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'only ones', corruption, dangerous, dysfunction, Gestapo, law enforcement interaction

Officer Safety

FIRST, let me state I come from a family with a proud law enforcement background.  I wanted to become a peace officer, but my physical disabilities kept me from so doing.  I still went ahead and got the requisite college education in the field.  I’ve great respect for the law enforcement community.

I just read Kent’s ‘Hooligan Libertarian’ Blog.  I like the guy.  Sometimes he tweaks my libertarian soul; other times, he concerns me.  Like today’s post.

Today, he writes about what he calls ‘the bogus concept of officer safety’.  He then proceeds to enumerate a number of circumstances wherein law enforcement had intimidated, harassed and abused their authority against the hapless citizenry.

If you’ve read my blog, you know I, too, don’t condone abuse by any officer ‘under color of authority’.  But while there are many reported circumstances of such abuse, this doesn’t mean all law enforcement are criminal miscreants who take advantage of their positions of power.  I am certain the vast majority of cops are hard working, dedicated, and just as horrified at these abuses as the citizenry.

The Thin Blue Line represents governmental authority at it’s best.  Or at it’s worst.  Because they are right there, on the street, where the action takes place.  Not in some ivory tower administrative office making rules-of-engagement indecipherable by the rank-and-file.  And, just like our military, they deserve the best protection possible.

Not all street cops are jack-booted-thugs!  But, some are.

And they represent the idea of The Republic’s government, up close and personal.  Let’s support them as best we can, and weed out the abusive criminals.

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About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

15 thoughts on “Officer Safety

  1. I am certain the vast majority of cops are hard working, dedicated, and just as horrified at these abuses as the citizenry.

    I’m sure there are cops like that, especially in smaller departments where corruption is less likely to become part of the institution. Vast majority? Let’s put it another way. The vast majority of cops are probably hard working and dedicated. But if they’re ‘horrified at these abuses,’ they pass up one opportunity after another to prove it.

    The thing that upsets me about corrupt and/or brutal cops isn’t the ones committing the offenses. Human nature makes them inevitable. But it’s the majority of cops who consent, over and over, to the “bad apples” being protected from the consequences of their actions, if only through their silence. It’s the majority that permit and encourage their unions to spend their money lobbying for “police officer bills of rights” in one state after another, making it impossible for the cops who give all cops a bad name from getting what they deserve. And so the majority can bloody well share in the opprobrium.

    Police officers like to be seen as heroes, the elite among men. I’d happily grant them that if they’d act like it. But elites are held to higher standards, not lower. You don’t get to just decree it for yourself; you have to earn it.

    Posted by Joel | October 23, 2012, 12:43 pm
    • Of course, we may debate the actual numbers. But I do agree with the concept respect is to be earned.
      And, it does seem to be getting more difficult.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | October 23, 2012, 3:28 pm
    • I need to agree. I was actually actually accepted into that “club” ( was in the top half of my academy class ) and then the REAL education began. It is clearly a world in which if the worst offenders in the club can be hidden,or excused away when the offender’s DEPARTMENT is the INVESTIGATOR and has an interest in clearing one of their own instead of “discovering” the truth, then the department has what they feel is a appearance of integrity , when in fact all that was done was a cover up, and the public is the loser ( at their expense $$$$ ) . I left when it became clear that I could not play ball in a fixed game. IF you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. DO NOT COVER FOR A BAD COP.

      Posted by cowboy | October 23, 2012, 4:08 pm
  2. You know how everyone says “if only SOME Muslims are violent, why don’t the ‘peaceful’ ones speak out about it?” Well, same standard applies here. If only one good cop stands by while some badge-toting Neanderthal bullies another citizen, then that makes TWO badge-toting Neanderthals. Unfortunately, my town has a department seemingly intent on insuring that everyone is scared of them – and now, with all the people being shot by the PD and state troopers (on average, one per month) there’s good reason to be.

    Posted by Rev. Paul | October 23, 2012, 1:02 pm
    • Sadly, there does seem to be more police shootings, nationwide. And with the self-protective Thin Blue Line, going after the neanderthals is complex and difficult.
      The local sheriff here runs a department rife with civil lawsuit losses over abuse and death-but he keeps getting re-elected.
      I’m not suggesting LE are all saints, but rather that the abuse is a complex problem, and that painting them all with a broad brush doesn’t help.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | October 23, 2012, 3:32 pm
      • No, I didn’t think you were suggesting that LE are all saints. Clearly they’re not, and they shouldn’t be: A saint couldn’t do the job. But I fail to see what’s so complex about the situation.

        Here’s the deal. Cops operate in an environment filled with temptations. Lose your temper and clock somebody who “deserves” it. Get scared while subduing some big perp, and give him a good swift kick just because the adrenaline’s flowing. Shoot somebody who’s got something in his hand that “might” be a gun. Take a payoff to look the other way, when the alternative might be a knife in the dark – which becomes demand a payoff just because you can. Temptations are really pretty simple. And understandable. Sooner or later any ordinary man will succumb to them, unless his organization provides a counterenvironment which forbids it – unless he is held to a standard which says, “We are the elite, and if you want to work here you will behave accordingly. Because if you don’t, we will throw you out. But if you do and it gets you killed, we will let the whole world know what a hero you were and your family will be cared for.” Which is something police departments across this country have always claimed, and never provided. Or rarely, anyway.

