Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in our pages some time ago. It is being reprinted because of many recent events in American communities which puts every American cop in serious jeopardy.
In recent days, the Maryland legislature overrode their Governor’s Veto to cancel the long-held legal principles established in their Police Officers’ Bill of Rights. Other communities are in the process of revoking the long-held legal principle of Qualified Immunity for their cops.
Such notions seem unthinkable just a short time ago yet, here we are. The Crew of CopBlue is committed to Saving Just One Life and that won’t stop now. Be strong!
San Jose, CA has been forced to cancel entire academy classes, due to having too few recruits. Other agencies have done the same.
Cities like Leesburg, Virginia, Seattle, Springfield, Missouri and many others have witnessed the number of applicants for police jobs has dwindled by 80% – 90%.
In short, the number of new hires coming on isn’t keeping pace with force reductions due to retirements and cops moving to other agencies.
There has been publicity about Dallas hemorrhaging officers who are departing for better pay in neighboring departments.
Houston is terribly short. The chief says he needs 540 more cops, but it will take three years to bring them on. However, based on prevailing cop/citizen ratios, HPD actually needs 1,714 more cops. Yikes!
These numbers are brought home to the citizenry with this kind of new reality: In the year ending last July, Minneapolis Police report that they were unable to send an officer to 6,700 priority calls.
Read that again, slowly: SIX THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED CALLS CAME THAT REPORTED SERIOUS EMERGENCIES AND THERE WAS NO COP TO SEND.
That, my fellow citizens was just ONE American city.
Cops are getting shot and killed just doing their jobs. In 2018, 164 officers were killed in the line of duty. Guns were involved in the deaths of 52 of them. There was a 63% increase in the number of felonious attacks on our brothers in blue.
Remember Dallas? In that one incident in 2016, twelve cops were shot; five died. They were protecting a Black Lives Matter protest.
We cannot forget the pressure on all cops that emanates from the blathering politicians, the lame-stream media and the pinheads in Hollywood. Every time the life of a black person is taken by a cop, these morons collectively posture themselves with an attitude of, “Guilty until proven innocent” for the cop(s) involved.
Worse, we are enduring an epidemic of failed leadership, far and wide. In earlier times, every law enforcement agency had someone at its helm like Chief Mike Koval of the Madison [WI] Police Department. They led their men into battle. They stood behind them. They stood with them. Any attack on an officer was blocked by the chief who loved his men and would sacrifice himself in their protection.
Sadly, we have too few of those leaders, today. Now, we have managers whose primary focus is on their next job and keeping their own reputation spotless. They are bean-counters who will throw any cop on their crew ‘under a bus,’ without hesitation to save their own ass.
In the ‘guilty-until-innocent world,’ facts don’t seem to matter. Judgements are made before the body is cold. No need for an investigation here. “You’re guilty” is the message. Think it’s easy to live that down?
Think of Officer Darren Wilson formerly of Ferguson, Missouri PD.
Thugs are being celebrated and honored while cops have become the bad guys. If you’re a cop with young kids, imagine what it must be like to answer their questions about what is going on.
NERO FIDDLES, WHILE ROME BURNS
Think about being in the shoes of a cop in Ferguson after the tragic incident that cost Michael Brown his life.
A known thug in the community having a long record gets shot and killed. He was attacking a cop while trying to take the officer’s weapon. The cop is clean, hard-working and with an unblemished background.
Where did our elected officials place their support?
They sent representatives from Washington D.C. to the funeral of the thug and simultaneously announced a thorough investigation of the police department for possible wrongdoing.
A young person who is considering a law enforcement career just needs to scan his daily news feed to see stories like these:
NYPD Officer Pantaleo is fired as a result of enforcing the law with Eric Garner who later died while in custody. Pantaleo had been cleared by the Prosecutor, a Grand Jury and the Department of Justice. The Police Commissioner said he felt forced to fire the cop in order to satisfy unhappy community members.
The question: how is that different from a lynching?
Cops are losing their careers because they are angering the ‘Gods of Political Correctness.’ Cops are telling it like it is on social media sites and being fired in Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Louisiana and other places.
Most recently the mayor New York City has barred NYPD officers from entering the city’s schools. WTF?
If that weren’t ridiculous enough, a formerly respected agency (Police Executive Research Forum [PERF]) produced a list of recommended changes to the ‘use-of-force’ guidelines, for cops. They suggested to the cops that if they face a dangerous, angry subject in a life-threatening situation, the cop should close his eyes, count to ten and then try to defuse the situation verbally – without force. ‘De-escalation,’ has become the big-time fancy word that is getting cops injured and killed in the name coddling the assholes and bowing to the politically correct.
Any reasonable person can only conclude that the law enforcement world has lost their collective minds. Everything which was down is now up and vice-versa.
If you have two brain-cells to rub together, you can conclude that the law-enforcement arena is no place for you. After all, you can make a lot more money with a lot less grief doing something else.
Who could blame you?
HOW CAN WE MAKE SENSE OF THIS
With the advent of the Trump administration, there has been a change in the tone of how our leaders treat law enforcement. At this point, the words have been followed with supporting actions. But, we must all remember how drastically changes at the top can affect every cop on the street.
Recently, I was introduced to a video by Colonel Richard Coleman (Ret) of the U.S. Marine Corps. I encourage you to watch it. Col. Coleman talks about a time in the early seventies when Marine recruiting had fallen dangerously low. Morale was low among the troops. To some, the future of the Marine Corps looked dim.
CLICK HERE to see the video. It really is a must-see for every Street Cop.
In that video, Coleman talks of the remedy at the time: standards were lowered in order to attract more volunteers. That turned out to be a very bad move. The sub-standard recruits didn’t perform well.
As a group, those substandard Marines drove the population of the brig to overflowing.
LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
The Marines were saved with new leaders. It was determined back then that the solution to the Marine’s difficulties lay within. For cops, the solution to our problems do not rest with someone else. It will not arrive from an external source. It must be found within ourselves.
It is critical that each one of us – whether active, retired, separated or otherwise – make a decision to love and respect law enforcement and our communities.
We must commit to never accept failure. We must decide that prevailing in every incident and every situation is the only acceptable outcome.
Finally, we must commit – as a body – to making the necessary communal sacrifices required in order to succeed 100% of the time.
Think of the Marines, for a moment. They are now regarded across the globe as the most lethal force anywhere. Winning is all they accept.
So it also must be with law enforcement.
It begins with each one of us seriously considering this question, “What is my purpose in this Brotherhood?”
Long term success demands that each of us must conclude that our individual role is to ensure that the body, as a whole, succeeds on every front, every time.
We must be the best.
We must train and practice to ensure perfection in our skills.
We must know and live the rules.
We must conduct ourselves with honor.
We must take the utmost pride in ourselves and in the law enforcement body. We are cops. We always will be, ‘till the day we die.
The Serious, the Proud, the Brave
DON’T WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE
This is NOT the time to lower our standards. This is the time to raise them.
Now is the time for everyone to do their best. Every day. Every time.
Today is the day we must meet every challenge, head-on.
We are cops. Starting now: we never give up.
Stand tall and stand proud.
Starting now, we will move forward with humility, with confidence, with certainty and with focus.
We know the enemy.
We are focused on the singular goal: winning.
If we dig deep and become a group of men and women who are admired around the world, others will want to join us.
The days of crew shortages will cease to exist.
We have a duty to uphold the honor of our badge.
We owe it to ourselves and to each other.
We owe it to today and more importantly, to tomorrow.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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