is fire. And often something is a cliche because it is true.

Perhaps what could help is some self policing. Officers could start with honor, truth and justice – instead of betraying those things in the name of the ‘thin blue line’. When your fellow officers are doing something beyond the pale, stop covering it up or excusing it.

For all of you doing a good job, I applaud you. Every time I meet a cop, I want to believe he is the good guy and not the thug version. But the scary thing is that I don’t have a way of knowing which he is. And where I can shoot a thug attacking me, I have no recourse or defense against a violent cop. I am literally more scared about rogue cops than criminals, because I can properly dispatch a criminal if needed.

To improve your image, you must collectively improve your actions.

I would like to amend this to add one thing. Despite my bad experience years ago, I realize most of you aren’t that way. Despite anxieties I have about it, I always try to assume any cop I see is the good guy. If I rolled up onto a scene of some thug on top of one of you, beating you, I can promise you I would not just pass by or stand there watching. I’d do everything in my power to protect YOU, just as many of you protect others on a daily basis.

Please take my initial words with a few grains of salt. All of the pent up fear and emotion I’ve felt since that incident came out first. For those of you that are showing honor in your daily job performance, you deserve the appreciation of all of us.

I have had the same experience Daniel…….every experience i have had with the police in my town they treated me like dirt. i am a law abiding citizen but when they think you did something they curse at you, throw you around and treat you with disrespect! i would have respect for you all if you treated me respectfully but most of you DO NOT. i know there are good cops but the bad ones are horrible. Show me respect and kindness you will get the same back from me.

Wow. Entitled much?

I think since you know how to fix this, you should be wearing a police uniform. I’m sure you’d be perfect, since you say you “can properly dispatch a criminal if needed. “,Flawlessly and with style, I expect. Wiith your razor-sharp vision and your crystal-clear mind, you will obviously be able to see through all the lies, tales, and misinformation fed by people such as yourself, the people who “see nothing” as they walk by crimes in progress, the criminal system that allows the criminal more rights and freedoms than the victims, and the issue of “conviction by internet” — anyone with any knowledge of editing footage and an iPhone has more credibility on the Internet than any officer of the law

Put up or shut up.

Emergency Health Care Worker, your comment is disgusting and smacks of a police brutality apologist. Daniel clearly articulated what those on the other side of the thin blue line feel every day. If you paid attention to what laws are being passed, you’d realize that the police forces of today are becoming more powerful through both legislation and judicial precedent. When police are more afraid of offending the police unions that rooting out the “bad ones” you breed a culture of us versus them and create a deep-seated problem that will only get worse with time. Furthermore, when the general citizenry are more afraid of the police that are supposed to be protecting them (since there doesn’t seem to be any accountability and you, as a citizen, have no right whatsoever under law or legal precedent to defend yourself), I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assert that something is broken.

How about you clean up your own house and provide something other than an ad hominem attack next time sparky.

Concerned citizen – I think that you have lost your mind. “Fear of the police” is a media-created, media-fueled fiction. ” Police forces being made more powerful every day”? Hardly. Read the legal publications, not the agenda-driven media ones, and you would see that.

Get out in the world, the courts, the streets, and get a clue.

Take your own avdvice: read the legal publications. Police are getting more powerful every day.

Police enjoy qualified immunity from civil liability and it’s rare for any accountability to occur when they violate the rights of citizens. The officers who beat and falsely charged John McKenna back in 2010 received slaps on the wrist, despite having engaged in pejury and destruction of evidence to support their unwarranted assault on him. Only one officer was criminally charged and a judge married to a cop vacated that conviction. Four were suspended, but all kept their law enforcement certifications- enabling them to be hired by another department.

In Hudson v. Michigan the Supreme Court increased the ability of police to kick in the door of any house where they serve a warrant.

In Kentucky v. King, the Supreme Court basically said the police could create the exigent circumstances they need to avoid needing a warrant.

We are rapidly becoming a police state- many parts of the country we already are. This isn’t the fault of cops, but it is a corruption of our law enforcement institutions, corruption on the part of our politicians, and foolishness on the part of the citizens.

It’s amazing to me that thinking people who break the law should be held accountable gets labeled as hating police or not liking law enforcement. But that’s what happens when one argues that police should be held accountable when they violate the law.

You’re part of the problem. A man tells his story about getting brutally beaten by a group of police, gang-style, without being charged with a crime, and you call him entitled because it speaks ill of your buddies. Your response, instead of being compassionate, is just snarky and rude. Typical.

Well said, Daniel. I was greatly moved by the original article, and I have no doubt much of it bears truth and poignancy … but there is most definitely another side. As individuals, we tend to form our opinions based on our observations and experience. When I was a child in the 1960s, the policeman “was our friend”. No longer! These days, young cops strut around like they own the place. They harass and want to stop and search teenagers simply because they’re wearing a hoodie. I was in the legal profession for many years before I retired, and I have seen a lot to form a balanced view of police and policing behaviour. We definitely see in our society today a negation of respect for other people, including people in authority, but the police also exercise this diminishing of respect for people. The whole world’s doing it! Let’s not isolate police like they’re demigods.

First, I want to say that I am sorry you had that poor experience. That is/was horrible and I hope you never have to experience that again.
However, you need to go back and review what you said. You don’t want to be judged as a thug because of other people’s actions, but it is absolutely ok to judge the police as thugs because of other people’s actions. You do realize this makes no sense? You can’t have it both ways. As long as we continue to judge each other through the bad actions of a few, there can be no hope for peace and civility for all people. I do not dispute that your situation was horrifying, but if you firmly believe that based upon all of that, all cops must be thugs then shouldn’t the cops have the right to apply your logic to you? You see it is all well and good to look at places like Ferguson and make snap judgements and such but when the logic is applied back to you or yours suddenly that logical line if thinking gets chucked out the window. The double standard has to stop Americans. Start believing in the good in people and they may just surprise you with their good deeds.

If he can’t have it both ways, why do the police get to have it both ways?

Ferguson is a good case in point. The protests there didn’t happen because Michael Brown was killed, but because the local police department was a corrupt cancer on the city. That wasn’t the fault of the cops like Wilson. It was the fault of the local government and the police department as an instition. Google the case of Henry Davis, a man arrested erroneously in a warrant mix-up (someone with the same name had a warrant), was then beaten badly by officers, and then charged with destruction of government property because his blood got on their uniforms. At trial, those officers then either admitted to perjury in their arrest reports or committed it during the trial. None were held accountable for their actions.

60% to 70% of Ferguson’s revenues come from fines levied against the people of Ferguson. In practice, that means the local police ignore serious crimes because they are too busy pursuing revenue for the city. I don’t imagine the cops on the beat enjoy this, any more than I imagine the cops in New York liked violating the Fourth Amendment rights of people under Stop and Frisk, but the police leadership and politicians set the agenda.

Being a Vietnam Era veteran, I know those feelings all too intimately. Shift your focus from the 20% who are in your space and face and remember the 80% that are solidly behind you and “have your back” 100 % of the time. If you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you see, then, all else is fluff and nonsense.

Way to appropriate both the pain felt by families legitimately injured by police and by officers legitimately placed in “no-win” positions just so you can make it all about “me, me, me.” Seriously dude, if you don’t care anymore, just quit—the “poor me, but I’ll still go on” drama disrespects the cops who actually have to deal with these issues day-to-day.

You work in DeForest, WI—an awesome place. I know because I grew up near there. According to your own department’s annual report (you know, the one with your picture), in 2013, 84 drivers were stopped for DWI (fewer than two per week!) and the department issued all of 50 marijuana citations (so much for “getting stoned should be a right”). You work in a town with exactly zero violent crimes and zero weapons offenses last year—you need to be congratulating your fellow citizens and your department rather than acting like you’re hunkered down awaiting the criminal apocalypse.

Way to dog on someone who knows what “protect and serve ” means. People (and i use that word losely) like you that want to vilify the police and underrate the role they play in society. He won’t quit because he knows he has a job to do. He has to put on his uniform and keep snot nose whiners like you safe. He has to arrest the thugs that you seem to glorify and if for some odd reason he comes up on a scene of one of your Micheal brown heroes pointing a gun at your head, he will swallow hard and do whatever he can to stop your death. He will lay down his life to support the oath that he took if need be and he won’t do it because of the pay,he will do it because that is the promise he made when he first put on the badge.
So what if he serves in a small town, the job of a police officer is the same nation wide. Get off your high horse and support the men and who protect you daily so you can sleep in relative safety at night.

So, in complaining about the stereotyping of police, you stereotyped a large group of people, mainly youth and ‘liberals’. Hypocrite much?

Some jobs are thankless and we often wonder why people choose those careers especially when there are days when it is extremely hard to care. Police and teachers experience this each and every day, and the common denominator – where the blame lies – falls on the parents and their lack of parenting. These kids grow into adulthood and have kids (some have many kids all with different women/men) and the problem multiplies exponentially. Yes, your job and many others are thankless and those of us who do care often wonder why you do what you do….and we also give thanks for people like you….and we pray that you will be safe on the job….and we realize that in every profession there are good people and bad people and we don’t paint you all with the same brush!

Dan, Stop in and see me at MC and you can help me write a teacher’s version! This was very well written and I empathize with you. Hearing the tales told by some of my students about how the police wronged them is frustrating beyond belief, yet there they are in a criminal justice program hoping to get a job in the very profession they vilify.

Leaving policing to teach was bitter sweet for me. I love my job, but leaving the most noble profession lowered my stature in society. So from me and all the others like me…”thank you” for what you do!

I’m sorry, but no. As long as police departments across the country fail to take some responsibility for their poor public relations, it’s not going to get any better. This lieutenant blames everyone else – bad parenting, the TV show “CSI”, and “liberals” – for the fact that more and more people distrust the police, and doesn’t look at all at his own profession or the culture within it. Playing the victim and blaming everyone else is only going to make things worse.

Incidentally, I’m a liberal. Proud to be one, and despite what this author says I don’t do drugs, have never done drugs, so no, I don’t “hate” the police because they “take away my drugs”. I don’t hate the police at all. I think the vast majority of police officers do a great job. Now, get to work on improving your community relations and weeding out the officers who are causing the public image problem to begin with.

Finally, I think a surgeon who writes an article saying he no longer cares about his patients shouldn’t practice medicine anymore, and I think this police lieutenant should retire.

A single police officer shouldn’t have to do what you suggest…..He should be able to believe that the average intelligent public knows that the few bad apples in a profession get all the press, And sadly the sheep that believe everything the press “reports” is the gospel truth.

I agree, more than a few bad apples. My opinion of LE went to pot when I was 8 years old. I was riding my bike down my street. A lawman turned on his siren and pulled in front of me sideways as if I were going to drive off. I had no idea what was happening. He said my bike was stolen. He then pulled out a piece of paper with a serial number. He compared it to the serial number on my bike (which didn’t match his paper). He told me I’m fortunate I’m not going to jail. Yeah, tough lawman on an 8 year old. I am 50 years old. Have one ticket to my name but through my job had plenty of interaction with law enforcement. 90% were total jerks. 10% were very decent people. Reap what you sow.

We can easily say as long as liberals “fail to take some responsibility for their poor public relations, it’s not going to get any better.” That as long as they blame everyone else, especially conservatives, blah blah blah. You’ve missed the point. This man obviously cares about people or he wouldn’t have been frustrated to the point of writing about this.

this is just what a cop says to him/herself as they are “powering down” from a crappy day at work. Change the complaints to what bothers you every day and it won’t be much different. To state that the writer needs to retire suggests that you didn’t read the entire article and/or you don’t understand the context in how it was being said. Change doesn’t occur while we are happy with our jobs, it happens when we are tired of how the job is being done.

I was thinking the entire time I was reading this, “It’s obvious that he still cares or he wouldn’t have written this…” Police and fire are both targets in the court of public opinion. Stand tall brother, we’re all in this together. Never lose your passion for the job.

Great piece…

Its a thankless job. I have over 15 years on the job. I’ve had both shoulders surgically repaired and had what appears to be career ending spinal fusion last year. A twice deported felon decided to shoot two of my partners and then at me.

The only thing that keeps me going is God and family. My city has cut me off of all funding even though I’m now disabled as a result of “Protecting and Serving” their city. Their response when asked about my money, ” You have an attorney, let him hash it out.”

I regret ever serving this thankless society we live in today. Most are clueless and truly unaware of what goes bump in the night. I’ve been in 2 shootings, 8 riots and 30-40 fights. Guess what, I started none of them.

I’m glad you can still put on your uniform, Lt. You were smart enough to promote so you don’t have to do the dirty work anymore.

I suggest you go out and take a report or make an arrest of a combative suspect from time to time so you don’t loose touch of what it means to truly be a street cop. I’m sure you are a great manager based on your writing, but do the work from time to time to show the real cops you can still do it. This will show the troops you are still one of them.

“I stopped caring today because the culture of today [is] . . . . [t]o never accept responsibility for ones actions, but to blame everyone else instead of themselves.”

It might be wise to listen to yourself. This whole piece is just one long, “woe is me” police lament, blaming everyone else instead of themselves for the public’s loss of respect for police. Id suggest it would be more productive for police to ask what are they doing to cause the public to lose confidence in LE and how can police correct themselves to change that loss of confidence, rather than blaming everyone else for your own failings.

Stryker, To summarize how you voiced your opinion, I would suggest your place you heart and soul into the profession. I understand exactly what Lt has said. Its truly a self satisfaction of doing the right thing. But I also know how difficult it might feel for todays society and mentality, to hate the ones who protect. I agree not all law enforcement hold this honor. But please understand that you just can’t place them all in a basket and think they are all of one. Like todays society, everyone is out to bash law enforcement. But forget to publicize many of the one who truly fight crime to protect. And I blame the news mostly on this, because they are into ratings of wrongdoings, not for those who save lives.

@ Dave.

You just made Stryker’s point for him/her. By blaming the news, you are as bad as the kids and parents referred to in the letter above.

That’s exactly how I felt as well. I agree with a lot of the points raised – especially about the cops causing the profession to be hated are the minority of cops…

But maybe you could take responsibility for your profession the way you expect youth to take responsibility for their community, and parents to take responsibility for their kids. What is written is very hypocritical.

Be pro-active. Volunteer for law enforcement somewhere. Do a few ride alongs with an LEO. I did. It completely changed my perspective. I now work as a Reserve Deputy for Athens County Sheriff’s office. It is the most enjoyable and rewarding job I’ve ever had.

It’s easy to burn a straw man. The problem is that police are not paragons, but corruptible men. When men in positions of authority fall they need to be punished more severely, not given paid vacation and a slap on the wrist. Citizens, American citizens, with rights and freedoms, are trampled and characterized as thugs by enforcers who no longer see the humanity in their foes. I lose faith in humanity when grown men back each other up after murdering a grandmother in a house they never should have raided. The american people were never the enemy. Corruption is the enemy of any true patriot.

It’s hard to not agree with this post…..I’ve been a cop for almost 30 years….been a detective since 1996….I’d like to say that I’ve seen it all…been there, done that…but you know, I can’t. Every day is different….every day presents a new problem, a new challenge….it seems that the current state of my job is that I not only have to be aware of all my surroundings, but I have to be constantly aware of everything that is going on within my department….the state of any department is constantly changing and if you don’t keep an eye out for the subtle changes, you’re likely to become just another statistic…..Most cops live a two front war….one being the bad guys and the other being the supposed good guys…..I’m 3 yrs away from a meager retirement and hope I can hang on until then…..

I understand you, I retired injured on the line of duty.When I was a child my father told me if he was not around to find a policeman for he will help you and protect you.The only reward you take with you is the good you have done. dealing with the worst humanity has to offer is never an easy job. Everybody wants to second guess what we do.Something has gone wrong and I think it begins with the home , today most homes have single parents who have no time for their children ,we also have no time for God ,along the way we lost respect for each other the Flag and Country. Dont loose your courage we are the thin blue line that keeps our society in check. No one told us of appreciation and respect is always earned by our actions.as an old retired cop my heart goes to those willing to pin on a badge in todays world GLOD BLESS US ALL AND PROTECT US!

Mark,
You have cited the hardest part of interaction with the public. Every encounter is different. While we have a tendency to expect what happened in our past to predict future experiences it just doesn’t work that way. Every day is different. Even when we meet the same people…they change. What makes it hard for police is they do not get called to interact with citizens unless there is trouble.. Likewise, the people who call ( and are called about ) have a variety of expectations regarding police.
You gotta start over fresh every time; not easy!

Joe

I am one conservative who doesn’t hate you. To me, you represent one of the few good thing about government. You’ve been abandoned by every politician out there, but that just makes it easy for me to know who NOT to vote for. I have 3 sons in law and a granddaughter who are your brothers and sister, 3 of whom have been injured in the line of duty. I support you blue and brown.

dear Lt. Daniel Furseth

honestly the situation of the police is untenable, we have a fundamental divide between the citizens and the police. the reason for this is simple sir. namely the “qualified immunity” laws that the unions (which honestly ARE a big part of this problem) FORCED on us. sorry but to be blunt if you a office Sworn to protect and serve do something wrong, you Must be held accountable. otherwise we have what we have now. a police dictatorship or something similar. the american people scream justice, and its all because you the police can not be held personally responsible for your actions, I used to respect officers. I don’t now.

As a trained and experienced public defense investigator I read this essay with a touch of sympathy and a bucket of salt.

If you are that disillusioned by small town police work it’s time to quit law enforcement and become a regular person so you can regain a realistic perspective.

That video you mentioned wasn’t six states away, but right in your state, in the state next to you, and all the other states in the nation. That video wasn’t just one video, but hundreds of videos every month. As an investigator I can’t tell you how many times I have heard police commenting on video clearly showing police misconduct with: “You can’t tell everything from a video.” Or, “it’s out of context.” Yet when it shows an accused member of the populace, it suddenly tells the whole story. Everything emanating from the mouth of police is self serving. They have training for that.

The videos and increased news coverage certainly inflame the public but really don’t begin to show how corrupt our courts and law enforcement have become. I’m not even sure I’ve ever even read a single police report that wasn’t packed with lies; and I’ve read thousands.

When you give that much power to people it will attract the worst kind of people; and it has. More people in this country have been killed by police than any terrorist attacks on American soil. This is not about training, it’s about attitude. Having the power to wrongly imprison people, shoot them, beat them, insult them and sexually harass them with impunity is a big draw for many a coward, criminal, murderer or creep. Couple that with the fact that in most states you would spend more time in the hair academy getting your beauticians license than in the police academy getting your license to perform the aforementioned heinous acts and you can see we have a problem.

Admittedly, I’m not friends with many cops, it’s an adversarial system. But there are a few I have respect for and in our candid conversations (and my own experience) they revealed that it’s not a few bad eggs that make police look bad; it’s the opposite. The system is so far gone that it’s just a few good cops trying to get to their pension date in one piece, so they stay out of the way of the rest of the bunch.

It’s just corrupt. Everywhere you look. Police will take your money, beat you, sexually harass you. I have interviewed hundreds of police officers in criminal cases and the level of contempt and disdain they show for us is sickening. Just one example, in every case where police showed up for domestic violence, or rape, at least one of the officers made a sexual overture, advance, or asked the victim for a date. It’s disgusting.

So please forgive me if I’m not all the way sympathetic to a cry from the crime laden trenches of the Village of Deforest Wisconsin, population less than fifteen thousand according to the last census.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. It’s getting so bad that cops are eating their own and each other. Once another cop shoots the kid of a cop or leaves him in a coma (as has happened recently), or beats another cops pregnant wife as she’s running to escape a rowdy scene or protest march, the wagons don’t circle as well.

This is where the principal off butthurt comes in. I define butthurt as the feeling one gets when bad things you have been doing to others happen to you.

When cops experience butthurt, they yell louder than anyone. If cops shoot, beat and maim enough of each other and their family members, sooner or later something will get done about it.

….and those are some of my thoughts on the matter.