        And that’s why “officer safety is paramount” is so insidious as a policy, Guffaw. When “officer safety is paramount,” you can justify just about any behavior. It’s like the Commerce Clause that way. Hey, not matter what, I’m going home at the end of my shift. Oh God, Guffaw. The sins that have been committed in the name of that statement.

        You’ve got to ask yourself: What is the purpose of a police department, and when does it become self-defeating?

        Posted by Joel | October 23, 2012, 4:13 pm
      • What is the purpose of a police department, and when does it become self-defeating?

        So what is the alternative?

        Perhaps I’m still child-like in my thinking, but I believe persons of character can take oaths and hold to them and do their jobs.
        We do need to better police the police. And keep them from growth-by-bean counter.

        On a personal note, I really appreciate your input, but I’m even more depressed, now!

        Posted by guffaw1952 | October 23, 2012, 4:50 pm
  3. Some problems with that, Guffaw. One is the very well documented growth of the police state all over the country, and indeed all over the world. That’s not just a fluke or a temporary inconvenience, but reality that can’t be ignored rationally.

    Second is also well documented.
    Why Firing a Bad Cop Is Damn Near Impossible
    A brief history of the “law enforcement bill of rights”

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/19/how-special-rights-for-law-enforcement-m

    Third is the very real fact that all police, just as with all “governments” are paid for with stolen goods, with or without the approval of the people who are paying for them.

    And, last but not least, is the well documented fact that no “law enforcement” organization or individual is in any way, shape or form responsible for the protection of any person. The supreme court has even ruled on the subject, so it is official that police of any kind have zero obligation to actually protect anyone. That is not their function and it would be impossible for them to even pretend to do so since they cannot possibly be where needed more than a vanishingly small fraction of the time.

    So, even if there are many “cops” with wonderful attitudes and the best of motives, their presence has little or nothing to do with protecting people or preventing crime. The best they can do is clean up afterwards.

    Oh, and the stupid “war” on drugs and guns provide most of their negative publicity. They might all repair their image a great deal if they would work hard to end even those two insanities.

    Posted by MamaLiberty | October 23, 2012, 1:03 pm
    • I, too, am concerned over the growth of the police state. I’ve written numerous times about that in these pages. And I don’t believes LE deserves a special bill of rights, anymore than anyone else does. Equal protection is a major plank of the Constitution. And I know the police have no obligation to protect anyone. That’s one reason I own and carry a firearm. This is not Minority Report – they can’t arrest before the crime. Their job is to take the report and draw the chalk line.
      I do completely agree with you regarding the so-called war on drugs.
      But, if we are to have an organized society, in this case a constitutional Republic, where do we draw the line? In a libertarian utopia, people will be responsible for their own actions and civil to each other. Police and courts would not be necessary.
      The issue of stolen goods paying for government is to involved for this particular post.
      I do greatly appreciate your input!

      Posted by guffaw1952 | October 23, 2012, 3:48 pm
      • “But, if we are to have an organized society, in this case a constitutional Republic, where do we draw the line?”

        I draw the line at theft, at the use of force without personal and organizational responsibility for the consequences. I draw the line at some people having power over other people and not answering to the same law of non-aggression as the rest of us.

        If people wish to hire others to defend them or their property, no problem. They should not be able to steal from their neighbors to pay for it, and they should be personally liable for any aggression or theft committed by their hirelings.

        There is a world of difference between that and the privileged class of enforcers who’s only real purpose is to maintain the status quo of the political and corporate pampered princes who are working so hard to destroy what little we have left of liberty and justice.

        I have personal family history with this insanity, so I hope you’ll forgive my strong words on the subject.

        Posted by MamaLiberty | October 24, 2012, 4:09 am
      • No asking forgiveness necessary. No forgiveness required.
        I appreciate your enthusiasm and courage.
        I sense we think in the same direction, but you are more libertarian than I.
        My apology for the inadequate label.

        Posted by guffaw1952 | October 24, 2012, 7:49 am
  4. That’s why God made Firemen – – cops need heros to look up to.

    That’s just my standard pokin’ fun at PD line. The reality was if us fire guys ever got bad press, we would have to wait for PD to screw up and take the heat off.
    If County got hit with bad press, it was win/win for the city workers.
    (and with Sheriff Joe, that never took more than a couple months)
    5 years after 9-11-01, you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting someone who worked for Dept of FatherLand, er,… Homeland Security. Don’t expect the bean counters to eliminate ANY of those spots in our lifetime.

    ps – It’s as hard or harder to fire a bad fireman than it is a bad cop. Way too many places to hide them out of sight and mind of nosy reporters.

    Posted by Retired FFMedic | October 23, 2012, 4:02 pm
  5. If I was too wishy-washy or bland to “concern” people, I would be ashamed of myself. ;)

    Posted by kentmcmanigal | October 24, 2012, 7:45 pm

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