The following was intended as a comment by reader accur81 under our Is TTAG Anti-Cop post. Unfortunately, the vagueries of the WordPress spam filter prevented him from hitting his target.

There are a couple of anti-LEO biases on TTAG. First, police officers are not civilians. There are certainly other definitions of civilians out there, but if you are professionally obligated to respond to violent SHTF situations, can be called back to duty at any time after a major incident, deal with violent a$$holes, and have to run towards the gunfire, those are combatants. I support self-defense, but John Q. Public is not required to face down dangerous people or lethal threats . . .

The police are not required in all circumstances to defend individuals, but they are required to face and resolve the emergency. For my part, I’m not going to let someone die if there is something I can do about (it) on duty or off duty (pulling an old lady off of the tracks in front of a moving train has absolutely nothing to do with firearms). My Boot Camp in the Marine Corps was 12 weeks with less than 3 months in School of Infantry, my training in my current agency was considerably longer and entailed a background investigation that was much more thorough.

Secondly, you’ve missed out on tactical analyses on two recent “good shootings.” CHP Officer Youngstrom was shot and killed by Lacy. Lacy was subsequently shot and killed by Youngtrstroms’s CHP officer/beat partner.  Your articles only focused on the mentally ill and firearms. Take the WI Sikh Temple shooting: your article was on carrying a firearm in your trunk. I missed the heroic actions of the police officer who responded to the active shooter incident and stopped the threat. Courage under fire is heralded in the Marine Corps, why not in law enforcement?

The posting of the sensational stories with few details such as the Garland, TX shooting was premature. How can reasonable and intelligent analysis occur without facts and details? Predictably, the anti-LEO posters had a field day. Those with more reason and wisdom will wait a bit.

In my department, breaking the law can and will get you written up, suspended, terminated, or imprisoned. I will not cite specific examples here because I speak for myself and not my agency. I have testified against other officers when they were in the wrong, and I have been written up. It is regrettable that many agencies and police officers do not have honor, but I believe that they are the exception rather than the rule. I have integrity outside of the badge I carry, not because of it.

I greatly respect TTAG, your writings, and most of the comments here. I appreciate that my errors have been corrected by facts and citations (some of those errors were after several smoky scotches). TTAG has helped me become a more informed gun owner, and a better 2nd Amendment advocate. It has not helped me become a better police officer, because many stories of police heroism have been over looked, and that is a shame.

131 Responses to One LEO’s Perspective: What About The Heroism?

  1. “John Q. Public is not required to face down dangerous people or lethal threats”

    We are required by law to submit to dangerous people or lethal threats, if they have a badge.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/08/31/police-unions-cross-line-while-bullying

    “Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer had finished speaking at a community meeting last Wednesday, and then headed to a pub owned by fellow councilman Gary Monahan. Righeimer drank two sodas and drove home. After arriving home, a Costa Mesa cop showed up at his door and asked him to step outside and take a sobriety test, which he passed.
    That a police officer can ask for a sobriety test after you have returned home is troubling enough, but the details of the case are even more astonishing.”

  2. “but if you are professionally obligated.” No such obligation exists. Several courts, including SCOTUS, have ruled the police are under no duty to protect citizens. You may feel a duty but so do many of us lowly civillians.

    In general, police are not heros. Some police do perform heroic actions from time to time but for the most part, they are doing a job for a pay check. The word hero gets thrown around way to often. Mostly during 9/11. Heros on that day were the people on flight 93. Others were people in the towers and the pentegon that pulled fellow civillians to safety. There were many heros that day. The police and fire fighters were just doing their jobs. Cops, like politicians, are generally corrupt.

    “Take the WI Sikh Temple shooting: your article was on carrying a firearm in your trunk. I missed the heroic actions of the police officer who responded to the active shooter incident and stopped the threat. ” Citizens do this regularly. Did you see the NYPD officers that harmed nine citizens while shooting a single criminal? The police injure bystanders far in shootings that citizens in the same situation.

    Cops have a hard job. However, they know that when they sign up. The type of officer being hired has caused the mistrust of officers to grow at an alrming rate. Add to that the double standard presented by courts and police administrators and it’s easy to see why police are useless to law abiding citizens.

    • “In general, police are not heros.”

      What’s the difference between a hero and a police man?

      A hero will risk his safety to protect others.

      A police man will risk the safety of others to protect himself.

      • Thats just wrong on many levels.

        So many brave officers have died or been horribly disfigured or injured protecting the public.

        I wear a sidearm, extra ammo, a shot gun and select fire m4 in my patrol car, I have body armor, chemical warfare protective equipment and a fancy looking first aid kit and a radio system that tells me where all the bad stuff is happening. And I can use this radio to call dozens if not hundreds of similar equipped, if not better equipped officers to aid me. I would say that in such a position, I am very safe and “Protected”.

        Seriously, think about it, a person in that situation is well geared to “Protect” themselves from almost anything likely to occur in an urban environment. But I and others like me go into harms way often and for the sake of others….not ourselves. If that were the case, when the next shooting call with multiple subjects down goes out, I could just say “Yea, dispatch…I’ll be sure to stay away from that area” . But thats not the case, we go towards that area.

        Hey look man, I don’t think any of us ask to be thought of as heroes, but to make the above statement is pretty sleazy.

        • And I can use this radio to call dozens if not hundreds of similar equipped, if not better equipped officers to aid me.

          Sorry, but that right there negates any claims of being “heroic” due to your job title. There’s nothing heroic or courageous about using overwhelming numbers / force to win. It takes guts to be on your own going up against greater numbers – it’s cowardice to have three dozen better armed men assault a handful of people.

          But I and others like me go into harms way often and for the sake of others….not ourselves.

          Bull. You do it for a paycheck and a very cushy pension.

          But thats not the case, we go towards that area.

          Yes, because you’re required to as part of your job and if you don’t, you won’t get a paycheck. However, we’ve all seen what happens in those incidents – the police don’t go in and valiantly rescue people, they form a perimeter and then stand around and wait for the perp(s) to give up, commit suicide, or do something that warrants SWAT or some other special group going in and shooting everyone.

          Sorry, but it’s infuriating to hear police and the military worship themselves so much when they’re merely doing the job that they’re paid to do. You don’t hear stock brokers telling their clients that they should kiss their feet because they did their job, nor do you hear the techs working at the power company to restore power after a storm that you should bow before them because they did their job, so why the hell do the police / military think that they should be worshiped merely for doing the job they’re paid to do?

      • @Some Civilian
        If you really have that opinion, at least have the balls to tell that to police officers to their face and not under the protection of internet anonymity.

        Grow up a little before using the internet, mmkay?

        • Like the Oakland police who covered up their name tags in direct violation of department policy and/or state law (I don’t know which)?

          The Federalist Papers were anonymous. Cowards, the lot of them!

          Try shooting the message next time, not the messenger.

        • If you’re a cop (I’m guessing you are, but not sure), how about you drop the badge and the gun that you hide behind and then see if you’re so tough and feel like bullying people.

          I fully support going UK on our police and taking away their weapons (only to be issued by a superior when a situation requires a weapon) – they’d lose the arrogance real quick without a weapon to hide behind.

    • “Cops, like politicians, are generally corrupt.”

      Whoa! That’s a bit harsh. I am guessing you have no numbers of evidence to prove this remarkable theory.

      • Corruption is not just bribes. I suspect few cops do take direct bribes. But it is all too common for cops to not ticket other cops for speeding off duty, and drunk off duty cops seldom get busted for DUI. Cops cover up for each other all the time; otherwise how could the Ramparts cops have gotten away with all their crimes for so long, and how do New York City cops get away with every day? My first reaction when reading of cops busted for taking bribes or stealing from the evidence locker or dealing drugs themselves is — how long has this been going on, and why didn’t any fellow cops bust them? I know the answer.

        That is where the true corruption lies, not in merely taking bribes.

      • I thought the ‘generally corrupt’ part was far over the top as well. They are human, do a tough job…..and we should watch them like effing Hawks because power corrupts, and absolute…you get the meaning. They are like women, ya cant live with em….ya cant live without em. Most really are good, but the nature of the beast brings out…well…the beast in some.

