Now I must remove my mask and be identified as one of the gullible, misguided suckers who still believe in the overall noble and self-sacrificing character of police officers. I contend that the Armchair Officers are skeptical, know-it-all, conspiracy theorists who have watched one too many police drama. The Backseat Drivers are pompous windbags who know everything except when to shut up, and they are in that “backseat” for good reason. While I am not so foolish as to suppose that no back-room deal has ever been struck or that no cop has ever truly been a racist, the American people must strike a medium between blind hero worship and burning officers at the stake. A healthy dose of skepticism coupled with a triple dose of humility and respect is just what the doctor ordered. If you don’t enjoy lectures and criticism from outsiders on how to do your job, don’t be a hypocrite by assuming that any work other than yours is cut and dried. Don’t let the fear of being duped cause you to distrust and insult the people who fight vigilantly to keep you safe. But in the end, if you will not be persuaded that all officers aren’t crooks and swindlers, be sure you’re never idiot enough to ask them for help – by your account, they’re likely to steal your money, beat you to death and bury the corpse.
The crux of it is this: “The Police” isn’t some nameless, faceless, monster that exists to misuse power, pervert justice and satisfy its urges in the name of the law. Rather, it is a collection of many names, faces, hearts and souls, with real consciences, morals, and visions of a safer world for their families. Sadly, there are monsters in every field and law enforcement is no exception, but there is no conspiratorial arrangement from top to bottom of any police department, with some secret code of evil to undermine its public oath of ethics. Although the men and women in blue suffer from the same human frailty and limitations as anyone else, may God help you if you judge them based on urban legend, media bias, the rumor mill or that short snippet in the newspaper that had three typos. Remember that when you criticize or accuse “The Police,” you are mainly just casting doubt on good, honest officers who – like you – set out to do their best each day and have no control over anyone but themselves.
Most sincerely, ME