It has never been easy to be a police officer; never! A very unusual person is “called” to that type of service to mankind. Sure…there are jerks who wear badges, and I’ve known my share but all-in-all, they are the exception and not the rule. A person called (meaning not just looking for a job) to be a law enforcement officer not only has to be skilled in applying the various laws, but must have the mind-set to “run toward the gun fire” when others are running away. A police officer must not only be acquainted with the finer points of Search and Seizure, traffic regulations and investigations, shoot/don’t shoot situations, but also applying First-Aid, delivering babies, and delivering a death notification on Christmas Eve (not at all easy as you stand outside the front door waiting…). This same kind of officer also must possess a mixture of strength, situational awareness, immediacy to respond, and the ability to withstand thrown bottles, bricks, rocks, and vile words you would think cannot hurt – happening simultaneously among hundreds and thousands of angry people; this would be recently like Ferguson or Baltimore. Then to top it off, the officer must dodge the arrows of political correctness gone amuck, and high command who have given themselves over to elected weak political opportunists. We are still fortunate in our country to have Police Chiefs and Directors who daily remember their sworn oaths, and still live by the statement of “To Serve and Protect.”
The sign above from the Baltimore Police and Fire Fighters is a warning we all should heed! The officers of Baltimore have had enough being thrown under the bus. The law enforcement and firefighting professionals who risk their lives in pitch black ally’s and buildings (except when those buildings are blindingly bright with flames), who risk and suffer more than most citizens can imagine no matter how many cop TV shows they watch, who face Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at alarmingly and historical higher rates, are sending a warning we all should heed! We need these people who choose to wear a badge. We need professional law enforcement officers who not only apply the Rule of Law, but also stand in the gap defending citizens from another’s callous abuse be it a politician or a gangster.
The combined First Responders of Baltimore are sending a clear message with their sign above. I pray people across this exceptional nation will read it, and take the words and feelings behind the words to heart.
LYLE J. RAPACKI, Ph.D.
Protective Intelligence and Assessment Specialist
Consultant at Behavioral Analysis and Threat Assessment
Private-Sector Intelligence Analyst
U.S. Border Intelligence Group
Association For Intelligence Officers
Association of Threat Assessment Specialists – Arizona ATAP
International Association Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts
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