I had coffee with someone today who gave me hope. I ordered buttered toast (Acme bread) and a latte. During our long conversation, I got a $43 parking ticket, but the time (and cite) was worth it. The person I was with had listened intently about my work and my perspective about policing.
I have tried desperately not to be an OCD, high achieving workaholic in recent years but as many of us know well, some habits are too hard to break. I have tried to care less and see less and worry about the future of my department less. Some habits… I know, I said that already.
I believe that some peace officers forget what their roles are. They rail on about what others should care about, what the community, local politicians, state government – even the President should do when it comes to laws and incarceration and social issues. Granted, frustration deepens with exposure and cops have been asked to be too many things in contemporary society. Some just want “to catch bad guys.” Isn’t that what we signed up for they ask? Well, maybe.
We have parents that call because their 9 year old is refusing to go to school. How do you think that fosters better community/cop relations? We spend hours documenting non criminal traffic collisions for insurance companies. We manage more mental health issues than imaginable and wait for ambulances that are overburdened.
Somedays when the beeper goes out that signals a hot call – Robbery, Man or Woman with Gun, Someone Waving a Knife, a Shooting – you can hear the excitement either in the hallway or on the radio. Sometimes these calls are just easier, just more satisfying and community just appreciates our role in them more.