Mr. Johnson
Thank you for so eloquently stating something that I feel as well, but am unable to express in verbiage and or written words. I applaud your expression!
Bob

Police have brought it on themselves. A lot of us were raised to respect the police and then that fades with time as you start to grow up and realize the same laws that apply to the citizens don’t apply to them. I’m sure there might be a select few good cops out there, I’ve known exactly one, but if you’ve ever covered for a coworker who broke the law then you’re a bad cop plain and simple. If you’ve ever used “professional courtesy” to not get or give a speeding ticket then you’re a bad cop. If you wrote an article about how bad press and a faltering reputation makes you not care about the people who pay you and continue to be a cop, then you’re a bad cop. Know what can restore people’s faith? Subjecting terrible policemen and women to the same justice system they serve when they beat someone or worse, throw them in jail and make sure they don’t have ever have a position that gives them power over people again. Is jail going to be rough on a former cop? Yeah, but as police have been fond of saying: If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.

Then fucking quit. I hear it all the time, ‘it’s just a few bad apples’, ‘all you hear about are the bad ones’, ‘it’s a dangerous job we should support these hero’s’. All that is a load of crap.

When there are cameras on EVERY police officer, I’ll start trusting them again.

When there are INDEPENDENT review boards, I’ll start trusting them again.

When there are real consequences for ruining peoples lives, I’ll start trusting them again.

Right now people are scared and frustrated by the fact that it seems like every time a cop get caught doing something wrong the worst thing that happens is that he gets some paid vacation and sometimes a stern talking too. If I mess up at my job, people don’t lose their lives, and I would still get fired. You act as if you are in such a dangerous profession, and yet it not even in the top ten.

You signed up for this. You weren’t drafted. Stop bitching and do your job. Or quit. I truly don’t care.

To the contrary, Mr. Furseth, “99% of us work twice as hard not to end up in the news and to still be ‘the good guys'” is not a credible statement whatsoever. The tide that is turning against you and your peers is not “because a video of a cop six states away, from a department that you never heard of, screws up and forgets his oath of honor,” but due to a constant and never ending barrage of videos recording police misconduct, a technology that was not easily available to everyday people until very recently. In other words, it’s only been in the last several years that there is evidence that police misconduct happens all the time. Because of the tremendous amount of these incidents, if it were only “1%” of you behaving uncivilly/unethically/unlawfully then the total number of police in the US would have to number in the MILLIONS. That is clearly not the case.

I would hazard that a true 1% of police are those willing to root out the bad actors within their ranks. I’m quite sure that the number of bad actors within police ranks are well in the minority, but until you get ALL officers to sharply renounce and heavily punish those who are acting above/outside the law rather than turning a blind eye or, worse, circling the wagons even when it’s obvious certain members have “strayed” you will get NO sympathy from the public. The power imbalance is just too great. You can quite literally and quite easily utterly destroy someone’s life on a whim and usually without repercussion. Until such time that those within your ranks who commit such offenses are dealt with swiftly and severely you will continue to be reviled and feared by the public at large.

Have you ever got a basket of apples and there always seems to be one or two bad ones in the bunch? So it goes with the police, military, lawyers, doctors, priest etc. To realize that not all are bad is hard sometimes but experience has taught me that NO they are not all rotten to the core. I had a incident with a member of the clergy years ago and even as a child I realized that while he was a bad person (priest) the other Priest who was there was a wonderful human being. So I still took my children to church to learn about religion and to acknowledge that there is good in the world people with wisdom and strength to help us. So it goes for Police. I will tell you something else I trust the Law because if I didn’t who would be there to help when and if I really needed it. Which I have in the past and believe me they did what they had to and did a good job doing it. So don’t give up on few people who want to discredit you for their reasoning, they like you are not everyone. By the way I am Liberal and I don’t like some of things that have happened but no I do not hate the Police.

Don’t get to worked up. It’s the vocal minority that gets all the press. There are more people in your corner that what you are led to believe.

Police presence is essential. Keep up the good work! And ppl…if you see an officer say hello and thank you. They have a family at home they are providing for while providing you with peace and safety.

your rant is so true but I refuse to give up , I have been on the job 24 yrs now and yes the job has changed me quite a bit ,the hardest part was my first 2 years . because how people I have know all my life forgot my first name and introduced me as a cop.(even out of state) so I really don’t go into public bars or other social gathers, other then family event and coaching my daughters sport teams.which is my outlet. But when I strap on the monkey suit I still care about the maybe 15% of people who respect the police and the job we do. don’t give up ,jusr accept the deal we signed up for stay safe and good luck

Your frustration is palpable. You are in a difficult position. I wish there was a way for you to get this off your chest without also doing to others what you object having done to you. Just as you expressed, generalizations about a small group of actors who play by a different set of standards and rules applied to large numbers of people are unfair and a misrepresentation that really doesn’t improve anyone’s situation or bring peace.

There are some of us that do appreciate everything you do (even when I got stopped for not stopping completely at a stop sign). I went to thank the police officers that were giving out traffic violations in our school zone. They were appreciative that I came by as most people aren’t very nice to them. When I heard some of these examples I was sad I wanted to do something! So I did. I follow the rules, I pay more attention so that I am not a part of the problem. Thank you for all you do, everyday, in every situation even if it doesn’t turn out as you intended.

I think many of you are missing the point of this article. Read the last line………it shows the resilience of a police officer. This article is not “woe is me”, it states the things and situations an officer deals with day to day. The last line shows that this officer is ready to deal with it again.

Harry, exactly! But the trollers here are obvious cop haters. And cop haters are always people who have broken the law and got caught and are bitter about it. Or perhaps family members of the aforementioned…

My hat to all the cops in Canada and USA.
When I am stranded on the highway or feel threatened I am sure glad I can count on officers of the law..
When one of you dies doing your job I am sad and angry.
I take this opportunity to thank you all for looking after us all. Good and bad.

Thank you Daniel for a well written article that echos the many unspoken sentiments of other fellow police members. As a relatively junior member with “only” 3 years of service, most parts of it feels like you’re articulating my thoughts for me at certain times.

On the days that I feel this way or catch myself having these negative or cynical thought patterns, I remind myself along the lines that “it’s a career, not a crusade.” Maybe other members will disagree. There are also many things we can do on our days off to “empty the cup” if it becomes too full from all the negativity we deal it that fills it up as you may know. Hobbies, family, friends, exercise, etc.

A great book that explores this topic is “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement” by Kevin M. Gilmartin. Recently finished it, highly recommended.

Stay safe and keep fighting the good fight.

You are an incredibly brave, intelligent and resilient man Daniel. As a wife of a RCMP officer in British Columbia, a mother and a teacher, I applaud you and all the efforts you have made to enlighten the general public regarding the erroneous views of others regarding the police as thugs, bullies, etc. I also grew up respecting the police and others, learned the importance of working hard, being held accountable for my actions and loving myself and the world. Unfortunately many others do not have the good fortune to grow up in a loving home and do not hold these values. Their hate for the police alongside their disrespect for others, for society stems from this upbringing. So, in short, it is the ignorant that have such disdain for authority. Trust me, teachers get it too!! We often leave our job “not caring” only to return again the next day. We support you, we understand you and appreciate all that you do. Much love.

The police often do take it on the chin. And that does make for a hard job. Maybe some positive coverage would help? This family are friends of mine:

http://madisonweeklynews.com/thousands-join-mother-in-praise-of-madison-police-after-sons-ipad-recovered/

And another, in which a family praises the same department for five years of perseverence in finding their brother’s killer:

http://whnt.com/2014/07/24/victims-family-reacts-to-stepsons-arrest/

There is good work to be done yet, and good people to appreciate it. Best wishes.

I cannot express my appreciation more for the men and women who take on such a role in our communities, but to say Thank You. Your service has made me feel safer, has helped in a time of strife and I am honored to have the protection you have offered to me, my family, and my community. I am humbled by your sacrifice. I will always appreciate your dedication and commitment. For those of us who feel this way, please don’t let the bad destroy your good.

thanks for doing a tough job,as a firefighter in a large city i know what police have to deal with on a daily basis,keep your heads up!

Wonderful commentary Dan. I completely agree at times. I’m a local independent journalist and regularly sit in awe at the lack of awareness out there.
Can’t comprehend why major media overlook the truly bad to focus on the rarity.
We have a truly bad sheriff here named Frank Rivero but he gets a pass while regular cops are pilloried. Shameful.

God bless.
John

I just want to say a big THANK YOU and to your brother who, every day leave your home…not knowing if today, is the day something goes terribly, terribly wrong. You may have to use force; shot someone; get hurt in the line of duty; find a child discarded like trash; or you, yourself my be injured or worse.
Members of my family (at least five generations back) have served on police departments all through Illinois and Indiana; were involved in the Haymarket Riot. and later trying to arrest a man for drunken disorderly, had his ear bitten off

You need help. Doctor Lawrence Blumm is a good choice. He wrote ” A Force Under Pressure “. Prior to retiring After 32 years in law enforcement, I was a Sergeant on the Southern Division Shooting Team, surely as a lieutenant, you must have had training when officers need to discharge their firearms. Now I’m not sure how you are trained. I taught at the CHP Academy for four years and we don’t allow ourselves to “. I don’t care “. You see it’s not an option. Oh sure, we all become frustrated, but that’s where it ends. I have been retired 10 years now. Six years ago I was ordained and other than providing Hospice care I have extensive knowledge in Conflict Resolution. It sounds like you are experiencing PTSD, or something else has gotten under your skin. You sir, have not been properly debriefed. As a manager….I hope your subordinates are able to avoid your rant. God bless and if I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to write. The best place to contact me is on unchainthetree.com, Oh! I have some evidence which substantiates that cannabis can help PTSD. some of this information may be shared with your field troops. I hope I have not offended. It was not my intention. See more on unchainthetree.com

Sorry sir I have a hard time believing you were in Law Enforcement for 32 years after your comment or that you were an instructor for others in the field. As an instructor in 9 different fields with a few thousand hours of training I’m amazed, bewildered and down right shocked at your response.

I’m the 45 year old kid of a single dad who is also retired NOPD. I know it is rough out there in some places today but…If a cop stopped me when I was 18 and reckless and speeding, they were an inconvenient guardian angel. I never thought that anyone in uniform could ever be anything but kind. To me the uniform means safety. That militarized gear means you have a little better chance of going home after your shift- a blessing my dad never had and thankfully never needed- none the less the worry was always in the back of my mind. The only thing that really effected us negatively was the fact that many years at the job can make good people jaded about the human race. Mostly because you all see the worst of it- all the time.My dad had to retire and then live through Katrina to see the good and selfless people that do exist in the volunteers and charity workers that managed the crisis while the local and federal government floundered. So my advise? Find some time to spend with good people-. They can lift your spirit.

I appreciate and respect the police more than you know. However, as a mental health professional, I see all to often police encouraging parents to hit their kids or do whatever it takes to get them in line. Police should not play parenting coach but should be armed with appropriate resources to give to parents. Sometimes all it takes is one bad experience with a police officer to start the negativity and perception is everything. There is good and bad in every profession and certain professions, including mine, should always be mindful as to the message we are portraying to the public

We have several members of our family that serve and have served in the armed forces and the first responder professions. I love and appreciate them and the sacrifices they make. Please continue to put on that uniform and care again tomorrow. There is a quiet majority that takes solace in knowing you are there.

I work in the medical field. I stopped caring too.. I am tired of all the people coming into the ER and asking for drugs… more pain killers than any human should ever have. Then they want a sandwich, the remote to the TV, an extra blanket, an extra pillow, the lights down… They want to know what takes so long to get their beloved narcotic. They want a prescription to go home with and a “to go pack.” Oh, and a week off work would be great too… Don’t worry, they will yell, cus and scream like a child if they don’t get what they want. They will turn me in to the nurse supervisor, my supervisor, the hospital administrator and anyone else they can complain too. They will talk trash about me, my team, and my hospital on facebook, twitter and anything else…. And I am sure I will see them again before the month’s end… for the same pain… demanding the same things… But I… like you… will get up again tomorrow. Get dressed and head to work… hoping to help that one person who really needs help. The one who really needs me… who I can make a difference with.

Anyone in a long term profession that cares about their job can fall into the trap that Lt. Dan has expressed so dramatically.
It was a bit self-serving, IMHO, but yeah I get it. I’m no cop, but I’m not your enemy Lt. Dan, and I appreciate the hell out of what peace officers that are true to their profession and themselves suit up and go out to do every day.
I’ll make a deal with you and the rest of your uniformed colleagues; don’t look at law-abiding non-cops as a sea of faceless ungrateful “civilians”, and I’ll continue to recognize your noble profession for what it is.

As a retired cop of 33 years of service, I can only advise this brother and all who see the world as he does, to get out of the station house and engage people. Go to community meeting and engage. Talk to local shopkeepers, restauranteurs and folks who have a positive effect on the community. Be a community police officer. Because once you leave the station house and talk to real people, you will find so many that appreciate us so very much. Those among us who operate like firemen, staying in the station house or cruiser with the windows rolled up until called upon by someone out of control or in crisis, those are the most likely to think like this poor brother thinks. Those who engage real people every day – not so much.

I am against police state, I am against, unconstitutional force, I am against brutality. BUT I am for you. I am for the individual police men and women who risk their lives everyday and who have a harder job now because society expects you to protect without defending yourself and others, by use of weapons if necessary. I just want you to know that despite the really crappy cops out there that make cops look bad I see YOU, the one who cared so much he had to stop caring, for just a little while, to get out from under the pressure of so much criticism. Thank you for all you do.

I am not a law enforcement person – You have all kinds of folks on your side, but generally you don’t see us because we obey laws, show respect to law officers, and fully appreciate what you folks go through and what you do. I never expected that it would reach the point where I have to make sure both hands are empty and visible before I approach a police car. Its a hard path for you nowdays. I completely and fully respect you for it.

I respect good cops but honestly some of yall are just ass holes ive been completely respectful to cops but still they cuss at me sometimes I wounder if their mothers know how they talk. I respect you just don’t be a dick to me if im not being a dick to you.

As a wife of a cop I know how how you feel about hating the job at times.My husband was posted to a small town and I never had a name.I was known as the cops wife and lots of people talked about me rather to me.It is very hard to have friends outside of the cop family.Most cases if you make friends who live around you,social gatherings don’t work because my husband has arrested you or someone at the party.People seem to forget cops are also human and are given us the chance to live in a peaceful world.We are able to send our kids to school and have them be safe,play in the yard ,etc. Our families are not being trained to carry guns and blow people up at a young age.I wish people would just take a minute and think about how our lives would be if we lived in other places where the police are not present.I am so proud of my husband and any person who will go to work each day knowing this could be the last day.You do a job most would never do and as we run from danger you run to it to keep us safe.Thanks for your hard work and please know not everyone hates cops.:)

I can understand this article completely. I strongly believe that you can not judge a bunch by a few bad apples. Unfortunately our society is stereotypical. We forget to see people as people and not as robots. I know that our police officers (for the most part) get up every day, put on their uniforms (no matter how ungrateful their community might be) and goes to work to help protect their community from harm and serve them to their highest capacity. For this I respect and appreciate them. With this being said, I hope that police officers appreciate those parents just as much that do teach their children respect, responsibility, and values. Some parents don’t teach their children to be afraid of police rather to appreciate them and respect them, because this is a mean world we live in and one day they might need them. So thank you, to all of those officers that serve our communities! I am a parent that appreciates you!

Mr. Johnson
Thank you for so eloquently stating something that I feel as well, but am unable to express in verbiage and or written words. I applaud your expression!
Bob

Daniel this is a great piece. I had the pleasure of knowing you when I was the editor of the DeForest Times-Tribune and you were always a stand up officer. Keep fighting the good fight sir. You are appreciated.

Mr. Police Officer,
I empathize with you in regards to not feeling appreciated, but then many of your subsequent points lost me….. First of all, your tendency to generalize is appalling. All liberals use drugs? I am a liberal and I don’t use drugs. Mr. Limbaugh abused prescription drugs and I don’t consider him a liberal! I also know when I get pulled over for speeding I deserve it, but I also know that my chances of getting pulled over increase as the month gets older. There are many things wrong with the way society has let everyone avoid personal responsibility and that is the root cause of your issues, but you now sound like a jaded prejudiced person. And a person who carries a gun! That is cause for concern when you have such preconceived notions!
Not all people fear and hate police. I for one admire and respect many fine people who serve our communities, but then that is a two way street. Just because you are a police officer doesn’t make you noble and worthy of respect! Doing a good job and caring for the people (all the people!) you work for is what earns you the respect you desire! There are good and bad police officers just like there are good and bad people! Wearing the uniform doesn’t convey immunity to that basic law of nature!
I will agree with you that as a whole, society has not afforded your office as much respect as it has in the past, but then it is just like in most situations in life…. a few bad eggs make life more difficult who do things the right way!

Good luck with your future! I hope you find happiness.

While a lot of what you say hits home. it may be time for you to step back and evaluate your career choice. If you are that bitter over what you feel you may need help. There will always be haters. Many good folks here agree that you have an issue with something or someone. You, as a supervisor have the responsibility to set a good example. if you treat others with respect and fairly it will come back to you. yes. the media does focus sometimes on the bad outcomes of our choices. But that is life, we have to learn how to live with it. Deforest is a small town in the Midwest, Boston PD has some great advice, get out of the squad, greet people. Say Hi, how are you doing, have a great day! Mean it. The change starts with everyone of us. Your still going to run in to bad people, that is what we do. But the majority of people out there good people, get to know them and you will feel the difference. The difference starts with everyone of us! Stay safe and good luck.

Yeah…I agree. It is hard to keep caring. It is hard to keep faith in society.
But, I would argue that for every person you see yelling on TV about how ALL police are bad, or for every person who bashes cops online, or every time you read about an officer who genuinely screwed up, there is another person who supports police. There is also another person who wants to be a police officer because they want to protect society and believe that they can be that force of change.
There are good people out there, unfortunately, those good people aren’t heard as loud, and mostly because the good acts aren’t “sexy” enough for the media to cover. Those good acts aren’t controversial enough for the media to run a story about. But that’s also part of the job. Officers aren’t seeking glory or fame. They do what they do because they care and because they want to make that change.
I would argue also that for every event that occurs that make officers look bad, there is a conscious or even a subconscious movement within the police community that says “I (we) are going to make this better. I am going to show that we aren’t like this. I am going to work harder. I will rise up and be that much more professional and that much more dedicated to doing a better job.”

I don’t know that he “needs help.” Perhaps, but I took this as a very intentional and perhaps much needed commentary designed to make people stop and think…and it certainly does just that. I was already supportive of police officers and your profession as a whole, this only solidifies that resolve. Well-written, well done. Please, keep on keepin on. Thank you for your service. For every individual out there that espouses some of these ideas there’s another that understands and appreciated what you do.

As a retired police officer, I find this article hard to read because it’s so true. It wasn’t that long ago that I, too, patroled the streets. The public is your friend if they are the ones needing help. Stop the same person for speeding and you are a hated man. There are only two types of people….those who like the police and those who don’t. There is no “in-between”. I applaud those who are currently protecting society. It’s a difficult job.

Never ever stop caring. The Police are heros. Let the others think what they want. No one can change another person.
God told us this would happen, that some day evil would be called good & vice versa. Remember that there are still a lot of good people and good in this world. The evil gets the press instead of the good b/c it is thrilling to some & just something to gossip about. We need to promote the good. Seek it out. Look for it everywhere. Keep on fighting the good fight.
DO NOT STOP. YOU ARE APPRECIATED AND DESPERATLY NEEDED.
Thank you for helping me personally. I hold you in the highest regards. Thanks is not enough. God knows that good that you do and in the end, that is all that matters.

Thank you to each and every good man and woman who keeps the peace, protects the public, goes after the bad guys, and puts up with abuse and other crap, day after day. God bless you all.

So many generalities about so many kinds of people my head is spinning. I’d love to hear about what’s actually happened to you, personally. Barring that, this is just a rant – empty rhetoric based on the very stereotypes and cliches you complain about.

