An Open Letter to the Less than 1%, Don’t Be That Guy.

You’re not just a liability. You’re a bad example and you steal the spotlight away from those who deserve it. You’re dangerous and lazy. You’re careless and you increase the target on the backs of those I love by your behavior. I do not feel like I could rightly “humanize the badge” without talking specifically to you. I feel a deep responsibility to acknowledge that you exist and that your behaviors are inexcusable. What’s more infuriating than that? You’re made out to be the rule instead of the exception.

I just recently sat down and read a Uniform Story by Mike the Cop, a police officer and founder of Cop Life.  It’s called “We are the 99%.”  His article was focused on acknowledging there are bad police officers out there while bringing to life actual statistics about incidents of police misconduct.  The heading of his article is pretty powerful when you think about the 99% of the police force that is honorable and in this line of work for the right reasons.  But, people aren’t talking about them.  They are talking about you.

You know who you are.  You’re the guy who parks in a handicap spot to run inside a convenience store to grab a soda.  Of course they are going to film you.  You’re the guy who is caught on camera accepting money to get out of a traffic ticket. You’re the couple that was breaking into homes and stealing pharmaceutical drugs to curve your own addictions.  You guys are under a microscope and you still choose to make decisions that affect all of you.  You chose an occupation that requires honor and dignity.  You chose a career that requires you to not only sustain the law while setting an example through your actions. Integrity isn’t an option in this field.  It’s a prerequisite.

Every day, I rifle through every single piece of media I can possibly find concerning law enforcement.  I watch every video that is available.  And, before I watch a police officer involved shooting, I challenge myself to watch it objectively.  I’m not an officer. I will likely never know what it’s like to have a split second to make a decision concerning my life or the lives of those around me.  I pray that I don’t.  In fact, I pray that the majority of our officers do not have to see that day either.  I do not envy the job and I do not envy the circumstances.  It’s gut wrenching to know the aftermath that comes with this kind of event. They are quickly thrown into a spotlight of media crucifixion and the platform is created for social keyboard warriors to destroy the integrity of their entire careers.

What’s my point?  It’s hard enough being an officer without having to listen to people complain about cops who decided to double park at McDonalds.  Don’t be the guy.  It’s really that simple. Whether you have on a uniform or not, you’re a reflection of every single other officer out there.  When you make a bad decision, every other law enforcement family suffers the consequences.  My heart cringes when I see a video of a deputy who is caught on camera saying “I can park in handicap parking because I deserve a break.”  She’s part of the problem and, quite frankly, we can’t have any more problems.

Being a police officer is so much more than just being brave.  Granted, that is a big chunk of the required criteria but, it doesn’t end there.  Being a police officer is about being morally sound and good.  It’s about being just a morally strong as you are physically strong.  It’s about knowing that you no longer just represent yourself.  You represent an entire group of people.  This morning I woke up to two articles about an officer being indicted on child abuse charges and another officer who was involved in a DUI accident.   We cannot have people like this representing our family.  Now, more than ever, we need to morally check ourselves and ask the hard questions.  “Do I represent the badge the same way I want my brothers and sisters to represent me?”  If that answer isn’t a 100% yes, it’s time to reevaluate.  Please, for the love of all things honorable, make each decision you make with the family of every other officer in the forefront of your mind.

bravery

To the officers that are reading this: please know that I am 1000% in your corner.  Everything I do is dedicated to helping you be acknowledged for who you are and what you do on a daily basis.  I’m sorry the behavior of the few has been put on your shoulders.  I’m sorry that you have to work extra hard to regain the respect of your communities because someone abused their power.  I believe it to be vital to challenge your peers to always be aware of the badge that they represent.  You guys are the 99.99 percent and you have earned my love and respect.  We’re all in this together.  I feel so convicted about this subject because my heart beats blue.  We have to be more united now than ever.

typwriter

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About humanizing_the_badge

A group of creatives that is dedicating their talent to encouraging and supporting our Law Enforcement and their families. This is not a site where we are willing to allow negative comments about Law Enforcement. Don't even waste your time. If you want to debate something, leave it to the comment sections in your local news paper. It isn't welcome here. This is a place to encourage and support our Law Enforcement Families. HTB Productions 616 Corporate Way, Suite 2-4184 Valley Cottage, NY 10989
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7 Responses to An Open Letter to the Less than 1%, Don’t Be That Guy.

  1. Don says:

    Keeping doing what your doing, being a retired 25 year detective I think your perspective is right on….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. withlovelexi says:

    The passion in this post is endearing, and incredibly heart warming! Praying we all keep our “family” at the forefront of our mind when making decisions! God Bless 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike says:

    Thank you for your support and comments. I am the 99% and proud of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynette Mae says:

    Once again, your perspective is spot on. I’m a retired 25 year police sergeant and have always told my peers “don’t be that guy/girll”. I’ve written about policing responsibility. In this age of excessive scrutiny, it’s more important than ever to live up to the standards of our profession. God Bless. Be safe everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John Roman says:

    More people should read this because it’s the truth. Period. There’s nothing worse than one of our own making the rest of us look bad. Good article.

    Like

  6. The site should consider an option to upvote and/or share the articles, not just upvoting comments. Thank you for your consideration.

    Like

  7. Well, They were’t available on the main web page, but after writing my comment, Isee they are here now. Feel free to disregard… SMH at me…

    Like

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