“What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” -heard at a “peaceful” protest in NYC 12-13-14
“Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon” -heard at a “peaceful” protest by the #BlackLivesMatter group in St. Paul Minnesota 8-29-15
I’ve got some pretty thick skin; most cops do. Doing this job long enough will make you relatively immune to name calling, assaults on officers and just general jackwagonery. Still, when the lives of my brother’s and sisters are being threatened by mis-informed, mis-guided and hate filled groups, I feel the need to speak up and do my part in bringing a greater awareness to the problems we face. Even worse is when I see situations where our very own police administrations cow tow to political pressure driven by false narratives; this makes me want to bring greater awareness at twice the volume.
You see, it’s one thing to learn to let such statements (and countless others we hear regularly) roll off your back or throw it back into the gutter from whence it came. But when the battle is brought to you from inside, it can’t be ignored in the same way. No, it must be called out and confronted and those who stand on the thin blue line must band together and hold strong against those who would want to blur a line that should be clearer now than ever before.
An example of this is a recent article I read that speaks of some new training within the LAPD. In this article written by a Kate Mather, that can be read in its entirety and in full context HERE, we see both the bias of those claiming to be journalists and the insufferable force feeding of nonsensical politics and policies being force fed down the mental throats of LAPDs finest. We can tell we’re not getting a fair shake when the August 21st article opens with
The LAPD of the 1970s and ’80s acted as a…occupying force that raided poor neighborhoods and rounded up anyone in sight. Police stormed suspected crack houses, tearing down walls with a tank-like battering ram. Officers of that era were trained to think of themselves as soldiers in a never-ending war on crime.
Yes, Miss Mather, random people were just rounded up for no reason at all; why would anyone want a crackhouse stormed and torn down?; and of course, as long as we stop going after crackheads, crime will come to a glorious end. There will be no need for crime once the police simply leave bad guys alone!
Well again, I don’t expect any less of an opinion disconnected from reality from someone with what looks to be an anti-police agenda. But when I continued on and saw that the new training for LAPD calls for a switch in the mindset of officers from “Warrior” to “Guardian”, I about lost my mind. See here the words of Deputy Chief Bill Scott:
“We were warriors,” Now, he said, officers need to think of themselves as guardians watching over communities — not warriors cracking down on them.
To add insult to injury, Deputy Chief Bill Murphy goes on to add that as a result of this so called “de-escalation” training that:
“If they do everything right, there should be no force,” Murphy said. “If they don’t do everything right, then there will be some serious debriefing.”
Well apparently, the crack house the LAPD needs to tear down belongs whoever is supplying their police administration with what they smoked in order to come up with this fairy tale notion of not just how law enforcement works, but how the world works. I keep looking to see if this article came from The Onion because an officer who works the streets could hardly believe this is actually happening in real life. I really want to give D.C. Murphy the benefit of the doubt, that he’s not disrespecting the many sacrifices made by his officers, up to and including the ultimate sacrifice of giving their very lives in the service of their communities, but this statement continues to baffle me. It would seem to at least insinuate that if any force is necessary for an officer to do their job, they’ve somehow made a mistake.
Yes, there are cops that have abused their power, overused force and have dishonored the badge in some grievous ways; but as we’ve already pointed out that while “Sometimes, We’re Wrong” the overwhelming majority of officers and encounters with officers are honest, safe, and even productive.
Sadly, it is not just LAPD, according to Mather, as she states that Departments across the country are rolling out similar training programs to re-educate their employees on the Warrior vs. Guardian mentality. I, for one, would love to see some aggressive treatment that kills this politically correct cancer before it spreads, weakening cops’ ability to actually do their job, do it safely and make real differences in their communities, because make no mistake: WE ARE AT WAR.
We are at war against evil persons who seek to prey upon the weak, oppress the marginalized, deceive the innocent and use violence to terrorize the peaceful. We are at war against the sleight of hand done with information by irresponsible people operating under the guise of “journalism”. We are at war for the minds and hearts of our children and what is shaping them in our culture. We are at war against those who seek to undermine the very way of life that would see people of all backgrounds prosper. We are not at war with our communities but make no mistake we are at war within and for our communities. How discouraging that some police leadership now attacks us from this angle too.
There are a few key reasons why we need to keep the warrior mindset in law enforcement:
Warrior vs. Guardian creates a conflict where it doesn’t exist
These terms are falsely pitted against one another when in truth they compliment one another. Can we not guard law abiding citizens while fighting against thieves, burglars, rapists and murders who bring the war against our citizens to their doorsteps? Are we not guarding those same citizens when we don the badge and patrol the streets looking to root out those engaging in activities that chip away at the fabric of a good society? Are we failing our citizens when we have to fight, very often quite literally, a battle in this war on evildoing criminals so that they do not have to? A good warrior is a guardian of those he’s sworn to protect. A good guardian serves those around him even if it means a hard fought battle in that never ending war on crime that we all wish didn’t exist, but always will. History has proven it and if you’re an honest reader, you know it.
Confrontation requires strength of mind
“I will fight. I will win. I will go home” is a motto that was drilled into the psyche of all the recruits in my police academy class and in every class I’ve seen since. It is essential to be of a mind that will force the body to keep going when every muscle fiber is begging you to stop. Whether protecting the life of another or fighting for your own, a mind determined to win the fight (not that you go out and pick but that is brought upon you) is essential to victory.
The best way to guard against evildoers is to overcome them.
As I mentioned earlier, the war we are facing in doing our jobs in law enforcement isn’t merely just a reference to the physical aspects sometimes required. It is about building bridges in communities where there has been damaged relationships between the police and the citizens (for any number of reasons), it’s about helping be a part of a city or town in foundational ways for kids so that they see hope and not dismay, it’s about stepping in to say or do what is needed when others cannot or will not. Good police officers do not just merely sit back and wait for a problem, but they work to anticipate them and seek out ways to prevent them or cut them off before they happen. But, when the time comes (and it always comes) every guardian must be ready to put on his helmet, stand with the shield he proudly wears and go to war; and when he does he better go to win, because that’s the mindset it takes.
We are not in this to lose.