July 6, 2005
Police officers strengthen, protect
Where are police officers when you need one? Don't you
think they spend too much of their time writing speeding
tickets instead of arresting real criminals?
Police work may be the most stressful job in the world.
A police officer said: "Every day when I leave home
for headquarters, I kiss my wife goodbye, aware that
it may be for the last time."
Law enforcement personnel risk their lives, even during "routine" traffic
stops. Officers writing tickets have been assaulted,
shot, led on high-speed chases and hit by passing traffic.
They never know when "routine" may turn violent.
Since 1994, 1,649 law enforcement officers have died
in the line of duty. Immediately following 9/11, there
was a surge of support and respect for those who serve
as police, fire and emergency personnel. Such appreciation
is still needed, maybe now more than ever.
Excerpts from the "Law Enforcement Code of Ethics" pinpoint
"My fundamental duty is to serve mankind; safeguard
lives and property; protect the innocent against deception,
the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the
peaceful against violence or disorder; and respect Constitutional
rights...regarding liberty, equality and justice.
"With no compromise for crime and with relentless
prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously
and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill
will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and
never accepting gratuities.
"I recognize the badge of my office as the symbol
of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to
be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police
Police officers support and strengthen society's integrity
while protecting the rights of individuals. Misbehavior,
whether in terms of violating traffic laws, selling illegal
drugs or robbing stores, requires law enforcement energies.
So if more officers are required to maintain civilized
behavior, then citizens must find ways to pay for them.
Raising taxes is one common approach. However, if increased
taxes are not attractive, then more members of society
must exercise greater self-restraint.
It should be common knowledge that individuals must
operate with integrity, in a culture of compliance, or
face increasing government oversight, including disciplines
and fines handed out by law enforcement professionals.
In the meantime, pass along words of praise directly to
law enforcement professionals and through the media. Write
letters. Make calls. Send e-mails. Encourage integrity-centered
law enforcement by praising admirable behaviors.