Quote of the Day – 2011-07-01

I know I’ve been doing a lot of these lately, but I just haven’t been feeling very bloggy. Anyway, today’s QOTD comes from McThag (who has also been added to the blogroll), talking about something he saw in the comments to this post at Robb’s blog. It’s a textbook perfect response to the dismayingly common claim by police that “if you haven’t been a cop for 20 years you couldn’t possibly understand what it is that we do”.

Officer, since you haven’t been an everyday citizen for the last 20 years, I am entirely certain you’ve forgotten what it’s like and cannot understand why I might react the way I do.

The “Us vs. Them” attitude in police forces is becoming distressingly widespread. As I noted at Robb’s, I work with police officers on a regular basis, and I can see this attitude even in the ones I consider friendly and good people. Even when there is not an overtly suspicious or adversarial attitude, there is always an aloofness and a wariness. They have been engrained with the belief that every non-cop around them is a potential criminal and a potential threat. This attitude communicates itself to others, and combined with the power they hold instills in the ordinary citizens around them a fear that should not be.

They are not “everyday citizens” anymore. They are a separate, elite, legally protected class, and they have been trained to act as such.

This wall of separation must be torn down, before it’s too late to do so. The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. This must be brought reality, or we are truly doomed.


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