Police are never popular. Their job is to find and deal with bad people at their worst moments. The police deal with the violent and crazy people all day long, and naturally become very harsh and jaded because of that. The police are not nice, friendly, or polite. If they started the job that way, it would quickly be eliminated by the grind of police work. Imagine if you had to deal with people all day long everyday who yelled, spit on, insulted, and assaulted you. People that were drunk or strung out on meth, people that are willing to rob, rape, and murder. You would probably have a pretty dim view of people too. This means police officers are nearly universally disliked.
The job that police do is incredibly important. Most people are decent and law abiding, but there’s a sizable percentage of the population that is not. There are people that just don’t care about if they hurt others. People that rape, rob, and murder others. I am grateful that there are individuals in our society willing to volunteer to stand and defend the good people from the bad ones.
The police have to deal with bad people that are willing to use very high levels of violence against them if it means that they can get away. The police have to deal with these people often multiple times a day every day through careers that span 30 to 40 years. A police officer can never be in a fair fight, every time a police officer has a confrontation with someone that police officer risks getting seriously injured or killed. A police officer absolutely must bring far higher levels of violence to a confrontation than her adversary.
If a police officer has a 5% chance of getting seriously hurt or killed every time they make an arrest, most police officers would be dead within their first couple of years. Police officers must reduce their risk by bringing maximum force to each situation. Police officers need to be trained to use pepper spray, batons and firearms to immediately end any confrontation they find themselves in. Police officers need to use violence in a group focused against a single individual in order to further reduce their risk.
For a police officer to survive their career into retirement, they need to reduce their risk in each confrontation to zero. That means they need to work as a group to subdue suspects, and if a person is using any sort of weapon, the police officer needs the option to use deadly force. This means that there would be many videos on social media showing police in situations that look like they are going way over the top. We as a society need to accept that police officer should always be given the benefit of the doubt, and that we should expect that a police officer is going to use a much higher level of force than the minimum necessary to subdue a suspect.
Remember when soldiers coming home from Vietnam were spit on and screamed at by protesters? People now all universally pretty much say they support the troops even if they disagree with wars that the troops have been commanded to fight. I think people need to look at police officers in the same way. You might disagree with some of the laws in the country, but you should always support the police who defend you and those laws.
Police officers need to inspire fear in the population that they police. If criminals are not afraid of police officers, and the criminals are far more likely to use violence against police officers to escape. That would lead to the deaths of far more police officers than we have currently. Beyond that, it would mean that criminals would be much more comfortable in hurting the rest of us decent people in society.
Being a police officer is a thankless job most of the time and they don’t even get paid that well to compensate for this. If we didn’t have police officers, I think we all very quickly would see how enormously valuable they are to our society.
We should always allow police officers to defend themselves. Remember police officers need to bring a much higher level of violence than the criminal or over time that police officer is very likely to be killed. We also need to keep in mind that it’s easy to sit and be an armchair quarterback after the fact, but often in situations that are intense and fast moving and very violent, a police officer may use more force than we may think is necessary.
If a police officer is incompetent, that police officer should be fired quickly. Police should not be allowed to have unions, because unions often end up protecting bad apples. Police officers should have elected officials who can hire and fire them. If a police officer goes overboard and uses too much force in making an arrest, that police officer should be held accountable in terms of losing their job, but should not be criminally prosecuted in most all cases. The exceptions to this would be corruption or if a police officer goes way beyond any sane response such as shooting a person under arrest who is in handcuffs and not fighting.
If a person refuses to follow the commands of a police officer, the police officer should be given broad leeway to use all force necessary to bring that person under control. If criminals know that a police officer is constrained in her responses, criminals will be far more likely to assault, hurt, or kill police officers while trying to get away.
If we ask police officers to stop illegal protests, we must support them if they need to use force to stop the protest. If we as a nation want to allow more protests, we need to pass laws allowing for them… And then not require police to attend. It is completely wrong of us to ask police to attend a protest and keep it peaceful, but then not give them the ability to use the force they need to use to do so. Many police officers were hurt or even killed at both the right wing Capitol protest, and at left wing BLM protests over this last year. Police officers should never be afraid of using force to protect themselves and our fellow citizens.
It is even more wrong to watch a 15-second social media clip, and then try to make a judgment about whether or not the police used appropriate force. Remember the police are in these situations for many hours at a time, and are often subject to high levels of abuse throughout these periods.
We all need to be extremely supportive of police officers because of police officers realized they don’t have our support, they will no longer stand between us and criminals. When the criminals realize the police will no longer enforce the law, you will see crime spike through the roof. You will not feel safe walking down the street, your friends and relatives will be raped or killed or robbed frequently.
Do not pass laws that you do not want police officers to actually enforce using violence. People often hear of a problem and think to themselves, “The government should solve that.” But remember police officers are employees of the government and are expected to enforce those laws. So think carefully before you pass any new laws or allow old laws to continue to exist. You should expect any law on the books to be enforced with maximum violence if necessary.
People also say they do not like the “militarization” of police. Remember though that police need to bring far higher levels of force to each confrontation than a suspect can bring. In the United States, we allow private individuals to own assault rifles and other powerful weapons. The police need to have significantly more powerful weapons and better tactics than criminals who may wield these weapons.
When I hurt my knee and spent two weeks in the hospital, I had spent a lot of that time watching hundreds and hundreds of videos of police shootings and other police encounters with drug addicts and criminals. In almost every case, I was very impressed by the restraint the police officers used. If I had been in the same situation, I would have reacted with much higher levels of force much more quickly. Some of the most impressive videos were those in which a suspect had been shooting at a police officer in a gunfight, then within seconds of the police officer shooting the suspect, the police officer is rendering first aid to try and save that person’s life… Even though that person just finished trying to kill the police officer. What would you do in that situation?
Imagine if one or two bad apples in your profession made everyone in your country suspicious of and dislike everyone in your profession. Many people are doing this to the police. Hatred for police as a profession has never been higher. This is just raw prejudice and it is completely wrong.
We should all be much more grateful to the police for their service to us. We should understand they have some of the most difficult jobs that no one else would want to do. We should give them the freedom and the space to do their jobs in a way that maintains our safety and their own safety.