I served as a cop for thirty years in Miami. The greatest honor was to share the camaraderie and friendship with the finest, most caring and bravest human beings on planet earth. There are about 800,000 police officers in the United States. Their services are called for nearly 183 million times a year. Not much down time, indeed.
When applying for the job, most police officers I’ve known not only seek pay and benefits, they also feel a calling, to be among the greatest of public servants. I loved being an officer, because I helped to save lives and rescued others, I fought criminals, put many dangerous people away, I protected innocent people. I worked within corners of the urban jungle. Voices from citizens often ring in my ears; “Thank you, Officer. Thank you, so much.”
We faced risks every day. That came with the job. I personally knew fifteen police officers, black and white, who gave their lives in the line of duty and many more were messed, for life, up from non-lethal combat. (that doesn’t include suicides) They had families at home. I knew scores of cops who fought hand to hand with criminals, saving lives for you and for me. Other than war, there’s no other job as risky. I too was shot, suddenly blindsided by an insane woman. I have held dying people in my arms, swathed with blood, pleading with them to hold on. Every day, I had no idea what I’d have to face.
I was never a personal witness to an officer using unnecessary/excessive force. That’s in 30 years of policing in Miami. I’m sure it happens now and then, but I was one of the lucky ones. It is not a common occurrence. Don’t believe people who tell you otherwise. With rare exception, it is not a racial motive, not in these times. And, to be emphatic, there is no such thing as “systemic” brutality. When officers lose their cool, it’s generally a reaction to fight, a chase, being assaulted, or because the power of adrenalin may take control of the cop, instead of the other way around.
Do I blindly cover for bad cops? Not if you check my record, which includes my role as chief investigator of the notorious killing of Arthur McDuffie in 1979 when I arrested five officers for beating him to death. Now, there was an example of an adrenalin rush.
I had a personal life as well, which suffered because of my devotion to the profession. That’s not uncommon. The rate of broken marriages is certainly higher than average for police. (Exact statistics unavailable)
We are in a terrible state of chaos, much of which is systemic, because the latest violence from riots in American cities are clearly planned, financed and engineered. Far leftists are flexing muscles by denigrating and reducing police officers through sheer humiliation leaving our constitution on the chopping block. Some inept or hateful politicians are basically aiding and abetting the lawlessness. Anarchists are well trained and programmed on how to get people to hate police officers. It’s all about politics and power.
Cops are told they have a job to do, to take it or leave it. Respect for law enforcement from some political leaders has found its way down the drain. Anti-police sentiments, such as those taken by several mayors and governors, show contempt for cops who have no choice but to stand and take it when doused with water buckets, flammable fluids, smashes in the head with deadly objects, pelting stones and fireballs while their cars are immersed in flames. Imagine, being an officer standing at attention in tandem, while denizens of the streets scream deafening expletives into the ear canals of officers doing their jobs, trying to remain sane while stones and other deadly missiles are hurled at them and their patrol cars are lying on the sides while fires blaze.
Why? Because they ARE the first and only line of defense for decent citizens who are suffering enormously by the actions of hate organizations who are given Carte Blanche to destroy what they wish.
Cops are not robots. They are human. They get plenty of training. Now and then, a cop will screw up. It’s the nature of the beast because there are multi-millions of calls for police service annually. If one-tenth of one-percent of 800,000 officers commit an offense once a year, that’s 800 offenses. One, is too many, yes. But it’s also unrealistic to expect otherwise. Officers who commit crimes need to pay a price like any other law breaker. Considering the volume of calls they answer, and the violent confrontations they face, it’s utterly remarkable they still report to duty.
In these times, thousands of cops suffer in their own personal lives. Families suffer. Mental health suffers. Kids suffer from broken marriages. According to the Addiction Center, policer officers rank highest among professions for committing suicide. (Firefighters and other first responders are not included in that ranking)
Cops are killed on the job an average of 150 per year.
Imagine being one of America’s 800,000 career cops watching the current (and systemic) status of police hatred, and the organized violence against neighborhoods, monuments, businesses, government buildings and police officers who, thanks to our pathetic excuse for government politicians. Today we are witnessing the erosion of funds to protect cops, and citizens. Some cities and states are virtually defunding police budgets. Mayor De Blasio, of New York City, is cutting a billion dollars from the police budget. Cops will be powerless, our enemies will be emboldened.
Sound familiar? Think: Marxism.
Police officers are retiring early these days. Others are withdrawing their applications. Some will look the other way when suspicious circumstances arise, unless they have no choice. Who’s the biggest loser in the “Hate-Cops” era? Americans. It is Americans who suffer, along with police. It is they who are afraid like anyone else. It is they who just want to be safely at home with their families and work at their jobs. Each day, cops hope and pray they can make it to the finish line: Retirement.
Cop Lives Matter…like all lives.