Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What is a Police Officer?

This is borrowed from the late Paul Harvey. He uses the term "policeman", and I'll keep this sincere to his words, but we all know it applies to "policewomen" too. So, here it is, word for word...

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A policeman is a composite of what all men are I guess...

A mingling of saint and sinner... dust and deity. Culled statistics wave the fan over stinkers... underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are "news".

What that REALLY means is they are exceptional, they are unusual - they are not commonplace. Buried under the froth is the fact, and the fact is that less than one half of one percent of policemen misfit that uniform. And that, is a better average than you'd find among clergymen.

What is a policeman? He, of all men, is at once the most needed and the most wanted... a strangely nameless creature who is "sir" to his face... and "pig", or worse, behind his back.

He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals... so that each will think he won...

But if a policeman is neat he's conceited, if he's careless he's a bum, if he's pleasant he's a flirt, if he's not he's a grouch.

He must make instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer. But if he hurries, he's careless. If he is deliberate, he's lazy. He must be first to an accident... infallible with a diagnosis... he must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and above all be sure the victim goes home without a limp...

...or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun... draw on the run... and hit where it doesn't hurt.

He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age....without damaging his uniform and without being brutal. If you hit him, he's a coward. If he hits you, he's a bully.

A policeman must know everything and not tell. He must know where all of the sin is...

...and not partake.

The policeman, from a single human hair, must be able to describe the crime, the weapon, the criminal.. and tell you where the criminal is hiding. But if he catches the criminal he's lucky... if he doesn't he's a dunce.

If he gets promoted he has political pull. If he doesn't he's a dullard.

The policeman must chase bum leads to a dead end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen, but refuses to remember.

He runs files and writes reports until his eyes ache, to build a case against some felon who will get dealed out by a shameless shamus or an honorable who isn't honorable.

The policeman must be a minister... a social worker... a diplomat... a tough guy... and a gentleman.

And of course he'll have to be a genius...

...because he will have to feed a family on a policeman's salary.

Here it is if you want to hear Mister Harvey speak it...

11 comments:

Brett Allen said...

Wow, that was well said.

I like to see myself as an unbiased look at the facts person.

That's why I respect police officers, and every time one of those police brutality videos pop up, I question the context.

Or if it's an idiot acting stupid, laugh my ass off when he's put in his place.

Or if it was the officer's fault, hope he gets what's coming for making the rest of you look bad.

But I know most people aren't like me, and that makes your jobs one of the hardest I know of.

And that puts it perfectly. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Well I for one, appreciate it that you do what you do, and envy you since I don't have the chance.

Thank you for sharing that with us.

SunTzu said...

Hey, did you remove the comments from the Hey, Idiot post? I got a bunch of responses in my mailbox, but you seem to have removed them from the site after accepting them. Why? Cant take it when everyone thinks your wrong?

Officer "Smith" said...

Nope. Comments are there. By now you should know I really don't care if some folks think I'm wrong. Sometimes I even AM wrong. But sometimes people focus more on the PERCEIVED wrong than on the intent of the post.

Officer "Smith" said...

Oops. I just checked and comments apparently were disabled. I guess you were right SunTzu. I was wrong.

See what I did there?

I was WRONG.

Worried? Nope.

fuzzys dad said...

Thanks for sharing this

Jay said...

Officer S thanks for the post. I think comments like Sun’s only prove how true those words are.
Sun what a tirade. You’re an only child right?

SunTzu said...

Are children in your area well known for writing (decently too, imo!) tirades in their third language? Im envious of your area then!

Smith: Ah, i see. Yes, i didnt think it was like you (or this blog) to see negative or argumentative posts deleted, thats why i got so confused. I knew they were accepted (since they got mailed to me), but then they were removed somehow. Sorry if i reacted a bit harshly, censorship during a "discussion" is one thing i really hate, and thats what set me off.

Thanks for checking, and the apology. Stay safe.

Hey btw, once im already writing, may i ask what holster you use for your sidearm? There's been some grumbling lately in my country about our police not being satisfied with their Safarilands, and they're thinking of switching.

Officer "Smith" said...

SunTzu,

The main problem with this particular forum is the fact that we have to get all of our thoughts, emotions, facial expressions and intonations out in print.

It's impossible to know exactly HOW someone said what they said. And therein lies the proverbial rub...

No harm done.

Officer "Smith" said...

Oh, and I personally use a Safariland SS-III. Those officers who use a weapon mounted light use a Safariland ALS holster.

Officer "Smith" said...

SunTzu,

The main problem with this particular forum is the fact that we have to get all of our thoughts, emotions, facial expressions and intonations out in print.

It's impossible to know exactly HOW someone said what they said. And therein lies the proverbial rub...

No harm done.

Front Porch Society said...

Thanks for sharing this!