Lt .Daniel
First I want say…if you believe in God, get on your knees and start praying! If everyone STOPS caring when times get tough…what future do the CHILDREN/YOUTH have?
I am the Chair of “Justice for Josiah” which I am advocating on behalf of my five year old son Josiah whose Father was shot in back twice by SJSU PD on February 21st, 2014. Josiah was four when he loss his Daddy and til this date 9months later no answers why or how this happened or could have been avoided? Investigation is still ongoing but Its hard for me to believe and trust in a system that has failed to be transparent by revealing body cams or 911 call. If nothing to hide why not reveal immediately? I want and need the TRUTH for my kids to begin healing and put some closure on this tragedy. I dont hate Cops…Im concerned of the Cops who abuse their Power of the Badge, Act in Fear and Never held Accountable because they are the ones causing mistrust and disbelief in the Justice System to Treat all Cultures with Respect, Dignity and Equality. They put our Communities and Society in a State of Violence, Negativity, Hate and Mistrust.
I feel sad that the Greed of Power, Control and Money seem to be far more important than to Rebuild Hope, Trust and Safety and Reform and Address the Negative Impact Law Enforcement Increasing Violent and Racist Crimes on Citizens…but the Root of his own Violent Behavior.
To act in FEAR is dangerous for everyone. To kill is for POWER and CONTROL. Doesn’t matter if your a Cop, Gang, Bully or Suicide…to take a Life is Wrong! EVERY LIFE MATTERS…but more important protect the families from being revictimzed.
To Lose a Loved one Violently is unbearable pain emotionally, mentally and physically. But the Children suffer the most into adulthood.
Easier to raise Strong Children, then repair Broken Adults!
United as a Society who wants to Live in Peace, and without Hate or Violence
Killers aren’t born that way…they are made!
Nobody wants to stand up to protect the citizens or few good cops who honor their oathe and prevent more suffering.
A Cop killed in line of duty, children suffer just the same as my Child has been suffering for nine months, but nobody cares cause they assume his Father deserved to be killed without the facts. Villanizing him and dehumanize who he was as a person and father.
I still have Faith that there is Good people who care and not selfish. I want to do something positive out of this negative and hostile environment life has thrown at me…endure the pain and manage my emotions to bring Love Compassion and Respect for all Humankind. I might be One Voice but Im here in this position for a Greater purpose than any of us…Gods Will!
Justice for Josiah!
Dont Stop Caring…Love Conquers all.
Regards, ♡

God Bless you and all of our fellow Officers who get out there everyday and protect and serve us. You nailed everything perfectly in what you said. YOU make a difference and because of you and others like you we will win the war against thugs, gangs, crime and ignorant people.

Officer,
I know it must be difficult to be a policeman, especially so to be a good one. But I know there are lots of good ones, because I have met and dealt with them. If you really feel like this, you should change professions. Relatively, you work in a poluceman’s paradise. Imagine working in a place like Vallejo, CA, where I live! Respect for the police is eroded by some bad cops, by the fact the laws most ‘enforced’ are laws in which, at worse, the only one being hurt is the “criminal”, whose punishment is often far more onerous than the “crime”! Also, to me, and many others, the police have become triggerhappy, killing citizens who did not need or deserve to be killed. The use of an officer’s gun HAS to be the last resort, not the first reaction! And when cops kill, it often seems they go unpunished. Here in CA, you have to worry about being killed by the police as much or more as by criminals! This will only escalate with the increasing militarization of police departments. New and effective training has to be put into place to stop these murders by police!

Well said Dan! Don’t give in, fight the good fight. When you’re doing the right thing, you are never wrong. God bless and THANK YOU!

I read the story presented by Lt Dan and I read many of the other posts by all. Now if you just take Dan’s story all by itself on it’s own merit I think you can see his true feelings. He is not blaming, he is not looking for excuses but rather expressing his own feelings and frustrations with his job. You all do it….we all do it. When things don’t go as we hoped we look at the sources. This is all he is doing…give him the benefit to express these ideas without all the callus smack. He loves his job and he closed his story with the aspect that tomorrow he will put the uniform back on and continue to do it. Do you think every man or woman in the military asks the same questions. Or every nurse or doctor asks the same questions. Give the man his due and just read his story and don’t judge his motives. He did not post this for you but rather more for him and those people regardless of profession who feel the same way about what they deal with. He is not quitting….that’s the easy way out….rather he is expressing words of his experiences. In reading many of these posts you show your colors and yet you lack compassion. Yes we all have expierence with life some good and some bad and yet most still prevail for success. Let Dan do his job…he presents a side that all of us can relate too. Keep up the good work Dan and I know you are one of the good guys even though we have neve met.

Chief de

I am truly humbled! I apologize for any of my wrongdoings against any man in uniform! We really don’t think of everything you have just put out there! My heart is sad I’m so sorry! Please find it in your heart to forgive me! I trying think if I IV ever done anything but we all know that as everyone has. I can’t think of a specific time but I do recall as growing up we were told if you don’t stop that or they will call the police on you! Which is one of the most feared thing to hear you are just a kid! But when it comes time to call the police and their children because they know they are breaking the law they will not! If they did go down significantly. After all they did warn us as a child if act a certain way that they were going to call the police on this. I guess they were just bluffing! What do y’all think?

Sir, you state the absolute truth ~ PLEASE don’t stop … you’re all that stands between us and them … I do get a say in the matter, because my son-in-law paid the ultimate price … he was shot and killed in the line of duty 04-06-2012 … protecting ” us ” from ” one of them ” without you and all the other LEO’s WE DON’T STAND A CHANCE!

Great words were spoken. But the moment you stop caring is the moment in time where that percentage that looks down on us has won. My Lt’s favorite phrase is “keep our side of the street clean.” Volunteer in your communities and let your citizens trust those that protect them when they are sleeping.

The good officers far outweigh the bad and it’s a crying shame the press shows the bad 99% of the time, but that is the news for you. My son is a police officer in Fort Worth, TX and loves his job more than anything he has ever done. It is his calling, it is his life. He’s never been so happy and at times, I’ve never been so afraid. However, the one thing that constantly comforts me is how right he is with his faith. Never stop remembering, no matter what there is someone out here that loves you, respects you, admires you, would stop on a dime to help you, hug you and thank you, because for every day you put that uniform and badge on is another day my sun shines brighter, my streets stay safer and I am grateful you are watching out for us. Thank you for all you do. Keep your eyes up, your head down and get home safely to those that love you most.

My son is a NYPD. He told me of a story that he said hi to this little black girl. Cute as a button says he. He said hi with a smile, she laughed and said to mommy “I thought you said all cops are mean”” momma wasn’t happy and yelled at her child. What you police officers have to deal with is amazing. I don’t know how you do it. I am amazed. Thanks for protecting me and my family.
Thank God for ladies and gentleman of our police departments.

Good job one letter missing ” versus” near the end just in case you want to edit and publish We need good cops today more than ever!

As the sister of a 25 year police officer and an educator who has dealt with the people of whom this man speaks, I have to tell you I can relate to what this man is saying. I have a respect for these officers. They care. They work hard and take more bs from people who are the strangers they pledged to keep safe than I can ever tell. They don’t really even get to talk about it. Except, sometimes, with each other. It’s hard. But they do it again every day. I love my sister and am thankful that she made it home every day. Others were not as lucky. I ask you to just look at a police officer differently next time you see one. Say hello and smile. It will do wonders for them – even if they don’t tell you. Kindness is appreciated. THANK YOU to all of the officers out there every day. There really are people out there who do appreciate you. I am one of them!

This is a nice article and I agree completely. Unfortunately, as you promote the people you once depended on are the same people who stab you in the back. Maybe if we focused on truly mentoring and guiding each other and excepting responsibility for our action things would change.

Most managers in today’s world of law enforcement are unwilling to hold themselves accountable for their employees mistakes, even if minimal. We work for people who would rather point fingers instead of acknowledged a problem and resolve an issue. God forbid we correct behavior because it is easier to crucify and criticize someone.

Weak leaders equals a weak organization. Stop making excuses for employees who are the “chosen ones” and treat your employees as equals. As a manager I can’t count the number of leaders and supervisors who make excuses for people they like or favor.

In the end we took an oath and if we feel it is compromised we should take a stand regardless of the outcome. Remember when your career is over, will you be able to look in the mirror and appreciate the man or woman you have become? If there is any hesitation in your response you have failed yourself and your profession.

If you are still working it is never too late to take a stand for what is right.

I was a Columbus Police Officer for 17 years. I was injured in the line of duty. I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and a broken back and a torn left rotator cuff. Also several other injuries. Also PTSD and depression and anxiety. All from a fight with a guy high on meth. All I get from the city of Columbus Georgia is SSD and $ 75.00 A month after I pay for insurance. That’s the Major Disability Income Plan. Which is no income plan at all. There has been no one from my Police Department try to help my family in anyway and that is what hurts the most. They stepped up to help one of the Majors Son’s who was injured off duty having fund raisers. But not me an Officer injuried in the line of duty and I had to retire disabled. That is really disappointing to me and my wife. We lost everything we owned because of my injuries. I even setup my own go fund me site and have not gotten any help there either. Now my wife tells me that she wants a divorce so I can say being a Police officer cost me everything but my life.

Hello my fellow police officer . Let me introduce myself , as A retired New York City Police officer . I understand A great deal of
what you are going through , but the problem is that you have NEVER been forced to understand why things are , the way they are ! You see I am an African American , and ALL OF MY LIFE I have had to deal with white people who have NEVER had to
deal with the other side of life in America . ( This is the part where your WHITE PRIVIILAGE KICKS IN ! )

You see , because you are white , you now are able to say that I am an angry black man , and you can ignore everything
after this that I say ! THAT IS THE PROBLEM FOR YOU ! You have been living in A world where because you are white ,
any time A minority says something that does not reinforce the history that you have been taught in life , you can do anything
from ignore them to , yes have there lives DESTROYED , BY CALLING YOUR MOSTLY WHITE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO
ARREST THEM . They are then taken into A legal system , where even if you arrested them in an all African American neighborhood ,they will be judged , and prosecuted by all whites !
This has given you the idea , and belief , that you are this hard working WHITE MAN , forced to go into areas filled with
EVIL BLACK PEOPLE , WHO NEVER WORKED A DAY IN THERE LIFE , AND ARE THE REASON THAT YOU PAY SO
MUCH PROPERTY TAX , IN YOUR ALMOST ALL WHIT NEIGHBERHOOD , WHERE YOU AND YOUR BEST FRIEND ,
WHO IS BLACK LIVE !
You have been able to live this lie all your life , until now ! Technology is now forcing you to deal with the lies that you
have been taught from the day you were born ! The internet is catching the dirty cops in life ! 95 PERCENT OF POLICE OFFICERS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE NOT RACIEST ! But you need to grow up and understand that there is racism in this
country , that is giving you A bad name .

Please understand that I am not trying to paint you as an evil man ! I really mean that . I am saying , that you need to open
your eyes , and understand that it is not because you are A police officer , but because you have been ignoring the truth
about life in America . You have no idea how hard I had to work to obtain what you have , and that is the problem .

Police officer Stephen R Jack
N.Y.P.D
RETIRED

Amen! Any person of color has to put out more effort to prove themselves, to prove they’re not a product of quotas or affirmative action, to prove they can assimilate in a white world, which is increasingly becoming the minority, and to not be judged, stereotyped, or profiled. The added effort and energy are annoying, unhealthy, and unfair. Sadly, white privilege prevents people from recognizing they don’t have to go that extra step or mile.

I was in Law Enforcement for almost 40 years. Retired in 2011 because I came down with COPD. The doctors said it was due to chemicals that I got into on the job. But the words spoken in this letter are some very true and powerful words and YES, they are true. A few years back I was asked if I would ever be a cop again and I said “in a heartbeat”. But, my son has taken up the task. He is now a Police Detective with the department I retired from. Several times he has told me that I wouldn’t like it. It’s nothing like it was when I was a cop. From what I see on the news and on this contraption, I probable wouldn’t. Good job LT…..

Just a little advice coming from someone who went through the same slump as you are now sir… You are only seeing the worst of society on daily basis and thus, it has become your worldview now. This does not represent everyone, please do not judge the civilians so harshly.

There’s is a lot in what you say but much of the stereotypes you mention you, as a group, bring on yourself. Do your job to protect and serve to the best of your ability and you can walk with your head high.

I totally agree with you, and its sad and depressing. My son is in college now taking criminal justice courses. And it scares me to death! He is determined to do this, but i must admit i have tried to change his mind to a safer line of work.Mainly because of all the issues you have described. They’re are a few bad decisions and unfortunate situations in any line of work, including post office workers, teachers, preachers, food service, etc. but seems that the law officers get judged and criticized more. You put your life on the line daily for low pay and get unappreciated and hated but are expected to still keep us safe and get blamed every time something goes wrong . I am so sorry you feel this way, it is heartbreaking and i am sure you are not alone in this. It’s no wonder some officers are on edge and make unexpected last second decisions that change their lives or lives of others. There is nonstop crime and violence and don’t know how you all do what you do. You have to be a special person to take on this world like you do in these days. It’s not mayberry anymore! I can’t imagine being in your shoes or your fellow brothers and sisters of the law. It’s a sick violent world and I thank you for all that you do. God bless you and all law officers, emergency field workers, teachers and military. None of you get the recognition or respect you deserve or the pay. And the poor teachers have to deal with so much while respect and discipline has gone out the window. It’s an insane world. God, good, common sense and respect of others is a thing of the past. They have taken Him out of our homes, schools and government, that was a mistake. Ironic though how you can’t pray in schools now but when you get in trouble, go to prison or need AA meetings, you can find him there. Maybe if they hadn’t taken him out of our schools, businesses, etc…..God bless America, we need him desperately!

God bless you, sir! I have utmost faith that you wake up every day, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worse. Know that there are a lot of us good, law abiding citizens out there that admire you and are thankful for you. Take care. I for one stand behind you.

i just wanted to THANK YOU for your honest options and I totally understand and share your values!
Im greatful your back out there protecting
other and serving your community…
May God and St Michael protect you as you rush in whenever 911 is called even at the risk of losing your own life.
Maybe the ones that say the most should see if they have what it takes!!! To protect others? If your not part of the solution or part if the problem!

Thank you for your commentary Lt. Furseth. You reminded me to do something……………

Last weekend, while in Los Angeles for a family function, I was driving a rental car on the busy Ventura freeway with my two young daughters, when my car started pulling to the right and the “Low Tire Pressure” signal came on. Great. I’m already in a hurry and running late to an event. I nervously navigated out of the fast lane while praying that the next exit held a gas station that actually had a tire filling thingy! I felt extremely lucky when I saw a gas station right on the corner that I could easily pull into. But I felt truly blessed when I saw the car that was backing out from next to the air unit. It was a CHP unit. As I hopped out of my car to inspect my tires, the officer rolled down his window and asked if everything was ok. When I explained my issue, he told me to pull next to the tire filler. He asked if I had a pressure gauge. I laughed. He parked and dug around in his trunk for one. He went inside the gas station and asked the attendant to turn on the air unit. He got on his knees at each one of my tires, checked the pressure and filled all those that needed it. As he pulled away, his hands dirty with road dirt from my tires and the knees of his perfectly crisp trousers now a little crinkled, I thanked him. But I didn’t thank him enough. In the big scheme of things, helping me with an almost flat tire is inconsequential because I live in Sacramento, CA and still fresh in my mind is the tragic loss of a Sacramento County Sherriffs Deputy and a Placer County Sherriffs Deputy who were recently gunned down in cold blood. What I really should have thanked that CHP Officer for is for risking his life every day to serve and protect me, my family, our business. I should have expressed my gratitude for his bravery and commitment to do one of the toughest jobs there is. I should thank his family for sharing him with us every day he leaves for work. So, “Thank you” CHP Officer C. Thank you Lt. Furseth for not giving up on us and thank you to all of those men and women who wear the uniform to protect and serve us.

I gave a damn every day for 28 years when I was on the job. Got a disability retirement due to an on the job injury. It took me about a year and a half to decompress from the job. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how incredibly liberating it is not to have to give a damn anymore about every idiot on earth! And don’t get me wrong; I am in no way saying that all humans are “idiots.” On the contrary, I’ve met quite a few good people since I retired. But on the job cops have to take abuse from otherwise ordinary people that would get those people punched in the face in a bar, or shanked in the chow line if they ever got sent to prison.

But now, if some bum comes up and asks for money, I don’t have to give a damn about it. He’s not a problem I have to deal with; he’s a problem to be ignored (but only to the point of watching my back). If I see a dummy driving like an a******e, all I have to do is avoid him. I don’t have to risk my life chasing him down and giving him a ticket that he’ll ignore. If I see two jerks arguing over a parking space, and I see that they aren’t armed, I don’t have to do a damned thing about it. If they were armed, all I’d have to do now is get out of the line of fire, and call it in.

There’s about 25 people I have to risk my life for nowadays, instead of millions of ingrates that would just as soon sue me or try to kill me as look at me. Or cowards that run their mouths incessantly, safe in the knowledge that they can’t get the a**kicking they so richly deserve.

Free at last; free at last! THANK GOD, free at last!

It’s also a state where cops feel they are above the laws they are entrusted to uphold. I was pulled over for a “routine” traffic stop. Was asked “do you know why I pulled you over?” Response: “No sorry but I do not.” Response: “Are you getting wise (different 4 letter words used by office)?” “No. I am simply asking for a reason.” Response: A night stick to the left side of my forehead crushing my left eye socket leaving me blind in my left eye. Now disabled and no recourse as case gas been tied up (purposefully?) for years. So sorry to say – some of your “finest” are a huge part of the problem.

The author failed to mention any police behaviors or culture that is to blame for peoples’ views. That speaks volumes. Take some responsibility and quit playing the victim.

I have always respected a police officer, taught my kid to also. So sorry you feel compelled to write your article, you did a wonderful job. Also dont mind the people who get on here and post ignorant statements, I know exactly how you are feeling. Some of these people would be the first to call for help. It is sorta like damned if you do and damned if you dont. Not sure what or why the people are teaching their children to dislike cops, it actually disgusts me. Please keep up the good work as the majority of the American people want and need you.

Today, during our annual holiday parade, I rode along with my bestie, a State Trooper. Like most towns in the US, our town has issues with people hating on law enforcement, for all the reasons listed above. This was the first time since they got it that the city police did not have their MRAP in the parade. A shame as it is usually packed with the children of officers who wave and smile as they roll through town. Because of a complaint about the echoing noise of the sirens, all of the emergency vehicles were silent as they passed through most of the parade route. Because of the silence, my friend turned on her PA system and began to wish people Happy Holidays, and they called back their greetings. I admit to putting her up to it, but she soon began to sing, Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells. And people (kids and adults) loved it and her. They smiled and laughed and sang and danced along, and cheered her on and commented on how awesome she is. It was amazing. Plus, YouTube gold. Best holiday parade ever, IMO. Not everyone hates law enforcement. But the people who don’t need to speak up more, and remind our officers that they are supported by people in the communities they serve. I’ve seen how much that means to them when someone is friendly. It doesn’t take much to make their day. A smile and wave as they drive by, a friendly greeting when they are having lunch somewhere, a thank you for your service. Little things.

My cousin has been some form of a policeman most his adult life. From MP to city police. I respect him highly and because of him I treat all officers with respect.

I hear so many people have negative comments about police. I have young kids and I heard someone tell their own kids about the police taking them away. I was appalled they would say something like that. If you see a few smiling kids waving at you from the back of a car or from the sidewalk, wave back, it might be my kids.

It’s understandable and ok to stop caring.
You do have to keep walking that nasty line, like it or not.
If it’s more than you want to do, then change careers.
Peace pal.
We all know there are a lot of good cops out there.

I read this and my heart sinks. I have raised 4 wonderful girls who love and care for officers. My friend Paul Phillips was close to my family was shot and almost killed by an off duty officer. Long story there. My kids still call him uncle Paul and try so hard to make kids understand what a police officer really is. Myself and my kids have been so fortunate in our lives to be involved in the law enforcement community. I respect what you all do every day and I have instilled that in my kids to show hope for future generations.

