Cops : what do we pay them for?

We keep hearing about people being shot by police.  Usually we hear about these shootings because the person shot was black, and the immediate response by the civil rights people and press is that he was shot because he was black.  This does  happen.

Yes, there are “some” cops who will shoot just because the suspect is black.  He might feel threatened by the person’s skin color, as he expects blacks to be violent felons.  He might not have been well trained, with little continuing training, in the first place.

Some Law Enforcement departments have rather intensive training, continuous, on the “use of force policy”.  Sometimes they use projected images of confrontations where the person being tested shoots at a projection screen.  Some use a version of paintball bullets that allows them to use their service weapon.  There are many different ways and you can find some of them displayed on youtube.  The nearest I have seen of this is that, when we were doing Security Police Qualification Course (SPQC) you would run in place for 30 or 40 seconds, or until you were breathing heavily.  This was an attempt to simulate the effect of an adrenaline rush in the blood.  The heavy breathing would play hell with your aim, as you tried to control your breathes in order to steady your arms..

The average Law Enforcement officer will, statistically, never fire his weapon off the firing range but, others might never know when it is going to be required.  It could happen on-duty, or off-duty as some departments view cops as always cops and so are required to carry a weapon at all times.

Years ago, there was a book called “Deadly Routine” which explained that sometime the officer’s duties, such as traffic stops, get to be so routine that they get careless and might not see the signs of danger until it is too late.

When an officer pulls over a vehicle, even for just speeding, he does not know if that person will just accept the ticket, argue over the ticket, or be a felon who pulls a weapon.  NO CALL is SAFE, and each situation may bring danger.  Arresting a husband, in a domestic fight, could result in the officer being attacked by the victim.  Cops chasing down a hit and run driver, who happened to be black, have been attacked by people who just saw what they assumed was the officers as attacking a man, for no reason they saw, for simply being black..

We could not pay them enough to do all the jobs we expect of them.  In addition to enforcing the law, knowing which laws would apply, being considerate of our constitutional rights, dealing with homeless people, people with mental problems, people with physical limitations, such as being deaf, or even people who do not speak English, and we expect them to do this in an environment where someone will decide that the officer did something wrong.

Take this situation:  a man is seen crawling into the window of a house, and reported by neighbors as a possible burglar.  Police arrive and enter the house, where they find a black male who refuses to identify himself and loudly accused them of racial profiling,so they arrest him for “disorderly conduct”. He turned out to be a Harvard Professor.  President Obama even got into the act by, while admitting that he did not know the particular facts, accusing the Police Sargent of “racial profiling” and “acting stupidly”.  Thus proving himself guilty of the very things he had accused the white Sargent of…

Mistakes happen and we expect the officer to know when to pursue a course of action and when to back off, all the while knowing that any mistake he makes is bound to be interpreted as “abuse of authority”.

Thanks,

That Joe Guy.

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