    • If you’re not an active member of the military, you’re a civilian. It’s that simple. Some defining characteristics if you’re in the military: You voluntarily give up some of your freedoms, you can’t quit and you can be recalled after you leave the service (circumstances). You can do things to get kicked out, you can leave when your contract is expired, you can retire and other uncommon circumstances. You simply can’t just walk away because you feel like it. Civilians do not have the same obligations.

      A police officer, being a civilian, is not obliged in the same manner as the military. They are absolutely free to exercise their citizen’s rights. They are no more beholden to their occupations than any other civilian. Hell, the President can quit his job. Yes, he is the COMMANDER in CHIEF. and a civilian as dictated by the Constitution. There have been state governors who simply quit. As a civilian, there are ZERO direct penalties for simply quitting.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a civilian. The way it’s being spun here, being a civilian is somehow lesser. If that’s the case, then there are bigger issues at hand.

      Police happen to be civilians that work in law enforcement. Does that make them lesser? Of course it doesn’t. Police are people that chose an occupation they are paid to do. They wouldn’t do it for free any more than you would do your job for free or without benefit. (striking police is highly publicized) Is it riskier than many other occupations? Certainly.

      I think where many people, police or otherwise, get confused is that their occupation permits them to carry weapons and use deadly force and force other civilians into doing things they don’t want to do by using the legal threat of force.

      I have to ask. What is the opposite of civilian?

    • +1

      I think accur81 has some great editorial suggestions. I would love to read more about “good shootings” by anyone, including LEOs. The situational assessment, tactics and outcome are of great interest.

      The common refrain that LEOs are civilians relates to the fact that laws and gross negligence liability should apply to them like they do to everyone else – that no one should be above the law. The way accur81 framed the LEO/civilian question is also valid – but it does not seem to be a point of debate around here. It seems to me that the “no one is above the law” issue is at the root of most anti-LEO bias – and in most cases is not bias at all, but a call for justice.

  3. ” First, police officers are not civilians. There are certainly other definitions of civilians out there, but if you are professionally obligated to respond to violent SHTF situations, can be called back to duty at any time after a major incident, deal with violent a$$holes, and have to run towards the gunfire, those are combatants.”

    Technically, you’re wrong and being somewhat condescending. Police officers, unless they’re part of the military, are civilians too. I know some police refer to anyone not a police officer as a “civilian” but that’s not correct. And your qualifier makes no sense. Would a cop with a desk job that never sees any action be a civilian in your opinion?

    And furthermore it doesn’t jive with the legal definitions set out by the Hague Conventions of what constitutes a civilian, either.

    • Anyone acting as an “agent of the government” is not a civilian. But then again…we are all civilians in the same right. The term is misused by all.

      I work in an area with a military base, and I have (sadly) arrested many serviceman, sometimes when they were armed. The are prosecuted in our courts and I can only remember once were the military’s justice system took the soldier (They had some serious stuff on her), our charges were small fries.

      Nobody is above the law, except Eric Holder, everyone else, civilian or otherwise can be held accountable for their actions.

        • That has nothing to do with this discussion or much of anything like this one. But even if it did…so what?

          Your trying to split hairs, the individual holds no authority its the public office that has the authority and the agent/officers/soldier acts in that capacity and under that authority. Our system of checks and balances deals with just these types of things. military rules of war and engagement and related matters do not apply to “civilian” LE as we are not entities of the military, so what?

        • If you are not in the military, you are a civilian. Police officers are not held to the same employment conditions, existing military hierarchy, voluntarily give up freedoms, cannot quit and cannot strike. Even after quitting or retiring, those who served in the military can be recalled to duty. Of course, conditions apply.

          There is nothing wrong with being a civilian any more than there is in being in the military.

      • There are generally two sets of laws: Civil and Martial law.

        Military/wartime activities operate under martial laws.

        Police and other law enforcement operate under civil law.

        Police are civilians. To claim they are not civilians is to put them on a pedestal as if they are exempt for certain responsibilities or repercussions of their actions.

        • Your playing word games, and its a bad game to play. We all know that the military possesses no power in itself, it only does the biding of the civilian govt. The military can not decide to do anything of its own deciding. They only wage war when the civis tell them to, hell they can’t even deploy on US soil without an order of congress. They have no power, yet lots of force….that kinda thing. BTW, im done with this convo, your splitting hairs with no goal in sight…just agitation….fall back into line citizen!! (parting shot)

        • I was in part referring to the definitions found in the Webster’s / Miriam dictionary where police officers and firefighters are not considered to be civilians. Also, disobedience to a lawful order of a peace officer or firefighter has legal consequences, especially if it delays them from responding to an emergency.

        • If you are not in the military, you are a civilian. Police officers are not held to the same employment conditions, existing military hierarchy, voluntarily give up freedoms, cannot quit and cannot strike. Even after quitting or retiring, those who served in the military can be recalled to duty. Of course, conditions apply.

          There is nothing wrong with being a civilian any more than there is in being in the military.

          I don’t see why there needs to be a distinction between police officers and those who are not police officers. Being a police officer or civil servant isn’t enough of a distinction? It seems crystal clear to me.

      • Rydak, so clerks, cooks, doctors, and so forth in the military civilians? Bet they don’t know that. Does that mean they can go home any time they want?

      • Rydak: service members that commit a criminal offense out in town can be prosecuted BOTH by the state under its laws and court-martialed using either the UCMJ or state laws as assimilated. There is no double-jeopardy issue since state and federal are two distinct jurisdictions.

        At the same time, trying the same defendant in two jurisdictions for the same crime serves no purpose, and normally if the offense takes place out in town and the local prosecutor wants it, the military will adsep the perp (pattern of misconduct, or commission of a serious offense). Pvt Schmuckatelli becomes Mr. Schmuckatelli, is tried, and gets his punishment.

        What is clear, however, is that neither the state nor the military has a higher claim over the defendant. They have equal rights to prosecute. You imply that the military is eager to not prosecute, when in reality the military is eager to defer to civilian authorities when the crime took place out in town.

      • You are not held to the same employment standards (you can quit and strike), you give up none of your rights and you cannot be recalled to duty after you have quit.

        There’s nothing wrong with being a civilian. It just means you are not in the military. This does not diminish one’s responsibilities as a police officer. Not one iota.

    • So clerks, cooks, doctors, and so forth in the military are civilians? Bet they don’t know that. Does that mean they can go home any time they want?

      • No, clerks, cooks, doctors, and so forth in the military are not civilians. Just because their daily job doesn’t entail use of arms doesn’t mean they’re civilians. In the most extreme circumstances, someone of higher rank could slap a rifle in their hands and tell them to take that building.

        There used to be (still is?) a saying: All Marines are riflemen first.

  4. Cops have many web sites to call thier own, some are private. This is a public web site, and IMHO, it supports the 1st Amendment which apparently alarms some Heros out there.
    I completely suport the following:
    “Technically, you’re wrong and being somewhat condescending. Police officers, unless they’re part of the military, are civilians too. I know some police refer to anyone not a police officer as a “civilian” but that’s not correct. And your qualifier makes no sense.”

    • SOME of those websites are private for a reason. IF you are in charge of catching criminals, esp serial killers, do you want the details broadcast to everyone? No. You want as much of the details kept private so only you and the BG know them, so when you do catch them, you don’t have some fruitcake parroting the info, incriminating themselves when they had nothing at all to do with it. (You want the BG to slip and give non-public details.)

      Now, I’m not saying all LE sites are like that, some may be for other purposes, mostly LE legit. Are there some that are not LE legit and get into the darker issues of a bad cop? Possibly, I don’t know either way with certainty. But your argument sounds a little bit like a straw-man.

  5. “I have integrity outside of the badge I carry, not because of it.”

    I’m sure you do, the problem is those who have the badge and substitute that for the integrity they don’t have.

    • Oh please. Let’s not hold the police at some impossibly high standard and pretend you’re all high and mighty? What are you, perfect?

