Friday, November 1, 2013

On Criticizing the Police...

Before you decide to criticize the police.  Before you Monday morning quarterback a decision made in a split second by a police officer.  Before you suggest that the actions of one police officer are somehow indicative of all police officers.  Before you say police officers are overpaid armed thugs.  Before you say or do anything critical of me or my brothers and sisters in blue, tan, grey, brown or green, you need to acquaint yourself with our jobs.

Not what you THINK our job is.  Not what you've read or seen on television.  Reality.  Come out for a ride along, or ask questions of a police officer.  Familiarize yourself with the law.  Learn about police tactics and why we do what we do.

Even then, you will not have enough information to criticize us for how we do what we do.

I do not tell you how to do your job if I haven't done it before.

Don't tell me how to do mine...

5 comments:

Older School said...

Amen, brother!

Jay said...

Criticize? What's to criticize? I couldn't do the job you do but thank God you can. You're there keeping Chaos from the door. Criticize, no way but thank you then definitely yes and whatever they are paying you it’s not enough.
So Thanks. Thanks for helping to hold our communities together, thanks for facing situations most of us couldn’t and thanks for the load you carry on our behalf.
You are owed a lot more but a thank you is the very least we can give.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Sir,
Are you a peace officer, or are you a POLICE officer?

I have enough LEO relatives, past or current, to staff a small police department. Yes, I think I may know just a little bit about the job.

Most of my relatives are peace officers. A few are badge heavy assholes.

I will agree we, the general public, and the members of the "press", are far to quick to judge.

Mutarjim said...

As an active-duty Soldier, I get where you're coming from. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you and help you in many of your fights. But I think you may have reached a touch too far with your "you are not allowed to criticize" post. You have to suffer criticism if you want to improve. You have to have a thick enough skin to deal through the occasional challenge. And most of all, you have to be realistic enough to understand that there are some cops who ARE overpaid, armed thugs.

Does that mean you specifically need criticism? No (and in fact, I enjoy reading your blog and on that merit alone, I think highly of you). But you should be willing to accept that in every group - law enforcement, military, medical, etc., there are going to be bad apples. And those people should be held accountable, much less criticized by both their peers and the general public.

I learned a long time ago that you should never group everyone together. If you hear me say ‘all’ of one group is some (blank), that will be a first. And I get that many people can’t separate the problematic individuals from the group as a whole. But you shouldn’t just try and claim blanket immunity from all criticism. I don’t need to have been in law enforcement to know that Gerald David Webber*, Timothy H. Jones**, and Robert Lellock*** are all scumbags – as an example.

*http://piratenews.org/tortured-by-copsters-in-tn.html
**http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/ex-cop-accused-of-telling-dwi-suspect-he-d-skip/article_5de55ea0-cf3e-11e0-aab0-001a4bcf6878.html
***http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4926847-74/lellock-district-police#axzz2iYL2pNxe

Officer "Smith" said...

Mutarjim,

You might want to take the quotation marks off your comment. Nowhere did I say "you are not allowed to criticize". I simply said that people need to acquaint themselves with our job before they criticize us.

I don't criticize my doctor, because I have no medical degree. Although I could post numerous links to malpractice stories, I do not think all doctors are incompetent.

I don't criticize electricians, because I won't touch a high voltage circuit. I could also post a number of links to stories about electrical fires, but I don't think all electricians are idiots.

I don't assume all service members are rapists, sadists or rampaging murderers just because of the news coverage of a select few, even though I have been a service member myself.

I can take criticism without a problem. The problem arises when someone says I'm corrupt, or any number of other terms, simply because of the badge I wear.

Without a clue about reality. Without any knowledge of who I am. Having never met me and not knowing a thing about me. Just a blanket statement that because they believe all cops are crooked, I must be too.

The only statement about "blanket immunity from all criticism" has been yours. Do not put words in my proverbial mouth. Criticize away, but you had better be able to back it up with articulable facts.

Read the post again if you need to.