When I was
a kid and we played Cops and Robbers, we always argued over who
got to be the cop. Nobody wanted to be the robber.
cops as heroes and they were always portrayed that way on shows
like Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, Starsky & Hutch, Dragnet, Adam 12,
The Andy Griffith Show, Kojak, and Columbo.
can’t watch TV news because the media goes out of its way to
make all cops appear to be racist, trigger happy, and
Every time there’s a terrorist attack,
the media – and politicians – are quick to warn us not to
stereotype people as terrorists just because of their religion.
When one teacher has an affair with a student, I don’t see
them trying to portray all teachers as s*x offenders. When one
minister embezzles from his church, I don’t see them trying to
portray all clergy as thieves.
But they can’t wait to
throw cops under the bus.
There are over 900,000 sworn
officers in the U.S., which means that when a cop does something
wrong, he’s about one in a million. According to the Officer
Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org), 119 officers have died in the
line of duty in the U.S. this year. Yet I don’t see these
stories leading the 6:00 o’clock news.
From the FBI to
state troopers to local police chiefs, cops have attended my
management seminar in 26 states and are collectively some of the
most selfless, brave, and honorable people I've ever met.
Once while I was speaking at a criminal justice conference
in Gatlinburg, I was preceded by a speaker who works with the
University of Tennessee’s cadaver farm. They bury unclaimed
bodies and study how they decompose, to help train police
officers how to identify homicide victims. He often helps the
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and showed
PowerPoint slides that were so horrific that I ran to the men’s
room hoping not to get sick.
A police chief who was
attending the conference came in to see if I was okay, and I
asked how he can handle that kind of stuff. He explained “It’s
part of my job. A job that includes getting spit on, urinated
on, cussed out, shot at, stabbed, punched, sued, second guessed
by everyone, and we don't get paid squat for doing it”. I asked
why anyone would want a job like that, and will never forget his
response: "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand the
I’m 52 years old, and just like when I was 5,
cops are still my heroes.
To Your Success,
A woman in Wisconsin who read this article on Facebook wrote
"Both my husband and my father-in-law are officers. I never used
to worry if they would come home until recently".
And you have permission to reprint, republish, or redistribute
this article any way you like.
P.P.P.S. If you’re bored on Christmas Day and trying to
decide who’s more dysfunctional – your family or the people
they’re watching on The Jerry Springer Show – here’s a
suggestion. Take some Christmas cookies your local police department.
They’ll be there because working on holidays is another “perk”
of the job they’re so underpaid and so underappreciated for
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