      Every organization, business, or agency has it’s bad apples. Every single one.

      Youtube has just as much proof of “bad cops” doing “bad things” as it does “bad gun owners” doing “bad things”.

      Until you belong to some perfect organization of people that makes zero mistakes and has no bad apples, expecting that of others without actively trying to achieve it through your own actions is hypocritical. It’s easy to judge and make holier-than-thou comments on a blog if you’re not involved and just typing on a keyboard…

      • If cops are heroes because of the inherent danger, then loggers and fishermen and all those other more dangerous jobs must be superheroes.

        When cops arrest each other for their corruption, for framing victims, for speeding off duty, for drunk driving off duty, and all those other illegal activities — they still better have a more dangerous job than logging or fishing to come close to being called heroes.

        I bet only 1% of cops deal drugs or otherwise directly vilate laws. But I bet 99% of them will cover up for a speeding or drunk off duty cop.

        • Point is, why even try to qualify if a cop is a hero or not as if that does anything for or against the “good cop or bad cop” argument?

          No one, I don’t care who you are or what you do is a “hero” 100% of the time. No one.

          So it’s impossible to use that term as a basis to judge anyone’s actions all the time. We’re all just fallable human beings. Everyone one of us.

          Yes, anyone is capable of being a hero at anytime, just like anyone is capable of being a selfish prick in the next moment.

          The only valid comment is perhaps some jobs (ie. law enforcement) have the perception that their job is hero-like just by it’s perceived nature (ie. protecting citizens, stopping criminals), that when the cops are 100% hero-like, people are more liable to just recoil and be that much more outraged that the officers didn’t meet up with impossible expectations that aren’t entirely realistic.

          Sorry to shatter your dreams children, but cops are just people too. They have good and bad days. Should bad cops be thrown off the force? Of course. Should good caps rise into power and ensure only good cops serve under them? That would be nice, but it’s a bit of a pipe dream.

          Once the public let’s go of it’s child-like pedestal it’s put police officers on, maybe they’ll grow up and realize they themselves aren’t perfect all the time either and it’s silly to hold other people to those standards.

          That said, there certainly can be something done to ensure more “bad” cops are reported and removed from service. It’ll be a very expensive and tedious process though and I’m sure no politician wants to be the front-runner for that.

        • My point was to highlight that I believe courage under fire is heroic. The video above showed a police officer responding to an active shooter and taking him out, without causing harm to anyone else. That’s a righteous DGU. His response likely saved lives. If we are about highlighting the responsible gun ownership and usage, than certainly this incident qualifies. If anything, the civilian who stops violence outside of the uniform is even more courageous – they are essentially a non-combatant until the fight is brought to them. This cop on the dash cam knowingly responded to a gunfight, and stopped it with his own skill and courage.

      • The problem is not just the “bad apples”, which is some number between 000,001 – 800,000 (the number of LEOs in the US), but that the behavior is institutional.

        When a cop behaves “badly” or in a “corrupt” or “criminal” manner, however you want to define those terms, other cops, their departments, and the District Attorneys who (sometimes) should be prosecuting them, not only cover up the “bad” or “corrupt” or “criminal” behavior, but reward it.

        The idea that law enforcement officers are victims of being held to some impossibly high standard is a laughable strawman at best.

      • PS –

        Forget the straw man of holding police to some impossible level of perfection.

        I think most of us would be content with a little accountability.

        • Door swings both ways. Lots of cops (the good ones) own up to their mistakes and there are lots of examples of bad cops getting what they deserve.

          So what you’re really saying is you want more accountability. Not trying to mince words, but this is a text based forum, and it gets tiresome when people can’t articulate what they really mean and thus start arguments because of poor communication.

          Good example: you just stated “I think most of us would be content with a little accountability.”

          Technically I could say that statement means you don’t want police officers to have “a lot” of accountability.

          On a scale from 0-100 with 100 being held to the highest community standard of accountability, I would say “a lot” falls between 75-90.

          “A little” falls from 1-30. And the default (meaning you are held directly accountable for your actions and you will be investigated and actions will be taken to remove you if you are deemed unfit) being 50-70.

          If I take you by your written word (which is unclear), you would be content with just a “little” accountability. Well, I think that’s the general perception people have now of most Law Enforcement Agencies, don’t you? Is this situation of “less than adequate accountability” true across the board? Of course not. Some places are worse than others. And other places don’t have that many issues and are good about housekeeping.

          So what’s your gripe? You want more than just a “little accountability”?

          Then say so in a clear manner and cite reasons. Learn to be concise in what you’re trying to say instead of making blanket statements that aren’t clear or appear bias or ignorant…

          I think more than half of the long(er) threads that appear in the TTAG comments are simple misunderstandings by the people that post ignorant or quippy “one-liners” that don’t actually reflect the views of the original commenter…. sigh.

          Or, sometimes stupid people say stupid things to troll. Either way, it’s annoying.

        • Wow, Brewski, that was an awfully long comment taking SC to task for being unclear, when it’s really you that’s muddying the waters. You based the entire thing off the premise that the phrase “I think most of us would be content with a little accountability” could technically mean that Some Civilian wanted little, meaning close to zero, accountability, i.e. less than we currently have. You say it’s unclear the way he wrote it.

          I think you’re being purposefully disingenuous. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the phrase “Forget about [something], I just want a little [something else]” interpreted the way you did. It virtually always means “We have effectively none now, and I’d like to see more.” While “technically” you may be right about the ability to interpret it the way you did, in reality no reasonable person is going to make the argument that that’s what he meant.

        • “Or, sometimes stupid people say stupid things to troll. Either way, it’s annoying.”

          Me thinks thou doth project too much.

          “Door swings both ways. Lots of cops (the good ones) own up to their mistakes and there are lots of examples of bad cops getting what they deserve. “

          For years, Radley Balko has documented instances where police are not only not held accountible for their behavior, but are sometimes rewarded for it.

          See TheAgitator.com –> “Police Professionalism“. There’s a reason the phrases “Another Isolated Incident” and “Scalia’s New Professionalism” are regarded as sick jokes.

          If you can offer a similarly long list of police officers actually behind held accountible for their actions — and I’m sure somebody must have put one together if they really are — then I’ll believe that you’re simply not making up numbers out of fat air.

      • Anyone whose job encompasses force or killing MUST be held to a higher standard. It’s that simple and the job is THAT serious.

  6. Accur81, based on your TTAG comments, I rate you as one of the good guys. The sad truth is that there aren’t enough of you to go ’round, and even if there was, the Blue Line is rather intolerant toward members who do not toe the blue line.

    Is policing a tough job? Maybe, but there are a lot of tough jobs out there and many of them have a significantly lower pay and higher mortality rates than policing. There’s an old adage in law: volenti non fit injuria. Which means that cops may have a hard job, but they knowingly volunteered for it when they signed up for the salary, the perks and the pension.

    I wonder, would the cops’ job be easier if they treated decent people with respect and got the people on their side? I think so, but given the focus of most “modern” police departments, I doubt that we’ll ever find out.

    • I wonder, would the cops’ job be easier if they treated decent people with respect and got the people on their side? I think so, but given the focus of most “modern” police departments, I doubt that we’ll ever find out.

      This, a thousand times. I have relatives who are cops and know many other cops as well – they complain about how the public doesn’t support them, yet fail to realize that it’s the police mentality of “anyone that doesn’t work for the government is the enemy” that causes the public to dislike them.

      • Why the hell would LEs deign to respect mere “civilians?”
        Funny, when I treat police officers with respect, I typically receive it in return … I wonder how my impression of the few rude, arrogant police I’ve met would have been different had they treated me with the same respect?

  7. By the way, even though I’m critical of law enforcement I have had no negative experiences with police officers down here. I think it could be that yankees are just a bunch of a-holes naturally. ;D

    (I kid, RF, I kid)

    Or because I’m white, middle class, and keep a low profile. Probably a bit of both.

