Tales From The Thin Blue Line
He became a police officer in 1973, starting pay was around $10,000 - $12,000 a year plus benefits and overtime. Over forty hours a week and varied working conditions. There were physical requirements that had to be met, height to weight ratio, timed running and other physical tests. Then on to the academy where they learn to shoot, drive and many other things. Then time with a training officer and if you pass all that, you can start to patrol on your own.
I asked why, why a Police Officer, out of all the jobs you could have picked, why the Police? He said he had a family and wanted to do his part to help make things safer not only for his family but everyone’s. The benefits were really good as well and so was the pay back in that time.
“But, I wouldn’t be one now for 2 million a year, it’s not what it used to be.” he said. I asked what that means, he explained, it was a different time then, people respected the police and vice versa. People respected the law and knew if they broke it they would get in trouble. Today, most people are disrespectful to police officers for no reason other than it’s cool to now.
Today they expect police officers to be social workers rather than law enforcement officers. Officers get sued for doing their jobs, every time they turn around their actions are placed under a microscope and usually by people with no law enforcement experience at all. If they are forced to use their weapon they can almost expect to be labeled the bad guy regardless of the facts. They are all racists and wrong no matter what. The job is stressful enough without all that thrown on top.
When he was Police Officer the bad guys knew if they fought with a cop they would get hit and they could cry all they wanted, no one would care. If they shot at the police they knew you’d would get shot, and no one would organize a march for you and blame the officer for your lack of judgment.
Police didn't have to play basketball with children in the neighborhoods they patrolled and still they were respected. Crime rates were lower then, so something was working. Certain parents, the media and other groups weren’t telling their children to be afraid of the police and that they were the bad guys and should be feared.
He went on to say, “Not everyone who’s an Officer should be and that in any job you have bad apples. 99% of Officers are good people doing a job that a lot of people couldn’t and they catch hell for the 1%. Police are human’s beings too and if you treat them with respect they’ll do the same in return.”
He told me about riots he was involved in, fatal car accidents, notifying families that a loved one had died, the air Florida crash into the Potomac he worked, being there when Regan was shot and hundreds of other things. But those are stories for another time.