One would have to be living in some subterranean environment to not know perhaps more than any time in our history our police are arguably reviled more so than ever. Too often they are needlessly vilified, taunted and openly castigated on all too many occasions or even worse killed by emboldened criminals, who have no compunction about resisting arrest with violence. If we are the sum of our experiences, we must make sure our police are not marred by their humanistic experiences. For the sake of integrity, our officers can ill afford to let explicit or implicit bias cause their interactions to be jaded and not be dispensers of fundamental fairness to all. Even as disciplined as our police must be, how long will they be able to remain above the emotional fray and not become like the wrought-up people they deal with on a day to day basis. One of the principal drivers of incivility and violence is anger, particularly couched with disrespect for one’s fellow man. I sense police know they remain favorably viewed by most citizens. We can ill afford officers with bad attitudes they foment on those they interact with.
The Saul Alinsky effect is alive and well where the populace turns against the police. The Ferguson effect has notably changed the way America polices its cities, particularly the major metropolitan statistical areas where policing has become mostly reactive. Police are under constant scrutiny with the onset of body cams. The cameras do an admirable job in showing some scope of observation but does not accurately convey the fear and anxiousness of the officer. Even for the police, it’s often a hectic and sometimes scary world they have been thrust into. It’s imperative we show them the gratitude and appreciation they deserve.