The last few days, I have had an interesting experience.
I gained a new follower and decided to follow them. The beginning comments were innocuous enough but I made the mistake of commenting on one of their blogs about police officers.
My take was that police officers are most likely scared now. They can get shot for merely pulling somebody over for a speeding ticket…or a broken tail light. This blogger said that people who “get paid for a job” should not be afraid.
I told him that I got paid to do my job and I admitted that sometimes, I was afraid. When I was first hired, I was told to take off my jewelry. I was told that we would be sent into bad neighborhoods and be placed in dangerous situations.
My first work partner knew a detective and every time we had to go on a call in a certain area (known for drug activity) she would call him and he would meet us there.
He suggested that I was not fit to do that job. He mentioned firefighters and high-rise workers. He touted himself as being a military man. He said “these people know the dangers of the job before they take it on and shouldn’t take it on if they are afraid.”
I told him that I had never met one medic or police officer or firefighter who didn’t have at least a little trepidation when they ran a call and if they didn’t, they were foolish. You never know exactly what the situation is until you get there. Foolishness and cavalier attitudes can get you or a co-worker wounded, hurt or killed.
I was flip when I told him that he was most likely right. All medics, firefighters, and police officers should probably quit and get a nice, cushy office job…but that begs the question…”who are you going to call, should you be trapped in a burning building, are being robbed or God forbid, are suffering a heart attack? Ghostbusters? I hear they are fearless.”
That elicited the response….“sarcasm. That’s exactly why some people are suited for a job and some are not. You made the choice to choose a profession and I gather you would know the risks of said profession before applying yourself at that job.”
I sent an “apology” for all of my shortcomings, having a brain which allowed me to form my own opinions and of course, for my sarcasm.
He “accepted” my apology and suggested that I should be able to wrap my brain around “staying on topic” to fit my narrative. (The original conversation was that he believes police officers should NEVER carry firearms and calls them KKKops and says they have as much right with weapons as a dairy cow.) I wonder. What are police officers supposed to do…use harsh language?
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t and haven’t been instances that involved unwarranted police brutality. My son has suffered severe police brutality and for no other reason than “they held all the power.” But…I still hold fast in my belief that those same officers would put themselves between him and a bullet if it was necessary.
He goes on to say “see, you made this personal against your intelligence and that’s what people do when they run out of valid points to support their weak position on a topic. Not once did I question your brain or intelligence, you did by your words. I am done. I have no time or patience for stupid.”
I sent him a quick message saying “Ha. That’s exactly what I was thinking! I have no time or patience for stupid!”
My take on all of this is….be careful what you think, more careful what you say and even more careful what you write. It’s hard for me to understand how this evolved over a few simple statements that police officers might be afraid for their lives in this violent world and that I was somewhat afraid when I worked.
Was I afraid every day? No. Was I afraid sometimes? Yes.
I wasn’t very big and I could certainly lift my share of a 500 pound man on a stretcher but if that man had come after me, would I have been afraid? You’re goddamn right.
Would he have gotten me down? If he had gotten in the first blow…probably. If I had gotten in the first blow in the right place, maybe not because I’m pretty sure I could have outrun him.
This person can attack me and tell me I wasn’t fit to do my job but he would be wrong.
There is always an element of fear when you are risking your life to save another.