Tonight, I stumbled onto an old cop hating thread published by a guy in Payette which is just a few miles west of Boise. I am not going to link it. I found it too unlikeable. Which means, I left a nasty note but stopped short of calling the guy a fucking idiot. It's the new me.
So forgive me for sticking up for law enforcement. Just this once.
I spent 25 years in law enforcement at the local level. I am including my first year which was all volunteer. During that first year, which was just exiting the 70's, I was congratulated by people waving their middle finger at me and calling me pig. I have to tell you, there were a couple of times when I thought, "maybe I should do something else."
I wanted to be a cop for a number of reasons. I liked the freedom of the job and the fact that it wasn't boring. I really believed in the idea of catching bad guys and serving the public back then. I actually believed that schtick. Twenty five years and some conscious reflection would change many of those beliefs that I held in 1982.
Who dislikes the police? People who break the law or cannot live their lives without police intervention. It's really that simple. In my twenty five years of listening to gawd-knows-how-many cop-hating rants...time and time again that was the common denominator. People whining about how they were treated unfairly. Or their speeding ticket. Or the never ending, cops in the middle, custody disputes. I had one that lasted for three years. Every weekend when those two exchanged the children- we had to be present. I never lifted a finger to those two morons. Yet I know they hate cops to this day. Of course, the cops aren't the problem- they are. But that level of unconsciousness is something I could do little about. Some folks might call them stupid. I think that's wrong. It's unconsciousness.
That level of unconsciousness is precisely why we have cop haters to begin with.
Let me explain something that a lot of people don't stop to consider. There is no other occupation on earth that is more thoroughly researched, screened, and investigated than that of a prospective police officer. A typical newly hired police officer will undergo criminal checks, oral boards, background checks, credit checks, reference checks, drug tests, psychological examinations and testing, physical fitness exams by doctors, physical fitness qualifications, and then top it off with a polygraph test that asks you about every criminal activity that you have ever been engaged in- as far back as you can remember.
Many apply, few are chosen.
Because the entry qualifications are so difficult- by the time someone gets hired in a competitive law enforcement agency- they truly have had a microscope stuck up their ass. The people hired in law enforcement these days- are the best people- morally and ethically available. I believe that because I have witnessed it. Boise is one of those cities. They will bounce you out of the selection process at the first sign of trouble.
So when the cop haters want to stack up their life's credentials against the credentials of the men and women getting hired as police officers now- I know which side I'll land on.
When I read or hear someone talk about hating cops, with almost 100% certainty, I am listening to somebody that routinely has broken or continues to break the law. They will characterize cops as this or that, focus all of that negative energy on anyone but themselves. I used to ask people who had the balls to tell me they hated cops- why don't you like cops? I might add that most of my friends, the non law breaking variety, didn't have that same psychosis. Time and time again, with laser like precision, I would eventually draw out the stories and scars about how cops screwed each of them over. How they had been arrested or treated poorly. Of course, they were all victims.
This is what I hope. I hope there never comes a day when this oppressive government starts locking up its citizens and violating their rights just because it thinks it can. My one worry about law enforcement is that cops will simply and unflinchingly do the dirty work of a government that declares our Bill of Rights null and void. This is Frankenstein Government. Federal agencies like the FBI, DEA, IRS, and TSA will become the enforcers of an oppressive government that does what it wants. Our government is working very hard to render the Constitution useless.
I never got into law enforcement to rip anyone off, to get rich, to beat up anyone, or screw anyone over. I thought helping people would be a decent thing to do. You don't help people by letting them off (and I am not talking about speeding tickets here) and enabling them to continue acting like miscreants and misguided missiles. You help people mostly, when you draw a hard line. When you say to a wife beater- I can't let you do that any more. Mostly I think, the wife beaters get that. The rest become cop haters.