The Police and The Citizen

Due to recent events regarding police and the citizens have in many ways created a rift between the two groups. On one hand, some police officers I have talked with feel like the regular citizen does not know what the police do. That misunderstanding is in regards to the public not understanding police policies and procedures. However, some citizens feel like the police really are unjust people and cause havoc.

I agree with the police; the public is not informed about how the police operate (Standard Operational Procedures) and other things the police do [the should be informed]. Yes, I was guilty of being not informed prior to working with police officers. I think the some members of the public perception of police are the mean. They perceive police officers as the mean guys “out to get you” and cause the public a great inconvenience. That is not the fault of the public, however. The members of the public are not born with the ability to judge. People are taught to judge. In this case, the media is the teacher. The media are featuring more of the negative incidents involving police officers, rather than positive incidents. Thus, the public views police negatively.

On a similar note, the public tends to generalize too often based on partial truth. The media can sometimes portray really bad cops, who are in the minority, and don’t deserve to be cops. As LTC Grossman, a retired service member says, “Any sheep dog [sheepdogs refer to police officers] who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb [Sheep/ Lamb refers to the public] will be punished and removed.” The public sees that and generalizes that all cops are bad. That generalization is bad thing because it will cause an even greater “falling out” and miscommunication between the sheepdog and the sheep. It is very difficult to protect and serve the populous if such a division occurs.

This type of media portrayal occurs when events are politically spun by spin-doctors to get ratings. The question there lies: are ratings and views more important than educating the public about the true and well-intentioned majority of cops? The cops are there to protect and serve not to destroy and harm. Yes, there are very bad cops who hurt innocent lives with excessive force and should not be cops. There are others in the majority who protect and serve dutifully. The public should know that.

If you want to read more about policing, read LTC Grossman’s article which I quoted from: