You know one of the things that have always bothered me about people is that they have such a dim view of others, in general. They want cops to put people in jail and throw away the key for crimes of every kind imaginable. It doesn’t matter if it is shoplifting, a car break-in or any other infraction you could summon into your mind.
After taking the time to do a little bit of research, most would discover that people can – and do – change.
As a society, we are quick to anger and slow to forgive, regrettably. Police officers are exposed to bad behavior so often that most take a more pragmatic view of bad behavior, just to cope. In a way, I suppose we are desensitized to the unpleasant things that happen because we have seen so much of it.
LEARNING LIFE’S LESSONS
There are hardened criminals who should be in jail for the rest of their lives, without a doubt. There are those that learn the first time they get into trouble that it is a place they never want to be, again.
I can usually tell within the first five minutes of an encounter how it is going end-up.
When I drive down the road and I see a police car, I slow down, even if I’m not going too fast. It is a natural reaction that I have adopted – not because of fear – but because of respect for the law. I get it. Our laws have been written to be paternal in nature. Many of our laws protect us from ourselves.
As a young officer, I was determined to set the world right by taking on crime one criminal at a time. It was my belief that through my force-of-will alone, I could make things better, regardless of whether not anyone else would help me. I believed as if each person I dealt with should be aware of the error of their ways. They would then correct them on the spot and accept their punishment, accordingly.
After a whole lot of frustration and quite a bit of soul-searching, I found that people are just people.
Honestly, there are not that many bad people out there in our world. Generally, I discovered that most people are good people who make mistakes. Most of the time a gentle nudge in the right direction is more than enough to get the point across. Not everyone needs a ticket and not everyone needs to go to jail. There are some people however that certainly need one or the other — and sometimes both.
I have found very few really forgiving people in our society, today. Most people expect others to be punished in the harshest way possible. The same people who want severe punishment for others feel much differently if the shoe is on the other foot.
So, maybe next time you question what an officer does or how he does it, you will think a little harder before you judge him. After all, police officers are people – just like you.
In the end, people who screw up can choose to change.
Wouldn’t you rather have an officer working the street who believes that situations and people can be better? Or, would you prefer that all cops are as jaded as society seems to be right now?
At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.
Danny enjoys hearing from his readers – EMAIL
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