First, sir, thank-you for your service. Obviously, you truly do care or you wouldn’t be in a profession of public service in the first place. Secondly, it may be of comfort to know that your feelings are shared by those in similar professions. I am an educator. Some days it is difficult to ignore the political war waged daily at our expense. Institutions involved in public service are asked to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources and less and less support. Indeed, there is often planned failure in mind when various policies are implemented by folks who have no experience on the ground. For them “It’s All About the Base”….the power base. The consequences of their greed are ignored and the public’s perception of the institutions is eroded more and more. Like you, I will put on my “uniform” each morning and jump in head first and care….because what else is there? Again, thank-you for your service! Rock On, Charlie

I think your missing the point. It is a commentary on the apathy, of the snearing masses that want it their way. It is sad, my nephew is a detective, my Father was a patrolman, and my other nephew was brutally killed pinned under the fleeing car of the perpetrator, when he hesitated to use his firearm.

for those of you who like to Monday morning quarterback or from a high and lofty place talk about how they did it years ago and maintained their perspective. Maybe you should go out and put your life on the line in a real life situation or just try to vivdly imagine it, in a moment of time without the benefit of MSNBC’s conjecture about how it might have happened or if it had been this way.

Give it some real thought before you make accusations. If you were in the mix of a bunch of people that were violating the law then it is on you, please don’t talk about the anxiety caused you by the police that didnt realize you weren’t really part of the hoopla. Shouldn’t been there. But of course come Monday morning had you not been apprehended you would have been boating in your greatness, protesting or whatever the matter is.

If you do not respect the police why do you expect them to respect you?

Next time you need help or are in trouble, call a the ACLU or channel MSNBC and see how that works for you.

I have just earned a bachelor’s degree in social and criminal justice. I can say that it is hard to want to work in the justice department with how some officers act.it seems like there is to much pride in busting teens with drugs. Its true that the parents back up their children upon arrest for something like cocaine trafficking. Of cousr your child is always innocent. I would be so embarrassed if a spouse of mine tryed to tell police my child was innocent as they pulled out pounds of scheduled drugs and tackles the passenger with an ar15 riding with them. How do parents say their child is innocent in this event. I believe parenting is to blame for a majority of youth crime. I also feel media and music is feeding into this. How can you disagree that music isn’t the problem when they are quoting songs in the process? I cannot disagree that the officers aren’t some of the problem. I know in my are I see the type of personality the force seeks for employment is usually the highschool valedictorian type who has done or seen nothing in their society outside of a gym. What good is that to a society who’s is less then 10% of that personality type? Should I join law enforcement ? I don’t know but I would like the to make a difference but I do not fall in that category of people. I have been around and seen things but probably means I’m not eligible.

I’m 54 years old. I grew up in an era that believed the police officer could be trusted and cared about your safety and security. Then life taught me different. I was a long haul trucker/owner operator for over 30 years. I’ve never been in any kind of trouble my entire life. I’ve followed all the rules and operated safely and within the confines of the law. I’ve had had cops pull me over and demand cash payments for “fines” until video and recording devices became common enough that they didn’t feel safe doing that anymore. I’ve always bought new and maintained my own trucks and equipment. There wasn’t a single screw or bolt on my truck that I didnt at some point have a wrench or screw on. My brakes were always ALWAYS in adjustment. My lights worked all the time. I carried spares for every light on the truck so I could replace them immediately if one burned out. Yet,every time I got pulled over I got an equipment violation fine for either a brake being out of adjustment or a light out. One time a wrench fell out of the cops shirt pocket as he climbed out from under my truck. The same size wrench you would use to adjust brakes. Even though I had just adjusted my brakes , he wrote me up for having a brake out of adjustment. I was pulled over in elpaso for having a tail light out. He lingered at the back of my trailer and then motioned my to come back where he handed me a light out ticket. I could clearly see the fresh fingerprint smudges in the dust covering the tail light lense. Since I was on the side of the road and I have spares bulbs,I decided to replace it and told the cop so. He hopped in his car and took off. I popped the lense off and the sumbitch had taken the lightbulb completely out of the socket. I’ve come across enough cops to know one thing is certain. Yall might be one way when you are amongst other cops or people that matter. But you get out there on the road and your motivation is to write tickets. You will stoop to some pretty dispicable means with which to accomplish that. I’m a mild mannered guy who treats others with respect and prefers to give others the benefit of the doubt,but some of the most dishonest people I’ve ever met have been cops. Now,at my age,I don’t even go to a restaraunt if there are cops in it. When I hear people say that some cops are good I have to chuckle. It’s like a guy who isn’t a rapist standing by and doing nothing while there is a rape occurring right beside him. If these “good cops” didn’t cover for the bad cops,I would agree that some are good,but until then,if you turn your head when another cop violates someone’s rights or commits a crime,you are not a good cop.

Through a citizens eyes:
I stopped caring today – I stopped caring because what once was a freedom is now called a “privilege” , I stopped caring today because those who take an oath to uphold the Constitution spit in it’s proverbial face and instead uphold and enforce jurisdictional garbage “codes”, “statutes” etc. Because instead of the freedom to not buckle up, or to talk on my phone; I now have a whole entire group of officers willing to trample my former rights to achieve a quota or “protect” me from myself. I don’t care because instead of driving from point A to point B, now I must pull over and show my papers regularly to uniformed officers acting under color of law to tread directly on my 4th Amendment rights. I stopped caring because the politicians in this country keep trying and successfully passing anti gun legislation at every turn. I’m not stupid – I know what group of people will be tasked with taking care of those confiscation orders, should they come down the pipeline in my respective jurisdiction- I don’t doubt that they will use what they deem to be “appropiate force” to take from me what is mine, if just simply enforcing unconstitutional statutes- to get paid. I am aware that the police will do what they have to do to “get home at the end of the shift” , with little to no concern for my life or my rights. I stopped caring because every single day, I see proof positive that hundreds of officers nationwide are caught on video treating citizens like their subjects- like a subhuman at times. All in all, I stopped caring because cops stopped caring: They refuse to keep in check what they know to be fellow officers who violate rights and abuse their authority, they use the phrase that they are just “doing their job” to excuse their violations and infringements, they enforce laws that they now believe they are above. When push comes to shove- if more cops would stand against unjust officers and unjust laws – we as a whole could trust them again. Until then, just know that, with power comes responsibility – and if you choose not to live up to the oath – you deserve whatever it is gets thrown your way.

Yes, and for the most part, no. Your right to do whatever you wish, when it infringes on the rights of others to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is where your constitutional rights end and another begins. Yes, you idiot, you shouldnt have the right to talk on the phone or text while driving, just as drinking and driving is illegal. I cant see you arguing against DUI, even though texting and talking while driving causes hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and kills countless thousands every year. You should wear your seatbelt, and a helmet, as both save lives, and it could be yours. Your selfish ‘i dont wanna’ attitude deprieves others in your family of your life, love, and presence should you die as a result of your wanton reckless and disregard for appropriate safety measures. Your very comments allude to and reinforce the police officer perspective of not caring, and its cyclical… they dont care because you dont care because they dont care, etc etc etc. Yes, there are a shitload of bad, disrespectful, power hungry or badly trained police officers out there, but they amount to about one in 10,000. Should you hold every cop accountable for the actions of one? Should police hold you accountable because your neighbor shot someone? No. It’s stupid, right? You are arguing for all the wrong things. I would assume, not knowing you but assuming you are a decent human being, that you would be the first to protest should your neighbor begin piling garbage up in his front yard, offending your sensibilities through sight and smell… so why then bitch about ‘codes’ that are intended to protect all? If you dont like a code in the city, move to the county, where they are less restrictive. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem. You can cower behind a computer, or you can do something positive that helps to change things for your community or your own situation.

Police officers probably see the very worst, most tragic situations life has to offer. But you don’t wear the uniform for those moments, you wear the uniform for those times you were the cop who went into a house and saved an entire family from certain death, you are the cop who arrived before other help and held the child who had just lost a parent, you are the cop who just resuscitated an infant because no one was there to do it. You are the cop that stopped a speeding teenager, and he was pissed, but he was not killed in an accident down the road. You are the cop who just freed hostages from someone bent on killing them. You are cop who pulled an accident victim from a submerged vehicle. You are the cop who shot at the father who had just shot the mother of his baby and his baby. We depend on you for things like that. There are bad cops, there are cops who have a really bad day and have bad outcomes. There are people like that in my profession too, in every profession and will be as long as those professions are populated by people. Cops will make mistakes, you are human like the rest of us. But at the end of any day, when we are in trouble, we know you have the training and courage to save us. I have only two words for that and they are in all caps for emphasis: THANK YOU!

Those acts mentioned above are only what the cops in my community have done. There are many more heroes out there.

When my children went into the military, I told them that they are not there to fight for what THEY believe in. That is OUR job as civilians. As civilians it is OUR job to work with our lawmakers to better our society. It is YOUR job to protect my right to do that. If people are expressing dissatisfaction with police/military, perhaps they are expressing dissatisfaction with THEMSELVES. You are LAW ENFORCEMENT, we (civilians) along with our LAWMAKERS are responsible for the laws you are enforcing. You do not make the laws, For the most part, police have served well. The few who have not are the exception, not the rule….and the American public needs to see that. Thank you for your service.

We live in a different world from the one we were raised in. I can see it everywhere and it’s sad. Parents don’t raise their children accountable for them selfs. Parents are now teaching children the world owes them everything and everything is someone else’s fault. Their are still parents and children who are thankful for everything our policemen, fireman ,teachers and our military do. You all have to carry most of the burden for what our world has become. This are the hardest jobs, you all give so much . Thank you all so much!

I bet you did stop caring.

I bet you don’t stop collecting your relatively ENORMOUS paycheck and I further bet you don’t turn down what will be your relatively ENORMOUS pension when you retire at a relatively EARLY age.

Also, the job stopped being a thing worthy of respecting when the men and women paid to do it stopped meeting the needs of the citizens who pay for it which was the same time you folks decided your interests were more important than ours unless we agreed to make you upper class authority figures instead of lower wage public servants.

Your specious and narrow set of examples proves you to be the kind of thinker police work attracts: Bullies who want it easy for them to be in charge or they just don’t care and will walk away from it with a FU attitude and a whiney slouch.

Boo hoo.

“To never accept responsibility for ones actions, but to blame everyone else instead of themselves. ”

He says this near the end…. yet had spent the rest of his opinion piece blaming everyone else. Hypocrite much Sir?

It’s hard to care everyday. I’m a chauffeur working on the streets every day and I too find it hard to care sometimes. The photos of armored officers aiming rifles at a citizen with his hands raised frighten me. Continuous stories of young unarmed black men being killed by armed white men make me wonder where justice plays into our lives. We should not be frightened by those we charge with our safety.

And I know that for every picture of militarized police there are thousands of officers doing good work. I see the night shift cop at the coffee shop trying to get a homeless man to go to the hospital for a badly swollen arm. I see the smiling officer helping families cross a very busy highway for a day at the beach. I see the gruff airport cop helping confused travelers find their ground transportation.

There are more good people out there who want to care, who do care. But the everyday good work we do is not news and does not excite social media. Tell you what, if you keep caring, so will I. Maybe together we can bring the spotlight back to the good we do.

Thank-you!!! The negative media making every law enforcement officer an evil villain is getting exhausting. Very few understand the sacrifice you all give every day. When I happened to mention to a “friend” this media circus, and my sadness that my LEO husband had missed a birthday, an awards ceremony and many suppers over a two week time period, I was answered with, “Well, that was what he signed up for when he took the job.” WOW. How about “thank-you”? How about the druggies take a night off so my husband can get 8 hours of sleep? How about the DV perps take a night off so we don’t get a 2am call from a crying victim (yes, of course, they call the house…). How about people slow their vehicles and wear a seat belt so the mental picture of their maimed body doesn’t have to be imprinted in his head for an eternity? How about an “I’m sorry,” when one is getting pulled over instead of a racial slur? WOW. Okay, enough of my rant. Thanks for this article. I’m glad I’m not the only one fed up with the unappreciative society we live in today… yet still in pursuit of making a better tomorrow.

I feel ya brother……believe me. But what sets us apart from the scrots, heathens, and lazy-you-owe-me/do-you-know-who-my-father-is scum of the earth…….is the VERY fact that we do care, do try to see the good in society while protecting that very society, and in irony……sometimes protecting us from that same society. We don’t do it for thanks, for glory, or for the money…….it’s because it is the right thing to do.

I salute you and the endless other brothers on the job, for holding the line, making the sacrifices……and I salute your spouses, children, and moms and dads who bite their nails and hold their hearts a little more when you’re at work.

God Bless You

Lee C.

Lt. Furseth, thank you for your honesty and your loyalty to serve.. I have 4 sons. one is a PTA, one is a business owner in Dallas,
one is a Police Officer in Jackson, Tn, for 11 years. The 4th one, who is the 2nd oldest is serving 8 yrs/100% in a correctional facility in West Tennessee. Our son the officer, is the one who had to call his fellow officers to come and pick up his brother and to place him under arrest. If my son the officer had done anything less, he would have been in trouble also. My son has been imprisoned for 3 years, and has completely turned his life around. He lost his job,, car, house, wife and 99% of his friends. This has cost him all and for us over $13,000 so far out of our pockets. He still has his mom amd dad and 3 brothers to talk and visit with. This is a man who was a standout athlete, married the woman of his dreams and it lasted 3 years. He remarried a woman who owns a bar in town and he started drinking..The week before he was to begin his sentence, his 2nd wife served him with divorce papers. Good ridance I guess. Thank you for your words written, because it is true today law enforcement as a profession is continually growing to be disrespected in this nation. I pray daily, as we all should that Lord God protect our officials, our justice, our soldiers and the families of all of them and us. Those whp wear the badge need our support as well as the correctional facilities officers and even the inmates. Believe me, it is needed.

I can understand your feeling the way you do and I pray you don’t give up. With the way things are today, the job you are doing is one of the most important one out there. There are still an awful lot of really good caring people, including a lot of our youth, in this world but unfortunately the few “rotten apples in the barrel” makes it really difficult for us to see sometimes. Stay strong and God bless you all.

There are many people that believe in you and are on your side. There are many Americans that will look past your humanly faults and still accept you as the heroes that you are. There are countrymen that want to to fight like heck for your morale especially while watching many citizens offend your cause simply because they are afraid. Don’t let your spirit suffer from them, they just don’t understand.

Daniel furseth I grew up in a neighborhood with gangs and drugs I was a gangbanger and drug addict from around twelve years old. I’ve seen a lot of crooked cops that abused their authority. But, I’ve also seen a lot of cops that just we’re doing their job and possibly even cared Your piece was dead on and you’re right. A lot of people perceive cops that way. When I was younger I was the guy you guys wanted and I probably looked at you guys that way too. Somewhere down the line I got tired of going to jail and prison just like most people that grew up in that environment. I know there’s bad cops out there but it’s good to know that there are some like you that do care

May God bless, keep and protect each and every true and dedicated Law Enforcemet Officer as they face such adverse situations and issues on and off the job. May the Good Lord also extend these blessings to the family members of those that serve! From one that has been there, done that and knows that God covered my back side on many occassions!

I think cops are definitely needed, and when it comes down to it, your job as a cop is to enforce the law no matter what.
The problem I have is when cops don’t focus on the real crime and act like assholes to someone who is only smoking weed for example, which really shouldn’t be any of your business (unless impaired driving). There is a difference though between violent crime and drugs, and if you don’t understand that the drugs people have prescriptions for are often the same thing people are getting on the street (and if not, well impurities are the result of cops cracking down on good production).
A good cop, also your duty, is to use common sense when doling out punishment.. Some cops do.. actually most cops know the difference between a violent criminal and just having to do what the man says. People tend to expect perfection from an authority figure, sorry.

But I had to take a class for having a minor when I was 19, and they lied to us all throughout the lessons, about stastics.. I looked them up, and they were so way off, that I had to call it out during next day. And boy were they not tolerant of a different opinion… Neither was anyone else in the class room… so apparently cop haters are in the minority

I have no knowledge of being a police officer.All I do know is when I am in a situation and need help,the first one I call is a policeman.They respond with no knowledge of the whole situation,not knowing if their life is in danger,not knowing if they will be hurt or killed or if they will return to their loved ones at the end of the day.All they know is someone is in danger and they must react and make decisions in a matter of seconds.I cant even imagine the fear of walking into a situation and not knowing who I will be dealing with.Thank God I have someone to call when I am in trouble.I am so sorry that this profession has to carry so much on their shoulders.We always hear of the things that go bad but not much about the great feeling we have when we are scared and threatened and we hear the police siren and they show up to save us.So I thank you for the job u do and so glad to know u are there if I need u.

There are so many people that are on your side. Many Americans can empathize with you and the ones that are unable to do that, well they are scared or they were told that in order to be considered intelligent, they had to question authority. Maybe they were told that by the wrong person, a hater as you described. There are citizens that would fight like heck to stand by your side so don’t ever feel like you lost your country. Most of your supporters are quiet and pensive. You only hear the haters because they are way too loud. And as you see here, they are even willing to kick you when you are down. We both know, there is no intelligence in that.

Suckered it up Dan,
stop worrying what ever one thinks. If your motivation for the work is “atta boys” you are in the wrong job.
caring comes from performing at a standard that says who you are and what your about. If the public is getting you down you are focused on the wrong things. Family, health andepartment a job well done. The rest is out of your hands.

Get up, put on you game face and make it happen.
stay safe brother.

I want to say Thank You for protecting our families… our neighbors… our friends… our coworkers… our homes.. our schools – everything each of us holds dear. It kills me knowing what protecting us costs you and every officer. What can we do to help?

As a therapist who’s worked with a diversity of psycho-emotional-spiritual issues these past 40 years in communities, prisons, rehabs and parishes, i count my blessing to have witnessed the best and the worse in both law-enforcers and law-breakers. Each person is gifted with his/her own unique and individual soul and we must not and can not judge everyone else by the ones whom we’ve had our experiences! My prayer is that God continues to strengthen Lt. Dan F. for “his guts and for voicing his reality!

In your line of work it can be difficult to remember that most of the human race isn’t engaging in illegal activities. We aren’t using or selling drugs. We’re not driving drunk. We’re not prostituting ourselves. We’re not knocking off the corner store or killing other human beings. Most of us are going to work, coming home and spending time with our families. We shop, go to movies and every few years if we’re lucky we take a vacation. Many of us still go to church and make teaching our kids right from wrong a top priority. I know it’s difficult to keep that perspective when it’s yoir job to chase around the criminals. Having daily reminders of just how inhuman some humans can be can cause some serious tunnel vision with nothing but a gang of thugs darting in and out of your line of sight. Like so many of the other commenters suggested you need to get away from all that and spend more time with the normal, law abiding crowd. You meed critical distance.

Dan:

You should not convince yourself that all the civilians you serve and protect “idolize gangsters, thugs, sexually promiscuous behavior, and criminals over hard work, dedication, and achievement. To argue that getting stoned should be a right, yet getting a job or an education is a hassle. To steal verus earn. To hate versus help.”

I understand that you encounter the worst of society while you’re doing your job and you get called to become involved in their drama and misdeeds. You should not believe for a second that ALL of us are this way any more than we should believe ALL cops are crooked, authoritarian thugs on ego trips who seek to bully people, entrap them or mistreat people because they get off on it. Get the picture?

There are some cops who fit that description to a T. You know some of these guys. Don’t become one of them. Remember there are far more people out here who have your back than those who would stick a knife in it. You just don’t meet us very often during the course of your work day. Sorry…

Thanks for doing what you do.

I recall distinctly the time I was a rookie. A little boy walked up to me, when I smiled and said hello he replied, “my momma told me never to talk to the PO-LEASE”. Mama…scowling at me…was not far behind.

