Quote of the Quarter
“I want to come to your house and stay with you, Anderson, you’re nice.” ~ Ms “L” who is 87 years old with beginning stages of dementia and having domestic problems at home.
There is a fun and entertaining game one of the patrol squads use at the police department to enhance camaraderie and motivate performance through fun. Que the unicorn…
The Unicorn has a zipper on its back and takes deposits of money. It doubles as a modern day cone of shame. Unicorn is carried in the building (and tucked away in the car) by the officer who has the most recent blunder, openly or admittedly. Imagine using the radio at the wrong time, having a cell phone ring during roll call, locking keys in car, or any other notable mistake. All unicorn funds are used to help fund the end of the shift squad party, so there is a recognizable benefit for all.
I was out last night on a ride along, and as we all circled up and closed out the shift, I saw an officer proudly displaying the unicorn on their equipment belt.
He was swinging it around eagerly waiting for his partner’s arrival at the station. The Unicorn would be handed off after the night’s events. Unicorn now has a new chaperone, and the fun continues.
Simple, harmless, and healthy bantering goes on with our cops. It’s one of the ways they can cope with some of the disturbing things they encounter each day. Unicorns are unique, but who could have imagined the magic they would bring to cops?
Our police officers encounter non-stop challenges every shift. It has been estimated that 80% of police contact is unwanted contact. What I mean by this is, the people who they are sent to assist don’t want the police there. They are dispatched calls from a neighbor hearing a family dispute, a mother witnessing drug activity in a car at the park, reports of suspected elder abuse, someone drunk and passed out on the sidewalk in front of a convenience store, and sometimes, even a report of someone walking down the middle of the street naked (just mentioning a few of last night’s events).
Some of the most common calls for service in our community right now are people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, neighbor disputes, and concerns about the transient population who insist on being unaccountable and irresponsible.
When my partner recites a person’s first and last name as soon as they hear a location and description of a person causing problems – this speaks volumes of how many times they have had to encounter the same individual. There is no simple resolution for those trying to keep our cities safe and orderly. Our cops have to be creative, resourceful, and kind as they engage with citizens wanting results while the police are confined to keeping the (everchanging) laws and rights of everyone.
The late Paul Harvey, the radio broadcaster who became famous for his daily news show and “The Rest of the Story” segments, wrote about the job of a policeman in 1970. It was a tribute to his policeman father who was killed in the line of duty. Here is what he said;
A policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity. What that really means is that they are exceptional, they are unusual, they are not commonplace. Buried under the froth is the fact: and the fact is, less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. And that is a better average than you would find among clergymen! What is a policeman?
He, of all men, is at once the most needed and the most wanted. A strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “pig” or worse to his back. He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won. But…If the policeman is neat, he is conceited; If he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s a flirt; If he’s not, he’s a grouch.
He must make instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer. But…if he hurries, he’s careless; If he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident, infallible with a diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp.
The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal.” If you hit him…he’s a coward. If he hits you…he’s a bully.
The policeman, from a single human hair, must be able to describe the crime, the weapon, the criminal and tell you where the criminal is hiding. But…if he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he is a dunce. He runs files and writes reports until his eyes ache, to build a case against some felon who will get “dealed out” by a shameless shamus.
The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman. And of course, he’ll have to be a genius…for he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.
Police are for our protection and are commissioned to uphold the laws our nation and counties approve. Please respect, support and pray for them. They are people just like you and me.
“Oh, things always get better. Tomorrow will always be better. Just think about it… is there any time in history in which you’d rather live than now?” ~ Paul Harvey
See that you love one another from the heart, always unselfishly seeking the best for one another. Love never fails. 1 Peter 1:22b, 1 Corinthians 3:8a