In a minute, I'm going to tell you a personal story in my own self disclosing and humiliating way. I can do this because I am a man of great courage. And ample stupidity.
I have been taking a raft of shit from the cop haters lately. Unreal. Mostly, I usually just keep my mouth shut but lately I find my cup- overflowing.
I am a retired cop. That's my disclaimer. I am getting sick of having to defend my former profession like it was some hideously terrible occupation that I should be ashamed of.
Here's my newsflash. I'm not ashamed.
I did not steal from people under some umbrella of legality like a car salesman, banker, or lawyer. I did not operate a strip club or some other unscrupulous or sleazy business. I was a public servant in a capitalistic system that has largely thrown away the rule of law where the rich and elite are concerned. The rich and elite can mount a rigorous defense. Like O.J. They intimidate and outspend prosecutors and they regularly beat them. So mostly, the cops are relegated to peeling off the indefensible and poor. I get that. That's the way the system is evolving. I didn't invent it.
Quite honestly, the criminals are getting better. The system that prosecutes them- is not. That's an opinion of mine that you may or may not share.
Here's my 25 year take on why people hate cops. The people who hate cops are largely unconscious. It is probably that simple. Some folks simply can't come to terms with the idea that they alone are responsible for their problems. To do that would require some level of internal honesty and responsibility. Show me a cop hater and I'll show you somebody that has usually been busted multiple times- individuals who still think they are victims. People who cannot practice rigorous internal honesty.
When people actually grow up and take responsibility for their actions- which very often includes the truthful realization that if they hadn't driven drunk or stolen shit- maybe they wouldn't have greeted someone with a badge. So mostly when people bitch about cops- it is simply their own anger and frustration boiling over. These poor victims don't want to talk about their own mistakes- so instead they blame the guys and gals that attach some responsibility to their actions. They don't like that shit.
You ever hear a cop hater talk about how many times they have broken laws before getting caught? Hundreds, thousands of times. No, you won't hear that. Instead you'll hear some minimalized and largely fabricated story about how they were victimized by the police during the time or times they were actually caught.
Here in Boise, the Boise cops went through a three year period where they were involved in a lot of shootings. They shot and killed several suspects. It was simply a mathematical anomaly. It was crazy high. That was several years ago. Yet to this day, I hear people almost on a weekly basis, talking about the trigger happy Boise cops. People talk about Boise cops like they are some homicidal bunch of maniacs.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Boise cops are well trained and they come from a state where everyone grows up with guns and knows how to use them. Not only is every shooting reviewed internally and by an ombudsman locally, but all types of reviews are held in every case ranging from autopsies, coroner's inquests, magistrates inquiries, and grand juries. Prosecutors and attorney generals review shootings. So does the state and federal government. There are civil trials. To suggest that all of these levels of inquiry are somehow corrupt or collusive- is asinine.
Yea and the cops take bullets too. I am not gonna apologize for bringing some training and preparation to a gunfight and winning. Cops don't dial 911. We are 911.
So what we are really talking about here is the ability to take REAL responsibility for your actions. Cop haters cannot or will not do that. That failure to evolve is no longer my journey. How that came about is kind of a strange story which I will tell you now.
Years ago I was on vacation in Billings, Montana. I have always played poker and being a cop, I only played in places where it was legal. On this particular night, I was playing in a bar called the Crystal which is a pretty well known joint in Billings. I was in my early 30's. Seated next to me was a large stocky cattleman type of guy- who was wearing a straw hat. He was probably about 60.
On that particular night, I was catching huge hands and losing with every one of them. I was getting my ass handed to me and I was hot. I was losing a lot of money. It didn't help matters any that I was well acquainted with odds and probability and on this particular night- you could throw all of that math out the window. I was furious. This was not lost on the cattleman sitting to the left of me. I can't imagine any improvement he could of made on the level of tact that he employed while intervening that night. I could have chosen not to listen- like my responsibility avoiding friends- but I did not. Maybe I just needed the relief.
He said, "Son, how long have you been playing this game?" I told him something like 15 years. He then said, "How long do you plan on playing this game?" I told him, "well, the rest of my life I guess." He then took a deep breath and said, "Then you need to get used to this. There will be nights like you are having. Lots of them. Nobody drags you to the table. You do that on your own. If you don't get ok with losing on nights like this, you don't have to play any more."
As simple as all of that sounds, it was an epiphany for me. What that rancher was preaching was responsibility and acceptance. I went home to my hotel room that night- a changed man. It would take another 15 years for me to grasp the entire idea of honesty, responsibility, and acceptance wrapped into one emotional package. I am still not perfect. But at least I know who is responsible. That's the lesson the cop haters just can't grasp. Cops are not entertainers. They are not supposed to be warm and fuzzy, handing out Zagnuts and soft drinks on traffic stops. Get real.
Remember this cop haters. Cops don't particularly enjoy seeing you either. We just practice a little more tolerance than you do and we keep our mouths shut. That might sound a little harsh because it is. I'm not gonna apologize for that either.