Under the assault of assorted mayors, an incumbent president, a national attorney general, and the usual collection of buffoons, rabble-rousers, racial racketeers and the entire universe of incumbent officeholders and wannabees clutching at the rungs of higher or high office, our municipal police forces have been a model of conservative demeanor and restraint.
It is no accident that police work is not for the weak, the weak-willed or the thin-skinned. How many of us in the civilian sector would continue in our pursuits after the insults, calumnies and now physical assaults that have become the currency of everyday urban life? That is the definition of a professional, devoted to his or her calling; and in the case of peace officers, to the highest calling of civic service possible.
Imagine if the field of teaching, social work or other important public service were attacked in the same manner as our police for the errant behavior of one of their own, or some disagreement over departmental policy? Excoriated in the daily press, criticized by their putative bosses in the bureaucracy or city hall and their entire field questioned for its mission, training, oversight practices or just essential worth?
By now, you would have seen the streets of our cities and villages invaded by teachers, social workers, EMTs and other public employees demanding that their rights, labor protections and reputations be protected by municipal leaders. Representatives from civil service, SEIU, AFSCME and other bargaining agencies would be blasting the responsible bosses for the mistreatment of their clients and the loss of the public’s respect.
It is time for our public leaders to put aside their careers and campaign coffers and to offer unquestioning support for the 99% of police officers, state troopers and other public safety officers who do their jobs, enforce our laws and then go home to enjoy the safe and comrortable private lives that their toils have earned them.
If any urgent changes to the practice of policing are called for, then our professional political class should return to its city councils and state and national legislatures and change the rules, regulations, protocols, theory and training, and even economic regulation that control current police practices. (Regulation? More like over-regulation, like what commanded the enforcement of the state revenue-enhancement drive that enabled the death of unfortunate Eric Garner over his marketing and sale of UNTAXED LOOSE CIGARETTES!)
Any utterance, statement or action by the political class amounting to less than such a wholesale and unmitigated endorsement of the role and performance of our municipal law enforcement personnel and agencies is a wicked betrayal of the public trust. And compounding such misbehavior with a call to street protest or civil disobedience over everyday policing is nothing less than an invitation to anarchy.