Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cops in Context

Over the years, I've lost the sunny attitude about police officers instilled in us during school years. "Mr. Policeman is your friend" has melted away as I've seen too many cases of corruption and violence.

Watching early video of the Ward Parkway shootings, in the background I saw a police car speed up, stop, and out hopped a middle-aged, heavy-set police officer - and he was the perfect picture of what I would assume to be a cocky, arrogant Reno-911 wannabe if he pulled me over for speeding. But not this time. Hand on his gun, he ran full speed into the mall. He couldn't know what could be waiting for him in there - though I'm sure he knew that one of his fellow officers had already been shot. There was no strutting, no smugness, no cockiness. Just total focus on getting to the scene and doing whatever he could to help, even if it meant facing injury or death. That guy was there to protect and serve.

This week, I've given a friendly wave to the cops running radar.


Anonymous brent said...

I have to say, I've met a good number of the cops in our patrol area when they come to our neighborhood crime meetings. Their knowledge of the problem areas, home addresses, car license plate numbers, and their sincere desire to help the neighborhoods has been very impressive to me. THey're also all very physically fit...I've been pleasantly surprised and impressed with those in my area.

5/05/2007 4:26 PM  
Blogger Roy Lofquist said...

The perennial problem: "Who will watch the watchers?".

Rogue cops? Of course. In my experience, almost 65 years, and travels, some 20 countries, we in the United Staes have the very best. Perfect? No. I'd rather have our police.

5/05/2007 8:09 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I agree, Roy and brent. But it's easy to forget that . . .

5/06/2007 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the things I love about America:

1. We have men and women who risk their lives in their roles as police officers, soldiers, fire protection, etc. to protect us from rogue members of society

2. We have men and women who protect us from the rogue members of the public and the group above in their roles as prosecuters, politicians, investigators, attorneys, judges.

3. We have men and women who protect us rogue members of society and from the above groups in their roles in the news media, or as protestors or as dedicated watchdogs, curmudgeons, or muckrakers.

None of the above groups gets a free pass just because they do good things most of the time. All of the above groups draw criticism and cynicism when they do the right thing and go after the powerful bad guys in society and because occasionally, one of their own does something bad.

That's a long way of saying that free speech, a free press and dedicated public servants make this country work - not perfectly, but a heck of a lot better than anywhere else.

Keep up the good work, Dan. Even when you're off the mark (which you aren't today), I appreciate the fact that you're paying attention.

5/06/2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger --Blue Girl said...

I was a member of the trauma team at Research for several years, and in that capacity I interacted with a lot of KC's police force. the public servant to dickhead ratio is about 12:1. Of course, I am not thrilled about a police force that is about 8% dickheads, either.

Dan - I almost forgot - I gave you a Kudo when you got a blog bit. Maybe you got a hit or two from it....

5/07/2007 6:36 PM  

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