Never forget that police are heroes too

April 27, 2015

Kyle Guthrie
kguthri2@uccs.edu

It seems like everywhere you look these days, we hear more and more stories about police brutality. Whether it’s from the news or from your friends, everyone seems to be talking about it.

Right now is a very bad time to be a cop, and that’s from both sides of the political spectrum. The right seems to think of them as over-militarized government goons working their way toward creating a police state. The left seems to think of them as racist murderers who will gun down anyone who isn’t white.

But very few people regard police officers as the heroes that they truly are, and it’s important that we remember this distinction in light of the few bad apples that are giving them a bad name.

Police brutality cases, especially interracial ones, make for great headlines and stories, so it stands to reason that the news will focus on these stories to the point of exhaustion.

But despite what the news, Reverend Al Sharpton, or any anti-police advocacy groups would like to tell you, police brutality is almost non-existent for most of us.

In their latest investigation, the American Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 0.049 percent of police contacts resulted in complaints of excessive police force. Of these complaints, only eight percent of them were sustained based on any merit or evidence.

That comes out to only 0.0039 percent.

Yet this tiny number is all it takes to rally a country against a force of peace keepers that risk their lives every day for our protection.

I love living in a country that believes the actions of ISIS and radical Islam should not be reflected on American Muslims. It shows our convictions as a country that does not judge a group of people for the actions of a portion.

And yet it’s perfectly OK to group all police officers as murderous thugs based on such a small fraction of bad apples.

When I was a soldier, people loved to thank me for my service and called me a hero more times that I can count. But the only difference between service members and police officers is that when our deployments are over, we get to come home to a relatively safe environment until our next rotation.

Police officers don’t get that luxury. They kiss their wives and children goodbye every day not knowing if they will come home.

If it looks like they’re being mean on a video, they’re doing that because they’re trying to stay alive. The second a police officer loses control or dominance of a bad situation, they typically lose their lives.

Many officers go above and beyond the call of duty to serve their community, they risk their lives every day to protect yours.

If you think that officer who pulled you over for texting and driving was being a “total jerk”, too bad, because he was trying to save both your life and the life of the child you were probably a few minutes away from getting stuck in your front grill.

So the next time you see a police officer on the 14th hour of their double shift, have some sympathy. Thank them, shake their hand, or if you really feel like splurging, buy them a cup of coffee.

Anyone who has to deal with human stupidity the way they do probably needs a lot of coffee.