"As law enforcement officers, we are rightly expected to recognize and honor the sanctity of life- all life. we do so every day in every corner of this country as we patrol and attempt to preserve order and the rule of law in some of the poorest and most decaying neighborhoods, wading through the festering toxic stew created by the elected officials, who have exploited and failed the least advantaged among us for generations. We do so every day, anonymously, and sometimes heroically, despite millions and millions of public contacts every year." (Chuck Canterbury/Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police)
Police officers see it all. The good, bad, and ugly of humanity. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Police officers do it all. One of their jobs is picking up and trying to salvage the detritus left behind in " festering toxic stew" created by politicians and bureaucrats.
Police officers patrol slums and ghettos, the symbolic walled off communities, created by bad public policies.
Cops are left to clean up the messes officials continually leave in their wake of wrack and ruin.
During this election cycle, the news media constantly reports on anger festering in America. Most of this anger supposedly comes from disenchanted white people, many labeled as racist.
If you want to see and experience anger, real anger, festering anger, dangerous anger, simmering anger, spend time in your city's disadvantaged areas. Not just a few hours. Do it day after day. Interact with people, if they will allow it. The anger may not be manifested, but it will be felt.
Anger is a humming undercurrent running through impoverished areas.
This anger, bubbling on the back of the stove, is always waiting to boil over. It is not aimed at police because they are the police. It is aimed at what the police represent. The establishment. The government. The officials who keep people poor, dependent, and barely surviving.
It is the police officer's job to keep the lid on that simmering pot of anger. Keep it from boiling over. When it does boil over, it is the cop's job to clean up the mess. You will not see aldermen, activists, mayors, legislators, or even presidents cleaning up their own messes. They leave that for the cops, society's janitors.
There was a line in a movie about Navy SEALS that perfectly fits the job of a police officer. "If it doesn't suck, we don't do it."
There is talk about police reform, criminal justice reform, and other reforms wending their way through the political and bureaucratic streams. It is all nonsense. There will be no reform. Just new policies and procedures.
No one can obey policies and procedures designed to fail.
If you want police reform or any other societal reform, all of us have to recognize the need for socioeconomic reform. Not social engineering, which failed. Not more poverty programs, which keep people in poverty. Not more safety nets which save no one.
If you want law and order then you have to create an orderly society. The root cause of crime and social deviance is poverty. The root cause of violence is crime. If poverty is mitigated crime and social deviance will drop precipitously.
Gun control, more cops, kinder and gentler cops, supposed anti-violence programs, useless conversations about race, and other creations from the febrile minds of experts with no expertise will not change one thing.
The poor will always be with us. That is a truism as old as mankind. That does not mean there should be an ever growing population of people living at or below the poverty line.
Urban renewal was supposed to change impoverished areas by eliminating blight and bringing in economic development. All that tax money was wasted on urban destruction, leaving devastation in its wake.
People, of all races and class, should be demanding the renewal part of urban renewal. Bring economic development dollars to impoverished areas. Give people hope and a shot at opportunity.
True freedom is the ability to to have food, shelter, clothing, the basic needs of mankind, and the mobility to move up the economic ladder and out of disadvantaged areas.
The longer masses of people are are kept in dehumanizing poverty, the longer the police will have to keep the lid on that bubbling pot just waiting to boil over. There will be deeper anger, resentment, and an air of simmering violence.
Cops know this. They do everything in their power to control that bubbling anger. Day after day through millions upon millions of contacts and interactions with people living in distress.
Cops know their job is adversarial. Someone has to be the adversary, the bad guy. It will not be the politicians and bureaucrats who create misery. They must be looked upon as the good guys.
Cops know that continuing failed policies is not an option. That dangerous anger will not only boil over but explode, causing mayhem, murder, and destruction.
Here is an idea. Have veteran police officers who spent years dealing with the"festering toxic stew created by the elected officials," create policies to improve people's lives. Politicians, academics, bureaucrats, and other experts with no expertise, "have exploited and failed the least advantaged among us for generations".
Cops have to think on their feet. They have to be able to spin on a dime. Cops make hundreds of millions of common sense decisions daily. Simple solutions for problems made complex by people who have no experience.
Ask cops what needs to be done. Their solutions may surprise you you. They may even make you second guess the supposed smartest politicians, bureaucrats, and experts with their fancy meaningless Ivy League degrees.
Cops become experts on life, society, and humanity through experience and interaction. If you want solutions, life experience trumps fake expertise every time. Cops cannot fake it. They live or die by what they know and do every day.
Ask yourself this. How often have politicians, bureaucrats, or alleged experts, spent time living, interacting, and making large numbers of personal contacts with disadvantaged people on a daily basis? Where exactly does there expertise come from?
You should already know the answer to that.
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