Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fearless Barney Fife

Now, don't get me wrong - I like the police and the role they have sworn to perform.  Its just that the cops I see today are a lot different than the ones I knew most of my life.  Don't merely take my word for it - ask the retired cops that you know.

It seems as though every house that I've lived in has had a cop living nearby.  Two of my next-door neighbors have been Washington State Patrol Troopers.  One was a California Highway Patrolman, one was a city Detective.  I've worked shoulder-to-shoulder with police of all sorts:  Swat team commanders, County Sheriffs and their deputies, Chiefs of police from various cities and towns, and one guy was even the Chief of Police of the US Air Force.  Mind you he was THE Chief of Police of the ENTIRE Air Force with over 40,000 subordinates - not just a run of the mill officer.

Each and every one of these guys were self assured and calm. They were mostly unflappable in the face of very difficult circumstances.  They were slow to anger, and when they did get angry it was never a screaming hollering spittle-spewing anger, but a reserved and contained anger that could be focused and wielded like a light saber.

 One of my neighbors, a former city policeman and detective, has told me numerous stories of tussling with bad guys that meant him serious harm.  One time a ner-do-well even stabbed him but he didn't even draw his revolver.   He verbally reprimanded him to the point of serious embarrassment then slapped the cuffs on him.  I know it is a true story, because I knew the bad guy as well (we went to high school together).

All of those cops of yesterday are just as leery of today's cops as I am.

Everyone of these guys will shake their heads and say the same thing:  Today's cops are scared.  They are jumpy and nervous and unsure of themselves.

It is not police as a group, or police as a clique or a fraternity that is going sour, it is the individual person that is missing something. Maybe they didn't get spanked enough as kids to realize that a little bit of hurt won't kill you.  Maybe their fathers and mothers didn't instill a sense of honor and duty in them.  Maybe the phrase "cowboy-up" doesn't mean anything to them. Maybe it is something else - but there are some big pieces of old-fashioned courageous compassion and resolute toughness missing from today's boys in blue.

What  a pity.

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