  8. I support self-defense, but John Q. Public is not required to face down dangerous people or lethal threats . . .

    Plenty of people work with dangerous animals. Plenty of people have to work in mental hosiptals. Cab drivers and gas station attendants have to face down dangerous people without backup, body armor (and usually) a gun. Most if not all of those people get paid far less and have less benefits than LEOs. As far as lethal threats go, in gross numbers, sales reps and management have more deaths than LEOs. On a per capita basis, construction, mining and transportation industries have similar death rates as LEOs. And at the end of the day, you dont hear truck drivers or construction workers calling for my rights to be violated for their safety.

    • I support self-defense, but John Q. Public is not required to face down dangerous people or lethal threats . . .

      Chicago, Katrina, Aurora Colorado, Columbine, etc.

  9. The police are civilians. That’s the whole point of how our police force is *supposed* to work.

    A police force comprised of your fellow civilian citizens is there to protect all citizens from threats, including the potential threat presented BY the military. That’s WHY the police are not under military command. THAT is the point.

    The fact that do many cops don’t believe this to be true or don’t understand the importance of why it is true is a major part of the dangerous path to statism the US is currently on.

    • Exactly. The police shouldnt have the mentality of “working for the government”. They are supposed to work for us, their fellow citizens, right?

    • +1 to above
      accur81 – I appreciate the posting, thoughts and interest in engaging conversation and debate. However, you are a civilian until you enlist in a military force. Period. It is the definition of the word, and it would behoove every member of the law enforcement community, fire department, or other civil service to remember this distinction. I have been a member of the fire department, and this distinction of not being a “mere civilian” was always an undercurrent of privilege.

      LEO signed up to be civil servants… to serve the public.
      However, like others have said, LEO isn’t the only or even most dangerous job. Ever been a cab driver?
      The two most disturbing issues with LEO are the lack of accountability so often exhibited with any officer’s any less-than-legal actions. See the news for recurrent issues with the greater Los Angeles police departments and use of force.

      The 2nd most disturbing change though is the militarization of LEO. Specifically department wide changes, especially in appearance, are unacceptable. I understand the role of a swat team and m4 for response to an active shooter, etc. However, to adopt the uniform of the army reflects a terrible distortion of priorities.
      Example: Anaheim Riots – who thought it was in any way acceptable to show up in ACU uniforms, the camo of our army?

      Who are they hiding from? Why would a police force who’s primary role is to assist civilians not want to be readily recognized as the good guys in an emergency?

      The elevation of LEO over citizens as something special, or worse, alignment with the military, which uses a playbook almost entirely unacceptable within the borders of our country, is a extremely detrimental direction for LEO that is guaranteed to alienate the very individuals who employ them. LEOs have an admirable profession that requires dedication to serving and protecting the public. However, that badge and gun can quickly set up the holder for a very easy road to abuse.

      When Voltaire said “With great power comes great responsibility,” he forgot to mention it also brings great scrutiny.

      • As to the definition of the word civilian, here are two definitions:

        From dictionary.com:
        1. a person who is not active duty with a military, naval, or firefighting organization…

        From Merriam-Webster:
        2. One not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force.

        I didn’t consider myself a civilian in the Marine Corps, and I still do not as an active duty member in my current agency.

        • Just because you believe it is so, doesn’t make so. That DD-214 made you a civilian. Only civilians can belong to unions.
          Stand up to the corruption of the union and the elitist attitude of LEOs. You will get the respect you want.

  10. I refuse to listen to any whining from cops. You have the job you wanted. Show me your draft papers and the you can piss in everybodys ear about how horrible your job is. My last 3 dealings with police officers left me thoroughly disgusted. In brief 1) a scumbag dealing drugs in my fiances condo complex. After numerous calls by numerous residents, I paid a visit to the PD and after I was warned not to take any action against the drug dealer myself, the oh so helpful officer suggested she should move. 2) recieving a ticket for a burnt out tailight bulb that required me to have my truck inspected, even though I showed the officer that I had replacement bulbs in my truck and I would change it right there. The inspector at the DMV laughed and asked “whos the asshole who wrote this ticket”? 3) I was forced to call the PD to report a rather large acid spill in the parking lot of the aforementioned condo complex. Our local fire department cannot be reached except by calling 911 after 5 PM…the officer that responded was surly, rude and made it a point to mention several times that this was not a police matter. I told him I was aware of that but as there are many children living there that I felt it was critical to report the problem to the PD with the intention of them notifying the FD. And I would like to add another incident. A neighbor called to report there were about 100 kids in the woods behind the condos. They were having a kegger. Local PD shows up after 2 hours. First thing that happens is that an officer threatens to issue the woman a ticket for having an open fire in a condo park. I pointed out that CHARCOAL GRILLES were exempt from that rule and maybe the more pressing issue was the multiple drunken teenagers that would soon be driving around and, as had happened in the past, possibly fighting and vandalizing property. I was asked if I lived there. I responded no, but my fiance does. I was told to mind my business. Sorry for the lengthy response, but I just get tired of the glorification of all LEO’s when most of them come across as undereducated bullys that get annoyed when called upon to earn their paychecks. If “the job” is so bad, do what anybody else would do. Open up the help wanted ads.

    • +1.

      I live in PG county MD, the subject of many LEO insanity posts on TTAG. the cops around here have SERIOUS problems in the way that they do their work and this has been displayed here multiple times. so i don’t know what scares me more, interacting with local pd, or the fact that my state government activley blocks my 2a rights with its “may issue”nonsense. In “urban” areas, we need more LEGALLY possessed guns with responsible owners, maybe this would help shift the balance here. but hey, the mayor of the city in which the largest state university, (college park) is a MAIG member, so i guess we have nothing to worry about right? smh :\

    • So a few sob stories qualifies you to say all police officers can’t whine about their jobs? And everyone else with a job can whine about theirs? That’s a bit of a childish viewpoint. How nice it must be to make unfounded statements like that.

      I’m sure there are just as many stories of citizens extremely happy when they interacted with the police.

      That would be like me going to school, randomly confronting a bully then deciding the entire school was full of bullies. How does that make sense?

      I’m not defending rude, surly, or otherwise asinine police officers (I have a couple stories of my own I could tell), they deserve all the grief we can muster. But to just say all cops are rotten or deserve the same flack that should only be reserved for the rotten apples is a little selfish and rude in and of itself….

      • Brewski:

        The perverse logic here goes something like this.

        LEO are not special, should not think they are, and should stop whining. They are not special, and are not hold to a higher standard.

        Everyone has the right to change jobs if they don’t like theirs. Even cops. But if you are a cop, stop bitching, do what we tell you to because we know your job better than you. After all, you are here to serve us. And you’d better do it with a smile, too. Unlike Starbucks, I can’t stop using the local PD when the service sucks, so I will demand the higher quality service. How is that not holding LEO to a higher standard then?

        OK, so LEO are held to a higher standard, now quit whining.

        Make sense?

        Anyway, yes, TTAG has a vocal anti-military, anti-LEO, and occasionally anti-government segment. Some seem incapable of digesting the idea that not everyone will seek a particular job solely for pay and pension. The idea of seeking a job as public service is lost on them. I don’t think it reflects on me, only on them. So be it.

  11. You’ll find the “civilian” aspect most take issue with is that a lot of cops use the term disparagingly in the context of non-cops.

    The fact that one wears a badge does not make them “more equal” in society, even though there’s quite a lot of law on the books that does exactly that. Many cops believe otherwise. That mindset is unhealthy, and dangerous, on many levels.

    • To Quote Captain Bryant from Blade Runner:
      ‘Stop right where you are! You know the score, pal! You’re not cop, you’re “little people.”‘

  12. I would like to see more stories of law enforcement officers doing their job with excellence and integrity.

    For example I have heard about Sheriff Deputies who told federal agents (FBI, ATF, Forest Service, etc.) to hit-the-road when those federal agents showed up to intimidate or arrest a citizen for something bogus. Those are the kind of stories I would love to hear — first hand if possible. It sure would help to counter the endless videos of law enforcement officers using their position to intimidate, assault, and wrongly arrest citizens.