Apparently blue is the color everyone can be prejudiced against with no societal backlash these days. Some haters feel free to judge me on the color of my uniform vs the content of my character and believe there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I’ve been where you are. For four years, I answered the calls that came in on a nationally published (800 toll free number) of an animal cruelty hotline and was exposed to some of the most heinous acts of cruelty the human mind is capable of conjuring up, (nearly 1,400 calls a month!) I grew to hate the human race and eventually chose to leave ‘the cause’ I was so passionate about fighting because it was effecting all arenas of my life. To this day, I can’t stand to be exposed to those animal cruelty commercials that appear on TV because it recalls so many of the desperate calls I received from people reporting that their neighbor just took a hammer to the family pet to teach their child the consequences of not cleaning their room or the woman that called in telling me that her ex-boyfriend just lit her dog on fire with lighter fluid for breaking up with him the night before. Or the sick war vet that enjoyed torturing animals by lowering them into an aquarium filled with sulfuric acid…I could go on and on. It is true, we live in a broken world but I have learned to be in the world and not of it. If you want peace and healing for your broken heart and troubled mind, the best advice I can offer you is to learn of the redemptive powers of Jesus. Guard your heart, pray for the world and know that there will be a judgment to come. Your role here on earth is to bring light into an otherwise dark world. It’s a victory when we can affect positive change in the world, it’s a defeat when the world infects us. There is no shame in stepping aside and letting others fill the role you have played for so long, it is far more important to guard your heart, for through it flows everything else you care about. I wish you peace and encourage you to cast your cares onto Jesus, he will be your vindicator! Blessings~

My prayers are with you as you put your uniform on. This artical is wonderful most people forget what our police officers do for us. I will be sharing. I hope god gives you strength to keep caring.

Just like you are upset about people overgeneralizing the police and what they “all” do. You need not be upset to the point of overgeneralizing your audience and how they “all” feel. I sit back and observe and I watch people get upset and unknowingly biased towards a situation because of their position within that situation. It’s important for people to take as many steps back as needed to see things from every perspective possible. Even if there are perspective you could never fully agree with, try to see the reason behind someone having that perspective in the first place before processing thoughts into words. One should not speak until he fully understands.

I just want to say Thank You. I was raised to respect law enforcers. Even when I messed up, and I messed up a lot, in my younger years, I never blamed the officers making the arrest. I blamed myself for putting myself in situations where I was a danger to myself and my community. My father always said: “plead your case in court, not on the street.” I’m so very sorry for the people who feel our officers are evil men who abuse power. They have always been there with one goal. To truly protect and serve. I have turned my life around, but I will never forget the kindness and respect I was shown even when I was not worthy of it. You men and women are Gods chosen. Please, please continue to fight the good fight and know that as parents and citizens we cherish and value you and your commitment to service, and I for one am grateful that you continue to care.

When the men in blue put their uniforms on, they put them on a human body. They are humban beings, and sometimes make mistakes. Of course we hate them when we get caught doing wrong, but, we love them if we are victims of a crime. Regardless of our feelings more then not are there to help us. So, to this man, Thank you for caring tomorrow when you go back to work, because I know if I need you, you will be there.

Don’t stop caring. There are still some of us out there who love and appreciate you and the service you do for us and our community. Those ignorant thugs and their followers also deserve what you do. Its why you do it. The blacks of the country need to stop hating and get off their lazy asses, get educated, and fend for themselves & their families, instead of looking for handouts that allow them to believe they can do rediculous things such as what is happening is Ferguson.

Thank you for your service. If people would just get it through their heads that if they obeyed the law, they wouldn’t a run-in with the police. I appreciate everything you do. My eyes were opened to how much crap you put up with when did ride alongs with a K9 unit and regular patrol. I don’t know that I could put up with it. Thank you for protecting and serving. There are millions of us who don’t think you are bad guys. We appreciate you.

Thank you, thank you for caring….again!! God help us if you ever do stop! Law Enforcement is the one step between me and gross evil! You are appreciated!

It is easy to understand your sentiment, and I, like most people, sympathize with the police and feel empathy for those individuals having to make tough decisions. I have to say, this piece came across as very didactic, polemic, and was full of generalizations. Your characterization of youth seems to originate in the echo chambers of the grumpy baby-boomer “boot-strappers” and the curmudgeon-laced invective spewing out of media outlets like fox news and those charlatans of faux outrage and victim-blaming. But, I don’t blame you. We didn’t jail the bankers when it would have made a difference or even impose more than a slap on their wrists when they get caught laundering drug money from Mexican cartels. Money runs the show, and Americans are caught in a maelstrom of blaming and turning on each other while the real culprits laugh all the way to the bank. These are the ones who peddle smut to the youth that glorifies those unsavory aspects you mentioned. If it sounds like blame, then it might be a call for justice. We have to learn how to talk to each other again and drop all our sub-culture faction mindsets and our politics of identity. I mean, I’d rather just hunker down in the mountains of Wyoming and catch fish and enjoy life in my cabin, but we are all inseparable and it’s high time we all started acting like adults. Hold the real thieves accountable (they “work” on Wall Street) and let’s get over this left/right mendacity and start building something again.

But what if I enjoy sexual promiscuous behavior, but yet I work really hard, am very educated but occasionally use recreational drugs going from pot to cocaine?

The problem is not when police attacks or arrests real criminals, it is when they attack citizens for small offenses, as far as I know, my promiscuity and my use of recreational drugs is not hurting anyone, I am still a very functional member of the society, I do charity work, I did not kill anyone for drug money, I have a very high position in society (I am either a teacher, a cop or a doctor :P) yet if you were to pull me over, open my glove box on account of suspicion you would ruin my entire life cause I have vices? (Fictional place where I keep my drugs, I am not that dumb to keep them in the glove box)

No one is pure and innocent and those who pretend that they are, are just oppressed.

Thank you! I agree with you and thank you for your service! God Bless you and your fellow officers – Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Let us all be thankful for all you give and sacrifice and count our blessings!

As usual, you guys have COMPLETELY missed the point. Do you feel persecuted? You would think that having experienced “persecution” would give you a little bit more empathy and human compassion for other people that feel the same way. ::Shaking my head::

Please believe that this is not the general opinion. In the land of first responders (I am a Paramedic), I see the sickest and most injured. But this doesn’t convince me that everyone is sick and injured. Just because police see the worst of society doesn’t mean that everyone is this way. I am not a cop hater, my friends are not, and my family is not. The haters are out there, but they are not the majority. The majority are decent, tax paying, law abiding folks like me who respect and appreciate the hard work of the police. I could not do the job of a police officer, and I have great respect and appreciation for those men and women who serve. Thank you all for your dedication and sacrifice, and I hope you are not disheartened by the latest nonsense.

People today don’t want to hear the hard truth about violence… Its everywhere! You can’t escape from it, Movies, TV.. video games.. Our society is crippled.. Law Enforcement have been, and will always be our friends… Like the ole saying goes.. DO the crime do the time.. People today want a “Get out of jail free card” No matter what it is.. Parents… take responsibility for your children.. Voice your opinion.. but always remember you are not above the law.. Laws are there to protect the innocent.. Keep society from destroying itself.. WE are destroying ourselves… WE need to come together.. A crime is a crime! When will the hatred end…. Remember back to 9/11 All americans came together… We waved… We nodded… we smiled and said hello.. It shouldn’t take another brutal day like that to come together… WE need to rise above the anger and hatred.. Time is running out people… Time is running out…

I don’t think it will help much, but Thank You for all you do to keep everyone safe…. Don’t let the couple hundred people bring you down and know that there are a millon more that are on your side….

Not all “Liberals” feel the same – just as, I’m sure, not all Republicans do. You had my attention until that word. I was in total agreement. But the moment you decided that my liberal self would disagree with your words, I couldn’t keep reading. (And really wanted to) I am liberal and love our local police. They are good people who are keeping me and mine safe. (I have to tell you, “Shop With A Cop” paid for by our local Salvation Army, is the most inspiration thing I have ever seen. A chance for police officers to connect with kids living on the edge – to give them a different perspective on the world.) My boy has learned to respect the police and be grateful that they, who are trained to use the weapons they carry, are here so we don’t have to have a gun in the house. Please don’t blame…it isn’t accurate and drowned out the rest of your very valid message. Bless you for all that you give to the community. Please know that the lack of respect for you (frankly, for each other in general) saddens most of us liberals too.

I had a fabulous, very nice young man rescue me from my vehicle when I crashed on black ice. He didn’t have to stop and help, but he went above and beyond to get me out of my vehicle. When I asked what he did for a living, he said he was an ex police officer. He told me he quit for these very reasons and that it was a very unappreciated job. Things need to change, we need good men like him on the police force. And this was in North Dakota, imagine how they feel in the big cities. But please don’t stop caring, there are a lot of people that love you

Wow! I want the officers that read this to know they are appreciated. It is a thankless job that you do…but a noble one. You absolutely have to go into with no expectations except for the expectations you put upon yourself. If you go into it looking for a “thank you”, it may not come…but if you go into it because it is what is right for you….because you want to make a difference in your own way….because you care….because you know “the power of one” and that if you make a difference in even one life….the world is a better place….and that is why you do it. You risk so much and people don’t understand….after all…”that is what you are trained to do”. You are never off duty….if you are out to dinner, you have to sit facing the door so you can watch who is coming in….if you see someone that needs help, your natural instinct is to stop and help….and when you hear a bad cop (of course there are bad cops….as there are bad people in EVERY profession!), you get more angry than anyone because you know there is a load of judgement headed your way. I’m sorry. The message I want to send to all the officers out there is…..THANK YOU! Those words are not enough…but THANK YOU! Don’t be discouraged….you are appreciated more than you know. I’m sorry….I’m sorry that those of us who do appreciate you aren’t as vocal as the haters. I will try to change that. So…stay strong…..stay safe…and stay smart! Thank you for making a difference

Lt. I give you high fives for your writing. I don”t know if anyone could have captured the way it better than you just did. Thank You!!!

Thank you for your service, I for one am thankfull that you and your brothers in blue are on the job doing what must be done for those of us who can’t.

I am a 43 year old man. I have been in another area of public service. Retail.
25 years has brought me to my knees more than what anyone knows.

In the midst of the riots. I boldly have to say that I fully support and appreciate our law enforcement people. No one has any clue how trying it can be to deal with the public now a days. It has changed so much in the past 15 years or so.

On the bright side. I do have to say that growing up around people who worked law enforcement. They have saved and enhanced my life. I personally owe them a debt that I never will be able to repay.

My hope is the public will realize how tough they are towards law enforcement. They need to understand their situation. Is it right to cause them terror in their lives??? So bad that later on ptsd is finally diagnosed after they lose everything that they worked for?? I am afraid not.

Let’s all remember the human side of the badge. They are like us deep inside. They however have to suppress their feelings.

Let’s all take one day, between Thanksgiving and Christmas and make ones law enforcement person’s day. By just thanking them. Shake their hand. Let them know that you appreciate their time of service in the past year.

My husband is a State Game Warden and teaches a class to all new trainees called Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement. The author of the book is Kevin M Gilmartin, Ph.D. I highly recommend any law enforcement and their family’s to read this book or check to see if your police academy offers a class.

As a nurse I have been abused by patients, families, doctors, management, other nurses, an ex husband, police, judges, lawyers and the entire legal system. I have been abused physically, emotionaly, fianacially, sexually, psychologically. But I refused to stop caring. If you are broken, I will fix you; because I care. If I see you laying in the street bleeding to death; I will help you, because I care, if your child dies; I will care, if your parents die; I will care, if your dog dies; I will care. If you are black, white, gay, straight, cross dress, rich, poor, homeless, disabled and in distress, I will help you because I care. No matter how troubling my life might be, there will NEVER be a day that I stop caring. Can everyone in this world just please try to get along?

This country has been turned upside down at some point in time. If you teach your children to respect others, love others serve others and do what is in the best interest of others we don’t have the problems we face today. It is not all about them and you don’t always get the easy path in life. I have three kids and they have never been close to being in trouble and they realize police officers, fireman, teachers and other people that serve us are there for the overall good. Thanks for your service to the world we live in. Also, having a wife as a teacher I see the exact same things you face everyday from her. Students have all the rights in the classroom today and teachers have basically none. This is the true problem in education today.

There’s a lot that he’s said that is true – and it doesn’t help that there ARE “bully” cops out there abusing their authority. I would buy the “good cop” narrative a lot more if they would band together AGAINST the “bad apples” to get them off the force. What usually happens is that they protect those who should go, with their silence. That sours it for me and makes me distrustful. They ARE used too often to defend corporate property interests instead of protecting our civil rights. It’s not til their pension funds have been raided by those same corporate interests (and the politicians they’ve purchased) that some of them wake up to how they’ve been used. He refers to it as “another tool used by government to generate “revenue.”” – he knows at some level he’s being used. I would challenge all the good cops out there to work together to get rid of the bad cops and help restore confidence that they are truly there to “serve and protect”.

There are still plenty of us who feel thankful that you are there and we know that you do this not for the “rush” or feeling of power, but because you have and always will care! Thank you.

• Daniel……………thank you for serving the people of your community – the grateful and the undeserving ungrateful. Few reading your letter can even empathize with what you and your colleagues do every day that includes putting your own life at risk. Few of us can ever know what it’s like to go to work every day not knowing whether we will make it home that night. It’s a hefty sacrifice and commitment that few of us have or will ever have to make to earn a living. The eroding values of our society are a cancer. America is dying from the inside out. We send billions of dollars and military men and women overseas to stop the inhumane violence when we have it going on ever more frequently in our backyards as demonstrated by uncivil behavior of the barbarians destroying their own community in Ferguson, Mo. It’s incomprehensible what it would be like to have to police such savage behavior that continues cause the confrontation between citizen thugs and the police. And to all you people out there – the police do not create the reason to be called out to stop a crime. The cause of all these confrontations is the immoral thugs themselves – the effect is who else is going to stop these losers? Who? The police force – dud. Did M. browns parents get called to come stop hi crime-in-progress? Nope. Sickens me that the Browns parents had a teenage son who they parented and was a criminal thug and now whose fault is it the thief is gone? The culpability of what happen to M. Brown and Trayvon Martin goes to their families and themselves. But, as is typical in today’s society, the responsibility for the bad shit that is befallen upon these thugs, is always, always, always someone else’s fault. The culpability for the Ferguson debacle goes to M. Brown himself and his parents who spawned such a morally challenged individual. Period! I stand for the Men and Women of the Police and Military forces across America who do what they do every day to keep us safe!!

Much like a military veteran coming back to the states,, after seeing what the rest of the world sees when they look at the USA. I could never love the America I was grew up in. The people are spoiled rotten brats,, and I couldn’t re-adjust to the civilian population in the US; so I moved out of the states. Now I sit and look in on the US and just shake my head.

I think I understand the frustration you are feeling even though I’ve never wanted to be a police officer.
Most of us grow up respecting the law because we know how critically important it is. Without it, the ways of the old west, would still prevail.
I firmly believe most police officers respect civilians, because without that respect, it would be the ways of the Gestapo all over again.
That mutual respect is easily lost, when evil minded people commit atrocities. And that’s a two way street.
I’ve seen far too many police officers commit perjury in a court of law, and get away with it, just to make a ticket stick.
I’ve also seen far too many civilians commit crimes and get away with it, just so they can go about ripping off folks, or worse.
It can’t be easy knowing that any traffic stop could end up in a gun battle. Even though it’s a very small percentage that do.
I can’t really understand what it must be like knowing split second decisions, can be the difference between life & death. In part because I was fortunate enough to spend six years in the National Guard, instead of having to go to Viet Nam.
But I do understand the mindset that can erode the mutual respect we need to have for each other.
It only takes a few desperate criminals, to make every civilian a possible suspect. And it only takes a few bad police officers to make every officer a possible pig.
I raised four kids & they learned early on, that the police are here to help us & save us from the bad guys. Because I know that only a small percentage are pigs. Just like you must realize that most of us civilians are law abiding citizens, and not scum bags crooks.
Either way it’s not easy going in. But either way, we have to give each other the benefit of the doubt until we know better.
I don’t agree that Officer Wilson was in the right to fire twelve shots into an unarmed Mr. Brown, when he admitted he had mace readily available. I can’t say that I would have reacted differently though if I had been in Officer Wilson’s shoes. Because the mutual respect we all depend on, was clearly not in play in those split seconds.
The job you do can be a thankless & unrewarding way of making a living. But know this, we need officers like you. We need you to protect us from the bad guys.
Just like you need law abiding citizens to pay your salary.
It’s easy to get discouraged about the roles we play in life. As a tugboat captain, I felt my job was akin to being a taxi driver on the river.
But there are those few moments when we can help others, that should prevail as examples of the importance our roles are, in life.
So please don’t let the actions of a few dissuade you from the values you have held throughout your career.
We need cops like you.

Welcome to the world of the hated public service industry. I feel your pain. We always hear about the bad, but never the good. And public servants (police, teachers, social workers, etc.) are always the first to be blamed. And typically there is little or no investigation… or if it turns out in favor of a public servant, we never hear about it. Our country is headed in a scary and, quite frankly, dangerous direction. If respect for our public service industry – note PUBLIC SERVICE, not do-as-we-wish-because-we-want-to industry – continues the downward spiral, there will be no one left to protect, teach, offer guidance to the less fortunate, etc. Sure, there are bad public servants in police forces, schools, etc. But they represent a VERY small percentage. Unfortunately, the majority of publicized “information” (no thanks to our immoral media) focuses on the bad rather than the good.

Sincerely,
A teacher

Well I can tell you that I have never had a good interaction with a cop. I am a generally law-abiding citizen who is working on a PhD, I am not a criminal. But I have never had an interaction where I felt that a cop was there to “serve and protect” me. I understand that you have a stressful job, but there is no need for every cop to be on a power trip and “maintain control” in all situations. That is called being a dick. The millitarization of our police force has made the world a more dangerous place because when a cop feels threatened (like Darren Wilson), even if that threat is stems from deep seated racism (like Darren Wilson), he is able to kill a person. That is not right, ever.

Darren Wilson felt threatened because a 300 lb man reached into his patrol car to take his weapon. It would not have mattered if that person was black, white, Asian, purple, gay or straight, male or female, one arm or two. The second the “unarmed” person attempts to take your weapon, he is considered a Threat. Nothing to do with Race, Only to do with Protecting and Serving the Community from a man who had already assaulted one person, committed a minimum of two crimes that we know of, and then attempted to disarm a police officer (the only reason for which someone would do that is to Kill him or someone else). I agree. Not Right. Ever

Officer, please do not give up! Jesus Christ did not give up on you, He gave you a mission, courage and perseverance. These are gifts from the Almighty. Why? Because you alone have the ability, by being placed in the situations that you are, to save the reprobate, the criminal, to give God a chance to soften hearts of stone and bring them to repentance. You are a Holy Soldier of Christ who called into the battlefield has the opportunity to give death with your gun or life with mercy and dependence upon Him who created you. I will pray for your safety and your family and I am grateful for all who are officers of the law in this country. Thank you for protecting me and my family and all of America in these desparate times.

Thank you for taking the time to call it like you see it. As a school teacher, I can relate to the twisted views the general public has about what a person’s job is. I feel awful that this is the nature of what it means to be a peace officer these days. I have the greatest deal of respect for what you do for your community even when they do not recognize it. Please trust that there are still many of us out there who understand the sacrifices you and your family have made so that you could care for others and their families. Best wishes!

For thirty years i,ve said if you can,t trust a cop who can you trust. The cops is the good guys and always will be . Wear want needs to be worn and stay safe because we ( all of America needs you) thank
You

You should all go on strike for a week. Across the entire country. Just go on strike. Let the criminals run rampant. Let the citizens come on their hands and knees begging you to come to rescue them from the looters and the murderers and the petty thieves. I think those who are screaming the most about being profiled are themselves creating the profile. They have forgotten why we have the police. Maybe a week-long strike would change a lot of minds.

