Being a cop has always been a thankless job.
But in our current climate, police would be happy for the bygone days of a thankless community, compared to what they are currently enduring.
Never before in modern history have police officers been accused of being the worst of society. Today, the reputation of cops is constantly under attack by the media. And fringe groups who purport to have a noble agenda are paradoxically allowed by our governments to wreak havoc on our cities without consequence. Entire city blocks have been burned, children have been murdered, and yet the media all but ignores the backlash of the problem, which they themselves are largely responsible for inciting.
Well-intended people have been duped into believing that roughly half of society are devout white supremacists, and that visible minorities are being hunted and killed by the police. The media bolsters this false narrative daily, which has created an incredibly unstable and explosive environment. When a group of people believes that they are in danger of being killed by the police, it’s only natural for a member of that group to be afraid, and resist arrest. When you resist arrest, you are making a safe situation dangerous by escalating the force required to arrest you. If you comply with the orders of the police officer, you are almost ALWAYS safe. It is extremely rare that a compliant arrestee is harmed or killed as a result of the arrest. In those rare instances, the police officers are likely at fault, and deserve to be charged. Only improved training and selection practices can reduce these rare instances.
A part of policing which very few average people are willing to engage in is combat. Most people have never been in a dangerous fistfight, but for cops, getting into scraps is a common occurrence. Some of these fights involve armed bad guys who are high on crystal meth, and who are nearly impossible to control. When a crazed meth head charges at you with a knife, the only realistic response is to pull out your pistol and fire a few rounds into the center of the target. The pollyanic fools who cry, “you should have shot them in the leg!” have no concept of the reality of combat. There isn’t a police officer alive that has the training and skill to reliably make a “leg shot” against a crazed charging assailant. And no, a taser is not reliable enough to deploy in this situation either.
Armchair critics are quick to judge and condemn the use of violent force, without having the faintest idea of the reality of a combat environment. Many will recoil at the word “combat”, by saying, “combat is for a battle field, not for our streets! Our cops are not soldiers!” And, they would be wrong. Combat is a violent “must win” altercation. When someone is violently resisting arrest…that absolutely qualifies as combat. It’s not the police who initiate the combat…it’s the person being arrested who creates the combat situation, which the police have no choice but to respond to with force.
Police officers work in a world that is completely foreign to most middle class folks. The average person can no more understand what it is to be a cop, than they can understand what it’s like to live on Mars.
It seems that the public has forgotten the simple fact that cops are just people. Flawed, regular human beings who have decided to risk their lives so that others may live safely.
When people join the police force, they do so for one of four reasons.
- Most join out of a sense of responsibility to provide meaningful service to their community. These people tend to make the best police officers, and often make up the majority of a good police force. Lately the media has been ignoring the fact that most police officers fit this description.
- Some others join out of a sense of adventure, craving fun and action in their job.
- And there are those who join simply to have a respectable, and reliable source of income.
- But unfortunately, there are a few who join because they crave having a sense of power. These are the problem cops which every police organization tries to weed out, yet every police service has at least a few of these problem children to deal with. These are the minority of cops, which the media are currently focusing on, and they are painting all police with this contaminated brush.
In addition to these four types of police officers, there is a rare outlier. Occasionally, a trigger-happy psychopath will slip through the cracks. The psychological evaluations are put in place as a filter to weed out these types of applicants, but no system is perfect. Psychopaths often know the right words to say, and how to mask their true identity. Even a lie detector test can be defeated by a psychopath or sociopath. I won’t pretend that these people don’t occasionally make it onto an otherwise honourable police service, however I also won’t agree that police services across the western world have been over-run by them as the media would have you believe.
There are bad apples in every organization, and try as you might, you’ll never weed 100% of them out. If you’re going to have a large group of people, there will always be a tiny minority within the ranks who will potentially cause great harm.
The truth about police officers is that they have chosen a life of dangerous, high stress service, so that you and I can live a safer, less stressful life. They deal with dangerous people, so that YOU don’t have to. They literally get punched in the face, so that YOU don’t have to. Lets face it, most people have no ability whatsoever to defend themselves against a violent attacker. We should all be grateful to those who put themselves in harms way so that they can arrest, and lock up the people who are a danger to society.
Now, with all of that being said, how can Police officers muscle through the negativity and added danger they now face?
Let’s’ start with something we can control, which is our perspective.
“I hate you!” are three words a parent never wants to hear from their child. When it happens, although it may sting for a moment, a good parent quickly realizes that their kid is simply having a fit, and doesn’t know how else to express themselves. Also, it’s easy to discard unkind words from a child by realizing that they simply don’t know any better. “If they knew better, they would do better” is a mantra I strive to remember.