    If such stories are next to non-existent, then it is time for a grass-roots movement — similar to Oath Keepers — within the law enforcement community to radically raise the level of ethics. Considering the persistent trends of law enforcement staffing reductions and concealed carry license proliferation, law enforcement officers are going to find themselves needing the help of citizens more often than ever — something that isn’t likely to happen if officers continue to abuse citizens or cover for fellow officers who abuse citizens.

    • Exactly – they are armed law enforcement agents of the civil government. Hence civilians in any reasonable sense. What they’re really groping for is a word that means “everyone who isn’t a cop.” EWIAC doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

  13. The police are not above the law. However, they are sometimes in situations when following laws – to the letter – is unrealistic if not impossible and difficult to do if on an ongoing basis. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a cop in a dangerous area. I am open to tolerating some limited degree of human mistakes in exceeding the law by the police. I do recognize the police are human and not androids. Having written that, demanding free food from merchants (or money and gifts), and spitting on law abiding kids who are just on a date (not causing trouble) just to demonstrate their power is unacceptable.

    I would be a hypocrite if I did not honestly state that I appreciate the police trying to keep the street thugs and crazies intimidated and in-line from going after innocent people and out of non-violent quiet communities.

    • However, they are sometimes in situations when following laws – to the letter – is unrealistic if not impossible and difficult to do if on an ongoing basis

      Just like us civilians.

      I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a cop in a dangerous area.

      It is a lot easier to be a cop in a dangerous area for a few hours day, than it is to be a resident of a dangerous area and spending your entire life there, quite often disarmed by the police.

      I am open to tolerating some limited degree of human mistakes in exceeding the law by the police.

      If only they tolerated the same limited degree of human mistakes from us. But they don’t, they hold us accountable, while tolerating the same mistakes a fellow officer or themselves made, see qualified immunity or their routine violation of traffic laws while not on a call.

  14. One of the things I like about TTAG is that it makes the point very clearly that every group can and likely will be judged by its worst members. This motivates me and hopefully the rest of you to try to portray gun owners in a positive light, to counter many of the stereotypes. It seems to me that this is an example of the same concept, just applied to the police.

    I do agree 100% with accur81 that it would be nice to see more examples of law enforcement done right, and I understand that such stories might be hard to find because they’re not reported. But as an example of the kind of yin/yang balance I’m talking about, for the rest of us we see both DGU and IGOTD categories.

  15. As has been pointed out, the Police do not have a duty to protect citizens.

    Furthermore, Officer Safety policies in place at most large departments keep the cops from rushing into your aid during the very kind of calls when a good man with a gun could make the difference. The first 1-2 officers at the scene of an active, violent scenario with a weapon are going to roll up a block away and start sucking their thumbs until 2-3 more of their fellow officers arrive.

    Listening to the scanner here in Portland, it is not uncommon for it to take 10 minutes for cops to actually start intervening in active, violent crimes. For 5-7 of those minutes, there is typically at least one officer sitting in his car waiting for backup who could be busting down your front door and coming to your aid.

    Heroes? Really?

    Individually, most cops are pretty solid guys. Men I am glad to know are patrolling our streets. Most are the kind of guys who, in the scenario above, would be chomping at the bit to get involved as quickly as they can.

    The problem is twofold: The institutions of policing have become corrupted (by politics at leadership level and unions at the patrol level) and crusty with bureaucracy and institutional inertia. The other problem is the natural inclination for police work to both attract a certain personality type not fit to perform the job as well as to turn reasonable people into the personality type that isn’t fit for the job (long periods of exposure to the worst society has to offer on a daily basis has a profoundly negative effect on otherwise good folks).

  16. Police know what they signed up for. They deserve no praise for doing their jobs as they’re expected to. But, due to the danger presented to “civilians” by the mishandling of state-granted power, they most certainly deserve ire when their corruption/incompetence are unmasked. Just as citizens being watchdogs of their elected officials is the only way to maintain a free society, so too is watchfulness over government enforcers. And just as politics all too often attracts power-hungry tyrants to its ranks, so too does police work.

    I’m not anti-police, but I am anti-corruption, and I will hold accountable the trends that have led to a militarized, impersonal, and impunity-shielded police force. A healthy dose of mistrust is what keeps people mindful of their government and that government’s enforcers.

    “John Q. Public is not required to face down dangerous people or lethal threats”

    I’d say corrupt cops are just as dangerous and lethal to an average person as any criminal, perhaps moreso because we’re not allowed to fight back and are required to submit.

    • “I’d say corrupt cops are just as dangerous and lethal to an average person as any criminal, perhaps moreso because we’re not allowed to fight back and are required to submit.”

      True. And they’re dangerous to other officers who dare to speak out. Just ask Serpico.

  17. I dont buy it.

    Cops aernt heros.

    They’re tools of an opressive police state. Very well armed and militarized tools.

    They dont run towards the sound of gunfire to help people. They do it because they’re adrenaline junkies. They do it because they like power and control.

    They do not have the public best interest in mind. They only want to further their own career, further their department, etc.

    There are no good cops.

    The second a man puts on that uniform, he quits being one of the good guys and becomes your potential slave master or murder.

    Dont trust a cop. Any ‘heroism’ is purely coincidental, or done for the thrill, or to get good headlines.

    I’ve been helped by drug dealers, by the homeless, by good and bad people, by criminals, by Priests…but I have NEVER been helped by a cop.

    • Way to sound rational and not make extreme, broad-stroked statements with no factual backing. Substitute the word “cop” in your post with any other group of humans based on whatever category of your choosing, be it religion, ethnicity, profession, and see how ridiculous you sound. Grow up.

  18. Sorry I think this guy is a troll. Anyone who can make the statement that all cops are combatants not civilians. That they somehow have integrity and honor, like “civilians” don’t. That they are obligated to face and resolve “the emergency” (without stating that most of the time they “record” the emergency). That the vast majority of cops in fact NEVER draw their weapons. That they live on the largess of the “civilian” population for nearly DOUBLE the time they serve. That the academy produces someone more qualified than the military. Well…as I said I think this post is one intended to stir the pot or someone with one too many scotches.

  19. I believe there is an aspect that has been left out of this debate. Where i live(Oklahoma), many many cops are mainly collection officers for the city they work for. Cities here have annexed land that borders the interstate just for the ticket revenue. Most people here have lost all respect for the local officers.

    • I know for a fact that some of those small cities have gotten in some serious trouble with the State of Oklahoma, and have been banned from their speed-trap activities. (or random stops in hoping to find some faux-pas such as lack of paperwork showing current insurance coverage.) They can still do it, but not on the highways or interstates.

      I’m sure there are some that haven’t got the ban yet, and those that have, I believe are on the eastern side of Oklahoma.

  20. As a brother of a very good & conscientious LEO, I agree with accur81 100%.

    And, IMHO, he is not “whining” as some twit put it, but putting forth the facts, The Truth About LEOs if you will. The cries of “but you don’t let us slide like you let a fellow LEO slide” are mistaken misconceptions as well. There are variations in LEOs just as there are variations in all other human beings. This “us vs. them” mentality hurts both sides.

    I just wish more of the TTAG readers were clear-eyed enough to see this.

  21. Heroism is not the sole domain of LE, nor is irresponsible behavior. The difference is how the system treats people differently on each side of the line.
    Cops get awards for doing things we would be admonished for as not being authorized legally to do. Use a gun to stop a crime or save a life and you might be in trouble because of local laws. Cops make mistakes they get administrative leave with pay.

  22. If dumbass’s like Horwitz need to push their anti gun agenda all they have to do is start quoting from the comments section on TTag. We are our own worst enemies and all the proof you need is these sorry tin foil hat posters that are thick here.

    congradulations Farago you managed to take what was a good site and turn it into something as trivial as Infowars.

    • @jwm

      One of the things that I appreciate about this site is its honesty. This was my opinion when I wrote it, and I am grateful that it was shared. I find the blanket anti-LEO posts to be disturbing, but it is also clear that there are abuses of police power across the nation. If you are a victim of police BS, then your perspective will be different.

