Police have always had their detractors and critics. Typically they consist of people who have been caught doing things they shouldn’t be doing, usually illegal things, usually criminal in nature. It goes with the profession. There has always been that vocal minority who aren’t happy following rules.
However in recent years, some critics have included the very people who rely on the rule of law and order including some prosecutors (Baltimore), mayors (Baltimore), Governors (Missouri), all the up to the Department of Justice. Even President Obama set the tone in July 2009 when he said police who arrested a professor “acted stupidly” before he had the full story.
Since then, respect for authority, and specifically police officers has deteriorated at a quickening pace. The job itself is a dangerous job, as seen recently in Fox Lake, Illinois when police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz (along with many others throughout the country) lost his life in line of duty.
Watch and listen to the officer’s wife and family as she expresses her hurt and pain:
Members of the police department no longer have to deal only with the bad guys, they have to deal with the bureaucracy of government, and contempt from members of the public who rely on those very police officers who’s job it is to protect those people.
Just within the last week, a Florida police officer in Pembroke Pines was refused service when she attempted to order a quick meal at an Arby’s drive-thru. She was told the employee didn’t want to serve her because she was a police officer.
Since then, the officer and the entire Pembroke Pines police department have been shown appreciation from other fast-food restaurants, along with residents, for the outstanding and needed service that police officers provide to the community. A huge ‘thank you’ has been given to the police department.
Imagine a community, or a country without police officers being the thin line between law and order, versus chaos. Police officers need our support, they need as many ‘thank you’s’ as they can get, so they can do their very dangerous jobs. Maybe buy them a cup of coffee, or pick-up their lunch as a ‘thank you’ for what they do.
It’s Labor Day weekend. Many of us are off enjoying the weekend. They’re working to make sure we can enjoy ourselves in a safe and secure manner.
I don’t want to minimize the pain of this family’s loss or deny that the job performed by police officers is dangerous and often unappreciated. But, I also don’t think officers should be idolized or considered above the law.
I am a resident of Naperville and I am not a criminal. But I am a citizen who has questioned policies and procedures of the police department and the city. The result of doing so has been lack of response to my calls, (for which they always blame higher priorities), and not providing any disposition information about how a call was handled. In fact to even obtain the officers name I required to do a FOIA request–which, by the way, isn’t answered in 5 days as it legally should be. I’m lucky if they answer it in a month. Should a resident have to do a FOIA to get a simple answer or is this just the department’s way of lashing out at the person who has made a complaint for something they feel is not important, even though it is against our laws? When I ask the commanders, chief of police or city officials, including the council for answers–they are silent.
Bottom line, police officers are human. They are not perfect. They make errors in judgement and sometimes are downright unethical in their treatment of people. It happens everywhere–even here in Naperville. I feel they should be held to a higher standard because of the position they hold. I feel the same for all city leadership. Sadly they do not meet my expectation.
The outcome of the cumulative negative attitude toward police officers, even from law abiding citizens, is that officers are scrutinized when they have a situation in which they have to draw their weapon and use it. It’s a sad reality that there is a general lack of trust with police. What is the answer? Maybe stronger leadership which requires ethical behavior when dealing with the public would be a good start. Naperville could work on that.