Does The Public Expect Perfection Out of Police?

I get messages like these every once in a while.  Although not as much as one would expect.  Yes, I know… If I am going to be public with my life, I should expect these.  Moving on.  First, the professor in me wants to mark up the horrendous grammar.  But it’s a legit question.  What is my answer to those who call us out on our profession’s transgressions?  I call it like it is.  It’s human.  Until the day comes when droids take over policing, cops will forever be in the crossfires of scrutiny and judgement.  We were perfectly made imperfect.  To exist among our own free will.  To live with our actions and their consequences.

People make mistakes.  And in our line of work, we try to minimize those mistakes as much as possible.  I honestly believe mistakes are forgivable.  Then there are actions by some in our profession that can’t go unnoticed.   The blatant, embarrassing stuff.  There is just no room for that.  Fortunately those embarrassing officers make up a very small percentage out of this profession where a vast number of those who make up the majority do it in a noble, valuable fashion.  I’ve always said that If those officers were jerks before they were hired, they become even bigger jerks after they get hired.  Unfortunately, the ones that slip through the cracks are going to exist.  The background process is subject to human error.

So to those who are frustrated with the jerks in our profession, we get it! We agree with you!  But please, PLEASE, don’t label our ENTIRE profession based on the actions of a few.  The negative stuff is what sells on the news.  They don’t ever post news stories of the good stuff cops do every day.  Why?  Because it’s expected.  It’s every day.  It’s not going to sell the news.  It’s a sad reality, but its the truth.

It’s easy to get defensive when someone labels you a cop who abuses power.  But consider the source.  Do you give much credence to those who label an entire race based on the actions of a few?  No right?  So you shouldn’t give too much credit to the one who is doing it to an entire profession.  Simply ignore it and keep doing the excellent work you are doing.  But if you should so feel compelled to develop a dialogue and try to answer the question, remind that individual that we are human.  We have human feelings and human emotions and we are subject to the same mistakes that they themselves have made and will make.

I’d love to know your thoughts.  Drop your comment below or message me on Facebook and Instagram at @911strong.

One Reply to “Does The Public Expect Perfection Out of Police?”

  1. Honestly I think a big part of are job is managing expectations. Frankly, some of the expectations the public may have of us are unreasonable or unattainable. So, we have to do our best to offset the negative perceptions by providing exceptional customer service. We have to have a high emotional intelligence and adopt a guardian mindset.
    Unfortunately we have lost our legitimacy in the last few years because of the poor actions of the few and irrational rhetoric from a small number of people that have a disdain for law enforcement in general.

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