      One of my other intents was to appreciate the training value of effective shootings, to include officer involved shootings. Some readers may not ever appreciate that, but this is a site of facts and opinions. If I’m shooting on the job, using force, pulling a firearm, etc. (again), then I need it to be justifiable. I know that any use of force I have (other than verbal demeanor) will be reviewed. We generally have clean uses of force because we use them as future training incidents.

  23. To the LEO that wrote in, when I’m being critical, I’m not talking about you, the honorable ones, my local Police department Belton, Texas PD is top notch, I’ve only personally seen honorable professionals, I’ve questioned the laws they enforce from time to time and the methods used (raiding a house full of kids with AR15’s drawn, finding only a few joints and no weapons) but not them, when I criticize, I’m criticizing the ones that shouldn’t be LEO’s. I’m sorry if I offended you at some point, whatever I said wasn’t directed at you, the good guys but the bad ones.

  24. Just like any other person, not every LEO is a hero, neither is every member of the military, coach, athlete, teacher, or doctor. Some are, some aren’t. It’s all about actions and personal conduct. Stereotyping pisses me off, be it race, religion, or that every cop is corrupt/a hero. Judge the individual.

  25. If a police officer is tried of a crime he is tried in civilian court. Military personnel are tried in military court. Police are civilians. I know saying that brings them down to our level, but there it is.

  26. Thanks Dan good post.
    Just one customer opinion here, fwiw:

    +1 on the good cop stories. We take that for granted too often and need to be reminded. -1 on the anti-cop generalizations.

    I swore a pledge to defend and uphold, so I support 1A and 2A and all the rest, but if this place turns into an anti-cop site I am gone and I am sure there are others who would without taking the time to post the same comment.

    This is too unique and special a place to stoop to that mendacity- and theres too many other forums where you can go for it, if you need that.

    I trust Robert to referee and boot the trolls if needed.

    • You’re insulting us for being anti-bad cop as though it is the same as being anti-good cop. We can say anti-bad cop things without needing to add the caveat on there every single time that we’re only talking about the bad ones. Maybe if more good cops stopped covering for the wrongdoings of the bad cops we would be less inclined to generalize about group that by doing so is basically begging to be generalized about.

      All we can say is sorry if you personally are ACTUALLY one of those singular folks who is a “good” cop and would also publicly call out a bad cop for being so. Good on you for being moral and putting yourself in one of the most dangerous positions around, not simply because you are a cop, but because it is not necessarily healthy to break from the blue line in a public fashion.

      Cue QQing about how “anti-cop” I am. Please. I know good cops, I call some family. But even they know everyone needs to be wary of the stranger with a gun approaching them.

  27. The problem that I have with many of the anti-LEO posts here is the sense I get that no matter what positive steps any cops or LEO organizations might take in the future, these posters will still hate them. The anti-LEOs will say that they are slamming cops for this reason or for that reason, or because of this bad apple or that bad apple, but it’s clear to me that in general they have either been irretrievably jaundiced against the whole concept of LEO by their own personal experiences, or they just don’t like the idea of law enforcement, simply because of the way that they themselves are wired. I am not naive. I know that there have been excesses, and I am troubled by the paramilitarization of LEOs (TTAG has done a good job of raising that issue), but one has to keep a little perspective.

    • And by that rationale, Ive seen LEO’s treat everyone else like criminals because of this bad apple or that bad apple…hmmm

  28. I dont want to listen to whining from ANYONE that has the job they want. I have a job I like. I know a lot of folks dont. Im lucky. I have a fairly good paying job in this horrible economy, and I say the same when anyone I work with starts bitchin…go ahead and quit. I can say honestly that I’ve had good dealings with cops but I’ve witnessed and experienced far more negative ones. Sorry if that makes me somehow biased but like anything in life a person has to make certain judgements based on experience. I think the biggest problem comes from the type of people being hired to be police officers and the overall militarization of police services. Heres a few more examples…witnessing a local officer start an altercation with a couple behind a bar one night. He said he saw them smoking weed. Problem was they not only wete not, but the area he claims he observed them in is completely out of sight of the road. Straight up attempted set up. The guy took stitches in his head after being sucker shotted with a flashlight and his wife, who already had a cast on her broken forearm had to have the arm reset after the heroic officer beat on her arm with his maglight several times. The whole incident resulted in about 8 arrests for interfering with police because he called in the troops when people rushed out of the bar. All charges against everyone were quickly dropped and the incident was swept under the rug. I worked as a bouncer for a few years at a local bat. We handled everything ourselves and only called the cops if we had someone who refused to leave the property. They did like to drive thru the parking lot and occasionally stop to chat. One fine young officer did inform me that he was going to do his best to get every bar in town closed because as he stated “Anybody thats out after 11 at night is just doing some scumbag shit anyways”. Makes you wonder what kind of a personality someone has to make a statement like that. And THATS the problem right there. Theres a hell of a lot of people with that atitude working in law enforcement, at least around where I live. One more..this was a direct interaction between myself and oh, 30 or so local and state cops. Out riding my motorsickle one night. Enjoying some fall air. There had been trouble between local MC’d the week before. A few of the members of one club live in town. I have no connection to any of that other than knowing a couple of them. I was pulled over no less than 4 times that night and had my license run and I stopped at 2 bars that night and cops came in and yep…i was asked to probide ID and it was checked…a couple of times by the same cops!!…i finally asked a couple if them why did they keep checking my ID when 1) it was already run several times that night and 2) most of them knew who I was anyways…the response? Because I wad the only guy riding around town that night and they were told to run ID’s on every “biker” they saw!!! What the hell kind of mindless idiot does it take to do that? And lastly, I’m a law abiding citizen. I’ve never been arrested so my negative impression does mot come from the viewpoint of holding a grudge, but from my distaste for incompetance, sheer ignorance and a dislike for anyone who holds the biew that if youre not one of them then you are the other. Or in the seemingly favorite term of our local PD, a scumbag.

    • Where was this? Where I work, use of an impact weapon to the head is considered lethal force, whether or not anyone dies or is even seriously injured.

      Every use of force, which can be as simple as a punch or a takedown that causes lasting pain, is documented and reviewed. The records stay in your file for years, even if it was found to be fully justified.

      Several years after the academy, I have yet to get a single use of force review attached to my name. Came close a few times, but when I’ve had to go hands on so far, it’s been without actually hurting anyone.

  29. It doesn’t matter whether or not people hating on police are justified or not. Quite simply, if the police ingeneral have an image problem is it the fault of the people or the police? The fact of the matter is that most people have negative experiences with the police thanks to to some real losers who wear badges. Couple that with the militarization and excessive behavior and the police look more like thugs than public servants. If you are a LEO and you don’t like being thought of like that then you and other like minded people need to fix it from within. But don’t you climb up on a soap box and act like you’re there to protect me because we both know that’s not true. I know that some cops get in some dangerous situations and I appreciate the work and I don’t make light of it. I just think those in law enforcement need to remember who they work for and that they are still citizens like the rest of us.

  30. Sorry Chief, but you’re in the minority. Just because there’s the handful of decent people like you (or should I say, like you claim to be) doesn’t mean people should put their lives and liberty at risk taking a chance that the cop they’re dealing with will be as noble as you are.

  31. Dan, I disagree with your opinion and the dictionary definition of a “civilian”. To my mind, if you’re not in uniform and working under the UCMJ, you are a civilian. Period.

    As Robert Peel would say; “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” In the civics education that I received growing up, I was taught that the law and civic responsibility was in the hands of every law-abiding citizen and that it is each individual citizen’s duty to protect and further that those charges so that our civilization may prosper and progress.

    It really gets my fur up when anyone tries to elevate themselves beyond what they really are. Cops, firemen, physicians,, paramedics, lifeguards, etc., whomever, are not de facto heroes because of their chosen profession, though individuals in those professions may act heroically from time to time. Stoicism, modesty, self-deprecation, humility, quiet resolve, intense focus, and selflessness are far more compelling testimonies to one’s character than the mere badge conferred to a so-called “professional”.

