Dealing with death - One cop's perspective

There's a weird thing about police work.  It never stops.Like never?Never.While some officers work smaller areas, towns, cities, or middle of nowhere, there is still something to do.  Calls to be handled, complaints to be listened to, reports to be filed.  Always something needing to be done or someone needing something. As you move into larger cities or municipalities or departments the shift seems to go from things needing to be done to things needing to be done NOW.Traffic crashes, burglaries, crime scenes, stolen car recoveries, complaints and reports as usual and then, as population density increases so does violent crime.  Seems that the closer and denser people are to each other, the more the violence potential increases.  Sprinkle in low employment, poor services, deserts of all types, and you have created society's powder keg of violence.And with violence comes death.  And usually violent deaths.Any cop who has handled a murder scene, or their first dead body, they…

The noble burden of police work

Sun Tzu said it is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.
Robert Peel, in his 7th of 9 Principles of Law Enforcement, wrote that "the police are the public and the public are the police".  Referring to that notion as having been a historic tradition of policing itself.
The knights of England, and many other countries, were trained in war and worked in other pursuits during peace time.
So what is, or what has become, modern day policing?
Is it viral videos of entire departments dancing or doing the newest online trend?  Is it that sneaky video a citizen took as an officer does some sort of mundane task for another like tying a tie or helping change a tire?  Is it officers running their department's twitter or social media feeds to inform the citizenry of traffic incidents, crime, or other things?  
Or is it more of what someone may deem as nefarious?
Is it that officer not properly using the authority given to them by the people they swore to serve?…

What is the "Thin Blue Line"?

There are American flags with a blue line down the middle.  Or the flags of other nations modified to show the blue line.City flags with blue lines down the middle. T-shirts espousing that the blue line will be defended.Spartan helmets and the infamous Punisher skull with a blue line on them.When a cop is killed profile pictures change and a blue line runs across the photo.So what is the "Thin Blue Line"?  Is it a symbol of white supremacy and an alt-right movement?  A symbol of a code of silence where a cop can get away with everything under the sun and never have anything happen to them because no other cop will say anything?Or something more poetic.  Perhaps a recognition that police are the ones that figuratively, and at times literally, separate normal citizenry from the evil that lurks within their fellow man?  As the idea that George Orwell so plainly put forth: people sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men and women stand ready to do violence on th…

Why police use of force never looks pretty

So there you are, minding your own business when you see a squad car pull over a car.  It looks random but innocuous. Suddenly the police are jumping out, guns pointed and another squad pulls up.  They all fan out around the car, one shouts about crossfire while 3 others go directly to a passenger door and immediately the occupant is pulled out.  You hear the occupant start screaming they didn't do anything and see them try to pull away.  There are 3 officers all struggling to keep his hands on the roof of the car and him from running.Suddenly an officer yells something, and the 3 officers move in closer.  They tell him to relax, stop resisting, stop moving.  Suddenly the crowd starts shouting to leave him alone, that this is harassment and illegal.  But then one of the officers turns around holding a gun they just pulled from the occupants waistband and then other 2 put him in cuffs.  You realize the occupant was armed.  You originally saw 3 officers pinning a person against the …

Why the question "How ya feeling?" Is a bad question to ask a cop

Like most cops I'm pretty guarded.  I was like that before getting on the job and it isn't about to change now, and if anything I'm even more so.  Working as a cop we see a bit more of the sadness, despair, and destruction that people cause to each other.  Our fellow first responders on the fire and EMS side also do and can relate.So why is it a bad idea to ask a cop "How ya feeling?" or even "How ya doing?"?It's a pretty normal thing to ask someone right?  I mean we all ask each at the station when processing an arrest or during the few minute lull before the bosses walk in at roll call.  But why is it a bad question?Because every cop has an answer."Fine."Now, outside of law enforcement it's a standard, and probably correct, answer.  But to a cop it can carry a different meaning.  A "fine" can mean "eh, I'm tired but it's my Friday" or "my wife and kids are pissing me off" or "I just handled …