People either have respect for law enforcement officials, or they cannot stand them. Some of the cops that have turned out to be “bad” have ruined the law enforcement reputation for the rest of us, who actually try to make the world a better place. Recently, law enforcement officers are being charged and convicted of crimes when at one time, a bad cop was simply dismissed from their position and the issue was swept under the rug. More and more, law enforcement officials are being held responsible, and rightfully so. They are the people that are trying to fight crime, not participate.
Being a police officer for 10 years now, I have seen and heard many things. I’ve had people spit in my face and people hugging me in happiness after a situation ended peacefully. I’ve even received thank you cards and flowers for helping the public in rough times. It is simply my job. Of course, there is never a normal day in the law enforcement field. There are dangers lurking around every corner that normal civilians don’t often think about. Law enforcement officers have to think about and analyze all possible situations. A routine traffic stop can turn deadly within a split second. Responding to a domestic dispute can be much more hazardous than simply breaking up an argument. A high speed chase can end in quite a tragic manner if it gets too out of hand. Many people in the law enforcement field have seen things than can cause nightmares for weeks. I was the first on a vicious crime scene my first year and it will remain in my mind forever.
There are many colleges and schools that are offering law enforcement degrees and training more commonly now. Students are finding that it is an excellent field to get involved in, with lots of different branches and a growing need for professionals. If you considering studying law enforcement or criminal justice, do some research before you jump into it with the wrong perceptions. Speak to people who do work in the law enforcement field. Ask to shadow them for a day. Get enough of information about the field before you decide whether or not it is something that you would not only enjoy, but be suited for. It isn’t a field that is for the weak and timid. It is also not a field for someone who cannot be fair and equal to anyone of different races or genders.
If you’re not looking to be involved in the criminal justice system, teach your children that law enforcement is on their side. Children should never be afraid to approach someone who is wearing a police uniform. And yet, so many parents and adults are convinced that all cops are evil. I wish that lack of confidence could be changed. Perhaps then, we’d all be on our way to making the world a safer place.