A Thank You Letter to COPs
by Glenn Shepard
July 12, 2016

Category:  Public Service


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Dear Glenn,

     What tips can you give when dealing with confrontation when people become emotionally charged and want to focus more on the emotion rather than resolution?

- John in Buffalo, NY

Dear John,

     It’s something called “The Anger Curve”. When people are at the top of it, they exhibit poor judgment and poor self-control. As a result, most people are incapable of resolving problems in an intelligent way until they come down the curve and return to the baseline of emotion. In other words, make everyone keep quiet until they to calm down and regain their cognitive abilities.
     Thanks for your question.

- Glenn in Nashville, TN
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I just read Heather Mac Donald’s book  The War on COPs: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe (which I highly recommend) and learned that the threat of attack has become so imminent that every police department in America is preparing for how to handle one.

This whole situation baffles me for three reasons.

First, because the #1 reason COPs give for becoming COPs isn’t “To catch criminals”, it’s “To help people”. They routinely get spit at, flipped off, and cussed out for wanting to help people.

Second, because every time a Muslim terrorist kills innocent people, politicians (Republican and Democrat alike) are quick to remind us not to stereotype all Muslims as terrorists because of the acts of a few. Yet when one COP kills someone in a bad shooting, I don't see politicians reminding us not to stereotype all COPs.

And third, the allegation that cops are a bunch of racists is simply not true. A March 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Justice found that black and Hispanic cops were far more likely than white cops to shoot unarmed black suspects (called “Threat Misperception”).

This was further confirmed by Harvard  Professor Roland Fryer Jr., who is African American. He and his team spent 3,000 hours analyzing data from 1,332 shootings. They found that officers were more likely to shoot without first being attacked by white suspects. In the case of the Houston Police Department, officers were approximately 20% less likely to shoot black suspects.

If you’re sick of COPs being painted as the bad guys, here’s my challenge to you. Write a letter to your local police department, thanking them for what they do. (Click here for the address of every police department in the U.S.).

If you’re not a writer, here’s a sample letter I crafted for anyone to copy and paste, edit, share, or use any way you choose. 

Dear (Name of Police Department),

A motivational speaker once said “The two most underused words in the English language are ‘Thank You’. They’re also two of the most powerful.”

I can think of no group that is thanked less and deserves it more than COPs, so I’d like to say:

THANK YOU for arresting the drug dealer who might have sold his poison to my son had you not stopped him.

THANK YOU for catching the child molester who might have raped, abducted, or murdered my daughter had you not caught him.

THANK YOU for intervening in the domestic violence call that could have easily escalated into a murder-suicide had you not had the skills to deescalate the situation.

THANK YOU for placing your own life in danger at DUI checkpoints to catch the drunk driver who might have taken my life had he been allowed to keep driving.

THANK YOU for dealing with the most unimaginable examples of human depravity and heinous behavior, so that the rest of us don’t have to.

THANK YOU for choosing to serve and protect others at the expense of your own prosperity.

THANK YOU for the times you left your family so that I could be safe at home with mine.

THANK YOU for having the courage to run as fast as you can toward an active shooter scene, while the rest of us run as fast as we can away from it.

THANK YOU for being what General Douglas MacArthur called “The Noblest Development of Mankind” by being willing to take a bullet to protect a stranger.

Words cannot properly express the debt that society owes you, but at least we can let you know how much you are appreciated.


(Your Name)

You don’t need to tell us if you use it, but we’d love to hear the feedback if you do.

To Your Success,

Glenn Shepard
Glenn Shepard


P.S. In the most brilliant response I’ve ever heard to such a bad situation, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said to the Black Lives Matter protestors: “We’re hiring. Become part of the solution. Serve your communities. Get off that protest line and put an application in, and we'll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you're protesting.”

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