More officers killed. Our hearts go out to their families. But let's not constantly being diverted from a fundamental problem of policing in the US.
It seems obvious so some, but many still don’t get it, especially the cops. In short, the good cops need to do more to clean up their houses. If they don’t, then they will get tarred with the same brush as any misfits that they tolerate.
We hear, all of the time, that police officers resent being regarded with suspicion by members of the public. After all, they put their necks on the line every day. Some die in the line of duty, though law enforcement is far from the riskiest occupation in the US, and many innocent citizens die from their hands. Seldom do they address that or show up by the hundreds to THEIR funerals.
This situation with cops is both true and it is sad. The problem is that ALL of the good police officers know of or suspect that certain players in their ranks are sketchy characters, marginal players, individuals who say and do things that they would not say and do. But they give it all a pass, at least to start with, and ignore it while the folks go about their business with the public, carrying a gun and the power of life or death.
The things they still seem not totally aware of, however, it that the general public thinks that a fundamental obligation that police officers have is to keep their ranks clean—VERY clean. If there are Baby Ruths in the swimming pool, they expect the average officer to have a primary role in fishing them out of the pool, before the hotel guests find them floating by. Better yet, preventing them from being in the pool in the first place. And, to be real, before they abuse or kill a citizen.
So I can only offer some simple advice to law enforcement officers. You and your reputation are only as good as the worst cops in your ranks. That’s a fact you have to deal with in some more constructive ways. If you are happy with that reputation model, then get over your resentment about public opinion. You deserve that contempt.
Yes, it can be a mean and nasty world out there, but you signed up for it. Maybe police academy didn’t do a good job about weeding out the gung ho members of your group, or making it very clear what your obligation (duty) is to keep the ranks clean.
Police need to take some initiative that focuses on quality control within their ranks. No more covering others asses that hurt people or tolerating individuals who are likely to do so. We are waiting for more action, instead of stonewalling and whining. Get the broom. Deal with it!