I was in the profession of law enforcement for over 36 years. I largely worked the streets, as a patrol officer and patrol Sergeant, for all but 6 of those years, until I retired. I worked a variety of patrol stations in Southern California, including Malibu, West Hollywood, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster, each with unique demographic and geographic combinations. I have dealt with a wide variety of people, situations, problems (other people’s and my own), and dangerous, life threatening situations.
I’ve witnessed unspeakable, horrible death and cruelty perpetrated by human beings on their fellow humans, and wondered about what happened to their humanity. I’ve seen horrific scenes of suicide by the young and old; images which are indelibly etched in my memory, and will never be able to forget. I’ve contemplated the complexities of why no one could save them; why they were driven to such despair; why they could not find some hope, beauty, love, strength or resilience to keep on living life.
I’ve observed racism, bigotry and prejudice in its many guises, and I’ve been the object of extreme prejudice, and endured intense hatred, suspicion, distrust, and violent resistance because of the intense biases that fuels some people’s thinking and feelings about police officers. Some of these perceptions are based on legitimately negative personal experiences: callous mistreatment, indifference, and abject cruelty, scorn, and brutality at the hands of law enforcement.
Unfortunately, much confrontational behavior, and some accusations, or complaints are manufactured. These tactics are often utilized by people engaged in bad behavior or criminal activity as a strategic distraction for law enforcement. The intent is to gain an opportunity for escape, or for an advantage in attacking the officer(s). Another motivation is to frustrate an officer’s investigation, dissuading them from doing their job, or diverting attention from their bad behavior or criminal activity.
Some may be motivated by vengeance for the perceived injustice of being held accountable for their criminal behavior. Others are possibly motivated by the impulse for revenge and profit through nuisance lawsuit settlements which cities and counties frequently pay to avoid the costs of prolonged litigation.
I’ve also witnessed incredible acts of compassion, kindness, selflessness, tenderness, courage and bravery by police officers and citizens, alike.
My blog is a personal narrative of the many different experiences I’ve had in my career and issues that I’ve perceived as a citizen and a police officer. It also reflects upon my constantly evolving thoughts and conclusions about the job of policing and the problems cops often do their best to solve every day. I also share my personal perceptions and philosophy of life.
I welcome constructive commentary and genuine questions.