THERE’S NO ONE LEFT TO ANSWER THE CALL, SO WHAT NOW …

 This has been a concern for law enforcement leadership for years. What the heck are we going to do for recruitment?

Now that it is considered an awful and thankless profession, what the heck are we going to do? We have marginalized law enforcement with bad press, bad government and irresponsible social activists, who would choose this profession? I’m looking back after a long career. If I knew then what I know now, I would have reconsidered.

 

THERE’S NO ONE LEFT TO ANSWER THE CALL, SO WHAT NOW …

The first thing we really need to consider when discussing this issue is reputation. I heard a comedian speaking to an audience about being a police officer. He told them that his grandmother tells people that he is a drug dealer not a police officer.

He was perfectly serious.

How ridiculous is this?

 

Pretty Damn Sad is what it is!

Even when a police officer is exonerated from a shooting, a cloud hangs over his head for the rest of his career. Any accusation – whether an officer is cleared or not – can be a career killer.

How do you make it through to retirement or get promoted? At any time, a cop’s career can be undone by one idiot politician trying to make points. Sadly even many of the so-called chiefs of police are of the same ilk.



 

In order to make it as a cop now, you’ve got to be lucky and keep your head down. This means most often that the officers who do nothing or who avoid work are the ones that get promoted.

The key is simple: just answer the radio and don’t look around you for anything that is happening. Proactive officers who make neighborhoods safer are the ones who don’t last.

I had a chief once who told me if I am not getting any complaints at all then it is likely that I am not really doing anything. Once an officer gets a reputation of getting out there and being proactive, the complaints begin. As most cops know, being proactive causes the criminal element to complain to whoever will listen. Don’t think for a second criminals don’t reach out to their local city council representative, alderman or whomever. They know how it works.

Currently, the criminals’ biggest fans seem to be politicians. Shake your head if you want to, but it’s an absolute fact!

 

THERE’S NO ONE LEFT TO ANSWER THE CALL, SO WHAT NOW …

Most young police officers are now faced with the fact they will no longer have pensions like older cops have enjoyed. City and state governments that have invested funds poorly are feeling the effects of bad decisions which have taken place year after year. The money that should be there, quite frankly, is gone.

Most governments are no longer willing to support the well-established pension programs. Those pensions were a huge draw to public service. Now, they are increasingly going away, they are no longer a recruiting tool. Policing is a young person’s game.

Some suggest that a young cop should plan to stay in the job and move into a senior (management) role. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough senior positions for every cops to move into. There are far more ‘worker-bees’ on the street than there are people in a management job.

The biggest portion of police officers who come into the profession do, their twenty to twenty-five years and retire to go do something else. Those who do choose to stay often remain on the street, in patrol. Without the draw of a great pension plan, more and more young people are giving law enforcement a pass.

 

THERE’S NO ONE LEFT TO ANSWER THE CALL, SO WHAT NOW …

So, we are left with this dilemma: What is going to happen when there are too few recruits to fill the vacant positions? With each passing year, they continue to grow in number?

Unfortunately, many agencies are going to fill positions with personnel that are likely not well suited for the job. Like being a preacher or teacher, most people think of cop work as a calling – not a profession. As a very wise man once said, “If being a cop isn’t in your heart, chances are you won’t be a good one.” Very true, indeed.

When you call 911, eventually you may get this answer, “Hello this is 911, I am sorry we have no one available to answer your emergency, I hope you can take care of it yourself.”

At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.

AMERICA

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