As former L.E. I relate I started a career in law enforcement. Thinking I would go and change the world be the guy that made the difference. Don’t we all. But in a matter of about 6/7 years I got complacent. One day you were criticized for doing your job the next cuz you didn’t. You can’t win for loosing in this career field. But the good ones keep foraging on. I will say in my brief career I have seen good I mean honest to goodness good cops. And others that gave up some in it for the wrong reasons. But I will say it takes a special person to do the job with the integrity it takes to be the great one. The truth is we are all human we have bad and good days temptation ect. My blood is still blue always will be tho I feel like it was my brother is blue that turned their back on me. I have served with some great officers I would lay down my life for today. Just because I don’t do the job anymore dosnt mean the job isn’t in me. If you ever really did the job for the right reasons you know what I’m talking about. And that is the bond that brings together the brothers in blue not the job.

.

Debbie Odman Anderson there are a lot more of us out here who respect what you do & even try to understand than you think. It takes a very special person to do the job that you do. I know I could not take a job where I would be risking my life every time I put on my work uniform. Praise the Lord for the people who are willing to do the job that you do. It especially takes someone who can make a quick decision in an instant on what to do next. Every situation is different from the last & I applaud all of our men & women in uniform who are willing to take on that decision every time they go to work. Thank you for your hard work & dedication in working toward keeping our streets safe. Everyone must understand that we are all human & that includes police. It is a shame that people are using a young man’s death as a reason to riot, steal & destroy other’s property. what those people are doing in Ferguson is wrong & it is sad that they think it is okay to use a death as an excuse to do what they are doing & call it racism. They are the ones who are carrying this on; not those who they are hurting. It’s time for them to wake up & get a real job!!!

I can absolutely understand where everyone is coming from on each side of the “situation” I guess you could say. There are a ton of “bad cops” out there, but there are also a ton of “good cops” out there. Just like there are good people and bad people EVERYWHERE! There are nurses in hospitals and long term care facilities all over the country that abuse people and their authority, there are politicians that do the same, CEO’s, and basically anyone in a power position. There is good and bad EVERYWHERE! The only reason people look at Cops so differently for being good and bad is because they are supposed to uphold the law, serve and protect, and what not. I think what people forget is they are not machines, they are only human, they bleed the same color as everyone else, and make the same mistakes that anyone else could make. I myself live in a place where corrupt doesn’t even come close to whats going on in the police department, but I still respect them because they put their lives on the line everyday, willingly, which is something I wouldn’t and couldn’t do. I also remember that if I’m in a car accident, my kids are hurt, or someone is dying, they are ;most likely going to be the first ones on the scene to try and save my life or theirs. There is one part that I read in this that really hit home for me. It is parents not teaching their kids to be respectful. Unfortunately, society as a whole has created this problem for telling parents when where and how they can discipline their children. When I was young, if I lipped off, wait a minute, I didn’t, because I knew if I did, it meant I was going to get in trouble. Now a days, boy if you lip off, you best go to your room, you know, where all of your toys are so you can play with them and now I look like a fool because you just won. There is a fine line between abuse and discipline, and I am 100% against abuse, but at least back in the day, kids were raised with 100% respect even if their methods were a little over the line, it worked, and people weren’t awful like they are today. Anyways, everyone needs to remember we are all only human. I have made more mistakes than I’d like to admit, but on that note, without those mistakes I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I’m sure this goes for most everyone. Just because one person, cop, nurse, whatever, is bad, doesn’t mean the rest of them are, right?!

I served on a jury in a civil court. It was a wrongful death lawsuit against a city police department. Even though there was a criminal trial to prosecute the Police officer that was innocent, the family continued the persecution of noble officer. The policeman was attempting a rescue of a man barricaded with a shotgun who was high. After six weeks of testimony we rendered our verdict that the police were correct to follow procedure and try to rescue the armed citizen. The officer was still shot at and emptied his clip fearing for his life. I do not regret the fact that the police were clearly in the rule of law in spite of the unfortunate circumstance of someone dying. And yes, this is a thankless job but it’s a noble profession we all need.

Daniel, I hear your frustration. I felt the same frustration as a career soldier during the Vietnam era. You are part of the thin blue line that keep us from the chaos that we apparently seek in our voracious desire for freedom without responsibility or criticism. You have a right to feel frustrated and to express yourself, but I know you and what you stand for and you will never stop caring, regardless of how thankless people are for your invaluable service.

PEACE be with all you officers (HEROS) working the streets today and everyday. I HONOR YOU. I appreciate you. I TRUST you. Thank you for still CHOOSING to do what you do throughout this un-loyal chaos. I pray that you will be kept safe and good will prevail. I will teach my kids right from wrong. I will teach my kids to respect you. I am grateful I am home with my family while you keep the streets safe today and everyday. I will do my part as a community member to restore what is so so deserved for you loyal men and women. Don’t lose faith. I believe in you.

Thank you for your service in law enforcement. Happy Retirement — you’ve earned it!

My older brother has been in local law enforcement for over 30 years. My younger brother has been in federal law enforcement for over 25 years. My sister works at the Hall of Justice. My father was an MP in the Korean War and later owned and operated an armed security firm. My nephew just graduated with a degree in criminal justice and hoping to become either a police office or join the CHP.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone who puts their life on the line, day in and day out, for someone or people they don’t even know. The glaring omission in your article was the select few who are bad apples and should never be in uniform because they are unable “to protect and to serve.” Every profession has bad apples. Every community has members who are bad apples.

I sincerely believe that for the majority of people, they also have a huge appreciation, respect, and admiration for our police officers. And when they speak up, they’re speaking of the actions or comments of those officers currently making headlines. The problem, I believe, is the vocal minority’s (as in, not the majority) ignorance and the ability to easily generalize and stereotype all others based on the actions of those select few. You can see that in play when someone says they’re a lawyer, a tech worker, or someone who works on Wall Street. They immediately get a look of disdain, or a snarl, because of a select few in those industries, such as ambulance chasers, the Uber executives, and Bernie Madoff, respectively.

It’s incumbent upon the officers, a vast majority who get into law enforcement because they want to protect and to serve, to speak up and to break the code of silence if their fellow officer colleagues are breaking the law, not following policies and procedures, and most importantly, if they’re a danger or menace to the community and to society. Until the select few, the bad apples, are taken off the force, they no doubt will be in the news and unfortunately to some, representative of every man and woman in uniform.

I’m sorry you’ve lost faith in your job…However I strongly believe you are not in a position to “stop caring” because when you do…someone could die, it’s not like you work at McDonald’s and if u stopped caring someone wouldn’t get what they ordered. There is stress and scrutiny in every job, if you have lost touch with your job…maybe it’s time to step down so someone doesn’t get hurt. However I want it on record I agree with what you say…There are a lot of cops out there who really care about what they do, however now a days there are just as many under trained trigger happy rookies out there putting lives at risk…This isn’t the profession where you can throw trainees in the deep end and hope everything goes ok….that gets people killed. I respect your profession and respectfully ask that you retire or find your passion again before someone possibly dies.

My siblings and I grew up in a different era. Our parents ALWAYS told us kids, that we needed to “Find a Police Officer or a Fireman, when we were in trouble. NEVER be afraid of the Police.” I believe with all my heart, that these men and woman are Super Heroes! They put their very lives on the line EVERY DAY! And it doesn’t stop when they take off the uniform. They are on the job 24/7, and yet, people are allowed to call them names and even get away with spitting on them. I understand, that there are good and bad cops. But, the majority of them are good. They understand how you feel, but WE need to understand just what their JOB MEANS and ENTAILS! They are just trying to protect us from harming each other AND ourselves. We need to understand, that once they become Police, they are Police FOREVER! So, next time you see a cop, smile. Let him or her know, that they are needed, that they are appreciated. Let THEM know, that YOU know, that THEY are HUMAN TOO!! GOD Bless our men and woman in uniform!! Our SUPER HEROES!!

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful to have you on the job, protecting my friends and family, my neighborhoods and cities. I am sorry you are treated so poorly for doing such a difficult job, and I admire you for persevering every single day. Please remember that I love you, respect you, appreciate you, and care about you, your safety and your well being. You are my heroes, my champions, my angels… And tomorrow, when you put your uniform back on, know that I am on the other end of your radio, and I care too! Thank you for always being there for me!

Don’t stop caring because then evil wins. Don’t stop caring because not every parent teaches fear. And most of all don’t stop caring because someday that kid you save might be mine!

Keep caring for the ones who do appreciate, respect and value what you do for us. I am one of them, thank you so much for your service.

Thanks Daniel for saying what few will say. To all those who oppose the police please consider this…the responsibilty for community wellness is everyone’s responsibility. We, as a nation have for too long ignored the underlying problems that face many communities across this country. The criminal justice system is broken. But let’s face the painful truth. The police didn’t break it. We did… Mid-term elections were the lowest in 50 years. As a nation of immigrants we oppose immigration. We are a middle class that opposes a living wage. If all the haters spent one tenth of the time that police officers spend in communities of need, things would be significantly improved. We blame the police as we watch a community loot and burn businesses of other community members. Remember this..police officers don’t run police departments. Politicians do. Wake up! We are all being manipulated. Your vote counts.

I have to say that after reading this today, I can totally understand where he is coming from. I was brought up with my uncle in the police field. I am very proud to say that my uncle was a police officer. He was a chief of police at one point then became a sheriff for some years in WI. Now my uncles son works for the sheriff dept, and my cousin’s husband works for a police dept also. It is a really hard job that at times can and will be one of the most dangerous. I personally would not do it but I have alot of respect for the people that want to do this job.

Sorry you feel that way. I started to wonder myself at one time. Then I had a collision on my motor while in pursuit. I spent 2 weeks in a coma, 45 days ICU, 4 months in the hospital. When I got to go home my wife gave me the 2 large boxes of cards and notes BROUGHT to the hospital by the citizens of Austin Texas. It renewal my belief that there is a silent majority out there that we forget because we deal with the lowest common denomination. To all those who have lost faith, don’t there is that unheard from majority who still need those of us willing to keep the faith.
We will hold each other up through the rough times and we will restore the faith to each other.
Steve Claiborne
Austin PD retired

Lieutenant,

Maybe it would help if we did not assume that all people *we* put in the same group are the same.

If I assumed that because one white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager (whom he had already shot five times) all policemen are killers I (repeat: I) would be having a hard time being at peace. But if I just ignored what happens too often (policemen shooting before they have even assessed the situation properly) I would be guilty condoning it. Of course, I could numb myself, but then I would be not at peace either – I would just be living dead. So I’d rather demand accountability and better training.

Here are some of these assumptions you could work on.

1. Not all parents refuse to teach their kids right from wrong. Some do. Maybe you would not be able to be a good parent either if you had to work two jobs because the only jobs you could get would not pay enough to pay the bills.
2. Not all parents tell their little kids to be good or “the police will take you away.” Some do. Maybe if you were black and you had studied the statistics you would be telling your kids the same, or anything that would lower their chance of being shot.
3. Most Liberals want fewer arms but want officers on duty to carry a gun. Actually, most Liberals rather pay taxes to properly fund police than to pay a private company much more for less. And most Liberals don’t use drugs. We don’t think policemen always kill innocent people with unjust violence. But if they do, they should be held accountable.

Well said Marc.

I posted a ranting tirade last night against the lieutenant’s sentiments that said some of what you said, but in a much less nice way, and I doubt it will make it past the moderator. So I will try again, this time simply agreeing with you. You said most of what I wanted to say in a much more diplomatic tone. And less angry too. I wrote my post in the heat of anger after hearing that yet another cop, this one in NY, gets to walk after killing a black man.

I also think the lieutenant would do well to acknowledge that his brothers and sisters are not doing so well by the public, and that he could be a part of fixing that. “To serve and to protect” is losing its meaning.

I hear what you’re saying, but some of your brothers in blue are to blame for the public’s anger, hatred, and mistrust. And it doesn’t help that good cops don’t speak up and criticize the bad ones. There’s always that thin blue line, isn’t there? Cops always circle the wagons when one of them screws up, and some sympathetic judge or jury always lets the screw ups walk, or at most, gives them a slap on the wrist. It’s also frustrating for the public that cops often don’t have to obey the laws that non-leo’s have to obey. Here in California, we are subject to being ticketing for not using a handsfree device when using a cellphone while driving, but cops are free to do so. Heck, I’ve seen them driving with one hand and typing on their laptops with the other! So, if you want the public to respect your profession again, quit yer whining about how ungrateful the public is, and start earning our respect by working on some of the things I’ve mentioned.

The thin blue line is not intended to protect those Individuals who choose to break the law, and keep in mind that anytime Anyone is arrested (federal, state, local) for violating the law….The POLICE arrested them. Police are and should be held to an even higher standard than the average citizen and it frustrates those of us who believe that anytime it isn’t done. The same way it frustrates us each time someone is set free we arrested for drugs, abuse, assault, theft, robbery, etc., etc., etc.

The whining I hear here is from you. Police, at least my Department, are only allowed to use Cell phones while driving under emergency situations. Otherwise, it is against policy. Perhaps you should check your local department’s policies before you criticize.

I personally want the Respect of a Grateful Public, not from anyone who speaks from a place of ignorance.

you said “Conservatives hate us ” .no they don’t!!!!!! you need to reconsider the use of this word – maybe change to Libertarians-I am on conservative sites all day and 100% support for POLICE is there to see- go read them and see for yourself-
I get your disappointment and burn-out and agree that cops are unappreciated and maligned unfairly. Damned if you do or don’t.
Conservative are not the anti-govt wackos you describe and do not lump in local police with US Federal agents.
I am disagreeing with your labels not your points

I am so glad you got to where you ended up! Your ending is PERFECT— you have vowed to protect and serve— period— when you put the uniform on— you have not other choice— otherwise you must not put the uniform back on. It must be hard— I don’t think I could do it, but thank goodness for those of you who not only put on the uniform, but keep the faith that it must be fair, consistent, humane, and that you (even if ONLY you) must do the right thing every time. I have two great nephews in law enforcement, I pray they maintain the same attitude and dedication.

I’ve noticed that if you are a decent, caring, law-abiding citizen, the police (doctors, teachers, retail clerks, etc.) tend to treat you as decent, caring, law-abiding citizens.

I worked as a police officer for more than 10 years, and I agree with many of the things that Lt. Furseth says, but I disagree with many of the stereotypes that he cites, and the political slant of his article.

Parents generally don’t tell their kids that “the police will take them away if they don’t behave,” and Liberals don’t generally want to “take away guns from cops.” However, since the lieutenant brought up the subject of politics, let’s look at what Conservatives want: To break police unions, get rid of collective bargaining, and cut social programs that help lift people out of poverty and criminal lifestyles.

It saddens me when cops blindly follow politicians who are NOT looking out for cops or the public at large.

One name: Frank Serpico.

That name is why I have no sympathy for you, or any other officers who cry about how bad things are.

When you pull the “bad apples” out of the barrel in your department, and make sure they are honestly and truly disciplined or fired , THEN I will hear your story.

Oh Daniel, you have one of the best / worst jobs in the world! You know it, and that is why you do it! At least I HOPE that is why you do it. I am not American. I am from the UK I am Scottish. I have had to put up with little short of abuse for 3 /4 years from American immigration officials because both my Wife’s and my own passport were stolen in 2011 on a flight from South Africa and again because of an armed robbery in December 2013 where we live now!! Neither event was our fault but the obnoxious officials we encountered at Homeland Security were an absolute disgrace and treated us like criminals at least SIX or SEVEN times. YOU and those in official positions similar to yours, are the Public face of the US. This public face requires to change. The public should not fear you as it does. They should respect and trust you. Because of the actions of many in positions such as yours, they simply do not and will not. You may well be a good man Daniel, and many in positions such as yours may be equally as good, even better. None of you are God almighty as many of you seem to belive they are and they should desist behaving in this manner. A little compassion together with a little patience and understanding, goes a very long way. I appreciate that you have a very difficult job to do. You control. We the decent members of the public do not wish to be controlled. You should not TAR us all with the same brush!!

I’m not a police offer nor do I pretend to know what they endure everyday keeping our city safe. I will say that it really bothers me when I hear people criticize how an officer responds during a crisis situation. They are doing their best under the most stressful situations. Situations that would make most of us crap our pants! People are just opening their mouths when they have no idea and judging. It just needs to stop….everybody seems to point fingers….including management/government/parents and I think it’s just starting to piss people off……especially when many people like officers are doing there best to do there jobs and working their asses off. Maybe PTSD? I just think he’s fed up like all the other hard working people who hate when they disrespected and unappreciated. Keep up the good work….many other professions are feeling the same bull…..it’s heartbreaking but keep going cause we need good people like you.

We can’t judge the many by the few. Even as responsible parents we at times feel outnumbered as we try to teach what we know is right to those we know are the future. It is often hard to ignore the roar of the ignorant masses but we must constantly remind ourselves that there are many worthy and for the most part, silent populace that stand behind and stand up for that which we know is right. It is important to remain mindful of the fact that liberals talk more than they think and conservatives think more than they talk. It is our duty to remain mindful, faithful and supportive to one another in spite of how things at times sound or seem. Just because you don’t always hear us, does not mean we are not there. This is the United States of America and we are unlike any other free nation in history. As conservatives we need to remember that. It’s the liberals that don’t understand that distinction. Don’t let the lawless criminals of Ferguson fool you. They would have rioted regardless of what the grand jury’s decision had been and don’t be fooled otherwise. They are who they are. Good people don’t riot when things don’t go their way because they believe and know the importance and the value of a democracy governed by laws. Carry on Lt. Furseth, we have your back !

I have found that between my concealed carry and the respect that I have developed for my local police department, life is much simpler. By my getting to know them and they me, that any potential problem can be decelerated by 50% just by having an ongoing open rap-ore with our local men and women in uniform. Don’t be a person in the shadows who only meets a police officer when a bad situation arises. Be pro-active and start doing things in your neighborhood that creates an atmosphere of trust between ALL your neighbors. After all, these are your neighbors you are talking about. Aren’t they. I don’t think the police are imported from planet “Policia” are they? Get to know them. Learn there names. Who knows? You might even find out they’re pretty nice people. And remember this. “When seconds count, The police are only minutes away!!” Don’t become a victim. The “right to keep and bear arms” was put in our constitution so you could protect yourself. Then dial 911

this touched my soul to the core!!! I wanted this to go viral. I posted this on every post on fb that I could. I just want you law enforcement officers to know that for every bad person who disrespects you, there are still millions of us who love, respect and pray for all of you daily!!!

Thank you Officer Furseth for your service to your community. And thank you for caring, despite how many things come against the good you bring to our nation. There are those who are thankful for the work local police do in their communities.

LT. TY,I have heard many say that, ‘you and all cops are our employees, and they should respect us for giving you a job’, but I see it as that ‘you accepted a job I couldn’t or wouldn’t take our self’. So with that being said, I don’t want my employees to have to put up with a bunch of shit while they are doing their job, they need to be able to do their job un harassed and or harmed, and I really get mad when we have to replace some equipment that got trashed because they were doing their job. Just because you are my employee doesn’t give me the right to disrespect you, or harass you, or prevent you from doing your job, you were hired to do a job working for and protecting the citizens, this is my blind respect for you, show me the same respect at least till I give you a reason to know I don’t deserve the respect

Dear Daniel and all of the other brave men and women who risk their lives minute by minute to keep me and mine safe, thank you. I have worked with the Police for my whole adult life in E.R.’s, as an EMS provider and as a Flight Nurse/Paramedic on pre-hospital helicopters since 1972. I have prayed for injured officers I was caring for, prayed for the officers to reach me before I was killed by the criminal and attended many funerals of the Police officers who helped and saved me. I have taken officers with us in the helicopters so they could see our world since we so frequently lived in theirs. My children grew up in Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and refuel runs on the choppers so they would feel that I was safe when I was working. We took the ambulances and choppers to Career days at schools so kids knew the officers and providers who come when they are sick, scared or hurt. You and all the officers across this country are loved, revered and cared for by those of us who live in the real world. There are many more of us than those who are users of many varieties. We will always rise above because we do care. The Police saved my life 3 times while I was on duty. When I retired from my first career I worked in 911 for 8 years to give back to the people who saved my life. You and your fellow officers will always be cared for and appreciated. Take heart.

