Thursday, February 16, 2012
Guest Blogger...A Suggestion of Conduct.
Wow this Blog is getting serious, we have a guest blogger! Today's entry is by a fellow Christian Officer. His perspective comes from a different place than mine. While we are both Christians, he only recently accepted Christ and has only just stepped on the straight and narrow path. I have served in a medium seized department for over fifteen years, our guest blogger, "Floyd" is under ten years with one of the biggest departments in the nation. He is also about ten years younger in age. His submission:
As Law Enforcement Officers we subject ourselves to many dangers on a daily basis. Of these dangers, not all necessarily threaten our physical well being, but our psychological as well. It’s ultimately what, I argue, hardens us. It can come in the form of a stare that you know, but cannot prove in a court of law, the bearer of those eyes is excreting extreme hatred for you. This goes all the way to the verbal attack on our justified, and what we take for granted, everyday part of the job.
Do people like police officers? I can no longer ask that question without a rather amusing smirk form across my face. Of course they don’t. Is it because they dislike us personally? Well, no. Most of those that we encounter don’t know us to make that determination. They dislike what we stand for; what out uniform represents. It’s like the hall monitors from High School. Did we like answering to them as to why we were in the hallway during class time? Of course not, the teacher allowed us to be temporarily excused from class to use the restroom or whatever else your reason was to be out of class. That reason came from a higher authority than the measly hall monitor. Nevertheless, we acquiesced to him/her.
So, when you see those angering, horrible red and blue, or in some cases just blue, lights behind you yes, they are meant for you and yes you will have to present your driver’s license and proof of insurance. You know you were speeding, just disregarded that stop sign about a block or so back, went through a red light, etc, etc. Did you scream and yell at that hall monitor when he asked to see your hall pass? My guess is you probably didn’t. Did you actually beat up that hall monitor after school? Maybe some of you actually did, but are you really going to go to such extremes as to step out of you car now and attempt to beat up the police officer that is now pulling you over? Some may answer yes and it has been attempted. Fortunately for law enforcement, we are equipped to handle such occurrences. Too bad for that young hall monitor, though.
By now you should be asking what’s the point. The point is when you get stopped, most of the time you know what you did. And the next time you want to stand up and take a hard-lined stance against crime and disorder, remember how you treated that officer that was “just doing his/her job” the last time you were stopped. There’s no need for the expletives or the demeaning of his/her position. Trust me, the officer knows that there are girls being raped and murders occurring. And yes, we are now going to deal with the fact that you were speeding. As any detective could tell you, fighting crime in an area starts with making public contact. That contact is usually in the form of a traffic stop or a street stop and then documenting that stop. Why? Simply because it tells those in law enforcement who is in a certain area at a certain time. And when you receive that verbal warning, you know the one you sort of demanded, that doesn’t mean you didn’t actually do what the officer originally said you did. The truth of the matter is, you did it; the officer is using discretion and not writing a ticket. Why? Probably because you were one of the few that didn’t yell and scream and actually admitted to your wrong doing.
Now for the twist. I have put a lot on the citizen. But an equal amount of burden must also be placed upon the officer as well. It’s a fact, people don’t like being stopped. You may have to deal with the name calling from time to time. Perhaps you caught somebody at a bad time. Just as they shouldn’t judge you for “doing your job” you should equally not judge them for being a bit irritated. Document your stop, write your ticket, or make an arrest and move on. Both you and the individual you stopped will, and should, get over it soon. I personally have become hardened over the years as a law enforcement officer, but we should work to maintain our own personal dignity and respect. We should listen to what a citizen says even when it’s clouded with verbal attacks. Sometimes they may just be telling the truth; it does happen. Of course, I usually fail miserably at my own advice and find that the angry stare as I mentioned at the beginning is also coming from me.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.