“Do not go gentle into the good night… Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas
Every time we don our uniform, we are at war with a force more evil than crime itself. I don’t know what it is, but we all feel it. There is an information war that aims to divide and there is a force that seeks to turn people against its own defenders. It seems to me, society has become more accepting of people being victimized. Violent criminals are voted to be early-released from prisons and vandals are praised as social justice heroes. It seems there are external forces that seek to demoralize order and stability by making cops fearful of enforcing laws, and making courts fearful of delivering justice… all while violent criminals are early-released.
People with the courage do the right thing are all that is keeping America, as one of the last bastions of freedom.
I don’t think its possible to succeed without a true love for humanity. Without it, we will never find the courage necessary to do our job.
After all the training we get, to combat crime we also need experience. Sure we know all the elements of a crime. But knowing what the crime looks like on the street is different from the classroom. It’s rare to catch a criminal in the act or near the scene of a crime. When we do, we have a small window of opportunity to take action and make an arrest. A split second with infinite room for error. Paralysis is our worst enemy. Action takes not only knowledge, but also courage.No matter what decision we take Captain Hindsight will find fault in it. It’s easy for him to do so. He has the luxury of seeing the disarray of car scraps spread out over the road, the loaded gun recovered, and the car who’s VIN number reveals it was stolen in an armed robbery. He doesn’t get to see just the paper plates of a swerving car. Captain Hindsight gets to see the pellet gun, not spontaneously face a man pointing it. Captain Hindsight gets to speculate on all the better decisions that could have been made based on information unknown at the time of incident and never having to actually deal with the consequences of any of his possible decisions.
Captain Hindsight is Evil’s best ally. He fuels the propaganda, rallies hate and discontent, and facilitates paralysis.
We must only worry about our own actions. We must be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. In my experience, Captain Hindsight rarely sees the real mistakes, his intent was never to actually help. But that doesn’t mean mistakes weren’t made.
A regular person may see a car with paper plates, and think nothing more than “Junior got a new car.” That car could take off through a red light and they think “Junior is showing off.” The same car could almost hit a pedestrian or sideswipe another car, and the reason formulated may be, “Junior needs glasses and driving lessons.”
We get paid to make good arrests, which means we don’t get to make easy speculations. We get paid to find out what the hell Junior is up to. We get paid to red-line our engine, take a sprint through the neighborhood and jump a couple fences… just like we were trained. We get paid to make hard choices and be relentless because sometimes Junior is a fucking criminal and we are the only ones able to do anything about it. When we don’t do anything about it, I remind myself Captain Hindsight and his master enjoy a small victory and we become less free.