When it’s a large group of “adults” who are pitching a fit in the form of a riot, it’s difficult to remember that they don’t know any better. EVERYONE feels justified in their cause, regardless of the facts at hand.
Regardless of the haters, try to remember why you’re there in uniform. You are there to serve those who need you, with or without their appreciation. Your life is one of sacrifice, and some days suck worse than others, but there are still good days. You help. You DO make a difference, and whether the public knows it or not, they need you.
Remember that the anti-cop sentiment is based on a belief in a false narrative. Despite the demonstrative evidence to the contrary, these misguided people actually believe that the Police are out to get people of colour. We must realize that although misguided, their outrage is real to THEM. They really don’t know any better, and it’s not their fault. The media has created this environment with their bias.
Be mindful of your focus.
Now is a great time to stay off of Facebook. If you can’t limit your social media, then at least purge everyone from your contacts list who shared negative posts about the police. It’s easy to unfriend, unfollow, or even BLOCK people. You don’t need to engage. You won’t change anyone’s mind, so why try?
Remember, and focus on those who appreciate you. If you look, you’ll see armies of supporters who are cheering for you. They may be the “silent” majority, but they are there all the same.
Smith won’t seek early vote if she wins UCP leadership, becomes next Alberta premier
United Conservative Party leadership candidate Danielle Smith says if she wins this week’s vote and becomes the next Alberta premier, she would not call an early election to seek a broad mandate on her policy ideas.
Smith, the perceived front-runner in the race, says the public tends to punish leaders who call an early election.
She says she would wait until the next scheduled election in May 2023, but believes she has a mandate now to proceed with her plans.
Smith has said she would immediately pass an Alberta sovereignty act, which would allow the province to ignore federal laws and court rulings deemed not in its interest.
Legal experts, some of Smith’s leadership rivals and Premier Jason Kenney have labelled the act not only illegal but a recipe for constitutional and economic chaos.
Smith has also talked about revamping the health system by using health spending accounts and firing the board of Alberta Health Services, which oversees the front-line delivery of care.
Today is the last day for advance voting, as seven candidates dig in for the final campaign push before UCP members select a new leader to replace Kenney on Thursday.
Alberta commits $20.8 million over the next four years to fight human trafficking
By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton
The Alberta government is providing $20.8 million over the next four years to implement recommendations from a star-led task force on human trafficking.
Country singer Paul Brandt, chair of the Alberta Human Trafficking Task Force, personally thanked Premier Jason Kenney during the funding announcement Sunday at Edmonton International Airport for his willingness to prioritize the issue, and for putting faith in Brandt to lead the group.
“Premier Kenney’s longtime personal dedication and commitment to the issue of human trafficking is authentic and is admirable,” Brandt said.
“He’s the only political leader I’ve met in my 17 years of advocating for trafficking victims and survivors who took the time and initiative to personally write a plan to address this horrific crime.”
The money will establish an office to combat trafficking as well as a centre of excellence for research and data collection — recommendations the government accepted when the task force presented its report in March.
Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said the goal is to launch the office by next summer.
Other task force recommendations that will be supported include a new grant for community projects and Indigenous-led and culturally appropriate services. Civilian positions that will focus on supporting victims and survivors throughout human trafficking investigations will also be funded.
“Human trafficking is far more prevalent — way more common — than the stats would suggest because it’s a hidden crime,” Kenney said at the announcement.
“It festers in the dark. There are victims who face fear, shame and self-doubt and some who will never report what they’ve gone through.”
The task force was appointed in May 2020 and engaged with nearly 100 experts and survivors of trafficking to provide guidance on how to best implement the government’s action plan to fight human trafficking.
The government has said human trafficking includes sexual exploitation, forced labour trafficking and trafficking in human organs or tissues.
Kenney, who will be replaced as premier when his United Conservative Party selects a new leader on Thursday, noted he started fighting human trafficking over 20 years ago when he was an MP and joined a group of international parliamentarians on a coalition to fight the practice.
Later as Canada’s immigration minister, he said he took steps to make it easier for human trafficking victims who had migrated to Canada to obtain safety and protection.
In winter 2019, he said he committed the UCP to a nine-point action plan to combat human trafficking, which led to the Protecting Survivors of Human Trafficking Act, which took effect in May 2020.
Brandt said it was exciting to be part of the funding commitment at the airport, where he said he stood in 2019 for a partnership with the facility and other groups in the Edmonton region to fight trafficking, which he called “modern day slavery.”
“It has been our dream that special focus and permanent funding would one day become a reality. Today is that day,” Brandt said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2022.
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