Point of View: Policing in America

Until recently, one of the most respected jobs in America was to be a police officer. They were held in the highest esteem for the ways they would rush toward danger when we might be running away from it. They stand up to the bad guys and the bullies in ways we can’t. 

The last couple of years has been difficult ones to be a cop. All cops are suffering because of the few bad ones. 

Every year in this country, there are tens of millions of interactions between police and civilians, and hundreds of thousands of confrontations between cops and bad guys. There’s no doubt that some of those interactions are horrific, indefensible outcomes that we all agree are intolerable.

There are always a few bad cops who make bad decisions, sometimes for the wrong reasons, but they are truly a small percentage. 

On the other hand, every year, about one cop a week is shot and killed by a bad guy. And nobody organizes a march to protest for the 50 or so cops who gave their lives as they protected others. 

Morale is low with police officers. Imagine taking a job that will never make you rich, where you have to confront rude, angry, or dangerous people every day, and where you face a real possibility of getting hurt or even killed. To top it off, a few people with loud voices think it would be a good idea to defund you and reduce your resources or eliminate them altogether.

Still, you’re a cop. You can handle all of that as long as your district attorney, city council and your mayor have your back and stand by you. But sadly, many of those political types are just too weak to do that.  

I think the protests of the past year did have a long-term positive effect on policing. Going forward, our police will be better trained and more compassionate than ever before and that’s what we all want. 

Police today and any young person who is thinking about a career in police work need to know that it is an honorable profession still held in the highest regard by the overwhelming majority of American people. We just don’t say it often enough.  

I’m Bill Lamb, and that’s my Point of View.

What do you think about this? Call 310-584-2030 or email me at fox11pov@foxtv.com. I’m Bill Lamb, and that’s my Point of View.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.