    Case law in this country is perfectly clear and explicit in that authorities of any stripe are under no duty whatsoever to aid, assist or protect the public at large. Nor are those same authorities legally compelled to come to the assistance of any threatened individual even when a so-called “special relationship” exists between the parties. It’s comforting to know that many individuals so charged will feel an irresistible need to act humanely and forthrightly, often times at great sacrifice to themselves. The human spirit can be astoundingly inspirational. That said, there is no legal compulsion; only the moral force that resides in our individual hearts.

  32. I think it’s worth pointing out here the difference in the way that Joe public views the institution of police in general and the specific views he is forced to adopt when he is face to face with the thin blue line. To wit, I respect policeman because of the challenges and dangers they choose to face every day on my behalf. That said,, I have grave reservations when dealing with a police officer individually, since I have to manage to the lowest common denominator. Since the ratio of citizens to LEOs in the U.S. is ruffly 400-1, it isn’t like I’m dealing with someone who knows me personally. Is the guy with the badge probably a decent person doing a hard job? Probably. Can I afford to take that chance? Hell no.

    If you are a LEO and are annoyed at the negative trend of the public, look to your fellow officers and their conduct. Look to the militarization of law enforcement and the increased weight of regulations (TSA) that the average citizen has to deal with now a days. It isn’t that we don’t view the individual as a hero, it is that we tend to view all agents of government with the same skeptical eye.
    Looked at that way, the frustration most of us feel is that we are called upon to view servicemen and LEOs and such as heroes in the first place. Did we not arm you? Do we not pay you? Did you not fill out the forms and go through the training?

    “Serve and protect”

    You are supposed to protect us, to act as our agents and protectors. That is enharent in those words. But too often we have to protect ourselves from the carelessness of law enforcement. Too often we have to deal with the inconvenience of regulation and the threat of law.
    We are glad to see LEOs standing up and walking into harm’s way and respect them for it. We just want to view it as a job well done and not an extraordinary act of courage.

  33. One of the common points here seems to be “I don’t want to hear how hard your job is, or how dangerous, you weren’t drafted.” In a way, that’s a fair point, but replace cop with a few other jobs and see how it sounds… because nobody in America is drafted now, even into the military.

    “I don’t want to hear about how your leg got blown off in Afghanistan, you weren’t drafted, it was your choice to enlist.”

    “I don’t want to hear about you getting robbed again, nobody drafted you into service as a cab driver, and nobody made you live in Chicago.”

    “I don’t want to hear about how you lost your arm in a chainsaw accident, nobody made you be a lumberjack.”

    Telling a disabled veteran/bullet scarred cab driver/lumberjack/bartender or anyone else that they chose their job and therefore they can go screw themselves is a little harsh. Maybe if they’re asking for free drinks or something out of pity, but if they just say “my job is dangerous,” well, maybe it is. Maybe it’s more dangerous than being a cop. Maybe being a cop is more dangerous than being a network admin.

    To all network admins out there, I do not expect you to buy my drinks.

    • There is a world of difference between the cabby (who may encounter danger in the course of his job but whose job description doesn’t entail going into harm’s way) and a LEO or soldier (who are required to deal with violence as part of their job description.) The cabby in your example didn’t volunteer to get in harms way any more than a veteran volunteered to get wounded.
      What’s being said here isn’t screw LEOs, but that it’s annoying to be expected to hold up all law enforcement and soldiers as heroes because they are LEOs and soldiers in the first place. I wouldn’t call a cabby a hero because they are a cabby any more than I want to call the desk sergeant at the local precinct a hero for doing the job he is paid to do.
      The focus of this article is a desire to hear more about the heroic actions of the police in comparison with the reporting of gun related tragedies and citizen DGUs. The point being made by many commentators is that we expect the LEOs to do as a part of their job what is exceptional in the case of armed citizens. Are there heroic officers doing extraordinary things on a daily basis? You bet. However, when I read something like:
      “I missed the heroic actions of the police officer who responded to the active shooter incident and stopped the threat. Courage under fire is heralded in the Marine Corps, why not in law enforcement?”

      I don’t think anyone is saying that it’s easy to walk into a situation where an officer knows that there’s an “active shooter” out there. That certainly takes courage and should be recognized and appreciated. What most of us take issue with is the automatic expectation that officer bob is then entitled to a certain amount of glory for being routed by dispatcher to do his job. It isn’t that officer Bob shouldn’t be considered for the term “hero” it’s that the act of being a policeman doing his job shouldn’t automatically convey that status on him.
      I’ve heard it said that a hero is someone who does the ordinary under extraordinary circumstances. We just feel that being called to deal with an armed criminal is part of LEO’s job and therefore requires a higher bar to be met to qualify as extraordinary. This article seems to ask for recognition in general rather than specific. That is what bothers me, and I think most of the commentators here.

      • That makes sense, and is better stated than most of what I have seen in the past, online or in person. When I read police sites, many of the comments lean towards wanting better recognition of general actions, so I understand what you mean.

        The thing that seems to cause the most frustration on the police side, and maybe spark that attitude, is something that’s not found here, but on more general news sites. I’m talking about comments like-

        “You didn’t have to shoot my son, just because he was shooting at you already, he was such a sweet boy, he probably wasn’t even trying to hit you, just to get away”

        Followed by-
        “That was my baby-daddy, he was just going through a rough patch cause he was addicted to meth and had to pistol whip people to pay for his drugs. He was going to enroll in college next week, and he was starting to go back to church. You must have wanted to murder him.”

        Followed by-
        “Yeah, I thought cops were supposed to be well trained in shooting, was this guy so incompetent that he couldn’t just shoot the dude in the leg, or shoot the gun out of his hand? I saw it on a movie, they’re all supposed to do that. Bunch of Nazi killers here, I guess. Sounds like the dead guy was a family man.”

        • Are you causing trouble again?! Couldn’t you just be happy with Spain? Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem delendam esse!

  34. Another point, even though police are not subject to any legal requirement to protect anyone, if a cop is dispatched to an active shooter and says “you know what, that’s too much, I’m not going in there,” or even doesn’t respond on their own to a similarly bad situation, they’re likely going to get fired. The reason on the official papers won’t be cowardice, but really, that’s the reason. Happens to EMT’s too, there’s a story somewhere about how an ambulance crew drove away from the Aurora theater shooting. Last I saw, that one was still being reviewed.

    So, when I hear radio traffic that there’s someone shooting, or if I hear it out the window while driving around, I’m heading straight for it. Current training even says I don’t wait for backup in an active shooter call, if I arrive and there’s nobody else there… I’m it. By policy.

    Most of us don’t ask the public to pat us on the back every time we’re seen out there, and in my department if you even allow someone to buy you coffee, there’s a fair chance you’ll be looking at an ethics investigation. All I really want is an understanding that when things get bad, that’s where I’m going. Not because I was drafted, or because I want to kill someone, or because I want to have a cool story to pick up chicks. It’s because I want to go, because someone I never met may die if I don’t.

    If those of you who don’t wear a uniform step in and do the same thing, I want to be the first one to shake your hand. You may just have saved my family. You have definitely just risen above 99% of the population who runs away from danger. Not that they should be expected to do anything else, even a lot of DGU training expects people to avoid or evade lethal threats if they can. It’s safer.

    Would be nice if I could get there before the crime happened, but that gets into a Godwin’s Law actual police state kind of thing, and I don’t want to go down that road. In the real world yes, most of the time we pick up the pieces and write a report. Once in a while, though, you get to really make a difference.

    All this kind of makes me miss the Army. Not as many people hated me.

    • Hell man, if that’s the code you live by then I don’t hate you, quite the oposit.
      As I said before, the frustration here isn’t directed at “you” individually, it’s directed at the police in general. Because of laws meant to combat terrorism and a few bad apples, we the public have to be a lot more careful when dealing with law enforcement than we might have 20 years ago. Unfortunately, that means that your average LEO has to cover a lot more distance to earn the trust and respect that they deserve. What you see here is that citizens have to manage to the lowest “common” denominator of officer. You’ve got my vote if that helps.