White, middle class, middle aged female with no criminal record welcomes Furseth to the club of people that have lost faith. In my case it happened long ago as police let me down too many times to trust anymore.

for the most part i agree with your statement however the credability of law enforcement has been severly eroded because of the reluctency to punish officers that do criminal actions ( like the tasering of the polish man at vancouver airport several officers were involved and barely got a slap on the wrist for the death of a confused unarmed man , thats only one of hundreds ive heard of where cops are treated as though they are above the law , this has to end if you ever expect to regain the publics trust and respect

I spent 27 years in law enforcement and I’ve been retired for 14 years now. What people can’t get through their minds is that if a suspect is willing to attempt to kill an officer to get away he won’t think twice about killing any one else to get away. People seem to think an officer wants to leap out of his car to chase the suspect that just assuaged him instead of waiting for backup. I’m sure he didn’t but he swore an oath to protect. Instead of letting the suspect get away to kill or seriously injuring someone else the officer chose to stop him. I can imagine what people would have said if the officer let him go and he did kill someone. I pray every day for those law enforcement officers serving the public and putting their lives on the line for us.

After 19 years in patrol my body gave out, departing was a relief. It was like I was reborn. It was time to GO. between the politics BAD CHIEFS and 4 coworkers go to federal prison. I was cleansed from the East Haven CT shit once a great job turned into a living HELL and my jacket was clean. It is now run by incompetent non experienced fools except for 1 SGT Nikko. good riddance. best thing I ever did was to retire…

There is a reason that so many Law Enforcement brothers and sisters associate with one another on an off duty setting. Because they have walked in one another’s shoes and know the feelings of working in an environment where there is potential danger around every corner, yet be criticized from the criminal element as well as the citizens who want immediate justice. Brothers and sisters of the blue line know the hearts of each other and have respect for the job that only some have enough courage to preform.

First of all that is a very very good read that would help many people outside of LE to gain a better understanding of the difficulties involved for many of todays LE. I am not in LE and have opinions that are based on personal experience and what I read or see in the media. Secondly the advice and thoughts put forth on here are some of the most positive and eye opening I have ever read in comments on the net, which are usually anything but positive. The thoughts in the post by Lt. Furseth that I may not have totally agreed with were exactly the ones the comments people had that were insightful. Not only that but they are insightful regardless the profession. Don’t make life about the job!! By feeling as though you can only spend time with other cops is a problem, for obvious reasons all of which are covered in the comments. Cops have a tough job period, but that is what you signed up for. Don’t forget most people are GOOD deserving to be treated with respect, just like LE. There are bad people everywhere and you have to deal with them but there are also bad cops. As LE you are given authority and power that makes the standard to which you are held higher than the average citizen. Sorry but that is the plain truth of the matter. I’m sure the good LE are more than just a little ticked off when they see a bad LE doing something wrong that reflects on all in uniform. People in all walks of life should be held responsible for their actions.

my spouse works for the Sheriff’s Dept. in our county detention facility (jail). He faces the situations you describe daily, as well as being treated as a 2nd class citizen by the “road” cops. He is a retired Army Ranger, a hard-working officer, and a kind human being who is surrounded by the dregs of our society every, single, day. I’ve asked him why, many times-why not find another job? Not long ago we were at the grocery store when someone shouted his name- a former inmate. He could not wait to tell my husband all the positive things that were going on in his life since his release from jail: he was back with his wife, he’d found a job, was working steady, and had been able to buy a car. When the conversation was over and he walked away, my husband looked at me with tears in his eyes and a stupid grin on his face, and said, “that’s why I do it, because every once in a while I make a difference…” I am so proud of him.

Thanks for your article. The media is always there to show police in the bad light never doing good things.we live in a selfish society where people think they are untitled to get things without working for them.I worked as a nurse for over 25yrs., a job I loved for horrible pay. Put up with abusive pts. Throwing feces families yelling at me etc.unless you have been in the trenches you have no right to judge.yes I have come across some bad cops but there are a lot of good ones out there.I can’t imagine going to a job for crappy pay and wondering if if that car I pull over at traffic stop is on crystal meth.has a gun or something worse.walk in there shoes one day.

Comments made by people that say “your life is not about the job” do not understand that officers have seen the unthinkable, whether it is handling a coroners case with a dead child or having to search bodies of decapitated people after a traffic fatality ( just a couple of gruesome examples). We have seen things that jade our outlook, just as other careers jade your out look depending upon nature of the work. For example I am sure a Restaurant owner knows of the potential unsanitary conditions that occur in the restaurant business that many of us do not even think of when going out to eat at an establishment. There are good and bad in all professions, I have investigated, disciplined and fired bad peace officers, however the vast majority are GOOD officers and have major disdain towards a bad officer, knowing that their conduct diminishes all of us. While I have friends who are extremely supportive of our experiences, they really cannot know unless they have been confronted with the level of criminal element that changes the lives of many that are victimized. I told my son, when he got hired, the job will change you, it takes away your innocence no matter how street smart you think you are. You become highly suspicious of everybody, you investigate everything people tell you despite the fact that they may have no ulterior motive for their statements. This is not always a bad thing, but it does change your life outlook. Yes when one takes the job you are expected to know what the job entails, but not til you get into it do you really understand. So many think because the watch TV programs such as “COPS” or “Lockup” ect.. think they understand, but unless you have walked in those shoes, you cannot truly know. JMO

I stopped caring about your article when i read this: “I stopped caring today because Liberals hate the police as we carry guns, scare kids, and take away their drugs.” More cheap politicization of real issues. “Their drugs?” I’m a liberal and don’t use drugs, thanks so much. But I do care that people with guns and badges and privileges of arrest, violence and even deadly force feel the way you do. It scares the hell out of me that this is how a guy with a badge and a gun not only sees the world, but announces it to the world. You couldn’t be more misguided. We had a resource officer at my kids’ middle school. We loved Howard, were grateful to him and glad he was there. You need to get out more, get into the community, meet with people, maybe out of uniform, and hear the other side. Maybe (seriously) investigate whether the pressures of what may be the toughest job on earth have gotten to you, and get some help in returning to reality. This liberal has many times thanked officers for their service and bravery. One friend in LE is probably the finest person I know. Take some comfort: not all liberals feel the way you do. But there are definite and important beefs with LE these days, and it needs to be solved, not scapegoated.

One perspective on a slice of what the police lieutenant wrote about here:

Obama accelerated militarization of our local and state police forces while gutting our actual military (killing two birds with one stone). He knew that domestically this would create distrust in something citizens count on, he knew this would affect “the glue” that holds our society together: those who patrol our streets and neighborhoods, those who Protect and Serve. And how he chose to handle Ferguson only made things worse. It’s insidious, and it’s a powder keg, and it’s not going away. Look at some of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Facebook pages and events and see how many young people already bought into his hate. They don’t care that it’s an Obama version of The Big Lie or that everything he has done policy-wise these past six years has made their lot worse. To quote Michelle Obama: “They are so in.” <–and that is worrisome 🙁

What Police Lt Daniel Furseth wrote is powerful. It’s almost like a cry in the wilderness, though I believe he just wants to open minds and that he cares very much.

A good read, but you have a bias towards cops, and, therefore, are not seeing the whole picture. YES. there are good cops out there that care what they do. YES. It is a problem that so many people have a distrust in the police.
But there is no way you can justify the killing of Eric Garner or of Tamir Rice. The cops behind these *murders* are responsible, not the victims.
There is a solution. The cameras Obama is suggesting need to happen everywhere. Cops need to be better connected to the community they serve. The police force in any area should hold the same statistics in terms of race and gender as the community they serve. Also, I believe there needs to be better training. IN the case of Rice, that cop shot within TWO SECONDS of pulling up. I don’t even think he got out of the car good before pulling the trigger. Situations like this should NEVER happen. There are steps they need to go through before going for the gun. The kid just had an airsoft gun, and if the officer had actually talked to the kid, he would have seen that and the poor kid would still be alive. In order to get back the trust of the people, you must first fix the reason they don’t trust them…

Don’t give up Lt. Dan!
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Once, just once I wish every person who ever had a critical word for our law enforcement professionals to live their lives for one week to see all the shit they eat. They see the underbelly of our society and have to deal with it daily. I fear for the generations to come as we see the slow unraveling of core principles like taking personal responsibility for your parenting, your actions, your life.

Thank you for your service and please don’t ever really stop caring. Your community, I’m certain, needs you and more officers like you.

I understand where a lot of this sentiment comes from. I get that the majority of police officers are out there day after day doing a tough job and being under paid and under appreciated. What i don’t understand, and what i think most people actually have an issue with, is the past examples of police brutality that have gone un punished. There are countless videos and past examples, such as the trooper slamming a handcuffed woman head first into a concrete wall for pulling her arm away from him as he walks her back to his car. And Ferguson could have been justified or unjustified, but the Eric Garner video is not questionable. The man was innocent and un armed and had witnesses backing him up. The police officer used deadly force and was let off the hook. That kind of power with immunity is terrifying and should not be tolerated.

It’s not all the cops fault but there is blame to go around. i once saw a stat that said that 8 out of 10 times a citizens interaction with a police officer is a bad experience. they are either a victim of crime or a victim of the state. from civil forfeiture laws to police officers acting as hired muscle for the State by collecting taxes and fines. you want to return to the days when you were respected and idolized by the citizenry? try using your unions and Fraternal organizations to push back against the States shearing of the sheep. become a partner with the Citizens instead of a partner of the State. look into The Oath Keepers.

I totally understand the authors frustrations… this country has turned upside down and I sure hope that we can come back around to sanity before it all goes down the toilet! Thank you to all who serve on the Police Force, Firefighters and First Responders and our Military… God bless you all, you are still appreciated (though it’s easy to see why you would feel that you aren’t). This socially moderate / fiscal conservative understands just how bad the world would be without you all!

Well said, Sir. I not only commend you for your dedication to your calling but also thank you for the service you give, knowing that as soon as you put on the uniform, you also put your life in danger. May God richly bless you and keep you safe according to His will. I pray that you are prepared to see Him someday and if not, seek out a pastor who will give you the plan of salvation. Once you have that, nothing can harm you. God holds you and keeps you safe as you work for Him to keep us safe.

I commend you for your service, sir. I also thank you for putting on that uniform every day. Once you do that, you know you have placed your life in danger. May God bless you and keep you safe, according to His will.

If you honestly have stopped caring, please just quit. If this is call of frustration or a cry for help then I urge you to please not give up, don’t stop caring. Every law enforcement officer I have ever met has been professional, courteous, and respectful. The problem is that there are .001% that are bad actors or are making mistakes on the job that are resulting in deaths of the human beings that they are sworn to protect and serve. If as a group police officers would come out and say “yeah, that shouldn’t have happened that way” rather than blindly backing up the officer that is in question then maybe the police would have greater credibility among the portion of the public that feels that they are at best being ignored and at worst being targeted. Law enforcement officers do an extremely difficult and often thankless job, they do not deserve scorn as a group because of the actions of bad or inexperienced or panicked individuals. So, to the officers who go out every day and serve the public good, thank you very much for doing your job so very well.

Dan,
I agree with what you said….and would add: That .001% you mentioned is not a constant. While it is true that most contacts between police and citizens are uneventful and correctly handled it is that low but unknown percentage that is causing the problem. Now, in the time of compact communication, esp cameras with good audio, it is time to eliminate the problem. Most cops do not want or need a black check to conduct their operations. But there are some who assume they are either supported or free to violate civil rights according to their own opinions. Now it the time to enact internal checks that guard us against the guardians.

Joe

I haven’t had any horrible encounters with the police and I don’t go out of my way to make their lives miserable. I have met the badge heavy rookie that gave me a ticket, as a passenger for an open container in a parking lot because my brother moved the car and you can’t have an open container. I have also met the guy who was laughing so hard because I was driving so fast that he and his partner had to hurry to catch up to me and they could not believe how fast I was going. He let me go with no ticket. He probably could have arrested me on the spot but instead he chose to see it for what it was, a young guy, on an empty road who was seeing how fast his car could go for a brief period. I have also met the officer who thought I was drunk because I made an illegal left turn and smelled like beer. Passed all the field tests and that really pissed her off, so she made my girlfriend drive home and gave me a ticket for my illegal left turn. I have seen the State Patrol officer who was enraged because my vanpool van was rolling down a steep hill and I didn’t ride the breaks hard enough to keep the vehicle from going ten over the speed limit. The road was infamous for head on and t-bone collisions and he was frustrated because the other vanpool van he had pulled over just before us was twenty five over the speed limit. My latest encounter was for speeding, again and I got pulled over. I lowered my window and said, “Well that wasn’t very good was it?” He gave me a ticket and I let him know in no uncertain terms I deserved it and made a joke about how nice the full page thermal printed ticket looked. He laughed and explained why I needed to behave on that stretch of road in particular. So, as you can see, most of my “scrapes” with the law have been minor. I think what bothers people the most is what they see on TV, hear on the radio and read in the papers. The reactions people have to seeing a fellow human dragged to the ground by a pack of policemen, probably brings up images of a pride of lions taking down an animal. It scares ordinary people that don’t understand that there is training but not all situations work out just right. Sometimes people get hurt and sometimes people get killed. They see that bad policeman who crushes a mans head into a concrete wall, even though the man is standing still and has his hands up. When people see things like that, it nullifies the thousands of interactions with the public you all got right on the same day. People only have fear now and I think that you guys need to remember that people are deeply afraid not just of you as police officers but many other things in life. Until we have decent conditions for all Americans again, along with fairness, reasonable doubt, warrants being served without swat every time and video of 12 year old kids getting shot instantly, you won’t have the trust you need to do your jobs because people now only fear you.

I don’t think this could have been written any better Lt. and I truly commend you on expressing the reality of Law Enforcement today. That being said I’m troubled by some of the comments, which accurately demonstrates the point I believe you were trying to make. A suggestion to anyone who wonders why Law Enforcement performs the way they do; Complete a ride along in a marked unit (or target in most cases) and see what an Officer, Deputy, Trooper, Constable, etc. does every day. When you experience the madness first hand your opinion may, and should, change dramatically. There are no generalities, no doing business the way it use to be done because the laws change annually and every law on the books is designed to protect the criminal while holding Law Enforcement to a higher standard. How can you judge a situation until you have both sides of the story? Shouldn’t you hear the FACTS prior to coming to a decision? and certainly don’t judge our men and women who protect us daily without understanding the obstacles they face, the inherent dangers that come by simply putting on a uniform . Thank You to every person who puts their lives on the line every day when they dawn that uniform, be it in the military or Law Enforcement. Lt. Thank You for actually saying what many of us feel. God Bless You and Keep Your Head Down.

I deal with police officers now and then in my job and most have been outstanding individuals. Also I get it that most controversial incidents are brought on by the suspect. But I think you’re underestimating the damage dishonest/butt covering officers are doing to the credibility of the police. Here in Canada recently there was an impaired driving trial where an off duty officer smashed his vehicle shortly after leaving a long drinking session with four other officers. He was very drunk, but used a technicality to have the breathlyser results thrown out, the four officers he was drinking all testified he was sober… so five dirtbags and all five of them police officers. Also they were members of one of Canada’s largest metropolitan forces, not some country town. How can you expect people to trust of the word of officers when things like this happen?

Very well said Lt. And tomorrow I will put on the uniform and care again, in spite of some of what has been written here in response to your article.

I found this to be a very good article but the problem lies around the second maybe third paragraph when he states in essence that most of the things are based on Liberal ways. These things he writes about are neither Liberal or Conservative it is a TOTAL problem no one is to take more blame then the other basically he wants us to believe its the Libreal side that is to blame so I believe his conservative writing to hold little or no value sorry !!

I find the OPs comments unfathomable and at the same time characteristic of one who has lost his way. I am an upstanding citizen who has committed no crime and lives in the quiet part of town, yet even I regularly witness inappropriate or illegal behavior by police. One police officer refused to investigate a rape I reported because the alleged perpetrator was an old friend of his and helped him get his job. Another wrote an accident scene report contrary to the facts to favor someone she knew. I was menaced with a gun by an officer for asking why he had pulled me over because in his view I didn’t know my place. Far from being isolated incidents perpetrated by weirdoes on the force, as the OP would have us believe, this is now the sort of business-as-usual witnessed by countless law-abiding citizens. We are rapidly reverting to a time before the modern era where police believe it is okay to fight fire with fire, to profile people based on race, and to use violence when it isn’t called for. The OP does nothing but make excuses. He wants to characterize all criminals and all citizens with blanket, sweeping statements about who they are and what they teach their children, but refuses any responsibility when similar generalizations are pointed back at him. Let me say that again so that maybe Dan can understand: there is no difference between how Dan is characterizing citizens and the way that some citizens characterize the police. If Dan really does care at all, he will work to change these attitudes in his own corner of the world–he will speak out when a fellow officer uses a racial or sexual or ethnic slur, will stop a fellow officer whose behavior is overly aggressive, will treat an officer who has lied in a report as the law stipulates instead of granting a pass.

Dan wants us to forget that a police officer in a neighboring state killed someone, because he didn’t do it. He wants us to ignore that county police departments have tanks, helicopter gunships, and armored personnel carriers because he only had Kevlar today. He wants us to turn away while he steps across the thin blue line and pretend we didn’t see.

The problem goes both ways, Dan. When will *you* accept responsibility for your share of how police everywhere look instead of blaming everyone else? When will you become the agent of change instead of an apologist for the violence of the status quo?

Joe, You do make a difference. It is a very loud but small minority of folks who ‘hate’ cops. Sadly, they are sometimes right in their allegations, and sometimes, very, very wrong. Either way, the majority of folks in this country do respect and care for our police officers and appreciate the extraordinary nature of your job including: the danger, the need to make life changing spur of the moment decisions, your commitment to improving society and helping others, and the endless sacrifices that your families make. I have been working in the mental health field for 20 years and know what it is like to feel disrespected, unappreciated, and hopeless. But, as those on the front lines, you and other officers need to seek emotional and spiritual support to avoid the burn out that comes with your profession. Many of us DO care. God bless.

There are still some of us who respect our local law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to serve and protect use everyday.

Lt Daniel Furseth, Much of what you say is true, and much of it has been true for a very long time. But despite the anger, frustration and distrust many of us have for your profession, you are not unwanted, but needed more than ever.

Many parents, past and present, have not taught their children right from wrong and I remember being told as a child, some 55 years ago, if I didn’t behave, the police would take me away. It scared me for a while, but I found, that under normal circumstances the police were good and they didn’t take me away. Today, children in many homes don’t have to be told that. Their fathers and sometimes mothers are carted away at unprecedented rates. Children, if they are of color, DO have to be told to be careful when dealing with the police because they are 10 times more likely to be targeted by police for crimes that whites are 5 times more likely to be guilty of. People of color are not frightened by the police because it reminds them of the evil that lurks in the world, the police are just one of the evils they see threatening their children. Despite this fear, mothers know that most of you are doing a tough job, and doing it well… but it’s hard to see the good when officers refer to their children and grandchildren as animals. You have probably never done that, but some officers have.

And yes, it’s true, as a white man, I’ve never been happy when stopped for traffic violations, and I have probably, no, not probably, I have overreacted on occasion. I know you are keeping the streets safe but when my sons, not white, are stopped on several occasions a month when no traffic violation have occurred, because of the type of car they are driving, or because of the area they are driving in, is not anger warranted? I’m sure you’ve never done that, but some officers have.

I am a liberal, and I don’t hate you because you carry a gun. It is part of your job. I have worked in schools and never found the police to frighten children on purpose, and yes, my drugs have been taken from me by the police, but I certainly don’t blame them for that. I am sure you have not punched a drunk woman in the face while she was handcuffed, or tasered an ill man when simply restraining him would have been sufficient and I doubt you have shot an unarmed man, because 99.9 percent of police don’t do that sort of thing. But some officers have.

