One of the most difficult challenges in my life was enduring the police academy and its rigorous demands toward graduation. And I would do it all over again, without reservation.
Others harbor the same notion and conviction to serve their respective communities. Academy classes commence, badges are pinned at graduations, and newly-certified law enforcement officers swear their oath to public safety and service…despite the anti-police drivel and the unreported feats accomplished by our nation’s police cadets being conferred the proverbial rite of passage.
Moreover, already-sworn active-duty cops are unflinchingly stepping up and doing their duty in myriad ways—also mostly unreported, other than police support-oriented sites offering deserved kudos to the brave and courageous souls who selflessly give and ask for nothing in return. Not even decency when indecent mopes blather and spittle in their face.
Ever notice that heroes are often the most quiet, reserved individuals who merely wish to do what is expected of them…without fanfare and limelight?
Well, they each deserve their own sunshine to illuminate all they give to humanity. And we intend to flick a Bic lighter’s power to the wick.
Rather continuously, I’ve observed academy classes starting up left and right. Many young (and some chronologically more mature folks commencing a second career) are heeding the call to help mitigate the oft-reported shortage in police officer recruits. Indeed, many say “Who would want to in such an anti-police climate?” Like every two-sided coin, others’ mindsets feel magnetized by doing good and the incessant squawks of naysayers.
When the country is seemingly under attack —even from within— brave Americans step up, sidestep away from relatively comfortable/safe lives, and step in to duty boots with a forward march to mostly- unknown territory and a boatload of what-ifs. We’ve seen such feats immediately after the 9/11 attacks.
Just ask military veterans who enlisted why they did so and what they felt when the floor dropped out and the peaceful easy feeling was wiped with a dirty rag wielded by terrorists with deeply sinister plans.
Yes, right here in our heartland…strife among citizens with differing opinions has come to lambasting the police professionals who stand for law and order, observing lawlessness and disorder. And one can imagine how such dynamics motivate mindsets and catapult folks to get in the fray by joining police academies.
For the NYPD, the anti-cop rhetoric largely supported by Gotham’s political power base (especially a guy named de Blasio) has resulted in unrelenting anarchy and, consequently, a sizeable number of cops departing for better pastures. Lately, the dwindling 35,000 sworn NYPD contingent redeployed its detectives from suits/ties to full uniforms to patrol the streets and handle the enormous flux with diminishing resources. That implies that police reports initiated by patrol officers which are then routed to detectives to see it through are…backburnered. Victims must wait; swift justice is stalled.
Similarly, the Gotham on the west coast, LAPD has announced the “defund the police” barks equated to many millions of dollars slashed from its budget, culminating in the police force not responding to low-priority calls for service and fileting special units. Seems Dallas PD leaned this way (away) earlier this year, also revamping its response protocols by not mobilizing to low-priority calls. And there are other agencies cut off from being able to do the work expected of them while being choked out by hands controlling budgets and ears kowtowing to abolish-the-police antagonists.
And we can eulogize what Virginia has done to policing by enacting Senate Bill 5029, a section of which now forbids law enforcement officers from prohibiting pedestrians from carelessly blocking traffic on public roadways (among other ludicrous measures handcuffing LEOs). Cops can only watch as lives of others are ensnared by the whims of rebel rousers, observantly hoping they tire from posing impediments. (It’s not a bad dream, just bad government…and I’m scratching my head, too.) Someone called it “engineered chaos,” and I concur with that assessment.
Peace Keeper Challenge
With all this widespread malarkey, it speaks volumes about brave hearts who, in the boisterous face of transparent contention and indifferent, willy-nilly baseless hatred, nonetheless seek to be in the battle and on the frontlines…despite being labeled as unwanted stewards of peace in society.
Although reports indicate a decline in enrollment, police academies across the country are at least maintaining modest roles of cadets, with adaptations stemming from COVID-age impositions. My local academies are chock full of excited warriors-in-the-making, with BLETs largely back-to-back.
Persistent negative (erroneous) news stories regarding police work may have an impact on those whose lightbulb moments may be deterred by talk of either diminishing police forces across the country or outright abolishing LEOs. It is understandable to reconsider job markets, no matter what the occupational titling, when outlooks are painted bleakly.
Yet, the “defund the police” movement pushed so hard (perhaps turning aspiring cops away), too hard, in fact, that its composers and propagandists are now conceding their anti-police messaging torpedoed their abilities to grow their powerbase. Hindsight 20/20 in 2020?
And the biggest anti-police proclamations come from the president-elect and his tuning fork veep who echo sour stances on law enforcement, leaving much to be desired by our nation’s roughly 900,000 public safety personnel.
Good ole politicians stirring up witches brew laden with falsities and skewed views over matters in which they hypocritically have zero experience to judge. Judgments! Recent years have been riddled with elected officials maligning cops in myriad oratory venues, effectively encouraging hordes of sheep to simply buy into their vitriolic verbiage—truth be damned.
Kings County Sheriff’s Office Association representative Nate Ferrier coined it well: “It has to do with politicians out of Sacramento, who continue to pass anti-law enforcement laws and have strong anti-law enforcement rhetoric, so as a young person entering [or considering] a career in law enforcement, I would be thinking twice about that, and I think we are seeing it nationwide.”
Although Mr. Ferrier is referring to California state legislation, his west coast perspective can accordingly apply to many other state governments (like Virginia’s bizarre anti-law enforcement legislation mentioned above).
The negative colorization of police work does persist from the mouths of elected parties cozied in safe havens such as city halls, council chambers, and gubernatorial digs, many while enjoying personal security provided by local, county, or state police.
Conversely, we here at the National Police Association can’t be fooled with the folly of anti-cop mouthpieces. We convey the constant litany of positive police work evolving by the hour throughout each day.
As former Lemoore, California police Chief Darrell Smith said regarding the reduction in police academy enrollment, “For every negative story that they portray on the national media scene, I can tell you of a thousand personal stories of astonishing and courageous things that the men and women who protect and serve do on a daily basis, and those narratives aren’t being told.” Right he is, and NPA follows suit in accord with Mr. Smith and many others like him who hold nuggets of good cheer pertaining to robust police work.
(Photo courtesy of the Law Enforcement Academy Tuscaloosa.)
Upstanding individuals with a conscience to do the right thing while oppositionists push to take away their rights as police officers and dehumanize them find the wit and good will in joining and remaining among law enforcement ranks.
As I finish composing this piece, a social media post addressed American cops and offered deserved gratitude after the words “In case you wanted to quit today.”
Indeed, LEOs everywhere deserve not a hair shy of anything other than tributes based in honor and respect.
This reminds me of the utter solidarity I experienced during my police career: When the chips are down, I never felt anything but confidence in the galvanized support from my colleagues. Cops today confront absolute mistreatment and utter disrespect from so many malcontents. Yet their brothers/sisters remind each other what it takes and means to hold the line while matters mete out. Joining such ranks must feel enormously emotional.
To those who excite over lacing up duty boots and belting on a bevy of accoutrements to hopefully get the job done safely…hats off to you and the many standing in the wing behind you.
Incidentally, our cover photo (compliments of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol) depicts Trooper Seth Hudson and his two young daughters, all suited for the ultimate role. Seems these children will follow in dad’s footsteps, symbolizing America’s semblence of constitutional doctrines and freedoms ensured by those who served in the past, paving ways for those serving presently, from whom the torch will be passed generationally.
Indeed, we must hold the line and stand strong, together.