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Perils of Policing

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Perils of Policing

Postby Graeme » Sun 21 Dec 2014 16:54 GMT

Yesterday in New York 2 police officers, on duty, just sitting in their car were gunned down (assassinated) by some moron who then killed himself. 2 hours later a Florida policeman was ambushed and killed by a 'suspect' who is now arrested. Two weeks ago a policeman I have worked with was shot twice while approaching a vehicle, he was gut shot and remains in hospital in serious condition.
The first of these shootings are being tied back into accusations of police brutality although the investigations showed the police acted appropriately and well within the law (2 black males died in separate incidences in the USA, one had tried to choke a policeman and was returning to finish the job when he was shot and killed, the other was resisting arrest, he was a 350 lb tall overweight male who struggled violently and while being held down his heart gave out).
It's a dangerous game there is no doubt but these recent activities have raised policing to a new level. When we are out working we more or less pledge that we will go home at the end of shift no matter what. My on duty job is to make sure my partner gets to go home, if he does I will too. However, we now have to imagine the worst with every encounter, we've raised the vigilance bar almost to the point we are not approachable which was never the point of policing. How do we help the public when we're now in the position of not being able to trust anyone.
As a volunteer I have the ability to just not go out, but it is not in my nature to quit. I work unarmed and have been told I must now work with lethal overview (an armed officer must be with me at all times) which does interfere with some of the work I do but now also raises my level of suspicion. It seems the terrorists think the police are soft targets in the USA, UK and Canada and we would like them to think otherwise.
It is frustrating to think we are being attacked simply because of the uniform we wear. I don't like a nanny state any more than the next guy, but with these morons running around if you remove the police what is to stop the morons simply doing whatever they want. If that want is to take your life, your property or livelihood and there are no police can you stop them?
Sorry if I'm rambling but I'm a little pissed off today. 3 good guys dead for no good reason. Damn!
:brickwall: :soapbox:
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Postby Dave » Sun 21 Dec 2014 20:29 GMT

Kay asked me to speak for both of us as she was too appalled to find the right words. I'm not sure I can either, but here goes.

We feel for you, Graeme, and for all the other public servants in uniform who, as you say, are being targeted for no better reason than that they're public servants in uniform.

Sure, we can wring our hands over the social, cultural or economic ills that lead them to be targeted. Yes, there are cases where individual police or military personnel have behaved unacceptably. But that doesn't make it right to tar the whole service with the same brush. And it sure as hell doesn't make it right to commit acts of random violence, let alone the premeditated murders that the terrorists advocate. The people who willingly put themselves into harm's way for the public good deserve the public's utmost support and admiration for that, and all too often they don't get it.

In the circumstances we realise that it sounds trite to say "Take care" and hollow to say "Stay safe". But you know what we mean, we hope.
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Postby Kay » Mon 22 Dec 2014 18:04 GMT

I really was appalled when I read this, Graeme, and have been thinking about it ever since.

I also wonder how your wife feels about this. In her shoes, I would be very reluctant to support your intention to keep going with your voluntary role. I would want you to quit.

Maybe it's different if it's that which puts bread on the table, but to volunteer to go into the line of fire is beyond the call of duty. If something bad happens to you, she and all the rest of the family will suffer terribly too.

I'll understand if you don't want to discuss the family side of things (especially in public), but my heart goes out to your family as well as to you.
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Postby Graeme » Tue 23 Dec 2014 01:47 GMT

I've been a police volunteer for almost 3 decades having worked as a victim advocate, a regular police officer and now as a volunteer. It's a part of me and one thing that I am reluctant to stop just yet. Just a couple of months ago I was awarded the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal for the time and commitments I have made. I made a promise to myself that I would quit when the time is right, and it isn't quite right yet.
I have discussed it with my wife and really in the backwoods area we live in there is little likelihood of anything this awful happening to me. I have access to a shotgun if the sh*t hits the fan, I carry OC spray, an extendable baton and wear a soft body armour so all being well I will be fine (and I'm insured).
I was mainly mad that these young cops were gunned down simply because they were wearing the uniform, they were not actively engaged with the perp or on a call, they were just sitting quietly in their car. I guess the perp was a crazy as he had previous form and had apparently also just injured his ex so he was likely unbalanced and perhaps it was better the police were the outlet for his anger than Joe Public.
It is interesting though how the police are calling for tougher measures and lauding how they put their lives on the line every day, and I'm in the background saying, well yes, so do I once a week, and I do it for free and unarmed.
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