Most knowledgeable persons, liberals included, know that when you must shoot, it is defense of yourself or another, and you don’t have the option to ‘shoot the gun out of their hand’.

I can’t speak to the conservatives you speak of, but if they have any sense, they would know you are only doing your job, enforcing the laws of your jurisdiction. But ‘delusional’ is not a crime.

(OK, a little tongue and cheek here: Yes, it would be so nice if you did solve crimes in 60 minutes, if you could solve them at all, but isn’t that a problem police have been dealing with since the beginning? And what’s wrong with checking on Facebook for help?)

It is sad that all police are judged by the actions of a few, I agree that’s unfair. (Hmm mm…. where have I heard that before?) And no one I know, is concerned when the police use Kevlar or body armor and helmets. We do object when tanks are used as intimidation, and when those accurate weapons are lowered and aimed at non-violent protesters.

As far as modern society and today’s youth, I can only refer to my Grandmother some 45 or 50 years ago… “The world is going to hell in a hand basket”. This is for youth to solve.

In conclusion: At first I was not sure that I would want you to put that uniform on again tomorrow, but I am glad you will start caring tomorrow. We have some serious local and national problems to solve and we need good men and women, thinking men and women to serve and help solve some of these problems.

And SIR, thank you for your service to your community.

I am not trying to be rude, or mean here. I support the officer in Ferguson. You can only claim self-defense if you are being attacked. The wider issue however is the simple fact that a small few ruin the batch. I believe most officers are upstanding good people. The issue is until those same good upstanding people start standing up with us against those that are not good officers, you cannot really blame us. Stop keeping quite when you know the officer in New York should be charged with manslaughter. Stop being o.k. with the lack of transparency. Stop being ok with a 15 year Cleveland vet pulling 3ft. from a kid that “may” have a gun, and putting a rookie cop in a bad situation to decide to shoot that kid. Support the punishment that should be handed out.

I read an article that said the majority of officers are resistant to wearing body cameras. If you are an upstanding officer that honors your oath, this shouldn’t even be a question; you should be supporting it. If you are not violating peoples rights, then you shouldn’t worry. I will ask a question many cops love to ask, ” Do you have something to hide”? Stop harassing people for videotaping you. Stand up when you know injustice is going on. Until you do that, you cannot really complain about being labelled with the bad cops out there. Just look at Youtube, the honor your oath guys, the copblock.org guys, why were they originally started? Is it because police have been overstepping for years? Remedy these issues, and you will be loved once again. Only the cops can change their image. You will forever be followed by camera’s, and media blowing incidents out of proportion. Fight through it. Remember you chose to become officers; we didn’t ask you to become an officer, but officers have a responsibility to the law, and the people.

I may be wrong, but this sounds very disturbing to me. I’m just an Interior Designer and I would not want to wear a body camera. I don’t have anything to hide. I can’t imagine how an officer would feel about this, but I would guess it feels degrading and insulting. They put themselves in harms way every time they put on the uniform and now you want to insult their very core? RIDICULOUS! What makes more sense is to require criminals to wear a body camera with tracking capabilities. That way when they commit another crime the police are alerted to their crimes and location. Lets make it easier for our offers to do their job with less danger. Am I far off base officers? Please let us know.

I won’t buy it Lt.; I appreciate your article because we have all been through this at various times in our career. But, just as sure as I am you have too I am sure tomorrow you will find yourself doing just what you have been doing throughout your career and caring just as much as you have always cared.
It is amazing to me; I spent 14 years on the street before moving into criminal investigations (civilian) for the Navy and then the Army. A few years preceding my P.D. employment one of the deputies was taken hostage during a traffic stop, taken up the side of a hill and shot in the head. One of my counterparts was shot in a casino shoot out and a few months after I left the P.D. two of my counterparts were shot responding to a domestic. In the fourteen years I worked civilian law enforcement we never had a civilian shot; and we never had the outcry from the media when an officer was. Police officers are injured or killed in the line of duty continually but we never get the day in, date out, barrage of media sniveling and accusations.
The death of anyone, good or bad, is always sad but when it is used as an excuse to bring violence, hate, discontent and fuel distrust it is worse; particularly when it comes from the media, alleged religious leaders and politicians it is worse! Such people use the sadness to further their own personal agenda!
Unfortunately our society has been conditioned to let the media dictate our feelings. Every talk show host now seems to have a law degree, every network has a back room full of experts ready to tell the world what went wrong and how it should have been handled, everyone is a criminal justice expert or forensics expert (seems like they pop out of the woodwork in hordes anymore) and every new face on TV has a law degree.
Thank goodness I was just a cop, a job I dearly loved and put the people I served above all else; You have too and you will again.
E. Stanley Jones said, “When life kicks you, let it kick you forward.” Another said, “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today. ”
Good luck to you.

I bet there are a lot of Educators that could say something very similar, but they are still trying. They still care. I’ll bet that you(police) were told to do the same job and more, but with less resources

The VAST majority of the public hasn’t lost one iota of respect for police officers, despite what the media would have you believe. If anything, the average law-abiding citizen has MORE respect for the police after seeing the behavior of criminals you’re up against every day. All I can say is that we good citizens hope you never really stop caring about what you do for us, because we DO care. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

The reason we have these problems is Media and Society has started calling Police Officers (Cops). That shows me lack of respect by Media and Society in general. I have worked in business of providing Police Departments with uniforms, etc. for a long time. I never have addressed them as cops, due to the fact I respect them and the job they do. Where did all the respect go when I grew up it was always Mr. or Mrs. now it old lady and old man. We can do better than this Parents TEACH your child what RESPECT is and what it means. As technology takes a large roll in kids lives its not always a good thing. PRAISE YOUR LAW ENFORCEMENT stop cursing at them. Thank You and BLESS YOU

God Bless you Dan. It is a hard job. I respect you and appreciate the job that you are doing. Know that most of the people in the public do respect and appreciate you. I shared your words on my blog.

Lt Furseth…..I applaud you. I would take honor and pride to buy you a cup of fresh hot coffee and a homemade cinnamon roll some morning. I live close enough to do it tooo!!!

Dear Lt Daniel Furseth, I know your job is terribly tough. The last couple of paragraphs in your post are what NOT ALL but many of the youth of today are like. I have seen it too many times, but I have also seen responsible, respectful, hard working millennials . It is a difficult and frustrating society we live in. Morals have gone out the window, and as the Bible says: wrong is called right and right is called wrong. My son, Officer Jonathan M. Franco, would have had overwhelming moments and thought the same things had he been alive today, yet like you he would have put those frustrations aside and upheld the law to his best ability each time he stepped into his uniform. He was killed at the age of 27 in 2011, however not on the job it was a motorcycle accident. Please know that there are still young children who admire and respect you when they see you in uniform. My son dreamed of being a police officer since he was in pre-school. Please know that there are many of us who are thankful for police officers each and every day, and though we may not be thrilled when you pull us over, we greatly respect and depend on your service and appreciate your daily sacrifice. I believe you said you stopped caring in the moment of frustration when you wrote this post, and since then it’s gotten much worse, but in reality I believe you still cared very much. Many blessings to you and may the Lord watch over you as you take on the overwhelming task of protecting us each time you get into your uniform.

I have a very simple solution. The police of this country should simply not show up to work for a few days. That’s it. All of them together…just don’t show up. A couple days of this will put an end to all this nonsense. People of this country have gotten too fat and complacent. They need to be reminded what the world would be like without the brave men and women of law enforcement in it. Yea, we might lose a building or two…even some lives. But it is necessary.

To any of you that wear the uniform, thank you for your service. I know it doesn’t seem like it but there are a lot of people who do still support you. And you definitely deserve better than what the country is showing you currently.

I have read some of the comments and would like to thank the generation of police officers before us for making it the way it is today. Especially Johnny. I AM todays cop with a panic alarm on my home because of all the death threats I receive in the line of duty everyday. In the community I police, the OVERWHELMING issue that I have when arresting a person is the fear that I will take them to a dark alley and beat the crap out of them because their father was “beaten up” by the cops back in the day. I would love to see you out on the streets today with 10 iPhone cameras in your face everywhere you go and people screaming at you to leave the scumbag that just robbed an old lady alone! It must have been nice to be a “back in the day” cop. So form me to you, a heartfelt sincere THANK YOU!!

To All,
There are good and bad people, not professions, in the world. My father always said, “there is no such thing as an innocent by-stander. Be careful when choosing your friends.” I don’t have a horror story with police. I’ve made good choices in my relationships. I was raised to respect and seek comfort knowing that there are brave men and women putting their lives on the line for my safety, here at home and out around the world. This is what I have taught my children as well. My husband is an Army MP currently deployed. I can’t imagine having to fill your shoes.
Let me tell you my police story……
We had relocated to a new state. I didn’t know that many people there. We had just moved into our first house. In the middle of the night I was awaken by loud banging noises. The noises repeated. It sounded like someone was trying to force open my sliding glass door. I was very scared on the edge of panic. I jumped out of bed and retrieved my 4 year old daughter from her room and returned to my room. I called 911 and told them what I heard and that my daughter and I were alone. My husband was out of town. Our neighborhood was out in the countryside, not in a city. I worried how long would it take for police to get there. Within minutes three cars arrived. They checked the house and neighborhood. No one was there. One of the officers said he was told my husband was out of town. He told me not to worry, that he was not leaving us there alone. He would stay in his car out front till morning. I was so grateful and relieved that I wanted to cry. That was 25 years ago and I think of that officers kindness often. I’ve prayed that he is well and safe throughout the years.
Thank you to all who serve and protect. You are the real super heros!

Lt. Furseth,
My husband is retiring from law enforcement tomorrow. Please try not to lose faith. Keep up the good fight. Remember, you are a sheepdog and the world will always be filled with sheep and wolves.

To argue that getting stoned should be a right”. OH OK.

So getting drunk is a right? Drinking a neurotoxic, carcinogenic poison that slowly destroys every cell that it touches and turns you into a violent, belligerent, careless idiot is a right? I’ve seen countless videos of drunken imbeciles fighting, and resisting police

I’ve never seen a video of someone high fighting a cop, or swerving into an oncoming car killing a family, or beating his children and wife to death.

Killing your self with “tobacco”, leafs processed so heavily with a mix of deadly chemicals i guarantee you can’t pronounce to keep you addicted that it barely resembles plant matter, that kills others as they kill themselves, is a right? Something that provides absolutely zero benefit and a ton of risk?

Pharmaceutical abuse e.g. Xanax, valium Oxycodone, Vicodin, antidepressant running rampant is a right?

What about every other addiction you have? Porn, gluttony, food, coffee, prostitutes, sex, the internet, your ego, money, materialism, religion, those are all drugs too. Each one provokes a pleasure chemical response in your brain, just like METH or HEROIN. that’s a right?

Yet using a plant, that has killed less people than caffeine, aspirin, all other legal and illegal drugs, food, the police, unhealthy lifestyles, and makes a person empathetic instead of apathetic (like alcohol), is known to kill tumors, does NOT cause cancer or any other disease, and has many medicinal and mental health benefits is illegal? and not a right?

Your logic is fucking bulletproof there, officer!

In fact, this letter is so flawed I can’t believe someone had the nerve to even post it on the internet. I could rip this to shreds all day, objectively and you can’t say one thing about it!

It seems that if Police Officers and the government were truly concerned with safety of the public and of the officers, and not arrest and conviction numbers, and federal grants, then they would be advocates of a drug that DOESN’T cause belligerent apathy, senseless violence, random assault and battery, domestic violence, disrespect for law and order and the publics well being, not to mention dangerously intoxicated driving that is unsafe for everyone on the road, and countless resists of arrests. Not to mention a neurotoxic, carcinogenic fuel that we drink to induce Central Nervous System Depression intoxication that slowly causes cancer to every cell it touches on the way to the brain and kidneys. Yes, I’m talking about Alcohol.

Doesn’t it make sense that they would be advocates of a drug that DOES induce a state of empathy for other living beings, a sense of increased caution, and respect for others and order, something that doesn’t dumb you down into a drunken idiot but helps you live in the moment, and doesn’t cause cancer, doesn’t kill brain cells like alcohol does, and does have many medical and mental health benefits including KILLING TUMORS!!! Something that promotes a sense of EMPATHY, that would increase public safety and bring people closer together? SUCH AS THE EVIL MARIJUANA???

It seems to me, that since this is not the case, and whatever benefits the government and police entities receive from prohibition, such as federal grants, seizure of assets, and arrest/conviction numbers, plus court costs and PRIVATE PRISON INSTITUTIONS, makes you have nothing to do with “protecting and serving” but purely about revenue. I call that Sociopathic.

I’m sure the job is frustrating. And that’s probably because you have subscribed to a claim of privilege you shouldn’t have, and a point of view completely at odds with the profession you chose, as evidenced by this alarmingly hostile, Colonel Nathan Jessup, “You need me on that wall” rant. I hate to break it to you, but Col. Jessup was the bad guy in that movie.

Sorry, Lt Furseth, but we are the public, not a bunch of smelly hippies, and your unambiguous contempt for us is a problem – an outlook I guarantee you the public did not seek to engender. Quick civics lesson: We, the public, act like the power rests with us *because it does*. If we pass laws saying it’s our right to get stoned, then *it is*. If we think the police need to change, then *you do*. That’s the deal, not the other way around.

In other words, our perception of you is more important than your perception of us.

Which is fortunate, since your hostility-laden perception of us is so decidedly and aggressively poor. We, who – according to you – “idolize” gangsters and thugs and promiscuity. (Seriously, promiscuity? You have a problem with the public exercising their legal right to engage in legal acts among consenting adults? And you don’t see the inherent flaw with this attitude?) According to you, we – the monolithic, one-size-fits-all public – are too lazy to teach our kids right from wrong, and instead teach them to hate and fear cops (which obviously has nothing to do with that cop six states away. No, it must be the parents’ fault), and expect you to “fix” our kids. According to you, we – who all fit quite nicely inside your stereotypes – are Liberals who hate you for taking our drugs, are Conservatives who hate you for taking our guns, are too stupid to understand context and only see “jackbooted badge-wearing thugs”, and are just plain mean meanie-pantses who don’t respect the job you do, mostly because we’re not smart enough to think critically about what the media presents us, which stunningly is not exclusively stories about cops who get cats out of trees. The nerve of the media, reporting bad guys doing bad things. After all, the media only ever paints the public in the most positive light, right?

But, you know, it’s bad to stereotype.

Sure, it’s “not fair” that the needs and desires of we, the public, are more important than the needs and desires of the police. But unlike your wholly improbable strawman who unfeelingly tells you that being killed is just part of your job, bowing to the will of the people actually is. I know this must be galling, but if, through legal means, we determine that police officers must wear tutus and a camera on their chicken hat, and speak in iambic pentameter, THEN THEY DO. That’s part of the job. Not the best part, I’m sure, but that’s the deal.

What the deal is *not* is you – or any other police officer – telling us that we had better shape up – or else (a sentiment that pervades your screed and many of the comments that follow). Or is there some non-threatening way the comments said, “I hope the next time you’re in trouble, no cops come to save you”? Is there some other way we should read the any-day-now threat of you strapping on your gear and not caring to do your job because the public likes sex? In the context of your tirade, not really. When your lede is a threat and the follow-up is all the many and various reasons why you might one day carry out that threat, not really.

”Get your act together, hippies,” is the subtext, here. “Or one day, I won’t care. I’ll let the bad guy get you. I’ll let the drunk driver careen through your neighborhood. I’ll let your kid die of an overdose. Or worse.”

So perhaps it’s *not* that bad cop six states away that drives some people to fear you. Maybe something closer to home leaves them to wonder whose side you’re on.

Such projection: You say this about youth, but this is what we say is the problem with YOU: “To ask ‘what is in it for me?’ versus ‘what can I do for you?’ ” You are a public servant paid by our tax dollars. If you really don’t care any more, have the self awareness to quit and go into a different field. This isn’t meant to be an insult. I don’t have the temperament to be a cop. I have had to admit I was burnt out and change jobs. I no longer work with the public. That’s self awareness. Most protestors that I know, including minorities, are saying that we are afraid of bad cops. We are not criticizing all cops, except when all cops try to protect bad cops. While we try to acknowledge the differences, you lump yourselves all together. Why? It is your job to protect and serve the public, not yourselves. Sure, we don’t know everything you go through. But it defies reality to say there are no bad cops, when we are all well aware that there are good and bad in every profession. If you don’t find a way to define bad cops amongst yourselves and force them to resign, then the public will end up doing it and the result will probably be poorer. We want community policing, not a totalitarian regime. You don’t get to get away with murder because you wear the uniform. Stop pretending we hate all of you, which only protects and provides cover for the bad cops. Get rid of them or we, your employers, will.

How’s about this? Do the job you’re paid handsomely for. It’s your job to act professional in the face of complaints and not go crying home to your mommy.

Imagine if other professionals, say dentists, behaved the way you are. I bet people tell them every day that they “hate the dentist.” Do dentists stop caring? Do they threaten to “declare war” on the community, like the NY police Union boss did? Do they take their aggression out on innocent patients?

C’mon. Don’t be so damned thin skinned, like too many cops are lately. Not everyone is going to like you. Do your job like a professional, no matter what the situation.

Dexter, are you really so clueless? “Do the job you are so handsomely paid for.” You have no grasp of what most law enforcement officers make. Where my husband worked in NC, the average officer even make $50,000. I would love to know how much you would have to be paid to put your life on the line every day.

Thank you for caring; I wrote a poem yesterday because I’m glad you do care.

Blue Light

Caramel skies of shades of yellow, gold, and brown appear as the

Sun goes down until the twilight hours of dawn

Blue illuminating lights shadows the walls and streets for those

Good officers that have fallen in the line of duty

Their shadows walk vigilantly and bravely through the streets and alleys,

As they continue to honor their oath and pledge to protect and serve us with ease

By: Eve Roper 9/16/2015

I understand your frustration, I really do. However, as my state has had a string of incidents lately (one just last night) involving horrid police shootings of innocent people as a result of poor judgement from the officers, there is another issue that is taking hold. That issue is the lack of accountability of the officers. The department never called out any of these officers, never admitted they did any wrongdoing—when body/dash cam/home surveillance videos showed that they did. As you said, one officer several states away made a bad choice. I don’t believe all police officers are bad, and I have never had a bad encounter with one. However, when they do exercise poor judgement, it is wrong to immediately band behind the color blue and simply say, “The events that occurred were unfortunate… There is an ongoing investigation with internal affairs… ” etc. etc, and the officer is always found to be in the right. The failure to see cops as you see the public, as people who make mistakes and even commit crimes, is what is driving a hard wedge between police and public. This is not merely my opinion, but a collection of opinions. I am leaving out how much we do appreciate all that officers do for us daily. We like police. We want police. I have officers in my family, and hearing them justify any shootings immediately and then attacking my opinions because I don’t “know what it’s like to be out there risking your life every day,” isn’t helping. But when I see stories of people being gunned down by an officer with a shaky palm because he saw something black and thought it was a gun, or feared for his life and shot two dogs just trying to inspect what was going on in their yard when he had no right to be in that yard in the first place, there’s a need for a larger conversation. One that doesn’t result in a cold, emotionless press release that justifies the behavior of a scared police officer who took to the gun too quickly (I do believe that’s all the justification you need to fire the weapon, correct? Fear for your own life or others?).

You have an important job, so the consequences are important too. For many, these fears are becoming more and more realistic. And please STOP with the “liberal” BS. I like my guns, I believe in discipline, don’t think every problem should be solved by the govt., believe in my constitutional rights, and whatever other political garbage you need to throw in to justify your beliefs. When a civilian pulls out a gun in self-defense, they are arrested and the investigation is more than intense, and many even face a prison sentence. When a cop does it, they don’t need half as much justification to be set free with their gun in hand, like spoiled children whose parents think they can do no wrong and slam the door in the face of anyone who says otherwise. Just give them back their toys and send them back out again. These cops are the ones that need to be worried about. That’s the issue. And when everyone immediately stands behind the officer, the public fails to see justice.

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