  35. I just wanted to drop in that using superior numbers and weapons against inferior numbers and weapons is not cowardice, it’s smart. You wouldn’t engage a shooter by yourself simply because it would be heroic, because acting in that way when you have the numbers and firepower is called be stupid.
    If you don’t and you must engage then you do what you must, but if there is a shooter, and if there is the assets at hand, then I want the police to use as many men and weapons as possible to engage and take down the shooter. I’d rather have that then dead cops.

  36. I’m from a LEO family, LOTS of LEO
    And yet reading this bunch I must aligine myself with the underdog,,,not the Cops
    Cops aint spl, they are just citizens with guns,,and a badge

  37. Just like every profession there are great cops who became cops for the right reason, and there are real stinkers that became cops because they figured it would give them a license to bully. Unfortunately, just like with every profession, it is the bad ones people remember as the good ones are too busy being good to stand up for themselves and their profession.

    But unlike with most other professions, police officers have to deal with the worst kind of people day in and day out. And even when they are dealing with normal people nine of ten times the person will blatantly lie while simultaneously accusing the cop of lying. For example, when caught speeding almost no one says “Yes officer, I know why you pulled me over. I was doing at least 40 in a 25mph zone.” Instead, the cop gets BS like “I didn’t know the speed limit was only 25, I thought it was 35, I swear.” Only to look at the drivers license and see that the speeder has lived on this street for at least 4 years. Or even better “What, there is no way I was doing more than 32.” I am sorry, but no person can reasonably be expected not to grow a negative view of humanity after dealing with this stuff day and day out.

    In fact, I would wager that most of the posters here spewing the most anti-cop garbage are only doing so because they believed they were wronged by that one cop that gave them reckless driving for going 80 on a 65mph highway, never mind they were actually going 84 and the cop rounded down, the cop still should have pulled over one of the other drivers out there going just as fast. Am I right?

    I suppose now is a good time to state, I am not a cop. I was never a cop. No one in my family is or was a cop. My five year old sometimes says he wants to be a cop, but usually he wants to be batman instead (and before you ask, no he has not seen any of the batman movies, just some cartoons). I do have a neighbor who is a cop, a cop in a different state who drives an hour to work because he wants his kids raised in the safer state. He is a complete ahole who became a cop for all the wrong reasons, and has managed to seriously tick of every neighbor within two houses of his and a few that are further than that. He got me (three houses away in the neighborhood behind his) by trespassing on his neighbors property to come inform me over my fence that my dog had to be on a leash in my fenced in backyard because it was scaring his kids. I told him there was no such law. He informed me it was part of the HOA rules, to which I informed him I was on the comity that handled HOA rule violations and knew of no such rule, which resulted in him informing me he was a police officer and if I did not comply he would shoot my dog. At this point I realized I was dealing with a bad cop and just decided to say “Ok, have a nice day.” and refused to engage him in any more conversation. Fortunately I am somewhere between acquaintance and friend with several local cops and I gave them a call. That’s when I found out he is not even a cop for the state I live in and we paid him a visit to inform him that nothing better happen to my dog, he was displeased to say the least that the local police where taking my side over his. If the SHTF he is on the top of my neighbors that gotta go list, but there are at least 12 others that live closer to him with the same plan.

    But that does not mean all cops are aholes, far from it, the local cops who came to my defense came to know me because I treat them with respect and honesty. Want to get out of a ticket, let me give you advice, when pulled over roll your window down, turn your car off, turn the interior lights on if it is night time, have your license out, and keep your hands where the officer can clearly see them. Then when he asks questions, tell the truth, and talk to him the same way you would talk to any other human you just met. It will be such a refreshing change from the usual crap they are served that not only will they be more likely to let you go or give you a reduced offense, but they will remember you for any future encounters in a positive way. Your mileage may vary, but this has worked for me three out of four times.

    Could the police be better about their firearms training? Yes, but who couldn’t use more training/ range time. Could they better inform their police about different firearms? You bet. Am I saying you should not be prepared to defend yourself? Nope, and neither would most cops I know. But I will say that it is not a job I would want, and I respect the cops who do it for the right reasons. While it is true they are paid to run in where others are running away, it does not make them any less heroic as there are safer ways to get paid more money.

    • You are simply a repulsive person Snyder. For a number of reasons. If you would like me to list them all, I can and will.

  38. This is me: http://onlineathens.com/stories/082111/new_874205101.shtml

    This is my story: http://www.copblock.org/12820/vile-lying-stealing-kidnapping-clowns-with-badges/

    This is the way cops actually think. Read the comments: http://www.policeone.com/police-jobs-and-careers/articles/5981430-Miami-police-fire-cop-pulled-over-by-FHP/

    This is my email: poikilotherm@aol.com If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me. A number of cowards with badges have threatened me from afar.

    I can say with absolute certainty that there are no, as in ZERO, good cops. Why? You have the active scumbags who break the laws, and the passive scumbags who cover for them.

    • So, I read your story, and you definitely got the shitty end of the stick. I’d even agree there are no good cops in Lumpkin County, or at least weren’t in 2006. But I disagree that there are no good cops anywhere. That’s OK, you get to disagree.

      What you don’t get to do is abuse the other posters, like you did to Andrew above. I’m going to assume that’s because you didn’t know better, since these two posts appear to be your first ones here. Now you know.

        • This site doesn’t work like that. Comments get posted immediately, without moderation, unless they run afoul of the very capricious !@#$% spam filter. Other than that, they have to be seen to be corrected. It’ll get caught soon enough, I’m sure. I was just giving you a heads up since you seem to be new here.

    • Wow.

      I learned a new word tonight: “desquamate.” Excellent.

      Now, as to your court settlement: Who paid that? The corrupt SOB’s who put you through this? Or the taxpayers?

      I’m guessing the latter.

      If the latter, this is my hobby horse around here at TTAG: cops act this way because in court, it is the taxpayers who pay these awards, even when they run into the 100’s of thousands of dollars. And that pisses me off in the extreme. We don’t pay cops to exhibit this behavior, and it’s bad enough that we’re not able to collect back pay when they do.

      But to pay civil damages or restitution in these cases when it wasn’t the taxpayers fault to committing these acts… really frosts me.

      • I wanted them in jail. The DA, the FBI, the GBI, 3 state judges, 4 federal judges, the ATF, and a federal jury all agree that the cops comitted felonies. I have the DA on tape along with his investigator admitting that they know they comitted felonies. The DA, Jeff Langley, refused to charge them.

        The DA is corrupt and actively covers for criminals with badges.

        My attorney attempted to get GIRMA to drop the cops as clients because they had obviously broken numerous laws. If GIRMA had done the right thing and dropped them, then any and all payments would have come directly from the cops. I could have taken their houses. Instead, GIRMA decided to shield and reward their criminal behavior, thus emboldening other cops to commit furture criminal acts.

        The cop who originally stuck a gun in my face is Sterling Cole. I have Cole’s personell file. It’s fascinating. The guy is a caricature, a Hollywood Gerogia cop stereotype. He is fat, stupid, violent, and a crook. He has a vibrant history of pulling his weapon and pointing it at children and the elderly. He shot and killed a woman who was sitting on her porch because she “failed to follow my commands”. He failed a psych eval in 2011 after he unlawfully entered a man’s home and assaulted him for no reason. They took his gun and put him in the jail as a guard, but with no prisoner contact. A few months later he had a gun and was back on the road.

        There is a book’s worth of criminal shit that these Lumpkin Co. Sheriff’s deputies and Mark McClure have done. Far too much to write about here. We would be better off with no cops at all compared to the goon squad we have now.

        • Holy crap.

          I have to agree. We’d be better off with no cops and the Wild West compared to that bunch of clowns.

    • Okay, I just spent a couple hours reading your story and any freely available court documents I could find, like the appeal. Your narrative was as gripping as any Hollywood story, but, unfortunately it was real.

      I want more! Any idea when you’ll be able to share the rest of the story you hinted to at the end?

    • Oh, the first one probably did, because it has >2 links. One or two is OK, three sends you to the spam filter.

      Also, for future reference, if you hit the Reply above my last post, at 22:21, effectively replying to your own post, it will continue to stack the replies under mine, like you’d want it to.

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